router lift vs router with above table adjustment - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-15-2019, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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router lift vs router with above table adjustment

I am at the point that I need to buy another router, and re-do the setup I made several years ago with the router mounted in my tablesaw extension wing. The router lift and another router would be quite the expenditure compared to just buying a router with the capability to adjust height from above the table. Are there any major advantages to having the router lift? I've done some reading trying to figure this out, but sometimes you just have to ask someone who's used both...

These are the 2 routers I have been looking at with above table adjustability

https://www.amazon.com/Bosch-MRF23EV...ateway&sr=8-25

https://www.amazon.com/Triton-TRA001...gateway&sr=8-1
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-15-2019, 10:43 AM
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You can't use the Bosch in a router lift. There are electrical contacts between the base and the motor that transfer the D-handle switch in the base to the motor. There is no easy way to turn the Bosch on and off without the switch in the base handle.

I have been told that a true router lift offers ease of use and much better precision compared with the built-in "lift." I am skeptical, and wanted to try it for myself, so I am eager to see what others have to say in this thread.
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-15-2019, 11:03 AM
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The Bosch 1617 will work if you are so inclined, but the Bosch Mrp23 is for hand held use only.

The routers that you can adjust from above the table will probably work for most people, especially those who use the router table for basic edge profiling and dadoing.

If you demand precision, like when using a Incra LS Positioning fence for making joints, then you need to get a lift. Actually, Iíll go one step further and say if you use your router table for making joints other than dados and rabbets, youíll save a lot of time and frustration getting that perfect fitting joint with a router lift.


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-15-2019, 11:20 AM
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Yup, a lift is expensive ....but

I own several Jess Em MastRLift 2's in tables. I love 'em! The router lift plate lifts right out of the opening IF you need to change the bits in that manner. Otherwise, a pair of bent wrenches work fine.
The router plate/lift comes with different size lock in inserts which you need for different diameter bits to operate safely. A typical router may not have those inserts... I donno?
The precision of a lift is beyond the realm of a screw type adjustment on a typical router. That's why the lift costs $200 to $300.

The height adjustments on a lift are indicated on a rotary dial... one turn is 1/16" or so, I don't recall. That makes it easier to predict the height of the bit.

The JessEm lifts accept all sizes of motor diameters so you bare a PC 7518 bare motor and save $50.0, IF you choose. The PC 7518 is a "handfull" of hand held router anyway, so it's best in a table configuration.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-16-2019, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
You can't use the Bosch in a router lift. There are electrical contacts between the base and the motor that transfer the D-handle switch in the base to the motor. There is no easy way to turn the Bosch on and off without the switch in the base handle.

I have been told that a true router lift offers ease of use and much better precision compared with the built-in "lift." I am skeptical, and wanted to try it for myself, so I am eager to see what others have to say in this thread.
I guess should've been more complete. If I buy a lift, I'll purchase a motor similar to the PC referenced earlier. The linked routers are the 2 I was thinking I could use without a lift.

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The Bosch 1617 will work if you are so inclined, but the Bosch Mrp23 is for hand held use only.
I'm curious why you say this. The bosch router I linked specifically references router table use in the item description.

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post #6 of 10 Old 09-16-2019, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
You can't use the Bosch in a router lift. There are electrical contacts between the base and the motor that transfer the D-handle switch in the base to the motor. There is no easy way to turn the Bosch on and off without the switch in the base handle.

I have been told that a true router lift offers ease of use and much better precision compared with the built-in "lift." I am skeptical, and wanted to try it for myself, so I am eager to see what others have to say in this thread.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Q View Post
The Bosch 1617 will work if you are so inclined, but the Bosch Mrp23 is for hand held use only.

The routers that you can adjust from above the table will probably work for most people, especially those who use the router table for basic edge profiling and dadoing.

If you demand precision, like when using a Incra LS Positioning fence for making joints, then you need to get a lift. Actually, Iíll go one step further and say if you use your router table for making joints other than dados and rabbets, youíll save a lot of time and frustration getting that perfect fitting joint with a router lift.

In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
Quote:
Originally Posted by d_slat View Post
I guss should've been more complete. If I buy a lift, I'll purchase a motor similar to the PC referenced earlier. The linked routers are the 2 I was thinking I could use without a lift.

I'm curious why you say this. The bosch router I linked specifically references router table use in the item description.

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Actually, the Bosch router you linked to says, "Moreover, it features the ability to adjust the depth from above the table using the included T-wrench, so there is no need to buy an expensive after-market router lift."

The Bosch MRF23EVS is a Bosch "23" series router that you and I referenced in our original posts. Those Bosch "23" series routers will not work in a router lift, as I said before. That is because there is no easy way to switch it on and off. If you buy a "23" series Bosch router, you will encounter that problem, and the only way to use that particular Bosch "23" router in a "lift" is to install it under a plate with the router base attached, then use the Bosch lift mechanism built into the router itself. You cannot use it easily in a third-party router lift, because of the switching issue above. There are other powerful motor bases that you can use in a router lift, including ones made by Porter-Cable.

The Bosch "23" series routers are clearly intended for heavy-duty handheld use. The switches on the handles give that away.

The Bosch 1617 series routers are different than the Bosch "23" series routers mentioned above. The Bosch 1617 series routers will work with a regular router lift because their switches are on the motor base itself. I note that they are only 1/10 horsepower less than the "23" series routers.
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-16-2019, 09:45 AM
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There is a known problem with the Triton you should be aware of.

After a few months of use, it developed a backlash which eventually became severe enough to render the machine unfit for use in a router table. Specifically, what was happening was when you released the lock, the router would drop, by as much as 1/8". As you can imagine, not holding the previous height adjustment pretty much negates dialing in a bit height. I posted this experience on another forum and apparently it is a common experience.

Triton's response was "its the nature of the beast". Which tells me there is a design flaw in the height adjustment gears. Maybe its been fixed, but I want you to be aware of it.

Since I had an kitchen project upcoming and couldn't deal with the frustration, I opted for the MastRLift II and the Jessem PowerTek router. (It appears the lift is identical to Incra). The external power/speed switch is a very nice feature.

The major advantage is the accuracy and precision a built in lift just can't give you. Using my router table is now a very pleasant, predictable experience.


I'm not saying built in lift routers aren't usable, but I would stay away from the Triton.
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-16-2019, 11:41 AM
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I had the Bosch 1617 and the mating lift in an inexpensive router table. I found it to be a sub-par experience. Using the lift got to be frustrating as it would bind when lifting and you'd have to reach under the table and push up on it to get it to unbind while turning the hex key. Going down it was okay as you had gravity to help. This was not an issue with shavings getting in there as I thought that was it, but after taking it apart and cleaning it really well, the issue returned right away. Further, dust and chip collection was nearly non-existent and always resulted in a big mess. I have been investing in tools with better dust/chip collection as I feel it is something that can lead to respiratory issues down the line plus I simply got tired of everything being a big mess.

I also now have the newer Bosch MRC23EVSK and concur that due to the switch being in the bases, it is NOT compatible with the TRA001 lift.

I have since sold that setup and recently bought the Incra "Works" setup with the INCRA Mast-R-Lift II and PC 7518 router motor. I just have assembled it all and have yet to use it but just from the assembly experience can tell it will be a massive improvement over what I had, including really good dust collection.
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-16-2019, 08:21 PM
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The answer to this question is very dependent upon the router and the lift.


I have a Crsftsmen router and am very satisfied with the built in above table adjustment.


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post #10 of 10 Old 09-28-2019, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I think I'll save the extra coin and spring for the lift.

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