How do you cut clay pipe????

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by Cybermonkey, May 30, 2008.

  1. Cybermonkey

    Cybermonkey New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Vermont
    I have a 6 inch clay pipe I need to cut to put a Fernco fitting on. What would you guys suggest I use to make a clean cut????

    Thanks in advance
  2. sjsmithjr

    sjsmithjr Geologist

    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    I would use a carbide blade in a sawzall. Make sure the pipe is well supported. You could also use an angle grinder or even a snap cutter.

    So whichever of these tools you're most comfortable with using and already have in your toolbox is the one I'd use.

    -Sam
    Last edited: May 31, 2008
  3. srdenny

    srdenny Plumbing Contractor

    Messages:
    361
    Location:
    SF Peninsula
    Snap cutter. Cut off saw. Call a pro.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2009
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,452
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I would use a snapper. I have also used a K-12 saw with a diamond blade...

    I would only use a sawzall with a carbide or diamond blade if I was working on a T&M basis and the customer was not going to complain about the price LOL

    That-L-Be the day!
  5. Cybermonkey

    Cybermonkey New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Vermont
    What is a T&M basis????


    Sounds romantic.
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,452
    Location:
    Connecticut
    T&M is Time and Material
    And If I was using a sawzall with a carbide grit blade to cut 6" clay pipe...
    Well It wouldn't really be very romantic...
    The customer would surely feel like they were quickly romanced in a rather rough way if you catch my drift!
    And they would find all their money missing afterwards!:eek:
  7. sjsmithjr

    sjsmithjr Geologist

    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    I wouldn't pay Redwood to do it with a sawzall either :p There's something about snap cutters, clay pipe, and the uninitiated that says "bad idea" to me. If Redwood thinks it's a good idea for a DIY'er to use a snap cutter on clay pipe, then it probably is.

    -Sam
  8. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,452
    Location:
    Connecticut
    The snap cutter is a fine idea...
    Thinking back of all the cuts I have done with a snap cutter on clay pipe...
    I can't think of one that didn't cut beautifully...
    I'd say the odds of a good cut in clay with a snap cutter is higher than getting a good cut on an old cast iron pipe.
  9. Cybermonkey

    Cybermonkey New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Vermont
    Thanks guys for the info. It sounds like it would be cheaper for me to hire a pro than buy a snapper for 1 cut.
    Thanks again
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,917
    Location:
    New England
    Most rental places rent snap or soil pipe cutters - I used one from HD.
  11. novicepiper

    novicepiper Not a Master Plumber

    Messages:
    97
    Location:
    CAN Toronto GTA
    I used a sawzall carbide blade on clay pipe it took about an hour...the good thing is - I lost 3lbs in sweat :)
  12. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,452
    Location:
    Connecticut
    The last one I cut with the snapper took about that long but it included my lunch break! 7 minutes each way to the diner... 45 minutes to order and eat... 1 minute to snap the pipe!:D
  13. SuperDaddy

    SuperDaddy New Member

    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    New York
    I just rented a snap cutter for $20/24hrs from my local tool rental house. It was the ratcheting type. Worked like a charm.
  14. dlangh

    dlangh New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Dayton, OH
    I know this is an old thread but I wanted to add my own experience to this in the hope it helps someone else out as well. I had a 5" clay drain pipe that I cracked into (2 pipes actually) as I was digging a trench for buried electric wire. I googled and read many posts on how to do it. It pretty much came down to either a sawzall or a snap cutter (also known as a chain cutter). I can tell you after having tried both methods the snap cutter or chain cutter is the way to go HANDS DOWN. They are pretty expensive to purchase, but I was able to rent one from my local Home Depot. They didn't think they had anything like that at first and the guy finally said "well I have something that cuts iron pipe" which was in fact the correct tool. The photo presented earlier in this post is the right tool to use. I also decided to buy a diamond tip sawzall blade (works like a carbide blade only lasts longer) just in case. Let me tell you the snap cutter once I got it in place and figured out how it worked took me less than 30 seconds to cut the pipe. I did end up having to use the sawzall because the first end that I cut had a crack underneath that I could not see and I ended up with an uneven cut (not terrible, but you want as clean a cut as you can so your PVC pipe can fit right up to it) I used the sawzall with the diamond tipped blade and while that worked as well it still took me about a minute to cut through 2 inches of the pipe. If I had used the sawzall on the entire pipe I think I would have been a few minutes at it at least.

    I think you could use a sawzall but even those blades aren't going to last forever and my one diamond-tipped blade cost me $15 which was interestingly enough also the rental cost for the snap tool.

    So, the snap/chain cutter in my opinion is the way to go if you can get your hands on one to rent. It definately is a a case-in-point for the old addage "the right tool for the job makes all the difference"
  15. Will Rogers Plumbing

    Will Rogers Plumbing Plumbing Contractor

    Messages:
    57
    Location:
    Moore, Ok
    SDC11414.jpg I use a grinder. Works great for me.
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