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Black & Decker Alligator Loppers

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating
User Rating 3.5 Star Rating (3 Reviews)

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Photo of Black & Decker Alligator Loppers.

Photo of Alligator Loppers.

Black & Decker

The Bottom Line

Alligator Loppers resemble standard loppers (2 handles, 2 jaws) and, like them, are used to trim branches -- but the similarity ends there. Really a chainsaw, the Alligator Lopper strikes me as being a specialized tool. Because it's corded, it's not as maneuverable as gas chainsaws, standard loppers, handsaws or axes. But its safety features and power are selling points, and matched to the right job, this tool excels. Just be sure to have complementary tools handy to do the rest of the work.
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Pros

  • The Alligator Lopper is really a chainsaw for light cutting -- only it's safer than a chainsaw.
  • Use Alligator Loppers as a specialized tool for repetitive, stationary tasks.
  • Dispense with sawhorses and cut branches right on the ground with Alligator Loppers.
  • Double switching system and protective jaws for added safety.

Cons

  • On a worksite with lots of brush or branches underfoot, Alligator Lopper's cord would be in the way.
  • The manual that comes with Alligator Loppers is hard to read.
  • The oil hole is small, rendering lubrication painstaking.
  • You have to clean it, as you would a standard chainsaw.

Description

  • Alligator Loppers can cut mid-sized branches (up to 4" thick) too thick for standard loppers.
  • The clamping jaws grab and cut in one motion.
  • Lower guard and top jaw encase cutting teeth, promoting safety superior to that of most chainsaws.
  • Other safety features: reduced kickback guide bar, reduced kickback chain and double switching.
  • Double-switching system is like safety handle on mowers: let go of the triggers, and device stops.
  • Alligator Loppers are powered by a 4.5 amp motor.
  • Alligator Loppers really function more like chainsaws (but safer!), but they do resemble loppers.
  • Alligator Loppers are good for repetitive, stationary work, for which the cord's not in the way.
  • Alligator Lopper's manual would read better if instructions were segregated from safety tips.

Guide Review - Black & Decker Alligator Loppers

Rating this tool fairly is a difficult job. When rating a tool, we are usually (even if only implicitly) comparing it to another tool. But to what do we compare Alligator Loppers: to chainsaws or to hand tools that perform similar tasks, such as standard loppers?

The waters are muddied further by the fact that the Alligator Lopper is a corded electrical device. So if we were to compare the Alligator Lopper to a gas-powered chainsaw, each would have its own distinct pros and cons. Which is better? That question can be answered only in the context of performing a particular task. Where maneuverability is required, gas-powered tools are a logical choice; but for more stationary tasks, corded devices offer a clean, easy-to-use alternative.

Ultimately, the Alligator Lopper must be judged in light of its capabilities as a specialized tool. The following are examples of jobs for which I'd use Alligator Loppers:

  • A hurricane knocks down a tree in your front lawn. With little debris underfoot (because it's only 1 tree), use Alligator Loppers to remove the branches, before using a heavier chainsaw to buck the trunk up into manageable lengths.
  • If you're sawing wood to burn for a stove, cut the bigger logs first with a heavier chainsaw, then clean up the smaller branches left on the ground with Alligator Loppers. No sawhorse is required, as the design protects the saw's tip from striking the ground (a major safety hazard with most chainsaws).

Click the "Compare Prices" button to check for availability. Unavailable at last check (4/01/08) on PriceGrabber, the online comparison shopping Web site.

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Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Black & Decker Alligator ""PLUS TOOL"", Member Drgoodwrench

This is actually a must have tool! I have a very good female friend that uses mine and is amazed at the ease and confidence she has in using it! She has a hard time starting the smallest of chainsaws and this fits the bill for the everyday around the house things that need trimming! No lopper can do what this one can! And most chainsaws fall short when cutting too close to the ground! I fell in love with it the day I got it! And my Dad tries to steal it every chance he gets! So I know it must be a hit on his list too! ( I am getting him one for Fathers Day!)

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