Black & Decker GK1000 Alligator Powered Lopper Review


This somewhat terrifying looking tool literally looks as though it has a set of alligators jaws at the ends of its handles, so on first impression it looks like it could do some damage to a branch or two!

If you’ve always felt a bit uneasy about the somewhat unpredictable nature of a conventional chainsaw, then despite its intimidating looks, the Black and Decker GK1000 could very well be a better solution for you. Designed to cut through similar sized branches as most electric chainsaws (we’re talking around 100mm diameter maximum), this tool still utilises a small cutting chain, however it’s fully enclosed, and only by the scissoring action of bringing the two halves together will it cut through the work piece.

Using this tool is a far more intuitive experience than a chainsaw, and because of the way you hold it, and stand while using it, you tend to feel a lot more in control of the cutting process. The confidence it gives you makes you more inclined to fully exploit this tool’s potential. So whereas with a chainsaw you might only use it to prune the bare minimum, with the alligator lopper you won’t have any issues cutting up pieces of wood into as many manageable pieces as you need to.

Powered by mains electricity, the GK1000 features a 500 Watt motor. This is about 75% less powerful than the average electric chainsaw, so whilst it might not slice through wood as quickly and with the ease of a chainsaw, it’s still manageable and takes the effort of cutting away from you, not to mention making the overall package less heavy than a chainsaw.

The only major issue users of the GK1000 have come across is the application of oil to the chain. There is a port to fill with oil, although some have remarked that it’s a fiddly process and have oiled the chain directly instead. Whichever way works for you, you must make sure the chain is oiled to avoid damaging the tool or potentially making it dangerous to use.

Pros

  • Fully enclosed small chainsaw blade and lopper style operation make this comfortable for use by just about anyone
  • No risk of kick back due to the design and method of operation
  • at 4kg this is more lightweight than a chainsaw

Cons

  • Chain must be oiled with appropriate chainsaw oil before every use
  • Chain must be re-tentioned and cleared of debris regularly to ensure optimum performance – remember having a guard over the chain is a great safety feature, but it comes at a price if a misaligned or slack chain is able to clash with it
  • Power cord is a little on the short side at just 3 metres

Conclusion

This is a really innovative bit of kit, and a great solution to dealing with the ‘intimidation factor’ of conventional chainsaws. It’s reasonably priced, and performs excellently, and as long as it is treated with respect from a maintenance perspective it will prove to a be a valuable asset to all chainsaw shy gardeners.

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Black + Decker GK1000 Alligator Powered Lopper

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