How to choose a garden shredder - which is better to buy and why?
Many summer residents today abandoned chemical fertilizers to make their own vegetables and fruits as safe as possible. But then what to feed the garden and the garden? Garbage from your own site! Of course, it still needs to be processed and put in a compost pile. But it will be the most environmentally friendly and high-quality fertilizer, and you can find application for all the waste. Branches, dried flowers, grapevine trimmings, rotten apples ... All this is a great raw material for future humus, and you need to chop it and put it in one place for decay. To help the summer resident, a special technique was even invented - shredders that facilitate the process of crushing branches. Consider how to choose a garden shredder for your own garden.
How is a garden shredder arranged?
This device, in principle, is so simple that it is surprising why no one invented it for so long. In some ways, it looks like a meat grinder, which grinds everything that is put into it. True, instead of bones and meat, crust, branches, cones, root vegetables, etc., get into the chopper, and fragmented material comes out. The level of crushing varies from small pieces to sawdust. The waste which has got to a receiving funnel is grinded by powerful knives which starts the electric or gasoline engine.
Varieties of knife system
To make the right choice of a garden shredder, you should familiarize yourself with the system of knives that will grind country waste. They are of two types: disk and milling.
Knife Disc System
This device is a disc with several steel knives. The speed of rotation of the disk sets the shaft. How quickly the waste is shredded depends on its composition, but the disk system grinds “soft garbage” best: leaves, grass, thin branches, green stems, etc. If dry or thick lignified branches are thrown into the shredder, the knives will quickly become dull.
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Circular knives are designed for “soft debris”: grass, leaves and thin branches
Knife Milling System
The milling system is more powerful. It is a one-piece gear, in which the branches are pulled automatically. It is only necessary to immerse the wood waste in the funnel, and from there it will gradually be pulled into the grinding mechanism. Moreover, there is no need to control this process and you can perform other work. Milling knives are capable of grinding branches up to 4.5 cm thick. Many models of such shredders provide reverse and different levels of crushing. But think about whether you need such a powerful system if you mainly recycle soft waste. Grass and leaves are best grinded with circular knives, and often get stuck in milling systems.
The mill perfectly grinds dry and thick branches, but the grass in it can get stuck
Engine-type garden shredders
Like most gardening equipment, shredders are represented by electric and gasoline models. Both options have several advantages. We will consider them in more detail so that you clearly understand which garden shredder is right for you.
Electric models: light and environmentally friendly
Electric shredders are easy to maintain, therefore suitable for gardeners with little experience in using garden equipment
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- Electric grinders are quite light, so even women can carry them around the cottage.
- When working, they make little noise.
- Easy to maintain.
- Do not throw harmful combustion products into the air.
- They are tied to a power outlet, so they require a multi-meter extension cord to move around the entire area.
- Less powerful than gasoline models. Most are designed for branches up to 4 cm thick.
- In the event of a power outage, they cannot be used.
- With voltage surges, they can fail.
Gasoline systems: power and mobility
Gasoline shredders are appreciated for their versatility, because their power is enough for grass and thick branches.
The advantages of a gasoline engine:
- Engine power is much more powerful. He copes with branches up to 7 cm thick.
- They do not have wires, so they can be installed anywhere in the country.
- When working, they make a lot of noise, so they can cause complaints from neighbors.
- They have more weight than electrical systems, so they are difficult to move.
- The complexity of the service.
- During operation, they form harmful products of fuel combustion, thereby polluting the air.
- More expensive in cost and during operation require fixed costs for gasoline and engine oil.
Choosing a garden shredder by power level
When comparing models and analyzing which garden shredder is best, pay attention to the power of the unit. All shredders are conditionally divided into three power classes: amateur systems, the middle class and professional models.
Amateur class shredders
This type includes low-power units (up to 1.6 kW) operating on electricity. Their knife system is disk. Before determining and buying an amateur class product, specify what material the knives are made of. The best option is hardened steel. Such aggregates weigh up to 20 kg and are able to grind branches no more than 3 cm thick.
Amateur systems are recommended for young gardens or plots where a large area is reserved for the garden. Grind grass, weeds, tops, thin branches perfectly.
Medium Power Systems
These are intermediate options between amateur and professional models. Such shredders can work both on gasoline and on electricity. The maximum power is 2.5 kW. Suitable for private houses and summer cottages, where the garden is small, but already middle-aged. The units are equipped with milling knives, so it is easy to grind branches to 3.5 cm.
Among the advantages of the unit, it is worth noting the system of self-retraction of waste, a funnel for mulch and the presence of wheels that allow the chopper to move around the site
Aggregates of a professional class
This includes large, high-weight systems that can develop power up to almost 4 kW. The engine can be either gasoline or electric (three-phase). Able to work for a long time and grind branches up to 6-7 cm thick. Moreover, the crushed material is pressed, resulting in excellent mulch. The units are equipped with large convenient funnels, a powerful milling-type cutting mechanism and are able to draw in waste without pushing. Due to their high productivity, they are in demand on farms, large-area gardens, etc.
Tips for choosing a specific model
To make our review of garden shredders more complete, let us dwell on some of the nuances of choosing a specific model.
- Going after the chopper, you must clearly understand that you will “grind” it and how often.
- Having chosen a specific model, pay attention to the funnel device. The easiest to maintain - a funnel that looks like a cone and slightly inclined.
- In order to grind the waste into different fractions (large pieces, sawdust, etc.), the speed of rotation of the knives in the system must be regulated.
- It is more convenient to use units where there are several holes for different types of waste: you will insert branches into one, grass and leaves into the other.
- Pay attention to the noise level that the selected unit emits. If it exceeds 84 dB - it will be very sensitive for your and neighboring ears.
- Models that include pre-cutting knives last longer and are easier to handle with different debris.
- A good addition would be reverse. If during operation the knives clog or do not overpower a very strong branch, then you can quickly stop them and make them rotate in the opposite direction so that the problem rubbish is pulled back.
- Some electrical models include a chopper self-lock. If electricity disappears, and then suddenly appears again, the unit will not turn on by itself. This will protect you and especially your children from accidental injuries.
- A pusher should be given in the kit for the chopper, because it is unsafe to push garbage into the funnel by hand.
If your chosen model has most of the above features and additions, then the name of the manufacturer is not so important. Although the products of famous brands are still more reliable, because it has been tested by time.