Shaper Cutter

See More About:    Mobile Office        Manual Set        Control Service        

ConfidenceEnergy Saving Trust & PayPal encourages members to become Verified to increase trust and safety in our community. Because financial institutions screen their account holders, PayPal"s Verification process increases security when you pay parties you do not know.

Frequently Asked Questions...

In woodworking: In what cases would we use a shaper instead of a 3-1/4 h.p. router and router table?

Can't I do everything and more with a big router mounted in a nice router table? What can a shaper do that a router/table can't?

Best Answer...


You're right, a shaper is basically a big router, but the difference is that a shaper cutter is often a bigger diameter and has three knives and most router bits only have two, in addition to being a smaller diameter. A shaper also has a much bigger arbor and more solid table, all of which make for smoother cuts than you get with even a large router and a good table and base. A shaper can run for a lot longer without overheating, the dust collection is usually a lot more efficient, and you can install a power feeder on one to make them even more productive and safe for large runs of material.

I use both at our shop and if it's only for a limited amount of linear footage, I'll use the router table, but if I have to make a hundred feet or more of a custom molding profile, I'll use the shaper because the larger 3 wing cutters cut a lot smoother than most router bits. It's also safer and cleaner because you can adjust the fence to be much closer than possible with most router fences. Our shaper has a reversible motor so some cutters can be run upside down, which is an extremely handy feature at times.

But you can do an awful lot of stuff with a good 3 1/4 or 3 1/2 horse router and you don't have to have a shaper even if you're a large commercial shop. A millwork shop might require a shaper, but most places can get by without one, though they are awfully nice to have sometimes for the above reasons. With a router, you're only limited by your imagination, experience, and tooling budget. They are extremely versatile tools and a necessity for any shop. There are a million little tricks and procedures to make a router more efficient, safe, and productive.