Howdy folks! My name is William Hunt, and I’m one of those guys who’ve been doing yard work pretty much through their entire lives. Ever since as a little kid, I helped my folks to rake the yard, mow the lawn, clean the gutter, and all the usual jive. I hated it back then, but I love it today! Funny how things change, right?
As you probably already know, that feeling of watching a perfectly trimmed lawn and pruned bushes following a day of hard work is nothing short of utterly gratifying. But over the years, I also came to realizations that a day of work doesn’t really have to be that hard at all. It doesn’t even have to be expensive, it just comes down to knowing which tools to arm your arsenal with.
Basically, one needs to find a balance between quality and price. Seeing as these days you can’t just burn the waste or throw it out into a landfill (in fact, most communities outright made this illegal), making proper investments in machines to help you during the process is crucial.
As a kid, I was always tasked with raking the yard and stuffing the leaves and other smaller debris into bags, which we would then take outside with the rest of the trash. Later, as I grew up, I was given the task of mowing the lawn, trimming the hedge, and helping my father prune the trees and shrubbery. From today’s perspective, it seems idyllic and warm, but I’m not so sure it felt that way at the time. Perhaps not surprising, I did enjoy watching the results of our labor, and have tried to replicate the feeling with my own kids.
Like most people, I’ve been putting more than a day’s work at my job, but I’ve always found the time to tend to my yard. With the help of my wife, and later our kids, I’ve grown everything from flowers to ornamental shrubbery, and from organic vegetables to fruit-bearing trees. Naturally, this was far from easy, but the feeling of gratification when watching the ship-shape yard and neatly organized flower beds was more than enough for the family.
Things got even better when I made one of the best decisions in my life and bought my first chipper-shredder machine some three decades ago. To be honest, I can’t really remember the exact model, but it was a gas-powered chipper / shredder combo. It did make a fair bit of noise, as I recall, but it was nothing a pair of ear mufflers couldn’t take care of.
Since then, I’ve done tons of research and acquired about a dozen of chippers, shredders, and combo variants. I have also helped more than a dozen friends and neighbors get their own chippers shredders and other garden equipment, seeing as I’m not really into lending and borrowing, you know.
These days, I’m using an electric model for shredding and mulching smaller stuff, like leaves and smaller twigs, and it’s mostly around the house. I’m also operating a bigger, gas-powered one, which I use for larger stuff, usually up to two, two and a half inches, just to be on the safe side. I’m still growing lots of flowers, using coin-sized chips from the machine for mulch.
My wife tends to the veggies, almost solely, so any experience I have with chipping and shredding corn stalks or tomato and cucumber vines is mostly second-hand. We have two compost heaps, one for the materials from the shredders, other for wet and squishy things that are best left without. I did give up on fruit-bearing trees (we used to have five apple and two pear trees) because we couldn’t handle the amount of yield, and it ended up cluttering the yard.
Seeing I spent an inordinate time (if people around me are to be trusted) researching and trying out various garden tools, appliances, and machines, I decided to take up to the Internet and pass on the knowledge, so to speak. I’m in my early fifties, and still consider myself to be quite fit, so everything I say regarding the weight and portability of the things that are reviewed is to be taken with that in mind.