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Today's shredder-grinders are better than they've ever been—thanks largely to 20 years of organic gardening experience contributed and shared by a multitude of backyard growers. They're also more available in greater variety— some larger and more powerful, and some more compact—but all are designed to do a specific gardening job better.

The type of shredder you buy should depend on the kind of gardening operation you run, the size of your place, and the kind of organic materials you're going to feed through it. A good shredder will handle all kinds of garden wastes and residues without clogging, and it should be easy to move around, which means you can take the tool to the work—to the compost pile, the garden row, or the pile of wood chips that were dumped at the end of your driveway.

Today, there are two main types of shredders; the low center o£ gravity shredder-bagger with its big-mouth hopper, and the classic stand-up shredder-grinder designed to handle a greater volume and variety of materials.

Many combinations of accessories and functions are now available in one machine. The once-reluctant gas engine has been made a lot more dependable and easier to start. You can also find electric-powered shredders which are a lot quieter, easier to start, and also free of fumes. But they have to stay closer to the house and there is always the danger of playing around with electricity outdoors on the damp ground.

Many shredders, both low-profile baggers and the bigger grinders, are equipped with a chipping fixture which is usually a rotating knife that operates through a side slot and can


To keep a shredder from clogging, it's sometimes best to remove the screen, especially when shredding we!, soggy leaves.

handle branches up to two or even three inches thick. The MacKissic, Roto-Hoe and Lindig machines are three models with this feature.

Then there are the shredder accessories or attachments that fit onto a small riding tractor or a walking power unit that also functions as a rotary tiller, a niowet, a chipper, a snowblowcr, or even a dozer blade.

Overloading any machine will result in jamming and stalling it. This especially holds true for the shredder whose job it is to chop up fibrous, damp, or wet materials and then eject them through a screen or grid. We recommend working with as large a screen as possible—the IVi inch screen on the Lindig is excellent. Gilsors, W W", and Roto-Iloe offer a grating of rods or square roller bars which seem almost jam-proof. Another solution to the problem is the Winona's "wet mat rack" which encloses only half the shredding chamber.

if you're shredding with ve> v wet, soggy,

To keep a shredder from clogging, it's sometimes best to remove the screen, especially when shredding we!, soggy leaves.

and rubbery leaves, here's a sure way to eliminate frustration and loss of time—remove the screen. Without it, the action of the cutters chops the leaves into a satisfactory aggregate which can he used either for compost or mulch, If you're working with a shredder-bagget, you may find it speeds up the task to remove the bag, You'll also find it's a good idea to deposit the aggregate immediately in the compost pile or the planting row.

You may also find that a clutch, either centrifugal which depends upon the speed of the motor to actuate it, or one that is manually operated, helps avoid jams. This calls for alert operation of the machine, but it can save a lot of time spent clearing out the inside of your shredder.

Check the wheels on the shredders you are considering. They should have at least a pair, rugged and rubber-tired, and placed so they will comfortably and safely support the machine when you move it. Some of the larger models

Three-Cutter Rotary System


Rotary Blades tvilh Frame-Mounted Knives

Rotary Blades tvilh Frame-Mounted Knives

Three-Cutter Rotary System

Www Home Made Hammermill Rotor
Hammer mill Unit

Rigidh Mounted Knia

Rotary l/lades that whirl through stationary knives mounted on the frame shop and fling the moss of particles out the side vent.

Another time-tested system is a series of knives rigidly mounted in a revolving horizontal shaft. The fabble plates and a screen tend to hold the material against the cutting action of the blades.

Rigidh Mounted Knia

> Horizontal Shaft come with three wheels, and some with four. Make sure the machine you are dunking of buying handles easily and comfortably.

One of the most sensible gardening arrangements we've ever seen was at the Golden Acres Farm in lower Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where a double track of sturdy rails was erected over and along a series of compost bins. A king-sized shredder was mounted on the rails and traveled from bin to bin, depositing its aggregate as it went.

There are three or four basic systems for reducing and mixing your organic wastes. Hammer mill tempered steel flails revolve freely on a rotating shaft, and so have the ability to absorb shocks from hitting stones. There also seems to be a minimum of blockage in the mixing chamber caused by wet materials. Sets of hardened steel teeth or knives, fixect rigidly on a revolving shaft, work in combination with interior baffle plates and the bottom screen, which tend to keep the material in contact with the knives. The small"t shredder-bagger machines work with a series of two or three rotary blades similar to a lawn mower's. In some models, these whirling knives pass between stationary cutters that are part of the frame or chassis to achieve more complete cutting. The turbulence created by the rotary blades also whirls the aggregate out through the vent, which permits you to deposit it right where it is needed—either in the compost pile or in the planting row.

Arty matter that is organic and compostable can be reduced to a workable aggregate or mass in your shredder. You will find that there is plenty of material on your home grounds to keep your shredder and you busy for a series of weekends, particularly in the late summer and fall. There are the weeds, the grass clippings, the crop residues, and the leaves. Add to these local benefits the contents of your garbage pail; it combines well with just about anything.

Next, there are the wood chips from the local road department, sawdust from the neighborhood lumberyard, and corncobs from the nearest feedmill (if you can get them ground). All of these varieties of cellulose are fine for mixing with the garbage. Working with un-ground corn cobs, though, can be tricky. The tough cobs have a habit of flying back up out of the hopper, right at your head. Some gardeners have reported thai a thorough soaking (up to a week) of the cobs softens them and makes shredding easier.

No garden caore is easier or pleasanter than shredding dry, autumn leaves. But if your leaves have wintered over and are tough, wet, and rubbery, feed them into the shredder in very small handfulls which are followed by dry sawdust, and again, be prepared to work without a screen.


Think over your shredding needs carefully before you begin to shop for a machine. There are many different shredders on the market today, and rather than trying to list them all, we've decided to describe the basic types available and give some examples of each type. Keep in mind that models change from year to year, and be sure to investigate all the features of the models you're considering.

Large Shredder-Grinders

Most of the shredders in this group comprise the classics of the industry—the Amerind-MacKissic, Gilson, Lindig. and W-W. To them should be added the Rover, the Ariens, the Roto-Hoe, the Halm-Eclipse and the Winona, all of which feature the larger machine in their wideranging lines.

Four-Wheel Shredder-Grinder

Iii general, these shredder-grinders are designed for the I- to 5-acre plate in the country, although you may be perfectly happy with one of these bigger machines on your suburban \A acre. You'll find that they can handle a greater diversity of materials than the shredder-baggers ami also a greater volume. And, thanks to their rugged framework and wheels, it's a lot easier titan you would think to roll them out into the garden or up to the compost pile. It's also good to be able to report that shredders last for years with very minor repairs (made easily by the local dealer), so their cost can be amortized over quite a period.

Ameriud-MacKissic Model 12-P is a 6 h.p. combination log chipper and shredder-grinder. In addition to handling conventional organic composting materials including corncobs, it reduces logs up to .9 inches to wood chips. Model i>-P is powered by a 4 or 5 h.p. engine and works through a series of 24 free-swinging knives. Power take-off units are available for many popular small estate tractors.

The 6 h.p. Gilson Chopper features nine, square, rotating cutter bars instead of a screen, which are ideal wfien you're grinding wet, soggy, fibrous materials. Cutting action comes from three sets of rotating double-edged knives—12 cutting surfaces. The gravity-feed hopper is king-sized—almost 17 by 17. The Chopper is belt-driven with an idler clutch.

The Lindig Concho is also available with an electric motor or a 5 or 7 h.p. engine. It oilers a wide range of grinding screens from i/( inch to inch. A side-vented brush and wood chopper feed directly into the mixing chamber. The cutting and shredding unit is a series of free-swinging hammers. The steel frame is supported by three wheels, one up front which pivots plus two in the rear.

The 8 h p. Roto-Hoe Cut'n Shred heavy-duty shredder-muIdler includes a side-feed which leads directly to three knives passing by a hardened block. We have used this feature to shred long, tough corn stalks, and found it did a good job. Built of 12-gauge steel, the frame sits on four wheels ant! lias a long tow handle for easy mobility. The steel bar grate is wide-spared to reduce jamming.

The Royer 8 is a specially designed machine whose endless shredding belt is lined with tempered steel cleats mounted in rows. Models ft, 10, and 12 are electric or gas powered with a capacity that ranges from 5 to 12 cubic yards per hoi.r of soil, peat, and other organic materials. Many municipalities use the larger models for shredding prior to composting them. This is a wellmade machine designed for blending, potting, and soil compost mixes.

In addition to a conventional screen, the W-W Model 62-G offers a grating of six rods and rollers for use when shredding wet materials.

Powered by a 5 h.p. engine, it works through a series of tempered, hammer mill Bails and can handle alt conventional organic materials up to 114 inch tree trimmings, small hones, phosphate rock, tin cans, and bottles. Optional grinding screens handle corn, wheat, or milo.

The Winona Model JR-AW comes mounted on four wheels, but Model JR-S can be mounted on a garden tractor or over the compost pit. The Winonas are electric or gas driven and have changeable racks including a wet mat for gummy materials which is a short screen covering only half the mixing chamber. Powered by a 2 h.p. engine, it works through a cutting unit comprising 16 hinged knives.

Uckity Chipster

The Chipster has an 8 h.p. gasoline-powered feed roll, a clutch to disengage the feed roll, a hummer mill-type rotor, shredding screen, and chip direction head. There are two wheels for convenience in moving, but the Chipster is not to be hauled as a trailer. The brush feed chute is 16 inches wide and inches long with an opening to the rotor that permits feeding branches up to 2 inches in diameter. The self-feeding roller, located at the end of the chute, feeds the branch into the hammer mill-type rotor where it is shredded, screened, and dropped on the ground in front of the Chipster. If the dynamically balanced, hammer mill rotor should become overloaded, the powered feed roll will automatically stop until the overload has been cleared and then will automatically start again. Weight: 215 pounds.

Lickity Chipper Model PTO-5

The Brush Chipper utilizes the power takeoff of a tractor. The PTO model is equipped with wheels, tires, and tubes as standard equipment. It can be towed to the job at normal highway speeds behind any vehicle. The feed chute can be folded up and the blower discharge chute adjusted to make towing easier. The PTO model is equipped with a pin-type hitch coupler. The hammer mill rotor handles limbs up to 5 inches in diameter at a rate of 50 feet per minute.

A.M. Leonard fe Son, Inc. P.O. Box 816 Piqua, OH 45356

Diadem Brush Chipper

The Diadem Chipper will handle up to 3 inch diameter limbs. Brush self-feeds through the chipper and is converted into small chips in just a few seconds. Small brush can be processed in bundles at a time. It is constructed of heavy-duty plate steel with a 6 gauge (5 mm.) engine deck and a solid cylinder rotor. Imbedded in the solid rotor are two 0.4 inch thick cutting knives of specially hardened chrome vanadium steel. The wheeled Diadem is 30 inches wide; it can be taken anywhere for on-the-job brush disposal. All tires are fully pneumatic. You can choose from a three-point hitch PTO and 8, 10, and 12 h.p. models.

Vandermolen Corp. 119 Dorsa Ave. Livingston, NJ 07039

Top-Vented Shredder-Bagger

Top-Vented Shredder-Baggers

A top-vented, compact shredder-bagger will throw a stream of chopped aggregate into the garden or compost pile. The Hahn 3/2 h.p. Mighty Compact and International Harvester 35P are in many ways identical. They are low-

profile, with wide-mouth, gravity-feed hoppers and a pair of wide-set, rubber-tired wheels for extra stability plus mobility. Roth models feature hammer ruitl cutters and optional baggers.

Free-swinging, hardened steel hammers, a large feed hupper, and an adjustable discharge chut'j are built into the low center of gravity-feed McDotioiigh Snapper. Model 30-S has been designed to handle leaves, bush trimmings, tree printings up to U, inch thick, and cornstalks. It is powered by a 3 h.p. engine with centrifugal clutch and belt drive.

A large (22 inches wide) drop chute for raking in ¡eaves and other lawn debris plus a side-mourned chipping opening for branches are features of three top-vented shredder-baggers thut are almost identical in design. They are the Columbia Model 654-4. the Jacobsen No. 50080. ami the M I D No. 214-650. Powered by a 5 h.p. engine, each machine features a three-stage cutting action consisting of ;t single, flat reversible blade, nine flail knives, and four cutting fingers, tn addition to the novel drop chute, these shredders each have extra-wide hoppers.

Botiom-Venteci Sliredcler-Baggers

The Atlas, Cross, Kees, Roper, and Sensation models, while more or less identical in appearance—wide, low-set hoppers, each with a set of sturdy wheels, and engines mounted directly over the cutting units—are somewhat different in the features they offer.

The 5 h.p. Atlas does its cutting with three steel blades plus eight sheitr bars which permit it to cut wood, up to I inch thick, Rladc drives is direct from the engine. A poker rod has been built into the hopper for breaking up twigs and vines.

Cross shredders come in two models, the ili/o h.p. 4365, and the 5 h.p. 4650. Both shredders deposit chopped material in a bag and feature a sweep-in hopper that makes lawn cleanup easy. Power goes direct from the engines into the double-bladed rotary cutters.

The Kees Kom-Pak also has a rake-in hopper, an optional extra. Its steel cutting blades will handle wood tip to 1 inch on the 5 h.p. model or 3/, inch for the Si/2 h.p. Three bags are packed with each machine.

The 3i/2 h.p. Roper works with two high-

Hattum-Venled Slireddt-r-Iftlggei

speed blades to chop up leaves, twigs, and vines. It is worth noting thu the accompanying Roper photos show it handling corncobs. The 6 h.p. model depends on triple cutting blades plus breaker bars in the chopping chamber. There is a fixed steel deflector on the discharge chute for directional control of the shredded matter. Bags arc also available.

Power in the Sensation Eager Beaver goes directly from the engine to the double set of reversible blades without belts or chains; a safety clutch has been designed to protect the engine against shocks. The Eager Beaver dismantles easily for transport by car, thanks to large-diameter hand knobs.

The Sears 8 h.p. Super-Shredder resembles a rotary mower with its engine mounted directly over the three high-speed cutting blades. Shredded particles—leaves, vines, twigs, and garden debris—are vented at the bottom in a bag. The wide-mouthed but shallow hopper may be lowered for raking and sweeping in of lawn debris. Five bags are included.

The Toro comes in tw'o models, 3i/4 and 5 h.p. Each features a big, slanting, gravity-feed hopper with a pusher rod to handle the material. The engine sits direcdy over the cutter blades— two in the smaller model and three in the larger—which work in conjunction with the shredding bars at the bottom vent. An optional bagging kit is available.


The following companies all market several different models of shredding machines:


Outdoors Leisure Products Div. I126S. 70th, P.O.B. 512 Milwaukee. WI 53201

Amerind-MacKissic Box 111

Parker Ford. PA 19457 Ariens

111 Calumet & 655 W. Ryan St. Brill ion, WI 54110

Atlas Tool & Mfg. Co. 5151 Natural Bridge Ave. St. Louis, MO 63115

Bolens Div. FMC Corp. Urban/Suburban Power Equipment Div. 215 S.Park St.

Port Washington, WI 53074 Columbia

P.O. Box 2741,5389 W. 130 th St, Cleveland, OH 44111

Gilson Brothers Mfg. Co. Box 152

Plymouth, WI 53073

Hahn, Inc. Agricultural Products Div. 1625 N. Garvin St. Evansville, IN 47717

International Harvestci 401 N. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60611

Jacobsen Mfg. Co. 1721 Packard Ave. Racine, WI 53403

F. D. Kees Mfg. Co. Box 775. 700 Park Ave. Beatrice, NB 68310

Lindig Mfg. Corp.

St. Paul, MN 55113

Magna American Corp. Box 90, Hwy. 18 Raymond, MS 39150

McDonough Power Equipment, Inc. Macon Rd.

McDonough, GA 80253

MTD Products, Inc. Box 2741,5389 W. 130th Cleveland, OH 44111

Red Cross Mfg. Corp. Box 111, 124 S. Oak Bluffton, IN 46714

Roof Mfg. Co. 1011 W. Howard St. Pontiac, IL 61764

Roper Sales Corp. 1905 W. Court St. Kankakee, IL 60901

Roto-Hoe & Sprayer Co. 100 Auburn Rd., Rt. 87 Newbury, OH 44065

Royer Foundry fc Machine Co. 158 Pringle St. Kingston, PA 18704

Sears, Roebuck & Co. 925 S. Homan Ave. Chicago, IL 60607

Toro Co.

811! Lyndale Ave. S Bloomington, MN 55420

Winona Attrition Mill 1009 W. Fifth St. Winona, MN 55987

W-W Grinder Corp. 2957 N. Market Si. Wichita, KS 67219

Grinder Super Apache Model 240c
tV-W Grimier Model î-20-t W-W Grinder Corp.
Roper Corp Kankakee
IV-IV Grinde) Model 2 + 62 W-W Grinder Corp.
Roper Corp Kankakee
W W Grinder iicimomy Model A W-W Grimier Corp.

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