In this video, This Old House plumbing and heating contractor Richard Trethewey shares tips for cutting virtually any plumbing pipe.
Steps for Cutting Pipes and Tubing:
- Use a standard tubing cutter to cut copper pipe.
- Tighten the cutter so that its blade just scores the pipe. Rotate the cutter around the pipe.
- Slightly tighten the cutter and rotate it around the pipe several times.
- Repeat until the blade severs the pipe.
- Cut steel pipe with a hacksaw, reciprocating saw, or use a steel-pipe tubing cutter. It works similarly to a copper tubing cutter.
- Saw through plastic PVC pipe with carpenter's handsaw, hacksaw, or use PVC pipe handsaw.
- Plastic pipe can also be cut with a ratcheting PVC cutter. Ratchet the top handle up and down until the blade slices through the pipe.
- To cut PVC pipe below the surface of the floor, use a special PVC blade that mounts in a drill. Run the blade around the inside of the pipe.
- Flexible PEX is easily cut with a specially made PEX tubing cutter.
- To use a cast-iron pipe cutter, start by slipping the cutting chain around the pipe.
- Hook the chain onto the jaw, then ratchet the handle back and forth to snap the pipe in two.