If you’ve seen those slick router lifts in catalogs and wondered whether they’re worth the painful price, here’s my take: I used to have an under-mounted plunge router on an oversize plastic base, and it was a royal pain in the butt. I’d have to either extract the beast to make fine depth adjustments or crawl under the table like a reptile. Neither option was fun, and both required several tries to get the depth set just right. And there was the hassle of changing bits.
Then I got a router lift and I love it. It makes extremely fine height adjustments simple and fast, just by turning a crank. My Jessem model cost about $300. There are $200 ones on the market, but I haven’t given them a try. If you do lots of routing on router tables, a router lift is well worth the big bucks. — Travis Larson