Which is Better: Abrasive or Lathe Cutting?

Fred Hautau Dual-Blade Tube Cutoff, RC H-Series Tube Cutoffs

There are a host of methods for tubing and pipe cutting. Before making your decision, you should consider several factors, including wall thickness, the end-conditioning requirements, and any necessary secondary processes.

Here, we’ll compare abrasive and lathe cutting.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of abrasive cutting?
This manual method does not cut with saw teeth. Rather, it utilizes grinding as a way to part the tube. When cutting very hard carbon steel or exotic alloy tubes, abrasive cutting may be the best option.

Its ease of use is offset by its inability to provide you with a square cut, is not useful for materials with thick walls, is inefficient for high volume runs, and has a tendency to leave burrs, which will require a secondary process. And it’s a messy process that leaves grinding dust inside the tubes and requires an additional cleaning step to remove.

While abrasive cutting is a decent general-purpose approach for small production runs, it’s not the best choice for larger projects, and is not useful for materials with thicker walls.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of lathe cutting?
Specifically designed to handle high-volume production, lathe cutting produces precision cuts for materials with thin and thick walls – typically from 0.5 to 8 inches in diameter.

While the high production yields are a huge advantage with lathe cutting, an extra benefit is the virtual elimination of burrs and the ability to cut or form grooves and profiles. This saves you the worry of any post-production product rejections or possible injuries from handling in the production process.

For the cleanest and most efficient tube and pipe cutting service, call Hautau.
We’re headquartered in Brookville, Indiana, and have been at the industry forefront for more than 45 years.

Specializing in lathe cutting, we recently introduced our RC-H Series Rotating Head Cutoff Lathe, which has again set the standard for cutting and chamfering tubing and pipe.

To learn more about our process and how we can work together, give us a call at (765) 647-1600 or get in touch with us online.