Gas pipe fitting tools

Written by roger golden
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Gas pipe fitting tools
Threaded pipe is commonly used for gas piping. (pipe fitting image by Joann Cooper from

Working with gas pipe is not much different from working with metal water lines. Depending on the application, the gas pipe may be thick walled with threaded ends, or thin walled with flared ends. Perhaps the most difficult part of pipe fitting is learning to make the bends in pipes, and many home enthusiasts have found that using flexible pipe or tubing is a logical way to save time and frustration.

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Basic Tools

Make sure that you have a basic set of hand tools available. This set would include fastening tools such as screwdrivers and a hammer. It would also include such tools as a tape measure and even one as simple as a pencil. Depending on the precision of the mounting, you may also need to employ tools such as a framing square or carpenter's level.

Gas pipe fitting tools
Mounting and fastening pipes will require common tools. (tools #4 image by Adam Borkowski from

Crescent Wrenches

Many types of gas pipe fitting are manufactured to fit the maw of a wrench. Having at least one quality crescent wrench enables you to quickly adjust the wrench you are using for the next larger or smaller size of fitting without searching for the next wrench in the set.

Gas pipe fitting tools
Be careful to tighten the crescent wrench snugly to avoid stripping the nut. (crescent wrench image by Richard Seeney from

Pipe Wrenches

If you are dealing with thick-walled, threaded gas pipe, tightening the joints may require the use of more torque and specially designed gripping jaws. The jaws of a pipe wrench are intended to grip in one direction only and must be reversed to turn the pipe in the other direction. The advantage of this design is that increased torque can be applied when tightening.

Gas pipe fitting tools
Use a pipe wrench to install threaded pipe. (old worked off adjustable wrench 2 image by Kostyantyn Ivanyshen from


The hacksaw is useful for cutting pipes that are not suitable for gas pipe or tubing cutters. For the best performance, keep a small container of machine oil available and apply a drop or two to the cutting area to reduce friction on the blade.

Gas pipe fitting tools
A hacksaw can be used to cut gas pipes. (hacksaw image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from

Flaring Kit

A flaring kit is composed of two tools: the flare mould and the actual flaring tool. The mould is typically two metal bars that can be locked together; there is a series of progressively larger holes along the length of the bar, labelled for specific pipe sizes. With the end of a gas pipe clamped into the mould, the flaring tool slides along the bar until a cone-shaped pivot can be screwed slowly into the open end of the pipe, flaring the end into a wider opening.

Pipe and Tubing Cutter

A pipe cutter is a C-shaped device which fits over the gas pipe. As a knob on the handle is twisted, the cutter is rotated slowly around the pipe and a blade is forced deeper into the pipe's surface. Pipe and tube cutters provide more accurate cuts than ordinary saws, and result in fewer dangerously sharp edges.

Pipe Bender

A pipe bender is usually a piece of cast metal with a curved groove running around the outer perimeter. It is used for bending hard, or thick-walled, pipes. The handle is a removable section of pipe, which allows the user to increase leverage as needed for more difficult bending applications. Using a pipe bender takes a lot of practice for even a simple bend, but a skilled user can create pipe sections with complex multiple bends.

Pipe benders are used to bend solid pipe, reducing the fittings required.
Pipe benders are used to bend solid pipe, reducing the fittings required. (natural gas meter image by Tijara Images from

Pipe Threader

Thick-walled pipe, often called hard pipe, can be threaded with a special tool that contains a metal-cutting die. As the pipe threader is slowly screwed counter-clockwise onto the pipe, machine oil is applied to the die. When the pipe threaded in unscrewed, the resulting threads are suitable for use with standard pipe fittings.

Gas pipe fitting tools
Motorised pipe threaders can be rented. (pipe threader image by Greg Pickens from

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