Shaper or Drill Press?

I have an opportunity to buy a slightly used 1 1/2 HP Jet shaper for a pretty good price. The reviews for this shaper are not great but I can get it for 1/3 the price. I've got a router table and plenty of bits. I don't have a drill press and I think it may be more useful. I'm looking at the Grizzly G7944 standard 14" DP.
Help me make this decision.
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I would vote for drill press - much more useful and versatile tool.
Also a good router table with a hefty router will do at least a fair amount of the shaping work.
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1. If you don't have a DP and do have a router, logic would state get the DP first. A router can do lots of what a shaper can do but a shaper nor router can do much of what a DP does.
2. If you are making raised panel doors, custom moldings or doing large multi-stepped edge treatments than a shaper can be critical. You can do all of these on a router but the time it takes is much increased and if you do it a lot, you'll burn up your router.
The G7944 looks to have a good range of speeds, pretty good room from spindle to table and 3.25 quill travel which isn't bad. Some cheapys are as low as 2.25 where 4" is better and more is outstanding.
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Raised panels are the main reason I like cabinetry and the shaper bits are pretty small, so I got a shaper early on..big enough to swing about a 5" panel raiser. Otherwise, It's not all that useful beyond the router table, which can handle the rail&stile bits and the door edgers just fine. The DP is great for flycutters, holesaws, Forstner bits, etc., but plain holes are fine with a hand drill. You can even get a little stand to hold a hand drill to work as a DP. ALSO, HF has DPs very cheap...maybe not the best, but way better than doing it by hand. Wilson

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A drill press. If you make a lot of jigs, templates, etc. like I do, a DP is essential.
Personally, I wouldn't go near a shaper without a powerfeed. I fear those beasts. Once a shaper has its way with a hand, forget about micro surgery. We are talking a hamburger puzzle. But *with* a powerfeed, they are versatile, climb-cutting becomes a real treat. If the spindle tilts?? The possibilities are endless. And then there is the sound of an induction motor.
Rob
"Common Sense Is Not Common" (Voltaire)
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go with the drill press. I'm not sure what your budget limit is, but Amazon is selling the Jet 17" DP for $385 including shipping. That's a good deal - more HP, 4 3/8" quill stroke, 16 speeds, and very easy to change pulley setup.
Bob
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Personally I think the drill press is "more needed" but you can always buy the drill press at retail price. I doubt you'll find the shaper at this price too soon.
It's quite the predicament you have found yourself in.
UA100, who firmly believes you take what's offered, even if it's not in the proper order of things that you think...
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Tim Taylor wrote:

the time you have added the tooling. This should really have been a decision before you invested in the router table and its tooling.
End of the day, as with any tool, its only you the end user who can decide what tools you actually need.
BernardR
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I hadn't thought about the tooling, thanks. It's one of those things that comes up I hadn't planned on getting a shaper before the router and table but you know how things go.
I think you have all helped me decide that I don't really need a shaper and I can use a drill press. Now the search for a good affordable DP
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. =======================
Without reading any of the replies...(yet) let me say
I do Have 6 routers....and I do have a Shaper
And I have both floor and bench top Drill presses PLUS a drill press mounted in a horizontal position (like a boring machine)....
I can tell you is that I use my floor model Drill press 10 times as much as I do any of the routers... and .100 times as much as I do the shaper...
Serious Hobby use...in my case....
Bob Griffiths
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