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Should I buy a shredder?

(17 Posts)
GoodyGoodyGumdrops Wed 31-May-17 16:38:43

Having happily spent several, smokey hours in the rain yesterday, incinerating 6 months-worth of pruning, I am now surfing reviews of shredders and am contemplating spending £180 on a Bosch AXT 2200.

My garden is about 10m x 10m, mostly shrubs around a lawn. Trees lean over from next door. I do a good line in brambles and ivy, too.

I incinerate because I'm not convinced that driving my diesel car to the tip several times a year is necessarily any more eco-friendly than incinerating once or twice a year. But this year my pile somehow got sodden in the middle, and I found myself trying to burn semi-composted stuff. Which obviously was not successful and was particularly smokey.

The council want me to pay £85 per year for them to take my green waste away, and the charge keeps going up every couple of years.

A shredder's beginning to look like a good investment.

Any shredding gardeners around? What do you think?

Ferguson2 Wed 31-May-17 20:33:14

Gosh! Our council green waste is only £35 a year, collected fortnightly.

We used a shredder for many years; gets rid of stuff, helps make good compost that can heat up quickly, or shreddings to use as a mulch, so several advantages.

They are noisy, so use ear-defenders, goggles, and gloves.

That Bosch looks OK. You can get quieter ones, that work in a different way, that crush material slowly, rather than slashing it violently and noisily. And 40mm thick is good, and better than some I think.

Also best to have a RCD safety cut-out on the mains socket, and any extension cable would have to be extra heavy-duty.

Blazedandconfused Wed 31-May-17 20:36:58

Bet you're neighbours love you. Nothing better than a neighbour burning smoky wet garden waste on a warm day. Or a cold day. Or any fucking day I might want to open a window.

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Wed 31-May-17 20:55:46

Lovely, Blazed, have a biscuit

The reason I chose to burn yesterday was that it was an overcast, drizzly day - when neighbours were highly unlikely to be hanging out washing or chilling in their gardens.

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Wed 31-May-17 21:02:57

Does it matter much whether they're noisy, Ferguson? If I had one, I imagine I'd use it for infrequent short periods, rather than save up loads of prunings for a big shredding session. Or are they that noisy that the neighbours would hate me?

From reading about shredders, I got the impression that if you want to shred both soft green and hard woody stuff, you needed either a noisy shredder or a very big, expensive one.

Victrix Wed 31-May-17 21:06:07

We got one and it's great, noise level is about the same as a lawnmower.

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Wed 31-May-17 21:24:30

What shredder have you got, Victrix?

Snowinsummer Wed 31-May-17 21:38:48

We hired a Bosch one yesterday AXT 25 TC from HSS. Higher spec could go up to 45mm. Definitely wouldn't buy one as they are huge! Also they are likely to go wrong. Hire cost inc damage waiver £34. It would take over 10 hires to pay for itself. Probably wouldn't bother again as it wasn't v easy. The green stuff kept getting clogged & many branches were too thick. Will probably just go to recycling centre in future. It was quiet though & shouldn't annoy your neighbours

arbrighton Thu 01-Jun-17 11:20:08

We have a Macallister one as we have a much bigger garden with plenty of shrubs and a small orchard.

Hack the stuff down, feed it through, chip into bags and take to the tip. We don't bother with the box that fits under and comes with it. Use blue ikea bags as they have strength/ handles (and use them to death for all garden waste)

Sadly it can't do the hawthorn hedge clippings which are the bane of my life.

You do have to stay with it, get proper circuit breaker and be prepared to unjam it. And it's noisy. HOwever we have no neighbours so just annoy each other with it.

Has been loaned out to DH colleagues at times too so has been well worth it.

arbrighton Thu 01-Jun-17 11:21:52

(and as yet, our council haven't added a fee for green waste collection but £85 seems very steep)

However, I probably would pay it as the tip trips would greatly increase if I didn't use my green bin, and they're now closed two days a week, on the days which are most convenient for me

SpareBedroom Thu 01-Jun-17 17:40:38

We have that Bosch one OP. Very happy with it.

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Thu 01-Jun-17 17:46:56

What's it like to use, Spare? What sort of things do you shred in it? What's the noise level like?

(Thanks wink)

AlternativeTentacle Thu 01-Jun-17 17:51:22

put your thicker wood on freecycle and someone will come and take it for firewood.

the thinner stuff you can just leave on the surface of the soil, i cut it into foot long lengths, and it rots down in good time. i have got a shredder but prefer chopping and dropping to getting it out of the store, and all my larger stuff is saved for the woodburner.

SpareBedroom Thu 01-Jun-17 18:01:51

It's easy to use. I got mine second hand from Gumtree at a lot less than the Amazon price. The blade needs replacing eventually - you can get them for £25 from Amazon - but the blade itself has two edges so you can turn it to get double wear out of it. Easy to take apart to unblock or change the blade - might be stiff the first time but OK after that. It's fairly simple mechanically so not a lot to go wrong with it. I put stuff up to about an inch in diameter through it - anything thicker gets put on a pile to rot down slowly.

It makes lovely compost and I use it either to mulch the flowerbeds or mix with proprietary multipurpose compost to eke it out for pots.

SpareBedroom Thu 01-Jun-17 18:02:58

Noise level - similar to a lawnmower.

GoodyGoodyGumdrops Thu 01-Jun-17 18:42:59

Thanks, Spare. Sounds good!

Chop-and-drop doesn't work for me, Alternative. It should, because I'm a very lazy gardener. But that means that instead of little-and-often, I suddenly decide to blitz the garden and end up with masses of prunings at a time.

Ferguson2 Thu 01-Jun-17 19:50:51

OP - any woody twigs can go in, and some leaves and green-stuff. Long leaves, like old daffodil or gladioli can sometimes get wrapped round the blade, but easy enough to clear.

You soon get used to how much to put through, without overloading. As someone else said, not much noisier than a mower, it just seems worse because you are closer to it the whole time. Collect a pile ready for shredding, then feed it through a few handfuls at a time. Best if green stuff not too wet, but some moisture is OK as speeds up composting.

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