How to Cut PVC Pipe Straight with Sawzall – Step by Step Guide

Though it is something typically done by plumbers and repairmen, you may run into a situation where you need to cut a PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) pipe. You have your Sawzall, or reciprocating saw, at the ready, but you do not want to make a mistake and end up with jagged or uneven edges. If this is the case, you may be wondering how to cut PVC pipe straight with Sawzall.

With just a few quick and easy tips, you can be cutting PVC pipes straight like a pro.

how to cut pvc pipe straight with sawzall

Can You Cut PVC Pipe with a Sawzall?

Yes, you can! When you are looking for how to cut PVC pipe straight with Sawzall, two things are especially important: using the right blade and avoiding vibrations. If you have a blade suitable for cutting PVC and a way to secure the pipe in place, you should have no problem cutting a PVC pipe straight with Sawzall.

The most important thing to consider here is your Sawzall blade, as the cutting blade does come in different lengths. You want to try and avoid using blades with especially fine teeth, as they may get clogged when cutting plastic PVC pipe.

You also want to stay away from blades with too few teeth because they could shatter your PVC pipe. In fact, your best choice in blade for cutting PVC pipe would probably be a 10 teeth per inch wood cutting blade.

Ready to learn more?

How Do You Cut Straight Line with Sawzall?

If you want to know how to cut plastic PVC pipe straight with a Sawzall, try the following steps.

Step 1: Lubricate the pipe

Before you cut anything, try lubricating the pipe first. It can help make the blade glide more smoothly by lowering the friction.

Step 2: Measure twice, cut once

Double check your measurements. You want to be confident in your cut.

Step 3: Secure the pipe

If the PVC pipe is not already secured in place, use some clamps to affix it to a solid surface. You do not want it moving around once you get started if you are looking for a straight cut. If you do not have any clamps, you could always anchor the pipe in a tripod vise, or if you do not have one of those, grab a big bucket!

Just make two V-shaped cuts in the top that are suitable for the size of your pipe. If this is done correctly, you will not completely ruin your bucket, as these cuts should not make their way into the bottom of the bucket.

Step 4: Firmly press the foot of the saw against the pipe

Make sure that you have enough pressure on the saw so that it will not vibrate as much once you start your cut.

Step 5: Start cutting

Start by gently pulling the trigger on the Sawzall until you get a little rut in the pipe. This will help prevent you from losing control and therefore increase your chances of making a perfectly straight cut. You can increase your pressure on the trigger after that if you like to help speed up the process. While you are cutting, make sure your arm is open and steady.

Step 6: Deburring

While this is optional, when you have completed your cut, it is recommended to debur the edges of the pipe. If you are working on an especially important PVC pipe, it is possible for burrs to prevent you from achieving a perfect fit, or even eventually contribute to clogged filters.

A simple way to deburr a PVC pipe that has been cut is to use a utility knife, running it over any uneven edges of where you made the cut until they are smooth. Sandpaper can also be used in place of the utility knife, or you could even use a combination of the two to ensure the edges are perfectly straight.

Before you start the deburring process though, be sure to use some cloth to clog the pipe, as this will help keep little plastic bits from falling into the tube.


What Is the Best Tool to Use to Cut PVC Pipe?

There is not necessarily a best tool to use when cutting a PVC pipe. It depends on the kind of cut you are looking to make as well as personal preference.

A handsaw is probably one of the most common choices, as this is the type of tool that most people may already have in their home or garage. You may not get the straightest line with it, but it will certainly get the job done.

If you have a small pipe, you could try using PVC cutters. Though this is a safe and easy method, these cutters typically will not work on any pipe that is over 2 inches thick.

You could also use a miter saw. These saws are a great choice if you are looking to easily make a straight cut, as they have preset angles. However, many people may not have the room and money necessary for one of these.

A Sawzall is a great choice to cut PVC pipe as it is electric so you do not have to use a lot of force, you can buy many different blades to suit your needs, and it is not as expensive as a miter saw.

What Can a Sawzall Cut?

The nice thing about a Sawzall is that its uses are so versatile due to the wide variety of blades available. If you choose the correct blade, a Sawzall can cut through masonry, plaster, branches, fiberglass, wood, nails, and metals like cast iron, steel, aluminum, and high-strength alloys.

Can a Sawzall Cut Hardened Steel?

Yes, it can – you just need to choose the right blade. The most common type of blade used to cut hardened steel would be carbide tipped blades, as they are extremely hard and resistant to both heat and impact. You could also use Diamond Grit blades but cutting through hardened steel with these may take longer and they are more expensive.

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