Can You Cut PVC With A Circular Saw?

Last Updated On May 7, 2023

A circular saw is an excellent choice for woodworking and roofing, as well as cutting concrete and masonry. But can you cut PVC with a circular saw? Can its blade handle thinner and softer materials like PVC pipe or tube? 

Luckily, yes. The circular saw can cut through PVC accurately and efficiently. However, the DIY’rs must follow some guidelines, and the project involves some limitations.

Read on to learn the essential rules and regulations for cutting through PVC using a circular saw and alternatives to this saw to get the job done.

Can You Cut PVC with A Circular Saw?

A circular saw is a versatile cutting tool that can cut through diverse materials, including PVC. However, the blade of the saw can be damaged easily while cutting soft materials like PVC. 

Hence, you must attach the best blade for cutting PVC and operate it at high speed to avoid shagging on the PVC material. Keep these restrictions in mind to make the precise cut on PVC with a circular saw:

1. Use Appropriate Saw Blade 

Typically, circular saws come with blades made of carbon steel, which aren’t good options to use on PVC. Despite this, the tooth thickness of the saw blade also greatly affects the cutting performance.

As you’re going to cut soft material, collect a saw blade that has especially designed teeth required for cutting plastic or PVC. It means the blades should be made of hard steel and has circular pattern edges so they can insert into the PVC pipe efficiently.

In terms of teeth thickness, the blade should have a minimum of 15 teeth per inch to cut PVC conveniently. To determine the saw blade’s usage, check its description label to ensure it’s designed for cutting PVC. This way, you’ll get a smooth cut in a PVC tube or pipe.

2. The Thickness of the PVC Tube or Pipe

The circular saw can generally cut through thinner materials more efficiently than thicker ones. However, this saw can’t cut very thin or smaller diameter PVC tubes. It means a circular saw can’t cut 1/8′′ thick PVC, as its blades won’t get enough support during cutting such thin material  

Instead, this practice can stick the blade in PVC, ruin the circular saw, and end up hurting you.

3. Making Angle Cut in PVC

If you plan to cut at an angle using a circular saw, change the plan or the tool. A circular saw can’t make an angle cut as its blade isn’t designed for this job. 

Instead, the circular saw blades can only make angled lines and straight cuts. A jigsaw is a good alternative to making angle cuts in PVC tubes or pipes.

Steps to Cut PVC with a Circular Saw

Learning the right process will benefit your next plumbing and sanitation project as you can cut PVC using a circular saw. 

Following the procedure allows you to make a straight and smooth cut in PVC. Even if you’re wondering how to cut 4-inch PVC pipe straight, follow this process:

1. Secure the PVC Tube or Pipe

Wear your goggles and mask first. Clamp your work in a vice tool using jaw clamps to keep it stable during cutting through. Attach the jaws a few inches away from the cutout to avoid moving the PVC while cutting.

2. Mark the Cutting Line 

Mark the desired cutting point using chalk in the PVC so you can place the saw blade at the exact place and cut accurately. If required, measure and then mark the area.

3. Collect the Right Blade

Install a PVC cutting blade like a carbide tip blade onto the saw. To do so, lose the arbor nut on the saw and refit the blade keeping its teeth facing towards the rotating direction of the saw. Then tighten the arbor nut.

4. Cut through the PVC Tube or Pipe

Place the saw on the PVC’s marked line and press the top of the saw down. Keep the circular saw straight and stable so it doesn’t retreat from the marked line. 

Start cutting the PVC slowly and consistently until the saw cuts through the whole workpiece. While cutting, keep your hand and other hands out of the motion range to avoid getting injured.

Video of Cutting PVC with A Circular Saw

Though you already know to execute the cutting, here’s a visual presentation for a better understanding. 

Alternatives of Circular Saw to Cut PVC

Obviously, a circular saw isn’t the only tool to cut through PVC. If its limitations hurt your needs, consider these alternatives to make the job done as desired:

Miter Saw

Can you cut PVC with a miter saw? Of course, it’s one of the handy tools for making small and detailed cuts on PVC. The tool is compatible with a miter box to ensure improved accuracy and stability.

Hacksaw 

A hacksaw can also cut PVC efficiently and accurately.  But it needs to clamp the workpiece first. The blade’s teeth of this saw leave a smooth edge after cutting through PVC.

PVC Cutters 

If you want to cut PVC without a saw, this is the tool to use. This tool comes in two styles, including scissors and ratcheting. While the first type is perfect for cutting small-sized PVC tubes and pipes, the latter is preferable for cutting larger ones.

Handsaw

A handsaw is a safer DIY tool to cut PVC and doesn’t require much skill. However, the process takes extra effort and time and needs to keep the tool steady while cutting.

Sawzall

You can also cut PVC using reciprocating saws. However, it requires an even amount of pressure to get a straight cut on the PVC.

FAQs

1. Should you cut PVC with a circular saw?

PVC pipe is quite soft and applying a circular saw to it can damage the saw blade. Hence, many enthusiasts discourage cutting PVC using a circular saw. Collect a special blade to avoid damage if you’re keen on cutting PVC tubes or pipes using a circular saw.

2. What is the inexpensive way to cut PVC?

A standard handsaw is the most affordable way to cut PVC, and it’s extremely easy to use as well. However, a handsaw will give you a much more accurate cut.

3. Can it cut PVC trim using a circular saw?

Yes, you can. But use a saw blade that has at least 32 teeth per inch to cut PVC trim.

Final Words

After knowing as can you cut PVC with a circular saw, we hope you’ll find your circular saw beneficial. Just compare your requirements with the circular saw’s limitations, and go ahead if they don’t crash. Lastly, insert a PVC cutting blade onto your circular saw to avoid any mess.

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