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Garden Shredders and Chippers: A Buyer’s Guide
When it comes to buying garden shredders and chippers there can be a number of things to consider. Here at Gardenlines we have put together a guide to buying the best garden shredder to meet your needs.
Garden Shredders and Chippers: Why Buy One?
The main use of garden shredders and chippers is to reduce garden waste – whether it is for composting or just for easier disposal. Having homemade compost (courtesy of your garden shredder) to hand is invaluable to all gardeners – whether you’re a pro or just someone who loves to see their garden flourish. Types of waste that can go into garden shredders and chippers includes hedge off-cuttings, foliage from plants, leaves and twigs. You could even put kitchen waste like vegetables and fruit peelings into a garden shredder.
Some garden shredders and chippers will also reduce more woody material to chippings which makes for great mulch. You can spread this mulch over bare soil which can help keen the ground moist and keep weeds at bay. As this woody material reduces it will then do further good by adding nutrients back into the ground.
Garden Shredders and Chippers: Things to Consider Before Purchasing
What garden waste do you need to shred? Do you need to shred green branches and leafy waste or will you be reducing tougher materials like woody branches? Will noise levels be an issue? Impact garden shredders can be very noisy. Ear defenders should be worn to protect hearing. What’s the size of the waste you want to reduce? Be sure to check the size limitations of the shredder you are considering purchasing; there are often limits on the size of waste they are able to reduce.
Garden Shredders and Chippers: Which is Right for Me?
Impact Garden Shredders
Impact garden shredders and chippers use a cutting blade that will chop leaves and green branches very finely – perfect for compost heaps. One disadvantage of impact garden shredders is that they can be loud when in operation. Impact garden shredders will also need a degree of maintenance over the course of their lives. The blades on these garden shredders do wear out but are relatively easy (and cheap) to replace. Most impact shredders will have reversible blades so you can turn them around to get a fresh cutting edge, prolonging the life of your machine.
Crushing Garden Shredders
Crushing garden shredders have ridged rollers or drums which draw the material in and crush it against a plate. They are quieter to use than impact garden shredders. Crushing garden shredders will easily tackle woody branches and reduce them into wood chips. One disadvantage of crushing shredders is that they do not cope very well with green sappy material, as it can cause them to become clogged. Look for a crushing shredder with a reverse action which will help clear any blockage. One bonus of crushing garden shredders is that they typically need less maintenance than impact shredders as there are no blades to go blunt.
Our article A Guide to Buying Garden Shredders may help you choose between the two.
Petrol Garden Shredders or Electric Garden Shredders
Electric Garden Shredders Pros:
• Tend to be cheaper
• Smaller and lighter than petrol counterparts
Electric Garden Shredders Cons:
• The length of the cable can be limiting. Make sure it will reach to where you want to shred
• The quality of the shreddings is sometimes not as good as those produced by petrol garden shredders as they may not be quite as powerful
Petrol Garden Shredders Pros:
• Tend to be more powerful
• Gives you the freedom to shred anywhere, some can even be towed behind your lawn tractor or ATV
Petrol Garden Shredders Cons:
• Can be more expensive
• Will need more maintenance and should really be serviced once a year
• It will need filling with petrol and oil