- What is a chopper for?
- Garden shredder design
- Choosing the type and power of the drive
- Choosing a shredder according to the type of shredding system
- Pay attention to auxiliary systems
- How much does a garden shredder cost
In this article, we will outline the principle of operation and the scope of application of garden shredders. We will also consider the main criteria for choosing suitable models, based on their design features and technical characteristics. We will definitely talk about prices.
Taking care of our personal plot, we regularly receive a fairly large amount of organic waste. Mown grass, cut branches, fallen leaves – it was customary for us to burn all this for a long time or, at best, take it somewhere. However, abroad, special devices have long been used that allow you to recycle garden waste and use it with benefit. Now we have such a tool..
What is a chopper for?
The garden shredder is also called a “crusher”, “shredder” or “chipper” (from the English word “chip”). The main task of these machines is to efficiently process plant fibers. There are several directions. Firstly, this is a reduction of waste in volume, so that it is more convenient to take it out and dispose of it. Secondly, with the help of a garden shredder, it is possible to obtain mulch, which can play an important role in the economy (prevents weeds from growing, retains moisture in the soil, protects the root system from too high and low temperatures …). Third, small soft fractions are free, absolutely safe fertilizers. Fourth, wood chips from branches and twigs are great for filling holes in the area, they look good as dumping paths and various elements of landscape design. The shredder can process grass, large stems, tops, twigs and branches, bark, cones and acorns, roots, leaves, fallen fruits, as well as various cleaning and paper.
Garden shredder design
Shredders are usually arranged vertically. A working chopping unit with knives / cutters / shaft, covered with a plastic cover, rises on a metal frame. A container for collecting material is located under it or on the side, or there is space for installing a bag or bucket. The larger the collection container, the better. A good volume is considered to be 50 liters or more. If the model is not equipped with a container, then the working block of the shredder is sometimes movable and installed at the required height.
Above the working part there is a throat for feeding waste, or a hopper. The inlet opening can be completed with a funnel; to facilitate the work, the unit is usually completed with a pusher.
For the convenience of moving around the site, the product is equipped with a pair of wheels, which are unlocked when the tool is tilted in the direction of travel (as in cargo carts). There are, of course, large specimens that are towed by tractors, and even self-propelled units, but we will talk about compact models intended for private use..
Choosing the type and power of the drive
Fundamentally, two options are distinguished – these are shredders with an electric motor and devices driven by gasoline two-stroke or four-stroke engines. The advantage of the internal combustion engine as a power drive lies in the complete autonomy of the installation – you do not need to have an outlet nearby, it doesn’t matter if the parameters of the general electrical network do not correspond to the norm (which we often have outside the city). It should also be noted that gasoline shredders have a significantly higher power – up to 10 kW, so they cope with larger branches (up to 10 cm in diameter), as well as viscous masses / fibers.
VIKING GB 460 C
The good thing about the electric shredder is its environmental friendliness and convenience. No problem with exhaust gases; Neither neighbors nor the user himself is disturbed by the noise. In addition, the device is always ready for operation, there is no need to prepare the fuel mixture and carry out preventive maintenance. Motors here are used different in their thrust. There are specimens that work only with soft fibers, but there are also omnivorous devices capable of crushing even 50mm branches. The middle peasants grind branches with a diameter of 3.5-4 centimeters.
In general, the indicator of the thickness of the processed wood (maximum throughput) is one of the main, almost all manufacturers indicate it in their passports. But when choosing, it is necessary to take into account the properties of the processed material. For example, dry branches will be harder than just cut branches. And the stems and grass, on the contrary – the fresh mass can clog the channels and stop the rig (the biomass must first be allowed to dry a little). Therefore, for the correct operation of universal shredders, it is recommended to alternate waste of different types.
The European approach to classification looks quite logical, when the correct ratio of the power characteristics of the grinder to the “age” of the site is derived. That is, in a young garden, the waste is soft and thin, it is grass, flowers, branches of seedlings. A lightweight shredder with a knife cutting system is suitable here. The middle-aged plot turns out to be mixed, there are already hard and thorny bushes, flowers such as roses, small trees. An old garden becomes a source of durable and voluminous waste: large branches, cones, hedge trimmings, a large amount of foliage – accordingly, a powerful and efficient shredder will be required.
Another visual indicator that illustrates the capabilities of a shredder is productivity. This refers to the mass of the processed material per unit of time. For example, Bosch offers three models: 80, 175 and 230 kilograms per hour.
Bosch AXT 25 D
If you want to compare the power in numbers, then take into account the rotation speed of the equipment, the power consumption and always the torque.
Choosing a shredder according to the type of shredding system
Many indicators depend on which cutting system is used by the developers of a particular grinder. The most important are: quality, fractionality, time for processing a batch of waste. Moreover, different types of equipment work unequally with certain raw materials..
The knife system is the most common. Flat cutting elements are mounted on a circular disc or on a drum, usually several of them. The knives are located at an angle to the processed plant fibers and perform a “shredding” and “scraping” action. This is a versatile system, but it works best for chopping grass and soft branches..
Apparatus with toothed cutters are well suited for medium-sized branches. Paired with the knives, a screw mechanism can function, which starts / directs the material into the working area.
The cutting shaft of powerful shredders efficiently grinds solid wood and simultaneously pulls the material to the teeth, so after loading and gripping such a shredder works independently for a while.
Knifeless systems (shafts / cutters / gears) are preferable if the waste will be dominated by wood, as soft fibers can interfere with the operation of such equipment. Some garden shredders have combined cutting systems, and they have several types of edging, some for hard and others for flexible waste. Changing the type of cut is often realized by choosing the direction of rotation of the shaft and tooling. Sometimes for loading different types of waste on the universal shredder there are separate feed holes.
Pay attention to auxiliary systems
As we have noticed, having a reverse can mean the versatility of the shredder, but this feature will also allow the rig to be unlocked if it has been clamped..
Undoubtedly, shredders are more practical, in which you can change the shaft speed. So you can get biomass of a given fraction, as well as adjust the machine to the density of a specific material.
A very useful design is that the plant waste in the shredder is pretreated. It uses multi-stage cutting devices.
Material suction and feeding systems allow the user to prepare and collect waste while the machine is processing already captured material.
Bosch AXT Rapid 2200
For this kind of machines, protection systems against overloads, overheating and jamming will not be superfluous. Powerful units are equipped with a soft start system. Pay attention to the presence of safety interlocks, for example, in case of missing / overfilled container, or protection against repeated and accidental start-up.
How much does a garden shredder cost
The cost of electric shredders is primarily determined by their performance (conventionally, these are power consumption and size / weight). According to this criterion, three price categories can be distinguished. Relatively large machines of 2.5-3 kW, weighing about 30 kilograms, cost about 13-20 thousand rubles. These are such shredders as: Makita UD 2500, AL-KO LH 2800 Easy Crush, Bosch AXT 25 D. Models with a capacity of 2–2.5 kW and weighing about twenty kilograms can be considered the middle class (Stiga BIO Power, Gruntek EH 20X), their price is about 9-13 thousand rubles. Light models for infrequent work in a young garden will cost 6-9 thousand. These are machines of the type: MTD 118E, RYOBI RSH2400R, Bosch AXT Rapid 2000, the weight of which is about 12-14 kilograms. For comparison, gasoline shredders from European manufacturers start at 40,000 rubles..