How to choose the right pipe cutting machine

There are a lot of different pipe cutters and bevelling machines on the market, making it difficult to know which is the best for every need. Tremco Pipeline Equipment and Sawyer Manufacturing have teamed up to take the confusion out of selecting a durable, high-quality machine that meets all requirements.

Through a long-standing partnership of over 20 years, Tremco Pipeline Equipment supplies Sawyer Manufacturing pipe cutting and bevelling machines to the Oceania pipeline market. Sawyer has a range of different machines suited to specific applications.

When choosing a pipe cutting machine that best meets the needs of your application, it’s important to select a machine that’s easy to maintain. Things to consider:

  1. The maximum diameter and thickness of pipe to be cut.
  2. The type of cut required and the fuel source of your cutting torch.
  3. The require accuracy of the finish.
  4. Whether a manual or automatic solution is needed.
  5. The range of pipe diameters, wall thicknesses and bevel angles required.
Sawyer has a range of different machines suited to specific applications. Image supplied by Tremco Pipeline Equipment.

Understanding the difference between oxy and plasma cutting

Oxy fuel cutting has been around for more than a hundred years, and little has changed in the process since that time.

Although often considered a modern way of cutting metals, plasma cutting has been around since the 1950s. The gases required for plasma cutting make it a more expensive option to oxy-fuel, and the investment to change from an oxy-fuel set up to plasma can be cost-prohibitive, though the cutting speed is significantly higher with plasma.

Sawyer equipment is compatible with a wide range of cutting torches and gases. This isn’t difficult for oxy-acetylene and propane markets, because cutting torches for both gases are typically the same size. Plasma cutting set ups, however, can pose more challenges due to the larger size torches required, and the requirement to run at a higher speed than for oxy fuel cutting. To help, Sawyer has developed a range of plasma torch holders and motor kits to allow its units to be compatible with whichever cutting method you prefer.

One such example is a motorising kit which allows existing crawler and chain cutting machines to be upgraded to run off a cabled power source at plasma speeds, while also having the option to be ran from a De-Walt style 20V Li-ION battery pack; increasing portability of the units for cutting in more remote locations.

The Excalibur Pipe Cutting and Beveling Machine. Image supplied by Tremco Pipeline Equipment

A versatile cold cutting solution for pipe repair and decommissioning: Excalibur Pipe Cutting and Beveling Machine

The Excalibur Pipe Cutting and Beveling Machine is a cold cutting machine able to cut pipe wall up to 2 inches (50 mm), bevel high tensile stainless steel pipes, and work in the most extreme temperatures. Available in hydraulic, pneumatic, or electric driven options, the Excalibur machines will cut and bevel most machinable materials, including carbon steel, stainless steel, ductile iron, cast iron, and most other alloys without spark or flame.

The machine has a heavy-duty chain tensioning mechanism, encased in a high-strength alloy frame, which provides the necessary rigidity and strength for cutting the pipe at the highest travel speed possible. The frame of the Excalibur has six-wheel positions to better follow the radius of the pipe and allow tracking accuracy on a 36 inch pipe of better than 0.3mm.

The Excalibur is equipped with a two-speed drive gearbox, which provides positive movement of the machine around the pipe in all kinds of pipe cutting conditions. No out-of-round compensation is needed, as the machine follows the pipe’s outside diameter, producing an even and consistent cut. The drive chain can be shortened or lengthened to accommodate pipes from as small as 6 inches up to 5m in diameter vessels and beyond.

This versatile machine can work onsite, offshore, in the field or even underwater (requires optional corrosion proofing).

Single-operator, fast large diameter pipe cutting: Band Beveling Machine

The SMC Crawlers and Bands set the industry standard for large diameter pipe cutting and beveling. This unit is popular because it negates the need for out of round compensation – something which has been an increasing problem in the pipeline industry in recent times.

Ideal for cutting in tight spaces, the unique right angle drive attachment for this pipe beveling machine allows the operator to cut with only 6 inches of clearance in the bell hole, and the flexible stainless steel beveling bands on this pipe cutter adapt to any situation, permitting the crawler to smoothly and consistently cut and bevel pipe.

In addition, the Sawyer beveling band and bug features the fastest motor in the industry, cutting at three times the speed of a typical acetylene cut with any other pipe cutting machine.

These Band Type Pipe Beveling Machines are lightweight and adaptable to multiple pipe sizes and allow single-operator setup on pipes as large as 48 inches in diameter.

Lightweight, efficient cutting for pipe of any size: Quick Set Beveling Machine

The Sawyer Quick Set Pipe Cutting and Beveling Machine is a powerful and versatile pipe cutter that allows for quick setup and perfect cutting of any pipe or tube from 1-1/2 to 20 inches. When compared to other pipe beveling machines, the Sawyer Quick Set Beveling Machine is the lightest and most efficient saddle style cutting and beveling machine on the market.

The unique sliding adjustment arm of the Sawyer pipe beveler requires no dogs or spacers, and the innovative split frame design allows it to be installed over the end or top of a pipe, providing perfect pipe cutting and beveling every time with minimal preparation, saving time and money.

Available in four sizes and made with precision cast aluminium and featuring a fully enclosed gearbox that prevents damage to gears or pipes, the Quick Set pipe beveling machine is designed with rugged, yet lightweight, durability in mind. Simply put, this pipe cutting machine is manufactured to last when put through its paces in the field.

The Quick Set pipe cutter allows for perfect cuts every time, and the five optional torch holder accessories guarantee this pipe cutting machine will meet any requirement.

The Quick Set comes standard with manual operation, but an optional motorised kit provides the fastest beveling motor in the industry.

Tough, easy mounting cutting for most pipe sizes: Compact Beveling Machine

The Sawyer Compact Beveling Machine is the heaviest saddle machine in the industry and delivers precise, consistent pipe cutting and beveling. Sawyer’s line of pipe beveling tools features the largest saddle machine sizes in the industry, with 10 machines ranging from 3 to 60 inches as standard, with larger sizes available as custom units on request.

The Sawyer Compact is built tough to withstand harsh environments without compromising accuracy. It features steel and cast aluminium construction and a fully enclosed gear box to prevent damage to critical gears.

For supreme adaptability and ease of use, the split frame design of this saddle style cutting and beveling machine allows for easy mounting and placement anywhere on the pipe, and this pipe cutter is adjustable to fit more than one size of pipe or tubing to meet and exceed all pipe cutting and beveling needs.

Featuring substantial weight, size, dependability, and accuracy, a pipe beveling machine from Sawyer guarantees a great cut, every time.

The Chain Beveling Machine is a versatile tool for any pipe welder. Image supplied by Tremco Pipeline Equipment

Flame cutting between 4-24 inch: Chain Beveling Machine

The Chain Beveling Machine is a flame cutting machine, designed to cut any diameter of pipe from 4 inch to 24 inch. Incredibly easy to use, this chain beveler can be set up and ready to go in minutes. Easily adjustable, and with a high level of accuracy, the Chain Beveling Machine is a versatile tool for any pipe welder. The adjustable rack torch holder allows for the torch to be set exactly where it is needed, almost totally eradicating the need for grinding.

Manufactured in Europe, Sawyer’s chain cutting and beveling machines are designed to be durable and hard wearing, needing only minimal maintenance and providing years of service.

The Chain Beveling Machine is supplied with an adjustable rack torch holder, handles, and service key as standard. Optional extras include a 9′ flexible shaft cable, and 18V motorised kit, torch holders and chain kits to suit any application. Adjustable band guide tracks can also be supplied for additional accuracy, or to cut vertical pipes and vessels.

Robust, flame cutting for large pipes with ovality issues: Chain Cutting Machine

The MX1 Chain Cutting Machine is a flame beveling machine designed to cut pipes and tubes 4 inches and larger. This unit is the only true heavy duty oxy fuel chain beveling machine on the market, specifically designed to cope with larger, heavier pipe fitting requirements with out-of-round compensation as standard.

Spiral and seam welded pipes are no problem for this robust unit. The adjustable wheel positioning system improves accuracy across a range of different pipe diameters. The accuracy, versatility, and quality of this unit make it hard to beat for chain cutting applications.

The MX1 Beveling Machine is supplied with an adjustable rack torch holder, handles, and service key as standard. Optional extras include a flexible shaft cable, and 18V motorized kit, torch holders and chain kits to suit your application. Adjustable Band guide tracks can also be supplied for additional accuracy, or to cut vertical pipes and vessels.

Manufactured in Europe, this chain beveling machine is a quality unit, built to last.

If still unsure, ask Tremco Pipeline Equipment

Sawyer Manufacturing Company offers a comprehensive range of pipe cutters designed to cater to the diverse needs of the pipeline industry. From manual cutters for everyday tasks to advanced cold cutting models for heavy-duty applications, Sawyer is committed to quality, safety, innovation and customer service. All Sawyer pipe beveling machines have multiple accessories available to assist in getting any pipe cutting job done efficiently and accurately.

If you have any questions about the best pipe cutter for your unique needs, talk to the team at Tremco Pipeline Equipment by emailing or call 07 3344 1066.

Subscribe to The Australian Pipeliner for the latest project and industry news.

Send this to a friend