How to Bevel Wood

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The majority of wood carving is done by using various types of wood cutting tools. Wood tools all have one bevel at the least (some have more). The bevel is known as the sloped surface that extends off the edge. However, there is much more to the bevel than just being a sloped surface. The bevel is a cutting angle that supports how the tool will be used. Cutting efficiency is something that experienced woodworkers know a lot about when it comes to bevels.

Are you brand new to wood carving?

If you are just now starting as a beginner carver, you will need to make sure that you purchase the appropriate wood cutting and carving tools. There are also more things that you need to know about carving wood.

Some tools have no bevel

Some tools that are available on the market for wood carving, don’t come with a bevel. In this case, you will have to make the cutting angle on your best-selected wood for carving and woodworking. Making the cutting angle on your own means that you will also be determining the shape of the bevel. This is generally only ideal for woodcarvers who are experienced because many of them like to cut their custom angles since remaking and edge can be tedious and time-consuming.

Non-beveled edges

It is only recommended that carvers who are experienced in sharpening knives and other wood cutting tools to make use with non-beveled edges. Beveled edges are wedges known to be an effective knife, and recommended for a beginner’s use. Once you become experienced in knife cutting, you can then begin to make your angles as you see fit to suit your needs. You will be able to control the bevel exactly the way you want it.

sanding wooden board with orbital sander

New carving tools with pre-set bevels

Carving tools that have pre-set bevels aren’t hard to find at all. However, if you are new to carving, you need to keep in mind that the cutting angle that was created by the manufacturer may not be the right size or shape that you need for the type of projects that you will be beveling. So with that in mind, you should never assume that the bevel is the correct size or shape. You need to determine your specs and choose the right tools accordingly. When doing so, you don’t want to be in a rush, because you will end up purchasing tool items that aren’t what you expected.

What you need to know about cutting angles and bevel lengths

When determining what tools you need for beveling your wood, two factors will help you to determine which tools you need to buy. Those factors would include the cutting angles and the bevel lengths. Depending on what tool you purchase, the angles and bevels will determine the strength of the wood that you can cut with it. The larger the cutting angle, the steeper and shorter the bevel will be. A larger angle will mean that you will have a stronger cutting edge. Strong edges are meant to be used for wood that is harder to cut.

Cuts for softwood vs hardwood

If you will be cutting softwoods, then you will want to make sure that the cutting angle edge of the tool is small. Look for a thin-edged tool that has a long back slope. For hardwoods, you will want a large cutting angle on the tool’s edge, which will create a thicker, slanted bevel that will turn out short and steep.

To get the best wood for cutting, you can check out these places selling wood for woodworking, as well.

Beveling your wood

After you have the tools that you need for beveling, you can get started on your project. You must know that there are several ways that you can go about beveling wood. One way is to set your blade at an angle and set up the rip fence so that it can guide the piece of wood. The rip fence is the straight, upright edge that helps you guide your wood into the blade. When you feed your wood into the fence (it will cut it with the grain), it will rip a bevel into the wood. Using the miter table gauge is another way that you can go about beveling wood. When using the miter gauge, your wood is cross-cut; this is a cut that is made across the grain, versus a rip cut. The table saw blade needs to be tilted for the cut to result in a bevel cut.

beveling wood with hand plane

Circular saw

Another way you can complete a bevel cut is with the use of a circular saw. A circular saw is operated manually, in other words, by hand. This could mean that your bevel cut may not come out as precise or perfectly as it would with a table saw. So this is done with the use of a top-notch woodworking square that helps to keep the blade running in a straight line. The blade must also be tilted so that it passes through the wood at an angle. You should know that it is possible to accomplish a beveled crosscut with a circular saw.

Chop saw (Miter saw)

A chop saw, also known as a miter saw, is a piece of woodworking machinery that will allow you to complete a beveled cut in a piece of wood. You are about to tilt this blade into the appropriate angle with a piece of wood that is held on the flat surface of the saw. The worker will then pull the blade through the wood for the desired bevel cut. Chop saws and miter saws only can create cross cuts and not rip cuts.


There are some things that you should know when it comes to the tools for beveling your wood. You should always choose the right tools as well as the correct method for creating bevels in your Woodstock. Taking your time when choosing a bevel method is a must to achieve your desired results.

Looking for the best tools for your woodshop? Why not consider buying the top Japanese tools we listed here. Read next! 

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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