Diamond wheel or "?" for cutting cast iron pipe

While reading another thread here, I noticed some comments about what types of cutting wheel to use for cutting metal. One person wrote,
"Although steel is tough on a diamond blade, it isn't instant death. I have used mine in reinforced concrete. I have also used a diamond wheel on cast iron pipe. (just because it was tight and a fiber wheel wore down too fast)"
My question is, for cutting cast iron sewer pipe -- with an angle grinder -- what type of wheel/cutter is recommended?
I always thought that any "metal cutting" wheel/cutter would be fine -- maybe a diamond blade? But, what are the possible choices, and what would people here suggest or recommend?
Thanks.
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On Friday 04 January 2013 14:51 TomR wrote in alt.home.repair:

Chain cutter?
http://www.hss.com/g/68230/Soil-Pipe-Cutter-150mm-6-.html
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That's what the pros that I've seen use. Fast and much easier, especially in tighter locations. Just to be clear, the chain cutter is not a chainsaw. It's a chain with steel wheel like things on it. It goes around the pipe and gets tightened, putting high pressure on the pipe until it cracks.
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On Friday 04 January 2013 15:45 snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote in alt.home.repair:

Indeed - and for the OP's benefit, relies on cast iron being brittle. It would not work on steel downpipes, lead (loos at work are plumbed in 4" lead - from a very long time ago!) or plastic.
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I would recommend using an angle grinder with an abrasive cut off wheel. I don't use snap/chain cutters on old cast because it could break the pipe fu rther up and you could end up with a lot bigger job than you wanted to get into. You can use just regular metal cut off wheel, I do this often. Hopefu lly this was helpful to you.
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Tim Watts wrote:

Thanks. I know about those and even used one once. It worked well when I used it, but they can sometimes be a problem if the sewer line is worn because it can break the pipe instead of cutting it off cleanly.
But, I am asking specifically in regard to an angle grinder. I have seen them used a number of times and they work well. However, I am just curious about the type of cutting wheel to get for cutting cast iron sewer pipes.
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On Friday 04 January 2013 15:48 TomR wrote in alt.home.repair:

Personally I would use a standard metal cutoff disc (well, several as required). I would also try to dig out and expose the pipe from all sides and go round it with a 4 1/2" sized grinder rather than trying to put a 12" grinder through from one or two sides - less chance of snagging the disc and exploding it into a multitude of high speed daggers!
Needless to say, safety googles are a must for a job like this, ear defenders would be wise as would heavy work gloves.
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Got to admit, I laughed.
+1
May I nominate......
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .

You ACTUALLY SAW Vila do something besides interrupt people talking who actually know what they are talking about?
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For cast I use the angle grinder and the wheels that say 'For Ferrous metals" on them.
Jim
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Jim Elbrecht wrote:

Thanks. I think that's the answer that I was looking for. I wasn't sure because I was reading elsewhere about diamond cutting blades etc. But it appears that what you wrote is what I needed to know.
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Watch this for a caution about wearing a full face mask when using an angle grinder.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zei2c_moHIQ

I'd rent a snap cutter, which is what the plumber I worked for used. Easy peasy.
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wrote:

I did see that YouTube video and almost posted the link myself. And, I did remember the part where the guy talks about wearing a facemask because the angle grinder wheel could break apart and send pieces into someone face like happened to the person he knows.
I don't have any one particular job in mind. I have a contractor who has done a number of sewer lines for me and others (where I was there) and he always uses an angle grinder. I am sure now that he uses a metal cutoff wheel like someone else here suggested. But, I was curious because I saw the other post in another thread about using a diamond blade and wondered about that.
I forget which YouTube video I also saw today that talked about what I mentioned earlier about the snap cutter -- that it can break or crush the pipe instead of cutting it off cleanly, especially for old pipe. And that person suggested using an angle grinder instead of a snap cutting tool for that type of pipe.
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Same vid, but at the end he seems to say go for the snap cutter. I don't know what "old" is. The ones I helped with were maybe 60 years old. Toilet stacks. Apartment building reno in Chicago. Only saw it done twice, and I was the helper. As in "Hang onto this stack and don't let it move after I snap it." More interesting was watching him stuff oakum into the new joints and melt lead into it. Nice looking joints. Pretty much all I remember about those stacks.
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On 1/4/2013 6:11 PM, Vic Smith wrote:

Interesting video but when it was over, a featured video popped up in the frame and perhaps one could argue that it is related to plumbing but it had me laughing so hard I almost fell out of my chair. ^_^

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nD4teWhld1M

TDD
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I've cut cast iron sewer pipe with a standard angle grinder cutting blade. One blade should last long enough to cut thru a 4 inch pipe. The regular blades are only around $2. A diamond blade will be much more costly. Most of the time all you need to do is cut in half the thickness of the pipe, and whack it with a hammer and it will break in half. Warning, if you're cutting into an existing cast iron plumbing stack, be aware that there may be hundreds of pounds of cast iron above the cut that could crash down. Always secure it first. I saw one crash once, and it was not a pleasant sight.
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If you have the room the fiber disks are a lot cheaper but I was working through a hole in the floor 16" down in the sand with limited swing and the fiber disks were wearing out before I could get all the way around so I chucked up a diamond disk so I had the full radius. It worked fine for the 5 cuts I needed to make I probably ate about 25-30% of the life of the wheel cutting five 3" pipes.
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