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What are Pipe Cutters?

Cutting pipes using a hacksaw blade is usually tedious and often does not produce the result that plumbers want in terms of the cut's smoothness, precision and angle. Pipe cutters are plumbing tools designed to produce clean cuts in a more convenient way with less effort. A pipe cutter is one of those must-have tools, not only for professionals but also for DIY projects and home use.

What are the Different Types of Pipe Cutters Available on the Market?

Similar to how there are different types of pipes, there are different types of pipe cutters. The cutter type is dependent on the tubing material, and this includes copper tubing cutters. As the name suggests, this tool specifically cuts copper pipes. Choosing one that cuts the range of pipes you will be working with is critical. Some types of copper tubing cutters are:

  • Standard Pipe Cutter - it uses rotational blade movement to cut.
  • Thumb Cutter - these are good when working in tight spaces such as behind a toilet. Its operation is similar to the standard cutter with the exception that tightening is thumb controlled.
  • Auto Cutter - this tool requires little working space and is able to tighten automatically when turned.
  • PVC Pipe Cutter - it is an incredible tool when working with plastic pipes. It uses hand squeezing motion to close the cutter ratchets and in the process slices a small piece of the pipe each time.
  • Iron and Galvanized Pipe Cutters - This is a tool whose operation is similar to that of a copper cutter. It is equipped with a thicker and stronger wheel that can handle the thicker and harder walls of heavy duty pipes.
  • Cast Iron (Soil) Snap Cutters - these tools can cut through clay, alloy, concrete pipes, and cast iron. Both scissor and ratchet versions are available.
  • Multi-Purpose Cutters - They are able to cut through more than one tubing material thus making them pocket friendly and versatile.
  • CPVC and PEX Cutters - they are able to slice through CPVC and PEX tubing in just one squeeze. They come in handy when working with PVC conduit.

Choosing a Tubing Cutter

Brands such as Ridgid, Master Plumber, and Tekton design and manufacture tube cutters with different features. Below are some of the factors you should consider when choosing a tube cutter:

  • Flexibility - should usable in tight spaces
  • Weight - portability is essential for travelers
  • Durability - tools that last long will save you money
  • Blade sharpness - determines how fast a cut is made and its neatness
  • Adjustability - determines whether the tool can be work on pipes with varying diameter sizes.
  • Multiple-purpose - important if you work with different pipe materials such as steel and aluminum.
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