Innovative features deserve a tip of the cap
Pro Lift router lift, no. 52429, $370
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.