Cutting PVC Below Grade

I used this vise and 2x4 to simulate a pipe below grade. If you need to cut this pipe to a certain height for a floor drain or to make pitch this instructable will show how too.

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Step 1: You Could Buy a Inside Pipe Cutter

Inside pipe cutters are available. They are only available in one length and the teeth barely make it past the walls of the pipe. They put teeth on their blades to trick you in not making your own. Teeth are not needed.

Step 2: How This Came About

I broke my inside pipe cutter before I was finished cutting. (I'm a plumber). I wasn't using one with teeth like the last photo. Mine had an abrasive blade in it. I still needed to cut the pipe and didn't have an extra blade. I saw the scraps of metal (like the ones in the photo) all over the floor. I had just got done drilling metal studs for my pipes. And my idea came to me.

Step 3: The Rig

Set the hole saw scrap (or washer like in photo) over a bolt with a nut.

Step 4: Make It Tight

Use tools to make it tight. If it spins it's useless.

Step 5: Finished Look

It should look like this.

Step 6: The Operation

Insert the bit into a drill. If it's a keyless drill shove a rag down the pipe before you start. If the bit comes loose it's gone.

Step 7: It's Cutting

While drilling the walls with the bit apply pressure to the outside walls of the pipe.

Step 8: Different Angle

You can see it easily cuts through this sched 40 solid pipe with no problem.

Step 9: Your Done

After you make it all around the pipe your done. You can make bigger ones for larger pipe if you want to. It would be faster to cut but, this little guy will cut all sizes.

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    11 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Gimmick. The thread gets crushed in the drill chuck and then the bolt doesn't spin true...the whole thing wobbles. Also, when you cut from the inside there is usually concrete or some other material on the outside of the pipe otherwise you would just use a handsaw. Diamond blades are almost a must with an IPC. This is OK for a DIY hack I suppose... Professional plumbers use the Ezygrind inside pipe cutter.


    4 years ago

    i used this trick tonight cutting into a shower drain.
    it worked!
    i just happened across something i had never noticed before at the hardware store that made this trick even easier.
    an elevator bolt has a washer type head built in so there's no need to tighten a nut or do anything except chuck it down tight.
    you're limited in length, but the 2" one i bought cost me .85 US cents and got the job done.
    great instructable. thanks for sharing. never would have thought to try something that didn't have teeth or wasn't sharpened.
    thanks again.

    1 reply

    4 years ago on Introduction

    So glad I took a moment to step back for some research before I headed out to buy something to cut my drain pipe. You, my friend, are a genius. I can't thank you enough :)

    1 reply

    5 years ago

    yeah man a coworker showed me this a couple years ago he used 3/8 all thread nuts washers and cut studs. try for sharing wit er'body


    5 years ago on Introduction

    I guess no one is selling you any inside pipe cutters anymore.


    5 years ago

    Great idea and application. Thanks