While the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there are differences between cedar shakes and cedar shingles.
The first trait you’ll notice is that shingles have a smooth surface, compared to shakes, which results from being split by a saw.
Also, they’re classified differently. As mentioned, there are three types of shakes, but shingles come in three different grades which include Grade 3, Grade 2 (best for replacement or starting the roof), and Grade 1 (premium).
Because the shakes are cut by hand, they are thicker and consequently more durable than shingles. However, unlike shingles they can’t lay flat and require a felt paper that’s installed in between courses of shakes which keeps the moisture out.