A wood moulder is a machine used to shape wood with profiled cutters. The profiled cutters are also known as knives, and blades. Tooling refers to cutters, knives, blades including planer blades, and cutterheads. Most moulders require the blades to be secured into a cutterhead that mounts on the shaft(s) of the machine. However, some machines such as the Williams & Hussey and the Shop Fox require the blades to bolt directly onto the shaft of the machine.

Wood moulders almost always have the capacity to serve as a wood planer as well. For this reason they are also known as Planer/ Moulders.[citation needed] However, a wood planer does not necessarily have the capability to be a moulder. There are several makes and models of both planers and planer/ moulders on the market.

The wood being fed into a moulder is commonly referred to as either “stock” or “blanks”.

A wood moulder has one or more horizontal cutter heads, and may also have side cutter heads. Because it has horizontal cutter heads a wood moulder differs from a spindle shaper, which has one or sometimes more vertical spindles and no horizontal heads.

Common types of moulders

  • Single Head Moulders:
  • Single head moulders have a Top (horizontal) head only.
  • Single head moulders are more economical but they also feed through slower than multi head moulders and, as the name implies, a *single head moulder will only cut one surface at a time.

Multi Head Moulder: Standing from in front of the infeed side of the machine where the stock is fed into the machine. A common cutter head configuration is;

Bottom horizontal head, a Right hand vertical side head, a Left hand vertical side head, and a Top horizontal head.

This is a common configuration (in order of layout), but there are countless other configurations available. For instance; a multi head moulder may have two Bottom heads and two Top heads in order to size the lumber with the first Top and the first Bottom head, and then finish cut the lumber with the remaining Top and Bottom head.

Machines with two or more Right heads more common in the furniture industry to give the ability to run shorter stock and more detailed, deeper cuts on the edge of the stock.


Tooling refers to cutters, knives, blades, as well as planer blades, and cutter heads. Most blades are made from either a type of tool steel known as High Speed Steel(HSS), or from carbide. Cutter heads are normally made from either steel or aluminum.

High Speed Steel, carbide, aluminim , and steel for the cutter heads all come in a wide variety of grades.