What is an Internal Pipe Cutter? Why is it Useful?


An internal pipe cutter (also called inside pipe cutter) is a pipe cutter made for cutting pipes from the inside. Often made from heat-treated steel, inside pipe cutters contain a saw-toothed blade that attaches to a power drill similar to a drill bit. The electric drill spins the blade, allowing you to cut the inside of a pipe.

Why is an internal pipe cutter useful?

Internal pipe cutters are useful for a few reasons. 

First off, these pipe cutters allow you to cut pipes larger than 2 inches. A standard pipe cutter will be very effective for smaller pipes, but are useless for larger pipes. An internal pipe cutter is able to cut upward of 10 inches, making it much more effective for large pipes. Internal pipe cutters are also relatively cheap compared to manual and ratcheting pipe cutters. The most useful aspect to an internal pipe cutter is that it allows you to cut PVC pipes that are in the ground and in tight spaces.

A drawback to owning an internal pipe cutter is that you  need a power drill to operate the internal pipe cutter with. So if you do not own a power drill,  purchasing one will add to the overall cost. Another drawback is that you will need to deburr the pipe after you cut it, which you would not need to do with a standard pipe cutter. 

How To Use an Internal Pipe Cutter?

To use an internal pipe cutter, simply place the cutter into the drill chuck and tighten it down until the blade is stable. Ensure the drill is disconnected from the power source when you are inserting the blade. 

Once the blade is inserted, connect the power source to the drill, and place the blade into the pipe you are looking to cut.

Line up the blade, and turn on the drill. The pipe cutter will begin spinning. Rotate the drill in a circular motion as the blade spins for a consistent cut.

Once the cut is complete, power off the drill and use a deburring tool to clean the edge of the tubes.

For a visual representation, check out the video below (timestamped at 1:30):

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