The problem of holding a piece of insulation with one hand while wrestling with a pair of kitchen scissors or a Stanley knife with the other is an issue faced by many installers, according to insulation specialist Actis.

But it says that there is a way around this problem which only costs few pounds – money soon recouped by doing the job more quickly than with a non-product specific utensil.

The Actis cutter (there’s a clue in the name) may seem at first glance like an unnecessary brand specific add-on, unnecessary to the tradesman who is the proud owner of a box full of shiny tools. But those who’ve tried it say it really does make the job quicker and easier – and cuts down on swearing to boot. The clever part is that the cutter keeps the insulation ‘pinched’ during the chopping process for better and speedier cutting.

Actis Regional Sales Director for the South East, Steven Ellis, is a huge fan of the device. And no, not because he gets a bonus for selling more of them, but because he has customers who’ve told him that while they haven’t exactly transformed their lives, they’ve certainly made them a bit easier!

A piece of adjustable plastic on the tool ‘pinches’ the material and can be moved up or down to suit the thickness of the product, meaning the second hand can concentrate on just holding the material rather than wishing it had a third hand to help out.

“If you were to cut the material with anything else, one hand is trying to hold the material as taut as possible and ensuring all layers stay together, while attempting to cut accurately with your other hand. This can be time consuming,” explained Ellis, a great one for a straightforward life.

“Tricky areas such as doors and windows, where you will need accurate and straight-angled cuts are made a lot easier and faster with the tool as it pinches and holds the product for you. Ultimately, it increases the ease and speed of installation.”

Ellis says he meets many people who are quite happy using other tools though – even though he’s sure they’d be converted if they gave the cutter a whirl.

“Generally, they will measure out the HControl Hybrid needed and then lay this on the floor and try and cut it with a Stanley knife or a sharp pair of scissors. Alternatively, they will staple it on the wall or roof as desired and then try and use scissors or a knife once again. I’m sure there are specific builder branded scissors, but I have a contractor who says he used his wife’s kitchen scissors and they were great. Each to their own.”

One of the raft of how to videos on the Actis website demonstrates the tool in action in a ‘cutting round a window’ scenario. And you can see the cutter in glorious close up here.