Cutting tools are used to sever many types of household construction materials, from the installation of drywall to cast iron sewer pipe and CPVC/copper water supply lines. Though all mentioned cutting tools are easily used with practice, the cast iron snap cutting tool is generally found only in professional tool bags. However, it is easily rented from most tool rental facilities.
The utility knife has an angled blade that for safety's sake is pushed inside the knife's handle casing when not in use. This most versatile of cutting tools is used for stripping electrical cable, cutting plastic floor tiles and even cutting drywall to size before installation. Once the knife becomes dull, the blade -- available in packs of five or ten -- is easily replaced.
The tube cutter looks somewhat like a pair of garden pruners, with one sharp and one flat jaw. The cutter is used to sever small diameter pipes like CPVC water pipe or polyethylene garden irrigation pipe. The pipe is simply placed between the cutter's jaws, and the handles squeezed together to make a clean straight cut through the pipe.
Tubing cutters cut through rigid pipe like copper water pipe or black-coated steel gas pipe. The pipe is placed against the two small rollers on one side of the cutter's jaws. The small circular blade on the cutter's other jaw is tightened against the other side of the pipe. The cutter is rotated 360 degrees once around the pipe, before the blade is retightened and the cutter rotated again. This process is repeated until the pipe is cut through.
Though cast iron pipe is very durable, it is brittle and best cut using a snap cutter. The cutter has two long handles, with a chain attached to the end of one handle and a hook attached to the end of the other handle. The chain is wrapped around the pipe and pulled taut. With the handles open, the nearest chain link is inserted into the hook.The cutter's handles are then squeezed together to make a straight cut through the cast iron pipe.
Steve Sloane started working as a freelance writer in 2007. He has written articles for various websites, using more than a decade of DIY experience to cover mostly construction-related topics. He also writes movie reviews for Inland SoCal. Sloane holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and film theory from the University of California, Riverside.