Equipment and Supplies: A Guide

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Copper Cutting Guide for Beginners: You Can Do It Yourself!

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The most common use of copper metal is the installation of plumbing and air conditioning units. These pipes will suffice for both residential and commercial needs. For those taking on the installation themselves, note that you will need to cut the copper pipes to the appropriate length so that they can fit your specific installation requirements. You can use various tools and techniques to trim your copper pipes and make them suitable for installation. If you have no idea how and where to start, the following guide walks you through the basics of copper cutting.

Using Tubing Cutters

The best way to cut your copper pipes is by using a tubing cutter. Just as the name suggests, tubing cutters are designed to cut materials with long cylindrical shapes. Tubing cutters come with two rollers installed on one side of the jaws. Your pipes rest against these small rollers, which maintain the pipe's position as the cut happens. Simultaneously, a firm circular clamp tightens against the pipe on the other side of the rollers. A full rotation occurs around the pipe as the cut slices through the copper pipe, and the blade retightens after every full rotation.

The machine repeats this process until it cuts through the copper pipe. Tubing cutters are easy to use and handle. They are also ideal for those working in limited spaces.

Using Metal Shears

Metal cutting shears are another option for those who want to cut copper pipes. The shears resemble ordinary scissors but they are sturdier and bigger. This ensures they are capable of taking on heavy-duty applications like cutting through your copper pipes. Mark your copper tubes on the section you need to cut, and then place this section between the shears. If you are doing this manually, metal shears will only be suitable to cut copper pipes made from lightweight copper sheets.

Using Pipe Slices

Pipe slices have the same working principle as tubing cutters. However, the blade responsible for cutting the copper pipe works through a spring-loaded mechanism, also referred to as a cutting wheel. You need to push the pipe slice against the copper pipe and the equipment turns when the copper pipe reaches the right place. The cutting wheel begins to cut into the copper pipe as the spring adds pressure to further push the copper pipe. Further turns continue the cutting process until the unwanted bit of the copper pipe falls off.