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Best PVC Pipe Cutters 2020 – Top Picks & Reviews

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a PVC pipe cutting tool

Different kinds of pipe require different pipe cutters to cut through them. The same is true for the variety of pipes you will be cutting. PVC is a prime example. The bigger the pipe, the harder it is to cut through, so other cutters are required.

We have made a list of the top five PVC pipe cutters we have reviewed. We will share the positive and the not-so-positive about each one for you, and follow up with a list of things to think about before you use your cutter.

Comparison of the Winners in 2020:

ModelPriceCapacityEditor Rating
RIDGID 23498
RIDGID 23498 Ratcheting Pipe and Tubing CutterBest Overall

Check Price
1/8-inch to 1-5/8-inch4.9/5
RIDGID 23488
RIDGID 23488Best Value

Check Price
1/8-inch to 1-5/8-inch4.6/5
AIRAJ PVC Cutter Ratchet-type Pipe Cutter

Check Price
Up to 1-1/4 Inch4.4/5
Superior Tool Company 37115
Superior Tool Company 37115 PVC Pipe Cutter

Check Price
Up to 2-1/2-Inch 4.3/5
Superior Tool 1h 2"
Superior Tool PVC Pipe Cutter 1h 2"

Check Price
Up to 2-Inch 4.0/5

The 5 Best PVC Pipe Cutters:

1. RIDGID 23498 Ratcheting PVC Pipe Cutter – Best Overall

RIDGID 23498 Ratcheting Pipe and Tubing Cutter

The Ridgid 23498 ratcheting pipe and tubing cutters are our number one pick because they are heavy-duty and very easy to use. Ridgid says that they are suitable for PVC pipe ranging from ⅛-inch to 1 ⅝-inch in outside diameter. It is our experience, however, that it is difficult to cut a 1 ½-inch pipe with these.

These cutters feature a handle that is spaced at 1/2 -inch increments so you can get a comfortable and firm grip. They also have a ratcheting mechanism that aids in cutting larger pipes with less hand strength. These cutters will give you that “burr-less” cut with the least amount of effort on your part.

The Ridgid 23498 PVC pipe cutters have a rounded tip. This curve does make it difficult to keep your pipe aligned correctly. When your pipe moves, you don’t get straight and even cuts. These pipe cutters, like every other tool, have a couple of issues, but they stand up to our tests over and above all of the others.

  • Heavy-duty
  • Cuts ⅛ to 1 ⅝-inch pipe
  • Ratcheting mechanism
  • Handle spaced at ½-inch increments
  • Square, “burr-less” cut
  • Easy to replace blades
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Hard to keep aligned
  • Blade wants to squish pipe
  • Difficult to cut through 1 ½-inch pipe

2. RIDGID 23488 PVC Pipe Cutter – Best Value

RIDGID 23488

The Ridgid 23488 PVC pipe cutter is our runner-up pipe cutter because it is lightweight and does an excellent job cutting. This tool has a spring-loaded handle that makes it incredibly easy to squeeze, which is good since it isn’t a ratcheting tool. The only thing that makes cutting difficult with these cutters is that the handle is short, so it is difficult to get much leverage when squeezing.

This PVC pipe cutter features a reversible blade that will cut clean and straight cuts on PVC ranging from ⅛-inch to 1 ⅝-inch in diameter. The double-sided blade does extend the number of cuts you can get out of it, but it is expensive to replace.

The Ridgid 23488 cutters are also useful for cutting any other type of flexible items, such as hoses. Ridgid is so sure that this product will meet and/or exceed your needs so much that they back it up with a lifetime warranty. That is a good thing, especially when these cutters are made from pretty poor quality plastic.

  • Lightweight
  • Cuts ⅛ to 1 ⅝-inch pipe
  • Spring-loaded handle
  • Reversible blade
  • Good for other flex lines
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Made of poor quality plastic
  • Not ratcheting
  • Short handle – no leverage
  • Expensive to replace blade

3. AIRAJ PVC Pipe-Cutter (Ratchet-type)

AIRAJ PVC Cutter Ratchet-type Pipe Cutter

The AIRAJ PVC Pipe Cutter is a good ratcheting-type cutter that helps you achieve nice cuts. It is incredibly easy to use too. The ratcheting technology only requires one hand for the tool to function correctly. It also has a single finger blade release for your safety. The only real issue that we have with these PVC pipe cutters is that they won’t cut through a 1 ½-inch pipe, when AIRAJ states that they will cut through pipes ⅛- to 1 ⅝-inches in diameter.

  • Durable
  • Ratcheting mechanism
  • Can operate one-handed
  • Single finger blade release
  • Difficult to cut through 1 ½-inch pipe

4. Superior Pipe-Cutter Tool

Superior Tool Company 37115 PVC Pipe Cutter

The Superior Tool Company 37115 PVC Pipe Cutter is great when you have larger pipes to cut. It will easily slice through pipes that are up to two inches in diameter. The larger pipes take more effort to cut, so it is really convenient that Superior has made this tool with longer handles, allowing you to get better leverage. We did find it extremely cumbersome and difficult to use, though. It likes to crack your pipes, so you have to twist in the blade before cutting to score it. After it has been scored, the pipe will cut easily, but this extra step is needed often enough that we would almost call it a must-have.

  • Cuts pipes up to 2 inches in diameter
  • Has longer handles
  • Extremely cumbersome
  • Difficult to use
  • Likes to crack pipes

5. Superior (1h 2″) Pipe Cutters

Superior Tool PVC Pipe Cutter 1h 2"

The Superior Tool PVC Pipe Cutter 1h 2″ will cut pipes up to two inches in diameter.

The design is comfortable in your hand, but the materials that were used to make it are of inferior quality. The handle is difficult to squeeze, and the blades break easily after just being used a few times. You can expect to replace these cutters often. They may be suitable for small jobs, but larger jobs will require a better quality product.

  • Comfortable design
  • Good for small jobs
  • Poor quality
  • Blades break easily
  • Hard to squeeze
  • Short shelf life

Buyer’s Guide

PVC pipe cutters, like PVC pipe itself, come in a variety of sizes. The bigger and thicker the pipe, the tougher it is to cut. You will need stronger cutters for larger pipes. There are two types of PVC pipe cutters on the market:

1. Shears:

Smaller PVC pipes don’t require a lot of muscle to cut. They can be cut with cutters that look like pruning shears that you use on bushes.

2. Adjustable Jaws:

Larger PVC pipes require more work to cut. The cutters needed have sharp teeth on an adjustable jaw that will firmly grip your larger pipes.

Both types of cutters have handles that you squeeze to work the ratchet. Every time you squeeze your hand shut, the ratchet tightens a little more around the pipe until it has cut all the way through.

Ratcheting PVC pipe cutters can be used to cut any size of PVC pipe up to two inches in diameter. If you have a pipe larger than two inches, it is recommended that you use a hand saw to cut it.

Six features to look for when shopping for your PVC pipe cutters:

  1. DuraBlade™2: Has the longest lifespan and the fewest number of cracked pipes
  2. Ergonomic Handle
  3. No-Slip Ratchet Mechanism
  4. Quick Release Blade
  5. Rust-Free Spring
  6. Simple Blade Replacement

Things to think about before using PVC pipe cutters:

  1. Make sure you have the correct kind of cutter for the size of your pipe.
  2. The cutter should be made mostly out of rust-free material, such as aluminum.
  3. Make sure your blade is sharp enough to cut your pipe effectively.
  4. Beware when you are cutting old pipe. It will break off easily if it is brittle.
  5. Even a new PVC pipe can splinter and send little bits flying through the air. Wear safety glasses and gloves for protection.

–> What are some other ways to cut PVC pipes? We took a look


Hopefully, we have given you enough information to know what you need to know before you go shopping for PVC pipe cutters. Know the size of the pipe you will be cutting; that determines the size of the cutters that you need. Also, know how often you will use them. If you just do things around the house once in a while, a more economical cutter may be okay for you. However, if you are going to use them all the time in your job, we would recommend spending the extra money to get a quality product that will last a long time.

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About the Author Adam Harris

Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!