router table or shaper


I have been using a Delta shaper/router for several years and it has served me well. I now need to upgrade since I have started to use a lot of 6/4 and 8/4 materials and the Delta is only a 1/2 HP. I use router bits exclusively now and doubt that I will need shaper heads in the future. Which ever I get I will also get a power feeder for it. The router or shaper will be installed in the right side of my TS which has a 50" fence and uses a 1.5 HP dust collector. I am looking at the Grizzly 1 1/2 HP shaper or getting another ( my fourth) Hitachi 12V router, 3 1/4 HP, variable speed, soft start etc. and if I go with the router it will be used exclusively on the table. I run a one man shop and weekly average use of shaper/router will be about 1 hour Grizzly pros no time spent building table cons $200 more than a router and materials but I won't spend several days building table. 1 1/2 HP as opposed to 3 1/4HP Comments or suggestions. TIA
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Art Ransom
Lancaster , Texas
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Router Table = Your chance to build The Ultimate Router Table.
Shaper = Don't listen to Tom Watson.
UA100
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I think you will find that you would use the router table more if you actually had both..... A shaper would be nice add on later if you think you needed it.

the
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Search back...this has been up many times. The router is more versatile and much safer. Get one and learn to use it. Build a simple table and learn to use that. Then, if yoou know you need it, think about the router.
The big difference is that the router follows the board surface. If your wood is twisted, warped, or varies in thinkness, the shaper will not work correctly. If you make your own lumber, or salvage, or just don't get perfedt stock, this will be a problem.
The shaper is much more powerful and there's no contest for raising panels with big cutters, BUT there are vertical panel raiser bits that overcome this problem to some extent, I think. I haven't used one, but it seems the answer if you want a wide cut.
I think there are much better things to buy, UNLESS you are doing a lot of panels. All the other door cuts are easy with a router, especially in a table.
Wilson

the
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Unless you're doing a lot of production runs on raised panel doors and the likes a quality router is the way to go.

the
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If you aren't going to use a large (5") panel raiser, the router is a fine deal. It's better on small stuff.. I love the big panel raiser, but it really needs 3 HP.. The wider raiser lends considerable class to doors, but you may be able to accomplish the same with vertical panel raising bits. Wilson

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Hi Art,
I have the Griz 1.5 HP shaper for about 5 years. I got it mainly because I figured it would cost the same or more for a good router table. IIRC I paid around $400. Got the extension wing and the router spindle attachment at the same time - so I can use any router bit with the shaper. The only disadvantage is that the shaper has only 2 speeds (12K & 9K I think). Sometimes that's a little slow for a router bit.
It is great for raised panels using one of those 3/4 bore 3 wing bits (I use an MLCS for around $70). Another nice feature is the raise/lower handle & lock - similar to a TS. Also, it is pretty hefty and seems to have plenty of power for my needs.
OTOH, I have also been toying with the idea of mounting an extra router that I don't use much on my TS too. Just to have it available for smaller jobs or when I don't want to have to switch out the shaper spindle for the router spindle.
A downside to shaper bits is their cost. I only have about a half dozen shaper bits - the cope/stick & panel bits are used most of the time.
I would definitely buy it again if I were making the same decision today.
Lou

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[snipperized for brevity]

Apples and oranges.
1 1/2 HP of induction motor vs 3 1/4 HP for a universal motor...at 10.000 RPM with a large panel raising cutter..the shaper will seem so much stronger than 1-1/2HP. The shaper will work its butt off all day. The Hitachi (I own a couple) will be working its ballbearings off.
The shaper heads/cutters cost a lot more money if you're talking carbide. The shaper set-up is a lot more complex/involved. The shaper speed change usually involves re-tightening of the belt(s). The shaper is much quieter. I don't know about the Grizzly, but a lot of shapers can take a chuck for 1/2" router bits, so the investment you have won't go to waste.
But... if you're going to lean into it with a hunk of 8/4 oak... a 1-1/2 HP shaper may not be adequate either.
A router table is a cheap and dirty but will not do a shaper's job over the long haul.
IMHO
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