What’s the Difference Between a Bevel and a Chamfer in Metalworking?

While the terms bevel and chamfer are often used interchangeably, they are actually quite different. Does it really matter? Well, in the world of metal fabrication it does as we will see.

When working with metal parts that require a welded joint, a bevelled edge is a common process to ensure a stronger join. It is the preferred option for heavy-duty machinery such as you would find in mining, agriculture, and construction. 

What exactly is a bevelled edge and how does it differ from a chamfered edge?

Bevel vs Chamfer

In simple terms, a bevelled edge is a slanted or sloped edge on a piece of metal, wood, or glass. Bevelling forms an angle on the metal and comes to a sharp point at the end. 

When a piece of metal is bevelled it will form a closer and stronger fit when welded to another part. The resulting edges will be straight and strong.

A chamfer is a form of bevelling and is also known as a transitional edge. Machinists will create a 45˚angle at the edge of the metal piece but this will not taper to a point. 

When a metal piece is chamfered it is usually for aesthetic reasons. If you have a thick piece of steel with sharp edges, a chamfered edge will create a safer corner and prevent damage to the hard corners.  In addition, sharp metal edges can cause cuts or other injuries.

These two processes require precision and care and are therefore completed using plasma cutters which offer incredible accuracy. Smaller pieces can be sheared or routed, depending on their final use. 

Whether you require a bevel or a chamfer you will certainly need to chat to professional fabricators who can offer the right tools and software as well as experienced staff. Sound good? Chat with the Steelmor team today.