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  1. #1
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    cutting bars down: hacksaw or pipe cutter?

    What's best for cutting down an aluminum bar? A pipe cutter or hacksaw with a steerer tube cutting guide?

  2. #2
    Hazardous to your health!
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    id use a hacksaw, i dont think ive seen a pipe cutter that cuts thru metal easily...
    2011 Specialized Rockhopper: Captain Tires, Disc Brakes, 24 speed

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  3. #3
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    I've tried both. The hacksaw definitely does a better job. I put masking tape around the bar where I want to cut. That way I know I have a nice, straight cut. I always clean it up with a file. I've also used a cut off wheel (like dremel or air tool). That tool makes an even nicer cut but takes a bit more work to get the tool out and things set up. Good luck with that. Take some pictures and show us your work and what you find. Aloha!

  4. #4
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    Hacksaw with a guide is definitely faster. I have found that a sharp, well oiled pipe cutter with cutting fluid, however, leaves a nicer initial cut, with less cleanup. It also takes 5-10x longer.

    As for which works better...which tool do you have, and that is your answer. Both will do a good job of cutting down pipe.

  5. #5
    A guy on a bike Moderator
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    I've always used a pipe cutter. Seems to leave a really smooth and accurate cut, although a fine-tooth file is nice for knocking-off the edge a bit.

  6. #6
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    pipe cutter - simple, clean cuts and super quick.
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  7. #7
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    pipe cutter on the bike, hacksaw with guide off the bike

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    depends on the situation and how fast i need it done. most of the time is the hacksaw

  9. #9
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    Pipe cutter for aluminum hacksaw for carbon.

  10. #10
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    For aluminum I always use a pipe cutter. It always give me a perfect cut and it's super easy to use.


    Quote Originally Posted by hazardousmtb View Post
    id use a hacksaw, i dont think ive seen a pipe cutter that cuts thru metal easily...
    Pipe cutters are made to cut through copper pipes, and have no problem with aluminum. If you had issues with one, you were either using the wrong thing, or you had a badly worn one.

  11. #11
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    For aluminum, either will work fine. I've got a guide for the hacksaw, and it's easy to use, accurate and quick. It does require a file to clean up the cut though.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the input guys. Both ways are an option for me. Think I'll go with the pipe cutter.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by shanem View Post
    Thanks for the input guys. Both ways are an option for me. Think I'll go with the pipe cutter.
    I've found the cheapest piece of crap available at your hardware store don't last too long. I went through three of them before I spent about $30 on a nicer one, and not only has it lasted, but it simply works better.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    I've found the cheapest piece of crap available at your hardware store don't last too long. I went through three of them before I spent about $30 on a nicer one, and not only has it lasted, but it simply works better.
    Ditto. I used a cheap one and it started spiraling (inward of course) so I wound up taking more off than intended. Don't be chintzy on the hacksaw neither - the blade on mine went a little cockeyed and I couldn't get a straight cut.

  15. #15
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    I just broke my crappy pipe cutter. Made it through three steerer tubes then exploded in my hands on the fourth. I don't trust myself with a hack saw so I think I'll be investing in a premium pipe cutter as well.

  16. #16
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    use a hacksaw, put an old lock on grip with alloy clamp on the right spot (odi), n use that as a cutting guide, this is a great method, n does the trick every time, give it a file n shes sweet.......

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad mechanic View Post
    For aluminum I always use a pipe cutter. It always give me a perfect cut and it's super easy to use.



    Pipe cutters are made to cut through copper pipes, and have no problem with aluminum. If you had issues with one, you were either using the wrong thing, or you had a badly worn one.
    Tubing cutters are made for copper/aluminum tubing. Pipe cutters, 1, 2, 3 and 4 wheel cutters are made for pipe.

    I would use my Sawzall followed by an aluminum file, then fine paper. A cheapo tube cutter should work.....a few times. (plumber for 42 yrs)

  18. #18
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    Using either a pipe cutter or hacksaw for the aluminum will work fine. But for a carbon, hacksaw would be better. It is easier and faster to use.

  19. #19
    Hoopy Frod
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    I mark with masking tape and then hacksaw. I then use a grinding bit on my rotary tool to round off the edges.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColorVoyeur View Post
    I mark with masking tape and then hacksaw. I then use a grinding bit on my rotary tool to round off the edges.
    Don't do this with carbon fiber. The grinding will release a lot of carbon dust into the air which is unhealthy to breath in.

  21. #21
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    Pipe cutter for alum handlebars, hacksaw or sawzall w/ metal blade (and a guide) for carbon anything or steerer tubes.

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