Latta Radius Cutter Lie-Nielsen Toolworks

Latta Radius Cutter



Latta Radius Cutter

For scribing inlay grooves in a radius. 11/16" minimum radius. Maximum is 4" without the addition of Extension Rods. Cutter is .032" thick. Thicker blades also available. Powder-Coated Aluminum body, Steel rods. Additional Pivot Point included. Patent pending.

Optional Radius Cutter Extension Rods offer a greater range of radii. Can be combined with more than one pair as needed.

Click here to view our YouTube video on Sharpening the Radius Cutter.

Click here to download a PDF copy of the instructions for this tool.

Our collaboration with Educator/ Cabinetmaker, Steve Latta, began in 2006, when he approached us about designing a selection of inlay tools based on the tools he’d developed over many years of studying and creating 18th century furniture. Our inlay tools are the first commercially available tools designed specifically for stringing inlay. These tools cut precisely and are easily adjusted. Additional blade thickness offer maximum design flexibility.


Powder-Coated Aluminum body, Steel rods & pivot point, Other parts are Brass.

Blade Specs:

Blades are made of Spring Steel hardened to RC 52. The standard blade is .030" (.762mm) thick. Thicker blades (.041", .055", and .062") are also available. Thicker blades are hardened to Rc 45-50.


You can take a minimum radius of 11/16" (1.74cm). The maximum radius is 4" (10.16cm), although with the addition of extension rods you can create a radius far larger.

Cutting an arc:

Set the distance from the tip to the pivot point and lock the body in place. Lean the cutter and score a line through the wood fibers using only one point of the tip. Then, lean the cutter and score a line using the other tip. Bring the tool perpendicular to the surface and excavate between the score lines to a depth of about 1/16”. When you are first getting familiar with the tool, do not be surprised if the indent left by the pivot point is quite large. With practice, the size will diminish.

When arcs cross or intersect each other, cut and fill the first arc. After the glue has set for a few minutes (yellow glue is recommended) and the stringing has been leveled to the surface, cut the second arc slicing right through the stringing of the first. This method saves time and leads to cleaner work.

The cutting tips must be sharp. To check, angle the tool so that only one Radius Cutter tooth makes contact with the wood surface. Make a cut cross-grain. Roll the tool back and repeat the process with the other tooth. The cutting action should slice rather than tear the fibers. Keep in mind, soft or spongy woods are more likely to tear. If tearing occurs, the tips need to be filed until they function like a knife. Examine the tips of the teeth. If there are any flat spots, indicated by a reflection at the very tip of a tooth, the point needs to be re-established using a small triangular file.

Extension Rods:

3" extension rods are available by the pair. Rods mate seamlessly, offering smooth adjustment for a much greater range of radii.

Pivot Points:

Your Radius Gauge comes with two interchangeable pivot points. The longer point should be used if you’re pivoting off of your work surface. The shorter point is designed to work in conjunction with a piece of polycarbonate to prevent indentations in the work surface.

For more information on using the Radius Cutter and how to use stringing inlay in your work, we recommend Steve Latta’s DVD Fundamentals of Inlay: Stringing, Line & Berry.


Grind outside bevels on an edge sander, sanding belt or grinding wheel, using a medium grit belt (120-150). To file the inside edges, use a 4" double extra slim tapered file. Hold the file perpendicular to the blade, and angled at 45º (this will line it up with both bevels).

File lightly, touching both teeth at the same time, until you no longer see light reflecting off the points.

Make sure that the tips of the two teeth remain even. After filing, smooth the faces of the cutter on a honing stone.


Materials and workmanship are guaranteed for the life of your tool. Call for repairs or replacement parts. We are available for advice if you ever have a problem using your tool.

Proposition 65 Notice:

Bronze and brass alloys contain lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects, or other reproductive harm. Wash hands after handling.