Cutting pipes with a compound miter saw

Old 07-28-08, 08:16 AM
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Cutting pipes with a compound miter saw

I have used my 10" compound miter saw to cut lumber.

Recently I had a project that I needed to cut quite a few 1/2" PVC pipes for sprinklers and I used it and it worked great without any problems. I am not sure I am supposed to use a wood blade on PVC, but I have never changed the blade since I got it 10 years ago and I don't recall there are other types of blades.

Then I had to replace some outdoor electrical conduits, those are schedule 40 PVCs 3/4" size so I used it again, only this time it did not cut but cracked and busted up the conduit instead. The only difference I can see is the electrical conduit is gray in color and it is a bit thicker than the sprinkler PVC pipes.

Am I supposed to be able to cut PVC pipes with my saw? Do I need a different blade or this is a no no?

I noticed yesterday in another forum someone said they cut copper pipes (for water supply lines) with their compound miter this possible? This will have to require a special blade right?
Old 07-28-08, 08:37 AM
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I think a couple cuts of pvc would be ok, but I think you should'nt cut the couduet with the cms.
Old 07-28-08, 09:00 AM
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Well, the blade wouldn't be much good for clean cuts on wood (esp trim) if you did this on a regular basis.

I've cut plenty of large schd 40 pipe and conduit with a miter saw. Never had the splintering problem you described. You need to go slow and easy. Still need to clean up the cut before use. For smaller stuff I use a PVC pipe cutter.
Have even cut porch posts with the aluminum extrusions inside.

Not sure I'd use it for copper. A pipe cutter is fast, easy and more precise.

I have several blades for my saw, old 40 tooth for the pipe and other rough cutting, a 60 tooth for ext trim, and an 80 tooth for interior trim.
Old 07-28-08, 04:34 PM
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You need a blade that is designed for plastics.
A standard wood blade tends to grab the plastic and pull pull itself in which is what causes the cracking.

This same thing happens when you cut aluminum with a wood blade.
For an occasional cut you need to use a good grip on the sawto control the saw to not let it get get sucked in.

Methinks you should buy the right blade though.
Old 08-01-08, 04:32 PM
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I have used radial saws,chop saws for years to cut pvc, I have never had one crack or break but if it was cold I can imagine it could happen with a large tooth blade.
Pvc can really bust up if cold and even dropped on a hard surface. Save a old fine tooth plywood blade for pvc. It will do a good job even after its dull and wont grab the work.
Old 08-02-08, 02:55 AM
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I've cut a stray piece of pvc including conduit but never on a regular basis. I don't know how much you use your saw but at 10 yrs, I suspect the blade needs replacing.
Old 08-02-08, 04:34 AM
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Try reversing the blade so the teeth do not "grab". A fine-toothed plywood blade turned backwards works very well.

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