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sawing 1 1/4" EMT? Answered

Hi everyone, I have found a local store close to my home that will sell me electrical metal tubing, but they will not cut it (they only sell it in 10'-long tubes). They have told me that they have a hacksaw in the back I can use to do it myself, but since I am just kid I thought they might be kidding me. Is it feasible to cut 1 1/4" electric metal tubing with a hack saw? The tubing looks pretty thick to me and I would need to make three different cuts. Thank you for any advice, James


Is this the "thin wall conduit" you'd use indoors, that you can (sort of) bend by hand? If so, cutting it with a hacksaw, or a Dremel with a heavy cutting disk, is quite reasonable. You can also use a pipe-cutter on thin-wall. If it's "thick wall" (outdoor/underground) conduit, they ought to be doing the cutting for you with a power saw.

. EMT is the thin-wall stuff and can be easily cut with a hacksaw or tubing cutter. Make sure to clean up the burr on the inside of the tubing before running wiring through it. . The thick-wall stuff is called "rigid" or GRC.

It is easier to do with a power reciprocating saw but it just takes a little sweat to use a hand hacksaw on the conduit. It's like cutting through a chain-link fence post. It is thin-walled and is made of aluminum or a soft steel. Mark your cut all the way around with a magic marker or piece of tape. Support both ends of the conduit where the cut will be made. It should be clamped in a vise or else placed in some groove to keep it from moving around. Put it on a crate and use your foot to step on it if necessary. Use your thumb to start and guide the hacksaw cut by drawing it back a couple of times to cut a groove. Continue sawing the conduit by changing the angle you cut to make effective use of the full blade length. Let the saw do the work, no need for heavy pressure. Just watch your guidelines and slow down as you get to the final cut that breaks the conduit in two. Make sure they give you a good sharp hacksaw blade. Don't touch the cut or blade with your fingers because it will be hot from the sawing. You can use a file or emery cloth to get any rough nicks off the cut edge. Wear leather gloves if you worry about the blade slipping and possibly nicking your fingers holding the conduit. No need for cutting oil. Good luck. Oh and if it still scares you, ask the store if they have insurance and tell them you have bad hand-eye coordination. They might get out the conduit cutter that's laying next to the pipe.

Thank you for your excellent advice. I will let you know how it goes. :) james