I’m in love – with my new garden helper, the shredder. You’ve probably heard me complain bitterly in the past about how I want to compost our garden waste and how long it takes to break down if I don’t try to cut the leaves and branches as small as I can. It’s a painstaking process, especially with shrubs and their woody stems, and I’ve literally spent hours cutting and breaking the pieces down by hand and with handtools, with blisters to show for it.
Well, I tried enquiring locally about shredder/mulchers, and could only find commercial sources with accompanying commercial prices (four figures!) which ruled that option out unless I struck the lottery. So, when we decided to go to Australia recently, I made it a top priority to check out the machines available there, and you already know that I had lots of options to consider from Bunnings and Masters. With advice from people living there, I made my choice but was unable to bring it back immediately. It was the most painful period of time for me to wait for my new baby to arrive, but thanks to good family and friends, it finally got here.
What were the things I considered before choosing the machine?
Would it work here? Yes, the electrical voltage is the same. The plugs are different, though, so I had to get an adaptor for it.
Could it shred woody branches? What thickness? There were several options to consider, which I did with advice mainly from the guys.
Would I be able to move the machine around easily? This one was a little tricky because I was tempted by a more heavy duty machine that was closer to 20kg. The one I eventually chose is 12kg and I’m not in danger of throwing out my back when moving it around.
What if it gets spoiled? Even though it’s covered by a guarantee, it would be ridiculous to ship it back and forth, so I chose one that was recommended as a reliable brand by a good friend who knows what he’s talking about. It was less than $200 and I want it to last at least a year so I’ll feel that I’ve had my money’s worth. Longer would be lovely, of course.
Happy that my conditions were met, the purchase was made.
So now that I’ve had the chance to use it, I can say that I am thrilled with the shredder. It needed some assembly when unpacked, but that’s not rocket science to do. It also came with very good instructions on how to use and maintain it. In my excitement to start using it, I forgot the recommendation to use earplugs, and after the first round of 108DB, my ears were ringing! My fault. I did wear gloves and use sunglasses to protect my eyes, though.
The instructions also recommended what materials to feed in, which was a good thing, because I thought I could simply shred all kinds of branches as I pruned them. Now I know I need to let those with “juicy” or sap-filled stems dry out for a few days, otherwise the sap will gum up the blades. It worked great with woody branches, though. The capacity of this model is a width of 35mm, but that’s fine with me as I have other ideas for the thicker stems. It doesn’t do thin twigs well, nor the soft tips of stems, but I am SO HAPPY with the way it turns woody stems into woody confetti!
On the same note, since you can’t feed wet materials into the machine, you also have to wait for a nice sunny day to use it. It rained yesterday and I expected it to rain again today, but it didn’t! Since the plants had had the night to dry out, I deemed it alright to start shredding away. So the shredder had its maiden voyage and I’m looking forward to many more “journeys” with it.
This little machine is going to help me so much as I clear up the overgrown parts of the garden. Best of all – and I made sure to test this today – since it absolutely shreds branches to little bits, I can look forward to not getting pricked any more by thorny twigs when I handle the compost piles in progress or get said twigs stuck to the soles of my footwear if I step on them. It’s less irritating than stepping on chewing gum, but irritating nonetheless.
I’m very grateful to the folks who brought me shopping for the shredder and who helped bring it back (I was seriously looking at cheap flights to back for it!). Without your advice and help, I’d be one frustrated gardener! Thanks and hugs. I love my garden shredder!
Best! Investment! Ever!!