Pipe cutters are one of the plumbing tools that can make diy plumbing projects easier. Just as there are many different types of pipes there are many types of pipe cutters available for purchase. Knowing a little about the types of cutters on the market can help you select one for your project.
Copper cutters come in many shapes and sizes. When buying a copper cutter make sure the one you choose cuts the range of pipe that you plan on cutting now and in the future. Copper cutters are really only meant to cut through copper so the blade will not usually be thick enough to cut iron pipe or ABS pipe unless the cutting blade is changed. So, use a copper cutter strictly for cutting copper to keep it working well.
Types of copper cutters -
- a standard pipe cutter cuts by rotation. It is clamped onto the pipe then the cutter is turned around the pipe. Every turn or two the cutter is tightened so the blade cuts further into the pipe until it cuts through the pipe completely.
- Thumb cutters are my favorite because they can get into tight spaces. Some can cut copper pipe up to 1” which has a 1 ⅛” od (outside diameter). This type of cutter works similarly to the standard copper cutter but it is tightened with your thumb every turn or two until it cuts through the pipe.
- Auto cutters are also a great tool that takes up even less space when cutting. There are quite a few different brands available but they mostly work the same way. The auto tube cutter is clamped onto the pipe and turned in one direction until the copper pipe is cut all the way through.