Cutting CPVC Pipe

Cutting CPVC Pipe

CPVC pipe cuts easily, but if you uses a hacksaw, even with a fine tooth blade it will be necessary to smooth the burrs from the cut edge. A solid blade chopsaw works great but you have to bring the pipe to it. This cut will also need smoothing.

For all CPVC cutting a racheting scissors is the best tool.

The first rule when using ratcheting scissors is to keep the blade razor sharp. A dull blade will compress the pipe and crack it. To keep blades sharp use a diamond whetstone which has a black colour.

Though you can cut new CPVC by simply closing the scissors handle, older CPVC can be brittle, requiring you to arc the cut to keep from cracking the pipe.

The following technique will avoid cracking in most cases.

First close the CPVC scissors just far enough to slightly cut into the pipe and cause the pipe to compress or oval slightly. Do not close the handles all the way unless you are sure the pipe will cut not crack.

As the blade starts to cut into the pipe, push the cutter in a downward direction while you turn the pipe upward in a clockwise motion. This splits the pipe, instead of cracking it.

After CPVC has been installed or stored for awhile, it cracks easily when cut with any type of scissors blade. In this case, use a very fine tooth blade in a mini-reciprocating saw.


Tip:

Trimming a pipe end:

Cutting a pipe in the middle is one thing, but trimming off 1/8” is another thing entirely. A tubing cutter won’t work on copper as it will slip off. A ratcheting scissors can’t cut CPVC that close either. Only two things will work. A solid blade chopsaw can trim 1/16” off both copper and CPVC. A very fine tooth blade can trim a tiny sliver off either pipe, if needed.

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