A Professional Guide On How To Cut PEX Pipe

Whether you are a DIY enthusiast or a professional plumber, you cannot deny the importance of PEX pipe in the plumbing job. Its flexibility, durability, and ease of installation have revolutionized how we think about plumbing systems. Surprisingly, we see many struggles to cut the PEX pipe.

So, how to cut PEX pipe accurately? To cut the PEX pipe perfectly, you have to mark the pipe’s outer surface as per the desired length. Then, by using a PEX pipe cutter, you can cut the pipe to the required length to finish the plumbing task.

Well, this short answer sounds easy, but in actuality, it’s more critical. Here, we detail the process which will guide you through the entire process.

Step-by-step Guide On How To Cut PEX Pipe

In this section, we detail the cutting process, including tool selection to trimming the edge.

Tools Required

The most important tool is a PEX pipe cutter, a PEX tube cutter, or a PEX cutter. There are several types of PEX pipe cutters available in the market. You can choose from the following:

  • Scissor-type PEX pipe cutter
  • Ratchet-type PEX pipe cutter

To ensure precise and error-free cuts, it is crucial that you use a tubing cutter specifically designed for PEX piping. This will ensure a perfect completion of the plumbing or piping job at your hand. By utilizing the correct tool, you can minimize the likelihood of errors while cutting the pipe.A Professional Guide On How To Cut PEX Pipe

There are some other tools also required to cut the PEX pipe. Below is a list of those:

  • Safety glasses or goggles protect your eyes from any debris or flying particles.
  • Gloves to safeguard your hands from potentially sharp edges.
  • A measuring tape for accurately measuring and marking the desired length of the PEX pipe before cutting.
  • You will need a marker or pencil to mark the measured length on the PEX pipe.
  • After cutting the PEX pipe, a deburring tool is needed to remove rough edges from the cut end.

However, you may require some other PEX-pipe-related tools to do a particular task. The below table consists of the names of those tools and their uses.



PEX Ring crimper

To install a crimp ring

Go/No-Go Gauge

To check the PEX pipe connection

Different types of fittings

To meet the plumbing requirement

Step-By-Step Guide

To cut the PEX pipe, follow the below step-by-step process.

Step 01: Measure and Mark

Use the already collected measuring tape to determine the desired length of the PEX pipe. Make a clear and precise mark on the pipe using a marker or pencil. Ensure the mark is visible and easily identifiable. We strongly recommend that you consider 1.5 cm extra for the pipe’s expansion and contraction.

Step 02: Positioning the PEX Pipe Cutter

Unpack the purchased PEX pipe cutter. Open the PEX pipe cutter and position it around the pipe. You must align the cutter’s blade with the marked cutting point. Moreover, ensure that the blade is positioned perpendicular to the pipe’s axis for a straight cut. Here, consider that the pipe’s axis is 0 degrees with the surface.

Step 03: Apply Pressure and Rotate

Apply moderate pressure on the cutter handles. It is always better that you grip the handles firmly with one hand. And use another hand to hold the pipe. Begin squeezing the handles.

Also, keep a bit of rotating movement of the cutter around the pipe in a circular motion. In this situation, you must maintain a steady and even pressure as you rotate the cutter.

Step 04: Complete the Cut

By holding the cutter, continuously squeeze and rotate the cutter until it penetrates the pipe completely. The cutter’s blade should create a clean and precise cut. If you follow the process exactly, the process will leave a smooth end on the pipe.

Step 05: Deburring

Once the cut is complete, use the in-hand deburring tool to remove any burrs or roughness of the cut edge. First, insert the deburring tool into the pipe’s opening carefully. And rotate it a few times to smooth out the inner and outer edges.

Step 06: Inspect the Cut

After removing the roughness of the edge, do a visual inspection. Make sure it is clean, smooth, and free from any obstructions or irregularities. This inspection will help you verify that the cut is suitable for a secure and leak-free connection.

Check out this YouTube video for visual help:

Tips for Cutting PEX Tube

When cutting PEX pipe, we suggest you be aware of the below-listed mistakes and take steps to avoid them.

  • You must position the cutter forming a 90-degree angle with the pipe axis.
  • When cutting the PEX tube, excessive force or pressure often results in an imperfect cut. So, put steady and controlled pressure.
  • Always take the time to use a deburring tool to smooth the cut end. It will ensure a perfect fit with the piping system.
  • Use a pipe support or have someone hold the pipe securely while cutting to maintain stability.

Tips for Cutting PEX Tube

Warnings On What Not To Do When Cutting PEX Pipe

While cutting PEX pipe is a simple process, it is critical to be aware of some common mistakes to avoid potential problems:

  • Don’t create any angles: Aim for clean, straight cuts with no angles. Angled cuts may result in improper fittings and potential leaks in the plumbing system.
  • Do not overstretch the pipe when measuring: Avoid overstretching the required length of the PEX pipe. Overstretching the pipe can result in inaccurate measurements, resulting in an ill-fitting pipe.
  • Avoid working near heat sources: PEX pipe is heat sensitive, and working close to heat sources can damage the material. When cutting and installing PEX pipes, keep a safe distance from heat-emitting devices like torches, soldering irons, or heating vents.
  • Don’t crack or pinch the tubing: PEX pipe is renowned for its flexibility, but it is still essential to handle it with care. Avoid using excessive force or bending the pipe beyond its recommended limits. This is to prevent cracking, pinching, or weakening of the material.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here, we answer some of the most common questions about PEX pipe cutting.

Q1. Can I use a utility knife to cut the PEX pipe?

Yes, you can. Insert the knife’s tip into the center of the marking, perpendicular to the piping. Pull the blade downward to make a halfway cut through the piping.

Then, carefully maneuver the knife to the other side of the uncut section and gradually cut through the rest of the piping. Use the utility knife with care to ensure a clean and safe cut.

Q2. Will a PVC cutter cut PEX tubing?

Cutting tools, like pipes, come in a variety of shapes and sizes. As a result, a PVC cutter can be used to cut the PEX pipe. It works well with both small and large PEX pipes.

Q3: Can I cut PEX with a copper pipe cutter?

Yes, you can cut the PEX pipe with a copper pipe cutter. But this action often results in an imperfect cut.

Q4: Can you cut the PEX pipe with a hacksaw?

Yes, you can use a hacksaw to cut the PEX pipe. But the hacksaw is unable to provide a perfect finish. Also, more effort and time are needed in this case.

Q5: How much is a PEX Pipe cutting tool?

The price of a good quality PEX pipe cutter ranges from $7.00-$20.00.

Final Words

We hope that now you know how to cut PEX pipe accurately and effortlessly. You can achieve precise and clean cuts by following the given techniques and tips. However, there are two more things we would like to mention here.

First, do not rush in the cutting process. Take your time, double-check measurements, and ensure proper alignment. Second, remember to prioritize your safety throughout the cutting process. We suggest you must wear protective eyewear and gloves. Safety should always be a top priority to prevent any potential injuries.

Typically, you can find any of the tools at your local hardware store for less than $50. Whether you are a professional plumber or a do-it-yourself enthusiast, the knowledge gained from this comprehensive guide will equip you to tackle any PEX pipe-cutting project.

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.

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