One aspect of woodworking that seems to perplex most novices is the bevel cut. You may wonder, what precisely is a bevel cut, and why is it crucial? If you’ve never executed this cut, you’re yet to discover its diverse applications and benefits.
To assist you, I’ve created this concise guide to cover all the essentials you need to comprehend about bevel cuts.
A bevel cut refers to a cut with sharp edges that are not perpendicular to the top of the wood or material. It is a cut in a beveled curve, which is round in profile and has radius. The angle is usually measured against a square-edge cut.
Here, the blade is on an angle against the vertical plane to show off the sharp edge of the piece. The bevel cut also goes by other names, including incline cut, slope cut, cant cut, angled cut and slant cut.
Bevel cuts can be classified into types of edges, including A, V, X, K, Bottom Y, and Top Y. They’re used when you’re doing decorative finishing techniques, giving additional support for welding, or increasing an edge’s surface area.
People usually confuse bevel cuts with double bevel cuts and miter cuts, but these two have a distinct difference – which we’ll get to in a bit.
In my years of carpentry, I often use bevel cuts to shape smaller wood pieces, giving them not only a more visually appealing look but also better resistance to the elements. Plus, these cuts are great for softly rounding the edges, ensuring a smoother and more polished finish.
For example, a wood piece with a bevel cut can serve as trim around the base of a wall. This will help prevent injuries and give the wall a decorative appearance as well.
Moreover, I’ve found that bevel cuts can cleverly conceal the joints between two distinct wood pieces. To achieve this, you simply secure them together with edges that form a complementary angle. As a result, the pieces slightly overlap, creating the illusion of a seamlessly joined single piece of wood, all thanks to the precision of a bevel cutter.
As mentioned, most people are confused between a bevel cut and a miter cut. A miter cut is a cut that’s made at any angle other than 90-degree angles along with the length and width of the workpiece. The miter cut gives a shape other than a square cut on the wood face.
Quite the opposite, the bevel cut cuts the wood other than 90 degrees along with the thickness of the workpiece. It is a cut that’s angled relative to the face of the material, and most of the time, is not a straight edge cut.
To get a more accurate and precise cuts, you can use the best woodworking vise we listed here.
Unique Bevel Cut Applications in Carpentry to Get a Perfect Cut on Wood Pieces
- The bevel cut has many uses, particularly in the areas of carpentry, welding, and crafting.
- In welding and crafting, the materials used are generally made of softwood. They usually have a softer edge for safety, aesthetics, and resistance to weathering. This softer material also makes it easy to join wood pieces and create geometrical shapes.
- Wood materials shaped by the bevel cut are used for trimming the base of the wall to prevent injuries caused by sharp edges.
- The use of wood pieces on walls also gives an aesthetically pleasing look. It’s effective in hiding the joints of two different pieces with edges that are fastened together by making a complementary angle.
- By using bevel cuts, two different parts of wood pieces can slightly overlap each other. Using this technique, the two parts would look like a single piece of wood.
- For welding, bevel cuts give additional support on the joints to make them strong enough to hold heavy loads.
Bevel cuts are usually a little difficult to achieve with precision when using hand tools, so they’re usually made using power tools. Some of the saw gauges don’t give a perfect bevel cut, although you can use a protractor to check the blade angle.
If you want to avoid kickbacks on the wood, you need to set the fence in a way that the blade tilts away from it. For safety purposes, make sure that the saw is unplugged when doing this work. Or, you can simply use the miter cutter to apply this technique. With a little practice, any beginner can make the perfect bevel cuts in no time.
If you want to practice the bevel cut, check out our favorite woodworking projects here.
Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.
Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.