Differences Between Shaper and Planer Machines

Differences Between Shaper and Planer Machines

Shaper and planer both are machine tools with similar operations which differ in kinematics of the process. Though both of them help to machine flat surfaces, cut slots, grooves and convex/concave geometry, but they have different working principles.

Basic differences

  • Size: The shaper is used to perform operations on small work pieces which can fit on the table. The planer is works with larger work-pieces
  • Moving part: The moving part is the tool in shaper machine while the moving part in planer is the
  • Stationary part: As opposed to the moving parts, the stationary part in shaper is work piece whereas tool is the stationary part in planer.
  • Type: Shaper is light duty machine as it works on smaller amounts of material and planer is heavy duty machine as it works on larger amounts.
  • Cutting tool: Shaper uses single point tool whereas planer can use one or more than one cutting tool at the same time.
  • Mechanism: Shaper uses quick return mechanism as it drives the ram but in modern machine hydraulic drive can also be used. Planer uses gear or hydraulic drive to drive its ram.
  • Accuracy: Shaper gives less accuracy to machine surfaces compared to planer since planer has better rigidity.
  • Cutting force: Thin and fragile works are done very conveniently on shapers as they have low cutting forces, whereas planer is more productive for cutting objects with higher speed.

Major parts

The major parts of shaper and planer machines are,

  • Base: Base of both shaper and planer has a heavy structure made of cast iron. It supports other parts of the machine.
  • Column: Column is only present in shaper. It is also made of cast iron and mounted on base. It is a box-like structure. In planer there are housings in place of column.
  • Ram: Shaper requires a ram which is positioned above column and carries a tool slide which is used to adjust the stroke length. It is the part that reciprocates. Whereas planer uses gear drives.
  • Tool head: Tool head in a shaper is provided to the front part of the ram and used for holding the tool rigidly. It also provides the horizontal, vertical and angular movements to the cutting tool. Planer has two tool heads that are mounted on the horizontal cross rail and vertical housing.
  • Table: For holding the work pieces, table is used in shaping process. In planning process bed is also used along with table.
  • Cross rail: In shaper machine, the front vertical part of the column is cross rail while cross rails is a horizontal member in planer machine.

Bottom line

Both the machines are available in the market and equally useful in application. They provide simple and economical tooling. It is easy to set them up and you can use them on any flat or angular surface. The basic thing to remember is that in planer plane moves containing work pieces back and forth while in shaper the opposite happens.

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