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Bevel VS Miter Cut

Knowing the difference between a bevel and miter cut can often get people confused simply because of how closely related they are. It can be difficult to distinguish what the difference is unless you are someone who has been performing woodwork projects for many years. However, while some people may not struggle with this difference, now is the time that you can learn just how the two cuts are different and what the purpose of each cut is.

Types of Cuts

Miter Cut

A miter cut is a cut that is made at any angle besides 90 degrees of the piece of work. A miter cut is one that is made in a shape other than the square cut on the top surface of the wood. Miter cuts are measured with the shape of a square in mind.

The blade needs to be angled horizontally at the plane of the piece of wood.

Bevel cut

The bevel cut is one that is made at an angle; not at 90 degrees, right at the thickness of the piece of material. The cut is made close to the face of the work material. The angle is often measured against a square edge cut.

A bevel cut needs to be angled horizontally on the plane of the work material. In this case, the bevel changes the angle of the edge board unlike the process of creating a miter cut.

How to tell them apart

Just from taking a look at the two different cuts you may not be able to tell their difference immediately until you take a closer look. One way that you could tell a miter cut apart from a bevel cut, is by identifying where the cut was made on your workpiece. With miter cuts, you will notice that the cut angles on the fact of the two workpieces, and when joined, they create what is known as the miter joint. A bevel cut is an angle that is cut right along the edge or the end point of the material.

Miter cuts are made when pressing the flat on the table top at an angle to the blade. With bevel cuts, the blade is adjusted at an angle in regards to the top surface of the work material.

bevel vs miter calculator

Miter Cuts: Tips for Making & Using them

When you are getting ready to make a miter cut, you need to make sure that you use a blade that is sharp. If it is not sharp then you will not be able to acquire a smooth cut. When the blade is really sharp, you want to force the wood or apply extra pressure to it in order for it to cut through properly. Note: when the blade isn’t sharp enough, burn marks can occur on the workpiece.

You’ll be able to achieve that tight, perfect fit for door frames, wall corners, etc. To get that perfect cut, sometimes you have to work with the pieces that you have to tweak them in order to achieve the perfect fit for building purposes.

For installations of raw trim that will undergo a finishing phase after it has been installed, you can apply thin layers of wood glue to the end of each piece before you put the pieces together. You would then sand the pieces across the joints to even out the surface which will allow for a more seamless fit.

Avoid noticeable gaps in the pieces that you will be fitting together by cutting the outside corners 1 degree sharper than the angle. If you still notice that there are slight gaps in the baseboards, you can hide the gaps by rubbing the miter’s tip with a nail or screwdriver to that the fibers will fuse together better and they will also be less likely to chip later on down the line.

Application Uses of Miter and Bevel Cuts

Miter cut applications are often utilized for purposes such as making boxes, doors, windows, seals, picture frames, etc. Bevel cuts are often executed for the purpose of various different welding and carpentry projects. Many of the bevel cuts that are produced are for the purpose of safety, joining pieces together, creating geometrical shapes, and weather resistant applications. Bevel cuts are also made in pieces that will trim the base of walls. Bevel cuts are often known for giving pieces a more attractive look to the eye because of the complementary angles that are created with these type of cuts. Bevel pieces that fit together generally slightly overlap each other so that they will appear to make a single piece that fits together.

If you will be doing a lot of welding then you will mostly use the bevel cuts method. The reason for this is because they provide better support for the joints, making them stronger and able to handle heavier loads.

A perfect bevel cut is very difficult to create if a person is using hand tools. The reason being for this is because some gauges for hand tools do not meet the accuracy required for creating the perfect bevel. However, if for some reason this is the preferred way for making your bevel cuts, then you can use a protractor to check your angles for accuracy. You need to try to avoid kickbacks, so you will need to set the fence up in a way that the blade is tilted away from it for safety purposes. The saw also needs to be unplugged while you are checking your angles with the protractor.


While there may be some confusion on the differences of the bevel and miter cut, they are more different than many people might think they are. They are also executed from very different types of projects from one another. Beveling best suits carpentry projects, while Miter cuts are the best suit for creating angles to be fitted together for frames and boxes. Many of these things we use on a regular basis throughout our daily lives.


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