cost savings in the long run

badtoad(z9 Calif)May 10, 2006

I am seriously considering buying a chipper/mulcher. I have lots of bushes that I am getting rid of and every fall I am overwhelmed by many many leaves. The one I want is around $500. I think that I could ultimately save by not needing to have compost delivered. I need lots of compost for my new garden, the soil here is hard clay. Also I could save by not needing to rent one (at $150 a day) for my current clearing project.

If you have one - has it ultimately been a money saver for you?

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RuthieG__TX(z8 TX)

We have a troy built and my husband chips everything for me...I haven't used it alone but I am sure I could...I love the mulch...

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 1:02PM
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alison(6b/OH)

Can you share it? Years ago, my parents went in with two or three other neighbors on the cost of a really good chipper, and they all used it in turn. Nice way to get a good chipper for cheap, and also make more of a bond with your neighbors.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 7:36PM
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seamommy(7bTX)

I have been wanting a chipper/shredder for years. The smaller size probably wouldn't be able to handle all the stuff I have, but it would make me feel better to chip and use some of it as mulch than it does to burn it all, which is what we do now. They are expensive and noisy though and that's the main reason I haven't gotten one before.
Cheryl

    Bookmark   May 11, 2006 at 11:51PM
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badtoad(z9 Calif)

I thought over my options and I wound up getting a small electric chipper today. It was on sale at Harbor Freight for $99. It's slow, but doing a surprisingly good job. I have 1/3 of a suburban acre with lots of overgrown bushes and small trash trees to get rid of and a constant problem with too much green waste. In a few hours I have gotten rid of 1/2 of the giant pile that was in the middle of my back yard. I now think a bigger machine would have been overkill and the price was right.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2006 at 12:25AM
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rain1950(W. WA z8)

Badtoad; I have one also; Had a big windstorm in Feb and tons of fir branches came down from the neighbors lot. It's not the fastest, but still gives a good size for mulching. For smaller branches like from pruning, it goes quick. I have an area on the side where I jut bury larger stuff. Takes about two years to break down.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2006 at 1:47PM
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roseyp8255(z8 - SC AL)

What is the largest size that this small one from Harbor Freight will chip? What size motor, etc.? Details please - i may have to get me one like that! Particularly if i could find one for that amount....i have been wanting one for ages. I have never bought anything from Harbor Freight - are their products good?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2006 at 8:29PM
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badtoad(z9 Calif)

It will work on branches up to 1 1/4". I have gone up to that size without any significant problems. It is a 2.5 hp. I have been using it for a few days now and I am mostly happy with it.

The downside is that it does stall from time to time. Pretty easy to fix, but annoying. I wouldn't recommend it for leaves, the hopper just isn't right for that usage. Also, I have already dulled the blades and I don't have the hand strength to turn them over to the sharp side. I am going to have to bug a neighbor to help with that. (My DH is disabled and unable to help.)

In general Harbor Freight tools aren't the highest quality, but I wasn't making a lifetime purchase. I just needed something for the project at hand and would hopefully last a few years. Overall it is working well for what I need it to do and I would buy it again.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 3:31PM
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eureka(SS11 LasVegas/Henderson)

I also keep looking through the local newspaper ads for garden machinery. Especially now with so many people getting ready to move, there is a lot of stuff for sale. Also exercise equipment goes really cheap and it's usually virtually new.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 11:17PM
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granite(z6 NC)

For leaves I prefer mowing them to chop them up.
I do the same with weeds from the garden...throw them out to the grass nearby and let my husband mow them up.
I got very annoyed with chipper/shredders bogging down with leaves and jamming with even small branches. I did rent a commercial grade chipper/shredder twice to take care of a TREMENDOUS pile of branches, but its a real balancing act to decide when you have enough rough stuff to chew up to cover the cost of the chipper. Last time I'd just had mulch delivered for $250. The pile of stuff I chewed up after renting a chipper for $170 was about the same size pile, maybe a bit bigger. The pile of branches it took to MAKE that much mulch was approx 12' wide x 8' tall x 50' long.

Now my hubby cuts the larger branches for firewood (cherry, apple, pear, and chestnut wood). I pile the smaller branches under our line of pines and in the spring I have a bonfire in the cleared veggie garden before tilling and planting.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 10:18AM
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