In­no­va­tive fea­tures de­serve a tip of the cap

Pro Lift router lift, no. 52429, $370

WOOD - - TOOLS & MATERIALS / SHOP-TESTED -

This Rock­ler lift has a pair of re­ally cool fea­tures. First, the Pro Lift uses two sep­a­rate mech­a­nisms to raise and lower the car­riage: The Quick Gear makes coarse ad­just­ments quickly for chang­ing bits or set­ting an ap­prox­i­mate bit height, and the lead­screw fine-tunes the bit height. Both op­er­ate with the same wrench. And the se­cond fea­ture: pop-out re­ducer rings. Sim­ply push a but­ton to pop the alu­minum ring out, and it snaps in place just as eas­ily. Nice!

But a few low points make you work (and think) a lit­tle harder. The fine-ad­just lead­screw raises or low­ers the bit 1∕8" with each turn (8 tpi). Given the abil­ity of the Quick Gear to mark large ad­just­ments, we’d pre­fer a finer lead­screw (such as 16 tpi) for bet­ter mi­croad­just­ing. You still have to reach be­neath the ta­ble to lock the car­riage in place, an in­con­ve­nience. And tweak­ing the back­lash ad­juster to min­i­mize back­lash made it dif­fi­cult to op­er­ate the Quick Gear. Like the Kreg lift, it lacks lev­el­ing screws and snug­gers.

The Pro Lift fits only one router out of the box (the 3-hp PorterCable 7518, a $350 router). But $10 adapter rings fit the fol­low­ing router mo­tors: Bosch 1617EVS, Crafts­man 27680 and 27683, DeWalt DW616 and DW618, Hi­tachi MV12VC, Makita RF1101, and PorterCable 690 and 890. Other router mo­tors we tried did not fit.

The Pro Lift comes on an 81∕4×113∕4" alu­minum plate, which fits Rock­ler ta­bles. Rock­ler plans to sell a ver­sion with a 91∕4×113∕4" plate to fit other ta­bles.

Re­ducer-ring re­lease

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