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Jet/Powermatic Jointech SmartLift Digital

EXACTA-Lift and SmartLift Pro

Jet Router Lift Exacta

Price: S280

Router type, size: Plunge or fixed base, 1-3/4 to 3-1/2 hp

The Jet/Powermatic EXACTA-Lift is an older design but it's still a capable router lift. What sets the EXACTA-Lift apart from most of the other lifts is the fact that the router mounts to the lift by its base, allowing it to take almost any size and type of router.

Pros

■ The EXACTA-Lift can take almost any plunge or fixed-base router on the market, including the big Milwaukee 5625-29.

■ Price includes an aluminum router-table fence with zero-clearance inserts and a dust-collection port (not shown).

■ The red aluminum mounting plate is strong yet lightweight. »Dust-free crank port won't collect sawdust.

■ Above-the-table plate levelers are convenient.

■ Jack screw has an adjustable backlash eliminator.

Cons

■ The lift does not raise the collet high enough for above-the-table bit changes.

■ Its large plate won't fit into any existing router-table opening.

■ Height adjustment is measured in .005 in. increments rather than in fractions of an inch.

■ The included fence is on the short side (approximately 24 in. long) and an unnecessary cost to folks who already own one.

Price: $429 and $299

Router type, size: Fixed base, 1-3/4 hp to 3-1/2 hp

Jointech has just raised the bar with these two new router lifts. The SmartLift Digital is the first lift with a built-in digital display. It measures the actual movement of the router carriage, not the turn of the crank. This eliminates any false readings from backlash. The readout is cumulative, so there's no need to count crank revolutions to calculate height change. The only thing about the SmartLift Digital that might make you wince is the price. But that's entirely due to its sophisticated digital readout system. The Jointech SmartLift Pro is the same lift minus the digital readout.

Pros

■ SmartLift Digital's cumulative digital readout can be zeroed out for repeatability.

■ Unique sealed gear system prevents sawdust contamination.

■ Built-in scrubbers clean the threads before they enter the sealed gear housing.

■ Under-the-table levelers eliminate holes on the top of the plate.

■ Direct drive system has no belts or chains to gum up or break.

■ Crank port lets sawdust drain through.

■ Jack screw has a self-adjusting backlash eliminator.

• Adjustable snugger bars guarantee a tight fit in the router-table opening.

• Adapter collars are available for most fixed-base routers ($25). Cons

■ Below-the-table levelers are a bit awkward to reach—but once the lift's level, you're done.

• Inserts rings require a special tool to remove.

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