Stainless steel tubing comes in various thicknesses. Flexible stainless steel tubing has thin exterior walls and is easily bent or formed into shapes. Thicker-walled tubing or pipes can be welded together or mechanically threaded to form a secure joint. There are two basic methods for cutting stainless steel tubing or pipe.
Things You'll Need
- Tubing cutter Pencil (optional) Abrasive cutoff saw Round file Flat file
Cut thin-walled tubing with a tubing cutter. Open the jaws of the cutter by turning the handle in a counterclockwise direction. Fit the opening for the round knives over the tubing and on the place you want to cut. This can be identified by a pencil mark.
Close the jaws around the tubing by turning the handle in a clockwise direction. The handle will advance the round cutting knives into the metal. Stop advancing the cutting blades when the cutter knives come in contact with the tubing. Rotate the cutter in a circular motion one full revolution around the tube.
Tighten the handle by one-half turn for every single revolution of the cutter around the tubing.
Continue until the tubing is cut through. The cut will be fine enough that no extra clean-up is required.
Abrasive Cutoff Saw
Place thick-walled tubing or pipe in the vise of a cutoff saw. Line the pipe or tubing up with the blade at the point you want to make a cut. Tighten the vise to securely hold the material in place.
Press the motor button to start the saw. Move the saw slowly into the pipe. Allow the saw blade to cut the pipe. Do not force the blade into the material.
Remove the cut piece from the vise. Exercise caution, as the fresh cut end will be hot. Use a round file to clear the interior of the tubing or pipe of all clinging debris.
Use a flat file to remove any debris clinging to the outside of the tubing.
Tips & Warnings
- Tubing cutters come in sizes appropriate for cutting various thicknesses of stainless steel tubing and pipes.
- Using an abrasive cutoff saw on thin-walled tubing will damage the pipe.
- Stainless Steel Tubing
- Millwrights and Mechanics Guide; Carl A. Nelson; Audel Publishing; 1975
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