A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Cut Galvanized Pipe

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Many home improvement projects require the need to cut a galvanized pipe. You may have a plumbing project which requires the need to fit a new pipe extension into an existing pipe. Or, you may be using pipe in one of your woodworking projects as an accessory.

How to Cut Galvanized Pipe

In either case, this may seem too difficult a task to take on yourself. But, it is quite simple if you follow these instructions to learn how to cut galvanized pipe.

​Before beginning your cuts, spend a few minutes gathering your tools to make sure you have the correct supplies on hand. 

​You have your choice of tools to cut the metal pipe with, depending on what you own and have on hand. We outline which is best, depending on the situation.

​1. Have Your Supplies Ready

The key to being successful when cutting galvanized pipe is to make sure you have everything you need for the task ready and accessible. This will prevent any issues and allow you to seamlessly complete the work without any hiccups.

As you learn how to cut galvanized pipe, you will need to make sure you have these essential supplies ready.

2. Secure Your Pipe in Place

Before you can begin cutting the galvanized pipe, you need to secure it in place, so it does not bend or move. A vise grip works well as this is stationary enough to prevent the pipe from slipping.

  • To make sure you don’t damage the pipe with the vise grip as you cut, wrap the galvanized pipe in a cloth before securing it.
  • If you don’t have a vise grip attached to your workbench, you can use a clamp to secure it in place to a tabletop or a sawhorse. Make sure you leave the area to be cut clear.
  • If you have a lengthy pipe, you will want to prop it up, so it doesn’t bend from the force of cutting. Plus, this will give you more stability as you cut and prevent the galvanized pipe from becoming unwieldy.
galvanized pipe tubing how to cut galvanized pipe

3. Take Safety Seriously

Before you begin cutting, you need to take some safety precautions. Wearing safety glasses and a ​high quality dust mask will protect your eyes and lungs from any metal shaving that will fly in the air during sawing.

You will also want to wear gloves to protect your hands. Metal splinters can easily irritate bare skin, so take the necessary steps to keep these areas covered.

Also, be sure to wear the proper footwear that will protect you should the galvanized pipe fall on your foot during the cutting process.

4. ​Pick a Tool for Cutting

You have a couple of different saw options when it comes to cutting a galvanized pipe.

Using a ​Reciprocating Saw

To make easy work out of the task, ​the preferred choice is to use a reciprocating saw. Known as the demolition saw, this is a powerful option that will make short work of the steel pipe. 

​However, you need to make sure you have a blade that is rated to cut metal on your reciprocating saw. This will make a precise cut with ease.

This type of saw will make short work of your cut, but you have to secure the metal pipe before cutting. Use clamps to hold the pipe before you make any cuts.​

Using an Angle Grinder

A top quality angle grinder on the market will also make short work of cutting your galvanized metal, although it will take a little longer than a reci saw. However, its also a bit more accurate.

Clamp the pipe down and begin cutting with your grinder. You’ll need to apply a little bit of pressure, but it shouldn’t take much effort.

Expect sparks to fly when you cut with either a reciprocating saw or an angle grinder. While a little startling at first, its to be expected and is fine. You’ll also throw off some metal shavings, so wearing long sleeves is a good idea (unless you want to be itching for the rest of the day)​

Using a Jigsaw​

You might be able to get away with cutting this type of pipe with a really powerful jigsaw that has the correct blade on it.

Many DIYers have a jigsaw on hand, so if yours is powerful enough, you can give it a shot. The jigsaw is harder to push through the metal piping, so you’ll have to use a lot more force than you would with a reciprocating saw or angle grinder.

Using a Pipe Cutter

Designed specifically for cutting pipe, this is probably the best tool overall, although not necessarily the fastest of most accurate.

Simply fasten the pipe cutter over the area you’re cutting, and tighten it over the steel. Spin the cutter around the pipe in circles, allowing the tool to slowly chop its way through the metal.

This process can go on for awhile, and it might feel like you’re not making progress. You might need to spin it dozens of times before it goes through.

Using a Hacksaw

If you do not own a​ny of the options above, you can still cut galvanized pipe by using a hacksaw. You do need a metal blade to make the cuts, but with a little effort, it can be accomplished.

A hacksaw will cut the metal away from a galvanized pipe. This is a more laborious process that will take more time to complete.

You’ll also probably be left with a good amount of sanding to do to smooth the steel pipe out.

5. Make Steady Cuts

​No matter what method you choose for cutting, it is important to let the blade of the saw do the cutting work. Never force the blade or push down to cut faster. This will damage the galvanized pipe and prevent you from getting a precise cut that is clean edge-to-edge.

  1. You’ll need to mark the galvanized pipe where you want to cut through it. This will provide a guide for you to follow as you saw and allow you to cut it in the right place each and every time.
  2. Make sure you measure the exact length you need the galvanized pipe to be, so you have an accurate mark to cut along. Galvanized pipe is expensive, so you don’t want to make any mistakes on the length.
  3. To cut your galvanized pipe efficiently, you need to hold the saw steady and follow the curvature of the pipe as you work.
  4. Allow the saw to gently cut through the galvanized pipe while guiding it along the mark you have created.
  5. Take your time and don’t rush the cutting process.

Work slowly and fluidly, and you’ll soon be all the way through the pipe.

6. Fill the Pipe Edges

​When you’re dong cutting the pipe, the edges of the galvanized metal may be rough from the blade​. The hacksaw will probably leave it the roughest out of any of the options, but you’ll need to do a little bit of work to finish it off either way. 

Use a metal file or high grit sandpaper to smooth and soften the edges. This will help the galvanized pipe to fit well with other piping or in the wood project you have adapted it for.

threading galvanized pipes together

7. Thread the Pipe if Necessary

If you have a galvanized pipe that needs to be threaded into another existing pipe, you will need to use a pipe threader to create the grooves that will secure the two pipes together.

  • Choose the die size that will fit your galvanized pipe diameter best.
  • You will need to clamp the pipe in your vise grip to keep it steady.
  • Work the pipe threader inside your galvanized pipe to create the necessary grooves.
  • Turn the pipe threader slowly and firmly.
  • Use some threader oil to lubricate the pipe if necessary.

The pipe threader will begin to work its way through the inside of the pipe to create the threads you need to screw the two ends of the pipe together. When you are finished, you can gently thread the galvanized pipe into your existing pipework.

Conclusion

As you learn how to cut galvanized pipe, you will find that it is simple to accomplish and quite safe. As long as you take your time and let the saw do the work, you will not encounter any issues with cutting galvanized pipe. Don’t be afraid to ​take on this project as these steps will guide you and help you complete the cutting of galvanized pipe with ease.