How to Cut PVC Pipe

Cutting PVC pipes can be a pain if done incorrectly. How big the PVC pipe is and the cutting method you use will determine whether you have a clean cut or not.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through what steps you should take to properly cut PVC pipes of any size without hassle. Let’s get started.

Tools Needed

• PVC Pipe Cutter
• Sandpaper
• Tape measure
• Pencil
• Miter Box (optional)

Directions (For Smaller PVC Pipes)

  1. Mark the length to be cut with a pencil. Keep in mind that you should always cut the longest pieces first. This is so you’ll be able to use more of the pipe.
  2. Cut with a quality PVC pipe cutter. The easiest to use is a simple ratchet-style cutter available at most hardware and online stores.
  3. Line up the pencil mark with the pipe cutter blade, then cut on the inside edge of your mark.
  4. When done, remove any burrs with a medium flat file or 80 to 100-grit sandpaper. Use a rat-tail file or knife for the inside of the pipe, if needed.

Note: You can also cut the pipe with a hack saw. To make a straight cut, place the pipe into a miter box. Wedge a piece of scrap wood between the pipe and the side of the miter box to brace it securely. Then hold or fasten the miter box securely on a solid work surface. Cut on the inside edge of your pencil mark.

Directions (For Larger PVC Pipes)

  1. Measure the length you want to cut, and mark with a pencil. Wrap masking tape (I used duct tape for contrast) around the pipe. Draw a line with a pencil around the pipe at the edge of the tape.
  2. Remove the tape.
  3. To cut, hold the pipe steady in a miter box or bench vise.
  4. Cut with a hacksaw.
  5. When top of hacksaw touches the “top” of the pipe, turn it over to finish cutting.

Caution: Be certain to wear a proper protective dust mask or respirator as you cut the pipe. You don’t want to breath in the fine PVC dust particulates, which can be dangerous to your health.

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