How to use a pipe cutter

What is a pipe cutter and how can it be used?

Pipe cutters are tools used to cut PVC and metal pipes. They are easy to use, because they can be used for cutting by a simple turning motion . They are very useful because they are quiet, cut straight, and have a wide range of uses. Here are some tips on how to use them effectively.


How to use a pipe cutter

Many people may think of a saw first and foremost when cutting materials, but a saw cannot cut metal pipes. With a pipe cutter, even a metal pipe can be cut by simply placing the blade on the part to be cut, turning it, and rotating it several times. A wide range of materials can be cut, including copper, brass, aluminum, PVC, and stainless steel pipes.

Copper tube


Brass tube


Aluminum tube


Vinyl chloride tube


Stainless steel tube


First, select a pipe cutter with a diameter that matches the size of the pipe to be cut. Secure the pipe with a vise, etc., and turn the knob of the pipe cutter to widen the opening. Place the cut end against the pipe and turn the knob again.


Once the pipe cutter is secured, turn it back and forth two or three times at a 90-degree angle, and then make a cut all the way around. The direction of rotation should be blade first. After making the cut line, check that the line is straight. If the line is double or distorted, adjust it again so that it does not wobble.

When the line is ready to be used as a guide, tighten the knob slightly. While turning the pipe cutter several times, gradually deepen the cut. Do not try to cut all at once, as this will easily distort the cross section and damage the cutter blade. Once you start cutting, do not remove the cutter in the middle of the cut.

When cutting a pipe, burrs will form on the cross section. The cross section is not smooth, and chips are attached. If you use the cutter only for PVC pipes, it is not necessary because burrs are unlikely to appear, but some pipe cutters can also remove burrs together with the cutter. Before chamfering, close the cutter blade, put the knob over it, and rotate it clockwise.

Cautions for use

Although pipe cutters are very simple to use, over-tightening may crush the pipe. Be careful not to use too much force, especially with stainless steel or copper pipes. Too much force will deform the thin metal and cause the blade to dig in. Flexible materials such as vinyl chloride can be cut with a little tightening force. If the pressure is too weak, cutting may not be possible or the cut surface may become dirty due to misalignment.

When cutting, do not try to cut all at once or the line will shift. Fix the pipe body firmly in a vise, etc., and make sure that the pipe cutter is not wobbling. Even if it is troublesome, always start with a guideline and then cut the pipe gradually in several cuts. You will get a better sense of how it feels after you have cut a variety of materials several times.

Pipe cutters are easy to handle, but the cut surface is slightly raised. If you need a flat cutting surface, a saw may be a better choice. When using a saw, it is important to note that it produces chips and requires skill to cut straight. Whether you choose a saw or a pipe cutter depends on the application and situation.

Also, the inside of the cutter has a blade, which is very sharp. To prevent injury from touching the blade, be careful not to put your fingers on the inside. Compared to knives and saws, it is easier to use with less direct contact with the blade, but always be aware that it has a blade.


Pipe cutters are very inexpensive tools, and the advantage is that you can use one right away on the job site. It is easy to adjust the pipe to the desired length when the size of the pipe does not fit. Once you get the hang of it, it is easy to use and does not require much strength to cut. Anyone can handle them, so it is a good idea to have a pair of easy-to-use pipe cutters on site.