Router for UJK lift

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Established Member
7 Feb 2019
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Chamonix, France
As the title suggests I'm looking for a router to mount in my UJK router lift that'll live in my Axminster AT254TS unit.

Annoyingly I've got a Makita 3612 but it'll not take the 1/2" collet extension (and sits too low without).

I've also got a Ryobi RT1600 but that won't take the universal (ha!) base plate.

So.....I'm in the market for something that will:

A) Fit the unit and take a 1/2" bit
B) Is powerful enough to use on medium sized projects but won't ever be asked to perform at really high volume/ trade level.
C) Won't lead to divorce when my wife finds out how much it cost.

Any suggestions?

I keep getting emails about the new Rutlands range of routers but surely they can't be any good as such a low price???

What else should I be looking at?

Thanks in advance, Gairy.
Have a look at Peter Sefton's site:

You may find an answer immediately, if not then I'd contact them - in my experience they are very helpful. Both Axminster and Peter sell UJK products, and Peter specialises in high-end router table solutions.

Regards, E.

PS: Note that I'm specifically not saying, "get XYZ27 by SuperPower" or whatever, because you really need to make your own mind up. I have a little experience of Rutlands, however, which discourages me somewhat.

Also, really cheap routers tend not to be long-lasting, nor quiet. My first 1/2" one was from B+Q, and it was made of case hardened cheese (or so I believe). The bearings went, the plunge lock failed, the speed control failed, and so on. My Trend T11 hasn't been faultless (very easily fixed issue though), but it has performed superbly and all the bits are easily available. Most mainstream brands have similar support.
Its possible to get a muscle chuck extension for makita 1/2" routers.

From memory I got mine from woodworkers workshop.
But, in all fairness, I didnt get on with it and it now sits in a box. I carefully followed the instructions but could not get it to balance perfectly.
It might be me, because there are a lot of apparently satisfied customers out there.
I've got a Dewalt 625 in mine with a muscle chuck. I used to have a Hitachi but needed to file the screws down to fit the plate in the lift. The Dewalt fits perfectly. I think whatever router you get, you will need a collet extension simply because of the thickness of the lift. I used to use the Axminster collet extension but now prefer the muscle chuck because there is less messing about involved when fitting a bit compared to the two nut setup on the Axminster one. The only issue I have with the muscle chuck is that it doesn't clamp 1/4" bits well with the reducer collet.
I have the Hitachi M12VE in my UJK lift fitted with the excellent Muscle Chuck which I can not fault so much easier with the Allen key that messing about with two spanners, the Hitachi has also done stirling work over the last nine years, recommend both.
sunnybob":g1wmk0u2 said:
Its possible to get a muscle chuck extension for makita 1/2" routers.

From memory I got mine from woodworkers workshop.
But, in all fairness, I didnt get on with it and it now sits in a box. I carefully followed the instructions but could not get it to balance perfectly.
It might be me, because there are a lot of apparently satisfied customers out there.

Bob I had the same problem with an extension chuck from Peter (not the muscle chuck) it was an extension chuck that fitted into the existing router chuck and had a large round area above the chuck that had an Allen bolt to tighten the split collet, the muscle chuck replace's the existing chuck so is not as tall, but the point is that Peter refunded the whole amount, I note he no longer has that particular extension collet/chuck on his site, may be worth a quick e-mail to him.

I think the one I could not get on with is called an "Elliminator"
Mike, it s a musclechuck, came in its factory blister pack, although the work "Makita" had been written on with a marker pen.
The instructions say to rotate it 90 degrees at a time to hit the "sweet spot" of no vibration.
Well, my maths is bad admittedly, but by the time I had rotated it 6 times I was convinced it wasnt going to settle down. :roll: :lol:
It wasnt a visible vibration, but it caused noises I wasnt happy with.
I have read other peoples reports of similar non compatibility with other routers.
Luckily my home made router lift lets me get the router right up to the top of the plate, so it was a "must have a new toy" purchase, rather than "I need this".

I accept the risk when I buy stuff from the UK, because return shipping wipes out most of any possible refund. 8)
UJK is Axminsters own brand, we did sell it when it was first introduced by Brimarc several years ago.

Our own brand is AUKTools (Australia United Kingdom Tools) named after developing some products with and Australian tool buff.

We used to sell the Eliminator Chuck produced by Whiteside in America, John DeRosa designed this before designing an improved version several years later the Muscle Chuck. Both of these designs are used instead of a standard router collet, they both benefit from one handed cutter changing using a ball end hex wrench, but the Muscle Check has a better clamping method of the cutter and improved balance.

All router chucks or collet extension will require setting up and balancing, the better the engineering the less runout you will get, Muscle Chuck is the best we have found to date but some customers can have issues setting them up.

This is one of John's videos showing how to balance his Muscle Chuck. ... e=emb_logo

Cheers Peter
I cant hear a word on that video. The laptop and the utube settings are maximum. Anyone got any way of making it louder?
Theres even a comment underneath about volume so I know its not me.
I finally managed to hear that video, on the kindle! Even so, appalling sound with a loud earth hum over the top.

I'll have a go and see if I can get the musclechuck to work so I'm happy with it.
Thats basically what I tried but without the measuring equipment
Anyone got an engineers plate and very expensive high end dial gauge I can borrow? No, didnt think so.
I'll have to use my 20 year old very cheap low end clarke tools one on the melamine router table. :roll: 8)
To all who are following my tribulations....
Turns out that my Makita router doesnt have a neck to check! :roll:
The collet thread goes all the way down to the motor case so theres no reference point for a dial gauge.
Even if I made the effort to remove it from the table I still would not be able to use the run out gauge.

I've tried rotating the musclechuck in 90 degree steps. One of them produced very loud grinding noises on run down. I got rid of the grinding noise on the third try, but theres still a lot of extra noise. Is this normal?

Not able to test it fully today, its sunday noise abatement day. I'll find something to route during the week.
Sorry for disjointed posts, I'm battling win 10 for the first time (hammer) (hammer)

This is the pic of my makita in the incra plate.
You can see theres no way to use a dial gauge once the collet is screwed in.

makita neck.JPG


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If I remember correctly I was able to put a dial indicator onto the Musclechuck itself.
Mike, the only flat surface on my musclechuck is the top. That would give up and down play, but not side to side.
I have quite a small point on my dial indicator and I was able to put the point on the round area above the Allen bolt, again I am only trying to remember what I did.
Can you not indicate on the top-inside of the cone, across on the opposite side to the gauge? Or with a DTI the same side?

I can do that, easily, on my T11 and it doesn't look too hard on the Makita. If you want to be pedantic about the runout, a bit of geometry will give the precise horizontal movement, but what's read off the dial (i.e. slightly less than the actual horizontal runout) will give you a good idea.
Howdy all,

Thanks for the replies and advice.

I have ordered a new Hitachi router (the M12VE) and plan to get a Musclechuck for it.

The ones I've found online are the standard length ones surely I need the extended one in order to gain the extra length - anyone know a place with them in stock?

Also, is there not a list somewhere online informing me which type/version I need for my router???

Thanks, Gairy.
Just had a close look at mine, There is a top chamfer that actually seems to go into the allen head recess. Possibly a sub 1 mm point might do it, but my dial gauge doesnt stand a chance.

If you can watch the video again at "2.20" John sets up the dial indicator inside the cone to check the router runout, followed by mounting the Muscle Chuck-only turning the locking nut 1/4 turn. Then at "4.50" John mounts a good quality cutter in the chuck and tests for runout off the cutter shank, if the runout is excessive turn the chuck 45 to 90 degrees and test again, if this gives a worse effect turn back 180 degrees seen at "7.20" . It might take a few turns to find the sweet spot, I usually turn the chuck 45 degrees rather than 90 for each test.

If the video is difficult to follow here are the fitting instruction. ... tructions/

One thing to also note, if the router spindle is not dead square to the plate then the runout reading will be off and exaggerated by the length of the cutter but the sound vibration test will work fine in this situation. This is not a collet or chuck issue, more of a router potential problem that would not usually be noticed.

I hope this helps, if not please feel free to Email Jim in the tool shop, I am sure he can explain it better than me :)

[email protected]

Cheers Peter