Just my 2 cents,,,, pros. and cons. on both...
Most shapers spin the bit at 10,000 rpm's..unlike many of the routers that can spin the bits the same plus up to 28,000 rpm's..Most of the shapers are 3/4HP the norm but they can have bigger motors also...
Most shapers have a cast iron top and the fence as well.
Most of the shaper cutters don't come with bearing, rub colliers yes,that do like to burn the wood
plus you can get more patterns in the router bits without taking out a 2nd on the house...unlike some of the shaper cutters.
Most of the cutters for shapers are high speed steel unlike most of the router bits now days are carb.tiped...
So I would say you'er best off to get a router that can do many jobs..like plunge router jobs that the shaper just can't do...not to say anything about a dado slot , dovetails/dovetail slots , etc. that the router can do..
Originally Posted by rstermer
Forgive me for yet another newbie question. In looking through various catalogs I see that cutters to make identical profiles are available for both the router and shaper. Please explain to me when one tool would be preferred over the other. In general, it seems that shaper cutters are more expensive than router bits, so there must be some non-obvious reason for using a shaper over a router for some jobs, yes?