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Chipper Shredder vs Chipper Vac - or will I need both?

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  • Chipper Shredder vs Chipper Vac - or will I need both?

    Well, time is moving on and I still don't have a way to shred leaves and clean up fallen branches.

    I'm looking at craigslist first, as I can't afford much more than $500-$600 at the moment. Initially, I was looking into a chipper/shredder and wanting something that chips a 3" branch, then I came across a chipper/vac that says it can do a 3.5" branch, so I started to wonder if that sort of gadget would make any sense to purchase.

    Here are two I was looking at yesterday:
    Chipper/vac
    http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/grd/1925482241.html

    Chipper/shredder
    http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/grd/1925716073.html


    If I can't find something used, I saw this one at Tractor Supply for $600.



    http://www.tractorsupply.com/outdoor...redder-2152405


    The other one I was considering was the MacKissic LSC800. (MSRP of $760 - not sure of retail price)



    http://www.mackissic.com/Leaf%20Shredder-Chippers.html



    Anyway, do you think one type (chipper/shredder OR chipper/VAC) would be better than the other?
    (IOW, which would be more useful?)

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Im in the same boat as you are

    Im raking and tarping them to my trailer..

    Found a lawn vac but would rather a pull behind unit.

    seems to me the pull behinds are expensive and you get what you pay for.

    i am interested as well in this topic.
    (352)682-3094 Suwannee River, Florida 32680

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    • #3
      As a homeowner of a large property I have had a number of chippers and shredders over the years, the units you posted will work fair/good on leaves but they do not have the power to chip much over 1 1/2" and do a good job.

      In the spring of 2009 I tried a new Bearcat 5540B which is a chipper/shredder and driven by the PTO on the tractors, even with a 24 h.p. diesel when you put wet leaves in the shredder or a 4" piece of hard/softwood it would really die down. I sold it and went with the tow units which are also diesel.

      For leaf collection I use the commercial Dr. Vac units, they do an excellent job at shredding, they have a small chipper for limbs but it's pretty useless.
      Andy
      Halifax, Nova Scotia

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      • #4
        As a homeowner of a large property I have had a number of chippers and shredders over the years, the units you posted will work fair/good on leaves but they do not have the power to chip much over 1 1/2" and do a good job.

        In the spring of 2009 I tried a new Bearcat 5540B which is a chipper/shredder and driven by the PTO on the tractors, even with a 24 h.p. diesel when you put wet leaves in the shredder or a 4" piece of hard/softwood it would really die down. I sold it and went with the tow units which are also diesel.

        For leaf collection I use the commercial Dr. Vac units, they do an excellent job at shredding, they have a small chipper for limbs but it's pretty useless.
        Points noted. Thank you.

        I'm guessing that leaves will be the main thing I'm looking to dispose of. I just figured it would be nice to be able to handle small amts of branches as well.

        I know someone with a Mighty Mac 12P...



        ... it shreds/chips about as fast as you can stuff things into it. The problem is that they are nearly $2,000.

        There's also the SC800 model...



        ... bigger than the one I noted in the earlier post. It's a hammermill design, yet smaller than the 12P above and has an MSRP of $1,200... a little closer to "affordable", but not quite. Although, I may consider it if I feel it's a worthwhile investment. Ugh - my head hurts.


        That brings me back to the dilemma of chipper/VAC vs chipper/SHREDDER.(in an affordable, non-commercial model)
        Since either of these types are somewhat affordable (models available for around $300-$600), which one would be the most useful?

        Rather than throwing my hands up in defeat and calling it quits, I simply have to realize that I must crawl before I can walk. I can't afford the equipment that will make me the good money, so I'll have to chug along with what I can afford until I can upgrade.

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        • #5
          I find with the hammer mills you can put a 1" branch in no problem, what I really like about hammers is you don't have to worry about sharpening, granted they get pretty loud when feeding small branches.

          If clean up is the goal, I would go with a vac rather than spend time making a pile then manually feeding a unit to shred the leaves.

          Now if you do, find a organic product very high in Nitrogen, sell it to the clients for the shredded leaves to brake them down fast over the winter.
          Andy
          Halifax, Nova Scotia

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          • #6
            A used Mighty Mac 12P for $500 popped up last night.

            (image from MacKissic website)


            I'm going to go look at it on Sunday and am hoping it works out.
            I'm thinking it's an older model, as it doesn't appear to have the "funnel" attachment on the chipper chute on the side of the unit. Just HOW old is unknown, as the seller is not the original owner.

            It has an 8hp B&S engine if that means anything when trying to determine an age. Unfortunately, it's too late to contact the manufacturer to see if they would know it's age based on the description.

            The Mighty Macs seem to have a solid reputation, so I'm hoping that even though it may be old, it will work better than some of the new "homeowner" machines costing $500-$600.
            Aside from leaves/branches, this would come in handy for shredding hedge cuttings.

            I've only got about $500 to spare - a $400 utility trailer deal just fell through yesterday and then this chipper/shredder popped up... they say everything happens for a reason. Wish me luck.

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            • #7
              Good luck and keep us posted on the outcome.
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              • #8
                Somewhat related, so I'm not starting a new thread...

                Are "push blowers" of any real value?

                The guy selling the Mighty Mac I'm going to look at called to mention that he also has an "old, 1960's push blower in the shed" if I'm interested in making an offer. He was going to list it for $250 - says they swapped out engines a few years ago to a Honda engine. Also says it's "smaller than most push blowers on the market today".

                Until a few months ago, I didn't even know they existed, so I don't even know if it's of any real use to have one. (I do have a handheld blower/vac)

                Just curious.

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                • #9
                  Somewhat related, so I'm not starting a new thread...

                  Are "push blowers" of any real value?

                  The guy selling the Mighty Mac I'm going to look at called to mention that he also has an "old, 1960's push blower in the shed" if I'm interested in making an offer. He was going to list it for $250 - says they swapped out engines a few years ago to a Honda engine. Also says it's "smaller than most push blowers on the market today".

                  Until a few months ago, I didn't even know they existed, so I don't even know if it's of any real use to have one. (I do have a handheld blower/vac)

                  Just curious.
                  The golf coarses use them out here but dont know what a landscape company would use it for unless you have a massive commercial contract that could use it.
                  Colton
                  Mountain View Greenskeeper proudly offering yard care in the East Valley of Arizona.

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                  • #10
                    The golf coarses use them out here but dont know what a landscape company would use it for unless you have a massive commercial contract that could use it.
                    Kinda what I was thinking. I guess if you have a huge, flat area, it would be great, but it's pretty "hilly" around here. I'll take a look at it for curiosity's sake.

                    Gotta remember to throw some branches in the truck to test the chipper/shredder.

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                    • #11
                      Well, I bought the used Mighty Mac 12P. Paid $480. Time will tell if it was worth it.

                      It needs a baffle plate (the flap that directs where the chips are thrown), but otherwise seems to be intact, and working.
                      We started it and he let me shred/chip some pine branches I brought with me. I think the screen is in the wrong position, and was missing a pin to hold the bottom end in place, so some of the debris came out before being shredded down to the proper size. The seller was good enough to locate a rod and fabricate a pin while I was there, but by then I was out of branches to test my theory, so I'll have to try it again with the screen in the proper position, and see how it works.

                      The hammers seem "fair" to my novice eye. Slightly rounded on the corners, but the other ends are still sharp, indicating that they had never been reversed to the second side. I'll have someone experienced take a look at them to see if they need to be reversed yet before attempting to change them.

                      The chipper works, although I don't care for the fact that it doesn't have the "funnel" on it. It isn't missing (as far as I can tell, the older models didn't have that), but I'm going to see if one can be purchased or fabricated, as it would make feeding the chipper easier, and safer.

                      The engine is an 8hp B&S that the seller had fixed up when he acquired it - as copied/pasted from the ad:
                      The shredder has been maintenanced by having the drive belt replaced, chipper knife sharpened, carburetor rebuilt, oil changed, spark plug changed, air filter and air prefilter changed, greased all bearings, and tested to verify that everything is working properly.
                      He also added a throttle control which I suppose is nice.

                      I would describe the overall appearance of the unit as "rough". The green paint is faded and it has much surface rust. There is nothing "pretty" about it - at all. I joked that it looks like it was beaten with an ugly stick, then turned around and ATE the ugly stick.
                      I believe he said that the engine "code" indicated it was made in 1990, so it makes sense that it looks the way it does. The serial number is still visible, so I'm going to contact the manufacturer to verify the date of manufacture, and inquire about parts.

                      I'll try to take some photos to post tomorrow.

                      Oh, and it fits perfectly on the cargo carrier on my truck, so I can put off buying a trailer just a bit longer!
                      Last edited by Hedgemaster; 09-05-2010, 11:31 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Sounds good, reversing the hammers is quite easy, at least on the units I have seen, you may want to do this anyhow just to be ready.

                        The flap, if it's anything like the ones we use or I have owned, you can make one pretty quick with a heavy sheet metal which bends fairly easy or if you can rent a torch, you could make a really nice unit.
                        Andy
                        Halifax, Nova Scotia

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                        • #13
                          Ta-da!























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                          • #14
                            Congrats. I would paint it up over the winter when you have nothing to do. Or in the evenings.
                            Pat

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                            • #15
                              Oh wow! I'd love to see some video of that working!
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