Wood Shaper vs Router: Which One to Choose?

Wood Shaper vs Router: Which One to Choose?

Routers and shapers are quite similar. They are each built and utilised as tables, can each be included into specialist workshops as well as house setups, and they each rout or mould designs into wooden. Given that most workshops have somewhat restricted room, and won’t suit equally a router table and a shaper desk, it is worth understanding the differences, characteristics, and functions of each so that you can determine which is ideal for your woodworking.

Very normally speaking, a shaper operates far more gradually, is capable of completing most perform in one particular or two runs, but is a lot more costly and not as functional as a router. A router is specific but it might call for several passes to total a single work. The router little bit is far more commonly accessible and far more affordable than the shaper cutter, even so. Study on for more certain comparisons and far more accurate particulars.

Overview of a Wood Shaper

A wooden shaper employs an induction motor, related to the one you would uncover in a table saw. These work at fairly low speeds but have large torque. They also have constrained speed possibilities, due to the fact altering the velocity of a shaper normally requires moving the belt throughout a phase pulley. The shaper makes it possible for a great deal of wooden to be eliminated in a single move because its greater torque allows for a bigger slicing head, which can preserve time and money when utilized in a occupied store.

Even so, the slower pace does suggest that lower top quality can undergo, although this is not constantly the case and there is no explanation that you simply cannot preserve uniformly higher-good quality cuts utilizing this sort of woodworking system.

Wood Shaper vs Router: Which One to Choose?

Speed & Power

The induction motor of a shaper is regarded minimal speed but high electrical power. Electricity, measured in Horse Electricity, can variety from 1 to 3 HP or more, although the electricity is arguably not as important as the pace that the shaper operates at. Measured in Revolutions Per Moment, the velocity of a shaper tends to be close to ten,000 RPM.

Cutting Heads: Big Head

Whilst routers use bits, shapers use reducing heads. They are not able to be explained as bits since they do not have a central shank, but the cutter heads execute a similar purpose to the little bit. Many thanks to the reduce speeds of the shaper, their heads are bigger and this signifies that it is feasible to cut larger shapes and further trenches using a shaper. If you want to full jobs in a solitary go, or two passes at the most, then the more substantial head of the shaper is preferable.

Accuracy: Lacking Precision

The likely pitfall of a larger chopping head is that it sacrifices some accuracy and precision. If you are searching to make intricate cuts, then the shaper head is very likely too cumbersome for your demands. It is correct that even though most routing employment can be completed with both device, but if you want velocity and volume more than regularity and accuracy, then the shaper is your best alternative.

Overview of a Router

The router is most likely the better recognized and most broadly employed of the two instruments. This is simply because it is cheaper than a shaper. It is also more useful, will suit a lot more very easily into a woodworking store, and due to the fact of its detail and precision, it can be utilized for a wider range of jobs. You can often make a number of passes with a router, to complete larger duties, but you are not able to scale down the cuts created by a huge shaper head.

Wood Shaper vs Router: Which One to Choose?

Speed & Power

The router operates at considerably larger speeds, despite the fact that it has a considerably less potent motor. Assume to see motors around 1HP to 2HP and operating at speeds up to twenty,000 RPM. This extra pace permits for the use of more compact bits and it is a single of the motives that the router can make very exact cuts. This velocity does also make the router table louder than the shaper and may possibly guide to a screaming noise that tends to make you unpopular when employed in a drop or portion of the residence.

Cutting Heads: Little Bits

The router advantages from employing drill bits, instead than slicing heads. Initial and foremost, this can make the reducing head less complicated to find and significantly less costly. Normally, you will be capable to find alternative bits in any Diy keep or hardware shop. They are inexpensive, even though the greater-good quality bits will price far more than minimal-quality hardware. However, more compact bits could need that you make a number of passes to complete a job. This implies that even bigger jobs take lengthier and are more demanding when employing a router table.

Accuracy: Precise & Smooth

But the modest bit head also implies that you can appreciate exact cuts and a lot more intricate element. You can make many passes to full bigger jobs, whereas, with the massive reducing heads of the shaper, you cannot make extra passes to undo the lower of your first move. The router is desired when you are seeking for a detailed complete.

Which Is Cheaper?

The two in phrases of initial, upfront expense, and the ongoing value of replacing bits or heads, the router is considerably less costly – by hundreds or hundreds of dollars. The desk alone will cost considerably less and not only are router bits a lot more readily accessible and easier to get hold of than shaper heads, but they occur in a broader variety of types and finishes and they price significantly less.

When Is a Shaper a Better Option Than a Router?

It might consider many passes, but a router can nearly constantly do the very same occupation as a router. It just requires a lot more time and energy. However, the bigger head of the shaper signifies that the reverse is not real. You cannot set wooden back on your workpiece as soon as it has been eliminated. Nonetheless, shapers are really effectively suited to consistent perform and high-quantity assignments. If you will be generating the same lower time and time once more, possibly hundreds of occasions a day, a shaper table will preserve you a great deal of time in excess of the day and is the favored option.

Quick Look: Our Top Choices

Rating Image Product Details
Our Favorite Wood Shaper

Wood Shaper vs Router: Which One to Choose?
Wood Shaper vs Router: Which One to Choose? Powermatic 1280101C PM2700
  • 5-HP
  • Strong
  • cast iron table
  • Powerful
    Our Favorite Router Table

    Wood Shaper vs Router: Which One to Choose?
    Wood Shaper vs Router: Which One to Choose? Bosch RA1181
  • Aluminum table
  • Flexible

    Our Favorite Wood Shaper: Powermatic 1280101C PM2700

    Wood Shaper vs Router: Which One to Choose?

    The Powermatic 1280101C PM2700 is a 5-HP shaper. It has a effective motor and a sturdy, cast iron desk. Its casters make it a little less complicated to move into placement, though this is a heavy table on small wheels so really don't anticipate too significantly. The dust selection technique is not the best, but you can rig up your personal workshop system to counteract this.

    Our Favorite Router Table: Bosch RA1181

    Wood Shaper vs Router: Which One to Choose?

    The Bosch RA1181 Router Table is an aluminum desk with an added-tall aluminum fence and a rigid mounting plate. This table allows you to mount nearly any Bosch router, which also gives you the adaptability to be capable to detach the router and use it outside the workshop when needed.


    Router tables and shapers are really equivalent units, each of which discover use in the workshop or the property. Despite the fact that equivalent, the router offers far more exact cuts but needs further passes, while the slower speed and greater cutting head of the shaper mean that you do sacrifice some complete quality but you can generate a lot of work in a limited room of time with this device.