There are countless tools accessible when it comes to plumbing and machinery. How does a pipe cutter differ from other tools, and what does it do?
A pipe cutter is used to cut pipes, as the name suggests. This instrument is superior to a hacksaw because it usually produces clean cuts more quickly. It’s a more practical instrument overall than a hacksaw. But it might not always be the best tool for the job depending on the sort of metal the pipe is composed of.
WHAT PURPOSE DOES A PIPE CUTTER SERVE? Plumbers that need to cut through pipelines use a pipe cutter. They have a few clear benefits and drawbacks.
Clean cuts around the surface of a pipe are provided by pipe cutters. Although it is less likely, there is still a chance that they could leave behind ragged or sharp edges. They work nicely for plumbers who are resizing pipes because of their clean cuts.
However, it’s important to consider the cutters’ sizes. The usage of some pipe cutters, such as plastic shears, is restricted to extremely thin pipes. Use a pipe cutter with a cutting wheel for tougher jobs. You won’t locate a cutter that can cut through metal pipes that are exceedingly thick.
HACKSAW OR PIPE CUTTER? It depends on the task whether a pipe cutter or hacksaw is best.
Hacksaws work well on practically any size of plastic and metal. As opposed to pipe cutters, you don’t need to be concerned with the piping’s thickness or diameter.
But you’ll need the pipe cutters if you want a clean cut on the tube’s outside. Remember that there may still be a burr on the interior of the tube. You must remove that burr if you’re working with electrical conduits to prevent the insulation from being torn off the wires.
The same holds true if you cut a liquid pipe with a pipe cutter. The liquid may flow more slowly if there are pointed burrs inside the pipe. In the worst-case situation, damage may result from this.
A PIPE CUTTER’S WORKING MODEL Pruning shears and plastic pipe cutters have similar functions. Simply said, they snip through the tiniest wires and pipes.
But the majority of models employ a cutting wheel. The pipe is cleanly cut through as you work until it is severed by the cutting wheel.
The tool is fairly easy to use. It will be fastened to the pipe. The wheel will then be rotated 360 degrees around that pipe using the handle. The pipe must be rotated multiple times in order to be completely cut through.
The more revolutions you need, the tougher the metal is. The wheel will wear into the already-cut groove to produce a perfect circle. Aluminum and copper, which are soft materials, can be easily sheared through, whereas thick steel or iron tubing will require a lot more rotations.
You can alter the clamp’s size if you have an adjustable pipe cutter. This enables you to cut through a wide range of pipe sizes. But to ensure that the wheel is correctly pressed against the pipe, you’ll need to turn the handle every few turns.
As you crank the wheel, make sure to apply enough of pressure. If you don’t exert enough force on your own, the wheel will simply score the metal rather than cut it.
With manual pipe cutters, the rotation requires both strength and patience. Electric-powered cutters are available for more difficult tasks. These are battery-operated. Their motors complete the entire task in a matter of seconds without requiring you to turn the wheel around the pipe. If you’re a professional who frequently cuts through various materials, you’re more likely to benefit from this kind of model.
PIPE CUTTER TYPES Different pipe cutting tools are optimized for various sizes, thickness ranges, and materials Cutters that can handle both soft and heavy-duty metals will often cost more than ones that can only handle delicate materials.
One of the most prevalent types is a cutter for copper tubing. They come in sizes intended for both small and large pipes. These allow you to hold a pipe in between the cutting wheel and two rollers. The wheel is then swung around the pipe.
Even though copper is the recommended material for use, these can also be utilized with a range of hard plastics and electric metal tubing. But remember that harder metals will make your blade dull.
A variety of copper cutters should be in your toolbox if you’re a skilled plumber.
The size of one type is comparable to your thumb. When working with pipelines in challenging areas, this is ideal. To move the tool around the pipe, you need ample space. Keep in mind that you must exert more effort because these tools can only handle pipes with a diameter of around an inch.
You need also have a basic set of cutters. These are larger in structure and have an easy-grip handle. For faster cutting, it is simple to turn the wheel around the pipe. Additionally, many models include with reaming tools so that you can round the pipe edges before completing any fitting work.
An auto-cutter is an additional choice. There is no need to worry about manual tightening because these tighten automatically with each spin.
PVC pipe is the intended use of a PVC pipe cutter. These shear-like ratcheting cutters are designed for plastic tubing and have a similar appearance. The ratchet moves the blade incrementally as you push the handles to cut through PVC and CPVC pipes.
These types are designed to work with pipes that have a diameter of no more than two inches. If you’re working with small PVC pipes and don’t require any stronger materials, they are quite inexpensive. They aren’t the ideal option for ABS plastics, though.
LAST THOUGHTS For plumbers who want to cut through pipes quickly and cleanly, pipe cutters are crucial hand tools. For most tasks, copper pipe cutters work best. Just bear in mind that if you’re working with cast iron or heavy-duty stainless steel pipes, you’ll likely want to use a hacksaw or steel pipe cutters instead.