HP and torque are not equivalent. HP = torque x rpm/5252. You can get required torque by appropriate gearing from any given HP but you cannot generally increase HP. Torque is what overcomes the resistance to rotation by the cutting action.
Different motors have different torque curves. If you are looking for low rpm use without gearing as with a VFD, you would be concerned with the motor's low rpm torque characteristics.
If you are using a constant rpm motor with gears or pulleys to reduce or increase rpm and increase or reduce torque, you would go with the higher HP and set your gear/pulley multiplication to get the desired torque and rpm.