Bevel Cut vs Miter Cut (2021 Guide)

Want to know comparison of bevel cut vs miter cut

Fantastic, you are in the right place.

In this ToolsGaloreHQ.com guide, I will show you:

  • What the differences really are.
  • Understanding how the angles affect the overall length
  • Multiple ways of performing bevel cuts
  • And so much more!
bevel cut vs miter cut

Before we get into the details on bevel cut vs miter cut, please have a read of the table below.

What You Need To Know About Bevel Cut vs Miter Cut

bevel vs miter

A Bevel cut is typically a cut through a piece of wood at a specific angle across the thickness of the material. Bevel cuts are typically very useful for creating angled stock material such as wood or steel for vertical frames typically found on your door or window pane.

Miter cuts are in essence angled cuts as well, however in this instance these cuts are performed along the width of the piece of wood

Miter cuts are very useful for instances where you require a horizontal frame such as in instances were you are making wooden boxes, doors, or even picture frames.

In both of these types of cuts you are moving through the wood at an angle and hence you will typically find people referring to both of them as angled cuts – and rightly so.

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Understanding angles and measurements


It is worth noting that bevel, miter and compound miter cuts (combination of a bevel and miter) are precision wood working incisions. So it is imperative that you understand your measurements and angles correctly.

No matter the type of cut, there will be a long side and a short side.

The long side is generally determined by using a measuring tape. The short side however is a function of the bevel/miter angle.

bevel cut

As you can see from the picture above, by simply performing Pythagoras you can determine how long the short side will be.

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Bevel Cut – Tips For Performing A Bevel Cut

A Bevel cut can typically be performed in a variety of different ways. You can either use your circular saw or a miter saw (confusing I know, but I will explain).

Safety first

It goes without saying, but please ensure that whenever you perform any type of woodwork, you ensure that at least you have eye protection, ear muffs for the high pitched vibrational sound and workman gloves.

This is simply because splinters will be flying through the air and they could cause a lot of potential harm, if one of those small pieces of wood finds it’s way into your eyes.

If you are going to be performing a lot of these types of cuts, I would strongly recommend that you also use a respirator for dust particles in the air caused by the sawing action.

Performing A Bevel Cut Using A Circular Saw

To perform a bevel cut using a circular saw is actually simple.

Step 1: Plan and measure correctly

Take a pencil and mark across the surface of the wooden board. This will provide you with an indication of the length of the high side.

Step 2: Setup the circular saw

To get the circular saw to perform a bevel cut – you will be required to tilt the base. This is typically a 45 or 22.5 degree angle.

This is generally done via loosening the adjustable knob and turning the gradient measurement to 45/33.5 degrees. Once this is done, lock the circular saw in place and then you should be good to go.

Step 3: Performing the cut

This step is crucial, ensure that you move through the wood swiftly but steadily to ensure a smooth finish.

bevel cut


Performing A Bevel Cut Using A Miter Saw

I know you are probably asking yourself “how”? I understand. Most DIYers are familiar with the concept of making use of a miter saw for what it is designed for – performing miter cuts.

However you can also use your miter saw to perform bevel cuts. I will explain how below.

Step 1 – Unlock the head of the saw

The very first step involves unlocking the head of the saw. This is typically done via a knob at the back. If you struggle to find this knob be sure to consult your user manual.

The reason we do this is simple, in order to perform a bevel cut it will be necessary for us to tilt the head (typically 45 degrees or 22.5 degrees).

Upon tilting the head, retighten the head and fix it at the correct bevel angle.

Step 2: Clamp down board tight

Often when performing a bevel cut with a miter saw the force generated from the tilted head has a pulling effect on the piece of wood that is being cut.

What this means is that if you fail to clamp down your piece of wood effectively, you will often find that as you move the saw blade through the piece of wood it will move.

Therefore skewing your measurement and the accuracy of your cut.

To avoid this from happening take clamps and fasten the wood tightly to keep it in place throughout the cut.

Step 3: Perform the cut

This is the fun and relatively simple part. The important thing here is to make sure that you move the saw through the wood swiftly and consistently.

Try not to go in a stop-start manner as this will often leave an unsmooth finish with a lot of wood chips and debris.

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Final Thoughts On Bevel Cut vs Miter Cut

When it comes to choosing between a bevel cut and a miter cut I hope this guide has provided clarity and you can see that it is not actually that difficult.

I follow a simple method. A cut across the face typically is a miter cut. Whilst a cut across the thickness (usually the shorter side) is a bevel cut.

Just by ensuring that you remember this small but simple analogy will ensure that your overall knowledge and experience of implementing a bevel cut is maintained.

Mogale Modisane

Mogale Modisane

Mogale is a qualified B(Eng): Electrical Engineer. With experience working on large-scale Solar, Wind, and Hybrid Projects. He has been exposed to multiple tools throughout his career and has a keen interest in breaking down the often murky world of power tools, machines, and measurement equipment making them more accessible and understandable to everyone.

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Mogale Modisane

Mogale Modisane

Mogale is a qualified B(Eng): Electrical Engineer. With experience working on large-scale Solar, Wind, and Hybrid Projects. He has been exposed to multiple tools throughout his career and has a keen interest in breaking down the often murky world of power tools, machines, and measurement equipment making them more accessible and understandable to everyone.

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