Cutting PVC Pipe: What You Should Know

Cutting PVC pipe can be a pain if done incorrectly. How big the PVC pipe is and the cutting method you use will determine whether you have a clean cut or not. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the steps on how to cut PVC pipe of any size without hassle. Let’s get started.

What tool do you use to cut PVC pipe?

You can use a PVC pipe cutter or a saw to cut PVC pipe. PVC pipe cutters were designed specifically for PVC, and they come in 3 main types: wheel pipe cutters, ratchet pipe cutters, and inside pipe cutters. You can also use a hacksaw or a miter saw.

What is the best tool to cut PVC pipe?

The best tool to cut PVC pipe is a PVC pipe cutter. The best PVC pipe cutters will last a long time and are easy and efficient to use. Milwaukee’s M12 PVC pipe cutter is a great tool for those looking for a recommendation. It can cut pipes up to 2 inches with minimal effort and is made from a high-quality brand. If the M12 pipe cutter is too pricey for you, a good mid-tier option is the Ridgid pipe cutter.

What’s the easiest way to cut PVC pipe?

The easiest way to cut PVC pipe will depend on your specific scenario. If you are trying to cut PVC pipe that hasn’t been installed, then a ratcheting pipe cutter or a miter saw would be your best option. Both are simple to use, and both allow for a quick cut. If the diameter of the pipe is large, then using the miter saw would be the easiest option.

If you are dealing with pipes in tight, hard-to-reach areas, then a wheel pipe cutter would be the easiest option. They are smaller than ratchet pipe cutters, and they are able to cut harder metals like steel. 

If you are dealing with large vertical pipes, then an inside pipe cutter would be the best way to cut it. The method you choose will always be dependent on the specific scenario.

Is PVC pipe easy to cut?

PVC pipes are easy to cut, especially if the PVC pipe is 2 inches or less in diameter. As long as you have a pipe cutter, hacksaw, or miter saw, you should not have any trouble.

How do you cut PVC cleanly?

In order to cut PVC pipe cleanly, you will need to use a type of pipe cutter that requires minimal deburring to the end of the pipe. The two options for cutting PVC pipe cleanly are using a ratchet pipe cutter or using a wheel pipe cutter.

PVC Pipe Cutter vs Hacksaw

The main difference between the two is that PVC pipe cutters are efficient at cutting smaller PVC pipes, but struggle with larger diameter pipes. Hacksaws are great at cutting both small and large PVC pipes, but do require more effort due to the back and forth saw motion required.

You’ll get easier cuts with PVC pipe cutters due to the nature of the pipe cutter blades, which cut from above and below the pipe. Hacksaws come in contact with the pipe from one side, which makes getting a clean cut more difficult. 

Cutting PVC Pipe With A PVC Pipe Cutter

Tools Needed

• PVC Pipe Cutter
• Sandpaper
• Tape measure
• Pencil
• Miter Box (optional)

  1. Mark the length to be cut with a pencil. Keep in mind that you should always cut the longest pieces first. This is so you’ll be able to use more of the pipe.
  2. Cut with the best PVC pipe cutter possible. The easiest to use is a simple ratchet-style cutter available online or at a local hardware store.
  3. Line up the pencil mark with the pipe cutter blade, then cut on the inside edge of your mark.
  4. When done, remove any burrs with a medium flat file or 80 to 100-grit sandpaper. Use a rat-tail file or knife for the inside of the pipe, if needed.

Note: You can also cut the pipe with a hack saw. To make a straight cut, place the pipe into a miter box. Wedge a piece of scrap wood between the pipe and the side of the miter box to brace it securely. Then hold or fasten the miter box securely on a solid work surface. Cut on the inside edge of your pencil mark.

Cutting PVC Pipe With A Hacksaw

Tools Needed

• Hacksaw
• Sandpaper
• Tape
• Tape Measure
• Pencil
• Miter Box (optional)

  1. Measure the length of PVC pipe you want to cut, and mark with a pencil. Wrap masking tape (I used duct tape for contrast) around the pipe. Draw a line with a pencil around the pipe at the edge of the tape.
  2. Remove the tape.
  3. To cut, hold the pipe steady in a miter box or bench vise.
  4. Cut with a hacksaw, using a back and forth motion.
  5. When the top of hacksaw touches the “top” of the pipe, turn it over to finish cutting.

Caution: Be certain to wear a proper protective dust mask or respirator as you cut the pipe. You don’t want to breath in the fine PVC dust particulates, which can be dangerous to your health.

Can you cut PVC pipe with a knife?

You can cut PVC pipe with a knife, but you will not get the cleanest possible cut. Your success will vary depending on the diameter of the pipe and how sharp the knife is. The larger the pipe is, the less likely you will be able to cut it. In addition, cutting PVC pipes with a knife poses additional risks. The best way to cut PVC will always be by using a saw or a PVC pipe cutter.

How do you cut 2 inch PVC pipe?

The simplest way to cut 2 inch PVC pipe is by using a ratchet-style pipe cutter. Simply line up the blade with where you want the cut to be, and begin ratcheting the pipe cutter until it completely cuts the pipe.

How do you mark and cut PVC pipe straight?

In order to mark and cut PVC pipe straight:

  1. Mark where you want cut the pipe with a pencil.
  2. Line up the pipe cutter blade with the mark.
  3. Hold the pipe firmly, and then cut on the inside edge of your mark. 

If you need to mark larger diameter pipes, then wrapping the pipe in tape before you mark the area to be cut in pencil is your best bet.

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