What is a Pipe Cutter?


A pipe cutter (also called a tube cutter) is a plumbing tool designed to cut pipes and tubing. Pipe cutters come in different shapes and sizes, and are often used by plumbers and other tradespeople.

What is a pipe cutter used for?

Pipe cutters are used for cutting pipes to ensure the correct pipe length for an installation. They are also used in situations where damaged sections of a pipe need to be removed and replaced.

Why use a pipe cutter?

Pipe cutters have some advantages to them. The main advantage is that that they can provide a cleaner cut to a pipe than a hacksaw would. This advantage means less deburring is required, thus minimizing the overall effort needed to complete a project. Pipe cutters are also easy to use and relatively inexpensive, making them a great tool for plumbers.

What are the different types of pipe cutters?

Pipe cutters can be classified into 4 main groups and are designed to cut different types of plumbing pipes:

  • Wheel pipe cutters – These pipe cutters are effective in small or awkward areas and are circular-shaped.
  • Ratchet pipe cutters – These pipe cutters utilize ratcheting to cut pipes, and look similar to pruning shears.
  • Internal pipe cutters – These pipe cutters are also known as inside pipe cutters, and they have the ability to cut the inside of a pipe. They usually come in the form of a drill bit.
  • Chain pipe cutters – These pipe cutters are also called soil pipe cutters, and utilize a chain for cutting pipes.

How does a pipe cutter work?

How a pipe cutter works depends on the type of pipe cutter you use.

  • Wheel pipe cutters are cutters are round, and contain a wheel that acts as a blade. As the pipe cutter rotates around the pipe, the wheel begins to cut the pipe.
  • Ratcheting pipe cutters have a ratcheting function that allows you to adjust the width between the blades. This function allows you to cut pipes of various sizes. Simply squeeze the handles of the pipe cutter for the pipe to be cut.
  • Inside pipe cutters attach to a power drill and allow you to cut pipes from the inside. Simply power on the power drill to begin cutting the pipe.

What materials can a pipe cutter cut?

Pipe cutters are specialized in cutting many different pipe materials. These materials include:

Will a pipe cutter cut stainless steel pipes?

Yes, stainless steel pipes can be cut by pipe cutters. You will need to get a pipe cutter specialized in cutting stainless steel, such as the Ridgid 65S or the Ridgid 35S. Both of these pipe cutters utilize stainless steel cutter wheels, which makes cutting stainless steel pipes relatively easy.

Will a pipe cutter cut aluminum pipes?

Yes, aluminum pipes can be cut by specialized pipe cutters. One example is the Ridgid Close Quarters cutter, which can cut aluminum pipes as well as other materials.

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