For anyone who is interested in composting, one of the tools that helps a great deal in speeding up the process of making compost is a chipper shredder. And every fall the homeowner with a tree faces the job of getting rid of the leaves without filling the landfills. There are a number of different options for chipping your yard and garden waste. Without a doubt the large gas powered leaf blowers will do the fastest job and handle the largest branches. But the gas powered shredders are often out of the price range of the average home gardener. But the electric leaf blowers are priced much less, and can pretty much handle the yard waste for the average gardener. Here is a look at a couple of electric leaf blowers models, along with features you may want to make sure you have in the chipper you get for your yard.
The first thing to note about any electric yard tool is that they are going to be limited to about a 15 amp model. Most house electric circuits are rated at 15 amps, and even if there were more current available, an extension cord would not do a good job of delivering the current. Work through the math, and you will find your are limited to about a little over 2 horsepower engine for your chipper. Some manufacturers will find a way to call that 2.5 HP peak, but the reality is that’s all you’re going to get from running off a typical 120V outlet. McCulloch makes a unit that size.
Leaf blower features and buying guide
The best handheld electric leaf blowers of 2019 have long beaten their gasoline-fueled competitors with comparable power and less weight and noise. Some communities have noise restrictions so check quietness claims.
- Some blowers have flattened nozzles, while others have rounded ones. Choose a flatter tip for sweeping loose leaves, a rounder tip for loosening leaves that are embedded in the lawn. Some blowers come with both.
- Multiple speeds on an electric blower or a variable throttle on a gas-powered blower let you increase power for sweeping on hard surfaces or open ground and decrease it around fragile garden beds.
Translucent fuel tank
- A clear tank allows you to tell at a glance when fuel is running low. And a wide opening reduces the chances of a fuel spill.
Leaf blower Safety Tips
Most leaf blowers makes lot of noise and therefore it is necessary to protect yourself and others close by from its sound.that are relatively quiet at a distance can prove deafening up close. To protect yourself and to be kind to others:
- Wear any hearing protection devices, especially with gas powered lead blowers as they make lots of noise.
- Wear protective goggles and if possible also a dust mask.
- Keep children away from the yard you’re clearing.
- Do not use leaf blowers early in the morning or late in the evening.
Contrast that with the 4, 5 or even 10 HP engines on a large gas powered chipper shredder, and you see why there is a difference in capabilities. But, you get the advantage of no gas engine emissions, quick starting, no oil changes, and much less noise, and you almost never run out of electricity.
But a 2.5 HP engine can do a serious job of chipping. One feature that will vary by manufacturer is the size of branch that can be chipped. 1 1/2 inches is about the limit for an electric chipper, this of course will vary some based on the type of wood and how green it is. For the most part, you will likely be doing more shredding of refuse and leaves, so take a good look at the hopper. Safety is concern number 1, make sure that you won’t get your hands in too far. But after that, take a look at the hopper design to see if it will handle the size of branches and leaves you expect. A good feature to look for is a tamper that allows you to push debris in without endangering yourself.
Some shredders have a bag to capture the shredded mulch, others just dump it into a pile on the ground. The bag can be handy, but they will tear and wear out eventually, so buy a spare or two when you get the shredder.
You may need to sharpen or replace the blades after some use. Look for either a reversible set of blades or blades that are easy to access for replacement.
You likely won’t be storing the shredder near you normal work area, so take a look at the wheels and the base. Make sure the wheels are large enough to roll easily over the garden terrain.