What are pie cuts, and why use them?

Posted by Ethan Simpson on

Pie cuts, also known as lobster cuts, are used to create tight radius bends, and complex bends. To understand why pie cuts are the best way to solve these issues we need to look at how exhaust and intake pipes are normally bent.

Almost all thin wall pipe starts off as a straight section of pipe which is bent to a specific radius. The most common tool for bending pipe is called a mandrel bender.

A mandrel bender forms the pipe around a die, while using a mandrel to stop the pipe from kinking or collapsing.

This creates a beautiful bend, with little to no distortion to the pipe. However, there are some limitations. Mandrel benders cannot achieve tight bends, as the mandrel will bind and damage the pipe or the die. They also cannot achieve intricate bends going in different directions, as they still need to fit around the die.


With the age old trend of fitting bigger turbos and engines into cars, there inevitably came the issue of space, and trying to package large diameter piping into less space.

This required getting creative with pipe routing techniques and utilizing pie cuts (lobster cuts) to achieve these tighter, more intricate bends. The pie cuts are created by cutting straight pipe into small sections, with an angled cut on each end.

These builds obviously got a lot of attention for the striking and complex look of their pipe systems, with people often remarking about how the pies cuts looked like the segments of a lobster’s tail, giving rise to the nickname “lobster cuts”.


This obviously started in high-end cars and builds, but with almost all automotive trends they begin to trickle down into more everyday builds, with people often adopting these trends for stylistic reasons more than for the functionality.


So, if you are looking for lobster cuts for their functionality or purely for their style, we’ve got you covered. We offer pie cuts in titanium, stainless steel, and aluminum, in a range of standard sizes.

Check them out here: https://fabdepot.co.nz/collections/pipe-pie-cuts



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