Pipe cutters are tools used to cut metal or plastic pipes. The pipe cutter sizes vary with some 8.7 x 1.5 x 3.8”, 7.4 x 1 x 4, 8.2 x 1.8 x 3.3 and various others. The capacity differs too but 1/8" to 1 1/8" is quite common.
The biggest advantage of pipe cutters is they cut clean. A saw is difficult to use and makes a mess. A scissor cutting tool is hard to use too, and can break the pipe’s end. This is particularly true if scissors-like tools are used on metal pipes.
TypesThere are two variants available: the plastic and metal pipe cutters. These are available in various shapes and sizes. Aside from the different pipe cutter sizes, they are also made from different materials.
Plastic Pipe Cutters
The plastic pipe cutters look like pliers. The difference is that on one of the jaw’s sides is the blade and the other is circular. Many plastic pipe cutters have disposable blades.
This is necessary because they wear out quickly if used many times. The plastic pipe cutters are best used on PVC (polyvinyl chloride) pipes, which is also a type of plastic.
Most plastic pipes permit ratchet-type action during the cutting process. This allows one to squeeze the handles easily to generate more force. Depending on the pipe being cut, the handles may have to be squeezed several times. The type of pipe cutter you use will determine how easily you can cut the pipe.
Metal Pipe Cutters
This cutter is used on cast iron and steel pipes. In terms of mechanics, these are different from the plastic pipe cutters, which cannot be used on metal pipes. A metal pipe cutter has two jaws that grip the pipe and keep a circular blade in place.
The blade turns around the cast iron pipe. It tightens until the cut makes it all the way through. Metal pipe cutters are available in manual and powered versions.
If you use powered metal pipe cutters, you just have to press a button to make it work. However, there are some people who prefer the manual cutters.
Tips and Warnings
Make sure you wear safety glasses and before using a pipe cutter. Read the manual that comes with your powered pipe cutter before using it. Do not attempt to use a plastic cutter on metal pipes because the pipe and the cutter might get damaged.
When checking the pipe cutter sizes, don’t forget to check the capacity. This will determine what type of pipes the device can work with.