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Leaf shredder recommendations?
Old 12-03-2011, 04:42 PM   #1
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Leaf shredder recommendations?

When I read reviews of these things, they remind me very much of paper shredders......maybe it's not the machines' fault as much as the feeders who ,because of capacity backlogs, always want to push the threshold of the machine capability. At least that's my experience w/ paper shredding.
My more expensive gift paper shredder died. El Cheapo paper shredder is still going , tho rescued from many jams.

Any suggestions for leaf shredders? Harbor Freight has a few around
$100 that get lousy reviews and one around $400 that gets much better reviews but it seems it really is more geared toward branches.....a chipper/shredder. My application would be leaves with the hope that a few small twigs that got in the pile by accident wouldn't mess up the job.
Any suggestions? Seems like there should b something in the middle......
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:43 PM   #2
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Rake 'em up in two rows just far enough apart to run the mower between them. A few passes with the lawn mower, working from between the piles out, and the leaves are chopped fine and will fertilize your lawn as they decompose. Easy, fast and no extra equipment to buy. I keep the chute open so the chopped leaves get discharged some distance. Just keep working your way out.

I did that this year with the idea of just compacting the pile a bit before I threw it all in the garden to compost it - but in no time there was nothing left to rake up.

-ERD50
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:52 PM   #3
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I use my lawn tractor to play "leaf roundup" - I mow in a wide circle first, then tighter circles with the chute facing inward to collect the leaves in a medium size pile. Then I mow over the pile in several straight lines, and turn the mower around so the chute faces outward. I mow first in a tight circle, widening the radius as I go. The leaves get chopped up small pieces, over and over again.
I do 1/4 sections of the lawn, not the whole lawn area at once.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:03 PM   #4
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Rake 'em up in two rows just far enough apart to run the mower between them. A few passes with the lawn mower, working from between the piles out, and the leaves are chopped fine and will fertilize your lawn as they decompose. Easy, fast and no extra equipment to buy. I keep the chute open so the chopped leaves get discharged some distance. Just keep working your way out.

I did that this year with the idea of just compacting the pile a bit before I threw it all in the garden to compost it - but in no time there was nothing left to rake up.

-ERD50
Just finished using the above method on a massive amount of leaves.
Works best and quickest if you have a partner continuosly rake the leaves into nice piles for the mower.
We filled two large compost bins and still had lots to spread on the grass.
I wouldn't waste money on a shedder unless you plan to do lots of twig work also. We burn our twigs in the fire pit. Fine excuse for smores.....and beer.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:43 PM   #5
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I mow the leaves, too. After a pass or two I collect them in the grass-clipping catcher on the mower and add them to the compost-to be pile. They'll patiently wait there all winter. I'll mix them with grass clippings in the spring and the stage is set for nice compost soon thereafter.

I did buy one of those Harbor Freight leaf shredders, it is not very useful. Jams frequently, has a low feed rate and it's awkward to gather the leaves, lift them up to the feed area, and slowly feed them in. The mower handles 'em right on the ground and a lot faster.

A tip on using the mower for leaf shredding: If the pile is too high the mower deck just pushes many of the leaves out of the way. I set the front wheels to max height and leave the rear wheels at the regular setting. Having the front up high helps the mower gobble up the leaves, having the rear set low reduces the airflow through the deck so the leaves spend a bit more time getting chewed up before exiting.

Or, just pop a wheelie and gobble them up "hungry hippos" style, but don't let the domestic safety monitor catch you.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:49 PM   #6
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I let Mother Nature shred my leaves. In other words, I don't rake.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:03 PM   #7
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Thanks all for the ideas. I'll remember that mower idea if I ever get one....
still on a human-powered reel mower. Do you use gas or electric?
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Old 12-05-2011, 06:10 AM   #8
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I picked up a nice gas chipper shredder on Craigslist. I realize that this is bigger that you need, but for the same price as a new device that barely works, you can get a bigger, more robust one, used. If you are patient, you can buy anything on CL.....legal or not.
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:16 AM   #9
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T
still on a human-powered reel mower. Do you use gas or electric?
I think I saw an electric mower one time in a display case. Of course, there aren't many reel mowers out there, either. You need to get out there and start generating noise and fumes like everyone else!
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:34 PM   #10
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Thanks all for the ideas. I'll remember that mower idea if I ever get one....
still on a human-powered reel mower. Do you use gas or electric?
I use gas, but recently I took on the same task with DD's electric mower.
I was shocked (not literally) by the power it had. Cut and shred every bit as good as my polluter, but fighting that cord was more than I could tolerate.. Never again.
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Old 12-05-2011, 03:51 PM   #11
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Thanks all for the ideas. I'll remember that mower idea if I ever get one....
still on a human-powered reel mower. Do you use gas or electric?
For the back lawn, I have one of these

TractorData.com John Deere STX46 tractor information

For the front lawn, I bought a Black & Decker key start, self propelled gasoline mower with interchangable parts to convert between mulching and/or bagger or standard open chute this year. Love it!
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