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Ridgid 151 & 153 quick acting cutters & Kitec - Lets have a Hand Tools BS...

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  • Ridgid 151 & 153 quick acting cutters & Kitec - Lets have a Hand Tools BS...

    I bought a set of both of these when I first got into the plumbing trade over 2 years ago. They are the Ridgid 151 & 153 quick acting cutters. The cutters themselves work fabulous, at least the original set I had before my hand tools were stolen (I replaced them with exact same, newer, models). The cutting wheel was held in place but a sort of bolt with a horseshoe clip on the other side. The issue with this, was if you wanted to replace the wheel say to go to a plastic wheel for ABS, when you tried to pop the horseshoe clip sometimes it would go flying and you would loose it and then you're screwed and the cutter is useless until you can hit the supplier and get a new horseshoe clip. So Ridgid came up with a fix for this recently. They put a little ball bearing in the bolt so when you push it through the little ball bearing pokes through a hole on the end of the bolt on the other side of the wheel and it has just enough protrusion to prevent the bolt from sliding out on it's own.

    But I gotta say I think I want the horseshoe clip & bolt back - overtime of working the cutters cutting copper day in and day out the ball bearing loses it's effectiveness and sometimes sticks back into the hole it sits in, or "recesses" back a bit and slowly as you cut the bolt works itself out. I even had one of these ball bearings fail completely and the bolt the wheel sits in would just slide right out. I brought the cutter into the supplier to get a new one and this part is so new that they had to give me entire replacement cutters as they couldn't replace the part, they didn't have it in stock, and their supposed new part diagrams didn't list the new part either. So here we are, I'm about a few monthes into a new set of 151's. Now both my 151's & 153's are slowly but surely working them to the stage where I will need a new bolt with ball bearing on the end as the bolt sort of wanders it's way out slowly overtime and I have to be adamant every few cuts to ensure I slide it back in. The ball bearing has just enough firction to hold it in place but I'm wishing I hard the horsehoe clip & bolt design back - Maybe I can replace them with the old parts? Much more sturdly despite the potential for losing the clip if you aren't attentive when removing it, and despite being more tedious to change wheels and such.

    The bigger, black knob for turning the cutters is an improvement I gotta say though. It seems to be easier to turn the wheel before you spin the cutter around the pipe - gives you more surface area to latch on to.

    Sometimes the cutters track a bit if you're cutting towards the upper limits of their capacity e.g. when I use the 151's on 1 1/2" copper they can track at times but it's remedied by going back and forth. The 153's don't seem to track as bad even when cutting 3" copper, the limits of their capacity. They also cut ABS & PVC with the plastic wheel beautifully.

    Just a question - what do you guys use to cut KITEC preferably? Got a job where we're running Kitech for water lines and such.

    A tool suggestion for Ridgid - I use a 5/16's nut driver in some tight places. I often use a socket for tight places but there are times when even that is too tight. Ridgid should consider making a nut driver of some sort that can fit into super tight places. It doesn't have to be a torque wrench style, just something that turns the gear clamps enough.

  • #2
    Kitec has a rachet type cutter with a stainless steel blade which sells for about $25. Goggle 88210 I believe.

    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!


    • #3
      the horseshoe you refer to is a circlip or eclip. any good hardware store should have an assortment of them. in the earlier models they had a screw. if it was too tight the cutting wheel would be too tight to turn. if loose the thing would unscrew. i prefer the circlip. the larger knob is good too.

      phoebe it is


      • #4
        I'm for the clip. That new system was a good idea, but poor execution. I lost the wheel and pin from a fairly new cutter.

        Maybe Ridgid could do a little redesign and make the easy wheel change actually work, but until then I would stick with the circle clamps.
        the dog