What Size Tenon Cutter to Choose
By: Jennifer Mueller
Between all of our tenon cutters, there are 8 different sizes, from 1/2" to 3". After you've chosen which series you want, the next step is to choose your size. There are different factors to consider when choosing your cutter size.
Depending on what project you will be making, size can be a major factor. With the large variance in sizes, it is important to choose based on what types of projects you plan on making, and what type of detail you plan on including in them.
DETAILED PROJECTS - 1/2" and 3/4" Tenon Cutters
If you are looking to include detail on your projects, the smaller 1/2" or 3/4" tenon cutters are necessary to add to your collection. These cutters are perfect for chair spindles, detail on headboards, or hooks on a coat rack or tree. While you can use a larger tenon cutter for these projects, the smaller detail adds more character to the project and helps create a more intricate design, taking your project to the next level when it comes to professional looking furniture.
STANDARD PROJECTS - 1", 1 1/2" and 2"
If you can only afford to get one tenon cutter, the 1 1/2" tenon cutters are the most popular tools due to the fact that they allow you to build most projects with the single size. In fact, all of the plans in the 20 piece plan booklet included in each kit is based around the 1 1/2" size tenon cutter.
One great benefit of ordering a 1 1/2" cutter is that all our beginner's kits come with a 1 1/2" tenon cutter, 1 1/2" forstner bit and 20 piece plan booklet, and are the same price as the individual cutter itself. So basically, you get everything you need to get started for the same price as just buying the cutter itself. Awesome deal? We think so!
The 1", 1 1/2" and 2" cutters are used in conjunction to work on most projects. The 1" provides a more detailed look, without going into as much intricate or fine detail as the 1/2" or 3/4", and is also a little more structural for a better overall "hold". The 2" is better for more structural projects such as swings and bunk beds. Ideally, a kit with all three sizes (1", 1 1/2" and 2") would allow you to do virtually any project.
BIG PROJECTS - 2 1/2", 3" and 2" XL
Occasionally you will run into a project that will require the BIG tenon cutters. Some people like the look of large logs for railings or fences. In these cases, the 2 1/2", 3" and 2" XL cutters come in handy. They accept the largest size logs, and create bigger tenons for a strong, structural hold for those BIG projects.
2. Log Size
Another important factor to choosing the correct tenon cutter size is to make sure that the cutter you choose has a large enough log capacity to accept the logs you have available.
Click HERE to see the max log capacities for each size tenon cutter.
A couple notes to help out when choosing:
- The Industrial and Commercial Series Tenon Cutters have a larger log capacity than the Home and Pro. This is due to the mouth of the tool being wider because of the 60° tapered shoulder profile
- All logs are not perfectly round. If you measure the end and it is 2", there may be parts of the log that may be smaller or larger throughout the log
- If ever in doubt, choose the tenon cutter that is slightly larger than the log you are using. This gives you a little bit of leeway when it comes to the max log capacity
As always, if you are unsure, or have any questions, please give one or our tenon cutter specialists a call at 715-720-4719 (Monday - Friday 8am-4pm CST), or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.