In Questions And Answers

We may receive a commission when you use our affiliate links. However, this does not impact our recommendations.

Q. I’m thinking about starting a side business building custom doors. Should I consider investing in a shaper or use my router table? Shaper cutters are larger and last longer than router bits.  The heavy weight large-diameter shaper cutter is designed to remove large amounts of material.

A. Get a shaper. Simply stated, the shaper produces more in less time than a router can. A 3-1/2-hp router table setup can handle the occasional kitchen and, coupled with today’s router bits, is even capable of making full-size, 1-3/4-in.-thick exterior doors. But a router is not designed for large-scale wood removal on a continuous basis. A 1-1/2-hp shaper will actually remove more wood than a 3-1/2-hp router. That’s because routers have lightweight universal motors designed for handheld use that develop low torque. A shaper uses an induction motor designed for continuous, heavy-duty use with torque to spare. Torque is what allows a shaper to hog off two to three times as much wood as a router can in a single pass. You’ll still need a good router table setup. Small-diameter bits need the high rpm to make a clean cut. Although shapers have adapters that allow you to run router bits, they don’t spin them fast enough for an optimal cut.


Product Recommendations

Here are some supplies and tools we find essential in our everyday work around the shop. We may receive a commission from sales referred by our links; however, we have carefully selected these products for their usefulness and quality.

Recommended Posts
0

Start typing and press Enter to search