How To Cut Copper Pipe

How To Cut Copper Pipe


Do you know how to cut copper pipe like a pro? Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a professional plumber, this guide is perfect for you. You can easily cut copper pipes with the right techniques and tools. If you don’t know the steps and methods to cut copper pipes properly, I’m here for you with my experience of cutting copper pipes with some easy methods.

How To Cut Copper Pipe – Step By Step Guide

How To Cut Copper Pipe

Copper pipes are common in most homes. They are used to supply water to taps and heating systems. They’re expensive but common. Cutting them is a tricky job but you can do this easily by following any method below.  

  1. Pipe Cutter
  2. Hacksaw
  3. Autocut Tool 

I’ve used the above methods for plumbing and heating projects in my house. Let me share these methods step by step on how to cut copper pipe easily and accurately.

Method 1: By Using Pipe Cutter

By Using Pipe Cutter

This method is the best and easiest way to cut copper pipers. A pipe cutter has a hardened steel wheel that cuts the pipe. I used the following items in this method.

  • Marker or pencil
  • Workbench or vise
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Safety glasses
  • Pipe cutter or tubing cutter (adjustable or fixed)
  • Copper pipe (various sizes)
  • Sandpaper

 The first step was the measurement and marking of the copper pipe.

Step 1. Measure & Mark the Pipe

Measure & Mark the Pipe

I measured the length of the pipe using a measuring tape. Then, I marked the pipe at the point with a marker where I wanted to cut it. Make sure the mark is clear and easy to see, so you can accurately guide your cutting tool.

Step 2. Place the Pipe in the Cutter

Place the Pipe in the Cutter

After that, I opened the pipe cutter by loosening the handle and put the copper pipe inside. I made sure that the mark I made was lined up with the cutting wheel. You should also ensure that the pipe is snug and secure to cut.

Step 3. Tightening the Cutter & Turning the Handle

Tightening the Cutter & Turning the Handle

I lined up the cutting wheel with the mark and tightened the handle to hold the pipe in place. After that, I turned the handle by applying gentle pressure to cut the pipe. Just keep turning it until the pipe is cut all the way through.

Step 4. Deburring


After cutting down the copper pipe, I used sandpaper to smooth out the cut end of the pipe. This made it safe and easy to connect.

That’s it. You can follow these steps and the right tools to cut copper pipes easily and safely.

Important Tips

Important Tips

There are a few things to remember if you follow this method. You should always wear safety glasses and secure the pipe to a workbench or vise to cut safely. You can use an adjustable cutter for different sizes, a fixed cutter for one size, and a tubing cutter for small pipes.

Method 2: By Using Hacksaw

By Using Hacksaw

I used a 32-TPI blade hacksaw to cut copper pipe cleanly and smoothly. You should also choose a hacksaw with a blade that has many small teeth. The below items were required in this method.

  • Marker or pencil
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Workbench or vise
  • Safety glasses
  • Sandpaper 
  • Copper pipe (various sizes)
  • Hacksaw (with a blade specifically designed for cutting metal)

The first step was the measurement & marking on the pipe.

Step 1. Measuring & Marking

Measuring & Marking

I measured the pipe using measuring tape and marked the spot with a pen.

Step 2. Securing the Pipe

Securing the Pipe

After that, I secured the copper pipe in a vise so it didn’t move while cutting. I also made sure it was held tightly and the marked area was easy to reach.

Step 3. Cutting & Smoothening

Cutting & Smoothening

After securing the pipe, I placed the teeth of the hacksaw directing on the marked spot, and cut it with a gentle back-and-forth motion. You can also apply lubricant to reduce friction. After cutting the pipe, the edges were sharp. So I used sandpaper to remove any sharp edges or rough spots. This is very important to make it safe and easy to connect. Also always wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying debris and metal shavings.

You can accurately and safely cut copper pipe using a hacksaw. However, this method may require more time and effort compared to using a pipe cutter or tubing cutter.

Method 3: By Using Autocut Tool

By Using Autocut Tool

Autocut tools are easily available in your nearby local hardware stores. These cutting tools are very helpful if the cutting copper pipes are in tight spaces. Just remember that these autocut tools are spring-loaded and can’t be adjusted. So always measure the exact diameter of the pipe you’re cutting carefully before purchasing them.

I used an autocut tool having a size of 1 inch for plumbing pipe at the corner in the basement of my house. There are also some required items for this method.

  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Marker or pencil
  • Copper pipe 
  • Autocut Tool (ensure the exact matched size of the pipe)

I started to measure the exact required length of the pipe using measuring tape.

Step 1. Measurement & Clamping

Measurement & Clamping

After measuring the required length of the pipe, I marked it with a marker. After that, I put the pipe in the autocut tool where I wanted to cut it. I rechecked that it was centered and clamped it down tightly so it wouldn’t move.

Step 2. Cutting

Cutting the copper pipe

This autocut tool has an arrow on it. So I simply followed the arrow and turned it almost 20-30 times to cut the pipe. The autocut tool makes a clean cut, so you’re good to go.

There are many other options too like you can use Dremel, multi-tool blade, chop saw, jigsaw, sawzall, and battery-operated copper pipe cutter. But they require some more safety.

Cutting the copper pipe


You can achieve professional-grade results with the tips I’ve shared when cutting copper pipe, even if you’re new to it. I’ve also elaborated on the right tools and techniques for cutting the copper pipes. I hope that you’ll find these techniques useful and if you still need any help regarding how to cut copper pipes, just leave a comment down below. You can also find more useful information about different home styles and DIY projects here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are The Best Tools For Cutting Copper Pipe?

The best tools for cutting copper pipe are pipe cutters, tubing cutters, and hacksaws specifically designed for cutting metal.

What is The Difference Between Pipe Cutter & Tubing Cutter?

A pipe cutter is designed for cutting larger sizes of copper pipe, while a tubing cutter is designed for cutting smaller sizes of copper pipe and tubing.

What is The Best Way To Cut Copper Pipe?

The best way to cut copper pipes is by using a pipe cutter or tubing cutter.

What Safety Precautions Should I Take When Cutting Copper Pipe?

Always wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying debris and metal shavings, and work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling metal particles.

How Do I Prevent Damage to The Copper Pipe While Cutting?

Use a cutting tool specifically designed for cutting metal, apply gentle and consistent pressure, and avoid applying too much pressure, which can cause damage to the pipe or cutting tool.