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Thread: Router or shaper

  1. #1

    Router or shaper

    Background. I have an older hitachi m12v router in my table. Speed control went out so I renpmoved it and added a hf speed control it works ok. Looses some speed once you engage the Wood. Wife thinks its a lot louder now than before. Maybe it is a little. Dont know why. Anyway at her request we have been upgrading to quieter tools. Spiral heads on jointer and planer still have all big stuff hammer k3, 20 planer, 8 jointer, bandsaw so not downsizing

    questions. I use the router for edge profile and raised panel doors. Is triton route quieter than the old hitachi. Will the grizz g1035 shaper 1 1/2hp run an ogee raised planner cutter with a 1 1/2 reveal 3 passes would be ok (what I do now on the router). Is a shaper really any quieter. Should I hold out for a larger shaper

    thanks in advance
    Gary

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Alberta
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    1,439
    Shapers are way quieter than routers. I do not have any experience with a shaper smaller than 3 h.p. so can not comment on how they would work. What I can tell you is how fast I outgrew my three horse shaper when I began to use it with real shaper tooling versus router bits.(about 6 months) It is hard to say what would work for you without knowing what you want the machine to accomplish and how much room for future growth you want in a machine. I would not go smaller than 3 h.p. period. The world of shapers is a slippery slope,tooling will eventually cost more than the machine. You will also want a power feeder to' complete the machine'. Power feeders make a shaper far safer and add a level of precision with constant and consistent feed rates.

  3. #3
    Not only will a shaper be quieter, it will also be a lot less dusty, a lot more versatile and more enjoyable to use. Tooling doesn't have to be expensive as a euroblock with replaceable HSS knives is quite inexpensive and will do a lot of basic profiling.

    B

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Griswold Connecticut
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    6,599
    It's a question that gets asked many times, and the answer always comes down to, it depends.
    Do you do a lot of edge work and raised panels? If you're doing more than just the occasional home project, a shaper might make better sense.
    A shaper brings a different level of abilities to the game for a myriad of tasks, and can make some projects quite a bit easier for a person working alone.
    Take for example a large panel build, like a table top. With a shaper and quality jointing cutter set, like a T&G, or reversible glue joint, those individual board will self align to within thousandths.
    Yes I know that you can cut T&G's on a table saw, or with a router, or just do an edge glueup, but all of that nonsense about wrestling with boards, whacking seams together for alignment, pulling the panel into flat with cauls, and stressing about glue time is gone. No starting with 80 grit to "knock down the seams". No smoothing planes. None of that after the glueup work.The joints match perfectly.
    A shaper also allows you to stack both the cope, and stick cutters on the spindle, and have enough height above the table that both operations can be done without changing cutters, or changing cutter height.It takes a little bit of setup, but it's not hard. This cannot be done with a router. You have to complete one operation, then break it down and set everything up for the second operation.
    3HP is the minimum in my opinion also. Not that something smaller won't do a good job, 3HP just gives you enough "beef" to do it in one pass if you elect to.
    I have an older Delta 43-375, 3HP shaper. Nothing special, nothing exotic, just a spindle through a table. It works just fine. If I were to mount my Festool OF2200 in a table, it would be a very poor substitute for my shaper.
    I have a 1/2 HP power feeder mounted to my shaper. I did not use a power feeder for many years, but now that I have one, I really like it.

    To be fair to table mounted routers though, a lot of energy and innovation has gone into tables, fences, and lifts for table mounted routers. There is some really nice aftermarket setups for router. Really nice! The same is not true with shapers. There are better aftermarket fences, but they can be very expensive. Most factory OEM fences on light shapers, 3HP and below, usually require a little bit of ingenuity and work to make them "better". I use a back fence, now that I have a power feeder, so it's not a significant issue for me. I rarely use my OEM fence now. It just provides for dust collection most of the time.

    As I said in the begining. It depends.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    731
    Get the Shaper*
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    *this forum has possibly the highest density of shapers to members (woodweb excluded)

  6. #6
    I haven't heard a quiet router. You can cope and stick on a router without changing bits, however. One of my sets is stacked and all it takes is a height adjustment between cuts. That could be eliminated by a plywood "shim" for the first cut, removed for the second.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
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    9,933
    Definitely get the shaper, quiet, powerful, accurate.

    Add a power feeder, maybe tilting spindle and a sliding table....Rod

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Markham View Post
    Background. I have an older hitachi m12v router in my table. Speed control went out so I renpmoved it and added a hf speed control it works ok. Looses some speed once you engage the Wood. Wife thinks it’s a lot louder now than before. Maybe it is a little. Dont know why. Anyway at her request we have been upgrading to quieter tools. Spiral heads on jointer and planer still have all big stuff hammer k3, 20” planer, 8” jointer, bandsaw so not downsizing

    questions. I use the router for edge profile and raised panel doors. Is triton route quieter than the old hitachi. Will the grizz g1035 shaper 1 1/2hp run an ogee raised planner cutter with a 1 1/2 reveal 3 passes would be ok (what I do now on the router). Is a shaper really any quieter. Should I hold out for a larger shaper

    thanks in advance
    Gary
    Are you doing enough rsised panel doors to make it worth the change?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    calif /sonoma county
    Posts
    146
    regarding the triton .i have several different routers set-up for a table mount .one is the midsize triton . the lift mechanism broke several times so i upgraded it with a Router raizer . i use the router for smaller bits only .has slight deflection under load .let the smoke out once . would not use it for raised panels . that being said many people claim they are wonderful ,i think the cost was great ,there is a reason others cost more .

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    731
    G1035

  11. #11
    routers get louder with use and louder still with hard use. Havent read anything positive about the brand you mentioned. I had a ton of blue stuff and switched to porter cable. Better if it was the old Rockwell stuff.

    They are different tools and can do different things. I have shapers and would never be without routers. They can do stuff a shaper cant and vise versa. Id do everything I could to not make a raised panel on a router table. Even my first shaper wasnt up to that task.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Arlington, TX
    Posts
    135
    Since you said the router got louder when you started using the external variable speed; I'd bet the Pulse Width Modulation frequency on the new variable speed controller is lower, and well within the audible range. It may also be resonating with the router itself, amplifying the noise (and not doing the router any good either).

    Universal motors (the kinds found on most portable power tools and jobsite table saws) are also inherently much louder than induction motors with comparable power, found on heavy duty machines like cabinet saws and shapers.

    - Andy -- Arlington TX

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    NW Indiana
    Posts
    2,462
    Once upon a time, I looked at this and went with a PC 7518. One thing I looked at was the relative cost of cutters. If I was doing higher production, I would opt for a shaper.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Cambridge Vermont
    Posts
    696
    I have a 3hp shaper and I don't know if I would get one with less HP unless I was just going to use it with router bits. One of the few things I see used (at least around here) are shapers. To me the whole point of a shaper is to use the larger tooling only they can handle. If you make lots of raised panels then you can justify the cost. If you just like tools and don't care about justifying the cost then they are also nice. Of course they take up room and I personally wouldn't just dip my toe in the water and get one that's under powered.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    52,310
    If you pursue the many dozens of threads on this exact same subject from over the years, there are a few clear things that can be ascertained:

    1) Router Tables and Shapers are both great tools
    2) Router Tables and Shapers do similar work...in general
    3) Router Tables and Shapers each have things they do better than the other with overlap "in the middle"; neither is a full substitute for the other
    4) The jobs you want to do and the tooling you want to use will greatly affect which is the better choice for you (size and speed, etc)
    5) Some folks need both for the work they want/need to do

    I've never owned a shaper and generally don't do work that would require the larger tooling and duty cycle they provide, but if I had one, I'd find a way to use it. But I'd not give up my router table if a shaper fell in my lap...err...onto my shop floor. For my purposes, they are different tools for different situations.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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