Best Tubing Cutter: Reviews in 2020 (Updated!)
Whether you are a professional or just a person who is very enthusiastic about DIY projects, you might often need to cut through tubes. And what better way to do that except for investing in a tubing cutter?
Now, the question is how to understand what kind of tubing cutter is needed? Or what features to look for? Don’t worry anymore, as we are here to answer all your questions with our article about the best tubing cutter.
Read this, and you will not only get some knowledge about the best cutters but also know which factors to look for while buying one!
Need a quick suggestion? Check these top 3 cutters!
Our Recommended 10 Best Tubing Cutters
The market is full of various kinds of cutters for various types of tubes. It can be easy enough to get lost amidst all these products if you do not know their features, advantages, and disadvantages properly.
To help you out with this, we have compiled a list of our top 10 picks of tubing cutters, along with their pros and cons.
1. RIDGID 29963 Model 35S Stainless Steel Tubing Cutter
The RIDGID brand, since 1923, has been known to produce products of exceptional quality, whether it be in terms of durability, efficiency, or finishing. This model from Ridgid is of no exception and has been known to live up to its claims of useful features.
Mainly designed for stainless steel tubes, the Ridgid model is known to cut products with accuracy and efficiency. It can cut tubes that range from 1/4-inch to 1-3/8-inch, as that is its capacity.
And the models come with knobs that are ergonomically designed, which can be used to adjust the product according to your needs while cutting.
As opposed to a traditional roller, the Ridgid 299963 model has six individual bearings on its body. These bearings help to make the cutting process a lot more efficient by increasing the speed of the cutting around the tube. The stainless steel wheel also helps in this regard by reducing the amount of drag around the tube.
It is often difficult to align a tube with a tubing cutter because of incompatible dimensions. However, this model has a beautifully contoured frame, which allows it to be aligned with the tube very easily while cutting. Therefore, it is indeed a great choice.
- Six individual bearings
- Equipped with stainless steel wheel
- Ergonomically designed knob
- Contoured frame
- A little bit too expensive
2. Milwaukee 2471-21 12-Volt Copper Tubing Cutter Kit
One of our most favorite picks today is the Milwaukee Copper tubing cutter. This model, which runs at 5000 rpm, is popularly known for its speed. And this speed allows it to be 10 times faster than its other competitors, which is a great thing if you are looking to get things done in a quicker manner.
This product needs to be charged before being used. A great thing about this model is definitely the fact that you can use it to cut a tube or its parts 200 times before needing to charge it again.
To make things even easier, a battery fuel gauge on the body helps you to estimate how much charge is left, so you do not have to stop midway in a project.
The patented cutting technology of this tubing cutter helps it to adjust according to the width of the copper tube it is cutting, provided the tube has a width between 3/8 inch and 1 inch. Along with that, the model also has a design and lightweight construction that helps you to use it even in confined spaces.
Other features of the product include a seal that helps to prevent moisture from affecting it and resulting in corrosion.
A built-in LED light on the body is also very useful as it helps to illuminate the workspace in the night time or confined spaces. The device is also quite durable, which is enhanced by its electronic overload protection.
- Cuts copper tubing much faster than traditional cutters
- Can deliver 200 cuts with one single charge
- Adjusts automatically to the width of the tube
- Equipped with a seal for protection from moisture
- Built-in LED light
- Electronic overload protection
- Can be used in hard-to-access spaces
- The unit might keep shutting down midway after a few uses
3. RIDGID 23498 Model RC-1625 Ratcheting Plastic Pipe and Tubing Cutter
Now let’s talk about our next product, which is once more from the well-known brand Ridgid. This model is one of its very best, as it is known to cut through not only PVC, but also various kinds of plastics including rubber hose, PEX, PP, CVPC, PE, and multilayer tubing.
So, you can call it one of the best plastic tubing cutters. The ratcheting mechanism of this tool makes it exceptionally easy to use while cutting and requires minimum effort. It is also very easy to stop cutting midway, as you do not have to pull the blade all the way through the cut.
Instead, you can take the blade out directly by distancing the handles. Coming to handles, this model has some of the best ergonomically designed handles among tube cutters.
Among those, the bottom handle features grips that are situated ½ inches apart. This makes it convenient to measure pipes when you have no other tool measuring kit nearby.
Made from high-quality aluminum, this model has quite amazing durability and can be implemented to heavy-duty use. Another wonderful thing about this model is that the blade it comes with is replaceable, so you can change it if it gets dull.
The blade changing system is also very quick and hassle-free, which will definitely add to your convenience.
- Can easily cut various kinds of plastic and multilayer tubing
- Ratcheting mechanism
- Equipped with ergonomic handles
- Grips on the bottom handle can be used as a quick measurement tool
- High-quality aluminum construction
- Comes with replaceable blades
- The handles are a bit small
4. SharkBite U701 PEX Tubing Cutter
If you are not a big fan of going through a lot of hassle to simply cut some pipes and tubes, and looking for a product that is very easy to work with, then this tubing cutter is the right one for you.
With this model, you just need to insert the tube into the cutting chamber, push the handles of the cutter, wait for the click, and you are done!
A lot of people mistake the easy process of using this model to be a symptom of low quality. However, that is definitely not the case. Instead, this model offers a very clean and smooth cut, too in seconds. There are very few tools in the market that can cut through PEX as efficiently as this.
Often, using a tube cutter for tubes that are clustered together in a small space becomes a tiresome job, as the body of the product cannot be maneuvered around easily. But with this model, such a situation will not arise due to its compact and lightweight body. The use of stainless steel adds to its durability.
And a great thing about this product is that it can adjust its cutting chamber according to the size of the tube that you put inside it for cutting. Its capacity normally ranges from 1/8 inches to 1 inch, and when you put any tube of this size inside it, the tool will adjust itself to properly encircle it.
- Very easy and simple to use
- Compact design
- Durable and lightweight body
- Offers a very clean cut
- Automatically adjusts to the width of the tube
- The blade can dull quite fast
5. Milwaukee 2471-20 M12 Copper Pipe and Tubing Cutter
Milwaukee has always been a quite popular brand when it comes to tube cutters, due to their durable and convenient models. This product is not any different. And this model is best known for how it can be used even in very constrained spaces, without any chance of damaging the tool, or the things around it.
Another great thing about this model is its ability to adjust according to the size of the tube it will be cutting. Although the size must be between 3/8 inches to 1 inch in diameter. By adjusting automatically to the tube size, it reduces the additional hassle of having to adjust it by hand.
Often it can be very hard to see what you are doing in dark constrained spaces where there are a lot of tubes together. It is also not possible to use a flashlight on the exact position you will be cutting. So this device has a built-in LED light instead, which allows it to light up the surface you will be cutting into.
It is very important to have a tube cutter that does not get damaged easily or rusts quickly while plumbing.
Unfortunately, most products do not meet this criterion after long amounts of exposure to water. But this model has a sealed head that allows it to prevent water from leaking in, thereby reducing the risk of any sorts of rusts.
- Cuts tubes 10 times faster than other alternatives
- Adjusts according to pipe size
- Water and rust resistant body
- Can be easily used in low clearance spaces
- Built-in LED light
- Quite hard to control
6. RIDGID 31642 Model 152 Quick-Acting Tubing Cutter
Are you looking for a tube cutter that can do some heavy-duty cutting, without much restriction on the range of widths it can fit inside it? If so, then this Ridgid quick acting tubing cutter is the perfect choice for you. This model can work with tubes that range from ¼ inches to 2-5/8 inches, which makes it quite versatile.
One of the most amazing features of this model is its X-CEL wheel. This wheel helps to provide a comfortable grip to the users, and you can just hold it and turn it around for a smooth and fast cut. The ergonomic design of the handle aids in making using this tool a lot smoother than using other alternatives.
Along with the X-CEL wheel, this model also features a wheel pin, which uses a quick change technology. The pin has ball detent designs on it, and the technology helps it to change a used wheel easily without using any extra tool at all. This helps reduce hassle and maximize efficiency.
Durability is one of the main features of this particular device. The I-beam construction, hardened surfaces, and ergonomic design attest to that. Along with being very durable, the model is pretty compact, too, and can be transported easily.
- Ergonomically designed X-CEL knob
- X-CEL wheel pin
- Compact and portable
- I beam construction
- Versatile enough to fit tubes from ¼ inches to 2-5/8 inches
- The wheel might run off course sometimes
7. LENOX Tubing Cutter
A lot of tube cutters are good at getting the job done but do not offer that much of a professional finishing. If you are a professional or simply need a better finish to the tubes you will be cutting, have a look at the Lenox tubing cutter. The amazing features of this model make it very popular in the market.
This model has 4 rollers, which are there mainly to prevent the cutter from walking. This basically means that when you insert a tube and start the wheel for the cutting process, these rollers ensure that the tube does not slip away, which could have resulted in a lopsided or threaded cut.
Although the model comes along with a wheel, you can easily replace it with another one of your own choices. This is particularly useful as different kinds of wheels are better for different kinds of surfaces. For example, the included wheel works best with copper tubes.
You can buy different wheels for plastic or stainless steel, and store those in the handle. Using this model is a very easy task. You just need to place the pipe in the chamber, make sure the wheel touches the pipe by adjusting it downwards or upwards, and then rotate the cutters.
A full stop feed system within the model successfully prevents the rollers and the wheel from clashing together after the end of the cut.
- Designed for professional performance
- Equipped with 4 rollers
- Full stop-feed system
- Wheels can be changed easily
- Extra storage space
- Machinist reamer
- A little bit on the expensive side
8. Professional Tube Cutter Klein Tools 88904
Our next pick is the Professional Tube cutter from Klein tools. This brand is well known to deliver high-quality products that do their respective jobs remarkably well, with perfection, precision, and accuracy. This model lives up to those claims.
Equipped with a 4 roller system, this model makes sure that the tube it is cutting does not slip. Often, a lot of tools cut tubes in such a way that the tube turns slightly while being cut, resulting in a much-skewed finish. This model takes care of that by ensuring the 4 rollers are in place.
One thing we like a lot about this model is the fact that it comes with an extra cutting wheel. Even if you need other wheels while using it, they are readily available in the market and quite inexpensive too.
The build of this product is quite professional and can be employed in heavy-duty use. And the model has a handle that is very comfortable to hold on to and turn while cutting the tube. This makes the cutting process a lot smoother and more efficient.
- 4 roller system prevents slipping of the tube
- Comes along with an extra wheel
- Replaceable wheels can be easily bought
- Comfortable handle makes it easy to grip and turn
- Has a capacity of 1/8 inch to 1-3/8 inch
- A bit cumbersome
9. PTFE Teflon tube cutter – Allen Tech
A lot of people often look for a tube cutter that can cut through Teflon as easily as other materials. If you are one of those people, you can check this product out. This is great for cutting Teflon and other tubings.
The best thing about this model is that it always delivers a flawless finish by making a clean, square cut. Such a cut is definitely something needed while working with Teflon, as it can ensure the longevity of the project.
Sometimes it is hard to use tube cutters in constrained spaces because of their bulky size. The same cannot be said for this model. Its compact size allows you to use it even in places that are very much hard to access.
Another thing that we like about this model is its portability. It weighs very little and has a compact size, which allows you to carry it around in your pocket if needed. For all these reasons, it is a great Teflon tube cutter.
- Great for cutting Teflon and other tubings
- Ensures a clean, smooth finish
- Compact size
- Easily portable
- A little bit overpriced
10. Tubing Cutter by Wostore
Last but not least, we have the tubing cutter by Wostore. This cutter is most popularly known for its versatility. It can cut through various kinds of surfaces, from copper, brass, aluminum, to PVC, PE, and thin stainless steel.
Featuring a very comfortable handle, this model is quite easy to use while cutting. Its ergonomically designed body helps to ensure that the cutting process is smooth and efficient, and the cut is rounded without being skewed.
A great plus point of this model is that it comes with spare blades that are quite easy to attach if needed. The process of cutting tubes with this model is also very simple and can be done by people who have no prior experience, too, just by following the user manual.
This model is made of high-quality products. The blades are created from high-quality alloy steel, while the body of the cutter itself is made of aluminum alloy casting. This contributes to the durability of the product.
- Comfortable handle and ergonomic design
- Includes spare blades
- Made from high-quality materials
- Lightweight yet durable
- Can be used for cutting various types of surfaces
- Comes with a user manual
- Might have a bit of trouble after a few uses
What to Look for while Buying a Tubing Cutter
To make sure that you have got the perfect tube cutter that would suit your needs, we have prepared a buying guide for you. Take a look at these factors to know what you should really be looking for while buying a tubing cutter.
The first thing you need to consider while buying a tubing cutter is what type of material you will be cutting. Depending on that, you will be choosing a type of tubing cutter. There are mainly 3 different kinds of tubing cutters:
- Copper Tubing Cutters
They can come in various shapes and sizes, ranging from small thumb types to heavy-duty ones. Although their name suggests they only work for copper tubes, they can cut through PVC, CVPC, and various other surfaces as well. However, the blade can be dulled by doing this, so have extra blades on hand.
- PVC Tubing Cutters
These kinds of cutters usually work in a ratcheting motion. You need to place the tube inside the cutter and squeeze the handles together using your hand until the blades cut through the material. These cutters can be used on CVPC and PEX tool, but not on ABS.
- CVPC and PEX Cutters
These cutters work in an almost similar way to PVC cutters. The only difference is that you can use these to cut through tubes with only one soft squeeze, almost like using a scissor.
It is very important to have a cutter that can cut through your tubes as fast as possible, without causing any damage or cutting in a skewed manner. Therefore, carefully research which model would be the fastest and most efficient for your use.
Whatever model you choose for your tube, it must be made from high-quality materials. The durability of the product is a must, as that means you can continue to use it for a long period of time. You should also try to buy a model that is water-resistant, as that will help keep it rust-free and in its prime condition.
You cannot just use any tubing cutter for your tubes. First, you need to make sure that the dimensions align with each other, or that the cutter can be adjusted.
For example, if your cutter can accommodate tubes that have maximum 1-inch width and your tube has a 2-inch width, then no matter how amazing the cutter is, it cannot be used.
Another thing that is just as important while choosing a tube cutter is its design. Since you might be using the cutter often, you need to make sure that you experience no discomfort while using it.
Look for a body that is ergonomically designed, and which is easy to use even in constrained spaces. The model should have handles that are easy to hold on to, and the cutter must be in such a way that it delivers a smooth cut without any jagged ends.
Often, a plumbing job might require you to hold on to a tubing cutter for hours. In that case, it is absolutely imperative that you buy a model which is quite lightweight, but efficient as well. Make sure that the loss of a few pounds is not at the cost of a few extra benefits.
While there are separate kinds of tubing cutters for separate surfaces, getting one that can cut through a lot of materials like PVC, PEX, copper, aluminum, brass is always a plus point. This means that you will not need to reach out for separate tools each time.
How to Use a Tubing Cutter?
The procedure for using a tubing cutter varies depending on the type of cutter that you are using. We are going to explain the two most common types here.
If you use a ratcheting PVC or PEX cutter, it is required that you only put the tube in the cutting chamber, and squeeze the handles together until the cutter cuts through the tube completely. This is a very easy process.
For a rotary tubing cutter, the process is a bit different. Here are the steps of using a rotary tubing cutter –
- Draw the cutting wheel and rollers inside and place the tube you want to cut inside the tool.
- Through the help of a screw or a wheel, adjust the cutter and the rollers until they are aligned with the part of the tube you want to cut.
- Move the tube in a rotating motion so that the cutter can cut through.
- You may need to readjust the cutter and the rollers to cut the tube in-depth and make another rotating motion.
- Once the whole tube is cut perfectly, deburr the edges to get a clean and smooth finish.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here we have the most commonly asked queries regarding the best tubing cutters:
1. What is a tubing cutter?
A tubing cutter is a tool that can cut through tubes made of different materials, like plastic, copper, brass, PVC, or stainless steel. They are most commonly used by electricians and plumbers.
2. How to cut tubes using a tubing cutter?
Different kinds of tubing cutters have different mechanisms. While ratcheting cutters have a pretty simple place and squeeze mechanism, rotary cutters are a little bit more complicated than that. You can find the detailed steps in this article.
3. What kind of tubing cutter should I choose?
The kind of tubing cutter you should choose depends on the type of material you will be cutting into. If your tubes are made out of plastic, go for a ratcheting cutter, while for copper tubes, you might want rotary ones.
4. What model tubing cutter is the best?
This entirely depends on the kind of features you are looking for and the material of the tube you will cut. We have made a list of the best 10 tubing cutters here for you, so you can use those as a reference.
5. What additional features should I look for in a tubing cutter?
Besides the normal features of a cutter, you should also look for features like built-in LED lights, rollers to prevent the cutter from walking, and extra durability.
Getting the right tubing cutter might often seem like a daunting task. However, we hope by reading this article about the best tubing cutters, we have made that choice a little bit easier for you. So buy that perfect cutter right now and get to work!