If your next project involves installing pex pipes, then you have landed at the right place. We dived in the whole topic of cutting PEX and highlighted some of the mistake that you should avoid for the best results.
Perfect water connections will depend on the cuts you make on your pipes which make it very important for every DIYer or professional to get the right information before starting off with the project.
Why Cut Pex.
Pex comes in a very long rope like structure that needs to be fitted to size. The PEX roll ranges from 100 feet to 300 feet. This means that you willl have to cut it before replacing your cold or hot water supply lines.
How to cut PEX Pipe Like an Expert
First things first, gather all the tools you need for the project. You may think of the best tools to cut pex at this stage. This simply means a tool that will give you a clean and straight cut as it ensures that no gaps are left against the other fittings. We recommend that you have several tools ready for this activity as listed below.
Must have tool when Cutting the PEX pipe;
- A pipe cutter – we recommend the official PEX pipe cutter, you can however get a blade or a ratchet cutter as well if not in a position to get the official cutter.
- Protective gloves for your hands.
- The straight edge and sharpie marker.
The Best way To Cut PEX Debate.
This whole debate revolves around the tools that are available for the job. Now lets dive in and see what our experts had to say.
Standard Pipe Cutter Tool: This is the most common tool used to cut PEX pipes. There are plumbers who use the scissor style knives of a ratchet cutter to make the cut. The only challenge with these tools is that you hardly achieve straight cuts.
To get the perfect angle you will need hundreds of hours practice using the tools, otherwise you will leave spaces near the shut-off valve. Without a proper cut, you will have numerous issues of water leakages as the crimp rings will be less effective due to the ragged edges.
Copper Pipe Cutter – Our experts picked this cutter for the best results when cutting PEX pipes. You will easily achieve straight and clean cuts with the copper pipe cutter. Though some plumbers claim that it takes a lot of time to make a cut using the cutter, the results are always perfect with excellent angles that make solid joints on the crimps. ( See it Here)
We found a video that gives all the sides of the debate
We have also come up with a write up with step by step procedures for those of us who like following the written word to follow along. We will highlight some expert tips that will be of great help for those cutting PEX for the first time. Don’t worry, the guide works for both PEX A and PEX B.
Cutting a PEX Pipe Without a Cutting Tool.
Can a PVC Pipe Cutter Cut PEX?
Absolutely Yes! With a PVC cutter or a ratchet cutter that work on plastic pipes and PVC tubings, you will get the job done. We know most people have this cutter at home so no need to go buy a special tool for a small job. You can simply use what you have and get some excellent results.
The PVC cutter is similar to the official PEX cutter in many areas. Actually the sharkbite PEX cutter is the most popular cutter and it works in the same way. It however does a quicker job for high volume projects.
With a PVC cutter, you will easily learn how to make straight and perfect angle cuts. If you are a home owner with small cutting jobs here and there and you have the tool at home, just perfect your cutting techniques and you will be good to go.
Can you Cut PEX without a PEX Cutter?
Yes you can! Get a straight edge tool and some protective gloves and embark on your project. Gather all the tools that you need and get on to the business of the day.
Get a tape measure and mark out the PEX Pipe you need cut with a sharpie using the straight edge. Cut the pipe on the mark maintaining a straight edge and minimize the burrs . To get a clean cut ensue that your blade is sharp.
Is it possible to use a Utility Knife to Cut PEX?
If you have a sharp utility knife in your arsenal, then you are good. The knife may not give you some of the best cuts hence just use for one cut project. Make sure you get straight line cuts and no angles as these will result in leakages and weak connections with the PEX clamps or even push connections.
To get a perfect cut with a utility knife, you can score the pipe along the marked knife severally then make the final cut. Don’t forget to wear your protective gloves as you do not want to cut your fingers too.
When done with the cut, get a file or a sand paper and deburr the edges to remove the sharpness.
Watch this video and get more insights.
How to Cut PEX with A Sharkbite Pipe Cutter.
Sharkbite is known for its PEX connection solutions all over the world. It is easy to use sharkbite as you just push the pipe to the fittings and you are done. You will however need to ensure that all the pipes have been cut in the right way for the perfect joints.
Also ensure that you follow the set rules according to your area code as this will save you on time and resources when the area inspector comes along. You can find ou the approved PEX system design from the authorities and follow them to the tee.
Cutting PEX Using a Copper Pipe Cutter
Hands down, the copper pipe cutter does the cleanest job when cutting PEX. Don’t get me wrong, the cutters are not made to just cut copper like most people think. The beauty is that you can get the cutter in a hardware near you with as low as $15.
You can also get it in online stores and you get to choose the size of pipe you want to cut. You can also get this one that cuts al pipe sizes.
- You can use the tool to cut other materials too including copper, brass and aluminum. To cut the pipe, follow the steps below,
Measure the PEX pipe you want to cut,
- Attach the pipe cutter.
- Adjust the cutter until you get some resistance then turn it all round the pipe.
- Check to see that the blade has scored the pipe. You can turn the tool several times then snap the pipe along the score line.
Among the many tools that you can use to cut PEX, the copper pipe cutter leads the pack when it comes to getting consistently clean and straight cuts. Most plumbers love it because they can use it in tight spaces too.
PEX tubing is an excellent plumbing material due to its flexibility and the need for fewer connections. Installation of water supply, heating and sewage pipeline includes cutting large quantities of PEX pipes. It is not advisable to use available home tools because they may cause some problems in the future.
Clean cutting requires the use of professional tools. You can find them at physical or online hardware stores. Always ensure that you measure and mark the tubing before making any cuts.
Choosing Tools Needed for Cutting PEX Tubing
When it comes to choosing PEX cutting tools, there are two options available. The manual devices and the electronic ones. Each of these options comes with merits and demerits. Household tools like saws are dangerous and not applicable in this case due to the density of the PEX tubing.
Selecting the best equipment for your individual needs depends on the complexity and volume of your work. Although scissors may be a cheaper option for cutting PEX tubing, roller tools are more efficient choice.
If you are looking for the best tool to cut cross-linked polyethylene pipes, focus on two main points:
- Ensure the blades are constructed of alloy steel
- The pipe cutter should have two indicators for maximum and minimum pipe size. This allows you to use the tool on a range of projects.
Usually, the body construction of such tools involve some type of metal like steel for durability. Although you may think that the heavy duty construction means that the tools are heavy, that is not the case. The steel cutting devices are light in weight making them more efficient and requiring less effort and power.
How to Cut PEX Using A PEX Cutter
PEX cutter is a specialized tool designed for cutting PEX pipes. It is an economical choice though it requires some muscles. Pick a model with ergonomic design for comfortable use. other items you need include a marker and a measuring tape.
Here is a step by step procedure of cutting PEX pipe.
- Straighten the PEX tubing first.
- It allows proper measuring and even cuts. Lay it on a flat surface and make it as straight as you can.
- Measure the piping
- After straightening out your tubing, measure it out to know how much you need for the project. remember to leave room to allow contraction and expansion by adding about extra 1 inch.
- Mark your measurements
- Upon measuring the piping, use a point marker or pen to clearly mark the cutting line. This makes the process easy, precise and helps in avoiding possible mistakes.
- Insert the area you want to cut in the tool.
Position the line you want to cut through the tool’s mouth and directly under the blade. hold it tightly in place.
- Cut the PEX piping
Squeeze the tool’s handles together to finish the cut. You may need to squeeze and twist the too several times if using a smaller PEX cutter for a clean cut.
How Much Does it Cost to Cut my Own PEX?
A ne roll of 100 feet of PEX will cost anywhere between $35 to $75. When you hire a plumber it will cost you an average of $50 per hour on the minimum. Hence, if you can do it by yourself you will save yourself a lot in labor costs.
Cutting PEX plumbing pipes should not be a difficult task. Just consider your work load to get the best tool for the job. Also, ensure that you measure and mark your cutting line for a smooth cut without any burrs.