Main Difference – Bevel vs Chamfer
Bevel and chamfer are commonly used terms in fields like carpentry, metalwork, and stonework. The two terms are often used interchangeably in general usage. Both refer to an edge of a structure that is not perpendicular to the faces of the object. But in technical usage, there is a difference between bevel and chamfer. Chamfer is a cut that is usually made at a 45° angle to the adjacent principal faces whereas bevel is a sloping edge between two principle faces. This is the main difference between Bevel and Chamfer.
What is a Bevel
Bevel is a sloped edge that is not perpendicular to the faces of an object. Bevel is the more common term out of bevel and chamfer. Although these two terms are often interchangeable, a distinction is made between them in technical situations.
Bevels are usually made for safety reasons, aesthetics, wear resistance, or to facilitate joining with another piece. Many cutting tools are made with beveled edges. Furniture such as glass top tables and mirrors are also made with beveled edges for protection against cuts.
The image below, which demonstrates side views of two the edges, clearly indicates the difference between bevel and chamfer.
What is a Chamfer
Even though chamfer is similar to a bevel, it connotes cutting, and its shape is slightly different from a bevel. This edge is usually cut at a 45° angle to the adjacent faces. Therefore, the interior of a fully chamfered square would be octagonal. A chamfered edge that does not go to the end of the piece, but lifts out in a smooth curve, the end is called a lark’s tongue.
This term is commonly used in manufacturing and mechanical engineering. Tools like chamfer mills and chamfer planes can also be used to make chamfers. Chamfered edges are used for aesthetic purposes as well as non-aesthetic purposes. Apart from aesthetic purposes, chamfered edges are used in parabolic glass mirror design and printed circuit board designs.
Difference Between Bevel and Chamfer
Bevel is a sloping edge between two principle faces.
Chamfer is a cut that is usually made at a 45° angle to the adjacent principal faces.
Beveled edges can be made with a bevel tools.
Chamfered edges can be made with chamfer tools.
The interior of a Bevel would be a rhombus.
The interior of a Chamfer would be an octagon.
Bevel does not necessarily connote a cut.
Chamfer connotes a cut.
“Side views of a bevel and a chamfer” by domdomegg – Own work, (CC BY 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
“Chamfer” (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia