A pipe cutter works using a sharp cutting wheel to slowly penetrate through the metal and sever it.
As the pipe cutter is rotated around the pipe in a 360°circle, the cutting wheel cuts through the pipe. With each rotation, the wheel penetrates through more of the pipe. Cutting through soft metals, such as copper and aluminium only takes a few rotations to complete. Harder materials, like steel, will take considerably longer depending on the hardness and thickness.
Adjustable pipe cutters require the handle to be turned after every couple of rotations to keep the cutting wheel pressed firmly on the pipe. If pressure is not exerted to push the wheel on the pipe, it will simply score it.
The powered pipe cutter has a battery-operated motor which propels the wheel around the pipe, cutting through it in a matter of seconds. Tradesmen might find this tool more useful as it allows them to work at a faster pace.