How to Cut PVC Pipe Straight & Easy

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You can cut a PVC pipe straight and easy with some basic tools and a little know-how. If you don't have a power miter saw, don't sweat it. With an inexpensive hacksaw (about $5) and a bit of duct tape, cutting a PVC pipe couldn't be simpler. Merle Henkenius, in his book, "Ultimate Guide to Plumbing," recommends long, slow strokes when making your PVC cuts, adding that "moving the saw too fast can cause the saw blade to overheat, gumming it up and leaving hard-to-remove burrs in the pipe."

Things You'll Need

  • Ruler (or tape measure)
  • PVC pipe
  • Pencil
  • Duct tape
  • Bench vise
  • Goggles
  • Dust mask/respirator
  • Power miter saw (or hacksaw)
  • Flat file
  • Use a ruler to measure the length of PVC pipe you want to cut; denote the length by marking a spot with the pencil on the pipe.

  • Wrap a piece of duct tape around the pipe so that the outside edge of the tape aligns with the pencil mark you made.

  • Draw a line with the pencil, using the edge of the tape now as a guide, all the way around the pipe. This will be your guide for cutting the pipe straight through.

  • Peel and remove the duct tape from the pipe.

  • Place the PVC pipe in a bench vise, and tighten the vise around the pipe.

  • Put on your safety goggles and dust mask.

  • Line up the blade (or guide) on your miter saw with the inside edge of the pencil mark, then turn on the saw and carefully cut into the pipe. Stop and rotate the pipe as needed, until the pipe separates into two pieces. Turn off the saw.

  • Make the cut using a hacksaw if you do not have a miter saw. Merle Henkenius, in his book, "Ultimate Guide to Plumbing," recommends long, slow strokes when making your PVC cuts, adding that "moving the saw too fast can cause the saw blade to overheat, gumming it up and leaving hard-to-remove burrs in the pipe."

  • File down any burrs on the cutting edges of the pipe by using a medium flat file.

References

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