The 10 Best Pipe Cutters
This wiki has been updated 25 times since it was first published in May of 2016. A pipe cutter offers significant advantages over a hacksaw when trimming a pipe to length. Our selections include models that make it easy to work on PVC, copper, and steel tubes, so even a moderately competent DIY-er will feel confident tackling all kinds of jobs. Of course, we've also included some heavy-duty models that can stand up to the rigors of long-term use by professional contractors. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
February 12, 2021:
The material you are working with and the diameter of the tubing will determine the type of pipe cutter you need, and in compiling this ranking we tried to select a range of tools to cover all eventualities. For PVC and PB plastic piping, a ratcheting cutter such as the Cobra Products PST002 is the best choice, whereas for copper pipe a wheeled cutter like the Magbit MAG801 and the Klein Tools 88904 is necessary.
For larger diameter tubing, or for cutting steel or iron, a more heavy-duty option such as the Ridgid 154 or the Steel Dragon Tools SDT-2A is needed, with the former having a four-and-a-half-inch capacity and the latter having an industrial-grade body and a hardened cutting wheel. Compact cutters are useful when there is little clearance to work around the pipe and the Ridgid 32975 is a compact option that measures under three inches and can slice through pipes as small as one-eighth of an inch. The Milwaukee 2471-20 is a battery-operated tool that requires no almost lateral clearance and automatically adjusts to the size of the pipe, making it extremely useful in tight spaces.
September 18, 2019:
The Klein is a great model when space is not an issue, as is the case when building new plumbing. The four rollers allow for smooth cutting with no wandering. The Rigid 32572 is perfect for repairs when only certain sections of pipe must be replaced or rerouted. The ratchet engages with minimal turning, which means that you can cut pipes even if you only have a half foot of lateral space to work with.
When cutting hard metals like steel, its always best to use some lubrication to prolong the life of your wheel blades. Working on plumbing or fluid lines can be dangerous and should only be done by trained technicians to avoid personal injury or property damage.