In this guide we’ll take a look at the best pipe cutters for plastic pipes.
We’ve compared the max size they can cut, length, blade and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What is the Best Pipe Cutter for Plastic Pipes?
More Detailed Plastic Pipe Cutter Reviews
Knipex 94 10 185 Pipe Cutter for Plastic Conduit Pipes Review
The Knipex 94 10 185 is the best plastic pipe cutter because it’s easy to use and you can replace the blades. We know that Germany’s Knipex make some of the best and most reliable pliers around. We got hold of a pair and put it through its paces.
The first thing we noticed was the clever design. It’s not a flimsy, lightweight bit of kit and it looks like it’s made to last. The cast aluminium body and large trigger are ergonomically designed and feel good in the hand, which is essential if you plan on cutting large numbers of PVC pipes.
There are two things about this tool that set it apart as being the best PVC pipe cutter on the list though: the first thing is the ratcheting trigger- you only need to use a small amount of force to advance the blade forward, saving your hand muscles. The second excellent feature is that you can replace the blade, which makes this a tool you can use over and again for years.
Rothenberger No. 5 2000 ROCUT42 Plastic Pipe Shear Review
One of the world’s leading manufacturers of pipe tools, Rothenberger make German precision tools for cutting all types of pipe and conduit. They make several different models of the best plastic pipe cutter design, but we chose the No. 5 plastic pipe shear to test out.
The large, rubberised handle is really grippy and helps you feel the cut as it’s being made. The pipe cutter’s trigger is long enough to take the strain out of making cuts, and the V-shaped blade is incredibly sharp. We like the ratchet action as well; it makes it much easier to use.
The clever part is in the cutting action itself- the blade pivots so that it always cuts into the pipe point first at a 90° angle. It’s refinements like this that make it one of the best PVC pipe cutters we’ve tried out.
John Guest Speedfit JG Pipe Cutter Review
British plumbing stalwarts John Guest have innovated and pushed the industry forward since the 1960’s. With a huge range of plumbing fittings and underfloor heating systems, we were excited to try out their Speedfit pipe cutter.
It’s a much simpler tool than some of the competition on this list, it doesn’t use a ratchet system or V-shaped shears to cut pipe, just a robust set of pliers-like pipe cutters with a sharpened steel blade. The shape of the opposing jaw holds the pipe steady, and even after making plenty of cuts it still felt easy.
Although this set of pipe cutters is only rated for up to 22 mm plastic pipe, if you’re working on underfloor heating conduit, they’re the best PVC pipe cutters available. Much quicker to cut than with a ratcheting set of cutters, they’re also smaller and easier to throw in your toolbox.
PSW Pipe Cutter with Self-Locking Ratchet Review
Warrington-based PSW Trade Suppliers are a one-stop-shop for everything you need to plumb in your home. The automatic pipe cutter we tested out is just one example of their impressive range of hand tools and accessories.
This 29 cm long pipe cutter is a hybrid version of the traditional type of tool that works like a pair of scissors but makes use of a self-locking ratchet action to grip the pipe and make it easier to cut. We like the feel of the rubberised handle and the fact that it’s rated to cut MDPE and aluminium pipe as well.
There’s a clever locking system on this set of cutters that’s worth a mention- you have to press a button to open the jaws which makes them safe to transport when they’re not in use. If you’re looking for the best PVC pipe cutter that will cut pipes but not break the bank, this is the one for you.
Mr Cartool Heavy Duty Plastic Pipe Cutting Tool Review
You guessed right, Mr CarTool make a lot of automotive test equipment and maintenance tools. But they’ve also turned their hand to making some of the best plastic pipe cutters for not a lot of money. These heavy-duty shears aren’t as long as some of the competition but should still cut plenty of pipe without hurting your hand.
The SK-5 carbon steel blade is helped along by a ratcheting system that keeps it moving at a steady pace and at an angle that guarantees a flat cut that’s free of burrs. It feels solid and durable and you can even get hold of replacement blades if you look around.
For the price, these are excellent for DIYers and anyone who needs to cut pipes nice and straight without a lot of distortion. They might not be as solid as more expensive cutters, but they’re one of the best PVC pipe cutters in this price bracket.
Pipe Cutter (Plastic Pipes) Buyer’s Guide
Whether you’re a professional plumber or a keen DIYer fitting out a bathroom, you’ll need to cut some pipes. Trying to cut them straight with anything but the best plastic pipe cutter is a lot of hard work that can be easily avoided.
Two Types of Cutters
The two main types of pipe that you might need to cut are hard and soft pipes. They come in plenty of different styles and materials, but you need the best plastic pipe cutter to make sure you do the job right. Hard plastic pipes like electrical conduit need ratcheting pliers, while softer pipes for underfloor heating, for example, can be cut with traditional scissor-type cutters.
The best PVC pipe cutters are made from strong and lightweight aluminium, but you can find them in steel and plastic bodies as well.
The blade itself is usually SK-5 high carbon steel, or similar. It’s the sort of steel found in quality knife blades that will make short work of plastic pipe. You can’t easily resharpen these sorts of blades, but you can replace them in some models.
The key to cutting through pipes and conduit without distortion is with a precisely angled blade- if you can pierce the pipe and cut it at a precise 90° angle it will make a clean cut without burrs.
Cutting hard pipes would be difficult without any mechanical advantage and cutting hundreds of hard pipes would be almost impossible without help. The best pipe cutters use a ratcheting system to advance the blade slowly and accurately, which also helps your hands from getting tired.
Getting hold of the best plastic pipe cutter will save you a lot of effort and make sure you cut pipes cleanly and uniformly. All the cutters we tested out will do the job, but the best PVC pipe cutters by far are the Knipex 94 10 185. The combination of precision German engineering and replaceable blades make this a tool you’ll keep using for years of good service.