After yesterday’s quick review of a Superior Tools pipe cutter, we received a few inquiries about how to properly use such a cutter.
Most if not all rotary tubing and pipe cutters share a similar design. Like a C-clamp, there is always one stationary support, and one adjustable support that is mounted to the end of an adjustment screw. Depending on the manufacturer and tools’ designs, most cutters will either have a stationary roller wheel (or wheels) and a movable cutting wheel, or vice versa.
- Open the tool by loosening the screw and retracting the cutting wheel or roller(s).
- Slide the tubing or pipe into the tool, and turn the adjustment screw to bring the roller wheel(s) and cutting wheel into contact with it.
- Rotate the tool around the clamped or otherwise secured tubing or pipe to start the cut.
- After at least one complete rotational pass, tighten the adjustment screw to engage the cutting wheel deeper into the tubing or pipe. The thickness of and type of the material being cut will determine how much deeper you should engage the material for the next rotational pass.
- Once the tubing or pipe is cut, you will likely need to debur the inner edge of the cut.
Tips on selecting and using tubing and pipe cutters:
- Larger tools are usually better as they offer greater leverage and easier cutting, but match the tool size to the material being cut. For example, a large cutter intended for iron pipe is not exactly suitable for cutting thin walled 1/4″ brass tubing.
- Cutting fluid can be used as lubrication for when cutting very hard or resilient materials.
- Worn or damaged cutter wheel blades should be replaced promptly to avoid frustration, damaged workpieces, and inaccurate cuts.
Check out this Wide Selection of Tubing & Pipe Cutters via Amazon, or head on over to your local hardware store’s plumbing section. You may want to check out your local hobby or art supply store for the smallest size cutters.