Tubes are fairly basic components, often coming in the form of cylindrical pieces with a hollow center for materials to move through. While present in a wide variety of applications and industries, the tubes specifically found in aircraft are generally relied on to relay water and other fluids throughout the vehicle. With the complexity of aircraft assemblies and the compact spaces that parts are regularly installed in, it is often necessary to cut tubes into lengths that accommodate the design of aircraft. As tubes are regularly being made from materials such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), cutting tubes is not as simple as using a handheld knife. Instead, one should utilize a device known as a tube cutter.
Tube cutters may come in various forms, all being designed with a set of jaws and a blade. With a tube cutter, one can cut tubes quickly and easily, all while ensuring clean and uniform cuts that are hard to achieve through more manual means. Most cutters work similar to one another, engaging the tube with the closing of the jaws while the blade cuts. It is important to have blade cutters when working with numerous types of assemblies as tubes are rigid and generally unbendable, meaning that they will need to be cut as required.
While cutters make cuts more clean and uniform, they can also help one make sure that tubes are not cut too short as well, as that may prevent the tube from connecting to intended endpoints. To best use a tube cutter while avoiding any mishaps in terms of length, you should first measure the tube and mark it where the cut will be. Then, you can simply place the tube between the jaws of the cutter before pressing it down to drop the blade.
When shopping around for tools, you may come across what is known as a pipe cutter. While many often utilize the terms interchangeably, it is important to know that they are not exactly the same. Tube cutters are specifically for cutting soft materials such as PVC, while pipe cutters are better suited for harder materials like copper, iron, and steel. Furthermore, tube and pipe cutters both utilize a different method of operation. With a tube cutter, a set of jaws and a blade will be used, the blade dropping into the tube when the cutter is engaged. On the other hand, pipe cutters cut pipes with a circular motion, devoid of any blade that drops. To enact the circular motion, the cutter rotates around the pipe as the operator turns the tool.
As stated before, there are various types of tube cutters one may use, those of which may vary in shape, size, and material. For example, plastic tubing cutters are fairly common, and they can be held with ease while one cuts thinner tubes. Meanwhile, a PVC ratchet cutter can be squeezed with one’s hands while working with various size PVC tubes. If you determine what type of cutter you need for carrying out your operations, let NSN Stocks help you procure everything with competitive pricing and rapid lead times.
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