Steve Vick Pipe Cutters & Crackers Improve Safety

March 12, 2020

Steve Vick International have been designing pipe cutters and crackers to improve the safety of gas engineers on site and the wider general public for two decades.

The more traditional hand held methods of cracking and smashing pipe, including the podger bar and sledgehammer are hazardous and have been long associated with causing injury to the workforce. SVI’s innovative product range has aimed to address this by creating automatic tools that cut and crack pipe with precision and the ultimate level of force.


One of SVI’s most popular crackers is the CRACKERJACK, a lightweight easily operated mains cracker that combines performance and easy handling at low cost. The CRACKERJACK can break out cast iron main up to 6” and is particularly effective on spun iron because of the springy nature of the metal which does not lend itself well to the podger bar.

The CRACKERJACK is a compact, hand-held mains cracker, which has the advantage over its competitors, because it’s operated from a standard site compressor via an air over hydraulic pump.

The CRACKERJACK is thus able to control the pressure applied so that just sufficient force is used to crack the metal, meaning that it’s safe to use even on inserted mains. It’s therefore ideal for projects where space is tight and cable strikes are a possibility.

Another significant safety feature of the CRACKERJACK is that the pipe can be broken out from the top of the excavation. This removes the need for operators to be in the trench whilst breaking out the mains.

Macaw Pipe Cracker

SVI offer a range of pipe crackers, of which the CRACKERJACK is just one example. The MACAW, a pipe cracker designed to fit onto the quick hitch or bucket pins of an excavator, works on the same principle as the CRACKERJACK but is powered from the third service or breaker hydraulics of the excavator and comes in a range of sizes to crack pipe from 8” – 36” in diameter.

Pipe cutting made safer

Pipe cutting has traditionally been carried out with hand held tools such as disc cutters which are hard work, hazardous and time consuming. SVI recognised this issue and set about developing a range of pipe cutters that could offer faster cutting times and are safe and easy to operate.

All SVI Cutters have been designed with the blades purposefully mounted safely away from the operative’s hand. This allows for a safe, fast and efficient cut. Another significant benefit is they can be used in conjunction with a water feed to eliminate sparks and reduce the cutting dust.

N600 Keel Cutter

The Keel Cutter and Rotary Cutter circumferentially cut around the pipe with the Keel Cutter designed to cut pipe from 200mm – 1600mm in diameter and the Rotary Cutter, pipe up to 200mm. The SVI Rapid Window Cutter, which has been designed to cut a precise window in the host pipe without damaging the internal PE, cuts a typical window within fifteen minutes. The SVI cutters can be supplied with a range of blades to suit all pipe materials.

Crock Harrison, Managing Director at SVI comments,

“Steve Vick International have worked in the utilities sector for over 30 years. Within this time, the safety of operatives has significantly improved. tRIIO investigated the health and safety aspects of using handheld tools such as the podger bar a while ago which led to them implementing a companywide policy to ban the use of these tools to break out pipe. Instead they have chosen to use safer methods such as the SVI CRACKERJACK. We are delighted that the safety benefits of our cutters and crackers have been recognised and implemented in this way.”