Best way to cut PVC pipe?

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Wamsutta
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Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by Wamsutta » Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:45 am

There's all kinds of ways to cut PVC pipe, but what is the best way to cut it square? As of now, I'm leaning towards the Knipex PVC cutter model# 90 25 40. They are the only cutters I've seen on YouTube that cut square. They are expensive and about the same price as a corded Milwaukee Sawzall. The reciprocating saw sounds tempting because I could use it for other things besides cutting plastic pipe, but I don't know how square they are capable of cutting round cylindrical objects like 1 inch PVC. I'm aware that plumbers probably use reciprocating saws all the time to cut plastic pipe, but they're probably not as particular as I am about getting a square cut.


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A. Spruce
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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by A. Spruce » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:46 am

For plumbing purposes, it is not necessary for a perfectly square cut, so any $20 pvc cutter will do. If you have a specific reason that you need perfectly square cuts, then maybe you can justify a more expensive cutter. Personally, I'd use a simple saw and miter block if I needed square cuts. If you absolutely must spend money on something, I'd invest in a $100 chopsaw before single purpose pvc cutters.
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Shannon
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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by Shannon » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:01 am

What exactly are you doing and how often? Do you own a circular saw already? If you do a simple jig top slide the pipe on with a guild for the saw would keep it square. I personally just free hand cut with my circular saw or even recip. The recip is a little clumsy but sometimes that is what is with in reach. I have been thinking of purchasing one of these mini hacksaws for little things like that also. https://www.amazon.ca/Milwaukee-C12HZ-0 ... ni+hacksaw
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emtnut
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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by emtnut » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:32 am

Now, I don't do much plumbing, but am I the only one here that just uses a good ol' hacksaw ??
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Aaron
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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by Aaron » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:57 am

A hacksaw is not the best saw because its really fine teeth will get clogged up with PVC debris. If you use a handsaw, you're best off with a semi-fine tooth. A backsaw that cuts on a pull stroke is really good to use.

If a lot of PVC is going to be cut, then a regular compound miter saw works great. They create a lot of dust, though. The cleanest and squarest cut has got to be made from those hand pipe cutters where you turn them around about four or five revolutions and at each revolution you clamp the rotary blade in further and further.

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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by Wamsutta » Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:17 pm

Shannon wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:01 am
What exactly are you doing and how often? Do you own a circular saw already? If you do a simple jig top slide the pipe on with a guild for the saw would keep it square. I personally just free hand cut with my circular saw or even recip. The recip is a little clumsy but sometimes that is what is with in reach. I have been thinking of purchasing one of these mini hacksaws for little things like that also. https://www.amazon.ca/Milwaukee-C12HZ-0 ... ni+hacksaw
I'm replacing all my underground water lines; they are heavily corroded and springing leaks everywhere. I've decided to go with 1" PVC schedule 80. I do have a circular saw; however I don't know how straight of a cut I can do on plastic pipe. I might get a small section of pipe and practice on it.

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A. Spruce
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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by A. Spruce » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:53 pm

As I mentioned above, you do not need perfectly straight/square/perpendicular cuts for typical plumbing needs. Any cheap PVC cutter will suffice, there is no need for any expensive specialty tools to do this job, nor the added time it will take to use a power tool over a simple PVC cutter. An added negative for using a saw of any kind is that it's going to feather the edges of the cut, something that's going to add even more time and hassles to clean off so that you can slip your joints together. A knife type cutter does not leave feathered edges, simply cut and assemble the pipe.

Side note: If you are doing irrigation lines, then PVC will suffice, if you are redoing water lines to the house, you want to use CPVC, which is rated for potable water supplies. Glues shouldn't matter, but read the labels for compatibility anyway. For best results, use PVC primer before gluing.
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Aaron
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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by Aaron » Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:27 am

Spruce is right, don't fret about it. Just use whatever cutting method that has been mentioned above. More important than a perfect cut is ensuring the pipe is clean and prepped before priming and cementing, and then follow those procedures carefully. If the pipe gets a good 1/2 inch seating into the fitting, it should be a very solid joint.

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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by Shannon » Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:51 am

Wamsutta wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:17 pm
Shannon wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:01 am
What exactly are you doing and how often? Do you own a circular saw already? If you do a simple jig top slide the pipe on with a guild for the saw would keep it square. I personally just free hand cut with my circular saw or even recip. The recip is a little clumsy but sometimes that is what is with in reach. I have been thinking of purchasing one of these mini hacksaws for little things like that also. https://www.amazon.ca/Milwaukee-C12HZ-0 ... ni+hacksaw
I'm replacing all my underground water lines; they are heavily corroded and springing leaks everywhere. I've decided to go with 1" PVC schedule 80. I do have a circular saw; however I don't know how straight of a cut I can do on plastic pipe. I might get a small section of pipe and practice on it.
I agree with the other guys here ,the cuts for your application don't need to be perfect.

I have never seen anyone around here use PVC for sprinklers.Simple black water pipe. Here the freeze thaw of dirt moving would likely break schedule 80 pipe apart here in a couple years .
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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by Aaron » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:17 am

Shannon wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:51 am
I agree with the other guys here ,the cuts for your application don't need to be perfect.

I have never seen anyone around here use PVC for sprinklers.Simple black water pipe. Here the freeze thaw of dirt moving would likely break schedule 80 pipe apart here in a couple years .
A friend of mine used PVC for a sprinkler system. It's fine to use. The Sch 80 is very strong and designed for encapsulation in earth or concrete. As long as the lines are blown out before winter it should be strong enough.

I know Sch 80 gray PVC is used for underground electrical conduit. I think the only difference between PVC for electrical conduit and PVC for plumbing is the gray stuff is UV-resistant.

Spruce said to use CPVC, for potable water supplies, but I don't think it's necessary for underground sprinklers. Plus I'm not even sure CPVC is available in Sch 80.

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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by A. Spruce » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:45 am

Aaron wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:17 am
Spruce said to use CPVC, for potable water supplies, but I don't think it's necessary for underground sprinklers. Plus I'm not even sure CPVC is available in Sch 80.
No, sprinkler lines don't need to be CPVC, though if it's veggie garden lines I would consider using CPVC.
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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by Wamsutta » Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:59 pm

Shannon wrote:
Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:51 am
I agree with the other guys here ,the cuts for your application don't need to be perfect.

I have never seen anyone around here use PVC for sprinklers.Simple black water pipe. Here the freeze thaw of dirt moving would likely break schedule 80 pipe apart here in a couple years .
I should have been more clear in my other post. The water lines I'm replacing are galvanized steel potable water lines; not sprinkler lines. The main line coming from the city's water meter is 2" galvanized steel and then branches out into 3/4" lines before they enter through the exterior wall of the house. I chose 1" schedule 80 because the thicker wall thickness makes the 3/4" internal diameter smaller than galvanized steel. I was concerned about water volume and pressure. The pipes are buried 2 feet deep in some places; other places only 8 inches deep.

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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by A. Spruce » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:48 pm

Pipe diameter is measured on the inside, so regardless of gauge or schedule, a 3/4" pipe should be 3/4" on the inside. The reason for this is that pipe is made from all kinds of materials, steel, cast iron, non-ferous such as brass and copper, plastics like PVC or pex . . . All these materials require different thicknesses for structural stability, hence, pipe is measured on the inner diameter.

Because you are plumbing the main to the house, I'd recommend using CPVC.
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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by Wamsutta » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:58 pm

The outside diameter of 3/4" PVC pipe has to remain constant at 1.050 inches, but the inside diameter to can very depending on wall thickness:

3/4" Schedule 80 PVC pipe 0.742" I.D.

3/4" Schedule 40 PVC pipe 0.825 I.D.

Difference of 0.083 or 83/1000

Percentage Calculator says:

.0742 is 89.93% of 0.825

That's not a whole lot of difference, but I figured going to 1" PVC wouldn't hurt anything. I'll just be getting a pressure drop when going through the 1"-3/4" reducer bushing before going through the wall.

A. Spruce, do you really think CPVC is more durable for underground plumbing than schedule 80 PVC ?

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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by A. Spruce » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:54 pm

It's not a durability issue, it is a health issue. PVC will release its chemical composites into the water, which you will then consume when you use the water. This is not a good thing. CPVC is cross-linked, it's made slightly differently that is more stable and does not impart its chemicals into the water, or at least fewer chemicals. CPVC is rated for potable water systems, regular PVC is not. If you're having this work inspected, regular PVC will not likely pass inspection, which means you get to tear it all out and do it all over again in CPVC.

I would recommend checking with your building department, if they don't care and you don't care, use whatever you like. 8-)
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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by Aaron » Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:02 pm

The most common plumbing to a water meter is annealed copper tubing. But PEX is being used in some areas. You really do not want to bury pipe joints, your only joint connections should be at the utility side of the meter, and the curb stop.

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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by Wamsutta » Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:50 pm

A. Spruce, I just now found out that CPVC comes in schedule 80; how would that be?

Aaron, why don't I want to bury the pipe joints?

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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by A. Spruce » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:00 pm

8-)
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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by Wamsutta » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:49 pm

Have you guys seen this video of the Knipex PVC cutters? They look real promising.

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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by A. Spruce » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:53 pm

So, are you here to spam for Knipex or are you looking for assistance with your plumbing questions?
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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by Wamsutta » Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:18 pm

I'm here to to find out the best way to cut PVC pipe. Sometimes asking for a product review may lead to the best way to accomplish a task.

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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by A. Spruce » Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:57 pm

You've asked and we've answered, if you want to spend $100+ on a PVC cutter, by all means do so, you will get the exact same results with an under $20 no-name brand. You want a power tool for the job, those have been recommended too, including the issues of using a power tool to cut plastic pipe. Yet, you come back to the same question on the same tool with another link to said tool. Quite frankly, this stinks of spam, something that we do not look kindly upon here.

We welcome honest questions, if you have them, bring 'em on, we're here for you and will give you honest answers to the best of our abilities. I will now kindly ask that you refrain from posting any further links of any sort to the tool you've mentioned in this thread.
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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by Wamsutta » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:15 am

I'm not spamming for Knipex; they are plenty successful without my help. I found out about your forum from watching Shannon's videos on YouTube. I was trying to lure him into giving me an opinion of the Knipex cutters, but come to find out, he's not that picky about his PVC cuts and so therefore doesn't place much value on the tool. I spend a lot of time on a tool forum where people post pictures of tools and throw video links around all over the place. You guys obviously run things differently here. As for you personally Mr. A. Spruce, you're about as dry as dry gets. You couldn't get any dryer if they wiped you down with Acetone.
Last edited by Wamsutta on Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Spruce
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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by A. Spruce » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:57 am

Yup, that's me, Mr. Dry! :roll: :lol: :lol:

And, for the record, I make it a point to bath in acetone at least twice a day, more if time permits. How else do you expect a guy to keep up such a youthful appearance? 8-)
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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by Shannon » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:38 am

Anyways! As Spruce says. Buying the cutter is fine if you want but there are cheaper ones you could purchase and I have no idea if one is any better then the other really because I don't use them. Here there are some as low as $20 and some as high as almost $200. I personally use a circ. saw or miter saw to cut usually because I already own those.
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Re: Best way to cut PVC pipe?

Post by Aaron » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:02 pm

I just realize now I was being asked a question above... why not to bury joints. For water lines under pressure, you want as few joints as possible. Joints introduce potential weakness in pressurized plumbing systems, and weakness can lead to pipe bursts. If it's buried, it can be difficult or impossible to detect if there's a failure, until you discover a sinkhole in your front yard.

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