Tools and Stuff forum: Can anyone recommend a good small chipper-shredder?

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Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Jan 8, 2012 7:25 AM CST
Our backyard backs up to woods. I want to make wood mulch instead of tossing downed limbs back over the fence all the time. Economical is good but it doesn't have to be the cheapest one made. I want something substantial but easy to handle.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
Jan 9, 2012 7:50 PM CST
While you're waiting, you might trim and lay the limbs so they are as close togther as possible. Add some grass clippings or leaves so the pile tends to hold water. the wood will soften and be easier to chop finely.

Or wait a few years, call it "hugelculture" and just plant on top of the crumbled woodpile.

My plan is to post a request on some bulletin boards and borrow or trade for the use of one.
Name: Sandi
Austin, Tx (Zone 8b)
Texas Gardening
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Bubbles
Jan 9, 2012 9:43 PM CST
Tee, we have a gas one that we bought from Sears years ago. It just says MTD on the side. We have a large yard at the lake with lots of limbs falling off the pecan trees and an old elm. We don't have a dump close by up there, so we were hauling limbs home every weekend. We use it at home too for oak limbs and all those leaves. I "can" use it by myself, but only if I get to it first. (You know how helpless women are, right?) You will get very dirty, but it does make great mulch, whichever one you choose!.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Jan 10, 2012 5:44 AM CST
All good ideas. I have a limb pile behind the fence but can't get to it easily anymore now that the neighbors fenced their yard for the dog. :(

I hadn't thought about Sears. They have electric too so going to check them out.

Thanks.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Thom Foote
Colbert, WA (Zone 6a)
Organic herb farmers
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thomfoote
Jan 16, 2012 10:49 AM CST
Get a good idea of the average size of what you are going to be chipping and buy accordingly. You can't go wrong with DR Chipper, excellent performance and warranty. Also in response to RickCorey's comment about waiting a few years, call it hugelculture and plant on it, instead pile the brush up in a short row about 3 feet high and wide, cover it with a layer of humus or leaves, cover that with a layer of good dirt and plant right away. Plant on the tops and sides. It will be virtually self-watering and self-feeding and will not take up a large amount of space and will produce copious amounts of food.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Jan 16, 2012 11:34 AM CST
I tip my hat to you.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
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Horseshoe
Jan 16, 2012 2:31 PM CST
I've recommended that people go rent one before they choose to buy, Tee. The reason being is that most folks see all the ads and tv commercials showing a chipper/shredder in action and there is always a huge pile of finished product and much glory. When I bought my first one, a larger-than-normal unit I was shocked how slow-going they are. It literally takes hours of work to get any sizable amount of wood chips that you can use. Plus, depending on the type of wood and the size of the branches it takes quite a while just to chip one good-sized branch. Many people think they are like the huge commercial ones that you just toss a branch in and it comes out chipped or shredded within seconds. No so.

I ended up giving mine away a few years later. Even friends who borrowed it brought it back saying they had no idea how long it took just to get a wheelbarrows worth of chipped wood.

If you rent one you can easily decide if you want to keep something like that around, using it once or twice a year and having to deal with maintenance (sharpening the blades is a chore), storage, etc. Sometimes you come out to the better renting one and not being responsible for the maintenance, upkeep, storage, and initial outlay of cost. After all, it is definitely one of those pieces of equipment you'll use sparingly.

Shoe
Name: leaflady
planet earth
Love the sinner, hate the sin
Charter ATP Member
leaflady
Jan 16, 2012 7:30 PM CST
I have a Simplicity chipper/shredder that is several years old and still works like a new one. It takes limbs up to 2 1/2" I think and eats them quickly and easily. It takes no time at all to get a good pile of mulch with it. Just remember that they have a chipping ratio that will determine the size of the chips are. I think ours is a 6 - 1. The chips are fairly small and make a nice mulch. Renting one is good advice. Because once you get rid of the pile of limbs you have now it may be a couple years before you have that many again. Ours does leaves very will too. If they are very wet tho it will clog up somewhat.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Jan 17, 2012 4:38 AM CST
Thanks, Shoe and leaflady. That is good advice and since I hardly have room for one more thing in the garage, I will probably do that for starters. We back up to woods and especially during tornado season when we can have strong winds off and on and also sometimes over the winter if we get a lot of snow and ice, I seem to have a fairly sizable recurring pile of limbs.


I tip my hat to you.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jan 17, 2012 12:46 PM CST
Maybe this makes it more effective than some:

"Triangular swinging hammers with more shredding action than rectangular hammers".
I seem to see both chipping "knives" and two kinds of "hammers".

Since prices start over $900, I'll never need to know!

Name: leaflady
planet earth
Love the sinner, hate the sin
Charter ATP Member
leaflady
Jan 17, 2012 3:58 PM CST
We paid over $800 about 10 yrs ago. Simplicity is or was a USA made brand at that time.
Name: John Dyer
Louisville , Ky
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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oldherbacious
Jan 17, 2012 7:22 PM CST
I have a 5 hp simplicity that I love. Unfortunately , at 71 I gave up using it this y ear.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Jan 18, 2012 2:21 AM CST
That's another vote for the Simplicity.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Thom Foote
Colbert, WA (Zone 6a)
Organic herb farmers
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thomfoote
Jan 23, 2012 11:20 AM CST
Whatever you decide to do, buy or rent, get with a couple of neighbors or friends, rent or buy together to reduce the cost and create "community". After the jobs are done have a big potluck cookout at your place and celebrate.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Image
SongofJoy
Jan 23, 2012 12:00 PM CST
Thumbs up
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller

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