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  • Ridgid 226 snap cutter

    Working on more cracked cast iron the other day in the 42 year old buildings. I swore that I would buy the 226 snap cutter and stop wasting so much time and energy cutting these cast pipes with the expensive diamond coated blades and Milwaukee sawzall. By the way, after finishing a piece of 4", the end of the sawzall was so hot you could barely hold it.(Great tool, but I feel like I might be burning it up). My question to you is this... Would it be wise to try to cut old cast with a snap cutter since the pipes are cracking open(lenghtwise) already? I'm just worried that I'll go to cut a pipe and produce a crack in the pipe that will create a whole new repair.. These are not new, healthy pieces of cast, but heavily rusted 40 year old pipes that seem to crack if you look at them wrong. I love new tools, but before I pull the trigger on this one, I'd appreciate hearing from guys with more experience with cast than I have.

  • #2
    Re: Ridgid 226 snap cutter

    The 226 is heavy....get the wheeler rex 491. For your particular situation, I would use a diamond coated blade for a right angle grinder. I like the segmented style because I can sharpen my rough tools with them and watch the edge through the spinning blade. If you rarely work with cast, and have the room, rent a 14" cutoff saw. Just make sure you wear a respirator when doing this or you'll feel it the next morning.
    Buy cheap, buy twice.

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    • #3
      Re: Ridgid 226 snap cutter

      on old cast iron, that is thin and already cracking, you want to try rolling the snap cutter almost like a pipe cutter. don't even think about snapping it until you have fairly deep continuous scores around it.

      a 14'' electric cutoff saw will work on 4'' in 1 pass. and a 4.5'' grinder will also work if you have some access. even cutting a window to allow for cutting from inside on 4''.

      but the best cutter for old cast iron is a porta band band saw. did a 27 story complete rehab and had to tie into each floor riser. the pipes were from the early 60's and the band saw worked like a hot knife through butter. now remember this was old cast iron and not newer no hub.

      rick.
      phoebe it is

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      • #4
        Re: Ridgid 226 snap cutter

        Gear: The Rex is that much lighter than the Ridgid? They look very similar, I'm trying to figure how the Rex is much lighter... I haven't used either. I wouldn't have a problem buying either brand. One reason I was interested in that cutter is access. Forget about the 14" cutsaw, no way can I use that in these walls. Most of the time, I'm on a ladder with enough sheetrock and tile removed to get at the repair. These buildings are always occupied. On a side-note, now when I work on the main stacks in these buildings, I go underneath the building, shut off the main, then go to every floor above the repair and release residual pressure AND flush the toilets. Then I pull the stack apart. How many times I've had people swear on a bible they won't use the water and 20 minutes later I hear the dreaded whooooosh.. as I and everything below get a shower. Golden shower? Hopefully not brown... I have a 4" grinder with a diamond blade I'll keep on the truck. I like the bandsaw idea, but again, not sure if I'll have room most of the time. Rick, what blade do you use in the bandsaw? Is it a special blade? I'm thinking of getting the snap cutter and the bandsaw.... cutting with the sawzall takes forever.

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        • #5
          Re: Ridgid 226 snap cutter

          The chain is lighter, the ridgid chain is to big and bulky, you can find them on ebay cheap. I would also you install riser clamps above the cut so nothing falls down one you make the cut.
          Buy cheap, buy twice.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Ridgid 226 snap cutter

            I own a 226 and I much prefer anything else for older/thinner cast. Even after scoring it deep crushing the thin spot is easy. I use the diamond blade for the top half of the pipe and finish the next 70%-80% with a standard wood blade.
            AllurePlumbing.com
            • leak detection
            • drain cleaning
            • utility locating
            • conductor fault locating
            • and other specialties.

            Greensboro NC, Winston-Salem NC, High Point NC, Thomasville NC, Kernersville NC

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            • #7
              Re: Ridgid 226 snap cutter

              These are nice if you have the room.

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              • #8
                Re: Ridgid 226 snap cutter

                a 14 tooth blade on the bandsaw works great.

                the milwaukee deep cut bandsaw will cut 4''.

                the newer compact will do 2'' cast and might do 3'' if you rotate the saw around the pipe.

                a grinder will also cut, but sparks and metal shavings are a big concern.

                rick.
                phoebe it is

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Ridgid 226 snap cutter

                  They weigh about the same but I don't care for the hook handle of the Ridgid.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Ridgid 226 snap cutter

                    Originally posted by BobsPlumbing View Post
                    They weigh about the same but I don't care for the hook handle of the Ridgid.
                    I agree. It is nice when carrying it but if you are having to score some older cast it is a bit of a pain.
                    AllurePlumbing.com
                    • leak detection
                    • drain cleaning
                    • utility locating
                    • conductor fault locating
                    • and other specialties.

                    Greensboro NC, Winston-Salem NC, High Point NC, Thomasville NC, Kernersville NC

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Ridgid 226 snap cutter

                      I work on cast iron all the time. I rarely use a snap cutter anymore, especially since it is not allowed in the specs on some of my bid/spec jobs.
                      I buy the thin 4 1/2" cutoff slicing wheels by the box. $1 to $1.25 each if you shop online. And I use a chopsaw for new cast iron work.
                      I also use the small grinder with the slicing wheel to slice into steam fittings so a cold chisel can split it for removal. If you are good, you can split it just enough so the chisel is wedged, allowing you to spin the fitting off, chasing the threads in the process. Also use this process on radiator valves.
                      Don't throw away the cutoff wheels when they are halfway down. They are useful for cutting the inside of a pipe as Rick suggested. Just make sure you use the grinder handle when doing this for safety.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Ridgid 226 snap cutter

                        After reading all your advice, I'm second guessing spending around 5 clams on a snap cutter; especially since I won't be using it for construction/production work. Anything to make life go easier and faster.. time is money. Cutsaw and chopsaw work great, but for in the walls and ceilings, I'm going to try the grinder and bandsaw approach. Those new Milwaukee bandsaws look sweeet. Found an older thread the other day about clay pipe. I've said I hate cast iron pipe, but I gotta agree that I've come across old clay pipe that looks the same as the year it was installed. Outside of root intrusion at joints, it will be in the ground conducting water long after I'm gone..

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Ridgid 226 snap cutter

                          one thing we forgot to mention. Clean up the cast iron dust quickly. Leave a rust colored dust all over the place.
                          Buy cheap, buy twice.

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