The Tazz brand draws upon decades of experience in the powered tools market and has delivered sterling service and quality products designed to help running a back yard.
It’s not exactly known for the vast array of different items, but for an exemplary line of chipper shredder machines specializing in reducing, recycling and reusing organic debris that piles up as the seasons change. These products are meant for everyone, from average homeowners with a backyard that needs cleaning, to small businesses that provide valuable service to the local community by way of cleaning public parks and/or private yards of organic debris such as fallen branches.
The Tazz brand, much like the similarly oriented Earthquake, is but a part of a larger family of brands gathered around Ardisam, a company operating from Northwest Wisconsin. Much like the folks in Wisconsin, the products coming from Ardisam are hardy and warm, shaped by the seasons and for the seasons (but usually winter), varying from yard work equipment and hunting apparel, to fishing gear and a line of practical pellet stoves.
The Ardisam family of brands is so varied that it should probably be better described as a clan, with various families of brands specialising in various areas. These areas include lawn and garden equipment (e. g. powered chore equipment by Earthquake, portable generators by Porta Source, portable water pumps by Storm Surge, string mowers by Fields Edge, UTV implements by Acreage, propane tillers by Breez, chicken pluckers by Yardbird, and last, but by no means least, chipper shredder machines by Tazz), hunting and fishing equipment (blinds by Barronett and outdoor gear and accessories by Yukon Tracks, i.e. ice fishing gear by Eskimo and electric ice augers by Ion, respectively), camping tents, portable gazebos and related accessories (by Gazelle), ATVs and various accessories (packable ramps by Rush, as well as loading ramps, utility trailers and various odds and ends by YuTrax), outdoor apparel for all the activities implied above (by Yukon Tracks), and a line of indoor products that fit almost the exact opposite activities – pellet stoves (by Castle).
Seeing the quality and functionality of products coming from Ardisam and affiliated brands, it seems difficult to argue their position that the company and the folks comprising it are uniquely qualified to deliver genuine quality service and innovation when it comes to outdoor living necessities. According to the company, this is a condition that is a direct consequence of their location in the heart of Midwest. Truly, when one considers the purposeful design of the products, their versatility and the fact there is a little something for every season, it’s hard to disagree.
Why Choose Tazz?
Unlike the Earthquake, which offers a variety of powered chore equipment, assorted accessories, and spare parts, the Tazz brand specializes in chipper shredder machines and excels at that. As a matter of fact, Tazz is the result of folks over at Earthquake wanting to make a specially-designed line of chipper shredders, giving the project full and undivided attention. As of August 2016, there are four products that bear the Tazz brand label – K52 Chipper Shredder With 196cc Kohler Engine, K42 Chipper Shredder With 205cc Briggs & Stratton Engine, K33 Chipper Shredder With 301cc Viper Engine and K32 Chipper Shredder With 212cc Viper Engine. There are certain differences among these models that recommend them for this or that type of user, but the most striking break is the engine each respective machine uses. Now, while Kohler and Briggs & Stratton are great engines in and of themselves, the Viper boasts a longer lifespan, more power per gallon, and it’s 50-state compliant (though that last point also applies to both Kohler and Briggs & Stratton).
That last part implies that the Viper engine has a very small carbon footprint, so there goes one thing that the detractors of gas-powered chipper shredder machines like to harp on. Another thing that’s also counted as a drawback is the noise level these engines produce, particularly in comparison to their electric counterparts.
This is understandable with high-power, industrial-grade engines, and machinery, but the Viper engines that go into the Tazz chipper shredder machines are not all that bad. Sure, they don’t purr, either but they are bearable when idle. We mentioned four chipper shredders that currently wear the Tazz label, but there is one special model that deserves more air-time, so to speak, the Tazz K32, so we’ll dedicate a bit more space to get to know this bad boy in some more details.
Tazz Chipper Shredders K32 Chipper Shredder with 212cc Viper Engine
This is not really a large machine, meaning it doesn’t have a high capacity for industrial usage. Rather, it’s more suitable for homeowner use, such clearing up the back yard of fallen branches and leaves, getting rid of the cornstalks, cucumber or tomato vines, palm fronds, or a bunch of brushes that your neighbor left unattended so you stepped in and “helped” him clear it away from your side of the fence. All jokes aside, though, the K32 does have a 212cc 4-cycle Viper engine powered by gasoline, which gives it about 8.8-foot pounds and a rotation speed of 3500rpm.
In plain English, this all comes to a little over 6 HP (horsepower), which gives it enough strength to tackle anything up to three inches in diameter. However, it does seem to work best with straight pieces of about one to two inches thick, dry as well as green; otherwise, the side chute meant for chipping might get clogged. It’s perfectly able to chew up a whole 15-feet buckthorn tree, trunk, limb, branch, twig, and leaf, provided you cut it up prior to manageable sections. If you’re going specifically for mulch as the end product, you should probably try willow, as that particular species is particularly well-suited for the purpose, and the K32 will be able to handle it beyond the shadow of a doubt.
The machine has a 20:1 shredding ratio, meaning whatever mountain of organic detritus you have facing you, by the time this bad boy finishes with it, it should look twenty times smaller. Watch out, though, for a mix of leaves and sticks, as it might cause a jam, so either feed it one or the other at a time. The output is very fine, suitable both for a nice, decorative patch of mulch or a compost heap. Like most similar machines, the K32 is solidly built, from the plastic wheels, all-metal body to the rugged chutes.
The top-mounted hopper has a pretty narrow throat, so you have to ration the brushes carefully. It does pretty good job on individual twigs and smaller branches. Alternatively, there’s an added feature in the form of a metal plate directly below the feed which slides in, allowing you to shut off the intake. The primary purpose of this plate set-up is to allow the machine to connect the optional vacuum kit so that you can suck in leaves and other organic debris without having to put them in the hopper. In other words, it’s pretty much like vacuuming the yard.
The installation is not difficult, especially if you have prior experience with these products, or any powered piece of equipment, for that matter. There’s minimal assembly, and the manual guide is pretty easy to follow. Starting the thing up is also pretty straightforward – just choke it and give it a steady, strong and fluid pull on the cord, and you should be good to go on the first try. Naturally, make sure you’re wearing your ear and eye protection, and always wear gloves. In case you get a jam, don’t try to finagle it and clear it while the machine is operating.
It’s much better to switch it off, wait a sec for it to come to a full stop, and only then get in there. A good trick you might like to try out is to let the machine run dry for a while after each use. Just cut the fuel line, and leave it on until it’s spent all of the gas already in there. This should prevent the carburetor from gumming up due to having fuel sitting in there.
As mentioned earlier, the K32 can make use of the optional vacuum kit, as well as the optional tow bar attachment, just to make your life and the job of moving it around easier. The machine itself is not that big (121 lbs.), it’s very well-balanced, and has functional hard plastic wheels (though pneumatic would be better), so it moves fairly well without a lawn tractor.
But, why risk it? It does, however, come with a complementary collection bag with a Tazz trademarked Bottom-Out zipper, rugged fabric for ease of handling, and another patented Tazz feature – the Dock-and-Lock bag connector. Simply twist the bag into the place and it should leave you with a clean working area. On the other hand, you could leave the bag off, and let the discharge chute spew the mulch all over the lawn – cut out the middleman, so to speak.