The Milwaukee 3pc Close Quarters Tubing Cutter set #48-22-4263 has been available for about a year now, I recently added it to my tool bag. The cutters can be bought separately but I definitely have a need for all three sizes (1/2″, 3/4″ & 1″) so the kit made the most sense for me.
I purchased the kit at the Milwaukee factory service center here in the Twin Cities for about $50, a price point I would expect for all three sizes and a case. So far I have only used the cutters for a few weeks and I’m still on the fence. Having used similar style cutters for twenty years, I have to wonder if I didn’t get a bad set or if they simply need some “breaking in” time to exercise the tension springs. Let me explain.
The cutting wheel articulates under spring tension, this is how the cut happens. When you place the cutter on the copper tubing the wheel is spring loaded and pushing against the outside wall of the tube, as the cutter turns the wheel and spring does the cutting. My problem so far is that when the cutter is placed on the tube and not yet cutting, it tends to jump off the pipe. This is annoying. Check out the video below for a visual.
I’ve talked with dozens of other plumbers using the cutters or similar styles, some having the same issue, many who are not. I intend to continue using the set for a full month before I decide to keep them or try another cutter.