Cutting Copper Pipe


There are several different types of pipe you can use in plumbing. Two of
my favorites to work with are plastic (PVC and ABS) and good old copper. I
guess it’s because they’re light and easiest to use, but also because they
are what you’ll be dealing with the most these days when getting under the
bathroom sink or kitchen cabinet.

For the sake of this post I’m going to talk about copper in general and how
to cut a copper pipe without bending it. Believe it or not, many people
bend the copper while using a copper cutter (one of my favorite tools,
aside from the favorite drill).

When you are fitting a copper pipe it’s important to make sure of two
crucial steps: getting the exact length that you need in order to make
your fit, and the cut itself because if you make the cut two short you may
have to make a trip back to the hardware store, and if you bend the pipe
while making the cut, the pipe can be easily ruined.

The important factor when considering the cut is twofold: make sure you
have a large enough pipe cutter, of course, and using the right amount of
pressure when making the cut itself. What I try to do is bring the cutter
to the pipe with *just* enough pressure so that there’s just the slightest
amount of pressure on it, then make the first and second pass around the
pipe. Then turn the cutter’s pressure on a bit more, make the next one or
two turns around the pipe, and presto, a perfect cut! Just remember to go
slow and not put too much pressure and your pipe will have a perfect cut
every time. Also, try to cut the pipe a little longer than what you need,
just a tad, because you can always work with that, but pipe that’s too
short will be useless.