How to Cut Galvanized Steel Pipe

When it comes to setting up water lines and indoor plumbing, nothing beats the malleable strength of galvanized steel pipe. This material is highly recommended for homeowners who live in the colder parts of the world and those who experience more rigid weather conditions, especially in the Wintertime. These homes are much more prone to pipe damage and the need for repair.

Knowing how to cut through galvanized steel pipe is an important life hack every homeowner should be able to do. While galvanized steel pipe is one of the best solutions for water lines, it’s still not immune to the damages brought about by extreme weather conditions. When these pipes get damage, you’re going to have to call a plumber to have them replaced, and by the time he arrives, the pipes will have leaked precious water. Wouldn’t it save you the Imagine the amount of time and water you can save if you knew how to cut galvanized steel pipes yourself! Read on, and we’ll show you everything there is to know about this life hack.


You might probably be wondering, “what exactly makes galvanized steel pipes so special?”. Typically used for indoor plumbing and constructing outdoor fixtures such as handrails and fences, this material has been coated with zinc to combat the effects of corrosion. Corrosion or rust formation is a natural process that is brought about by humid conditions inside the home, and extreme weather conditions outside of it.

The galvanization process, also known as hot-dip galvanizing, involves placing steel into a tub of molten steel. In this chemical process, the two metals are fused together into one and will never separate. This fusion becomes a much stronger and corrosion-resistant material that can serve so many applications, especially in construction.

Tools for Cutting Galvanized Steel Pipe

There are several tools that you can use to cut galvanized steel pipe. One thing you have to consider though is the size of the pipe you’ll be cutting. Some tools can only accommodate limited measurements. Let’s take a look at some of these below:

Pipe Cutters

Pipe cutters are known for being able to cut through galvanized steel and copper pipes despite its small package. Commonly used by plumbers to replace damaged water lines, these handy tools come cheap and can be found at most hardware stores.

It keeps a sharp blade projecting outward, which cuts through the pipe in a clean and accurate fashion, even in small spaces. It is kept in place using a clamping mechanism and works by repeated rotations and tightening of the knob.

Larger pipe cutters are also available for the more heavy-duty cutting action.

how to cut galvanized steel pipe pipe cutter

Reciprocating Saws

Reciprocating saws are perfect for larger pipe cutting projects like demolition jobs. It comes with a special blade that cuts through metal. Some of these work using electricity, while others come with their battery packs.

Most contractors favor these efficient tools because they are effortless to handle and get the job done, eliminating the woes of repetitive back and forth sawing movements that can put a dangerous amount of tension on your back.

Reciprocating saws can cut through a wide variety of metals, wood, and other building materials.

how to cut galvanized steel pipe reciprocating saws


Hailed as a tool-box must have, this extremely versatile tool relies on manual labor to cut through pipes.

While the repetitive process can be extremely tiresome, its pistol grip handle along with your freedom to aim at any angle makes the hacksaw adapt to all kinds of pipe cutting projects.

For galvanized steel pipes, special blades are also available in the market.

how to cut galvanized steel pipe - hacksaws

Battery-Operated Grinders

Cordless grinders are incredibly efficient tools that cut through all kinds of pipes and materials. There are several sizes available for this kind of tool.

It is essential, however, to have the correct size of grinder for your cutting job.

Gas-powered grinders are perfect for larger cutting projects that involve pipes with higher densities and stronger materials.

how to cut galvanized steel pipe hand grinders

Other Things You Need in This Tutorial

For this tutorial, we will be showing you how to cut a galvanized steel pipe with a pipe cutter; but before we get started with the procedure, here’s a list of things you will be needing.

  • Plastic goggles and protective shoes - Before you go through with the cutting process, you must first wear plastic goggles and protective shoes. Safety first!
  • Measuring tape and marker
  • Old pipe - the pipe to be replaced
  • Galvanized steel pipe

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1 - Take Measurements

Measure the length of the damaged pipe you’re going to replace for exact measurements. You want to be precise with your measurements, so it’s best to use a measuring tape. Note the measured length and mark it onto the galvanized steel pipe. It’s important not to include allowances.

Step 2 - Attach the Pipe Cutter in Place

Secure the pipe cutter around the marked portion of the steel pipe by rotating the screw gear accordingly until it is tightly in place. For most pipe cutters, you rotate the screw gear in a clockwise manner.

Step 3 - Rotate the Pipe Cutter

Rotate the pipe cutter around the pipe completely, or until it reaches its starting point. Tighten the screw gear when it gets to the starting point, and rotate it again. Repeat this process until you have managed to cut through the whole steel pipe.

If you don’t have a pipe cutter, you can simply use a reciprocating Saw, hacksaw, or a battery-operated grinder to cut the pipe. However, these tools can consume more time and energy.

how to cut galvanized steel pipe grinders

Cutting the galvanized steel pipe with the grinder

Safety Tips

Metal cutting operations have now evolved into modern applications with the development of much stronger construction materials. These often involve high cutter speeds, extreme temperatures, and powerful tools.

In all things, safety should always be deemed a priority. Practice safety in cutting through galvanizing steel pipe by following these tips:

  • Always use protective gear. During any metal cutting process, hot chips and debris may propel towards your face and body, so don’t forget to put on special protective goggles, shoes, and clothes to protect you from the literal hot mess that will follow.
  • Use the right tools for the size of your cutting project.
  • Have a companion around in case an accident will occur.
  • In using the more high-powered tools to cut through pipes of greater densities, make sure you have prior training and knowledge in what you are doing. Keep an eye on where your hands are at all times to avoid freak accidents.
  • Make sure space is sufficient for your project. If you’re working on larger pipes, take the project outdoors.
  • Always see to it that the pipes and clamps (if there are any) are tightly secured. When in doubt, wrap the body with a cloth before clamping to prevent slippage.


Galvanized steel pipe is a material with such great density, and in some way, knowing how to cut through these strong pipes can be kind of rewarding, especially since it can save you a lot of time and patience when a water line from indoor plumbing gets damaged.

Cutting through galvanized steel pipes may seem like a daunting task, but as we have mentioned above, it’s going to seem like a walk in the park if you have the right tools and protective gear to help you out.

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