How to Cut a Soil Pipe

Written by truell bliss
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How to Cut a Soil Pipe
Soil pipes carry waste to sewer or septic systems. (pipe fitting image by Joann Cooper from

Knowing how to cut a soil pipe requires little training and most folks find it easy to master the task. The majority of homeowners have little experience with this type of pipe, until it begins to leak. A soil pipe carries off waste to a sewage or septic system; consequently, a crack or break in any portion of the pipe calls for immediate action. The most efficient method of cutting a soil pipe involves using a tool specifically designed for the purpose.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Snap cutter
  • Yellow pipe marker

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  1. 1

    Clear away compacted soil and other debris surrounding the pipe to fully expose the damaged section, providing space and ease of access for repair work.

  2. 2

    Draw the cut line on the pipe with a yellow pipe marker. Wrap the cutting chain on the snap cutter around the pipe, making sure the cutting wheels have full contact with the surface of the pipe.

  3. 3

    Apply pressure on the cutter handles, causing the cutter wheels to indent the pipe's surface along the cut line. Repeat this action two or three times, rotating the pipe a few degrees each time and gradually increasing the depth of indentation.

  4. 4

    Complete the final cut by applying final and quick pressure on the cutter handles, causing the cut section of pipe to snap off.

Tips and warnings

  • Before each use, spray the chain and cutter wheels with a lubricant.
  • Soil pipe cutters are available at most tool rental centres.
  • Soil pipe damages easily; be sure the cut line is free from dirt and debris before starting the cut.

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