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A hose cutter is a tool used for cleanly cutting soft or semi-rigid plastic or rubber hoses, tubing, and pipes. Hose cutters cut plastics including PVC, silicone, polypropylene, and nylon. Although many people associate hoses with cleaning, gardening, and putting out fires, the use of hoses is not limited to these functions. Plastic and rubber hoses are used in a multitude of industries and for myriad purposes.
Hoses can be used to transport industrial liquids and gases from one location to another. Some high-pressure hoses carry sand used for cleaning. Automobiles use hoses in their power steering systems to move steering fluid around. Farmers use hoses to spread fluids and chemicals, for irrigation lines, and to transfer grains and feeds. Plastic hoses are common items in manufacturing plants and machine shops, and they are ever-present in the food, agricultural, fishery, construction, engineering, electronics, and automotive and chemical industries as well.
A hose cutter is typically a handy tool to have, especially for those who work with the installation or repair of hoses and tubes. Applications for hose cutters cover any situation that requires quick and clean cutting of flexible or semi-rigid plastic or rubber tubing. Plumbers and electricians are just two professions that rely on hose cutters to compete their jobs.
Hose cutters are of three main types. The most common hose cutter is a hand-held hose cutter. They come in grip style or pinch style. These are ideal for minimal hose or tube cutting and when working in tight spaces.
Another type of hose cutter is a tabletop cutter. Tabletop cutters are used when a moderate amount of cutting needs to be done. An example would be when hoses have to be precut prior to installation.
Finally, there are the automatic, industrial hose cutters. These generally are the most expensive type of cutters. Businesses that sell a large amount of precut tubes or hoses typically will have automatic hose cutters.
Blades are an important aspect of hose cutters. Hose cutters typically should have sharp blades that cut cleanly without leaving any burrs or distortions. Stainless steel or carbon steel usually is preferred for blades. Blades usually should also be capable of being re-sharpened or replaced.
Another important feature is good ratchet action for easy cutting and the ability to preset the blade for cutting different diameters of hoses. Some hoses, like braided hose, have strong materials like stainless steel or nylon wrapped around the outside of the hose to enable them to withstand great pressure. These braided hoses require heavy-duty cutters to cut them.