Trying to get a clean cut when it comes to flexible PVC piping can be a daunting task. Unlike its standard harder PVC plastic cousin, the flexible PVC pipe tends to move around as you cut through it.
If you haven’t used the right tools or methods, this can mean that you don’t get the clean, straight, smooth cut that you’re after.
Today, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about how to cut flexi PVC piping so that you can get the best results every time!
So no matter what type of flexi PVC piping you have opted for, you will have results that you can rely on time and time again.
So let’s take a look at how you cut flexi PVC piping so you have all the essential information that you need!
What Is The Difference Between Flexible PVC Pipe And Rigid PVC Pipe?
Flex pvc pipes tend to have more plasticisers in them to make them more flexible and supple, whereas a rigid pvc pipe will tend to have little to no plasticisers to make them sturdier, and more rigid or stiff.
How Do You Cut Flexible PVC Pipe?
It may surprise you to learn that the best methods for cutting flexible PVC piping are the very same methods that you use for cutting standard PVC piping.
The key to getting the clean cut that you are after will be in the preparation of your flexi PVC pipe.
First, you will need to accurately measure the flexi PVC pipe that you wish to cut. Then, you will need to mark your pipe where exactly you will be cutting it.
It will be best to use a cable tie, a piece of paper, or some string to help you make a circular mark with your marker pen around the entirety of your flexi PVC pipe.
This will then help you to see where you’re cutting as you move through the pipe, and allow you to easily correct yourself if the hacksaw or pipe cutters go awry on the material.
Next, you will need to secure your flexible PVC pipe in a set of clamps on your workbench so that it doesn’t move as much.
This will better allow you to make the accurate cut that you are after. You can then use either a hacksaw or a set of pipe cutters to get the clean, straight cut that you are aiming for.
What Is The Best Tool To Cut Flexible PVC Pipe?
Plastic pipe fittings can be difficult to get to with some tools.
The best tools for cutting your PVC pipes include a hacksaw, rotator pipe cutters, ratchet pipe cutters, a miter saw, or nylon string.
However, which one you choose depends on the outer diameter of the pipe and the pipe size.
If you haven’t installed your PVC pipe, then it will be best to use either a set of pipe cutters or a hacksaw.
This is because you can securely clamp your pipe in place, then use either of these professional tools to get the clean cut that you are after.
Remember that for cutting flexible PVC pipe, you will need to secure your PVC piping in the clamp on your workbench so that you can use these tools to cut the surface properly.
If you were to try and balance the flexible PVC pipe against your leg or another surface, it would then flex with the pressure from your hand holding it in place.
The pressure from pressing down on the pipe as you cut it will also cause it to bend around your knee or the surface, giving a wonky cut instead of a straight one.
This will also be the best procedure to follow in terms of safety. You won’t want to accidentally slip and slice into your leg with the hacksaw as that will be a one way trip to the ER!
By following some basic safety precautions and securing your flexible PVC piping in a clamp, you can get the results you’re after, and avoid any unwanted accidents.
You should also always measure first where you are going to cut the pipe, and mark the point out before using clamps to avoid any mistakes when cutting pipe.
How Do You Cut Flexible PVC Pipe Without A Saw?
If your flexible PVC pipe is already installed, and you need to cut it for whatever reason, this can make things a little tricky.
You’ll struggle to get your pipe cutters or hacksaw anywhere near the pipe if it’s in an enclosed space such as a corner, which is why understanding the methods for cutting PVC pipes in difficult-to-reach places is crucial.
You won’t be able to cut the flexible pipe without likely damaging the things around the pipe.
This is where a PVC wire saw will come in handy. This is a piece of equipment that features thick metal wire with small loop handles on either end.
You can slip this PVC wire saw behind the flexi PVC pipe material, line it up with where you want to cut the PVC, and then move the wire using the handles in a back and forth motion.
This will build up friction, which will cause the plastic to become hot, and the metal wire will slice through it as you move it back and forth.
If you don’t have a PVC wire saw to hand, you can also use nylon string or any other type of synthetic string instead, or explore alternative methods to cut PVC pipes.
This will create the friction you need to straight cut through PVC pipes placed in awkward places and tight spaces without damaging the surroundings.
How To Finish Cutting PVC Pipe
After you have cut your PVC pipe, depending on what tool you used, you may find that you are left with a bit of a rough edge around the inside diameter and outside of the plastic.
These rough parts are called burrs, and so you will have to remove burrs with a deburring tool.
Simply place the deburring tool on the tubing of the pipe and apply a small amount of pressure to the surface to shave down the material and create a soft, straight edge.
Then, you can sand off any remaining bits to give it the perfect finish with some sandpaper.
And there you have it!
Even though flexible PVC piping may seem to be a trickier thing to tackle than its hard PVC plastic counterpart, this is actually still super easy to cut with much the same methods.
The main thing to note is that you will need to accurately measure the length of the flexi PVC pipe you will need, and to use a marker pen to mark this clearly around the length of the pipe.
Next, you will need to secure your flexi pipe in a clamp on your workbench.
This will ensure that the flexible pipe doesn’t move too much when you’re sawing away at it, and that you are able to get the clean cut that you are after.
You can use pretty much the same methods that you use for standard PVC piping, including a hacksaw, miter saw, and pipe cutters, but understanding how PVC cutters work can also be beneficial.
Although, we would not recommend a reciprocating saw as the teeth can get clogged, or the PVC can shatter easily.
If you don’t have any of these tools to hand, you can also use the method of nylon string and instead use friction to cut straight through the flexible PVC pipe for you.