Selecting leaf/twig shredder

Old 01-22-02, 12:16 PM
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Question Selecting leaf/twig shredder

I'd love some suggestions on buying (both sources & brands, if permissible on the forum) a leaf shredder to help my California coast live oak leaves compost. With ten of these beauties on my 1/3 acre lot, I have lots of oak leaf litter - and I've also got a neighbor who has horses, a yak (!!!!), and a mule to supply great nitrogenous manure.

Details on the leaves (which may affect shredder selection) - they're about 1-1.5" long by about half that dimension wide, leathery, and cupped. (They're the perfect size for inserting themselves into deck cracks and staying there until pushed out.)

I'd probably use the shredder once a month.

Gas-powered is probably better than electric unless you tell me otherwise.

Storage space is a consideration, but not primary - I prefer function & durability over space considerations!

Thanks -
Christine in southern-interior California
Old 01-22-02, 08:38 PM
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cmk, I have had an electric string shredder(the last) and a couple of gas engine powered models and worked on many others large and small. What I have found with these is you must overkill when buying as far as the stated capabilities of the unit. A machine that is doing its job easily will last a very long time and do you a very good job. A $100.00 electric string shredder is slow and you would be lucky to make it through the first year with it and all it will do is leaves and newspaper. From what you say I would say a gas engine model with at least a 5HP would be great and lower lines (Murray, MTD, Yardman, Sears) would serve your purpose. Added bonus is most of these will chip branches up to 2 inches. Expect to pay about $400+ for one of these units. This grade of machine with proper care should last many years. The top of the line machines like Troybilt and Snapper are double the price but last twice or more as long with fewer troubles along the way. It really is a pay it now or pay it later but you will pay it kind of thing. You can run a search on any of the models mentioned and get plenty of results. If you go with an electric start model be sure it has rope start capability also.....Mike
Old 01-23-02, 01:40 AM
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Yep, I kinda thought so regarding the relative price vs. function/durability question! I invested in a Snapper mower several years ago and even let my husband use it occasionally - he tells me it's the nicest mower he's ever used! So I at least have some experience with the manufacturer...

Capability of chewing 2" branches is good, particularly if dealing with rose prunings - not that they're usually that large. However, I appreciate your comment about not underestimating my chipping requirements and buying the most hp I can afford.


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