How To Cut Exhaust Pipe – Simple And Easy Guide

Cutting exhaust pipes can be distressing for some. Not only does it require a clean cut, but also the innumerable tools for it can easily confuse people.  However, it’s nothing that complicated that you can’t deal with.

So, how to cut an exhaust pipe? There are myriad options to choose from, but a chain pipe cutter is the most handy. Wrapping the chain around the pipes and rotating it usually does the work. However, there are ways to cut it as well, such as a hacksaw, sawzall, or an angle grinder.

Moving on, we will give you detailed explanations of how to cut exhaust pipes with different tools. Additionally, we will tell you the easiest way to cut exhaust pipes and the importance of doing it perfectly.

Why Do You Need To Cut Exhaust Pipes Perfectly?

There are several reasons for cutting the exhaust pipes in your vehicle. It can be due to leaks, corrosion, or just impact damage in the pipes. Moreover, some prefer to modify the exhaust system and remove the muffler for a louder sound system in their vehicle.

Exhaust pipes are responsible for pollution reduction and airflow velocity. The way you cut it must be precise and neat. If there are any crinkled areas in the pipes, it will slow down the exhaust gasses, thus affecting your vehicle’s performance.

Why Do You Need To Cut Exhaust Pipes Perfectly

Furthermore, longer exhaust pipe systems with sufficient diameters are what is beneficial. So, when cutting, it’s vital to make sure the diameters aren’t becoming overly blunt. As blunt diameters usually hinder the airflow.

Moreover, exhaust pipes greatly contribute to your vehicle’s noise control. If you accidentally cut close to the engine, the exhaust note will be louder. Fuel and engine efficiency are heavily based on the pipes as well. Overall, the way the pipes are cut affects the vehicle’s performance and sound system.

Tools You Need To Arrange To Cut Your Exhaust Pipe

Before making the first cut, assemble all the tools needed for this. First and foremost, start with the protective gear.

  • Goggles: You will be working around metal shards that will be flying all around you. So, don’t skip the goggles.
  • Ear protection: If you’re going to use a loud tool, some type of ear protection is a necessity. Use earplugs or earmuffs.
  • Gloves: Wearing cut-resistant gloves is a must when you’re going to work with sharp tools.
  • Masks: While most people avoid this, we recommend you take this extra step too. Protect yourself from dust. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Moving on to the actual tools needed for cutting the exhaust pipes

  • Tape measure – to measure the length
  • Marker – To mark the position you will be cutting
  • Clamps – To secure the pipes if needed
  • Preferred pipe-cutting tool

How To Cut Exhaust Pipe

How To Cut Exhaust Pipe Quietly?- Step-By-Step Guide

The easiest way to cut exhaust pipes is by using a chain pipe cutter. What’s better is this tool won’t bother you with screeching noises. It’s as simple as any other tubing cutter but comes with the advantage of multiple cutting wheels throughout the chain.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use a chain pipe cutter:

Step 1: Clean the exhaust pipe

Make sure the insides of the pipes aren’t covered with dust or debris. Also, it should be completely dry before you start.

Step 2: Measure and Mark

Accurately measure the length of the pipe with a tape measure. Using a marker, make a circle at the location where the chain will be attached.

Step 3: Secure the pipes

If your pipe is attached to your car, skip this step. However, if they aren’t attached, use a vise or clamp to secure them in place.

Step 4: Wrap the chain

Adjust the chain according to the diameter of the pipe at the marked position. Then, attach the prongs at the end of the chain to the hook.

Step 5: Tighten and Rotate

Tighten the chain with the wing screw. Now, rotate the chain back and forth while applying moderate pressure on the handles. Keep going back and forth until you see the result.

You may have to adjust the tightness again during the process.  Also, make sure the rotation is smooth and even. Don’t go over it unnecessarily, or else you will end up with crinkled edges.

Step 6: Smooth away the edges

If you accidentally make the edges too crinkled, use sandpaper to smoothen them out. Some prefer to use a lubricant at the end, but you can use what is convenient for you.

Here is a video on the basics of sanding metals

Using a chain pipe cutter isn’t the only way to cut exhaust pipes quietly. You also have the option to use pliers. They’re just as hassle-free and don’t take up unnecessary time. Using the pliers is more or less similar to using a chain pipe cutter.

Here is the step-by-step guide on how to use a plier:

  • Step 1: Clean the exhaust pipes- Get rid of any dust or dirt inside the pipes, and make sure it’s dry.
  • Step 2: Mark and measure- Measure the length you need to cut and mark it evenly with a marker.
  • Step 3: Secure the exhaust pipes- Secure the pipes with a vise or clamp if they’re not attached to the car.  Skip this step if the pipes are attached to your car.
  • Step 4: Place the pliers at the location- Open the pliers as widely as possible and place the jaws where the pipes are marked.
  • Step 5: Tighten and squeeze- Tighten the pliers by clamping the metal with the cutting edge of the pliers. Squeeze the handles of the pliers as hard as possible until the pipes are cut.
  • Step 6: Make the edges smooth- If you notice any crinkled edges, smoothen them out with sandpaper.

Cut Exhaust Pipe With A Hacksaw

Hacksaws are not only easily available but also very affordable. If you’re on a budget, a hacksaw will get your job done without any extra trouble. However, you will have to be patient with it.

  • Step 1: Start by putting the hacksaw at the location that needs to be cut. Ensure that the blade’s edge is directly touching the pipe.
  • Step 2: Now, move the hacksaw back and forth while applying adequate pressure on it. Don’t go overboard with the pressure you’re applying, as you might damage the tubing.
  • Step 3: Keep applying adequate pressure until you notice the cut.
  • Step 4: Remove the saw and flip the pipe to cut it again. You may have to flip and cut the pipe a couple of times to cut the entire circumference.

Using a hacksaw is time-consuming and a lot harder if your exhaust pipe is attached to the car. So, we have other recommendations as well.

How To Cut Exhaust Pipe With Sawzall?

A sawzall, also known as a reciprocating saw, is one of the best options to cut an exhaust pipe efficiently. With the right blade, it’s efficient and less time-consuming.

  • Step 1: Start by fitting the saw with an appropriate blade. We recommend you go for a fine-toothed blade. They help reduce noise while ensuring the quality of the cut.
  • Step 2: Once you have attached the blade, put it in the location of the pipe that needs to be cut.
  • Step 3: Firmly hold the saw and gently squeeze the trigger. Keep squeezing the trigger until you get maximum speed.  Once the speed is maximum, slide the saw right across the exhaust pipe.
  • Step 4: If you’re not too confident with the speed right away, you can control it with the control knob. Let go of the trigger as soon as you’re done.

Cutting Exhaust Pipe With An Angle Grinder

For pipes, an angle grinder is a sensible option as it rotates on its own.  However, you can’t use this if your exhaust pipes are attached to your car. This is because angle grinders tend to push back and injure the workers.

If you’re using it on detached pipes, here’s how you can do it.

  • Step 1: Once you’ve attached your cutting wheel, turn on the grinder.
  • Step 2: Cut the pipe at a 90-degree angle.
  • Step 3: Apply adequate pressure to get a smooth cut.
  • Step 4: Once you’re done cutting, slowly release the pressure to avoid the grinder pushing back at you.

How To Cut Exhaust Pipe Without A Saw?

If you don’t want to use a saw, you can use a Dremel. Dremels are powerful and effective. They are not only easy to use but also easy to store. Moreover, with a Dremel, you have minimal safety concerns.

  • Start by fitting the Dremel at the location to be cut and adjust the speed settings accordingly. Speed settings are different for each model, so carefully read the manual it came with.
  • Switch on the tool and move it around the pipe evenly while applying adequate pressure. If you notice any uneven edges, use a metal file to make them smooth.
  • Also, make sure the Dremel isn’t overheated, as it will cause the tool to spark.

What Is The Easiest Way To Cut An Exhaust Pipe And Why?

Chain pipe cutters are undoubtedly the easiest to use. The reasons why we have picked this tool are very simple. Not only do chain pipe cutters require the least amount of time, but they also have a simple mechanism.

Pipe cutters are very convenient to use. They provide a neat and clean cut without creating a mess. A clean cut usually means that people don’t have to take the extra step of making the edges smooth.

Additionally, they are safe to use and inexpensive. Overall, chain pipe cutters can be used without needing extensive knowledge or experience. They can be easily worked with by putting in minimum effort.


Cutting the exhaust pipes of your vehicles isn’t as difficult as you might think. Before starting, use protective gear like goggles, gloves, and earplugs. We recommend you use a chain pipe cutter as it’s the easiest to use. Also, it will save you from the screeching noises that most tools come with.

If you don’t have a chain pipe cutter, you can use a plier, hacksaw, sawzall, dremel, or angle grinder. We hope you got the answer to how to cut the exhaust pipe. If you have any confusion, feel free to take a second glance here. Good luck!

Michael is the owner of Michael's Plumbing. He has experience over 15 years solved thousands of plumbing issues. 100% customer satisfaction made him best in this sector. Finally he decided to share his skills, experience and techniques through this PipesYard blog. Hopefully each and every post of this blog will be helpful for people seeking piping help.

Leave a Comment