What Is A Bevel?

what is a bevel
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A bevel is an edge which has been given a slope between 1 - 89 degrees.

A bezel is another word used for a bevel, it is an old word rarely used today.

The word cannel can also be used to describe the bevel on certain tools, see What Is A Cannel?

A bevel at angle below 45 degrees is sometimes referred to as a 'Shallow Bevel'.

A bevel at angle above 45 degrees is sometimes referred to as a 'Deep Bevel' or 'Steep Bevel'.

Bevels are often seen on woodwork, stonework, glass and mirrors.

A prime example where bevels are often used are on the edge(s) of frames.

A bevel is often used to give a piece of work a more attractive appearance.

Tools And Bevels

coopers axe

All edge tools have a bevel (sometimes two bevels) in order to create a sharp edge.

It is where the slope of the bevel is at its finest / thinnest point which creates the cutting edge.

So all chisels, gouges, plane blades, axes, billhooks, drawknives and every other edge tool has a bevel.

sash mortice chisel

Another reason for certain tools being given a bevel is for clearance reasons to allow the user to access as far in as possible to create a cut - this can be seen on bevel edge blades such as bevel edge chisels.

The final main reason a tool may have a bevel may purely be for decorative reasons.

What Is A Bevel Edge?

bevel edge chisel

A 'Bevel Edge' in effect is the same as a bevel however the term 'Bevel Edge' usually specifically relates to a type of woodwork blade where the blade has three bevels, the most common use of the term being a 'Bevel Edge Chisel'.

Another example of a bevel edge blade is a blade for a rebate shoulder plane or a bullnose plane although the term is seldom used in the title of these blades.

What Is The Difference Between A Chamfer and A Bevel?

A 'Chamfer' is a symetrical 45 degrees bevel cut along a previously 90 degree edge whereas a bevel is an angled cut at an edge to give a slope at an angle anywhere between 1 - 89 degrees however most typically used with an angle below 45 degrees.


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