United Rentals carries a large inventory of pipe cutter rentals, typically the fastest and most convenient way of getting a clean cut on a pipe. We have many types and sizes of pipe cutters, including powered and manual cutters. Thinner pipes can be cut by using plastic tubing cutters. For thicker pipes, cutters with adjustable jaw grips work best and usually use repeated rotation to tighten and cut all the way through. With so many types of pipe cutters for rent — rotary, hydraulic, hinged and soil — we can help properly equip you for a variety of cutting applications. Regardless of your pipe-cutting needs, United Rentals has the tools to help you get the job done.
For more information, read our FAQs and tips on choosing a pipe cutter below.
We offer pipe cutter rentals in manual, electric, hydraulic and soil/rotary soil varieties.
How are pipe cutters used?
Typically, the cutters are affixed to the piping and mechanized for cutting, applying a rotational force. As you may imagine, there are varying processes and approaches to completing these types of tasks. We recommend contacting our United Rentals specialists for inquiries regarding specific equipment uses.
Can you cut different types of piping with pipe cutters?
Yes, various types of piping can be cut with the proper cutting tools. You just need the right fit for your job. For more information, reach out to your local United Rentals branch to speak with a specialist.
Tips for Choosing a Pipe Cutter
What type of pipe do you need to cut?
Choosing the right pipe cutter rental starts with knowing what type of pipe you need to cut. The right tool will help you get a clean, square cut, which makes it easier to fit the pipe correctly. Avoid multitools, which don’t cut any type of pipe especially well.
Cutting copper pipe
Use a wheeled pipe cutter to cut copper. The tool gets its name from the wheels that slice around the pipe. Pipe cutters for smaller copper pipes have two wheels, while pipe cutters for larger pipes typically have four or more wheels.
Copper piping is used in water supply and drain lines and in refrigerant lines in HVAC systems.
Iron and galvanized steel pipes are common in the plumbing systems of older homes. Steel is used in vehicle exhaust pipes and muffler condensation pipes.
Cutting waste pipe
Pipes that carry waste, also known as soil pipes, are often made from cement, clay or cast iron. You’ll need a soil pipe cutter, also called a snap cutter, to cut these pipes properly. These cutters have a chain with cutting discs. A cast iron pipe snap cutter rental is ideal for cutting cast iron, but cast iron can also be cut with a hack saw, reciprocating saw or angle grinder.
Septic tank lines and older city sewer lines often use these materials.
Cutting PVC and PEX pipes
Some handheld manual cutters are inexpensive and are typically purchased, not rented. These include PVC cutters and PEX cutters.
Cutting PVC pipes
You can cut PVC with a hacksaw or a PVC cutter. Take the time to line up a clean, square cut. When trimming PVC, don’t cut the pipe when it’s cold. The plastic becomes brittle at lower temperatures, which can lead to cracking.
PVC piping is used in sewer, water and irrigation systems.
Cutting PEX pipe
To cut pipes made of PEX (cross-linked polyethylene, a type of flexible plastic), you’ll need a PEX cutter. These tools, which look like pliers, have a razor edge designed to cut through the soft tubing in one pinch, leaving a straight edge.
PEX pipes are used in water supply systems, especially in new residential construction.
Rent a reamer to finish the job
Once you’ve made your cut, ream or smooth the pipe to remove any imperfections or burrs from the inside surface. Even small imperfections can cause material to get stuck, eventually leading to clogs and poor performance.
Pipe reamers come in a variety of sizes, such as this manual pipe reamer designed for ¼-inch to 2-inch gauge pipe and conduit. Some manual reamers can be mounted onto a power drill. It’s important to choose one that fits the pipe you’re working with.
Don’t forget the PPE
Once you choose a pipe cutting machine rental, grab your PPE. Wear heavy-duty gloves when using a pipe cutter, which can create extremely sharp edges. Wear safety goggles or a full-face shield to protect your eyes and skin from metal shavings. Wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants made of heavy material and steel-toed boots.