Shaper vs Router
Please explain the advantages/disadvantages of using one over the other. I not experienced enough with a shaper to know the answer to this question.
  Re: Shaper vs Router by MakinAmess (Please explain the a...)
What are you making?

I use a shaper and routers.

Custom cutters are cheaper for a shaper, $100. for corrugated back knives, versus more than $200. for a custom profile router bit.

The shaper can run large cutters, with finer details in high speed steel than carbide router bits.

For little curved work like curved sash muntins, stopped cuts, pattern routing, and bringing the machine to the work, I like a router.

For raised panels, the Schmidt Innovater raised panel cutter with custom profile high speed steel knives, is great. It needs a shaper with a stock feeder. The finish from sharp knives running in a 6" diameter head at 5000 rpms is great.
  Re: Shaper vs Router by MakinAmess (Please explain the a...)
I was thinking about posting something about this only topic just this morning. My question would have been more along the lines of, Shaper vs. Router Table, If you only had room for one in your shop, which would you choose and why?

And a second question would be, if you are a router table fan over a shaper then, cast iron top vs phenolic top, which would you get if you had the choice?
"Well, my time of not taking you seriously is coming to a middle."
  Re: Shaper vs Router by MakinAmess (Please explain the a...)
Routers and shapers are very different tool.  With my shaper I use a power feeder. The wood feeds at a very consistent speed and the cut never has any burn marks or chatter like marks that I always get with router bits.  I have very little sanding to do with the shaper profiles and tons more with the router cut. 

Shaper Pros:
- Quiet, WAY quieter
- Smoother results
- Much more powerful.  Even a 1HP shaper is probably more effective work power than a 3HP router.
- 3HP shapers used are often cheaper than a router table setups unless you build your own.

Shaper Cons:
- Cutters are a lot more expensive than router bits
- Most shapers don't spin above 10,000 RPM (mine will go to 19,000) so router bits don't work well in most shapers.

Router Pros:
- pretty much everyone needs a router.  If you have one you can use it in a table too.
- you can build your own table.  I've always used home made simple tables.

Many more pros and cons from others.  I personally use the shaper whenever possible because the cut quality is so much better.  I've always had a shaper.  Back when I started in the 70s there were tons of home shop shapers and the biggest routers were 1HP.  The shaper was the way to do rail and style doors.  I can't imagine doing them with a router, ugh the noise.
  Re: Shaper vs Router by MakinAmess (Please explain the a...)
If you are making a lot of profiles, and plan to keep doing so, you will want to invest in a shaper. They have the ability to do quicker, heavier work over a LOT longer time. If you are starting out, and only doing a small amount of work then a router, especially with a table to put it into is much more versatile. The trap is when you have spent $1,000.00 plus for a router, table, router raiser, etc. Doing that you are into the price of a shaper.

Probably it would get you a better answer if you were to say what it is you are doing, or plan to do. You'll find a lot of folks end up with both a router, or 10, AND a shaper.
Worst thing they can do is cook ya and eat ya

  Re: Shaper vs Router by MakinAmess (Please explain the a...)
I like AZ engineer's reply. There is no doubt in m mind that a shaper will do a lot things better than a router table, but they are very different tools. So far I haven't bought one because everything I've done I was able to do with just the RT. The second reason I hven't bought one is the cost of the tooling...while a shaper may well cost about the same (or even less) than a RT, add in the price of a number of cutters and it quickly goes up....a lot. But they run slower, can be reversed (useful, you flip the cutters over), and can work all day without wimpering.
I started with absolutely nothing. Now, thanks to years of hard work, careful planning, and perseverance, I find I still have most of it left.
  Re: Shaper vs Router by MakinAmess (Please explain the a...)
(04-25-2017, 06:40 AM)fredhargis Wrote:  but they are very different tools. 

This is the answer in a nutshell.

A portable circular saw mounted upside down in a piece of plywood will substitute for a table saw, but that's not to say that it is just as good as a table saw, its simply a temporary make-do substitute.
  Re: Shaper vs Router by MakinAmess (Please explain the a...)
If you don't have either, buy the router first for versatility and hand-held use. Revisit the question before you spend a lot on a router table and lift.
  Re: Shaper vs Router by MakinAmess (Please explain the a...)
I have a baby shaper with 1/2 hp motor that I restored, and which does everything I need (so far).  1/2" spindle takes small HSS cutters, which are readily available, and cheap.  And it's quiet.

But if and when I move, it's likely that I won't have as much room in the new digs, so it's on the short list for things I can't bring.  A router in my TS extension table will have to suffice.

“This place smells like that odd combo of flop sweat, hopelessness, aaaand feet.”

  Re: Shaper vs Router by MakinAmess (Please explain the a...)
A shaper is the tool for rebates . Once you buy a head,  profile cutters are less than router profile bit. There is no question panel raising and cope and stick are both easier and have a better finish on a shaper. A 3hp is considered light duty.
A man of foolish pursuits

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