How to Cut Plastic PVC Pipe with String

You don’t have to dig a big hole in your yard to cut a piece of plastic PVC pipe that’s buried in the ground. Instead:

  1. Dig a hole around the pipe large enough to slip a piece of thin nylon string under the pipe.
  2. Attach each end of the string to a wooden handle.
  3. Holding a handle in each hand, pull the string tight and use a back and forth sawing motion to cut through the pipe.


  1. Fantastic method. I did not know that nylon cord was abrasive enough to cut through plastic pipe.
    I have a vertical piece of 2″ pipe to cut and I don’t want to cut up the sub flooring. I am replacing the shower pan in our bath room and the old pipe was leaded into the old shower pan. I’ve got to figure out a way to cut this pipe while working through a 6″ hole in the sub floor.
    Thanks for the string idea. Great!

  2. You are very welcome, John. Hope the string trick works for you. As I mentioned in the video, it’s very important to keep the string taut and moving at all times. Also, be sure to have plenty of string on hand; it’s easy to break the string until you get used to the technique. Good luck and thanks for writing.–Joe T.

  3. You could also tie it in a loop then with some kind of a rubber pulley mounted in a drill use that to run the string quickly over the pipe and cut it.


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