How to Cut Cast Iron Plumbing Pipes
When it comes to DIY Plumbing, cutting your pipes accurately and timely is often a problem that most homeowners don’t know how to solve. This article was designed to help give you a few options for cutting hefty cast iron pipes. Some options require a specialized tool, while others are possible with simple tools such as a hacksaw.
*Note on Safety: Cutting cast-iron pipe can be a dangerous job if not done properly. Always consult the instruction manual of your tools before attempting to use them, and make sure you wear any necessary safety gear such as safety goggles, full-face masks, etc.
Option 1 – The Pipe Cutter and Beveler Approach.
By far the easiest way to cut through cast-iron piping, is by using a specialized tool called a Pipe Cutter. These tools are often expensive, and have a very limited use. The general approach here is to secure the Pipe Cutter to the cast-iron pipe, and continuously turn the Cutter around the pipe while the blade creates an increasingly deeper scratch all the way around the pipe. Once the pipe has been cut, you may use a Pipe Beveler to give the end of the pipe a nice clean finish so that it fits into future piping.
Option 2 – The Cheap & Dirty Hack Saw
The cheapest pipe cutting method is to use a hack saw. This approach can take hours and you will likely go through a few blades. However, in terms of cost, you cannot beat this option, as the price of a decent blade is usually under $10, versus the possible hundreds of dollars you might pay for a Pipe Cutter and Beveler. If you opt for this option, try using a Tungsten Carbide blade, as this will provide you with the most strength and will cut through much better than a regular blade.
Option 3 – The Mighty Sawzall
Another cheap option is to use a reciprocating saw (also known as a ‘Sawzall”). If you already own a reciprocating saw, then it’s just a matter of getting a Tungsten Carbide blade. This is like an automatic version of using a hacksaw. A quick tip when using this method, is to keep a bottle of water around so you can keep your blade wet during the process. This will provide you with longer life on your blade.
Option 4 – The Sparky Angle Grinder
Finally, if all you have laying around is your old angle grinder, you’re still in luck! Simply purchase a cutting disk at your local hardware store, and clear the area of any flammable debris. Another good tip here is to wear a full face mask. Angle grinder disks may break off during the process, so ensure you are well protected.
Hopefully this article has given you a few viable options for cutting your cast-iron pipe at home. For more DIY reviews, check out our home improvement section!