How to cut metal with a pipe cutter

(Last modified: March 21st, 2019)

Pipe cutters are a simple hand-held tool that easily cuts through steel, copper, bronze and aluminium tube sections. The tool is constructed in a ‘C’ shape that has rollers and a cutting blade set within the inside edge.

pipe cutter

Some models need to be manually adjusted while cutting to decrease the aperture and others are self-adjusting. The more basic pipe cutters have a fixed cutting diameter and more professional models can cut pipe with a diameter of between 8mm and 35mm.  Pipe cutters are also available in a choice of handled or non-handled, both perform the same cutting action, however, it is a matter of personal choice of which type to use. A range of pipe cutters can be viewed here.

Tips for cutting metal with a pipe cutter.

  • Ensure eye protection and gloves are worn.
  • Measure the pipe or tube and mark where the cut will be.
  • Put the pipe cutter over the end of the pipe and slide it along until it reaches the cut point.
  • Tighten the grip on the tools and twist the cutter around the pipe until the blade cuts through. If using a manually adjusted pipe cutter it will require tightening after 3 or 4 turns, however, whichever model is used it will only take a few revolutions.
  • Deburr the cut end with a mill file or abrasive paper if required.