We all know PEX holds a handful of advantages over metal pipes, don’t we? It is corrosion-resistant, energy-efficient, recyclable, durable, and cheaper than copper pipes.
These are the obvious reasons why PEX tubing is widely used in water distribution systems and other purposes.
Considering its mass popularity, you thought it would be a great idea to replace that rusted, noisy copper pipe in your kitchen sink with PEX tubing.
It surely will give you peace of mind since it will last for about 50 years!
But, as you’ve brought a roll of PEX pipe home, you became confused as to how will you cut the pipe, so that it fits perfectly in the fitting. Which tool will you use?
No worries, because that’s why we are here for you! Follow our easy step-by-step guide on how to cut PEX, and you’ll find your answers in no time!
Choosing The Right Tools For Cutting PEX Tubing
If you’re thinking of cutting the PEX pipe with regular tools, like scissors, a hacksaw, or a utility knife, note that you won’t get a perfectly cut tube.
That’s because, the resulting tube isn’t straight, and you’ll have a hard time trying to fit the tube into the fitting.
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What you can consider using instead is something specifically made for PEX tubing- a PEX cutter! There are two types of cutters for cutting PEX-
- Scissor-type cutter and
- Ratchet-style cutter.
Scissor-type cutters resemble that of a scissor, and they are commonly used for cutting PEX tubing. These have a sharp blade on one side and a curved surface on the other for accommodating the PEX tubing.
Cutters of this type accommodate PEX pipes having diameters equal to an inch or less. Plus, they require a bit of effort while cutting. Ratchet-style cutters have a similar appearance to scissor-type cutters with the exception of a stronger blade.
This is the reason why such cutters are used for cutting PEX having diameters of an inch or more. Not only that, but they are expensive and require less effort while cutting.
Depending on the diameter of the PEX tubing you want to cut, you will need to choose the tool accordingly. Make sure to choose the one that has a comfortable grip and is made of durable steel.
How To Cut PEX: Step By Step Guideline
1. Straighten The PEX Tubing
Lay the tubing on a flat surface and straighten it. It needs to be marked for uniform cutting, so make sure to straighten it as much as possible.
2. Measure The Length Of Tubing You Need
Take a measurement tape and use it to measure the length of the PEX tubing you need for the fitting. Since PEX tubing shouldn’t tightly fit between its fitting, make sure to add an extra inch to your desired length. It helps the pipe expand and contract without any issue.
3. Mark Your Measurements
Once you’ve determined the length of the pipe you want to cut, use a black pointed marker to mark around the diameter. Make sure the marking is clear enough for you to follow while cutting. Also, make sure to use the type of marker whose ink does not fade.
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4. Insert The PEX Tubing
Take your PEX cutter and insert the area you want to cut into its mouth. Make sure to position the marked area under the blade correctly in order to avoid mistakes. Also, make sure the pipe doesn’t move from its place.
5. Cut The PEX Tubing
Once the pipe is aligned properly, firmly squeeze the handles together. The mouth of the cutter should close with the pipe in between the blade and the curved design. Keep squeezing until the blade penetrates the tubing completely.
6. Finish The Cut
While the pipe is being squeezed, twist the cutter downwards to finish off. If you’re using a larger PEX cutter, you might be able to cut it in one go. But, if you’re using a smaller size, you might need to reopen the mouth and then squeeze the handles again.
Tips and Tricks: How to Remove Crimp Ring Use a Pex Cutting Tool?
1. Turn Off The Water Supply
Since you’ll be cutting the PEX pipe, the first thing you need to do is turn off the water supply connected to the pipe. Also, make sure all the water has been drained off the pipe so that it remains clear inside.
2. Clamp The Pipe With Pliers
Clamp one side of the PEX pipe with pliers. Make sure to clamp a few centimeters away from the fitting. This avoids the fitting from getting damaged.
3. Cut The Pipe
With one side of the fitting still clamped into place, take a PEX cutter and place its mouth on the other side of the fitting. Make sure to leave enough space in between the tool and the fitting. Squeeze the handles of the cutter to cut the pipe.
4. Remove The Crimp Ring
With one hand still clamping the pipe, take a PEX crimp ring cutter with the other hand. Insert the crimp ring cutter inside the tube containing the fitting. The bottom part of the cutter should remain inside the tube and the top part outside.
Squeeze the handles together to cut the crimp ring. Rotate the fitting in the opposite direction to cut it completely. Remove the fitting by grabbing it with the cutter and pulling it out.
Short Tips For Cutting PEX
- Always cut the PEX tubing straight. If you cut it at an angle, you will find the pipe having an uneven end that makes it harder to fit into any fitting.
- Do not bend the PEX tubing while cutting. It will result in a cracked surface which might break afterwards.
- Do not pinch the PEX tubing. If you pinch it, then it will become permanently deformed.
1. Can You Cut PEX With A Copper Pipe Cutter?
While it is possible to use a copper pipe cutter for cutting PEX, doing so can result in cracked surfaces. This in turn can lead to the pipe breaking apart afterward.
To avoid such from happening, it is a good idea to use cutters specifically made for cutting PEX.
2. Is PEX Safe For Drinking Water?
According to studies, PEX is safe for drinking water. However, users state some of the PEX tubing brands contain contaminants that affect the taste of water.
3. What Is The Lifespan Of PEX Pipe?
PEX pipes can last up to 50 years as long as they are in flawless condition. That being said, exposure to high water temperatures and sunlight reduces its lifespan.
4. Should I Use Brass Or Plastic Fittings?
While you can use brass fittings where the water is less acidic, it is recommended to use plastic fittings in general. Plastic fittings are more effective than brass fittings because they don’t corrode over time.
With the right tool in hand, it is not that difficult to cut a PEX pipe. You can either get your desired PEX cutter online or at your local hardware store.
When you’ve purchased one, make sure to follow the tips in order to get the perfect cut suited for the fitting. After all, you’re replacing your metal pipe with the most advantageous one, aren’t you?
Hopefully, we were able to give you easy guidance on how to cut PEX. Now, if your parents or grandparents need their metal pipes to be replaced, would you call a professional or do it by yourself?
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Hey! I’m Leanda Bailey. I’m here to explain every plumbing installation and repair you may have in your kitchen or bathroom. Also, I’ll try to find you the best products on the market for your plumbing work.