In plumbing systems, tubes and pipes can be formed of materials of different flexibility and density, such as PVC, PEX, cooper, galvanized steel and cast iron.
There are many different types of pipes, there are also several types of specialized pipe cutters available, as well as general-purpose cutting tools that can be used to cut plumbing pipes along with other types of materials.
Knowing a little about the types of cutters on the market can help you select the right one for your project. You will have several dedicated cutters to choose from, designed to cut specific materials, as well as some general-purpose cutting tools that can be adapted to cut plumbing pipes.
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Copper Tubing Cutters: Copper tubing cutters are specialized pipe-cutting tools that come in many shapes and sizes, from small thumb cutters to quite large tools designed for big pipes. While these tools are known as copper tubing cutters, they can work for a variety of pipe materials like Rigid copper plumbing pipe, flexible copper tubing and PVC pipes.
Steel Pipe Cutters: Professional pipe cutters are available for cutting iron or steel pipe, which is very hard to cut any other way. Iron pipe cutters make a nice straight cut every time. They work exactly like the larger copper cutters but have a thicker and stronger cutting wheel to handle the thicker, harder walls of the steel or iron pipe.
PVC Cutters: PVC cutters are made to cut various sized pipes up to two inches in diameter. The most common sizes will handle pipe up to 1 1/4 inches and are priced starting at about $10, so they are very affordable. PVC tubing cutters are not recommended for ABS pipe, which is too brittle to be effectively cut by a PVC tubing cutter.