Bench dog router lift review

There are just some tools you can’t miss in your workshop. Bench Dog Prolift router lift is without a doubt one of them.  With an adjustment resolution of 0.001’’, you don’t need to invest in any costly digital readout to achieve the results of your liking. Bench Dog Prolift offers you a type of speed, accuracy, and range you’ll rarely find with any other tool its type. Check out these amazing features.

Key Specifications

  •  Bronze Preload nuts
  • Twin Ball bearings
  • Direct-drive lead screw
  • Cast iron plate that is ultra-flat
  • Works with a variety of routers
  • Weighs 25 pounds
  • Measures 14.4’’ by 13.6’’ by 9.9.”

Bench-dog-router-lift

Why Buy Bench Dog Prolift?

ProLift is a router lift that will work best for tough regular projects. In fact, it is one of the best choices for the sturdiest porter cable 7518 routers. With the integral fins that keep the cool air flowing, it will work for hours without compromising the quality of outcome.

It features a direct drive mechanism that enables the chains, gears, and belts to run smoothly hence the high performance. ProLift offers you a chance to enjoy an unrivaled linear motion speed plus a variety of attractive features you won’t find with any other router lift.

It comes with a heavy duty bronze bushings that enable it to withstand regular use. It is also one router lift that will maintain its higher performance regardless of the Bench Dog router table you choose to use. With a plate measuring 8-1/4″ by 11-3/4″, a plastic insert ring having a 1-1/2-inch opening that works with large opening inserts, it is one of the fastest and strongest lifts you’ll ever come across.

Bench Dog ProLift is undoubtedly at the top of its performance and hasn’t found a perfect match yet. Prolift’s astounding performance. Its salient features and smooth operation put at the top of the best router lifts currently on the market. Here are some of the reasons you’ll want to buy it after your first encounter.

What to like about Bench Dog ProLift Router Lift

No need for making constant adjustments: If you are looking for a router lift that will give you an easy time, then ProLift is your answer. With a Bronze Preload lift nut, you don’t need to worry about back driving that might result from vibration eliminating the need of making adjustments all the time.

Won’t get sloppy with time: Unlike other lifts on the market, it comes with a direct-drive lead screw that acts faster and cleans itself removing all the dust that prevent it from clogging up and getting sloppy making it the most convenient router lifts for demanding projects.

Strong and stable for all router weights: Most lifts you’ll get on the market features cheap sleeves that make them a bad choice for heavy routers. Bench Dog ProLift comes with two twin ball bearings strong enough to support some of the heaviest routers on the market.

A cast iron plate that is ultra-flat for precision: ProLift features a cast iron that measures 1-1/4’’ by 11-3/4’’ and fits all the Bench Dog router tables on the market enabling you to achieve precision without a sweat.

What you might not like about it

Some users feel that the manufacturers didn’t focus on improving the inserts surrounding the smaller bits. These inserts are made out of a thin plastic that requires an installation of three small screws before use. If you don’t have screws nearby, it might be impossible to use the router lift.

What others say about it

As you can see, there are more than enough reasons to choose Bench Dog Prolift over other lifts on the market, but this doesn’t make it a perfect choice for every woodworker. The good news is, more than 85% of its users think it is the best on the market. Going through the reviews in Amazon, Rockler, and many other sites, it is quite clear that ProLift is offering most of its users the promise made to them by the manufacturers.

There are more than enough claims that it is one of the sturdiest built lifts on the market. There are also a few claims about its performance when it comes to speed, precision and more.  On the other hands, there are those who feel manufactures didn’t involve much effort in ensuring ProLift met every need of a regular woodworker.

A few users aren’t impressed with the type of insert the manufacturers incorporated. The main issue here is, the insert that is made of plastic must be attached with three screws before use, meaning that if you don’ have the screws anywhere near you when working, you might lose the motivation of completing your projects perfectly and in time.

Summing up all the reviews on Amazon, eBay, Rockler and many other similar sites, ProLift Bench Dog Router lift settles at a 4.5 rating after more than 50 reviews making it one of the most liked and highly rated routers lifts of its type on the market. With this kind of rating, it clear that most users are impressed. Why not you?

The Bottom Line

I might not say it is the best on the market, but what I must say is that it is one router lift that is designed to meet every need, handle any challenge and the best part, has all the features needed to make your work easier. Besides which router lift offers you a 0.001-inch resolution, unrivaled linear motion speed and desirable features at the same time?

The truth is, you’ll have to spend a little bit more to get anything close. ProLift was designed with a regular woodworker in mind. Manufacturers were aware of how devastating regular use can be, and that is why they included the heavy duty bronze bushings. In addition to its salient features, it is also one of the fastest and sturdily built lifts on the market. In short, ProLift is one router that has almost everything a pro woodworker looks for. The only way to find out is to give it a try.

Router Lift Buying Guide: Enhance Your Router Performance

Whether you have complex projects before you or just some simple DIY home tasks to handle, you need a router that will enable you to achieve precise cuts, works for several cutter types and most importantly, easy to handle.

Sadly, your regular router can’t resolve any of these without an additional accessory such as a router lift. What you must remember is, just like any other product, router lifts despite their limited use aren’t equal.

They differ in features, performance and lastly, usability. Unless you have room for mistakes, you don’t want to spend large sums of money on something that is partially compatible with your router or will fail to work after a few days or months. Here are some of the top rated router lifts you’ll ever come across.

Best router lift list

Router liftPrice
JessEm Rout-R-LiftCheck Price external-link-16
Bosch RA1165 Router BaseCheck Price external-link-16
INCRA Mast-R-Lift-II Router LiftCheck Price external-link-16
Kreg PRS3000 router liftCheck Price external-link-16
JessEm Mast-R-Lift II, Router LiftCheck Price external-link-16

Router Lift Reviews

JessEm Rout-R-Lift

Compatible with some of the Craftsman router motors, Bosch, Dewalt, and Porter-cable series, Rout-R-Lift by JessEm offers you an incredible precision at an affordable price. It perfectly fits a 3-1/2-inch fixed base router motors.

It is also loaded with some of the amazing features you’ll only find with the most expensive brands such as Master-R-Lift and more. Rout-N-Lift features a spindle run you’ll find on its perfectly sealed bearing that makes it easier for you to lower as well as raise the router.router-lift

Unlike what you’ll encounter with its closest competitors, you don’t need any special wrenches to change the bits that are operated over the table. You have up to 3-inch vertical movement to cover plus an efficient cam-lock mechanism that reduces the chances of spindle rotating

Lastly, its large-sized opening can accommodate up to 3-1/2-inch without the need to install an insert. Other additional features include a starter pin, an insert ring wrench, 2-inch Tab-Loc insert that reduces the bit opening size on the plate. Rout-R-Lift by JessEm is one tool that will without a doubt offer you an incredible performance.

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  • Easy to install and use: You don’t need to have special skills to use this kind of router lift. Its specs are quite clear for easy installation as well as use.
  • Great features at an affordable price: As mentioned earlier, you’ll have to spend some extra dollars or anything close to this router lift. It comes with some of the amazing features you’ll not find with its closest competitors, but some of the most expensive brands such as Master-R-Lift.
  • Performance is limited to JessEm tables: Rout-R-Lift is claimed to be compatible with most router tables. However, when you are looking for better performance, you’ll need specifically a JessEm Table.

Bosch RA1165 Router Base

RA1165 Router Base is one of the top best Bosch products you’ll ever stumble upon. Everything is much clear from a machining to casting. What makes it more attractive to any wood workshop is its simplicity. With minimal features and no frills, it combines accuracy and performance to give you the best outcome with limited risks.

It comes with a height adjuster that is quite similar to above table bases, but with a shaft that works perfectly with a T-handled Allen wrench. If you have a plan to increase your options, you can use the indicator ring accessible on its knob for adjusting the height so as to fine-adjust the extension handle.

During an experiment at new woodworker, it became apparent that RA1165 Under table base holds fast reducing the base movements that in turn make it easier for any woodworker to achieve precise cuts without a sweat. However, to adjust a bit height, you are required to open the motor lock by flipping then follow up by putting in a T-wrench.router-lift

Just like the regular Bosch with fixed bases, it comes with a three height adjustment detents that each produces ½-ich changes and are activated by pressing the button accessible under the locking arm of the motor.

Its T-handle also produces a 1/8-inch height change when fully turned using a 7/8-inch total range included. As you can see, RA1165 has almost everything any woodworker would appreciate, but not all users, agree with this. Here are some of its pros as well as its cons.

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  • Compatible with several routers. Unlike many other products its type, Bosch RA1165 is consistent with several routers that include Bosch 1617 and 1618.
  • Easy depth plus bit height adjustments: Unlike its closest competitors, it allows easy adjustments of bit height operated above the table. You can easily access the wrench from above table making it one of the most convenient bases for depth changes.
The clip whose function is to hold workpieces in a vertical position isn’t strong enough to handle heavy loads. There are few users claiming that if a heavy workpiece is placed, it keeps on sliding making the clip useless. Some users find this an issue simply because most workpieces that requires this accessory are much heavier.

INCRA Mast-R-Lift-II Router Lift

Unlike, its previous versions, the new custom built INCRA Mast-R-Lift-II Router-Lift offers you a lot to enjoy including its amazing features and an astounding workshop performance. It is amazingly fast, allows accurate height adjustments and the best part, allows above table router change.

With a total of up to five sealed ball bearings accessible on its cam lock and a lift screw, its operation is smooth and free of friction. This makes it a better choice for some of the heavy and complex workpieces that threaten to lower the performance of your router.router-lift

It comes with a Magna Lock that reduces the rings system convenient for ring changes as well as ring lift. Also included are router bits, ultra-fast responsive 16TPI drive lift screw system and a thread tensioning mechanism that rules out vertical lash common with the lift mechanism.

The manufacturers included a 0.001-inch height adjustment for greater precision, a Blanchard ground cast top plate made of aluminum for maximum durability and the best part, a Cam Screw that is corner mounted for a better fit on any router table.

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  • Ultra-smooth performance: INCRA Mast-R-Lift comes with efficient ball bearings mechanism that allows smooth performance with limited friction. It also features a thread tensioning system that prevents the vertical lash that is common in the lift mechanism plus an ultra-responsive lift screw system.
  • Enhanced precision: With a router that is positioned from over the table and a 0.001-inch height adjustment, ICRA Mast-R-Lift eliminates the struggle of achieving accuracy. To make this even easier, the manufacturers included a Magna Lock that reduces the ring system for easy and convenient ring changes and fit.
  • Not a perfect choice for a fence that is 5-inch and above: Some few users complain about the Mast-R-Lift not being the best option for walls that are 5-inch and above. There are some claims that after setting the fence into position, using a crank handle that is included in ICRA Mast-R-Lift isn’t easy as the crank is likely to fail to clear the fence.

Kreg PRS3000 router lift

According to reviews by woodworkers lab, Kreg PRS3000 is among the top 5 best router lifts currently on the market. Known for its ability to achieve accurate height adjustments in no time and with ease. Kreg PRS3000 is router lift is designed for any serious woodworker dealing with complex projects.

The carriage with an integrated motor clamping system is perfectly crafted from aluminum making it one of the most durable router-lifts on the market. Unlike its closest competitors, it comes with a micro-adjust thumb wheel instead of a crack handle.router-lift

For quick and easy adjustment, the manufacturers incorporated a spring assist wrench that smoothens the vertical movements involved in height adjustments.

In addition to its astounding features, you can set both the simple and easy to use adjustable reference scale and a lift brake from any position of the bit to zero. Other salient specs include three insert rings, a heavy duty aluminum plate with a flat accuracy within 0.005-inch and much more.

If you already have other Greg routing products, then adding PRS3000 will help eliminate any inconveniences when working on complex projects. It is one tool that will turn any complicated task to an easy one with fast, smooth and easy patented quick lift system. Check out some of the reasons; you might want to consider it when planning your next wood work budget.

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  • Convenience: Kreg PRS3000 comes with several unique specs that work together to give you an easy time when working on any project. It will always ensure that your final workpiece is completed in time without compromising the quality.
  • Fast Lift Wrench: Whether you are trying to lift the lightest simple workpieces or the heaviest routers, PRS3000 offers you a fast lift wrench that allows you to move from height routing to changing of bits in a time less than three seconds.
  • Durable Insert Plate: You don’t have to worry about your router lift wearing out anytime sooner. With a Lift Brake having an insert plate made of an Aluminium, you are always sure that Kreg PRS3000, will serve you as long as you are using it correctly.
  • Easy to mount on a table: As mentioned earlier, you don’t need a crank handle to achieve the fine bit height adjustments. The micro-adjusts thumb wheel enables you to achieve precise height adjustments in 0.002-inch increments making the table-mounted routing easier than before.
  • It is not easy operating the stiff thumb wheel: According to several user reviews on Amazon and other sites such as Kreg Tool, its thumb rule is a bit stiff and might require you to involve much effort in raising it. You won’t encounter any problem while trying to lower the bits. The main issue here is raising the bit after lowering which is quite hard for many users.
  • There are also those users who prefer the previous version’s design to the current PRS3000. A few users claim that it isn’t one of the best designs you’ll come across when window shopping.

JessEm Mast-R-Lift II, Router Lift (02120)

There are more than enough reasons to try JessEm Products. This router lift is just another proof that they are targeting the top. Unlike many other router lifts, it features up to five double-sealed bearings designed for heavy routers and this offers you an astounding performance for a long period.router-lift

Just like any other JessEm product, it comes wth a patented feature that increases the tension that targets the threaded spindles so as to eliminate the unnecessary vibration, backlash and most importantly, prevent the settings from changing while you are routing. The manufacturers went ahead and added a new effective locking system for long-term, heavy-duty operations.

This fantastic feature is located at the top of the tool and is activated by a crank handle whose main purpose is to lower and raise the lift. In addition to its astounding specs, it works well with several routers without the need of an adaptor collar. Its unique clamping block allows you to use several fixed base router types; they have anodized lifts and the best part, durable.

You might find it quite expensive compared to its rivals, but after using it for some time, you’ll realize that its lifespan equivalent to spending on two to three more routers. This JessEm router lift isn’t just any router lift you’ll come across. It is designed for woodworkers who hate inconveniences. Check out some of the reasons; it might be your number one choice.

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  • Durable: With a bearing construction that is double sealed and anodized aluminum construction, Mast-R-Lift is one of the most durable router-lifts on the market today.
  • Works with many fixed base routers; you don’t have to buy a different router lift each time you change a router. It features a unique clamping block that is compatible with different router types.
  • You must re-tap the leveling holes before using them. A few users find the tapping process quite a bother, especially when working on a tight schedule. There are some few complaints about the screws not turning properly. To avoid breaking the set screws in the leveling holes, you’ll have to re-tap every time you need to use them.

The Bottom Line

The last thing you need when working with routers is making a wrong height adjustment. You need to be more precise to ensure that your final workpiece is of high quality. A router lift and a base are some of the tools that will replace the fear of making mistakes with confidence when making cuts. Unfortunately, not all router lifts you’ll come across will offer you a desirable performance. They differ a lot, meaning that you’ll have to be a little bit keen when choosing. The five router lifts above are some of the top rated tools on the market.