I remember clearly the first time I saw a JessEM router lift demonstrated at a national woodworking show. At shows such as the AWFS, I am generally confronted by so much information and so many folks trying to get my attention, that I seldom pause during the day. But the JessEm product, being demonstrated in the basement of the convention center, made me stop and say “wow!” Accurate above the router table adjustments made easy & that was something I’ve always wanted. It was a sure winner in my mind.
My opinion has not changed much during the ensuing years.
That first lift, and those that followed, were designed to handle large routers and specifically the Porter Cable 7518 3hp fixed base model. Adapter collars (reducers) for the up-and-coming group of 2-1/2hp routers (pioneered by Bosch (their 1617) and Makita (the 1101)) were developed and worked well, but the collars were an additional cost.
As was to be expected, I was not the only person to see that the above the table router adjustment was a big thing. There are now many different systems and even routers with built-in, above the table adjustment. And the prices vary across the board. Again, it is no surprise that adjustment accuracy and quality varies across the board as well.
Late last year JessEM introduced their Rout-R-Lift FX. Designed to work with the still popular 2 1/2hp routers, it continues the Jess EM tradition of exceptional quality (it’s my opinion that if the folks at JessEM had built the Titanic & the movie would have been even more boring!), and remarkable accuracy in its adjustments.
I found the Rout-R-Lift FX available at two different web sites for $179.99. This puts great quality and JessEM accuracy into the average shop person’s hands for well under 200 bucks. Only the individual woodworker can know if they need the level of quality a tool like the Rout-R-Lift FX provides. But as Dan Sherman, Sales and Marketing Director at Jess EM said to me recently, “In the end, some woodworkers will find out the hard way that they may not have purchased the level of accuracy they had anticipated in the lower cost alternatives. In the long run, you always get what you pay for”.
JessEM offers a full line of router lifts and tables. The Rout-R-Lift FX would be a great addition to my shop (I hope my wife reads my stories!) and to most woodworker’s shops that I’ve visited. Check them out and see what you think.