PVC pipe is used sparingly on hardscape sites where downspouts meet grade and sometimes for certain drainage aspects including behind retaining walls and French drains. There are always arguments against using PVC pipe in hardscape applications especially when used in climates that experience freeze-thaw cycles. SDR 35 seems to have the best balance of rigidness and flexibility to help resist the cracking or breaking in these pipes. Still we prefer to use a flexible ribbed pipe for most applications.
That being said, there are still applications that require PVC pipe such as lines to and from a pool. And when choosing PVC pipe, you need the right tools to ensure the proper installation especially at the joints from one piece to another. This primarily comes down to having the proper chamfer or bevel on the pipe or to debur the pipe if it was cut prior to adhering it with a primer and adhesive.
Beveling PVC Pipe
The beveling process or to add a chamfer to PVC pipe requires the filing or shaving down of the edge from a 90 degree to a lesser degree. This is a process beyond dressing the pipe which involves removing burrs or cleaning the edges of the pipe especially after it has been cut.
The process of beveling PVC pipe is to ensure the pipe is able to slide into the socket with ease and that the adhesive solvent cement moves easier into the joint when fitting two pipes together. Without the bevel or the chamfer on the PVC pipe, the solvent cement will be pushed forward rather than sliding between the two pipes as they are pushed together.
Therefore, beveling PVC pipe is a necessity when joining PVC pipe together and should never be skipped.
Chamfer Tool for PVC Pipe
There are several tools to use when you are beveling PVC pipe or creating a chamfer. They range from the more laborious to the easy, along with the difference in costs. Typically for any tool, you can purchase something that is inexpensive and needs to be replaced often which brings with it more labor in the process of completing the task it is designed for. Or you can spend more money on a tool that will last longer and complete the job much faster.
Whenever you use these tools, always make sure that you have proper protective equipment on. This could range from safety glasses to gloves and more that is necessary to ensure you or your employees are safe on the job site.
In order from the least expensive that requires more labor to the most expensive that requires the least labor, here are the PVC beveling tools to choose from:
Fine Metal Files
Grinder with a Flapper Disc
PVC Pipe Beveler for Drill
This can be used for smaller pipe sizes. This is a woven fabric with an abrasive side. The flexibility and durable nature of emery cloth makes it easy to use, but more time consuming and laborious to bevel a PVC pipe. That being said it is less expensive, but disposbale.
Fine metal files that are flat, round, or half round can be used as well to file down the edge of PVC pipe to achieve that chamfer or beveled edge. These are going to take a similar amount of time and labor than that of an emery cloth, but you will not need to continually buy and ensure that you have in stock and ready to go. They will last you much longer with a small upfront cost.
Using a grinder with a flapper disc on it is an easier way to create a chamfer or bevel a PVC pipe. This will cost a little bit more, especially if you do not already own a grinder, but it will take the least amount of time when compared to the previous suggested tools.
Then there is a tool that will attach to a drill and create an excellent chamfer or bevel with the least amount of labor and skill required. The one consistent thing with all of the other options is that it requires the user to have some sort of feel for creating the bevel all around the pipe. Some tools require more operator skill to create a good looking bevel, while this tool will do it all for the user with little effort.
It takes just ten seconds to create a consistent bevel using this tool. This will not only make the process much faster and take the skill out of doing this task, it will also be much safer for your employees or yourself to do.
The Bevel Pro has various attachments to fit around different PVC pipes and forms smooth bevels. Simply attach it to your 1/2″ drill / grinder. Fit the right size attachment to the pipe and let the tool do the rest for 10 seconds.
They can be sharpened multiple times by running a file through the Bevel Pro hole blades. The tool requires a higher upfront investment, but saves a lot of time and effort on the job site and allows anyone that can operate a drill the ability to create the perfect bevel in the same period of time as a more experienced worker.