How do you like your Leaf Mulcher/Shredder?

love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)July 21, 2013

Does anyone have any experience with electric leaf mulchers/shredders? I have a ton of magnolia leaves year-round and they are difficult to use as mulch because they are big, they blow around, and they are slow to break down. They are easy enough to rake up, but I never know exactly where to go with them after I have them raked up. I want to start shredding them .

I tried putting the leaves in a large plastic trashcan and using my weed wacker (string trimmer) but it did not work well at all. It blows the leaves all over the place and is pretty inefficient. Half of the leaves never get shredded. I've also done the old trick of running the mulching lawn mower over a raked up pile. That makes another mess. I want a shredder.

I don't want to invest in a gas-powered chipper/mulcher/shredder. They cost more than I want to spend. I am only looking to shred the magnolia leaves - no wood, branches, sticks, twigs, etc., - so I'm hoping an electric one will serve the purpose. I have seen them made by Worx, Flowtron, Harbor Freight, etc.

Anyone have one? What brand? Why do you love it or hate it? I would really appreciate any advice!

Thanks so much,
Carol in Jacksonville

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HD sells a very good Toro with metal blades. Even though it's only marigolds, get the one with the metal blades. $79.00 bucks or so......hope this helps......m

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 3:03PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

Walli, that is huge help. Thank you! Since posting the above, I have been researching and reading lots of reviews on Amazon. It quickly became apparent that models that use plastic string are no good. There is review after review from users saying they had to constantly replace/reload the string after only a couple handful of leaves. Many said they spent more time replacing the string than shredding leaves! One person even tried heavier gauge plastic string, and after that, metal wire, with no better results. So your recommendation of one with metal blades - and telling me where I can get it - is reading my mind!

Haha... marigolds... I have magnolia leaves. They are like banana peels ... all over the place ... and bit firmer/tougher than oak leaves or marigolds... so yeah, a metal blade is perfect.

Ok, I went to the Home Depot website. I could only find three Toro models. The all sell for $56-$57 (one is $1 more than the other two). I ran a comparison of all three but the cutting mechanism (a metal blade, plastic string or whatever) is not included in the Specifications, so I have no way of telling which one might be the one you recommend. The models that were shown are Toro electric #51574, #51602 and #51592. Are any of those the one you recommend? If not, would you please let me know the model number of the one you like?

Thanks so much! I greatly appreciate it!


    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 5:24PM
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love_the_yard(z9A Jax FL)

I found it! It is Model 51609 - Toro Ultra 235 mph Electric Ultra Leaf Blower/Vac, $74.99 - not listed on The Home Depot website as a shredder, so it didn't come up in the search... but it is a shredder! Under the description, "It is the only Toro electric blower vac to offer a rugged metal impeller..."

I have it linked on The Home Depot page below and here is the Toro website link:

There are no customer reviews of the product on THD or Toro websites. There are 447 reviews on Amazon and people seem to LOVE it! Yay!

I need to make sure that I can drop in the leaves or easily vaccum them up but I think I know what I am going to buy. Thanks again, Walli! :)


Here is a link that might be useful: Model 51609 - Toro Ultra 235 mph Electric Ultra Leaf Blower/Vac

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 6:00PM
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Try it out. HD will always take it back if it doesn't work for your application.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 6:10PM
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I agree about the metal blades. Small sticks are always there among the leaves. I bought one with plastic blades and returned it to Lowe's and paid $20 more for the metal blades. Works great.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 7:36PM
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At one time,we had a larger gas shredder and loved it, Not only did it provide mulch for flower beds but mulched leaves, etc broke down much more quickly in our large compost pile.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 8:31AM
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