Love them or hate them, alligator chainsaws remain a popular choice for those looking to cut logs, prune hedges and trim trees. Their unique design certainly limits their versatility. But that same design is also what makes them so popular.
Alligator chainsaws are not only safer and lighter than standard chainsaws, for the right jobs, they’re faster too.
The LP1000 by Black and Decker is one of the more popular examples and with very good reason. It demonstrates the above perks with ease. And despite carrying the Black and Decker name, can be found for as little as $80.
It’s been my alligator of choice for a year now. And while it’s far from being my most used chainsaw, I have more than enough experience to weigh up its many pros and surprisingly few cons.
Like most alligators, the LP1000 arrives in one piece. Set up therefore requires nothing more than the addition of oil (provided) and selection a plug socket. The instructions are detailed enough for the absolute beginner. And tool itself is straightforward enough that more experienced consumers will find themselves cutting within minutes.
The LP1000 features a 4.5 Amp engine and 6 inch guidebar. This is pretty standard for an alligator chainsaw. And provided you’re setting your sights on nothing thicker than 6 inches, it’s all that you really need.
Keep in mind that the alligator design really does mean a limit of 6 inches. Unlike standard chainsaws, there’s no cutting half the stub at a time. The limit is set it n stone based on what the jaws will and won’t grab.
Here’s how it fared on the following tasks:
- Logs: One of the reasons that I keep using the LP1000 despite owning chainsaws three times the power. The grasp on the jaws means that I actually get the job done faster.
- Pruning: Another area in which the alligator design simply makes the job easier. It also allows more precise branch selection.
- Trimming: The LP1000 can be used for this but it probably takes twice the time than a standard chainsaw. For once a year jobs, that’s not a deal breaker. But if that’s your primary purpose for buying a chainsaw, avoid the LP1000 and alligator chainsaws in general.
First off, alligator chainsaws feel nothing like standard chainsaws. The grabbing and the cutting are a one step process but you still need to select each piece of wood individually.
For some jobs, hedge trimming for example, this makes them a nightmare to use. For other jobs however, log cutting for example, this makes them superior in almost every way.
When discussing usability, it’s the latter that I’ll be talking about.
There are three reasons that I continue to use this chainsaw year in, year out and they are all usability based.
It weighs 6.5 pounds. It’s the lightest chainsaw that I own. This means zero arm fatigue when cutting for long periods of time. It also makes it ideal for those with minimal upper body strength.
The grasp of the jaws simply make alligator chainsaws in general easier to use for some jobs. I cut logs faster. I trim certain trees without worrying about cutting the wrong branch. Whenever I need a specific length of wood, I achieve greater accuracy.
The limited power means limited noise emission. I can use this any time of the day without angry neighbors/spouses. There’s also something relaxing about working without ear plugs.
In terms of portability, it’s corded but it weighs 6.5 pounds. Personally, I have an extension cord that’s longer than my garden so for my purposes, it scores full marks.
If you’re looking to go further afield however, you might want to consider something battery powered.
Another big perk of the LP1000 and, alligator chainsaws in general, is that they’re not just safer, they feel safer.
Most first time chainsaw users are intimidated by the tool for obvious reasons. The LP1000 however isn’t going to cut anything that it doesn’t clamp down on first. And that combined with the miniature guidebar means that they’re, well, a whole lot less scary for the first time user.
I’ve owned LP1000 just over 3 years now and it’s still running. That’s despite Summer pruning and almost daily usage every Winter on logs. For the price, that’s full marks. Black and Decker also offer a limited 2 year warranty. I’m not entirely sure what limited means but I doubt you’ll need it anyway.
At 4.7 stars out of 5 on Amazon, the LP1000 is the highest rated alligator chainsaw on the site (that I could find). It’s also been rated over 800 times with 93% of customer giving it 4 stars or more. 80% gave it the full 5 stars. Usually I discuss customer reviews in more depth but I think those numbers pretty much tell their own story.
Over the last ten years, I’ve used countless chainsaws. Only 3 however have been of the alligator variety. Needless to say, my ability to contrast and compare is therefore limited. Despite this fact, I have no problem recommending the LP1000.
It’s still running after 4 years, it’s still used on an almost weekly basis, it get’s some jobs done faster than standard chainsaws and it’s on the market for less than 80 dollars.
In other words, buying a standard chainsaw is a complicated task. But apparently buying an alligator chainsaw really isn’t.