Cutting pipes at an angle: the advantages and disadvantages of different ways of doing things

Pipes are a common building material. They are used in the installation of various systems. In the course of installation there are situations when it is necessary to join pipes at an angle. The technology of production of such works is not standard, but you need to know about it.

To create a complex connection configuration requires pipe cutting at an angle. Let us tell you how to perform this type of cutting, and what are the various cutting methods.

How to cut a round tube at 90 degrees

Cutting pipes at an angle. Typical task in the manufacture of steel structures. There is often a need to cut a pipe at an angle. Cut pipes are welded at a given angle to the walls of structures, they are used to make two-link elbows.

Before cutting, with the help of templates (templates) imposed on the pipe, mark the line for the trimmer of the cut. For each diameter and each angle, the selected diameter, you need a separate unique mold (template). The offered Excel table helps to obtain dimensions for template creation for marking pipes of any diameter cut at any angles. Enter the pipe outside diameter, cutting angle, segment length into the yellow cells of the table and you will instantly get the ordinates and abscissa of these points.

Transfer these points to the paronite or cardboard and connect them smoothly. The pattern (template) is ready. For the convenience of manual drawing the user himself enter the segment length on X axis (multiple of 5, 10 mm) and get up to 40 points of drawing depending on the length of the segment and the template length. A curve like this should be obtained.

No need for manual drawing when using a spreadsheet with a macro. The program draws the pattern itself on the basis of the entered data. All you have to do is print it out and cut it. The allowances on the printout are added by the user.

When making an elbow, the cutting angle should be equal to half of the elbow angle.

Example of determining a cutting angle for making an elbow with an angle of 135 degrees (9045). Not to be confused with a sharp knee of 45 degrees! Formula: 135/2=67,5. We cut the pipe at an angle of 67.5 degrees, we get two pieces of pipe with a cutting angle of 67.5 degrees, connect them to the line of the cut with a tie to the general forming, weld and get an elbow (67.567,5) of 135 degrees.

In the process I made the following observation. At work with the big diameters the made template was obviously shorter, it did not overlap all the pipe, the gap of 20-30 mm remained.

State pipe diameter was specified correctly and the mold was shorter. In my opinion this mistake is caused by the fact that it is impossible to press the template tightly against the pipe and the outer diameter of the pipe has increased (rust, dirt). Had to “belt” measure the circumference and divide by π (3,1416). Enter the resulting diameter into the table.

Method of marking with a container of water instead of a template

This method of marking is suitable for small-diameter pipes, which are planned to cut at a certain angle close to the edge. First you need to prepare a deep container of water. On it the planned angle of inclination is marked. Now you need to carefully immerse the end of the product in the liquid, bend it to the mark, and then pull it out.

As a result of such actions, a clear line for the trimmer contact with water will appear on it, it must be highlighted. This is what is used for cutting the pipe at an angle. This method is best suited for jobs that require repetitive marking.

Large volumes of work require powerful pipe benders

Bending a large number of metal conduits at a 90 degree angle requires more powerful and advanced devices than manual benders. This is due to the need to precisely maintain the bending angle on a large number of pipes. Manual work in such a case is very time-consuming, and the laying of cable channels will take a long time.

That’s why more advanced devices are used in such cases. The Greenlee 880 pipe bender in particular uses a hydraulic drive with a force of 15 tons. It can be equipped with a large set of shoes for bending pipes of all common diameters.

In most cases, a quality pipe bender and modern tools for calculating bending parameters provide a fast laying of metal cable ducts.

Using a water tank

What to do if we are dealing with a pipe of a small diameter and we need to cut the pipe at an angle somewhere near the edge? A deep container filled with water can be helpful. Before we start we need to calculate the angle of inclination and mark it on the reservoir. Then all we have to do is gently lower the edge of the pipe into the water and tilt it toward the mark on the tank. Remove the pipe, mark the line for the trimmer contact with the water, and safely cut according to the markings. This way is perfect for marking a huge number of pipes. A ready template from a container of water will speed up the process of our work.

How to cut a pipe at an angle

Sometimes it is necessary to cut the pipe at a certain angle. In this article, the master plumber will tell you how to perform such operations and what are the methods of cutting.

Considering the methods of work. cutting straight or at an angle. you should take into account the different material of the products to be processed. Hoses made of polypropylene or thin copper are easier and simpler to cut than thick-walled steel pipes.

Plastic products of small diameters are cut at the right angle with special scissors. At the same time, you can control the angle with an ordinary protractor. Cutting polymer pipes is also made with an ordinary hacksaw with a fine-toothed blade.

It is very often necessary to cut a metal pipe during installation. A popular tool for such cases is the so-called angle grinder. Use this tool to cut straight and at an angle.

Let’s find out what fixtures can be used for cutting at different angles.

To perform a relatively precise cut, you can use a simple technique where an ordinary sheet of paper acts as a kind of template. For example, printer’s paper of A4 format is good for creating a template.

The sheet is preliminarily marked under the square using a ruler. The size of the diagonal of the square must be equal to the length of the circumference of the pipe to be cut. Cut off the excess parts of the sheet.

  • Fold the sheet diagonally, aligning the opposite corners;
  • Turn the resulting triangle so that the line for the hypotenuse trimmer is perpendicular to the axis of the pipe;
  • In this position, wrap the paper around the pipe surface, aligning together the extreme points of the hypotenuse;
  • Make a marker mark the cut along the line of any of the triangle’s cathetuses;
  • Cut the pipe along the planned line.
tube, degrees

This method is quite convenient to mark and cut pipes at an angle of 45º in the diameter range from 32 to 63 mm. For more convenient marking it is recommended to take a thick, but soft paper. You can also use paronite and similar materials.

Competently made templates for shaped cutting of the pipe allow for extremely high accuracy of the cuts. In this case, the gap between the prepared blanks is still not excluded. In the connection of metal pipes it is “closed” by a welded seam, at connection of plastic parts a specialized cord for soldering is used.

The cutting technique by templates allows to obtain different cutting angles. But in order to form a template for angles other than 45º you will need to perform mathematical calculations and according to the calculated data to cut the template from paper or similar materials.

True, there are computer programs designed to relieve the master of the production of calculations. Such programs print out the patterns for cutting pipes.

A simple calculation program based on MS Excel makes it possible to calculate and pattern almost any value of pipe diameter and any required cutting angle.

All the user has to do is to enter the appropriate values in the Outer Diameter and Cut Angle fields. According to these parameters the pattern will be formed and can be printed.

Please note! Calculation of points of curve passing is carried out on the basis of only two parameters given. pipe diameter and required cutting angle. The disadvantage of the program is that it does not take into account the thickness of the mold sheet, which leads to minor inaccuracies

There is a simple tool, often used in everyday life, mostly for work with wood. It’s called a wire cutter. So, the same tool is suitable for cutting pipes, and at different angles.

The chisel is available for sale, but if you want you can always make it with your own hands and adjust the design to the desired diameter of the tube:

  • Take a wooden board of width equal to the diameter of the pipe, length 400-500 mm;
  • Take two more boards of the same dimensions, but increased in width by the thickness of the first board;
  • From the three boards assemble a construction in the form of an inverted letter “U”, with the first board as the base;
  • In the central part of the structure to mark out a rectangle, two sides of which run along the inner boundaries of the side boards;
  • Divide the rectangle diagonally and along the lines obtained on the upper faces of the side boards, make cuts down to the base.

In this way a template is made for cutting at an angle of 45º. But practically any corner can be marked out with a protractor and cuts can be made for cutting the pipe for a particular angle.

Cutting technology

Let me tell you right away that if you are going to do plumbing or heating system of polypropylene or metal-plastic, it is better to buy a secateurs. It is inexpensive, but makes the work much easier.

In all other cases, you can use improvised means

At right angles

To cut the pipe at a 90 degree angle, before making the cut, I suggest we draw a line. You don’t need a marker or a pencil, as you might think, but a piece of paper or masking tape. I prefer the latter option because it sticks to the surface.


  • Then, guided by the marking, I glue the scotch tape. Here it is important to do everything so that the edges of the paper tape converged with maximum accuracy. If it works, then you can be sure that the cut will be made correctly.

Pipe Wrap can be used instead of duct tape.

Before cutting, the pipe should be clamped carefully.

To avoid jamming the cutting disc during the operation, the other end of the pipe should be left hanging, and the cut should start at the top of the pipe.

  • After that, all that remains is to make the cut, using an angle grinder. Always ensure that the cutter blade goes exactly along the edge of the masking tape you have already glued on.

If the pipe has a large diameter, you need to cut the wall itself in separate sectors, gradually turning the pipe the right side.

If you cut a big size pipe crosswise.

A slightly different way to deal with a cast iron pipe, which can split if not cut correctly. In this case, I personally act like this:

  • Make the slit across the entire diameter of the pipe;
  • then take a chisel and tap the cut;
  • From such action the product should break on the recess made by the disk.

Make an oblique cut

Now I’ll tell you how to cut a pipe at 45 degrees. In this case you can also use the marking.

  • I take a square sheet of paper (the side of the square must be equal to the outside diameter of the pipe);
  • fold it diagonally;
  • wrap it around the pipe and fasten it.

Mark the cut line with a piece of paper folded diagonally.

In this case, if you make the cut at an oblique edge of the paper sheet, the end will have an angle of 45 degrees.

Another simple way of marking. lowering the pipe at the desired angle in a bucket of water. In this case the wet edge will serve as a guide for cutting.

But it’s best not to play the trick, but to use an ordinary wire cutter, which is designed for just such cases. Structurally, the device I mentioned has the form of an inverted letter U, the opposite slats of which have cuts at the right angle.

tube, degrees

The tube should be put inside the jigsaw and cut at the right angle, placing the blade of the hacksaw in the appropriate grooves.

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