How to use it and how to choose it

Have you pruned your fruit plants, the rosebushes that your wife loves so much, or have you recovered part of the forest? After doing the work, you find yourself surrounded by piles of branches and brambles that you need to get rid of. Loading it all up and taking it to the landfill for disposal would be time consuming and exhausting, especially when the pile of branches requires multiple trips. What can be useful to you, even more than a garbage truck, is the wood chipper.

The garden shredder is a machine capable of shredding leaves, brambles and branches, reducing the footprint many times over, turning a bulky and unsightly pile into the perfect material for composting or mulching. It can handle branches up to 10 centimeters in diameter, depending on the available power of the machine.

Choosing to biomole the branches is also ecological: it transforms waste into a usable resource for cultivation and avoids having to move unnecessary means of disposal. In short, the choice is to convert what has been taken from the earth instead of having to take it to a landfill.

In this article, we will see together how a garden shredder works, how to use it safely and, of course, how to choose one that suits our needs.

Contents [Ocultar]

  • What is a wood chipper

  • Differences between chipper and wood crusher

  • How does the grinder work?

    • electric grinders

    • gasoline grinders

  • Use and precautions to follow

    • Precautions for use

    • Security checks

  • How to choose the right wood chipper

What is a bio-grinder

A garden shredder is a machine that can shred leaves, branches and brambles. The plant material introduced into the tool is cut into useful fragments for composting or mulching.

Garden shredders are produced in different variants, they can be driven by an electric motor, a combustion engine or even connected via the PTO to a tiller or tractor. Depending on the engine power and the shape of the blades, branches of different sizes can be shredded.

Differences between chipper and wood crusher

Although they look alike, don’t be fooled by grinders and grinders (or grinders): they are machines designed for similar but different purposes.

In fact, wood chippers are designed to reduce large branches and logs into large fragments. Woodchips are coarser in size than bio-shredded material and are used primarily as fuel for biomass systems, only to a small extent as mulch. Of course, a significant percentage also goes to landfills specializing in composting: this is mainly the product of pruning in large cities and the work of gardeners.

How the grinder works

Wood chippers use different operating principles depending on their size, in order to maximize efficiency depending on the type of work to be done.

electric grinders

The models small Garden shredders are electric, generally have modest powers, rarely exceeding 2000 watts, and use two different cutting mechanisms. The most compact and less powerful ones usually use a blade or roller cutting system that guarantees shredding, slowly dragging the greens, avoiding clogging. These small electric garden shredders are mainly used for trimming very fine branches, flowers and hedges. They are relatively quiet and have a vertical structure, with the loading hopper facing skyward and the unloading downwards.

The most powerful electric models (2000 – 2500 watts) typically use a knife cutting mechanism positioned perpendicular to the material path and are very noisy. In this case we have greater dimensions and weights since the machine is developed horizontally, with a wider and longer hopper, a box inside which we find a rotor with blades, the motor in front of the box and an unloading arm that starts from the box and develops laterally and/or in height.

bio grinders

Gas-powered shredder models are similar to high-powered electric shredders, but have the option of higher performance, even reaching 13 to 15 HP.

From these powers, we usually speak of machines with wheels to facilitate transport and different cutting systems are adopted, such as hydraulically driven rollers, and various methods of feeding the material into the hopper, facilitating loading.

Use and precautions to follow

Whether the shredder is large or small, the mode of use and the rules to be respected are always the same and the use of protection is essential. In any case, the same rule always applies: read the instructions for use. This little booklet, often left in a drawer, contains all the useful information for working in complete safety, with good performance and prolonging the life of the machine.

Precautions for use

Whether you’re using a small home model or a professional model, there are a few simple rules of caution to follow.

  • Wear safety glasses: when the hopper is fed with branches, these can move or vibrate on contact with the cutting device, risking hitting the operator’s face. It can also happen that when the hopper is almost empty, some pieces of wood bounce back.
  • Use headphones or earplugs. Although the smaller models may only seem boring, prolonged exposure to loud enough noise can cause damage. With the larger models, however, even the most PPE-averse can only ask for headphones: it feels like being in a Messerschmit.
  • Wear sturdy gloves. Gloves allow you to handle the material to be fed into the hopper safely, without fear of thorns or splinters, and also help reduce the vibrations that a branch protruding from the hopper could transmit to you.
  • He wears tight clothes. Especially when using larger models, where the hopper is very large and the material can be loaded with two hands, it is good that sweaters and jackets do not get tangled in the branches.

  • Evaluate the use of a dust mask especially if you are cutting dry woody material, there can be a lot of dust at the discharge outlet.
  • NEVER reach into the hopper . This is how the worst accidents happen with these types of machines. If you need to make cylinder feeding as easy as possible, you can use a longer, stronger stick to push or move.
  • Feed the hopper with reason . Do not rush things: you only risk blocking the machine or clogging the hopper. In these cases, use the aforementioned stick and/or switch off the machine before handling the already loaded material.

Security checks

Before each use, two simple and fundamental checks must be carried out, namely:

  • Stop . On equipped models, check that the emergency stop works.
  • knife attachment . On rotor and blade models, check that they are secure and that there are no cracks or damage by looking, possibly with a torch, at the rotor through the opening of the hopper.
  • Other controls. According to what is prescribed in the instruction manual, regular checks must be carried out by inspecting the inside of the box.

During use, in addition to the points mentioned in the previous paragraph, you must pay attention to what I insert into the shredder: a branch that is too big, a stone or a tool left in the pile of waste to be shredded could damage the machine or even injure him if he charges into the hopper.

How to choose the right wood chipper

As every time you try to choose an instrument, tool or device you find yourself browsing through a thousand specifications, settings, brands and reviews, we have tried to give you some tips on how to choose the right wood chipper for your needs.

In the case of wood chippers, you can start by assessing the type of work and frequency with which it will be done.

If you have a garden, you have noise-sensitive neighbors and you want to make the most of the waste from trimming hedges, ornamental plants or fruit trees, then you can consider buying an electric car.

In almost all cases, it is better avoid the basics – The stress on the mechanical parts when crushing the branches is not small, and with a heavy hand or insert material out of reach, there is a risk of premature wear of our new tool, so it is better to have some leeway. An interesting alternative is the STIHL machines which, with their special blade cutting system, guarantee good performance with woody and non-woody materials, and the brand name is a guarantee.

If, on the other hand, noise is not a problem but you still have the option of using electricity, then you can also buy a powerful electric model. with a rotor and blade system : It will be much noisier but also more robust and will allow you to use it more often as well as more intensively.

If your intentions are “warlike” and you often think of cutting branches with an average diameter greater than 5 cm, then you only have to recommend a good heat engine from your distributor who guarantees the result you are looking for.

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