How to Cut PVC or ABS Pipe Straight

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In this video I'm going to show you how to get a nice, square cut in PVC or ABS pipe.

I'll show you two ways:

First, with a miter saw, or chop saw, because it's easier.

Second, by hand, if you don't have a miter saw.

With a miter saw, of course, it's very quick.

But if you're cutting 4-inch pipe, it won't make it all the way through

if your saw has a 10 inch blade, which is most common.

You could, of course, turn the pipe and cut again.

But since the saw will cut through like butter

you won't notice if you're off the mark until you're done

and you might end up with a cut like this.

I got better results finishing it off with a handsaw.

Put it into the cut.

Hold it against the side of the pipe that you want to keep

and cut the rest of the way.

You'll end up with a nice clean cut.

By hand takes a little longer but you can get the same results.

Start by using a piece of paper with at least one straight edge.

It needs to be long enough to wrap around the pipe

about one and a half times.

Thicker paper is more helpful,

but I'm just using newspaper here.

When you wrap it around the pipe make sure the edge of the second layer

lines up exactly with the first layer.

With a pencil, either draw a full circle using the paper as a ruler

or as I'm doing here just make three or four marks around the pipe.

Now we're done with the paper.

Using an appropriately sized hose clamp put it around the pipe.

Keep the clamp on the side of the pipe that you are keeping.

Tighten it until it's snug but still movable.

Line up the edge of the clamp to your lines.

Once in place, tighten it down.

Since the bolt in the clamp is a bit wider than the rest,

turn that to the bottom before cutting.

Using a handsaw, start sawing

keeping the saw up against the hose clamp.

Starting off is the hardest part.

Use light pressure at first.

If you push too hard you'll find that it'll jump over the clamp.

Be patient.

Once you make it through the top of the pipe you can speed up.

Make sure to keep a slight angle toward the clamp

to keep the saw against the clamp.

If you happen to get off track as I did here,

turn the pipe past that spot and start again.

Once your new cut meets up with the old,

you can continue as before,

keeping the bolt of the clamp at the bottom.

Near the end, slow down a bit.

As the scrap piece starts to fall off,

angle the saw to make sure you're keeping the saw up against the clamp.

When you make it all the way through, remove the clamp.

You can see we ended up with a nice fairly clean cut.

And when we measure for square, we're pretty close.