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December 22, 2012

Best tool of 2012: Black & Decker Alligator Lopper Battery-Powered Chain Saw


It's not even close.


First off, know that I'm scared to death of chain saws, so much so that I'd never used one until I ordered this puppy.


Why was I so leery?


Because they strike me as portable mayhem machines, based on injuries I read about as well as those I've seen in the hospital and OR over the years.

But I finally decided to take a flyer on this one because clearing tons of brush and stuff out back has taken a toll on my delicate C3-4 and C4-5 interspaces, to the point where I have occasional numbness in both hands after long sessions using my trusty Fiskars lopper to take down the substantial unwanted growth — often 2-3 inches in diameter — out back.

All the stuff I read about this device extolled its safety features and it looked worth a shot, especially after I dropped nearly $200 for a highly praised manual ratcheting lopper that proved useless since I am evidently too stupid to figure out how to use it properly.

Anyway, this machine arrived and I've used it twice and it is thrilling, to say the least, to see how easily I can take down substantial wood that would've required tons of effort manually.

The only negative about the lopper is its short battery life: It works about 20 minutes before the saw goes dormant, and the battery takes about 9 hours to recharge.

The good ole' boy who tried it out a couple days ago while fixing up some stuff around the house thought the saw was exceptionally well designed and very safe, but noted that the first thing he'd do is buy a spare battery — or even two — so he could work as long as there was work needing to be done.

I wished I'd listened then 'cause after today's abbreviated session I was vexed about having to quit till tomorrow for the requisite 9-hour recharge.

I just ordered two more batteries for delivery Monday so Tuesday should be an all-day chopfest.

Highly recommended.


fo shizzle.

December 22, 2012 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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I'm happy, though cautious (full protective gear), with an old fashioned petrol chainsaw but a toy like this certainly looks handy for small stuff. Even after making a dozen storm damaged trees safe it only takes about 5 minutes per saw to resharpen the blade. Two or three strokes of the file per tooth (towards the edge and at the correct angle) and you're all set for the next time. A spare blade might be nice, but you're unlikely to do major damage to the original chain with a low power motor.

Posted by: Graeme | Dec 23, 2012 8:09:06 AM

i've had the electric cord version for years - even my wife likes it

Posted by: sherlock | Dec 22, 2012 10:52:31 PM

Just wait till tools fit a glove.

(Royalties please)

Posted by: joepeach | Dec 22, 2012 7:31:28 PM

If I felt any ill will towards my ex (come on. 13 years later? I think not.) this would be on my Xmas list.

Do be careful with your C3 - 5. Quad is usually not a good look. Although there are some exceptions.

Posted by: Becs | Dec 22, 2012 6:18:49 PM

Be sure to order and extra chain. You will be surprised at how fast the chain on any chainsaw becomes dull. Most hardware stores can sharpen it for you.

Posted by: Paul Biba | Dec 22, 2012 6:09:54 PM

I've heard that your state plans to issue these things to all elementary school personnel.

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Dec 22, 2012 4:40:43 PM

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