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How to Cut PVC Pipe Without Tools [4 Easy Steps]

It’s already troublesome to cut PVC.  But it gets worse if you don’t have any tools to cut down PVC. You might be wondering if it’s even possible to cut PVC without tools. 

How to cut PVC pipe without tools? 

Cutting the PVC without a tool can be easy. Firstly, you need to measure and mark the exact size that you will need. Then you need to scratch around the marked area. Then you can wrap a string and sew through the PVC. Then finally you can use sandpaper to smoothen the PVC

Still not convinced? I’ve prepared the whole article in order to clear out your doubts. 

Tag along to learn more!

4 Easy Steps to Cut PVC Pipe without Tools

PVC pipes are nowadays the most commonly used hardware material in households. And the usage of PVC is at an all time high. 

People don’t only use PVC only because of the underground piping or plumbing nowadays. You can see a lot of creative use of PVC on furniture designing.  

You can cut down PVC pipes to fix your plumbing issues or connect drain line. But as usual, most of us don’t have a PVC cutter. 

Using a knife to cut down the PVC will take a long time. It’s unsafe and you’ll have to go through a lot of hassle. Or in the worst-case scenario, you may harm yourself. 

You may cut down the PVC using a heating knife. It can be easy but it will melt down the PVC. 

In some cases, it can be difficult to reach the PVC for cutting. The PVC cutting tools or saw might not be able to get there. Especially for underground PVC, it can get really hard to reach.

In such scenarios, you might think of some other remedy rather than applying tools. 

Don’t worry. With proper guidelines, you will be able to cut down the PVC without a tool. A few handy home tools can get the job done.

Roll up your sleeves. We’ve a lot to do!

Materials You Will Need 

You won’t need to buy anything from the shop. 

Here’s what you will need to cut down the PVC. 

  • A Hard job knife 
  • Fishing strings 
  • Nylon strings 
  • Marking pen 
  • Measuring tape 
  • Drywall sandpaper 
  • Gloves 

The entire process is very easy. These tools will help you cut down your PVC pipe.

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you cut PVC pipes without any prover tools- 

Step 1: Measuring the PVC

The first thing you will need to do is measure the PVC pipe. It’s kind of similar to measuring metal for roofing or walls. 

You can cut down a piece that is similar to another piece. Hold both pieces together and mark them with a marker pen. With that, you can easily measure the desired PVC size. 

Want to cut down your PVC according to the height of your wall?

Place the pipe against the wall first. Then grab a measuring tape and measure the height and mark it with a marker pen. 

Step 2: Cutting the Marked Place 

In this step, you’ll need to use a knife. Don’t worry, you won’t need to cut down the PVC with the knife.  All you need to do is make a scratched line on the marked place. 

It will help the Nylon strings to stay at a place. This will also make it easier to cut the PVC. 

Step 3: Using the String 

After scratching around the marked place you need to wrap a string to the marked place. The string will be used to cut down the PVC. 

All you need to do is motion the string forward and backwards simultaneously and quickly. Just like how you would use a saw.

It will create heat in the targeted area. The friction of the string will cut down the PVC. 

Step 4: Smoothing the PVC 

Finished cutting the PVC pipe? Don’t think the job is done yet!

You still need to smoothen up the PVC. 

Cutting the PVC with a string will leave rough edges on the cut out parts. That’s why before using the PVC you need to smoothen it up. 

Grab a drywall sandpaper and rub it on the edge, just like cleaning toilet bowl scratch. Try not to use much force while smoothening the PVC pieces. That should take care of the task!

There are many available brands of 90-grit sandpaper rolls in the market. We have collected some of the top quality sandpaper for you that you can try:

Product 01
Product 02 

Use the sandpapers to rub off the rough edges of the PVC pipe. They will make the process easier and take less time.


Question: Can you use a hot knife to cut  PVC? 

Answer: Yes, a hot knife would do the trick. But it could give you a nasty plastic burn as a result. That’s why it’s best not to use a hot knife to cut through PVC. Try a saw for cutting pipe instead

Question:  Can you use a box cutter to cut PVC?

Answer: Yes, luckily you can use a box cutter to cut down the PVC. To avoid scratches you should leave the protective film in its place. 

Question: Can you use scissors to cut PVC?

Answer: Yes you can use scissors to cut down the PVC. Put the PVC between the teeth of the scissors. Then add a little pressure to the handle and rotate the PVC until it’s cut down. Maintain safety precautions before handling heavy tools.

Bottom Line 

Thank you for reading this article. Hope that helped you learn how to cut PVC pipe without tools. 

Cutting PVC is an easy, yet risky task. Neglecting the safety issue can lead to unforeseen accidents. Put on your gloves before doing anything. 

Best of luck with your DIY activity!