Cutting PVC Pipe with String


Hope Cutting PVC Pipe with a String

Hope, my plumber’s helper of the moment, is demonstrating the technique for cutting PVC pipes with an ordinary string. Nothing special. Nothing up her sleeves. Just a string and friction.
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I had read of someone mentioning someone else having seen someone do this years ago. Unfortunately no details on how.

This week I had some pipes I needed to cut that were in a bit of a tight spot. My first cut was on a big Schedule 40 3″ Drain-Waste-Vent (DWV) pipe down in the trench.

I used some ordinary surveying string I had lying around. Screwdrivers made good handles at each end of the string. Looked possible…

At first nothing seemed to be happening and then all of a sudden I realized I was half way through the pipe and there was smoke!

I slowed down and kept pulling the string back and forth. Near the end I crossed the string over so it made an X to finish the cut. Easy-peasy.


Hand Saw

Admittedly the cut is not as fine as I get with my usual handsaw, but that handsaw won’t get into the trench. A little sand paper took the rough edge off the string’s cut and I was ready to attach more fittings.


Chop Saw

For most of my pipe cutting I use this chop saw. It does a perfect cut every time. Count your fingers though!

Outdoors: 75°F/54°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 66°F/62°F

Daily Spark: I love pigs, they turn vegetables into bacon. -Anon

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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6 Responses to Cutting PVC Pipe with String

  1. esbee says:

    what’s up with the nonais site…it says bandwidth exceeded?

    • Yes. A spammer used up our bandwidth. The web host company is being unhelpful – they gain by trying to get me to pay more for extra bandwidth but I can’t. See this post for details.

      It should come back up in September. Unfortunately if this happens again then down it goes again. I have disabled the xmlrpc the hacker was using but they keep wasting bandwidth. It is over 8GB last time I looked.

  2. Sal says:

    Does your DeWalt have the light? My 50- something partner says the light is a godsend- he can’t see the pencil line on greyed timbers any more (bad business for a timber framer) and without the light he wouldn’t be able to cut timbers/braces etc in the barn.

    • Yes, it is wonderful. The light not only lights the work piece for better visibility but it also creates a blade mark using the shadow of the blade – very handy. Our lower speed Evolution metal chop saw has a laser – same idea and wonderful to have. Keep fingers and toes away from the light! :)

  3. We cut a lot of PVC around here — chop saw and pvc cutters, mostly — and I never knew you could do that. A good trick to have in my back pocket. The one with the string.

  4. Farmerbob1 says:

    I’ve used metal-braid diamond-encrusted string saws for cutting a whole bunch of things over the years – they are godsends for tight work and will cut anything I’ve ever needed to have cut. I’ve never considered simply using regular string though. I doubt it would do so well on metal piping, but for PVC? I’ll be holding onto this idea, Walter, thank you.

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