Tube Cutters and Tube Cutting Machines

Tube cutters and tube cutting machines work on all types of flexible and rigid tubing. The term “tube cutter” also applies to tools and machines that cut metal pipes.

Among the types of flexible and plastic tubing used for construction, industrial, scientific and other purposes are:

• PVC
• Polyurethane
• Silicone
• Rubber
• Vinyl
• Polystyrene
• Polyethylene
• PTFE
• FEP
• PFA
• PEX
• Tygon
• Radiator hose
• Nylon

Flexible tubing generally acts as a conduit for gases or fluids although tubes can also act to provide extra protection for wires and cables. Metal pipes provide the same types of function and they are more resistant to extreme temperatures although they are also susceptible to corrosion and they tend to lack flexibility.

Common types of metal pipe and tubing include

• EMT conduit
• Cast iron
• Steel
• Stainless steel
• Ductile iron
• Aluminum
• Copper
• Brass
• ABS
• FMC conduit

Tube Cutters vs. Tube Cutting Machines

The term “tube cutter” generally refers to a portable hand-operated device while tube cutting machines are capable of heavy industrial type production. A tube cutting machine uses a motor and also often an air compressor to drive the mechanical action. Some machines use thermal or laser cutting operations.

Tube cutters often look much different from wire or cable cutters. While some tube cutters have a scissors or wrench-like appearance similar to wire and cable cutters, others look more like a type of clamp. The general types of tube and pipe cutters are:

• Ratchet action – The ratchet action tube cutter looks much like a cable or pipe cutter. The user uses one hand to squeeze the jaws of the tool together and cut through the tube. Because of their small size, these cutters tend to work only on smaller tubes.
• Spring action — A more powerful cutter that is useful on metal tubes and pipes. These tools often resemble clamps, but they have a blade for cutting through tubing quickly.
• Hinged – Hinged cutters provide high torque for cutting through hard metals like steel.
• Heavy duty cutters – Used for wide tubes and pipes including soil pipes.
• Conduit – A conduit tube cutter can cut through tubing and pipe without damaging enclosed wiring or cables.
• Enclosed – An enclosed frame provides better torque for the cutting action.
• Telescoping – These tube cutters work with flexible and rigid tubes and are perfect for use in cramped spaces.
• Square cut – Makes square cuts on steel or stainless steel

Tube cutters may also have special features like guide bars, feed screws, self-feeding, sharpening blade, spare wheel and included reamer. The general capacity for hand-held tube cutters is up to about 12 inches.

Types of Tube Cutting Machines

A tube cutting machine is for use in higher volume work as in industrial applications. These machines can differ in terms of the types of tubing they can handle.

The mechanical machine or automatic tubing cutter uses an electrical or other type of motor to drive the cutting blade, which may be in the form of a saw. Tube cutting machines may be fully automatic, with the operator simply loading the feeder, or partly automatic and partly manual.

Most machines have a type of feeding system or a conveyor belt for higher volume production. They may also have their own microprocessors that allow the operator to program different types of cutting procedures.

Some of the features to look for when comparing tube cutting machines are:

• Capacity – The minimum and maximum diameter tubes that the machine can handle.
• Wall thickness — the maximum wall thickness for tubes or pipes
• Tube length – The range of tube lengths that the machine can handle.
• Number of axes
• Operation – Automated, manual, CNC controlled
• Cutting Operation – Plasma, oxy-fuel, laser, saw, roller type, cut-to-length, etc.
• Cut types – Saddle, T-K-Y joints, Fish-mouth, Miter, Centerline Offset, etc.
• Hole types
• Weld Bevel/Prep – Automatic or manual
• Chamfering and deburring
• Loading and unloading – Automatic or manual
• Microprocessor and software

Comparing Tube Cutters

Many manufacturers are out there but none carry the warranty, support and excellent quality control of those manufactured by The Eraser Company.

While some foreign companies may offer cheap prices, it is often difficult to ascertain the quality of the product or the customer support available. Eraser has a solid reputation to stand on, and our customer service is second to none.

One good way to get advice on which type of tube cutter you may need from rotary tube cutters to other automatic models is to call our engineers and ask which is the best for you. They’ve helped supply thousands of tube processing machines over the years and can help you determine the best fit for your application.

Comparing tube cutting machines
Tube cutting machines are a more serious investment as compared to portable tube cutters, especially for consumers looking for machines capable to handling high volume work with metal tubes and pipes.

With such a wide array of different products, it can be difficult to choose the right product. We offer great prices and are a well-known company that has been in business for more than 100 years. You can reach us through our contact page.

For major investments, it may be worthwhile to hire a consultant to help choose the right equipment. The machines can vary quite widely in terms of their size, power consumption, capacity, power supply and other technical specifications.

Conclusion
Tubing is more variable than wiring or cable in that it can range from flexible to rigid and it often requires a more complex type of cutting machine and device.

Portable tube cutters come with a wide range of cutting actions to choose from that deal with the different types of tubing materials and sizes.

A tube cutting machine is capable of higher volume work and it may use advanced plasma, oxy-fuel or laser cutting operations. These machines can be a significant investment and so contact us in order to find the equipment that meets your technical specifications and provides maximum value. You can of course test out our cutting machines through the Eraser Certification Program.

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