Even though routers and shapers perform the same basic functions, there are critical differences. In this article, professional furniture maker J. Speetjens demonstrates why he has both tools in his shop. A few of his arguments? Shapers make heavier cuts, can handle large runs of moldings, and can cut larger profiles than a router. They have a sliding table and a reversible motor, which lets you do template work without worrying about cutting against the grain. The ability to flip some cutters adds to the shaper’s flexibility.

From Fine Woodworking #195