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#29631 - 09/21/03 01:43 PM Reaming Conduit  
gunther  Offline
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 60
I worked with a guy one time that used to never use a hacksaw but always cut his conduit with a pipe cutter. I was never satisfied that using his channelocks to ream his pipe was sufficient because the pipe cutter would always leave a edge turned in, but he was my boss at the time so I couldn't say anything about it. He had done it for years and had no problem with it, so I guess that would make it all right, wouldn't it? Another pipe cutter user that I ran into would take his step bit and run it in the end of the pipe to clean out the edge. Would that be an acceptable practice in your opinion?
Nowadays, a lot of the guys I work with are using the 18 volt cordless kits that come with a cordless sawzall in it. They are great for cutting conduit, but I have noticed that if the pipe "peals" off before it is cut all the way through, it tends to leave a burr where it breaks off. They then have to be careful to take their dikes and trim it off or it is harder to ream. I wonder if a finer toothed blade would be helpful, but when I have gone to the hardware store, they don't seem to be readily available.
Do you use or would you recommend using a Klein reaming screwdriver? In my opinion, it gives the closest thing to a factory edge that you can get.

Work Gear for Electricians and the Trades

#29632 - 09/21/03 01:54 PM Re: Reaming Conduit  
iwire  Offline
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,391
North Attleboro, MA USA
EMT 1/2" 3/4" 1" I use my step bit sparingly, if you use it to much you can make a weapon out of the pipe.

Above that size I will use my hand file.

If we are running a lot of rigid we will be using a power threader with a pipe cutter and reamer attached to it.


Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician

#29633 - 09/21/03 03:24 PM Re: Reaming Conduit  
frank  Offline
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 376
windsor ontario canada
Same here and when I went through the industrial apprentice program in college you could use hacksaws,tube cutters and stepper bits on 1/2 and 1/3 projects in the pipe shop.

#29634 - 09/21/03 05:32 PM Re: Reaming Conduit  
Ryan_J  Offline
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,374
West Jordan, Utah, USA
I loved using my Klien screwdriver reamer. I used the one with the hooded driver end and would say that it was probably my most commonly used tool.

Ryan Jackson,
Salt Lake City

#29635 - 09/21/03 06:53 PM Re: Reaming Conduit  
golf junkie  Offline
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 507
York, NE
I like a 24T blade for cutting thinwall pipe. It cuts a little slower, but you don't have the problem with breaking teeth that quickly ruins a blade and you get a cleaner cut.
I use sawzall or bandsaw and a klein reamer.


[This message has been edited by golf junkie (edited 09-21-2003).]

#29636 - 09/21/03 08:09 PM Re: Reaming Conduit  
gunther  Offline
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 60
I like the 24 tooth blade for cutting EMT also, but because I always felt the bigger teeth allowed me to cut faster, lol. I guess its true what they say, two people can walk down the same road and see two completely different things.

#29637 - 09/21/03 08:13 PM Re: Reaming Conduit  
gunther  Offline
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 60
Oh and I meant to add that one of the questions on my journeyman's test asked which was the proper blade to cut EMT and the only answer they would accept is 32 per inch. I was glad a friend told me about the question or I would have put 24. I don't know what resouce they were using.

#29638 - 09/22/03 05:04 PM Re: Reaming Conduit  
DougW  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
North Chicago, IL
When I first started, I tried using a pipe cutter to section my EMT, and had the typical result - big sharp burr on the end, reduced I.D., and it took longer to ream the cut end than it would have to use hacksaw. Went back to using saw.

Then I started w/ new foreman, who showed me the proper tubing cutter method.

The goal isn't to use the cutter to cut all the way through the pipe (ie like copper water line) - essentially what you're doing is scoring the outside 1/3 to 1/2 of the tube. Then, you put it in your Benfield and apply pressure to the thin section of EMT - tubing fails at notch, leaving reasonably clean break.

Ream end with conduit reaming pliers, channellocks, *Ideal or Klien screwdriver reamers... whatevers your fancy.

*BTW, Ideal makes a screwdriver reamer called the BurMaster - a lot like the Klien, but shorter - only about 5" OAL, instead of the Klien's 8". I'll get a link & post it.

Once you get the trick of doing it, it's fast, and you can shorten an exisiting run while at height without having to stabilize it for a hacksaw, or run a sawzall up the ladder. (It can also be done with conductors in the EMT, but that's another story [Linked Image] )

[This message has been edited by DougW (edited 09-22-2003).]

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