An Alligator Cutting Machine, historically known as a lever shear, is a metal-cutting shear with a hinged jaw, powered by a flywheel or a hydraulic cylinder. Alligator Cutting Machine are generally set up as stand-alone shears. The jaw size can range from 4 to 36 in (100 to 910 mm) long. They are generally used to cut steel members, such as rebar, pipe, angle iron or I-beams. Earlier, the alligator shears were powered by a flywheel. These shears ran continuously, which posed a safety hazard.
The Vaner Alligator Cutting Machine are hydraulically actuated. When actuated, the piston arm extends and slowly closes the upper jaw of the Alligator Cutting Machine, which passes alongside the bed or lower jaw of the shear to perform the cut. Further, a separate clamper is provided with the cutting arm so that the operator does not bear the impact of shearing. The clamper first locks the material kept on the shearing bed and then the shearing arm performs its function. The operator is not required to hold the material during the operation. Alligator Cutting Machine are used for cutting long-length metal stock or scrap, generally where accuracy is not an important consideration and the size or shape of the material makes other cutting or shearing options impractical. Alligator Cutting Machine are often used in conjunction with large metal shredders in the metal recycling industry to clean or prepare scrap for shredding by removing unwanted fittings or other parts the shredder will not accept.