Rosene Machine, Inc.

(800) 770-8854

Machine Shop Hours
Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

FAq ipc-020

We try to anticipate questions you might have about our Internal Pipe Cutter and provide the answers here. If you need additional information send email to

1. What sizes will the tool cut?

All Models will cut 2" schedule 10 through schedule 80 as the IPC-020 was originally designed with this in mind.  This core size has shown to be very robust as proven by its now almost 30 years in the field and increased sizes it has been tasked with.
Adaptors have been developed allowing use in larger and more diverse applications.  Using simple adaptors and cutter block lengths we can also sever up to 6" schedule 40 carbon steel, stainless steel and plastics up to 6".
Developments are under way to expand the range of sizes offered.
Adaptors for use in 8" have been constructed for customers
Sometimes we can utilize combinations of our standard parts to satisfy the special sizes and we can modify standard components to cut different diameters.  We have "stock" specials we can readily build.
See: IPC-020 Variations, Table 1
We now offer one for 1.5" Schedule 40 Pipe and any other tube it will fit.  That model will not collapse far enough to do 1.5" schedule 80 pipe, but I know it will do a 2" tube as somebody bought one to use on a boiler.

2. What models are available?

Can choose between plastic and steel (HD)
Plastic- capable of “light duty” steel
Steel- for continuous use in steel, stainless steel and materials up to approximately a hardness of Rockwell "C" scale of 40, (Rc = 40).

3. How far from the end of the pipe/tube will it cut?

Standard lengths (8”, 28”, 48”, 60”, 72”, 84”, 96”, and 120”)
The length refers to the maximum length that can be severed at one time from the open end of the pipe. Custom lengths have been produced and shipped that were 3 meters and designed as sections.
Much longer than this and the design is limited by the torsional wrap due to the torque require size and material of pipe/tube becomes more important.

4. How close to the end can I trim?

Typically in schedule 40 the practical minimum trim length is 3/8" to 1/2".
With some practice perhaps closer.
A non relieved roller will help this.
The controlling factor in the material the tool can cut is the stiffness of the material/shape.
In that PVC can be rather stiff pipe material, if it is in the shape of a thin wall pipe, such as .075 inch, it will actually be more difficult to cut (sever) because the round shape of the pipe will distort thus reducing the effective thrust used to push the rolling cutting wheel into the surface of the pipe thus reducing the efficiency of the process.
The pipe will be severed but it will take more turns or passes to do so and tracking can be an issue.
Once an appropriate technique is employed when cutting thin and flexible pipe/tube it becomes somewhat of a non-issue, you just have to put up with the facts of physics when cutting the flexible shapes. Be sure to use a very sharp cutting wheel. We do have some thinner wheels for special applications. If thin wall pipe is encased in concrete or firm soil it will be easier to sever because the distortion will be less than if it is exposed.
If one is cutting flexible vinyl tubing – it isn’t going to happen for the above reasons.
In special applications one could consider the use of a backup ring to provide support to a flexible shape.
On the other hand when cutting the stiffer shapes such as 4” schedule 40 pipe (0.237 inch wall thickness), one can sever that pretty quickly because of the much larger effective thrusting force.

5. What length should I order?

Generally, 2’ above ground is good for turning.
Consider the constraints of the situation.
If no distance constraints in line with the pipe/tube … then comfortable ergonomics is all that needs to be considered. You would not want to plan working on your knees or dragging your knuckles on the ground.
Best to plan on knee height to waist height as a comfortable operating handle height.
If one is in a larger vessel or pipe or against a wall or floor ... a bit more difficult.
You must consider the ability to insert the length of the tool into the pipe/tube.
For this we can offer a custom length or handle (turning options) and other custom solutions … inquire for these.

6. Is the tool powered?

This is a hand operated tool utilizing a rolling blade to sever the material by thrusting into and rolling along the surface of the material.

7. What material will the tool cut?

The IPC-020 will sever plastic, carbon steel, carbon fiber, and most materials within the capability of the rolling cutting wheel.
Hardness up to about Rc = 40ish. The roller for plastic is tool steel Rc 54 -56 and the roller for steel is a high rupture strength tool steel Rc = 54 -56. See instruction sheet for further information

8. Will it cut cast iron?

Some commentary on cutting cast iron pipe:
These internal pipe cutters were designed to sever DUCTILE materials such as plastic, steel and stainless steel. It has been used in Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) with success.
Cast iron by its very nature is brittle and may fracture in an unpredictable way.
Cast iron is very strong in compression but rather weak in tension.
Cutting iron pipe from the outside puts the pipe in compression, thus a low likely hood of the pipe fracturing in an unpredictable manner.
This cutter will create a lot of force from the inside of the pipe creating high tensile concentrated forces and might cause fracturing in an unpredictable manner.  So, you would have to go easy to try and get a straight “non-ragged” cut.
If the material is ductile iron, I think there would be less chance of fracture.

9. We want to trim groundwater monitoring wells after they are installed.  Almost all the wells are constructed with 2" Scheduled 40 PVC

That is what the tool was originally designed for although we have taken its capabilities much farther.
If you are trimming them at ground level, I would recommend the 28” model.
This allows the operator to trim without bending over very far.
Basically, just stand over the well and cut it off.
Should not take more than a minute.
The 2” base model will sever 2” pipe from thin wall “sch 10” to Sch 80.
The design allows it to fit into and expand enough to do this.

10. How does it align itself and not cut crooked?

Tracking issues are rarely a problem. You must try to induce a spiral track.  The reaction rollers are designed to provide good alignment within the pipe. The instructions do say to “settle” in the tool as you first expand it in the pipe, same as on a external pipe cutter.

11. We need to cut 4" aluminum drop tubes (usually max length is no more than 60" down) into fuel tanks.

No sweat. That is one of our stock specials.

12. How does it work?

The tool utilizes a rolling blade and two reaction rollers, just like an external pipe cutter. It is intended to be hand operated thus no need for external power. The operator has full control over the advancement and retraction of the rolling cutter.

13. My pipe is incased in concrete, will the tool work?

Yes, The biggest issue you will have is dulling the cutting edge when the pipe is severed and the wheel is cutting into the backing concrete. The blades are made of hardened tool steel and are very durable. Once you develop a feel for the cutting action one can stop at a more appropriate time.