How To Use a PVC Pipe Cutter? Everything Need To Know

Correctly cutting PVC pipe for use in a plumbing system can help avoid future leaks. A PVC pipe cutter, also known as a tube cutter, is an ideal instrument for doing this work. There are three standard designs for PVC pipe cutters: shears, ratchet, and C-shaped. This article examines PVC pipe cutters and their application in detail.

What is PVC pipe?

how to use a pvc pipe cutter

photo: amazon

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) pipes are safe, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly. For this reason, PVC pipes are a common choice for several applications. For example:

  • Agriculture: Almost every aspect of water transportation in agriculture uses PVC pipes, including sprinklers, wells, and pesticide spraying.

  • Conduit: PVC is a favorite conduit choice for protecting cables and wires.

  • Fittings: PVC has become famous for fittings, such as PVC ball valves, due to their durability and flexibility. This fact has only increased the usage of PVC pipes in liquid transportation systems.

  • Water plumbing: PVC pipes are ideal for water plumbing systems because they are long-lasting. PVC pipe manufacturers follow strict regulations to ensure the pipes will be safe for transporting drinking water.

What is a PVC pipe cutter?

how to use a pvc pipe cutter

photo: amazon

A PVC pipe cutter is a specialized hand instrument for cutting PVC pipes swiftly. There are three standard designs for PVC cutters: shears, ratchet, and C-shaped.

Shears PVC pipe cutter

 A shears PVC pipe cutter derives its moniker from its resemblance to a pair of shears. Most shears PVC pipe cutters can cut pipes between 1.3 and 2.5 cm in diameter (0.5 - 1 in). Some more significant designs are capable of slicing up to 5 centimeters (2 inches), although doing so takes a tremendous amount of force and rapidly becomes impractical.

The functioning of the PVC pipe cutter shears is straightforward. After using appropriate PPE (such as gloves and safety glasses), the user:

  • Wraps the pipe cutter's head around the pipe.

  • Clamps the PVC pipe in place.

  • Compress the handles of the cutter until the cut is complete.

  • Several cuts may cause severe hand strain when using shears as a PVC pipe cutter, which is a big drawback. Even though this PVC pipe cutter is the least priced, it is not the most popular.

Ratchet PVC pipe cutter

A ratchet PVC pipe cutter resembles a shears PVC pipe cutter in appearance and operation. The distinguishing feature of this pipe cutter is its ratcheting ability. Each time the handle is squeezed, the pipe cutter ratchets to maintain its position until the next press. This feature alleviates considerable strain from the user's hand when cutting.

C-shaped PVC pipe cutter

A C-shaped PVC pipe cutter resembles and performs similarly to copper and steel pipe cutters. Nevertheless, the cutting wheel of the PVC pipe cutter is constructed of stainless steel as opposed to hardened steel. The C-shaped PVC pipe cutter does not place excessive pressure on the user's hand, providing an advantage over the squeeze action cutters described before. The C-shaped cutter, however, cannot fit in as many locations as other PVC pipe cutters owing to its working principle and design.

How do you cut PVC pipes?

The most challenging aspect of dealing with PVC is cutting the pipe. Before installing the PVC tubing during your repair job, you must trim it to size. If coping with PVC presents any challenge, cutting will be it.

If the end of a pipe is not square or burrs from an uneven cut, it might complicate your job. When joining PVC pipe, fittings, and cement are readily available, but a bad-cutting method might stop your work schedule. Several instruments can cut through PVC, but you need one that guarantees a square, clean cut.

How to use a PVC pipe cutter 

how to use a pvc pipe cutter

photo: amazon

Step 1: Open the cutter to engage the ratchet, if available.

A PVC pipe cutter resembles a single-bladed pair of scissors. Open the handles to see whether there is more to it:

  • The simplest types consist of a single blade clamping onto the pipe when the handles are squeezed. Align the edge with the cut line, apply pressure, and spin to finish the cut.  Often, they are only effective on tubing and smaller PVC pipes.

  • A giant ratcheting cutter features metal arms with pivoting joints between the grips. They engage a ratchet inside the instrument, which gradually changes the blade's angle to cut the pipe.  The giant PVC pipes may need an adjustable cutter, even though they may be relatively robust. Check the product information for your model for the maximum pipe diameter.

Step 2: Repeatedly squeeze the handles to ratchet the blade through.

Align the blade with the cutting line. Repeatedly squeezing and releasing the handles will advance the edge through the pipe.

  • Before cutting, secure the pipe to a workbench with a vice or clamp, and position the cutter so that the blade is above the horizontal tube.

  • The giant PVC cutters may need to be more convenient and convenient. It helps to stabilize the lower jaw by pressing it against a table or floor.


What are the procedures for cutting PVC pipes?

Using Shears or Ratchet-Type Cutters

Continuing to spin while ensuring a straight cut, cut through the pipe. Position the blade above the mark using ratchet-style cutters, then release the handle. Repeat the ratcheting motion until the line has been cut in half.

Can a pipe cutter be used on PVC pipes?

Instead, a PVC pipe may be easily cut using a PVC pipe cutter or a hacksaw. The work is completed when the cut end is affixed to a fitting.

What is the first process involved in cutting the PVC pipe?

The first step in any cut is measurement. When dealing with a restricted amount of pipe, the proverb "measure twice, cut once" comes in help. Use a pencil or marker to mark where each cut will be made. It is prudent first to measure and trim the most extended lengths.

Is PVC pipe simple to cut?

PVC is straightforward to cut. Some substances are difficult to cut using standard hand tools. On the contrary, PVC does not. This is because PVC needs the pipe's exterior diameter cut, similar to metal.


With the proper equipment and techniques, a PVC pipe cutter is fast and straightforward. Continually evaluate the diameter and breadth of the PVC pipe you need to cut since this will determine the appropriate cutting equipment and process. Follow our guides to use this tool correctly.

0 ratings