Is this shaper worth $100?

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Forum topic by Charlie posted 04-10-2013 12:17 PM 1102 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2255 days

04-10-2013 12:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Found this on CL this morning. Never had a shaper before. Do I need one? :)

shaper link

Looks like a router table on steroids. If it takes 1/2” router bits, do shapers have easier/better adjustment for setup?

12 replies so far

View nailbanger2's profile


1041 posts in 3112 days

#1 posted 04-10-2013 12:32 PM

I’m sure someone with more knowledge will chime in shortly, but this will get you started. Shapers use cutters stacked on a spindle, which gives you more variety and the ability to cut an intricate profile in one pass. The cutters are more expensive than router bits, but last longer. I don’t know if you need one, but that is the best price I have personally seen.

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2255 days

#2 posted 04-10-2013 12:35 PM

I just sent a text to him asking if he has the collets and spindles. Also you can’t see the top of it in the photos so I asked the condition of the table and whether the fence parts were all there.

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 2154 days

#3 posted 04-10-2013 12:43 PM

That is a great price if he is including cutters and collets and if the table is in good condition. One thing you might want to consider is that it does not spin as fast as a router because its meant for shaper bits which have a bigger diameter and dont need to spin as fast. That should be fine but just a heads up. I did alot of reasearch on weather to get a shaper or router table. I didn’t have a router so I went with router table because I could use the router both in and out of the table.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4954 posts in 2462 days

#4 posted 04-10-2013 12:43 PM

Shapers generally turn a lot slower than routers (usually 10,000 RPM and less), they can be run in either direction (reversible) and use an induction motor (quieter). Most folks who have used both claim once you use a shaper you’ll give up the router table. I’m still not convinced, so haven’t bought one. That said, if I did…it would be larger than a 1 HP, that one will be a little limited. Still, if you don’t have a RT that price is cheap enough.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View waho6o9's profile


8168 posts in 2546 days

#5 posted 04-10-2013 12:46 PM

Shapers are great for making doors, raised panels, and mouldings.

You can make custom knives and make custom mouldings that are ornate.

Assuming it works and has cutters it’s worth $100.00.

Do you need one? I don’t know. Have you used one before?
Will you use it?

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2255 days

#6 posted 04-10-2013 12:52 PM

I have a router table and 3 routers. 2 decent ones and one is an old craftsman cheapie. I tend to make my own mouldings. Usually this is several setups on the router table and many, MANY passes, using several different bits, etc. Was also thinking this might also make it easier to make door parts and get beyond the simple shaker style. :)

If it turns out I don’t really need or use it, would I be able to resell it, all cleaned up, for more than $100? I’m retired so time isn’t a huge issue for me.

View kizerpea's profile


774 posts in 2336 days

#7 posted 04-10-2013 01:06 PM

sure its worth the $100…even if it has nothing with it….


View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4954 posts in 2462 days

#8 posted 04-10-2013 01:18 PM

It should easily be worth the $100 if you change your mind. Might be a good cheap way to see if you really want one.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Charlie's profile


1100 posts in 2255 days

#9 posted 04-10-2013 01:30 PM

point is now moot. They sold it this morning already :)
Oh well.

View helluvawreck's profile


30765 posts in 2835 days

#10 posted 04-10-2013 02:16 PM

Shapers are a great tool. We had 7 shapers at one time in our operation. The way I look at it shapers and router tables compliment each other. In a small shop you can get by easily with a router table and can actually do a lot of varied jobs with a router table that you can’t do with a shaper. However, shapers are more powerful and can make deeper cuts. A powered feeder is a great addition to a shaper. The biggest disadvantage to a shaper is that the cutters are more expensive than router bits.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

7948 posts in 2297 days

#11 posted 04-10-2013 02:54 PM

point is now moot. They sold it this morning already :)

I guess it was worth it then ;^)

Log the data point and decide if a shaper is going on your “must have” list….. if so, watch for another one.

Another disadvantage of a shaper is that they run at much lower RPMs, so smaller cutters may run better in a router anyways.

We have one shaper in our millwork shop and due to the cost of shaper cutters, we have it set up with a collet conversion head. So we run 1/2” shank router bits in it all the time.

I don’t have room for a shaper, so it’s not on my personal list.

-- It’s the knowledge in your head, skill in your hands and motivation to create in you heart that makes you a woodworker. - Mainiac Matt

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

3969 posts in 2203 days

#12 posted 04-10-2013 11:58 PM

I have two shapers, Charlie, and I also have a router setup under my Unisaw extension table.
I haven’t noticed the relatively slower speed be anything but a benefit because it doesn’t burn as much. These have two speeds 4000, and 8000 rpm and are reversible, something you can’t do on a router. This allows safer setups. One shaper has a sliding table and it is the cats meow for end grain coping work. I have the spindles for router work, too, and I like the extra power offered for cuts like end grain finger jointing, you know, the kind used to join two boards end to end. I also have shaper collars that trap flat cutters which can be ground easily to any profile within reason. A 4” or 5” panel raiser is not a problem on these shapers, especially if you use Freuds four cutter staggered type.
Each has its place, and if you are limited on space, a small router table will do the small work. If you’re gonna spend $400 on a router table and another $200 for a quality motor, then you are better off with a shaper, hands down, especially if you can swing a power feeder with it. Just sharing my experience.

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL One should always prefer the probable impossible to the improbable possible.

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