Pipe cutters or pipesaws are used by plumbers and other tradesmen to cut copper, brass, light gauge steel and aluminium pipes, although they can also be used to cut tubing. There are various different types of pipe cutters available to choose from, including a standard pipe cutter, which clamps onto the pipe or tubing and cuts by rotation. Thumb cutters can be used in tight spaces and auto cutters are similar but take up less space than standard pipe cutters.
Safety tips for operating a pipe cutter
When using a pipe cutter, you should always follow the below safety tips:
- Check the pipe cutter regularly and replace damaged wheels
- Use the right type of cutting wheel for the pipe material
- Use a 3 or 4 wheeled pipe cutter or a thumb cutter if there is not space to turn a single wheel cutter around the pipe.
- Most pipe cutters resemble a C-clamp, with one adjustable support and one stationary support. Here is how to adjust the pipe cutter ready for use.
- Open the tool by loosening the screw and retracting the cutting wheel
- Slide the pipe or tubing into the tool and turn the screw until the cutting wheel touches it
- Rotate the tool around the secured pipe to begin cutting
- Once one rotation has been completed, tighten the adjustment screw so that the cutter will begin to make deeper cuts
- You will usually need to de-burr the inner edge of the pipe after using a pipe cutter
- Consider using cutting fluid for lubrication of tougher materials
Anyone using a pipe cutter should be trained in how to use it safely. If equipment is broken or has been poorly maintained, this could cause an accident, so it is important to check your pipe cutter before each use and replace or repair any worn or broken parts.
Accidents involving pipe cutters
Accidents can occur when using pipe cutters as they have sharp teeth and moving parts. It is a good idea to wear protective gloves when working with a pipe cutter, and keep your fingers well away from the sharp teeth of the cutter. Other injuries which could occur include scalding from cutting a hot water pipe or accidentally cutting a gas pipe. This could lead to serious injury or even death. If you have been injured when working with a pipe cutter then you could be eligible to claim for compensation if your accident was somebody else’s fault. Call Accident Advice Helpline today for advice and assistance with your claim for compensation on 0800 689 0500.