How to Cut Galvanized Pipe

Updated February 21, 2017

Frequently found as plumbing in older houses and buildings constructed before the use of PVC pipe, galvanised piping is a thick-plated, hollow pipe design used for transporting liquids. While smaller pipes can easily be cut with a pipe cutter hand tool, thicker pipes made of steel can require the use of power tools, such as a reciprocating saw, for creating a clean, even slice in the metal. With a minimum of tools and a careful eye for detail, practically anyone can make the precise cuts used for threading galvanised pipe.

Select a working area for measuring and cutting your section of galvanised pipe. Clean the area of any dirt, dust or debris. Plug in the reciprocating saw.

Determine the required length for your galvanised pipe. Place the metal clip of the measuring tape at one end of the pipe and mark the desired length with a Sharpie pen, adding an extra 8 inches for blade width. Hold the Sharpie still and rotate the pipe to mark all the way around the pipe for guiding the blade.

Fasten the pipe to the pipe vice stand by inserting the pipe into the vice and turning the lever in a clockwise direction. Ensure that the pipe is secure and will not move or slip if pressure is applied.

Put on your safety goggles and gloves and power the reciprocating saw. Hold the saw in both hands as you slowly cut the metal from the top. Apply pressure, ensuring an even, clean cut as you press the blade through the metal.

Turn off the reciprocating saw and test the length of your galvanised pipe.


Pipe vice stands and reciprocating saws can generally be rented at tool and hardware stores. For smaller pipes, save money by renting or purchasing a pipe cutter.


Always practice caution when working with power tools. Do not leave the saw unattended when it's plugged in. Be sure that no people or animals interfere with your work.

Things You'll Need

  • Reciprocating saw with carbide blade
  • Measuring tape
  • Sharpie pen
  • Pipe vice stand
  • Safety goggles
  • Safety gloves
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About the Author

Based in the Appalachian Mountains, Brian Connolly is a certified nutritionist and has been writing professionally since 2000. He is a licensed yoga and martial arts instructor whose work regularly appears in “Metabolism,” “Verve” and publications throughout the East Coast. Connolly holds advanced degrees from the University of North Carolina, Asheville and the University of Virginia.