Simple Solutions

How to Cut Plastic PVC Pipe with String

By: Joe Truini

You don’t have to dig a big hole in your yard to cut a piece of plastic PVC pipe that’s buried in the ground. Instead:

  1. Dig a hole around the pipe large enough to slip a piece of thin nylon string under the pipe.
  2. Attach each end of the string to a wooden handle.
  3. Holding a handle in each hand, pull the string tight and use a back and forth sawing motion to cut through the pipe.


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3 Comments on “How to Cut Plastic PVC Pipe with String”

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  • Mark Says:
    November 5th, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Those wire saws they sell for emergency camping kits are great for this. You can find them for just a few bucks

  • Official Comment:

    joe t. Says:
    July 7th, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    You are very welcome, John. Hope the string trick works for you. As I mentioned in the video, it’s very important to keep the string taut and moving at all times. Also, be sure to have plenty of string on hand; it’s easy to break the string until you get used to the technique. Good luck and thanks for writing.–Joe T.

  • John Buck Says:
    November 17th, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Fantastic method. I did not know that nylon cord was abrasive enough to cut through plastic pipe.
    I have a vertical piece of 2″ pipe to cut and I don’t want to cut up the sub flooring. I am replacing the shower pan in our bath room and the old pipe was leaded into the old shower pan. I’ve got to figure out a way to cut this pipe while working through a 6″ hole in the sub floor.
    Thanks for the string idea. Great!

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How to Cut Plastic PVC Pipe with String