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Cutting copper tube

Bill_24 Member Posts: 26
I don't know the best method, but I can tell you that a pvc saw is not a good option. We had a new employee here who had to cut a piece of 1/2", so when he went into the warehouse all he could find was a pvc saw. After about 10 minutes of cutting he came back to the counter bewildered. We had a good laugh and then showed him the proper way of doing it with either a tubing cutter, or hack saw.


  • Ruthe  Jubinville
    Ruthe Jubinville Member Posts: 67
    copper yube

    What have you people found to saw copper ? we are using 1/2-2" Thanks, Jerry
  • MikeB34
    MikeB34 Member Posts: 155

    24 teeth per inch or better to use a hacksaw, Chopsaw for fast square cuts. Tube cutter for clean cuts.

    Mike B
  • heatboy
    heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
    Without question...........

    it is Ridgid's copper cutting machine. I've tried chop saws and cut-off saws and nothing comes close to this.


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    The Radiant Whisperer

    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
  • John Jr
    John Jr Member Posts: 210
    HB is right again!

    I also use the Ridgid 122 in the shop and when I have to cut alot of copper on the job I take it with me. Wouldn't use anything but. Hey HB I had a piece made up for the cleaning brushes so now I don't have to wait for them I just get the cheap ones and cut the handle off and use a set screw to hold them in. Works great!

    Like hb says once you use it you won't leave home without it.

    hb missed you at Wetstock III, nice to see you at Viessmann's open house.

    John Jr.
  • jeff_13
    jeff_13 Member Posts: 12

    lot of trades around milwaukee are using a panasonic cordless cirler saw for metal has a carbid blade it works great cuts rod, pipe, angle iron sheet metal it works great on copper no burr on the inside sometimes one on theoutside sparkes love them for emt also cut unstrut i have used it for baseboard ect. also know milwaukee and dewalt now have saws for metal
  • bandswaw

    I use the Milwaukee portable band saw and put it on their optional stand. You can also modify the stand with a piece of 2x2 angle iron and mark it off with a tape measure. Works great for making up manifolds.
  • Arthur
    Arthur Member Posts: 216
    Cutting copper pipe

    Smaller pipe 1/2" 3/4" we cut with a pipe cutter and then reamer the inside out to allow the expanding dift to go in but on larger pipe we use a 32 teeth hacksaw blade, General rule is the softer the material the finer the teeth blade or conversly the harder the material the courser the teeth (16 teeth).One doesn't have a 10 ton truck to cart every fancy bit of equipment to field jobs
  • John Felciano
    John Felciano Member Posts: 411
    Chop it

    We use a DeWalt dry cut chop saw specialy designed for metal cutting.It cuts everything from copper tube,threaded rod,angle iron,steel pipe and unistrut.I won't build a boiler without it.

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  • Richard Miller_2
    Richard Miller_2 Member Posts: 139
    I ream with...

    I use a 1 3/8" Uni-Bit from Lennox in a cordless drill to ream up to 1 1/4" copper. Quick and fast. But when i get back into the business I have other plans.

    A dry cut metal chop saw with the cordless ProPress system. Seems like that approach just makes sense.
  • tim smith_2
    tim smith_2 Member Posts: 184
    cut copper

    I just bought a dewalt chopsaw with a very fine tooth carbide blade on it for cutting copper. Found it leaves just a tiny burr on the bottom of the cut. Little pocket reamer pop's it off in one little swipe, also one slight run on inside and pipe all great. Figure it saves at least 60% to the cutting,reaming process. Great at manifold location.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,107
    The dry cut

    is my current favorite. It is handy to be able to cut wood blocks, uni-strut, all thread, PVC vent pipe, rebar stakes, and more with one tool.

    A bit heavy to tote around.

    For just copper and non ferrous, a 10" miter saw with a fine, non ferrous blade is a cheap, light, and easy solution.

    Haven't tried a new Rigid copper prep machine. Seems like a lot of cash for a single purpose tool. Although HB' s wall mount with pipe holding stand looks real handy.

    I like RAM's unibit idea for cleaning tubing cutter droppings, thanks.

    hot rod
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • heatboy
    heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
    I used to think the same way.................

    until I borrowed Cosmo's machine to make one of our panels. The time savings this machine offers in cutting, cleaning and reaming a 1 1/4" piece of copper sold me. With the cleaning brushes mounted to the side, fittings can be cleaned up quick. It's light and portable, so I take to jobs when there is a lot of copper to cut. Worth every penny because time is money. Now, once I get that Pro Press.............


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    The Radiant Whisperer

    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
  • adambuild
    adambuild Member Posts: 414
    RIDGID #122

    Hands down! The RIDGID #122 copper prep machine is incredible. I was a little hesitant at first but took the plunge! It cuts, reams, and brushes copper pip so fast! I added one little modification. I went to Grainger and bought a foot pedal control that the 122 cord plug into before going into the outlet. Now I have two hands on the pipe at all times and never have to touch the switch! The switch was only about $40.00. Copper piping gets done in a fraction of the time with very little effort!
  • Cosmo_2
    Cosmo_2 Member Posts: 43
    Use both!!!

    I know it hurts my mileage but I always carry both in my truck. I can't believe how many uses I find for my Dewalt drycut saw, and when I have more than a few copper fittings to cut and clean I just pull out the Ridgid 122 on a plywood/sawhorse table and I can forget about acheing wrists.

    Cosmo Valavanis
  • Mark Eatherton1
    Mark Eatherton1 Member Posts: 2,542
    Problem with the Rigid 122

    We were using it on type L copper, and regardless of how lightly we apply pressure to the handle, it left a slight ridge that had to be filed off in order to correctly fit into the fittings.

    You'da thought they'd have thought of that as a possible problem. No problem with M, just L...

    Anyone else?

    I prefer my 10" saw with the carbide dry cut, but boy does it sling chinks of copper everywhere!

  • Cosmo_2
    Cosmo_2 Member Posts: 43
    Re: 122 problem

    I have'nt noticed a problem yet with a ridge forming, and I have used this machine extensively with L-copper from 1/2" all the way up to 2" L. Maybe the blade is defective/dull? The one problem I have with this machine is that there should be a way to vary it's speed. Cutting into a length of 2" L-copper that isn't perfectly straight makes the machine wobble something fierce! I had been considering looking for a variable control for this, and since reading one of the other posts, a foot pedal also!

    Cosmo Valavanis
  • MikeB34
    MikeB34 Member Posts: 155

    Its called a deadman's switch. Its also a great safety device. Wouldn't think of running a power threader or other really strong power tool without one.
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