Garden shredders

Anyone got any experience of electric garden shredders that can cut wood up to 40mm diameter. Are these devices much good? There are a number of makes any recommendations?
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Michael Chare

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I had a Performance Power one eventually gave it away, it did OK on branche s up to 30mm but seemed to struggle to chip up green stalks and leaves the most frustrating thing about it was the time it took made even longer by ha ving to unclog it every so often. In the end it was quicker and easier to c ut up branches into lengths easily transportable in the car and take to the recycling facility.
Richard
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Yes the one the council used last Thursday was on a large truck and powered by a powerful engine, and was extremely noisy. If you have a lot to do hiring one of those for a couple of hours might be the best approach, but give your neighbours ear plugs first.. Brian
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Yeah, that’s how they do it here when removing trees. With the chips going into a massive bin on the truck. Tho they don’t actually chip the main trunk itself.

Not clear if they rent those out and you'd need a truck license to drive it anyway.

They're not that bad, but you can certainly hear it streets away.

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On Sun, 11 Aug 2019 19:46:50 +0100

I hired an electric one for half a day that was pretty quiet and handled largish branches with ease while not clogging with the small green stuff. The cheap one I got (can't remember if it was dirt cheap on eBay or free from Freegle) makes a load of noise, struggles with larger stuff and clogs easily with green stuff. The difference is that the good one runs at low speed and pulls wood through and chomps it, while the crap one is just a spinning disc on a motor and you have to shove stuff through to feed it.
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On Sun, 11 Aug 2019 11:19:11 +0100, Michael Chare

I have a Bosch ATX-25 TC shredder, one of these https://tinyurl.com/y5nfm6ms , which claims to be able to shred branches up to 45mm, although IME that might be a touch optimistic, but not a lot. I am reasonably pleased with it. If I have any criticisms they are that you can't immediately see how full the collector is getting, and it can be a little awkward to remove it for emptying when it is full. The so-called 'turbine' cutter does sometimes get bunged up with hard shreddings, necessitating a complete halt in the proceedings while the cover is opened up and the turbine cleared.
It replaced an earlier Bosch shredder with a corkscrew-type blade, that couldn't handle such large branches, and anyway the blade had become chipped over the years. But it had an open discharge that you simply put a bucket under, much simpler and easier than the ATX-25.
Anything bigger than 40mm I either take directly to the dump for their green waste recycling skip, of just pile it up in an unobtrusive corner of the garden to house beetles or other bug life.
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Chris

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On 11/08/2019 11:52, Chris Hogg wrote:

I have an earlier version which IIRC was rated to 35 mm although 30 is more realistic. Mine is the "noisy" design which has a flymo-like blade. They get through stuff at an amazing rate until the blade gets blunt, at which point you reverse it. I have never had any success at re-sharpening because they have an induction-hardened edge and once that is gone, the blade is dead.
These are a lot cheaper than the "trade" type which have gear-like cutters. I reckon they are fine for domestic use but if I was in the trade I would not touch them because you could get through several sets of blades in a day. (The price would not be the issue, rather the time wasted changing them).
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thats odd I have a AL-KO shredder and sharpen the blades two or more times a year and it been going for over 10years and never Jams at all.
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On 11/08/2019 11:52, Chris Hogg wrote:

I have a similar older Bosch shredder (paid £20 for it on local Facebook page) which copes with even very hard wood of 40mm and more.
I believe the screw type mechanism in these is the best for 40mm branches.
Mike
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On 11/08/2019 11:19, Michael Chare wrote:

I haven't seen the inside of a garden shredder, but I have a paper shredder which uses the following (but much smaller) type mechanism that's used in this video (and a million other YT shredder vids).
Big Shredding Machines !!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzb6zDFg3WQ

If common garden shredders don't use the above, why don't they? Seems pretty effective at breaking things, and could be made enclosed for safety.
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Adrian C

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I don't think it is a matter of the type of mechanism more a power issue. As I always say you can be underpowered when it comes to machinery but never have too much power.
Richard
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On 11/08/2019 12:36, Tricky Dicky wrote:

I use a 13.5 bhp lawnmower for this
Actually 45mm is the level at which I keep the branches for firewood.
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Fark. I assumed it wouldn’t work with the car engine, but it clearly does.
It would be interesting to see if it can manage a hydrogen gas cylinder.

Not that cheap presumably and not that fast either.

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On 11/08/19 11:19, Michael Chare wrote:

I've had a Screwfix Titan brand quiet shredder for a couple of years. It uses a slowly rotating sharpened cog type of blade to cut the branch against a stationary surface. In my experience, it's a very good machine, very rarely jamming (which is usually my fault for not emptying the box often enough, or trying to push too much stuff through). Even when it has jammed, it is very easy to put the machine into reverse to clear the jam. In that respect, it is many times better than the fast-rotating lawnmower-type blade shredder I had before the Titan, which jammed every couple of minutes, and required a dismantling of the shredder to clear the jam.
The Titan will handle 40mm branches, but it isn't made any more. The current McAllister equivalent gets poorer reviews, and although apparently slightly more powerful, is at least 5kg lighter - so I'm not sure where the weight has gone. Maybe it has a less reliable motor?
Anything woody larger than 40 mm I saw into 20 - 25 mm lengths, and dry for burning on the wood-burning stove.
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Jeff

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On Sun, 11 Aug 2019 11:19:11 +0100, Michael Chare wrote:

I've got one, but don't use it much. Be aware that the maximum diameter is of a round straight branch with no side branches. Most plants aren't like that, so you'll spend a lot of time chopping up branches so they will go in. Thinner branches can go through a slot, so some side twigs will go in, but it still won't take anything with substantial side branches. Mine also won't do much with leafy material - anything not woody comes through slightly crushed but not shredded. In the end it seemed much easier to put the small stuff on the compost heap unshredded, and the big stuff on a bonfire.
Mike
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On 11/08/2019 11:19, Michael Chare wrote:

IME the first question to answer is what kind of stuff you need to shred... many garden shredders are aimed mulching down clippings and small branches, and are a slightly different style of machine from a chipper which is aimed mostly at reducing the volume of tree waste.
Initially I had one of the old Bosch "quiet" helix style ones. Which was ok on woody / dry stuff, but clogged easily on leafy green stuff. The cog based ones are somewhat better I am told. The "noisy" ones are usually better on leafy green stuff, but slower on branches. Beware some expect the branches to be fed into a different chute, where they are then chipped away somewhat more slowly. That also tends to mean they need to be straight ish, and free of side branches - so lots of prep work.
For my current requirements (lots of tree pruning and little else), I found the lekky ones fairly poor in general, and too much like hard work all round. So I went for a semi-pro 9hp chipper with a 270cc motor spinning a large drum with a couple of substantial resharpenable blades on it. That claims to do 80mm branches. In reality it can actually do a bit more if you let it take bits at the branch - i.e. let it shred a bit, then pull the branch back before the drum looses too much momentum, give it a mo to spin up again, and repeat.
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What sort of wood, presumably not oak or Mahogany! Brian
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On 11/08/2019 19:44, Brian Gaff wrote:

I suppose it would be mostly bush trimmings. At the moment we chop the stuff into maybe 6" lengths to go in a plastic tub. We then take several tubs to the tip a few times a year. I was wondering if a shredder would chop the stuff up into smaller piece so we could get more into the tubs, or have a proper compost heap. The council takes 1 wheelie bin every two weeks which is usually full of grass.
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Michael Chare

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On 11/08/2019 20:32, Michael Chare wrote:

A chipper will normally chop into ~1cm long segments. A shredder might go finer, depending the type.
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On Sun, 11 Aug 2019 21:03:12 +0100, John Rumm

The Bosch shredders do much the same, about 1-2cm. Yes, shredding will allow the OP to get much more into his tub, but then there's the risk of the tub being too heavy to lift! Shredding also speeds composting, but it still takes many months to break down woody shreddings. Adding nitrogenous fertiliser helps. Some people use their own pee. I used to put woody shreddings straight onto the garden as a mulch. I never shred soft green weedy stuff. I don't see the point. It went straight onto the compost heap, but as I haven't yet made room for one here, into the garden waste recycle bin.
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Chris

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