Definition - What does Alligator Grab mean?
An Alligator Grab is a tool used to grab and lift unusually shaped or small objects, and broken or damaged objects from the wellbore. The tool is designed with an adjustable spring that gives the operator control over the jaw force of the tool. The tool is incorporated with two serrated jaws. The jaws get activated by the downward jarring that shears a pin placed in the jaw body which then allows the jaws to get activated by a spring in a motion like scissors.
Petropedia explains Alligator Grab
An Alligator Grab is not much used in the industry at present, but it is still an ideal option to retrieve bit cones, loose bits and odd-shaped objects from a wellbore. The tool is of two types – one that works mechanically and the other with hydraulics.
An Alligator Grab is also used to retrieve objects left in the wellbore. The downward jarring activates the jaws by shearing a pin. The activated jaws snap close and lock tightly an object caught in between the two jaws. The tight grip of the jaws holds the object tightly and prevents it from slipping once the jaws are closed. The grip of the jaws can be adjusted according to the need by adjusting spring tension before running it down into the hole.