• Precision height adjustment to an accuracy of 0.01mm
• Side mounted handle allows you to "dial in" the router bit height...
to match a mark on the work piece
• Mounted on 'sealed for life' and brass bearings for precise judder free rise and fall
• 75mm of cutter travel allows you to change cutters from above the table
• Large 90mm hole opening for use with raised panel cutters
This premium quality router lift enables you to raise and lower your router without removing it from the table allowing you to make precise height adjustments to an accuracy of 0.01mm. The lifts unique design means that cutter height adjustments are made from the side of the table and not above the table. This offers a number of key advantages. First of all the side mounted handle makes it easy to make adjustments with the work piece on the router table top, particularly beneficial when you are trying to precisely "dial in" the router bit height to match a mark on the work piece. Secondly you can leave the handle in place while using the table and not worry about misplacing it when not in use. And with over 75mm of travel you can change router cutters from above the table.
The solid aluminium plate measures 305mm x 230mm and has an insert opening diameter of 90mm, and is supplied with a locking ring to reduce the aperture to 50mm. Four adjustment grub screws at each corner of the plate allow for horizontal levelling of the plate to ensure that it sits flush with the table top. The heavy duty machined guide posts glide smoothly on the 'sealed for life' bearings and brass fittings resulting in a precise, judder-free rise and fall movement. The lift is designed for use with the Xact 3 1/4hp variable speed motor or with fixed base routers such as the Porter Cable 690, Bosch 1617 and Dewalt 610 models.
I agree with all the good things Mark Chisholm says. I bought the full kit with the Xact Pro Router Table with Lift, Motor, Switch & Feather Board Kit. Starting at the bottom: the table does not have wheels as shown on the illustration but does have perfectly good adjustable height feet which screw into the threaded holes in the bottom of the legs. One of them screwed in at a slant of around 5Â° but that doesn't really show once they are screwed in. The legs are heavy and sturdy. The eight crossbars are thin and not very neatly finished in their matt black paint. Looks like they've been stacked together before the paint was properly dry. However, they do the job perfectly and are quite strong enough. Watch out though because two of the longer side rails have pre-drilled holes for the tabletop which can easily be missed. The tabletop is a very soft (albeit thick) fibreboard although this is only really visible if you look at the rebate where the lifter sits, which of course isn't visible in operation. The "phenolic" might lead you to think that this is some sort of smooth hard all-encasing plastic resin, but it's more like a cheap kitchen worktop finish. Would I buy the router table again? Absolutely! It's way cheaper than others and I'm sure will do a perfect job. Saving that much money, I'm quite happy with the minor issues.
The router and lifter assembly is a beaut. Looks really nicely machined and all fits together perfectly. The instructions say to use the Allen key to tighten the clamp to hold the router into the lifter but don't mention that you also need to find yourself an open-ended spanner to tighten up the two locking nuts. A couple of Allen keys are provided, but neither of the two provided sizes is suitable for the little bracket mounted bearing which screws onto the upper end rail of the router table to hold the shank of the winder mechanism. The pack contains something called a start pin but there was no explanation of what that is. Apparently it's if you are not using a fence but I only found that out on an internet search because someone else had had the same mystery. The router motor comes with both a half inch and a quarter inch collet which I hadn't noticed on the specifications, which is really nice as it means you can use your old quarter inch cutters. The Rutlands web page advertises that the router has a "massive 2400W motor". In fact the manufacturer's user manual says the motor has a power of 1800W. I don't understand why Rutlands claim a higher power rating than the manufacturer. Maybe there's a difference between the no-load and operating power consumption but I'm no electrician. Would I buy the router and lift again? Of course!
Feather Board Super Kit - Pack of 4 with Double Stack Fittings: these have very nicely high quality manufactured plastic components but the metal runners are a disappointment. They are too loose for the channels although I haven't measured whether the problem is with the channel or the runner. The countersink shaped bolts which are threaded upwards through the runners are supposed to force the two sides of the runner apart to clamp against the insides of the channel, but they are too loose. They work much better now I've glued a thin strip of plastic down the length of the runner. It's also difficult to understand why the plastic doesn't simply have two parallel plastic slots for the adjustment. It's quite difficult to move the feather boards inwards and outwards as one of the vertical bolts has to move sideways at the same time and is reluctant to do so. Would I buy them again? Well I would probably research the market a bit more to see if there was anything better, but once they are set up and in place they do give a real feeling of confidence that the wood is held very securely which I suppose is what matters most.
Playing with all this new kit was a great way to spend New Year's Day and I'd recommend it to anyone.
Written By:Mark Chisholm
Firstly this review is based partially upon the price because there are a couple of small niggles that would on a more expensive setup knock a star off the rating. Lets get the those niggles out of the way. Firstly the description of the table top says phenolic with a solid core. Hmmm. Not sure where the phenolic is because what I've seen before does not look like this top. To me this top looks like an admittedly thick and heavy MDF one with something like a melamine coating. Maybe that's the phenolic bit. Secondly the recess where the router lifter sits has in each corner a magnet which the height adjusting grub screws ride against for the lifter. However the holes that the magnets sit in have all been drilled slightly too deep so that when you turn the grub screw against them they don't get enough lift to level the base. This is easily sorted as the magnets are not glued in and a simple dab of epoxy sits the magnets up a couple of mm and locks them in place. Anyway that's the slight irritations out of the way and now to the good. Stunning value for money. Really. The lifter is well made and looks superb with the blue anodised finish. Quality is properly good and easily the match of more expensive items. The enclosed motor matches the lifter perfectly and I like the fact that the two items together are designed specifically for a table. It looks much more professional than a normal router screwed into the bottom of a multi-base. And the router motor. It's a gem. The blurb says it is heavy and very smooth and to be honest I took that with a pinch of salt as I figured that the price would reduce the standard. How wrong I was. It is seriously smooth and vibration free. I have two professional Hitachi 1/2" routers and they are not as quiet and vibration free as this Xact router. I was quite surprised to be honest about that. And the stand. I expected a lightweight angle iron jobbie that would work but not much more. What you get is a heavy duty box section steel item with adjustable feet (not the rollers shown in the picture) that is damned heavy and when bolted together solid as a rock. The fence is also well made and has standard grooves for add on's. Overall this is a stunning bit of value which easily overcomes the couple of slight irritations which as a practical person can be sorted out in a few minutes.