Tube Cutting Tool

by mkeveney, published

Tube Cutting Tool by mkeveney Sep 17, 2012

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8500Views 1102Downloads Found in Hand Tools
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This fixture makes it easy to cut small gauge brass or aluminum tubing with a regular hobby knife


I printed this tool in PLA with 40% fill.

The set screw hole is tapped directly into the plastic to accept a 10-32 screw, since that's what I had handy. If you don't have a tapping set, redesign to use a captured nut instead.

Set the correct length; then insert your tube and roll under the knife blade. The guide will keep the blade at a right angle to the tube. As you roll back and forth, a gradually deepening groove will be cut, until the tube snaps off clean.

The tool accommodates tubing 1/4" diameter or smaller.

I used it to build my planetary gear drive. This video shows the tool in use. If you're impatient, scroll to 3:20


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Tube Cutting Tool by mkeveney is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.

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Wow. I wish I had this tube cutter a few years back. I use aluminum tubes which are identical to the brass ones you're using, and I used exactly the same cutting technique, but it was damned hard to get the initial groove to line up, and harder when the tube segments were so short.

I was making 1:6 scale Doctor Who Sonic Screwdrivers (from the Tom Baker era) for my 12" GI Joes for a story I was writing/photographing.


I still use these tubes on occasion, which means I'll be printing this tube-cutting aid. It's highly useful to me. Thank you!