REVIEWING PIPE CUTTERS
The importance of plumbing can be gauged through the fact that it was declared as an essential service in the United States of America during the Covid-19 pandemic. Be it residential or commercial settings, plumbing services are indispensable.
However, even the most skilled plumbers are handicapped without their toolkit. Knowing when and how to use the correct tools for each task, falls among the most important skills of a plumber. There are several tools that are very important for plumbers. The basic plumbing tools includes; pipe-cutters, pipe wrenches, pliers, tape measures, utility knife, adjustable wrench, torpedo level, multi-bit screwdriver, hammers, permanent markers, Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) etc.
This article will discuss what a pipe cutter is, what the different types of pipe-cutters are and review some of best pipe-cutters available in the market.
WHAT IS A PIPE-CUTTER?
As the name suggests, a pipe-cutter is a tool or a machine that is used by plumbers for cutting pipes. It is a quick, convenient and easy-to-use tool that allows a clean cut. It has a grasping device and sharp-edge cutting wheels that slowly penetrate through the metal. As and when the cutter is rotated in a 360-degree circle, it cuts through the pipe. With every completed circle, the wheels penetrate through more of the pipes. The number of rotations required depends on the material of the pipe.
While softer metals like aluminium and copper take lesser rotations, harder ones like steel require more. Pipe cutters are extremely efficient and reliable tools and are used by plumbers on a daily basis. Pipe-cutters are offer a neater cut (with very little excess) as compared to alternatives like hacksaws. In addition to cutting pipes, pipe cutters also help in carrying out piping repair-work. pipe cutters can primarily cut through copper, aluminium, steel, plastic and bronze.
TYPES OF PIPE-CUTTERS:
Different types of pipe-cutters are used for different materials depending on the latter’s thickness or hardness. There are many different types of pipe-cutters available. Let us look into the ones that are most suitable for plumbers:
- Automatic pipe-cutter – This is a very easy-to-use, efficient and compact pipe-cutter.
- Ratchet pipe-cutter – A ratchet pipe-cutter as the name suggests, uses ratchet action (a pawl or pivoted catch to allow movement in one direction). It offers both power and precision and cut pipes with efficiency and accuracy.
- Spring-loaded pipe- cutter – These are adjustable pipe-cutters and could be used for cutting pipes of varied sizes. They also allow a great deal of precision.
- Plier pipe-cutter – This is also a very popular type of pipe cutter. These are sturdy and durable tools that prevent the deformation or crushing of pipes.
WHAT ARE THE BEST PIPE-CUTTERS AVAILABLE IN THE MARKET?
There are plenty of pipe-cutters available in the market today, varying in size, usage, prices and brands. This section of the article will explore and review some of the best pipe-cutters available in the market for plumbers to choose from.
Ridgid 23498 RC-1625 – This is the perfect pipe-cutter for small plumbing jobs. It is a manual PVC pipe cutter that leaves a clean square cut. It can also easily cut through multiple layers and even rubber hoses. The design of the handle allows a comfortable and steady grip. It uses ratchet-action that which cuts pipes with greater accuracy. The materials used to make this tool a lightweight and a very durable product. This pipe-cutter comes with replaceable blades and a lifetime warranty. This model costs $53.77. It is a good combination of quality and affordability. One drawback is that this cutter cannot work on pipes that are 1.5 inches in diameter. That would require an upgradation to a higher model.View on Amazon –
Klein Tools 500031 PVC Pipe-cutter – This cutter is made of aluminium and can work on pipes ranging from 0.5 to 1 inch in diameter. It uses ratchet mechanism and a one-handed blade action which allows the user to hold the pipe with another hand while working on it. It comes with replaceable blades that offer a straight cut and are easy to change. This pipe-cutter costs $85.84. One downside of this tool is that it may be difficult to handle initially. One however gets the hang of it after the first few tries and over time.View on Amazon –
Knoweasy PVC Pipe-cutter – This stainless-steel cutter is extremely durable. The robust blades usually last for a very long time. There is a pawl that allows soft-cutting and saves energy. It is a versatile model that combines affordability with a multitude of features. This is a great tool for plumbers because it also comes with an auto-locking feature which prevents injuries caused while using the tool.View on Amazon –
Ridgid 29963 Cutter- This is a stainless-steel pipe and tube cutter. This item weighs 400gms. It has a contoured frame and an ergonomic handle that allows easy alignment and adjustment while using the tool for cutting.View on Amazon –
Rothenberger Pipe- cutter – This cutter has a stable chain with 15 mini cutter wheels. It allows optimum performance on brass, aluminium and copper pipes. This cutter can work on pipes ranging from a minimum of 1 inch to a maximum of 4 inches in diameter. It has comfortable handles that are plastic-covered. This type of cutter is ideal for working in confined spaces.View on Amazon –
Ginzor’s Ratcheting Cutter – Although not a popular brand name, this is one of the most affordable pipe cutters in the market in terms of quality and performance and costs around $25.90. It allows a clean and fast cut and can work on plastic and rubber pipes of 0.5 to 1 inch in diameter. It is a lightweight tool that can be used with one hand. It also works well in tight places. The tip of the spring is however very sharp and may cause injuries.View on Amazon –
Husky 16PL90101-1 Ratcheting Cutter – This lightweight and durable cutter works very well on PVC pipes. It comes with an extremely sharp blade and uses ratcheting action. It leaves and neat and straight cut. One of this tool’s best features is the ease of changing blades. This cutter costs $15.98 and comes with lifetime warranty.
Since most of a plumber’s work revolves around piping and related activities, a pipe-cutter is an essential component of a plumber’s toolkit. Different types of cutters may be used depending on the material of the pipe and its diameter. This is an extremely convenient tool to use even for beginners. One must however be careful with the blades to avoid injuries.
We have reviewed some of the best options when it comes to pipe-cutters. However, there are multiple other types and brands of pipe-cutters available in the market for interested plumbers to look into and choose from.