November 05, 2021 4 min read

How To Cut EMT Conduit

Man Holding Pipe Cutter On Conduit

 

EMT Conduit is an off-the-shelf building material that you can find in the electrical aisle of your local hardware store. Normally it is used in commercial buildings to protect wires, but because It is strong and affordable, we like to use it for DIY projects. When you combine conduit and Maker Pipe connectors you can make some pretty amazing things.

 

The Simple Tool That Gets The Job Done

 

Brasscraft Pipe and Tube Cutter

One of the first steps to any project is cutting your pipe to the size you need. There are quite a few ways to do this with saws and other things, but this simple pipe and tube cutter is the easiest and most affordable way that you can cut EMT Conduit. It is a great value because it not only cuts pipes really well but also has a built-in feature for de-burring the pipe ends after making your cuts. In this article, you will learn how to cut and de-burr EMT Conduit, and get some helpful tips and tricks along the way. 


You can find this tool on our website or locally in the plumbing aisle of your local home improvement or hardware store. There are different brands available, but we really like to use this one from brass craft. It works perfectly to cut ½”, ¾”, and 1” EMT Conduit which are the three sizes that can be used with the current lineup of Maker Pipe fittings. The cutter can also be used to cut copper, brass, aluminum, and PVC pipes with diameters between ⅛” and 1-⅛”. As you can see this little tool is really versatile and you can use it anywhere because it doesn’t need any power or any special skills to use. 

 

How To Cut EMT Conduit

Man Holding Tape Measure And Marking Pipes

 

When you are ready to make your cut, use a dry erase marker or sharpie to mark the desired measurement on your pipe. Then you will loosen the knob until there is a big enough gap to fit the conduit inside.

 

Pointing Out The Cutting Rollers

 

You’ll want to make sure the pipe is resting between these two rollers here. This will keep the conduit on track and make it easier to spin around. Then you’ll tighten this knob until the cutter wheel is aligned with the mark you made. 

 

Overtightened


A common mistake that people make is over tightening the know which causes the conduit to pop out of the rollers. This will damage your cutter wheel and ruin your cut so definitely be careful not to over tighten.

 

Spinning Conduit Inside Of The Pipe Cutter


Once you have the cutter wheel aligned and the knob tightened a little bit, you’ll want to rotate the cutter around the pipe a few turns.

 

EMT Conduit Inside Of A Vice

 

You can hold the pipe in one hand and the cutter in the other, but it is also helpful if you have a vice or hand clamp lying around that you can use to hold the conduit for you while you rotate the cutter.

 

EMT Conduit Secured To A Build

 

You could also do what Javier did and clamp the conduit to your build so you can make cuts which is a really clever trick! If you don’t have access to a vice or clamp, you can always wear some gloves to give you some extra grip, or another cool trick is to take a T Connector and add it to the pipe you’re cutting and use it as a handle while you’re rotating the cutter around. Huge thanks to Jay from the community for this trick!

 

Finished EMT Conduit Cut

 

Whether you use a vice or your bare hands the process is the same. Keep rotating the cutter around the pipe and tightening the knob a couple of turns every so often until the pipe is all the way through and you’ve completed your cut.Tradesmen like to do a trick where you stop about 90% of the way through the pipe and then you can step on the conduit to snap it into two pieces. Over time this will keep the cutter wheel sharp and extend the life of the tool. 

 

How To De-burr EMT Conduit

 Built In Reamer For Deburring

 

After your cut is complete you’ll notice that there is a little bit of a lip on the inside of the conduit. You don’t have to remove this lip unless you’re planning to add threaded inserts or something like that into the pipe. However, if you want or need to remove it, it is really simple. On the back of the cutter tool, there is this little hidden metal piece that rotates out like this. 

 

Deburring The Conduit


You can take that and insert it into the pipe and spin it around to grind off the lip on the inside. It’s very easy to do and after a little bit, the conduit will be smoothed out on the inside.

 

Conclusion

If you are working on a small project and only need to make a few cuts then this tool is the most affordable and simplest option, which is why we love recommending it. There are also some other methods that involve power tools and they don’t necessarily make cutting easier but rather more time-efficient. One of our favorite time saving electric tools is this Milwaukee portable band saw which we reviewed in this video here so check that out if you’re interested. Thanks for reading and happy building!