How to Cut Metal with a PVC Pipe Cutter?

By: John Garcia | Date Posted: July 20, 2022

If you’re considering handling a DIY project involving cutting metal pipes, perhaps it is time you invest in PVC pipe cutters. These handy tools are relatively affordable and can make cutting metal pipes more convenient than struggling with handsaws.

PVC pipe cutters can save you plenty of time and effort once you understand how to use them. They also come in numerous varieties suitable for various pipe sizes, handling techniques, and materials like copper, steel, etc.

Therefore, you must do your homework on the product information before you purchase the pipe cutter. It will help you avoid choosing the wrong tool for the task.

This post will shed light on the PVC pipe cutter and how you can use it to cut metal. Read on to learn various PVC pipe cutters and how you can pick the right one for your plumbing needs.

Decide the Type of Pipe

Type of Pipe

Finding the right line shaper for your work will rely upon different variables. Besides, you want to pick a line shaper that cuts the materials you want. Whether it is copper, aluminum, metal, PVC, HDPE, PU, PE or some other materials, consider choosing the right apparatus reasonable for the material.

Guarantee that you have picked the line cutting instrument with the center highlights expected to finish your task. Before you purchase, ensure the apparatus’ cutting limit and the sort of line shaper you really want.

  1. Manual line shaper
  2. Water-driven pipe shaper
  3. Battery-worked pipe shaper

Here is some valuable data that will assist you with picking the best line shaper for your assignment:

On the off chance that you believe the line shaper should work in a restricted space, a courageous line will check out. It assists your occupation with doing it without any problem.

Assuming your work includes dealing with various sizes of the line, so you really want to search for movable line cutters that are reasonable for a wide range of work.

To deal with certain materials, you want to have substantial cutters. Continuously guarantee to stay with the maker guidance about which kind of material a specific shaper is reasonable for.

Step-by-Step Guide for Cutting Metal with a PVC Pipe Cutter

A PVC cutter is a unique tool used by plumbers to cut PVC pipes, although it can also cut metal pipes. This tool produces a clean cut and is faster and relatively convenient depending on the metal pipe. Here is how you can cut metal with various PVC cutters.

With an adjustable PVC pipe cutter

Hold the pipe cutter’s rollers against the metal pipe and turn the screw clockwise such that the cutting wheel touches the other side of the pipe. An adjustable PVC cutter resembles a wrench and is primarily designed to cut PVC pipes. One side of its jaws has the cutting wheel, while the other has the rollers that hold the pipe cutter against the pipe.

You’ll also use the screw on the handle or on the side to adjust the jaws’ width. If the metal pipe is horizontal, hold the cutter with its open side facing upward. It’s a great idea to secure any loose pipe to your workbench with a clamp before you begin cutting the metal pipes.

Once you make contact with the metal pipe, tighten the screw for another ¼ turn and use the cutter’s handle to rotate around the pipe. Rotating the tool should score a light, circular groove into the metal pipe.

When you notice a spiral groove, it means your tool is beginning to get off track. Clean the cutting wheel and its rollers using a tool cleaner and brush. If it doesn’t improve, you may have to replace the wheel.

Once you make your test groove, tighten the screw until you feel tension, then rotate the cutter around the metal pipe. Do this repeatedly until the cutting wheel cuts through the pipe. In this step, it is better to tighten a little than too much because forcing the cutting wheel into the metal may damage your tool.

Some pipe cutters have several blades or wheels along their jaws for engaging the metal in various positions. These tools are ideal for narrow spaces, as they allow you to rotate the pipe cutter back and forth on a smaller arc rather than in complete circles.

With a PVC pipe cutter

Pvc Pipe Cutter

Open the pipe cutter and engage the ratchet.

Basic models of PVC cutters have one blade that clamps down the pipe once you squeeze its handles. Line up the blade with the cut mark, squeeze it down, then rotate to finish the cut. These models are ideal for tubing and small PVC and metal pipes.

On the other hand, a ratcheting pipe cutter is bigger and is equipped with hinged arms between its handles. These handles engage the ratchet to adjust the blade’s angle to cut through the metal pipe gradually.

Although these cutters are heavy-duty, massive metal pipes may need an adjustable pipe cutter. Consequently, squeeze the cutter’s handles repetitively to cut through the metal in stages.

Secure the loose pipe onto your workbench before you begin cutting, then orient the pipe cutter until the blade is positioned above the horizontal metal pipe.

Massive PVC pipe cutters can be unwieldy and heavy – therefore, it would be best to position their lower jaw against the floor or a table to keep it stable and steady.

How to Choose the Right Pipe Cutter

How to Choose the Right Pipe Cutter

Several factors will influence your choice of the correct pipe cutter. However, choosing a pipe cutter that can efficiently cut your materials – brass, aluminum, copper, etc., is crucial.

Wide varieties and types of PVC pipe cutters are available in the market, and the sheer variety can leave you spoilt for choices. Therefore, identify the key features you want your pipe cutter to possess and get the right tool for your needs.

For instance, you can choose whether you want a battery-powered, hydraulic, or manual pipe cutter. Here are some tips to consider when selecting a suitable pipe cutter:

  • A single-handed PVC cutter is more convenient if you intend to use the cutter in a confined space.
  • Adjustable cutters are suitable if you want versatility or intend to cut various pipe sizes.
  • Some metals may require heavy-duty cutters – ensure you read the manufacturer’s recommendations if unsure whether the cutter is suitable for the task.

The Bottom Line

How can I cut metal with a PVC pipe cutter? We hope you now have your answer. Although this post has offered helpful information on using PVC cutters to cut metal pipes, remember to purchase your tools from renowned suppliers. Use this guide and the tips above to cut your metal pipes efficiently and precisely.

Thank you for reading!


John is the founder and chief editor of Homienjoy. With over 15 years of experience in the home improvement industry, John is passionate about helping homeowners confidently tackle their projects. Holding a civil engineering degree and working as a contractor, project manager, and consultant, John brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Homienjoy community.

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