Spindle shaper vs. router table/lift

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Forum topic by rwe2156 posted 10-12-2016 01:36 PM 825 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3134 posts in 1654 days

10-12-2016 01:36 PM

OK guys the dedicated router in my router table bit the dust. My router lift is a Router Raizer.

I’m looking at $300+ for a new router and definitely a better router lift ($250-300).

So why wouldn’t I just buy this shaper for $600 and be done with it?

What don’t I know?

What should I know?

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

7 replies so far

View Kirk650's profile


574 posts in 922 days

#1 posted 10-12-2016 02:04 PM

I have both – routers and router table, and a shaper. I don’t use the shaper much, since the router table is quicker to set up and use. Dust collection is better on the router table. And, I have all those router bits. Buying a long list of new shaper cutters would be expensive.

But…I would like to use the shaper more, so I’ll be reading responses from others. Maybe I’m neglecting a great tool.

View HokieKen's profile


6605 posts in 1312 days

#2 posted 10-12-2016 02:08 PM

I don’t know what kind of router you had but, 1-1/2 hp seems kinda under-powered for a shaper. I’ve never owned a shaper but, my router is 3.25 hp and I wouldn’t want to go to something with less power that runs bigger cutters. The only other consideration that comes to mind is how much do you have invested in router bits? You’d have to replace all of those cutters with new ones. Or maybe you can use an adapter to run router bits?

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View ShaneA's profile


7044 posts in 2772 days

#3 posted 10-12-2016 02:12 PM

Just a wild guess, but that 1.5hp is probably an induction motor. The 3.25hp is not, so the constant output of power would be greater on the shaper. I also guess that crossing over on some bits will be expensive.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5255 posts in 1894 days

#4 posted 10-12-2016 02:42 PM

Unless you’re doing a lot of panels, I think I’d stick with the router as the speeds that particular shaper is capable of wouldn’t be good for any bit under 2” or so. I didn’t see if it would accept router bits or not, if not then you’ll be shopping for more expensive cutters to replace router bits you can no longer use. The power should be plenty but the speed is insufficient for the majority of operations. As for the power of a router, I’d choose something a little larger remembering that there really is no such thing as a 3hp 120V router as the max you can get if you have a 100% efficient motor (doesn’t exist) would be 2.41hp, almost everything over an advertised 2hp is pure marketing BS.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2620 days

#5 posted 10-12-2016 03:02 PM

wouldn’t you eventually need a power feeder to go with the shaper?
You should ask yourself what has been the main problem with using the router? what hasn’t really worked for you that forced you to search for an alternative .

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View splintergroup's profile


2341 posts in 1396 days

#6 posted 10-12-2016 03:08 PM

I agree with Yeti. I think routers & shapers are complementary machines. The shaper excels at swinging large bits and the router does small bits. The shaper doesn’t have the RPMs for smaller bits and the router doesn’t have the power for the big bits.
The shaper you show states 1/2” and 3/4” “spindles”, which implies that you need to spend more for a collet.

If you do lots of panels, the shaper would be a great addition (plus they can do other things besides shaping).

Your call, a new router table setup is $$$

View unbob's profile


810 posts in 2077 days

#7 posted 10-12-2016 06:06 PM

When I was planning my wood shop, I thought I could eliminate the dreaded and dangerous shaper with a router table. The router table worked out fine until a job came up needing the Lock Miter joint in hardwood to 7/8” thick. Ended up with a big shaper with 1 1/4” spindle.

I have found the spindle shaper to be my most favorite machine, it has taken over most dado work on the table saw with much better results. Still need that router table though.


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