September 23

How To Properly Bevel PVC Pipe

PVC pipes are excellent tools for building, plumbing, and other DIY projects, and they can be incredibly secure when joined together.

However, to keep them at their best when joining them, there are a few things you should do first. For starters, you’re going to need to bevel the pipes properly. 

Today we’re going to be looking into the importance of beveling your PVC plastic pipes as well as the proper technique of how to do just that. Let’s get started! 

What Do We Mean By Beveling? 

Beveling a pipe simply means to file the edge at 90 degrees to create a straight edge on an angle less than 90 degrees which will give you a pipe bevel.

Filing the pipe will produce shavings which will be discarded as they are no longer useful. Once the pipe has been fully filed, it will be considered beveled. 

Plastic pipes are solvent-welded with solvent cement glue, which means the joining surfaces are covered in solvent which will temporarily soften the plastic while two pieces are being joined together. Before you reach this stage, it’s important to understand how to prepare PVC piping for cutting.

The solvent cement glue will evaporate in time, leaving the two pipes permanently bonded and back to their original strength. 

Bevelling the pipes can help with misalignment when the pipes bond together and maximize glue contact area.

This is because two 90-degree edges on the pipes will dig into one another and struggle to bond in a cohesive manner. 

What Angle Should You Bevel Your PVC Pipe To?

The ideal bevelling angle for a PVC pipe should be between 22.5 and 45 degrees, and achieving this precision starts with knowing how to mark or score a PVC pipe.

However, if you do not manage to keep the exact same angle all of the way around the pipe’s circumference, don’t worry.

As long as the bevel is somewhere between these two angles, then it will suffice. 

What Tools Can Be Used For Beveling A Pipe?

You can use a number of tools for bevelling plastic, so you’ll have to find out which one works best for you.

Let’s take a look at our bevel recommendations and some of the different ways that you can bevel pipes, depending on the size of the pipes and the files. 

Small Pipes Less Than 50mm 

When bevelling these super small pipes, you might find it best to use an emery cloth rather than an actual file.

Wrap the emery clothes around one of your fingers and rub it along the side of the pipe to file it down. 

Don’t use sandpaper for this as it won’t be flexible enough to work around the small circumference of the pipe, and therefore will quickly disintegrate. 

Sandpaper works better for large diameter plastic pipe beveling.

Flat Or Round Files

Flat or rounded files are good in most cases for filing small pieces of plastic, and they can offer you better control of the bevel. These can work well on a smaller plastic pipe.

However, you might find it time consuming to be using a 90mm file all of the way around your pipes, especially if you’re trying to join multiple pvc glued joints together. 

Paint Scrapers

A good option is a paint scraper, and this can be used for any pipe over the size of 50mm.

Paint scrapers can be very effective at bevelling, and they will get the job done quickly.

However, it will take a little time to adjust to the movement, so bear this in mind when starting with your best pipes. 

Flapper Discs

Using flapper discs on a grinder or battery powered drill can be very beneficial and effective for pipes over 90mm in size.

Again, this is a fast beveling technique that will require some practice to get perfect. So, if you are working with a larger plastic pipe, then this could work for you.

Grinder Discs

Grinder discs on a chop saw can be used to cut all pipes while also creating a bevel on them as well. After cutting, it’s crucial to smooth out the edges of PVC for a perfect finish.

This will save you plenty of time, but it can also be quite dangerous too. If you’re in doubt, always follow the correct safety procedures! 

If none of the above seem right for you, then you could always try a cordless portable pipe beveler or look for complete beveling kits! They’re simple to use and get the job done!

How To Correctly Bevel A Pipe With A Half Round File

How To Properly Bevel PVC Pipe (1)

Today we’re going to focus on beveling pipes with the half round file, as this is something that most people are going to have if they’re completing a DIY project.

Alternatively, most first time pipe bevelers won’t have a chop saw to hand, making those instructions quite niche. 

A half round file is a lightweight tool that is easy to use, and flat on one side while convex on the other.

This allows you to use the file in a number of different ways, making it very multi-functional and useful.

However, you may want to use a guide as a guide plate eliminates guesswork. So, let’s look at how you properly bevel a PVC pipe. 

Step One

You won’t need much prep time, just grab your tools and you’re good to go. For this method, the only tool you will need is a half round file as this should give you even distribution.

The first step you’re going to take is to bevel the outside of the PVC pipe. Take the flat side of your half round file and hold it at 45 degrees against the outside edge of the pipe’s end.

Drag the file up and down until the file begins producing shavings of the pipe. This should help you remove any sharp edges in a safe and speedy way.

Don’t hold it too firm against the pipe that you shave too much off, but at the same time don’t hold it too loose that you shave nothing off.

Continue filing this spot until you’re happy that the entire section has been bevelled to 45 degrees for a consistent result.

Now move onto the next section of the pipe, which will be right next to the area you just bevelled.

It should be easier to file to the correct angle now that you have a guide next to you. 

Continue in this same manner until the entire circumference of the pipe has been bevelled on the outside. Continue consistently beveling the sharp edges to eliminate damage.

Step Two

Now you need to bevel the inside of the second pipe.

This will allow the best joining to take place with the solvent, whilst also keeping the pipe interiors snag free. Internal bevels on plastic pipe can be a little tricky, but we’ve got you covered.

Use the rounded side of the file this time, creating a 45 degree angle on the inside. This will join the outside bevel to create a pointed edge. 

Continue all the way around the inside of the plastic pipe until you’re happy with your bevelled pipe.


We hope that you have found our article helpful and have learned some valuable insights into the world of bevelling!

Pipe bevelers can be used to add bevels to your pvc pipes to help your DIY project go as smoothly as possible.

Plastic pipe can be tricky to work with, but once you do it a few times, you’ll get the hang of it.

This is an excellent skill that can make joining plastic pipes much easier and more secure, as well as keeping them looking their best!


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