What Does Chamfer Mean in Plumbing?


A chamfer is a transitional edge between two faces of an object or thing. It is also considered a form of bevel that is constructed at a 45-degree angle between two right-angled faces.

At a basic level, they serve the purpose of bringing together and conjoining two things that together may serve a bigger purpose in terms of design and functionality.

In plumbing terminology, you may see bevel used for chamfer and vice versa. These terms are often used interchangeably because more or less they serve a similar function.

Chamfering actually smoothens the edge of a material that is otherwise rough, thereby making it more suitable in a plumbing situation. For instance, if it is used in a plumbing pipe, it would remove the head of the pipe and make it easy to fit into a connector.

It is also effective in keeping the glue of the pipe intact and prevents a weak joint by preventing the pipe’s glue from dipping.

Benefits of Chamfering Your Pipes before Assembly

A chamfer is not a superfluous edge, but instead plays a key role in plumbing. Experts often advise chamfering PVC pipes before putting them into any sort of use.

Chamfering will also take your overall long-term plumbing costs down by preventing problems with drainage and the likes. Besides, most plastic pipes simply don’t fit any joint or fixture as it is. Chamfering makes them more compatible with fixtures, therefore, widening their usage.

Chamfering is also not a tedious and tiring process. If you have the right tools and expertise, you can get done in a matter of minutes. Another benefit of chamfering is that it makes handling the metal, pipe, or surface more manageable.

In a nutshell, chamfering helps you save money and also makes the plumbing process easier by making a number of mechanical components more compatible.

Chamfer vs. Bevel

These two are incredibly popular in the plumbing landscape, so much so that they are used interchangeably. They are also pretty similar but are they exactly similar or is there a difference? Let us find out!

Though both the processes are aimed at smoothening pipes to ensure they work well with a number of fixtures, they differ in the degree and depth of removal.

Beveling is done for a number of purposes. It can sometimes be done to improve the shape of an object in plumbing while in other cases it may be done to carve out a huge part of something which is to be filled with another metal.

Chamfering, on the other hand, is about reducing a surface dimension to enable the downstream process. It is often used to produce a countersink for screws and other fasteners.

Though chamfering is a common process in plumbing, people still have a number of questions about it. We have curated the most commonly asked questions about chamfers and answered them just for you. Read on!

How to Chamfer Copper Pipes?

Good chamfering tools will work on the copper pipes in a similar way as they do with PVC pipes. All you need to do is to get an expert who is familiar with the process and has good quality and robust tools.

Usually, chamfering of copper pipes is done by removing any burrs and raised edges inside the pipe and smoothen them for wider use and application. It is important to remove the burrs from the pipe because if left as it is, they may lead to issues including creating weird and disturbing sound.

A pro tip is that you must clean the copper pipe thoroughly after the chamfering process to ensure all the spots on the pipe are gone.

How to Chamfer PVC Pipes by Hand?

A PVC pipe is an important part of the plumbing and construction process. No construction can ever be complete without installing PVC pipes in some form or the other.

To chamfer a PVC pipe, you need to file, scrape, or grind away the outer 90 degrees on the end. The purpose of this is to basically scrape off the sharp edges. If you don’t chamfer the pipe, the sharp edges may actually damage the sealant leading to a weak joint. This may not pose a problem immediately, but may lead to leakages in the long run.

Hence, chamfering is important to smoothen the pipes and create long-lasting and robust joints.

What Are the Advantages of Chamfered Pipes?

Now that it is established that chamfering of pipes are incredibly popular in the plumbing world, one may ask what is the benefit of chamfered pipes? We list a few for your perusal.

  • The pipes and machines that are chamfered are easier to use.
  • They are robust and long lasting and are low maintenance.

How to Pick the Right Chamfering Tools for Plumbing?

A chamfer cutter or a toolkit can be found online or at any good hardware store. While picking one, you must check if they are utilitarian and serve both aesthetic and functional purposes.

There are different types of cutters. Some are pointed and some are flat. You need to pick the cutters based on your need. Sometimes, people buy more than one cutter because they may have its utility in a project.

A good way to go about it is to pick blades and cutters as per your needs and the scope of the project. If you are a professional, you are likely to need many types of tools for plumbing, so you can even invest in a few types.

The Final Word

A chamfer is an important ingredient of plumbing and must be treated as such. It makes plumbing easier by bringing together different fixtures together. The best part about this is that it is not even difficult to do.

Besides, it adds greatly to the overall appeal of your plumbing needs while also making pipes and surfaces more functional. If you are unsure about it, you should always consult a professional who will take care of all things.

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