How To Cut PVC Pipe With A Miter Saw (Tips and Techniques)Many homeowners will come across PVC piping in their DIY projects around the home. The process of cutting that pipe can vary depending upon the method used. A miter saw will cut PVC pipes quickly once you know how to do it, and that is what we will be looking at below.
Why Use A Miter Saw?A miter saw will allow you to cut quickly through the walls of the PVC pipe, no matter what size of pipe you will be working with. It can handle larger pipe diameters that a hand cutter might struggle with. Using a miter saw will often leave a cleaner cut than those made by hand with a hack saw, for example. Or, if you don't have any tools on hand, you can learn how to cut pvc pipe with string right here.
Always Keep Safety FirstAlways use safety glasses or a face shield when you are operating power tools in order to keep your eyes and face shielded from flying debris. If you plan on making a lot of cuts with the miter saw, you might want to also consider some ear protection to prevent ringing in your ears or headaches from prolonged exposure to sound of the cutting and motor noises.
Cutting PVC pipe with a miter saw will produce fine particles that will irritate your nose and lungs. The fast-moving blade can also generate heat that may release gases from the PVC. You will want to use a dust mask at the least, but a respirator will work the best.
Pay attention to where your fingers, hands, and arms are located in relation to the saw blade. A mistake with a miter saw can cause severe damage, including the loss of limbs.
What Will You Need?
Besides the safety equipment mentioned above, you will also need:
- Tape Measure: For locating your cutting point
- Pencil or Marker: To mark the cutting point once you have measured the PVC pipe
- Knife or Sandpaper: To help remove any burrs that are left after the cuts are done.
The Miter Saw Blade
The type of blade that you use will affect the outcome of your cuts. When cutting PVC materials, it would be best to use a blade designed for plastics or similar materials. These will produce the smoothest edges and provide you with the safest cuts.
Avoid blades that are made for cutting wood, especially rip cut blades with low tooth counts and deeper gullets. You want a blade that has a higher tooth count, with teeth that have a more shallow profile. This will allow you to cut into the PVC without excessive blowout on the ends of the pipe.
Securing The Pipe Before You Cut
Trying to hold the pipe in place as you cut it with the miter saw is not only in-effective, it is also very dangerous. The pipe can kickback or twist in your hand easily, due to the round surface. In order to prevent this type of movement, you will want to find a method of securing the pipe.
Clamping can be an effective method for holding the pipe in place. It allows you to wedge the pipe against the table and fence surfaces before securing it in place. Those contact points will prevent the PVC from moving as you cut, while the clamp will help prevent the pipe from turning or climbing up the blade.
How To Cut PVC Pipe With A Miter Saw (Step-by-Step Guide)
1. Meaure the pipe
Use the tape measure to determine the length you wish to cut to. Mark the location with a pencil or marker so that you can align that point up with the saw blade.
2. Align the pipe
Place the PVC pipe on the miter saw, making contact with both the table as well as the fence. Locate the mark on the pipe and align that mark with the miter saw blade. Keep in mind the kerf of the blade so that you do not cut the pipe short.
3. Secure the pipe
You will now secure the pipe in place before it is cut. Once you have clamped it into place, check the alignment again to make sure the PVC pipe did not move. Adjust the pipe again if necessary.
4. Make the cut
Make sure that your body parts are away from the path of the blade and the press the power button. Bring the blade down for the cut, making sure to bring the blade completely through the pipe. Turn the power off and wait for the blade to stop before lifting the miter saw away from the pipe.
After Making The Cut
Once you have finished the cut, you can check the measurements to make sure they are correct. If there are any ridges or burrs on the ends of the pipe, clean them away using a knife or sandpaper.