As autumn approaches and gardens come to an end and leaves start to fall from the trees that provided you with many nuts and fruits just weeks earlier, you may turn your thinking toward another way the dying plants and fading leaves can provide for your homestead and that is in the form of mulch and compost.
An Electric Leaf Shredder can make yard and garden clean up much easier and speed up the breakdown process of all the organic material for use on the homestead. By dropping leaves and plants through the shredder you can make an ideal soil amendment for your garden.
What do you want to look for in an electric leaf shredder?
- A Large Hopper – You want a leaf shredder that will hold a lot of leaves to make the job go quicker and easier. It needs to be wide enough and deep enough for you to scoop up a large amount of leaves and drop them in without a bunch falling over the sides.
- Plenty of Power – If it’s going to handle a lot of leaves all at once it needs to be able to shred them without getting bogged down. A shredder with too little power can cause a lot of stress on the motor when a thick pile is dropped into it an inevitably shortening the life of the motor.
- A Safe Shredder – Many leaf shredders (including the one I recommend) don’t use sharp blades to shred the leaves but instead use a flexible trimmer line spinning at high speeds which provides for a much safer working environment. Of course safety glasses and gloves should be worn at all times when you are operating a leaf shredder.
- A Good Value – An affordable piece of equipment that is well built for the money is important. This is always a delicate balance as you don’t want a cheap built unit at a cheap price but instead you want to spend the amount of money that will provide you with a quality piece of equipment.
So Which Electric Leaf Shredder Do I Recommend?
Before I tell you about this particular leaf shredder let me me first say that you shouldn’t expect perfectly flawless operation from any electric leaf shredder. None of them mulch with the efficiency of a gas engine shredder, all of them can be overloaded and bogged down, none of the ones made for leaves only can handle chopping up twigs and sticks easily or without quickly eating up the filament string they use to chop. I say all that to say this, electric leaf shredders have many benefits which I will discuss but keep your expectations lower than that of a gas engine model.
Features of the The Worx 13 Amp Electric Leaf Mulcher:
- 13 Amp motor
- 8,500 RPM
- Tool-free assembly
- 53 gallons of leaves per minute
- 20 lbs. compact design
- 13” cutting diameter
- 11:1 reduction of yard waste
The 13 amp motor is enough to do the job while using a flex-a-line bladeless system thick trimmer line to achieve an 11:1 mulching ratio.
The compact design of this unit makes it easy to use and store and it’s easily assembled without any additional tools.
One of the best features about this leaf shredder is the universal bag holder that accepts both paper and plastic bags to catch the shredded leaves in.
Why Choose An Electric Leaf Shredder Over A Gas Engine Model?
There is no doubt that a gas engine model is better at the job in every way and if you have acres of leaves to shred it will be the way to go. There are a few good reasons you might want to go with an electric leaf shredder though.
- The Price – Electric leaf shredders are much more affordable than a gas engine model, by several hundreds of dollars in fact. This makes it a better option for homesteaders on a tight budget with a reasonably small amount of leaves to chop up.
- Storage – Electric leaf shredders are much smaller and lighter than there gas engine big brothers. This makes them a better option for folks limited on space for storing equipment.
- Much Quieter – Gas engines are loud and while these electric ones aren’t whisper quiet, they are much less noisy than gas engines.
- Safer – Because most electric models use a filament line similar to what is used in a weed trimmer instead of sharp blades they are much safer to operate and thereby reducing the chances of serious injury.
- Less Maintenance – No tune-ups or oil changes required for electric units. I know I don’t need more to do.
- More Environmentally Friendly – Gas engines put off toxic fumes but not the case with electric models making them a better option for person bent toward reducing their environmental footprint.
These are just my opinions but in the end you need to purchase the right piece of equipment that fits your needs and your homestead. If you have a larger property that requires a lot of clean up, than a gas engine leaf shredder might be right for you. If a different model electric leaf shredder has functions that you desire, that might be the right choice for you.
There are things I like and don’t like about nearly every piece of equipment I purchase and it’s always a delicate balance between finding something of a decent quality that will do the job and spending the amount of money that fits my budget.
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