6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars
Disappointing, 15 Jun 2012
* Good for thick brittle sticks
* Efficient administration of warranty repairs
* Virtually useless for soft stems
* Gets gummed up by softy/leafy material
* Prone to pressure plate wearing away quickly
This is a review after 14 months of occasional use. During that time the shredder has broken down twice (electrics blew) and been back for repair under warranty. The first time (after about 4 or 5 sessions of use) it went in they tried to charge me about £50 to replace a worn pressure plate - which wasn't related to the break down and which I hadn't asked to be replaced.
To get technical, the machine works by a sharp toothed steel cog wheel running against an aluminium anvil/pressure plate. The distance/pressure between these 2 must be adjusted via a knob on the side. There is an optimum adjustment of this knob which you must find. Too weak and the shredder doesn't shred, too strong and the aluminium pressure plate wears away.
With thickish, dry, brittle sticks (say around 0.5 - 2.5 cm) this sweet spot is fairly easy to find and the shredder works well. With soft green stems the sweet spot is virtually non-existent - if you adjust the knob soft enough not wear away the pressure plate then the stems are not cut through, merely squeezed in places. One of the other reviewers said that this doesn't matter - I disagree, if I've paid over a £200 for a shredder I expect it to shred.
If the stems are leafy (eg Leylandii) then the the leafy bits just gum up and block the throat of the shredder. They also stick to the cog wheel and the bits that do pass thro' come back round again. You then have to stop, loosen the pressure right off, remove the top of the unit and try pull out the blockage from both above and below the cutting point. You might have to do this every few minutes.
The last time I used it (on leylandii) I ended up giving up the with the shredder, making a pile of the stems and running over it repeatedly with my lawn mower. Not very pretty, but much much quicker than using the shredder.
Ironically the instructions that come with the machine recommend shredding fresh green material rather than older, brittle material. Presumably advice from a engineer, wanting to reduce mechanical stress on the workings, rather than a tester that had actually used the machine.