To do small branches, you will need a chipper/shredder. The one you were
looking at will not chip branches. Sears sold version of the electric leaf
shredder (which I have), which does a good job on leaves, torn newspaper,
and straw -- as long as they are dry. It doesn't do twigs.
Pat in Plymouth MI
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
I wouldn't be without ours. We started with the small electric ones, and
wore out 2 of them. We now have the gasoline powered, 5 Hp type.
This year, so far, my DH has ground up 42 bags of mulch for me!
I've only seen the leaf shredder you're talking about in catalogs and
online. I've never actually seen one in a store, and I know nobody who
owns one. I don't remember who's ad it was that I saw it in, but it
mentioned that it uses strings similar to a string trimmer to shred the
leaves. If this is the case, you aren't going to be able to put any
branches, or even twigs, or even woody stems into the shredder. What's
left, leaves, you can shred by running over them with your mulching
There are some vacuum / shredder / chippers that look like lawn mowers,
and can be used to vacuum up the leaves straight from the lawn, and
shred them. They usually have a shoot that will allow you to put small
(like 1/2" or smaller) branches in. Some even have tubes to allow you to
vacuum in your beds, under shrubs and in corners. These seem to start
After that, it's chipper shredders with 5 hp motors and above. It's at
this range that you start seeing machines that'll handle those 1-3"
branches, but they start at about $550, and go up from there. Comments
I've seen in this group seem to indicate that the lowest priced models
are junk, and the higher priced ones are too expensive for a typical
city or suburban home owner.
Like I said, I've never actually seen one of those "Deluxe Electric Leaf
Shrewder", but my gut feeling is that you'll be disappointed with it.
I have a Flowtron brand leaf shredder. It works well on leaves. It has a
large hopper, and controls for how find to shred and whether or not the
leaves are wet. Uses strings. Small sticks usually just are sent through
without breaking the strings. I think I paid about 80 dollars for it. Have
also seen the same thing with another name on it, maybe Coleman or
Craftsman. I bought mine at a store like Home Depot.
I own the one made by Sears. I am not at all disappointed with it. Don't
need to shred twigs, but if they get into this shredder, it can "cut" the
string. Love the shredded leaf mulch. And the earth worms love it even
more! My soil is covered w/ worm castings. It would be a fisherman's
NW PA, Zone 5
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