Smooth-Edged Cutting Tools
Smooth-edged cutting tools have a smooth cutting edge instead of teeth. Chisels, pipe cutters, and shovels are the smooth-edged tools most commonly used by plumbers.
Plumbers use wood chisels and cold chisels. Both types of chisels are made from heat-treated steel to increase the hardness of their cutting edges.
You force the chisel’s cutting edge into and through the material you are working on by hitting the chisel’s handle with a hammer.
The next slide presents more information on the two types of chisels.
Click on each type of chisel to know more:
A wood chisel is used to make opening or notches in wooden structural material so that pipes can be installed through these openings.
A cold chisel is used for cutting, shaping, and removing cold metal softer than the chisel’s cutting edge. Examples of cold metal include cast iron, wrought iron, bronze, copper, and steel.
This chisel is also used for enlarging holes and trimming concrete.
Note: Never use these tools to cut or split stone or concrete.
Manual Pipe Cutters
Pipe-cutting tools come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and designs. The three most commonly used manual pipe cutters are the tube cutter, the pipe cutter, and the soil pipe cutter.
Click on each type of cutter to know more:
The tube cutter is used for cutting copper tubing or thin-wall conduit.
It also is effective for cutting other malleable (pliable) building materials, such as brass and aluminum.
The pipe cutter is used to cut steel pipe.
This tool is basically the same as the tube cutter, but it is heavier and it often has more than one cutter wheel. It is used to cut large-diameter pipes.
Soil Pipe Cutter
Soil pipe cutters are used to cut cast iron or clay pipe. There are two types of soil pipe cutters: the ratchet cutter and the snap cutter.
These cutters are especially appropriate to use in confined spaces or when cutting hard-to-reach piping.
Plumbers use a variety of shovels, including hand-held trench shovels, to dig trenches for water pipes.
Always identify the location of all nearby gas, electrical, water, and waste and sewage lines and systems before digging.