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Alligator Forceps


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I did a quick search of this forum to be sure these haven't been posted before. Searching for alligator pulled up some threads that were referring to clips so maybe I am safe. This tool is an incredible help for rigging. I had never seen or heard of them before. I had to take my dad to the ear doctor and the guy had a whole tray of them. As soon as I saw them I perked up and my eyes opened pretty wide. Immediately all sorts of ideas are going thru my head. I'll put up the pix and see if you have the same reaction - assuming you haven't seen them before.

 

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I've put them next to the hemo's I have tried to use for similar tasks in the past just so you can see the difference in how they work. With the alligators I can literally reach into the boat from the starboard side and grab ropes on the port side. I have been using them all evening as I pin running rigging.  The beauty of these is when you open them wide they don't spread open at the other end like regular hemo's or forceps will and that leaves you much more ability to work in tight spaces - see the comparison picture.

 

They come in several sizes and are available on Amazon for a reasonable price. I am finding the longer ones are the most useful.

 

As I am finishing up rigging on a build I have really been able to put a pair thru its paces and they are a real winner. I am able to grab some ropes, pins, etc that would have been impossible to do without them.

 

Hope this helps some of you.....

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My father trained as doctor and I inherited a box full of them together with other chirurgical instruments. Was has to be cautious with the locking ones - when in the last step before release, they exert a lot of pressure and parts or threads can get crushed.

 

Another name to look for is Castrovejo. He invented various eye-surgery instruments that can be useful.

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MicroMark has them in three sizes, called "ear polypus" forceps, which they aren't. They are properly called Hartmann ear alligator forceps. I have a cheap pair like MicroMark sells. You'll pay the same or less from a medical instrument supply house for a much higher quality instrument. The next set I buy will be the largest size I can get. They are very handy for rigging.

 

https://new-medinstruments.com/Ear-Instruments/hartmann-alligator-ear-forceps-serrated.html

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On 7/12/2020 at 4:38 PM, mikiek said:

A scissor end might be pretty useful. I guess Amazon's supply is pretty limited. I don't remember seeing scissors or locking varieties there.

You might looking for Potts scissors - they are available in several degrees of angulation.   Also, there are now many disposable 'keyhole' instruments designed for minimally invasive surgery that have some interesting articulations  It might be difficult to procure them, however

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They are available in several different sizes.  I have sizes ranging from 3 inches to about 9 inches long.  really nice.  the scissors have saved me a few times.  Like all tools, they range in quality and costs.  You get what you pay for.  More important with the scissors in my experience.  cheap ones weren't too good- cutting edges had some irregularity when the two surfaces met.  the expensive ones were razor sharp and perfect alignment. 

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On 7/13/2020 at 4:38 AM, mikiek said:

A scissor end might be pretty useful. I guess Amazon's supply is pretty limited. I don't remember seeing scissors or locking varieties there.

Likely you would have to get the scissors from a medical supplier.

 

The locking ones are more likely instruments for keyhole surgery as they have a ratchet handle that allows clamping, they are much longer than what's shown above, the shortest I've seen of this variety are around 30cm long. The ENT ones tend to top out around 15cm long. 

 

These could work also if your looking for a longer shaft scissor that doesn't open wide at the sharp end

 

Scissors on Ebay

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I have a variety of 'gators...3", 5", 7", straight, curved, serrated teeth and toothless.  The same with Bellucci scissors (the correct name for alligator scissors).  After all, I am an ENT.  I rarely use any of them and reach instead for curved watchmakers forceps or a Webster needle holder.  The scissors are not designed to cut thread larger than 7-0 (0.07mm diameter) and would dull quickly with rigging thread.  I do not know about the cheap ones but "real" ones are made from a an alloy that is next to impossible to sharpen except by a professional.  The same can be said for Castro-Viejo's but I have used them to cut nylon serving line since the diameter I use is 8-0.  The Webster has no serrations on its jaws so it will not shred rigging thread.

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Good information Toni - I have found the gators to be most useful reaching thru rigging or whatever to grab a line. For instance running a line thru a port side pin rail hole but I can't grab the end afterwards. I have to turn the model 180 degrees and reach across the deck and thru the rigging to reach the loose end. Beyond that, I see your point - tweezer-like tools can be a better choice.

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