How to Cut Aluminum Pipe
Cutting aluminum pipe is necessary for many different projects. Most commonly, aluminum pipe is used in electrical conduit. It is also widely used in chain link fence posts. Aluminum pipe comes in a variety of diameters, lengths and thicknesses based on the application. Regardless of the dimensions of the pipe, it is made with a very soft metal that is rather easy to cut but requires special handling during the cutting process. Special handling will prevent wasted material resulting from poor cuts and it will also prevent tools from breaking during the cutting process.
Apply a small amount of cutting oil to the surface of the aluminum pipe where the cut will be made. If you are using a hacksaw, go to Step 2; if you are using a pipe cutter, go to Step 4.
Place the hacksaw blade horizontally on the pipe. Begin your cut by drawing the blade towards you to establish your first guide cut. Subsequent cuts are forward and back.
Apply cutting oil to the aluminum pipe where you are cutting. Apply more oil as you cut if cutting becomes difficult.
Close the jaws of the pipe cutter on the aluminum pipe. Using the handle turn the pipe cutter forward towards the open jaws for two full revolutions creating a ridge line.
Tighten the jaws and make more revolutions. Continue to tighten the jaws and apply oil as needed.
Remove burrs that may be on the interior or exterior of the pipe. Use your pocket knife or round file to eliminate burrs.
Things You Will Need
- Hacksaw (18-32 teeth per inch), or
- Tubing cutter
- Sharp knife, or
- Round file
- Cutting oil
- Use cutting oil to preserve your cutting tools.
- Slow down the cutting process towards the end to avoid crushing the aluminum pipe.
- Always deburr the cuts.
- Always wear safety glasses when cutting aluminum pipe.
- Beware of the sharp edges created by cutting aluminum pipe.