If you’re serious about composting, or at least consciously aware that recycling is more essential than convenient, then you’ll need one of these bad-boys – a chipper shredder – in your gardening arsenal.
For months I’ve been piling up all my prunings in a large heap that was beginning to resemble the Helotes pile. And every trip I’d take to Bunnings included sauntering down one aisle in particular – the garden chipper shredder row.
I’d researched the model. Found the best prices. I’d even crafted a scale replica from a single piece of stone…Nah, that’s taking it a little far. But you get the gist. I wanted…needed…a garden shredder – yesterday!
And then I got one.
Now my life is in a state of euphoric bliss as I power my way through tonnes of half-rotting twigs and branches.
The model: Alko. Size: 1600watts. Price: A$90. I can see you’re impressed! As I was.
This garden chipper shredder is now my favourite garden tool because I can finally continue to prune my trees and shrubs knowing that they won’t end up at the town wastage facility. In fact, they’re now well on the way to becoming next season’s mulch/ potting mix/ soil.
I must confess that I really would have preferred a petrol-powered model. Those garden shredders have some real grunt compared to their electric counterparts but the price is also a little intimidating. And, for my garden size – a typical suburban block – an electrical chipper is capable of handling the load, albeit a tad slower.
So, let’s take a look under the hood. Basically the unit operates much the same as a lawn mower that’s been tilted on its side – and if that doesn’t scare you it explains why manufacturers have gone to great lengths to ensure that these shredders can’t be operated unless the safety lid is firmly secured.
Two blades rotate at almost supersonic speed pulling the garden refuse downward until all that’s left is a pile of finely chipped plant material. Most electric garden tools, including the chipper shredder, now have hand guards that restrict the access of your most precious gardening tools – your hands. This means the only things that can enter via the chute are twigs about the width of two of your thumbs.
When my pile is finally reduced to a heap of compostable material it will be time to sharpen the pruning shears once again and start all over. I’m looking forward to that day.