Dear Alligator Lopper: Where Have you Been All my Life?

by Sarah

It may sound silly or ridiculous that a tool could save your life--but Black & Decker's Alligator Lopper definitely saved mine (or at least a limb).

Who knew that a measly garden tool could have such a large impact on someone's life? I certainly didn't, until I bought the Alligator Lopper made by Black & Decker. I'd like to say that it was the little alligator drawing that convinced me to buy this particular pair of loppers (and it is really cute), but really they just perfectly filled a need that I had. Those are the things that become indispensable in the long run.

My Apple Tree Dilemma

I live in a neighborhood strictly patrolled by its neighborhood association. If you even leave a leaf on your lawn in the fall expect to get an earful from someone among them. It's not even a rich or ritzy neighborhood! Just one filled with grumpy retired people who have nothing better to do than nag. So, when the apple tree in our front yard came down in a storm I was freaking out. The boyfriend was away on business and would be for weeks. If I left the tree there you better believe I would have somebody knocking at my door or calling the house to complain within days.

So I decided to try to take care of the situation myself. Calmly, I crawled over everything in the garage and found the chainsaw. One attempted lift and I knew I wouldn't be able to handle it without taking off a limb. And I was not going to ask somebody else to do it. This one was mine.

Doing what I do best, I started to do some research. I found that not only was a chainsaw scary but it was dangerous and prone to something called kickback. Kickback occurs when the rotating saw blade gets pinched by the wood or hits something hard and then bounces back. When I read the statistic that every year 40,000 people get injured from chainsaws I looked even harder for another option. Plus, from what I've experienced of them, chainsaws are really smelly and loud.

Enter: Black & Decker's Alligator Lopper

My only option was to find another way to do this. I somehow stumbled on the listing for the Alligator Lopper on Amazon (see below), read the reviews, and bought it almost immediately. I decided to go with the corded option rather than the cordless because it would give me more power for a longer period of time. And who knew how long this project would take. 

It arrived at my door the next day--and what a thing of beauty! It only weighs 6.5 lbs and I found I could maneuver it easily. It turns on only when you compress the buttons on both handles, so klutzes like me cannot turn it on accidentally (very easily anyway).

It looks kind of like garden loppers but on steroids. The top blade is a chainsaw blade, and spins like a normal chainsaw. It has a nice protective cover over it. The bottom blade--and this is the key to the whole tool--is a stabilizing arm. This prevents the tool from any kickback (which I mentioned above). The specifications says it cuts through branches of four inches in diameter and less.

The scissor-like motion was natural and I finished the project in half the time I thought I would! It cut through all parts of the apple tree like butter. You better believe I will take this tool out again and again. I can finally be more helpful in the yard.

Updated: 03/13/2012, Sarah
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