How to Cut PEX Tubing (With Pictures)

How To Cut PEX Tubing (With Pictures)

When it comes to pipe installation or repair, you may have opted for PEX tubing instead of copper tubing. However, before you begin installing your PEX tubing, you’ll need to cut it to the right size. 

This article will show you exactly how to cut PEX tubing correctly, with and without a PEX cutting tool.

What Is PEX Tubing?

PEX tubing is a flexible alternative to standard copper piping. It is used primarily because of its flexibility and needs fewer fittings and connections than other piping materials.

Tools For the Job

Before you get started, you’ll need to gather a few tools for the job. All you need is:

  • A PEX cutter tool
  • A marker or pen
  • A measuring tool

Using a PEX pipe cutter means you’ll be able to easily cut through a section of the PEX tubing, regardless of the diameter. The tool will help you get an even, clean cut so your tubing will lock into place and seal correctly.

How To Cut PEX Tubing

Step 1 – Measure

How To Cut PEX Tubing (With Pictures) (1)

First, lay the PEX tubing as straight as you can on a workbench or table and measure the pipe to the length you want.

Be sure to add an extra inch to the measurement. This is important because the flexible piping will contract and expand when it’s in use, so it shouldn’t be stretched tightly from one fitting to another.

Step 2 – Mark

How To Cut PEX Tubing (With Pictures)

Use your pen to mark where you want to cut your PEX pipe.

Step 3 – Position

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Next, position your piping in the mouth of your PEX cutting tool. 

When putting the tubing into position, make sure that your cutting line is in the right place underneath the cutting tool’s blade and hold it in place.

Step 4 – Cut

How To Cut PEX Tubing (With Pictures) (3)

Finally, grip the tool handle and squeeze firmly in one single motion. As long as you squeeze the handle as far as it can go, the tool should cut cleanly through the PEX tubing.

How To Cut PEX Tubing Without A PEX Cutting Tool

If you don’t have a PEX tool at your disposal, you can use a utility knife instead.

The sharp blade will still give you a clean cut, but it is more dangerous than using a cutting tool, so extra caution should be taken and it should only be done by experienced DIY enthusiasts.

Step 1 – Measure

First, lay the PEX tubing as straight as you can on a workbench or table and measure the pipe to the length you want.

Be sure to add an extra inch to the measurement. This is important because the flexible piping will contract and expand when it’s in use, so it shouldn’t be stretched tightly from one fitting to another.

Step 2 – Mark

Next, mark the PEX tubing with your utility knife. Do so by holding the tube firmly in one hand and inserting the knife at a 90-degree angle with the other hand. Finally, pull down gently to cut the PEX pipe.

Step 3 – Cut

To finish, cut the PEX pipe partially where you inserted the blade. Then, continue cutting the tubing until the blade has completely cut through it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use A PVC Cutter To Cut PEX Tubing?

A PVC pipe cutter works well when cutting PEX piping, so it’s a good alternative if you don’t have a PEX cutting tool. 

PVC pipe cutters are similar to gardening pruners and can cut piping with a diameter of up to two inches.

What Should I Avoid When Cutting PEX Tubing?

When cutting PEX tubing, you should not resort to using a saw, as the jagged teeth will tear the edges of the piping.

You should also try not to pinch or crack the tubing when cutting, as this can distort and ruin the pipe. 

Furthermore, avoid cutting your piping at an angle, as it won’t be able to fit and lock into place.

Can I Use A Copper Pipe Cutter To Cut PEX Tubing?

A copper pipe cutter is a specialized tool designed for cutting rigid material with a sharp cutting wheel. This tool can cut PEX tubing, but this can contribute to dulling the copper pipe cutter’s blade.

Is PEX Tubing Better Than Copper Piping?

While it is down to personal opinion, PEX piping is much cheaper than copper piping and is also more durable, as it requires fewer connections. Furthermore, PEX is immune to corrosion and mineral build-up.


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