If you have recently chosen to do some new pipe installation or repair work, you may have chosen PEX piping for its convenience. Before installation, however, it will need to be cut to the correct size. Let’s take a look at how to cut PEX pipe.

How to Cut a PEX Pipe to Size

First off, let’s consider what PEX tubing is. This is an alternative choice to using copper piping primarily because it is more flexible and most likely will necessitate fewer fittings and connections. It is easy to cut PEX tubing if you acquire a PEX cutter that is available at most hardware retailers, even online.

pips on the roof

Necessary Tools and Materials

  • PEX Pipe
  • PEX Pipe Cutter/Ratchet PEX Pipe Cutter
  • Marker or pen
  • Measuring tool

By using a PEX pipe cutter, you will be able to cut straight through a section of tubing without too much difficulty and it doesn’t matter if pipes are small or large in diameter. The secret to your success in attaching fittings will be to ensure that you get an even cut. Various fittings will not be able to lock and create a desired seal if the cutting is uneven.

Tip: Another factor to keep in mind is the diameter of the tubing that you will be cutting. PEX tubes that have larger diameters such as an inch or more, are better cut with a ratchet pipe cutter if you don’t have the correct size of a PEX cutter.

pip is cutting with pip cutter

Step 1: Measure

Lie the Pex tubing as straight as possible on your workbench or table. Measure the pipe you wish to cut. Then add on an extra inch. It is important to add on that little extra because flexible PEX tubing will tend to contract and expand. As such your piping should not be stretched tightly from one fitting to another.

Step 2: Mark

Using a marker or pen, mark where you intend to cut.

Step 3: Position

Position the piping within the mouth of your PEX cutting tool. Make sure that your cutting line has been positioned underneath the cutting tool blade. Hold the tube in place.

Step 4: Cut

By gripping the tool handles and squeezing firmly in a single motion, you will cut through the PEX tubing. Make sure to squeeze the handles as far as possible.

What to Avoid

  • Do not use a saw that will tear the edges of the piping.
  • Avoid cracking or pinching the tubing
  • Avoid creating angles when cutting

Will a PVC Cutter Cut Pex Tubing?

While there are many different types of piping, there are also various kinds of pipe cutters, some of which are specialized, and others are all-purpose cutting instruments. A PVC pipe cutter or ratchet cutter almost looks like gardening pruners, and there come in sizes that can cut piping diameter up to two inches. They work very well when cutting PEX pipe.

A lot of equipment on the table

Is It Possible to Cut PEX Pipes with a Copper Pipe Cutter?

So, you don’t have a PEX cutter but do possess a copper pipe cutter and you are wondering if you can use a copper pipe cutter to cut PEX. A copper pipe cutter is specialized for cutting rigid copper material and uses a sharp cutting wheel as opposed to a blade to cut. While it does cut a variety of different tubing materials and can cut PEX if needed, by cutting materials that are not copper, you will contribute to dulling the cutter’s blade.

How to Cut PEX without the Cutting Tool

If you don’t have a PEX cutting tool but are in a hurry, you may need to cut your PEX tubing without the benefit of a pipe-cutting tool. While a utility knife is not the recommended choice and is a bit more dangerous, it can be used in a pinch. If your utility knife has a sharp blade, the resulting cut should be clean and smooth.

Necessary Tools

  • PEX tube
  • Utility Knife
  • Measuring tool

Step 1: Measure.

Lay the tubing on a flat surface and measure the amount of tubing that you need. Add approximately an inch to your measurement. This is important because flexible PEX tubing will contract and expand when in use, so a little extra tubing is important for functionality. Your PEX piping should stretch tightly from one fitting to another but have that little extra give for expansion.

Step 2: Mark

Mark the PEX pipe directly with the utility knife. Holding the tubing firmly with one hand, insert the knife with the other hand into the piping at a 90° angle or perpendicular to the tube. Pull slightly downward to cut into the PEX pipe.

Step 3: Cut

Cut the PEX pipe partially where you have inserted the knife. Continue cutting until the blade has completely cut through the tubing.

Conclusion

Cutting PEX pipe is very easy. The PEX pipe cutter is the ideal solution and requires minimal investment. Usually, one can be found at your local hardware store and the cost runs less than ten dollars making it a convenient tool at a convenient price.

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