Top 11 Best Tenon Cutters In 2020

Tenon cutter models with high-quality cutting edges allow you to make perfect joints in reclaimed lumber. During rustic furniture construction, it’s often challenging to use a regular tenon cutter on sturdy logs. Apart from the discomfort of turning this woodworking tool, it might produce a rough tenon.

When woodworkers overload their tenon cutters, it can affect the efficiency of the built-in steel blade. Also, operating tenon cutters at high speeds will cause the adjustable blade tapers to overheat. Usually, a range of factors affects rough-turning methods.

While well-made tenon cutters come with simple designs, they might not be compatible with a drill press. As a DIYer, you and other hobbyists can use tenon cutters for small projects. This versatile jig accessory can make tough wooden joints for your garden’s fence posts and log benches.

Consider models with high-carbon steel blades that can handle at least 2-inch diameter stock. Additionally, the blade’s height shouldn’t be difficult to set. However, the best tenon cutters produce sharp and aggressive cuts.

You can use these types for furniture projects that require low-profile radius shoulders. Premium tenon cutters with more cutting speed and precision are great investments. Also, their durable threaded shanks ensure long-lasting use.

Another component to consider in tenon cutters is the shank. Instead of getting a new tenon cutter, replacing the shank makes more sense. So, an adjustable and removable shank is cost-effective.

Here are quality tenon cutter models that ensure strong tenon joints and smooth shoulder profiles. Regardless of their capacities, you can build log beds, railings, and cut a tapered 60-degree shoulder on logs.

Top 11 Best Tenon Cutters

#1. Lumberjack Tools 1-1/2″ Tenon Cutter Kit

Lumberjack Tools Tenon Cutter Kit

This Lumberjack Tools kit contains a tenon cutter fits logs with 3-inch diameters. It’s a beginner’s tenon cutters with a sturdy aluminum body. While this metal surface is coated with red paint, its outer layer is chip-resistant. Additionally, this layer of paint preserves the integrity of the aluminum frame.

Apart from the quality die-cast housing, this tenon cutter produces high levels of torque that ensures quick cuts. Also, the kit includes a manual ( 20 log furniture plan) that guides DIY constructions of log furniture.

With the 1-1/2-inch Forstner bit, you can drill mortise holes in your logs. The efficiency of its dual-blade technology reduces downtime during woodworking activities.

Pros
  • Automotive-grade and impact-resistant aluminum frame.

  • Low-profile radius shoulder

  • It’s compatible with most 1/2-inch and low-RPM corded drills

Cons
  • The blade needs proper sharpening to handle repeatable cuts.

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#2. Platte River Plug & Tenon Cutter

Platte River Plug & Tenon Cutter

Platte River Plug and Tenon Cutter’s cutting edge is stainless steel. This heat-treated piece of the blade is designed for acidic trees like the Oakwood.

While this quality of steel cutting edge is tougher than regular metal blades, the tendency to corrode is very reduced. Also, this cutter comes with a tapered plug that’s suitable for both hard and softwoods. With a set (1/4, 3/8, 1/2-inch) of plug cutter, the tool allows you to run small and large-diameter cuts.

Its 1/2-inch shank has a compact design that prevents slippage of heavy logs. You can maintain a low torque and prevent break-off of stocks because with these plug cutters have built-in radial relief.

Pros
  • It’s suitable for long, cross, and face-grain plugs

  • These cutting edges have radial relief

  • It doesn’t burn woods at low speeds

Cons
  • You need to have high woodworking skills to maintain its slow speed and cut without burning your logs.

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#3. Veritas 3/4-Inch Power Tenon Cutter

Veritas Power Tenon Cutter

Veritas 3/4-Inch Tenon Cutter is not compatible with a drill press, but the drum sander on a drill-press can sharpen its blade. While it can be used on electric drills, you need a hand brace to make accurate cuts.

After cutting thousands of tenons, this long-lasting will allow more in-line cuts. This tool is suitable for building end tables, and rustic furniture. Also, this model of Veritas Tenon Cutter has a durable aluminum body.

Since this anodized body has a compact design, you should expect a balanced construction that reduces vibrations during woodwork projects. Additionally, this tenon cutter enhances safety during work because it’s designed with a contoured blade and radiused shoulders.

Pros
  • It comes with a built-in level vial for precise in-line cuts

  • A hex shank with a sturdy design

  • It works on large electric drills

Cons
  • You don’t need more torque to drive this tenon cutter

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#4. Timber Tuff 1-Inch TMC-01TCFB Tenon Cutter

Timber Tuff 1-Inch TMC-01TCFB Tenon Cutter

Since this model of Timber Tuff’s blade is removable, it’s easy to sharpen by hand. Apart from furniture-making, crafters and hobbyists can use this user-friendly tool. The die-cast aluminum housing and steel blades are quality components.

If you want to cut a 1-inch diameter of logs, the sharp blade of this tenon cutter has a scale that can guide your operations.

While the cutting diameter is 1 inch, its Forester bit allows users to drill holes in both soft and hardwood.

The lightweight bit is solid and easy to handle. Additionally, the TMC-01TCFB cutter is easy to use and can work with 1/2-inch and larger drills. Another impressive feature is its balance in a twin-blade position.

Pros
  • A cutting system uses a twin blade

  • It allows fast and easy cuts

  • Powder-coat and sturdy body

Cons
  • A flat spade (paddle) bit works better than this Forstner bit.

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#5. Lumberjack Tools 1/2-Inch Tenon Cutter

Lumberjack Tools 1/2-Inch Tenon Cutter

Are you rebuilding a rocking chair, and need a tenon cutter with a 1/2-inch chuck? This Lumberjack Tools 1/2-inch Tenon Cutter has a smooth and corrosion-resistant finish.

While it’s compatible with single-speed and 1/2-inch heavy-duty drills, it’s designed to run with a Forstner bit. So, DIYers can use this 1/2-inch Tenon Cutter to build log beds and drill a female (mortise) hole.

Furthermore, this furniture-making tool comes with a low-profile shoulder. As a premium tenon cutter, its aluminum shank has an in-sight measurement system. Apart from allowing users to cut tenons without measurements, this built-in system is compatible with Quick Stop Pins.

When the pin and bolt tool passes through the slot of this in-sight measurement system, it prevents the tenon cutter from exceeding the desired cutting length.

Pros
  • An integrated in-sight measurement system

  • The cutting diameter is 1/2 inches

  • Its shoulder profile is suitable for refined projects.

Cons
  • The steel blade might not be easy to adjust.

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#6. Veritas 5/8-Inch Tenon Cutter

Veritas 5/8-Inch Tenon Cutter

Apart from its solid aluminum construction, this 5/8-Inch Veritas Dia Power Tenon Cutter runs with fewer vibrations and works with corded drills.

However, operators will enjoy the same accuracy with a hand brace. Also, the metal body has a honing guide that allows users to sharpen its blades on a sander. It allows easy handling and its suitable for assembling furniture.

As a lightweight (1.4 lbs) tenon cutter, you don’t need much torque to turn your log. Just attach this tenon cutter to a 3/8-inch chuck and make smooth cuts.

While it drives fast, its built-in steel blade can handle both dry and fresh wood finely. Additionally, you can make slight adjustments to the blade for precise cuts.

Pros
  • It runs with fewer vibrations and more balanced than regular tenon cutters

  • A built-in contoured blade that enhances safety during work

  • It’s suitable for making rustic furniture, bed frames, and fence rails

Cons
  • It can’t be used on a drill press.

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#7. Fisch Tenon Plug Cutter 1/2-Inch Tenon Cutter And Drill

Fisch Tenon Plug Cutter

Anyone that wants to make plugs and dowels from redwood might consider this Fisch 1/2-Inch Tenon Plug Cutter. It is a great accessory for an accurate in-line cutting from soft, and hardwood.

When you drive it by an electric drill, its high quality-tool steel blade makes your task easy. Also, its sturdy cylindrical shank allows precise cuts of hundreds of joints. The fastness of creating many dowels comes from its multiple cutting edges. This component has spurs that ensure perfect joints.

A 3-inch (length) dowel joints of either dry and green wood can make structural connections. Additionally, this Fisch 5-1/2-inch tool weighs 5.6 ounces and it’s designed for long-lasting use.

Pros
  • The tenon cutter comes with built-in drill

  • Multiple-cutting edges

  • It produces 3-inch long dowels joints and plugs

Cons
  • Unlike other premium tenon cutters, this blade gets dull for fewer cuts.

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#8. MAX-CRAFT 3/8-Inch Tenon Cutter With Drill Bits

MAX-CRAFT 3/8-Inch Tenon Cutter

Do you need solid wood-wedging dowels, plugs, and tenons? MAX-CRAFT Tenon Cutter and Drill comes with carbon-steel cutting edges that hardwood can’t resist. Also, this carpentry accessory uses automatic-eject technology that makes DIY furniture projects seamless.

While it has a hard frame, its wear-resistant design ensures durability. The plug clearance is impressive and you can make 3-inch plugs conveniently.

Additionally, it comes with 4 cutting edges that cut the correct size of the tenon that your projects require. You can use this tool on a square or round stock, and its shear angle design is unique. Apart from being a versatile tool, its auto-eject feature allows fast cuts of dowels and plugs.

Pros
  • Sharp outer and inner cutting edges

  • An easy-to-use cutting tool

  • A 3/8-Inch tenon cutter for any texture of the stock

Cons
  • You need to ensure a slow drive of this tool to prevent smoke and wood burns.

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#9. MLCS 5-Piece Tennon Cutter Set with Hex Shank

MLCS 5-Piece Tennon Cutter

This set of MLCS Tennon Cutter comes with sharp-edge blades. Each of these tools helps in building rustic furniture and cutting 1, 3/4, 5/8, 1/2, and 3/8-inch tenons and plugs.

An impressive feature about this 5-piece set is the anti-slip Hex shank that fits a range of drill press models. Also, you can drive this shank on horizontal borers and lathes, The steel construction is preserved in an attractive wooden package.

With perfect sizes of 3-inch dowels and face-grain plugs, you can make end tables, strong chairs, and coffee tables.

Regardless of the shape of stock that your woodworking project requires, this fast-cutting MLCS tool is a must-have. It shouldn’t be hard to pull your stocks because the open-body design provides enough plug clearance.

Pros
  • It allows you to make 3-inch dowels, even, and face-grain plugs

  • High-quality steel construction

  • Non-slip Hex shanks

Cons
  • The plug might be too small for a 3/8-inch female hole.

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#10. Grizzly Industrial Deep Plug Cutter Set

Grizzly Industrial Deep Plug Cutter

Wouldn’t you like to replace your flimsy plug cutters? This Grizzly Industrial 6-piece set of Deep Plug Cutter has a 1/2-inch shank. Each of these high-quality steel shanks drives well with a drill press.

However, cutting edges with smaller diameters could be hand drilled. While the deep-plug cutter is versatile, it allows you to long plugs and tenons. Also, it comes with the following sizes of cutting diameters; 1, 7/8, 3/4, 3/8, 5/8, and 1/2 inches.

Unlike other tenon cutters, this model of Deep Plug Cutter Set. It’s a portable set of wood-wedging tools because the wooden case is easy to carry. You can cut about 2-1/8-inch depths, but it’s advisable to set a 2-inch limit because your screwdriver needs some clearance to remove the plug.

Pros
  • It’s suitable for cutting long (2-1/8-inch) tenons

  • A 1/2-inch shank

  • A 6-piece set of different sizes

Cons
  • Be careful because the bits might drift when you cut hardwood maple.

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#11. Steelex 1/2-Inch Tenon and Plug Cutter

Steelex 1/2-Inch Tenon and Plug Cutter

The 1/2-inch Steelex Tenon and Plug Cutter is a versatile tool. It cuts both green and dry wood with ease and doesn’t burn them.

Use tools with quick, cutting-edges for your DIY carpentry-finishing and other woodwork projects. Apart from making smooth plugs and tenons, you can produce 3-inch dowels.

It’s a pro-grade cutter that beginners can use. Also, model of Steelex Tenon Cutter has high-carbon steel construction. Usually, woodworking accessories that have solid housings can serve for long periods.

The 1/2-inch cutting diameter is sharp and ensures precision-round tenons from a range of stocks. This handy tenon cutter enables you and other woodworkers to make furniture with smooth surfaces.

Pros
  • Sturdy and high-carbon steel

  • It produces 3-inche tenons

  • It has a 1/2-inch (diameter) cutting edge

Cons
  • It might not cut taper plugs.

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How to Choose The Right Tenon Cutters

Making solid rustic furniture from wooden stocks can be a daunting task, but it’s easier with the right tools. It’s important to consider some basic features of the tenon and plug cutters that will ensure seamless cuts through the hard and softwoods.

The Material’s Strength

The cylindrical shank of tenon cutters must have resistance to impacts. As the outer shell of this tool, most shanks are coated with powdered paints to resist corrosion.

Usually, die-cast aluminum housings are lightweight materials. However carbon-steel shanks are sturdier than CNC-machined aluminum materials, but the latter is less susceptible to corrosion.

Consider models of tenon cutters that have replaceable shanks because it saves you more money than replacing the whole tool.

Additionally, in-sight measurement systems on the walls of shanks are helpful. These cut-out systems help you to make precision cuts without using measuring scales.

The in-sight clearance allows you to attach quick-stop pins (pin and bolt) that stop the log from over-sharpening your stock. So, you can maintain the specific length of your tenons, and dowels.

Easy-to-Sharp Blade

Replaceable and easy-to-sharpen blades reduce downtimes during tenon-cutting activities. Also, the cutting position and sharpness of the blade enhances your tool’s lifespan.

When you have poor-quality blades, they will become short very quickly. Additionally, repeated sharpening can decrease the cutting edges of the blades.

Consider sturdy steel blades of tenon cutters that have been coated with corrosion-proof paints. These types are easy to maintain and durable. Most blades with clamping screws are reliable, and they fit heavy-duty tenon-cutting applications.

While driving the tenon cutter with the drill-press spindle, don’t run it on the sanding drum for long periods. Otherwise, it might overheat the blade’s edges. Popular types of blade materials are stainless-steel, silicon-carbide, and tungsten-carbide alloys.

Sturdy Shanks

The shank is the long shaft that attaches to your drill press. While it drives, there could be vibrations and noise at the point of attachment.

It’s better to use tenon cutters with sturdy shanks that match your equipment. However, many shafts are not compatible with handheld drills. Woodworkers and structural project experts prefer tenon cutters with shank diameters of between 12 to 16 mm.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What type of shoulder profile is better for wood-wedging application?

The preference of a shoulder profile depends on the requirements of your project. While the type of tenon cutter determines the shape of your stock, most rustic furniture requires 60-degree tapered shoulders.

These types of shoulder profiles are often made by industrial and commercial models of tenon cutters. Normally, the mold cavity of hardened metal gives the narrow shape of your stock. During the metal-casting and injection-molding process, manufacturers often form these shapes on tenon cutters.

Does the quality of the tenon cutter’s material affect vibrations from electric drills?

Usually, vibrations are components that are attached to power tools, and the electric drill is not an exception.

The quality of steel or anodized aluminum housing can affect its level of balance with the drill press. So, you can reduce levels of vibrations and noise with premium tenon cutters.

Many well-made tenon cutters have built-in (bubble) level tubes. This component guides the installation of a tenon cutter with electric drills and ensures accurate in-line cuts of plugs and dowels.

Final Verdict

Are you planning to get dependable tenon and plug cutter for the drill press, lathes or horizontal borers? There are no worries because this buying guide shares tips for using tenon cutters with sharp cutting-edges and impressive designs. Also, it shows you the features of top-rated models of tenon cutters.

While many of these tools come with Forstner bits, you can produce thousands of radius shoulder profiles daily.

However, regular honing can improve the performance and durability of these tenon cutters. You should perform routine maintenance after using your favorite tenon cutter, and store them safely.

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