Cutting Poly Pipe with a Chainsaw

Cutting Poly pipe with a chainsaw is widely used in the mining & irrigation industries and is one of the best and most effective ways to cut Poly pipe.

Operators who are involved in Poly pipe welding and must trim the pipe ends before the operation, we have noticed an increasing portion of our chainsaw training needing training in cutting Poly Pipe with a chainsaw. We now have a solid working understanding of what cuts this material well and what doesn’t and what accredited units are the best for cutting Poly pipes thanks to our engagement in training and consultation.

Our trainers can come out to your site and train your staff in cutting Poly Pipes and accreditation includes:

  • Signed Statement of attainment – AHCMOM213 Operate and Maintain Chainsaws (chainsaw Licence)
  • Signed Statement of Achievement – Cutting Poly Pipe with a Chainsaw
  • One day of training on-site or at one of ours
  • (please note if you are booking in for a scheduled course and would like to cut Poly Pipe, you must let us know in advance)

Tips for cutting Poly pipe with a chainsaw

  • Cutting Poly Pipe with a chainsaw often – If you are planning on cutting Poly pipe with a chainsaw often then it is a good idea to set aside a chainsaw just for this. Mark it and try not to use it for anything else
  • Bar oil – As long as the pipe was properly prepared, shaved and cleaned with isopropyl immediately prior to welding, a Poly weld testing facility, indicated that their tests showed no change in weld quality with pipe cut using standard chain oil. You may find information arguing different chain oil types to use, including no chain oil, soluble oil blended with water (50:50), straight oil, vegetable-based oil, and off-the-shelf chain and bar oil, among others.
  • Chain – From our experience, we have found using the full chisel (square profile) is the best for cutting Poly Pipe. It worked best for cutting into the hard outer surface and softer inner material. Please note using the square profile increases the risk of kickback when cutting Poly Pipe.
  • Plastic chips – To avoid plastic chips going into your engine it is a good idea to glue fly screen to the starter cover, clean your cooling fans out, and start the cut with the starter side away from the opening of the pipe. Chips are created when a chainsaw is used to cut any type of material, and some of these chips will unavoidably enter the cooling system. The wood chips produced during wood cutting often don’t create any issues because they are blown across the cooling fins of the engine and exit via the opposite side. However, with Poly pipe, the chips are made of plastic, and when they come into contact with the hot cylinder fins, they melt, adhere to them, and clog them. If this goes on unchecked, the system will completely get blocked, which will lead to the engine overheating and suffering expensive damage.

The chainsaw setup for cutting Poly Pipe

If you cut or are planning to cut Poly Pipe often we recommend the following setup.

  • Clean out the cooling fans, engine, and bar then:
  • Bar oil – Use normal bar oil as per manufactures requirements
  • Chain – Put on a Square Chisel chain
  • Cooling cover – Cover the starter cover with fly mesh to prevent plastic chips from entering.
Chain profile for cutting polly pipe with a chainsaw