If you are performing some DIY around the house, you may find yourself in a pickle when trying to fit the PVC piping especially if PVC pipe is sticking out of the ground.
Whatever you are fitting it for – guttering, pipes within the house, or your own little custom-made project – there is going to come a point where you are not only to have to measure and fit the pipe, but cut it to size as well.
The thing is with cutting piping is that you want to get it right the first time.
While PVC is not expensive, it is certainly annoying to constantly have to buy or replace piping you ended up cutting too long or in the wrong place.
As such, we are here to talk about the most effective ways for cutting PVC pipe and the pros and cons of the different ways as well.
PVC Pipe Cutters
PVC cutters are a two-part tool that is designed to deliver a clean and precise cut to PVC piping.
They have a press that will apply cutting pressure to one part of the tool while the other will hold the piping steady, ensuring it is held in place and providing an even cut.
These are very effective in cutting PVC pipes and will not cause much damage to the pipe, meaning it can be easily joined together or used for other purposes if needed.
A PVC cutter is also quite inexpensive, generally ranging from $10 to $20 in price.
If you are performing a lot of cutting, you may find this is a good solution, especially if you do it regularly for DIY projects.
The one issue with the PVC cutters is that they require pressure to use, and that pressure comes from your hand.
No matter what way you say it, that pressure is going to hurt after a while, and you will probably pull a muscle or sprain your wrist, after only a couple of hours.
- Easy to use.
- Safe and clean cuts.
- Wrist strain.
Handsaws, also known as hacksaws, are a very effective way to cut PVC pipes. They are easy to use and come in a range of different sizes to cut different sizes of PVC piping.
Handsaws are incredibly cheap PVC cutting tools, and honestly you probably already have one at home for other things, so if you are just cutting the odd bit of piping around the house, then this is a very effective way to do it.
Handsaws also give you a lot of flexibility, as you can position the cutting blade to cut at the angle you want.
If you have to make a corner cut for the pipe, then that can easily be achieved with a handsaw, and you can even make indentations in it, if you want to join two pieces together without glue or wiring.
However, the problem with using a hacksaw as a plastic pipe cutter is that they tend to cause more damage to the pipe.
While you can file the ends of the pipe or deburr them to make them clean, they can be a bit of a hassle and time-consuming to get right.
This also creates a lot of mess, as the cut is never as clean as you would hope.
So, even though handsaws are readily available and easy to use, there will be some additional work in the sanding down of the jagged pipe and the cleaning up of PVC plastic snowflakes.
- Cheap and probably already in your home.
- Simple to use and flexible.
- Jagged edges to the pipe mean extra work.
- Mess, mess everywhere.
A cable saw is really just a thin, durable metal cable that has handles on both ends.
You would secure the pipe steady in place, loop the cable over the pipe, and pull it tight with the handles.
Then, pulling the left and then right handle one at a time while maintaining pressure on the pipe, slowly cut your way through the pipe.
This method is very easy to do and requires minimal effort, once you have the technique down.
Cable saws are readily available from DIY stores, though you are unlikely to find them in big supermarkets, like handsaws.
The cut is incredibly clean, and the cable will not move from where you want to cut, as long as you maintain pressure.
Due to the nature of how you are cutting the pipe, it shouldn’t take that long to cut through the plastic, either.
However, there are a couple of downsides. Cable saws take a little bit of time to get used to, and it can be a bit tricky to learn how to use them.
They are also not much use for cutting things that are not circular shaped and will make uneven cuts on anything that is another shape, like a square.
Another thing to note is that even though the cut is clean, it will still require some deburring on the pipe, as there will be a couple of jagged edges.
- Easy to do (once you have learned the technique).
- Quick to do.
- Cut is clean.
- It can be hard to learn the technique.
- Will still require some deburring of the material.
Electric Miter Saw
The final way to effectively cut PVC pipe is to use an Electric Miter saw.
This is a saw that is designed to cut plastic, wood, and metal easily and can be set to cut the pipe to the exact length required.
The nice thing about miter saws is that they are designed to be quick and easy to use. They are also very precise and will help you cut the pipe to the perfect length each time.
However, miter saws are very expensive, and it is unlikely that you would buy one unless you used it regularly.
The other thing about Electric Miter saws is that the saw blade is scary as hell. Make sure to only use it with a miter box for safety.
If you use it wrong, you could lose a limb or a few fingers.
- Extremely quick.
- Very precise and easy to use.
There are many ways to cut PVC pipe in an accurate and effective way, with pros and cons for each method.
Take a look at each one and see which best suits you before trying to cut anymore piping.