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Both can produce exactly the same results but there are also sorting options that are sorting options that are only possible in one or the other.
Sort Records allows you to sort on multiple fields in one sort and uses the same dialog box that you use when selecting Sort from the Records Menu.
Sort Records by field mimics the behavior you get when you right click a field and select Sort Ascending, Sort Descending or Sort by Value List. It is limited to sorting on a single field. But it also can be used to sort whatever field has the current focus. Another nice thing about this step is that you can SEE the sort options right in the script editor, you don't have to open up a dialog to see how the records are being sorted.
Both script steps are documented in FileMaker help.