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The tubing pex-al-pex has an aluminum layer in it. This question is about tubing with an aluminum layer inside and not, not regular PEX-A or PEX-B.


My house has (or had) kitec pipes. I'm in the process of removing them. If you want to cut pe-al-pe or pex-al-pex for the purpose of maintenance (such as installing fitting to PEX to make the run shorter) how do you cut it? With regular PEX you'd cut it with a ratcheting pipe cutter. But should I cut through a pipe with a pretty thick aluminum layer using my nice Ridgid pipe cutter? Or are you supposed to cut this pipe with a band saw, or sawzall?

Is it possible to cut it with a ratcheting pipe cutter? Or would this likely ruin it? On the run I was able to totally replace, I removed this tubing with an angle grinder and a tile/mason blade.

Side view of PEX-AL-PEX:

Picture of PEX-AL-PEX

My ratcheting pipe cutter:

enter image description here

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  • My electrician cut 4/0-4/0-4/0-1/0 aluminum wiring with a ratcheting wire cutter. I can't imagine that this very thin "welded aluminum layer" would cause much of an issue...
    – FreeMan
    Feb 17, 2023 at 12:42

2 Answers 2

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I broke my pipe pluers cutter and used one of the rotating blade cutters.

Worked well but not quick however I was working for my son for free 😀

An example: https://www.screwfix.com/p/rothenberger-minicut-pro-2-6-22mm-manual-copper-pipe-cutter/71782

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  • when you say rotating blade cutter, what do you mean? Feb 17, 2023 at 7:56
  • @EvanCarroll editied to provide a link to an example.
    – Solar Mike
    Feb 17, 2023 at 8:03
  • ahh, a copper pipe cutter, i'll try that. those are cheap so if it works that's great. you cut pex-al-pex with that? just want confirmation that there was an aluminum layer in there and it wasn't regular pex Feb 17, 2023 at 8:04
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    @EvanCarroll I am smart enough to recognise the layer of aluminium.
    – Solar Mike
    Feb 17, 2023 at 8:05
  • just checking. ;) Alloys of aluminum can be substantially harder than pure copper, so it just seems tools made to cut through copper won't work. But I'll have to try it. =) Feb 17, 2023 at 8:13
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Mine doesn't have a flat blade, rather V-shaped like this one:

enter image description here

The tip of the V shaped blade scores the pipe and starts the cut which prevents flattening the pipe, but you have to turn it around the pipe of course, so if cutting a pipe that's very close to a wall you have to go slowly and wiggle it to get the blade in and not squeeze the pipe into oval shape.

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