Making mortises for mortise and tenon joints can be difficult sometimes. But with a chain mortiser in hand, you can create as many mortises as you want especially when you’re working with heavy duty wood like timber frames and logs for log home buildings.
Mortise and tenon joints still remain one of the strongest and neatest joints you can ever use for your projects.
But making them by hand is never an option, especially when you have a large number of joints to produce. A chain mortiser will make the work far easier and save you a lot of time.
Which chain mortiser is the best for cutting mortises
When it comes to choosing power tools like this, the quality of the tool should be your top priority. Because at the end of the day, you don’t want to end up with a tool that will break down after cutting only one mortise.
Or one that will produce rough cuts.
Efficiency is another thing you should consider. You need a chain mortiser that will make quick work of each mortise and save you time, allowing you to do more work in less time.
Considering this, here are my top choices for you.
Makita 7104L 10.5 Amp chain mortiser
If you need a chain mortiser to cut mortises in large dense lumber, the Makita 7104L chain mortiser is definitely one of the best ones you can bet your money on.
Equipped with a 10.5 Amp motor, it’s capable of producing a speed of 3,200 rpm and bore mortise holes through thick and dense lumber easily.
With it, you can cut lap joints up to 5-1/8 inches in size. It comes with an adjustable vise which can attach to logs as large as 12-1/8 inches in thickness.
The razor sharp chains it comes with, capable of cutting at speeds of 1000 ft/min means you can cut clean and accurate cuts with it all day without any trouble.
For a chain mortiser with these features, the Makita 7104L weighs just 38.1 lbs which is very portable if you ask me.
Included in the kit is a cutter chain, a sharpening holder, a wrench to set it up and oil to get it running as smooth as possible.
Mafell LS 103Ec Chain Mortiser
Mafell prides their LS 103Ec chain mortiser as the fastest chain mortiser because it does not require clamping to start mortising with it.
If you ask me, they aren’t bragging. The Mafell LS 103Ec is really fast. Unlike the Makita, you don’t have to clamp the Mafell mortiser to the lumber you’re working on.
The chain in the Mafell cuts in the crosscutting direction, so immediately you set it down and start cutting, it literally hugs the lumber and stays put until you finish cutting the slot.
It comes in 120V and 240V depending on what you want. The chain bar is also available in 1.5 inches and 2.0 inches as per your specs.
The chain is chrome-hardened and does not require lubrication to work with it. It has a max mortising depth of 5-7/8 inches which is enough to make most mortises. Talking about chain mortisers, Mafell invented the first on in 1926, and today their LS 103Ec is undoubtedly still one of the best ones you can get your hands on.