Cutting emt with pipe cutter?


  #1  
Old 02-28-14, 06:12 PM
bigboypete's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 201
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Cutting emt with pipe cutter?

Have a made a mistake?

I cut a bunch of 1/2" emt today with a standard pipe cutter that you would use to cut copper. I reemed them out with my reeming tool with the replacement blades/tips. A gave the outside of the cut a little sanding. Essetially besides cleaning the inside of the pipe with a brush, I did the same as I would with copper.

Then I realized, is the wrong process for electrical?
 
  #2  
Old 02-28-14, 06:23 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 19,281
Received 8 Upvotes on 8 Posts
It works, but it will mess up your cutting wheel. EMT is much harder than copper. I made a similar mistake on a project, but was able to dress the wheel for further copper use.


I always just used a small mill file to clean up any ridge. Don't want to sand off the galvanizing.
 
  #3  
Old 02-28-14, 06:45 PM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 9,881
Received 188 Upvotes on 168 Posts
I reemed them out with my reeming tool with the replacement blades/tips.
A tubing cutter will leave a large sharp edge that I doubt you can remove by reaming. I'd use a rat tail file to smooth it up.
 
  #4  
Old 02-28-14, 07:10 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 19,281
Received 8 Upvotes on 8 Posts
Oh..I meant to say...after messing up my wheel....to finish the project I just used my cordless jigsaw with a fine metal blade and the file. I wasn't pulling wires...so didn't care about the inside much.
 
  #5  
Old 02-28-14, 08:51 PM
Mr.Awesome's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 511
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Klein actually makes an EMT cutter.

Klein Tools | Electrician's Tubing Cutter | Home Depot Canada

It has a flat end on the wheel that pushes the emt down a bit so when it slides into a coupling or connector it fits over the ridge inside a little bit. This makes it a much smoother transition inside a coupling for two pieces of pipe.
Worst $50 ever spent though. Great concept, but you have to be a mini hulk to cut through it. It takes awhile to cut too. You're better off with a hacksaw and reamer.
Klein Tools | Conduit Fitting/Reaming Screwdriver | Home Depot Canada
 
  #6  
Old 03-01-14, 06:02 AM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 9,881
Received 188 Upvotes on 168 Posts
I see the reviews are not so good either. Klein usually tests their tools a lot more before rushing a product to market.
 
  #7  
Old 03-01-14, 06:29 AM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 14,428
Received 899 Upvotes on 760 Posts
I do not suggest using a tube cutter, as already mentioned, it leaves a very large burr on the inside of the pipe. This would need to be removed or you risk damaging the wire. I use a good hacksaw fitted with a 32TPI blade. You can slice a 1/2" EMT in about 10 seconds.
 
  #8  
Old 03-01-14, 06:50 AM
bigboypete's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 201
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
This is what I used to debur the pipe, which I use for copper... is this adaquete with emt?

[ATTACH=CONFIG]27531[/ATTACH]
 
Attached Images  
  #9  
Old 03-01-14, 07:49 AM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 14,428
Received 899 Upvotes on 760 Posts
I use the same thing when I cut larger pipe with a hacksaw, as my conduit reamer only goes to 1". You will still get a very nasty burr on the inside with a pipe cutter and will is very hard to remove completely with deburring tool.

It sounds like you already have it cut so you can just remove the burr best you can. Just next time use a hacksaw. The cuts do not need to be 100% square. Close is good enough.
 
  #10  
Old 03-01-14, 08:41 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 29,711
Upvotes: 0
Received 15 Upvotes on 13 Posts
A chop saw would do it very nicely also. The hardcore carpenters will cringe but I have used a miter saw with a carbide cut off blade for metal.

My father would have used a homemade miter box and a hack saw.

And of course my trusty Sawzall with wrecking blade. (Sure you can use a fine tooth metal blade but blades are expensive and the wrecking blade cuts just about everything so only one blade for all.)

And lets not forget your trusty circular saw either with a carbide cut off blade or even a plywood blade backwards for EMT if you don't mind a burn mark on the conduit.
 
  #11  
Old 03-01-14, 09:06 AM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 14,428
Received 899 Upvotes on 760 Posts
If you use any of Ray's suggestions, be sure to wear eye and ear protection!
 
  #12  
Old 03-01-14, 09:34 AM
Mr.Awesome's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 511
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Ray, you're an OHS rep's worst nightmare lol.
 
  #13  
Old 03-01-14, 09:42 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 29,711
Upvotes: 0
Received 15 Upvotes on 13 Posts
you're an OHS rep's worst nightmare
I'm just a redneck good ol' boy. Feds don't scare me.

Seriously using a homemade miter box and a fine tooth hack saw blade will give you good results and a square cut.
 
  #14  
Old 03-02-14, 05:47 AM
W
Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 630
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Back in the day , I would tell one of the guys to get the tubing cutter off the job . If he used it again I would fire him and run him off the job .

I used a hack saw and 32 tooth blade . Reamed the conduit with needle nose pliers or pocket knife . For larger sizes , a 2' piece of 3/8" all thread rod works . The " correct tool " is a half ******* file , but I never used one . A hack saw does not leave a large burr .

God bless
Wyr
 
  #15  
Old 03-02-14, 07:11 AM
CasualJoe's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 9,881
Received 188 Upvotes on 168 Posts
For conduits bigger than 3/4" a porta-band is pretty handy.
 
  #16  
Old 03-02-14, 03:35 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 7,458
Upvotes: 0
Received 6 Upvotes on 5 Posts
Originally Posted by WyrTwister
I would tell one of the guys to get the tubing cutter off the job. If he used it again I would fire him and run him off the job.
It may be fortunate that you and I didn't wind up on the same jobs together -- or not.

I've used my tubing cutter to cut EMT several times. It's always performed better than I feared and at least as well as I hoped it would. That said, the cutter I own and carry to the job is specifically made for cutting EMT. It's a Greenlee 8600 conduit cutter, and it's made for this task It is not a plumbing tool.

In all, I may have used my cutter 4 or 5 times in the 8 or so years I've owned it. In each case, the situation was that a piece of installed, in-use EMT needed to be cut back so that a new box could be installed. The existing wires needed to be fed into the new box and continued in service. There really wasn't any cost-effective way to pull the wires back or drop the pipe, so it got cut in place and reamed with my "nines." Nothing like having the right tool when you need it.

The last time I used mine was when the new owners of a condo unit decided that they would replace the wall between the kitchen and the dining room with a decorative beam. The conduit in question fed into the old wall directly from the ceiling slab, and went to a 2-gang box that held one SPST and one SPDT switch. I mounted one of the 8b boxes they needed for the pendant lights under the new beam and made all of the new feeds and connections in that.

Originally Posted by Mr.Awesome
Worst $50 ever spent though. Great concept, but you have to be a mini hulk to cut through it. It takes awhile to cut too.
Reading this, I'm glad I bought mine (for less than $40, IIRC) before I saw that Klein made one. That said, I might have bought the Greenlee anyway. I find that I enjoy working with every one of their tools that I own. This one cuts the pipe easily with one hand.

But I digress too much.

Pete, the tool you describe sounds like a copper pipe cutter. If so, it is not made for, and should not be used for, cutting steel conduit. Among other differences, the cutting wheel on my conduit cutter is made to minimize wall collapse, so very little reaming is needed.

I would never use my cutter for shopping a piece of new, empty pipe. A waste of time and effort, and unnecessary wear and tear on a specialized tool. For small pipes I use my cordless sawzall, my hacksaw (another Greenlee too, so old that it says "Greenlee - Sweeden" on it), or a Porta-Band. Larger pipe is all cut with the Porta-Band.

Small pipe gets reamed with one of the three reamers built onto my pipe-running screwdriver or with my linesman's pliers. Larger pipe gets reamed with a piece of all-thread. When the standard is to hang 1000' of pipe per day, the wheelie is not the tool to reach for. Besides that, a straight cut and a good reaming is better for reducing the chance of wire damage than the best job the wheelie can do.
 
  #17  
Old 03-03-14, 03:45 AM
W
Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 630
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
If you had been on one of my jobs , it was my way or the highway . The only way to run a job . Not saying I would not listen to your idea . The first time .

If I had been on your job , I would do it your way or walked .

God bless
Wyr
 
  #18  
Old 03-03-14, 05:06 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 7,458
Upvotes: 0
Received 6 Upvotes on 5 Posts
Suits me. Every time I left a job run by an autocrat I walked into a better job the next day. I got to where I almost looked forward to the experience.

I also looked forward to contests over the "right" way with a foreman, a project manager, a lead electrician, an inspector, or a green apprentice -- you name it. I learned more about code interpretation and best practice (not about managing a job, mind you) from those than from days of just running work. That's why, on my jobs, everyone's 2 cents got heard. The first time.
 
  #19  
Old 03-04-14, 02:17 PM
S
Member
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 40
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I use an emt cutting tool and a friend of mine put me on to using a step bit in my drill to clean up the lip on the inside. Its worked really well for me so far.

any foreseeable issues with that?
 
  #20  
Old 03-04-14, 02:30 PM
F
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 16,321
Received 39 Upvotes on 31 Posts
Every time I left a job run by an autocrat I walked into a better job the next day.
Amen to that, brother!

I had a stuporvisor for about two years that ruled with an iron fist. Other than his "This is the way my great, great grandfather did it and this is the way my great, great grandchildren will do it." attitude it was a good job and I had no desire to leave. Also I was working off shifts so I rarely had to confront this tyrant. When he finally retired it was the best day the entire crew had ever had. In fact, the whole department almost had a "thank you for leaving" party. The next few years we greatly improved the productivity (dropped one man from the crew and took on added responsibilities) along with decreasing fuel usage and reducing unplanned outages. Massive amount of new instrumentation that increased overall efficiencies of both the heating and the compressed air plants.
 
  #21  
Old 03-04-14, 03:05 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 7,458
Upvotes: 0
Received 6 Upvotes on 5 Posts
I use an emt cutting tool and a friend of mine put me on to using a step bit in my drill to clean up the lip on the inside. Its worked really well for me so far.

any foreseeable issues with that?
Other than requiring more time and energy than most folks want to invest, only one: Unless you're very careful with it, the step bit could reduce the thickness of the wall of the EMT and lead to failure in a connector or coupling. Not likely, perhaps, but possible. Not possible, OTOH, with a reamer.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: