Pipe Cutting and Cracking

Steve Vick International manufacture a range of pipe cutters and crackers; all of which are available to buy or hire. Pipe cutting is also offered to the water industry as a contract service.

NEW – Crackerjack™

The Crackerjack™

Breaking out redundant or inserted cast iron mains has always been risky as operators use a variety of hand-held tools, which are labour intensive and associated with hazards to the workforce and even to passers-by.

The alternatives – though effective and well designed – have been expensive; but Steve Vick believe that they have the answer to this longstanding problem with the Crackerjack™, a manually operated mains cracker that combines performance and easy handling with low cost.

The major difference between the Crackerjack™ and other mechanised crackers on the market is its power source. Instead of being battery operated, the Crackerjack™ is operated from a standard site compressor via an air over hydraulic pump which delivers 700 bar of hydraulic pressure, plenty of power to crack cast and spun iron mains up to 6” in diameter in a couple of minutes.

The operator uses a foot pedal on the pump to open and close the jaw of the Crackerjack™ and is thus able to control the pressure applied so that just sufficient force is used to crack the metal.

By rotating and moving the Crackerjack™ along the main the pipe can be broken out in several places to facilitate the removal of the redundant section or to gain access to an inserted PE pipe.

Rapid Window Cutter

Ductile iron is notoriously problematic because it cannot be broken out like cast iron. The Rapid Window Cutter solves this problem.

UK Energy Awards 2015 Logo

Since its development the Rapid Window Cutter has won first place in the Best Gas Improvement Category at The UK Energy Innovation Awards 2015; both Steve Vick International and Wales and West Utilities are extremely proud of this achievement.

It is a hand held tool designed for precise, fast cutting of windows in abandoned or inserted ductile mains, without damaging the previously inserted PE.

The new design introduces a revolutionary alternative to established methods, typically cutting a window on 100mm/4” ductile iron in under 12 minutes; reported to be 50% faster than traditional equipment

Window Cutter DX2_White_BG2 Website version

The Rapid Window Cutter

Easy to operate, the cutter simply connects to the onsite compressor. A single operative can then engage the trigger, lower the blade and glide the unit along the main. The operator can pivot the chassis easily to change from circumferential to longitudinal cuts.

Rapid Rotary Cutter

Steve Vick International offers a solution to the problems associated with making circumferential cuts in ductile iron with the Rapid Rotary Cutter.

The Rapid Rotary Cutter is an air powered tool designed to circumferentially cut ductile iron mains. It can cut a 4″ ductile iron main in approximately 2 minutes without damaging internal pipes and allowing immediate access.

Circular Cutter DX2_White_BG website

The Rapid Rotary Cutter

The Rapid Rotary Cutter comprises two aluminium shells, with an air motor on the top shell, that interlink around the perimeter of the main. Using minimum effort the operator can rotate the unit 360° by hand, to give a very precise circumferential cut.

Keel Cutter

In the water industry, Keel Cutters are an essential tool when carrying out alterations and diversions – any instance where a circumferential cut is required on a main whether or not it has already been sliplined with PE.

Keel Cutter - N600 cutting 48inch Water Main

When fitted on the main, minimum clearance is required to allow the blade to track around the pipe delivering a clean circumferential cut in minutes. The Keel Cutters can cut steel, cast iron, ductile iron, plastic, cement and other types of pipe up to 1500mm diameter. Two models area available – please click on the technical specification below.

The Keel Cutter can also be used in preparation when welding by using a specialised bevelled angle blade.

MACAW Pipe Crackers

MACAW_5476Breaking out cast iron mains has been a long standing health and safety concern across the utilities industry. This is largely due to the labour intensive tooling available, such as a sledge hammer or ‘podger’ bar, both of which have been associated with causing injury to operatives.

Steve Vick International offers the solution with the ‘MACAW’ Pipe Cracker range, so called because its pipe cracking arms resemble the powerful beak of the South American bird! The MACAW attaches to the quick-hitch or bucket pins of a mini excavator. Controlled from the cab, and using the excavator’s hydraulic power, the operative manoeuvres the arms around the pipe and then applies sufficient pressure to crack the pipe.

The MACAW may be used on cast iron pipes inserted with PE if required.

MACAW Pipe Cracker – Large Diameter Cracker

MACAW Cracker_5475The MACAW, suitable for cracking 8” to 24” cast iron mains attaches to the quick-hitch or bucket pins of a mini excavator.

Designed for use with a typical 1.5 to 3 tonne mini excavator, the entire operation is controlled from the cab, Using the excavator’s hydraulic power, the operative manoeuvres the arms around the pipe and then applies sufficient pressure to crack the pipe.

Differently sized arms can be attached to the base unit to accommodate varying sizes of pipe.


Mini MACAW Pipe Cracker – Small Diameter Cracker

Mini MACAW 1The Mini Macaw is designed to crack diameters of 4” up to 8” cast iron mains.

When hydraulic power is applied, the linkage arms squeeze the pipe making the breaker discs, which act as the pressure points, crack the pipe.

Adapting to all site environments and for the convenience of differing site conditions, the Mini Macaw has two means of hydraulic power, a hand pump or a 1.5 – 3 tonne mini digger.

To accommodate the range of pipe sizes, a choice of pin slots and a spacer seat cover all diameters up to 8”, eliminating the need of additional equipment.


  • Safer and faster than using a ‘podger bar’ or sledge hammer
  • Does not require access around the whole circumference of the pipe
  • Controlled pressure applied – suitable on abandoned and inserted mains, without damaging internal PE
  • Easy to operate—highly manoeuvrable
  • Various power source options available to accommodate site conditions
  • Quick set up