Best Tool For Cutting PVC Pipe

ratchet-style pipe cutter

This guide is designed to be friendly, knowledgeable and to supply options for different people from all settings and backgrounds. Whether you’re a very first time PVC contractor, who has never ever picked up any type of tool, or a skilled PVC lover or maker who uses PVC in daily concepts and activities, this guide should provide a basic manual to cutting PVC pipeline products.

First, we’ll cover all the basics, like general safety directions. Then we’ll enter into what types of tools are offered to use to cut PVC pipe, then we’ll show examples of how to use each tool or method to cut PVC pipeline. Lastly, we’ll talk about some extra PVC control techniques for ending up the cutting procedure and cleaning up and what tools should never ever be used.

Cutting PVC Summary

Compared to wood and metal, PVC has a various approaches readily available to suffice into workable and necessary sizes for a project.

PVC cuts extremely simple. Other products take an incredibly long time to cut when using basic hand tools. PVC on the other hand does not. This is because PVC only requires that, like metal, you cut the outdoors size of the pipe. While wood and metal leave splinters or metal filaments which can be come cumbersome, PVC just leaves behind small traces of plastic particles which can easily be cleaned up by hand without injury.

We provide these cleaning ideas to permit our users to use this inexpensive, easily available pipeline, and to ideally finish their job with very little cost. Its the goal of this field handbook to demonstrate how to bring plumbing-grade PVC pipeline into a (more) appealing look without sacrificing cost.

Consideration for safety is also crucial when bending PVC pipe. When heated, the molecular structure of particular elements of PVC change, launching a few of its chemicals into the air, and with long term exposure, might be hazardous.

Safety First

Just like any handbook that includes tools, particularly involving cutting or drilling, safety has to be discussdev.

Cutting tools can be dangerous.

Every method to cut PVC pipe includes tools that use a cutting blade of some type. Each of these tools can cause serious damage to a specific if not used correctly. Make sure to read, comprehend, and follow all the safety rules that come with your hand or power tools. Failure to do so might cause bodily damage.

  • Safeguard your hands
    Always know where your hands are when cutting PVC pipeline with any tool, be it handbook or power. Constantly clamp, never hold PVC pipe when cutting with a saw.
  • Safeguard your eyes
    Use shatterproof glass, goggles or other eye protection when cutting PVC pipe, as pieces of pipeline can be ejected from the area being cut. This is particularly crucial when using power tools.
  • Safeguard t your lungs
    Wear a mask or respirator. PVC pipeline, when cut, can discharge small particles that can irritate the lungs or throat. PVC, when heated up to its melting point, can also discharge chlorine gas, which with long-lasting exposure, can be hazardous.

Best Tool For Cutting PVC Pipe

PVC pipe is one of the most flexible and helpful structural structure products available, however you still need an approach to reduce it down to the right size. There are many methods (consisting of many types of tools/cutter brands) to cut PVC, however we’ve supplied a few approaches and tools, revealed below, to cut PVC pipeline quickly and safely.

Hacksaw/ Back Saw


The hacksaw or back saw are the most typical approaches to cut lengths of PVC pipeline, as the majority of people already have either one in their tool kit or garage. Hacksaws and back saws work well, but are somewhat time consuming and can cause additional work to de-burr the edges of the cut pipeline. A hacksaw or backsaw is the perfect tool to use if you just need to cut one or numerous pieces of pipe. Back saws usually feature a miter box, and can be used together to make straight, even cuts.

Scissor-Style Pipe Cutter

scissor-style pipe cutter

The scissor-style PVC pipeline cutter is inexpensive and simple to use. They are offered at most hardware shops or home improvement centers in the plumbing area. They are, however, restricted in their cutting capability and can include stress to the hands as they are ideal for smaller tubing. Scissor-style plastic pipe cutters should only be used for 1″ or smaller sized sizes of PVC.

Ratchet-Style Pipe Cutter

ratchet-style pipe cutter

The ratcheting-style pipe cutter is somewhat more pricey than the scissor style pipe cutter; nevertheless, you can do larger pieces of PVC with less effort (as much as 1-1/2″ pipeline in some cases) with these types of PVC cutters. The ratcheting plastic pipeline cutters are offered at your regional hardware shop, or home improvement center, typically in the pipes area. Gradually, they can cause stress on the hands and lower arm, when carrying out frequent cuts.

Power Miter Saw

power miter saw

A power miter saw is ideal when you have to cut big amounts of PVC pipeline. Power miter saws are however, expensive. If you currently own one, or have access to one and you know how to securely use it, you can use the existing wood blade to cut PVC pipeline without purchasing a special blade. Be sure to check out and understand the instructions that are included with the miter saw.

Hacksaw or Back Saw

CAUTION: Be sure to clamp all PVC pipeline with a vise, C-clamps or quick-release clamps. Do not attempt to hold the pipe steady with your hands as injury might result.

Hacksaw/ Back Saw Cutting Steps


Using a measuring tape and a marking tool such as a pencil, mark the point at which you wish to cut the pipe.


As discussed prior to, secure the pipe to a solid surface such as a table. If using a miter box, make certain the box itself if secured to a table. You can use a vice, C-clamps or fast release clamps to protect the pipe to either the table or the miter box.


Before you start sawing, ensure that the modification nut( s) on the hacksaw are hand-tight. Do not over-tighten. A loose blade will cause the cut to wander and not make a straight, even cut down the size of the pipe.


Place the rear of the hacksaw blade on the cut mark, then draw it in reverse to develop a notch in the PVC pipeline. This can be duplicated until there is a specified, but tidy, notch in the pipeline. This notch will function as a guide for all subsequent movements and make it easy to slide the saw backward and forward, without bouncing along the surface area of the pipeline.


Begin cutting with a back-and-forth movement SLOWLY; ensuring that the cut is straight as the hacksaw cuts further into the pipeline. Let the saw do the cutting. Cutting too rapidly at this moment will make the saw wiggle and take you off course of a tidy cut.


When you begin to reach the bottom of the pipe, decrease on the sawing motion and finish the cut smoothly and quickly at an angle to avoid ‘blowout’ of the edge of the pipe.

Scissor-Style Pipe Cutter

CAUTION: Be sure to take breaks between frequent cutting to avoid hand tiredness.

Scissor-Style Pipe Cutter Steps


Using a measuring tape and a marking tool such as a pencil, mark the point at which you want to cut the pipeline.


Hold the pipeline in one hand with the mark you made facing up, and place the pipe inside the pipe cutter system. Make certain that the blade of the cutter is on the cut mark you previously made.


Comprehend the manage with pressure, then slowly turn the pipe cutter around the pipe, ensuring that you stay straight. If the pipeline cutter starts to make a ‘spiral’ and go off to the left or right, reboot the cut, and effort to keep is straight (this is usually caused by grasping too hard).


As soon as you have made one circulate the entire pipeline, use extra pressure and repeat the rotations around the pipe till it is cut through totally.

Ratchet-Style Pipe Cutter

CAUTION: Be sure to take breaks between frequent cutting to prevent hand fatigue.

Ratchet-Style Pipe Cutter Steps


Using a measuring tape and a marking tool such as a pencil, mark the point at which you want to cut the pipe.


As you open the deals with of the ratchet-style pipe, cutter, the blade will also lift. Open the pipeline cutter deals with totally, so that you can fit your pipe in between the blade and the jaw of the pipe cutter.


Hold the pipe one hand with the mark you made facing up, and move the pipe in between the blade and lower jaw. Place the blade of the pipeline cutter on the mark and squeeze the manages up until they enter into contact.


Understand the handle with pressure till it the blade satisfies the mark, then release the manage and duplicate to use the ratcheting action. Continue ratcheting down onto the pipe up until you are completely through the pipe and it separates into two sections.

Power Miter Saw

CAUTION: Miters saws can be very unsafe and can cause deadly injuries if incorrectly used. Be sure to read and understand the directions that included your miter saw. Failure to do so could cause physical harm, or even death

Power Miter Saw Steps


Using a measuring tape and a marking tool such as a pencil, mark the point at which you want to cut the pipe.


Line up your cut mark you made in the previous step on the miter saw throat plate.


Protect the pipeline to the miter saw table with clamps to the miter saw fence. NEVER USE YOUR HANDS. It might be more useful to use a pipeline clamp that has a curved face to it, to properly hold the pipe in place.


Pull the switch trigger and slowly bring the miter saw arm down into and through the pipeline. Bring the miter saw down through the whole pipe, then launch the switch trigger. Allow the blade to stop spinning prior to eliminating the pipeline or raising the blade.


Post-cutting Pipe Cleanup


When using hand saws, such as hacksaws, the back and forth movement of the saw will often produce blowout at the end of the within the pipe, called burrs. These are small bits of PVC plastic that are produced when the sawing action is performed.

The burrs can be irritating and can scratch and make a mess when managing the PVC pipeline. You can eliminate the burrs to relieve any post-cutting mess and to keep things tidy.

To de-burr the end of the cut pipe, you can use among 3 techniques:

  1. Purchase a de-burring tool, which has a tapered cone that spins in a backward and forward motion inside the end of the pipe to remove the burrs.
  2. Use a sharp building knife, box knife or swiss army knife, and run it along the within edge of the pipe.
  3. Use a heavy grade sandpaper and run it along the interior of the pipe. This will assist in loosening up the burrs and cause them fall away.

PVC Cutting Avoidances

The right tool for the right job.

There are a number of techniques that are not suggested to cut PVC pipeline. In spite of the obvious, many people think that cutting PVC is similar to cutting wood, which PVC can be cut using the same tools, and in the same way. This is far from true, as wood and PVC have completely various qualities.


It is not suggested to use any type of power cutting tool where the user moves the pipe INTO the blade, also known as fixed or fixed blade tools. This is due to the curvature of PVC pipeline, and the problem in effectively maintaining a secure keep the curved pipe. Additionally, the curvature causes the saw to come into contact at various points on the curved pipe, and may make the blade ‘bounce’ off the pipe, producing unwanted results or injury.

Some examples of non-recommended power tools are table saws (the PVC pipeline can cause kickback) or band saws (bandsaws are infamous for cracking pipeline that is old and breakable).

It is recommended to use power tools where you protect the PVC pipeline to a surface area with clamps and move the blade into the pipe, such as miters saws, or in some cases even jigsaws or circular saws.


Standard wood saws are not recommended as they do not produce the accurate results that a hacksaw does. Hacksaws have a much thinner blade and cut more exact, whereas wood saws have big teeth and a thick blade.

The bigger teeth of the wood saw do not appropriately enable a great perforation into the pipeline, and can cause more work than required.

1. Prevent using abrasives, such as sandpaper to clean the surface of Furniture Grade PVC. This will scratch the surface area of the PVC pipe and cause a swirling or line result to appear in the pipeline surface, or might leave a dull surface. Just use this technique on plumbing grade PVC pipeline.

2. Don’t use routine home cleaners, unless you are just removing dirt. Regular family cleaners, and other cleaners like bleach will not eliminate the ink or lettering on PVC pipeline which has actually been printed with a special PVC embedding ink.

Last updated on September 16th, 2019

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  1. Gerald Green

    For me to cut pvc pipeline is now very easy by using hacksaw … and bucket ))) Take two “v-cuts” directly across from each other and voila, you have a strong, easy to utilize place to cut through PVC to your heart’s content. The v-cuts don’t totally mess up the bucket, either, so you can still utilize it to hold tools and products after you are done sawing your PVC. It’s simple, guys!