What wood chipper mulcher should I buy?

Discussion in 'Building DIY, Machinery & Tools' started by Mark, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Well here I was today chopping up a fallen tree and carting off all the debris (branches/leaves) to the dump when I started fantasising again about how good it would be if I could chip and shred all this material to place in my garden or chook pen first and then into the garden...

    It would be so much easier to mulch my own green garden waste than carting all this wood to the green waste disposal area at the dump just for them to mulch up. However, when you start investigating the costs of a chipper it's a hard pill to swallow.

    The Greenfield Piecemaker is often touted in Australia as a rippa machine which also does palm fronds and whilst I do have fronds I also have lots of hardwood to chip and apparently the Greenfields aren't the best for that. Here's an interesting article that isn't very supportive of the Greenfield Piecemaker primarily due to it's shaft driven mechanism.

    In this article the guy alludes to the Hanza as the best chipper/mulcher but who can afford a Hanza C13 Mulcher? Are people serious! Ideal for home garden and acreage use... for who? Bill Gates? Here is a Hanza from the same guys who wrote the article.

    So now I'm back on eBay search on mulcher and there are some startling deals (too good to be true maybe :dunno:) on high powered 20 hp belt driven mulchers, 90 mil branch feeder, electric start, the works for under $1000 delivered! Check out this Michigan Commercial Series Wood Chipper Mulcher has anyone used or heard of anyone that has got or used this type of chipper?

    It might not do palm fronds but for this price I'd be happy to forgive it - as long as it worked and lasted as described :)

    P.S Yes, I did think of hiring and I have hired chippers before but owning one would be so much better...
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
  2. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    I don't know anything about them but it sounds good being able to make your won mulch/wood chips. I can imagine everything at your place being chipped up from now on just so you get to play with it :maketinker: ... hrm, where's the chipper smiley face :ROFL:
     
  3. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member

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    Also uncertain, but I would try before you buy - eBay is too risky to put your money an a mechanical item that you cannot test first.
     
  4. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    It can be yes... but I dodged a bullet and got a cracker of a tiller on eBay for half the price of very similar ones in store! See this post

    Even so, I'm back to probably going down the hiring a chipper road again - it does seem like a safer option :)

    But, it would be handy to have one to fire up at will for the compost pile. So handy :think:
     
  5. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I'm hiring a chipper tomorrow and got it over ANZAC Day as well for no extra charge so two days for the price of one! It's a 100 mm C100 Red Roo shown here on a retail site and must be pretty expensive because they won't disclose the price and the price of the 80mm models are around 6K .

    So buying one at this stage doesn't add up for the amount I would use it and also the initial cost outlay it would be far cheaper to hire a good chipper a few times a year than to own one. I'm paying $129 (daily rate) pick up Friday lunch and return Sunday - the normal 2 day rate is $242, which is pretty reasonable with all things considered.

    I seriously did think hard about buying an eBay Michigan chipper but can't justify it.
     
  6. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    Sounds like a good idea...

    $6000 / $129 = 46 days hire, / 4 days a year = 11 years hire.

    and they do the repair and maintenance for you!
     
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  7. Letsgokate

    Letsgokate Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    We are in the same boat with a lot of green waste, what falls to the ground in general, branches etc but also as we clear way the trees, plants we don't want that we inherited when we bought the place. We wondered about buying a mulcher but thought to get one that would really do the job would cost a fortune, we bought a trailer instead. And if it really bothers you that the tip mulches up the green waste, you can go and get a trailer load for free. Seems like a good deal when you think about it, they take your green waste, they chip it for you and you can go and get some mulch, all for free :)
     
  8. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    You bet! :twothumbsup: I love that free mulch service from the tip and I'm soon going to need a whole heap for a new ornamental bed I'm making in the front yard.

    No, I don't mind the council mulching up my garden waste it's just the carting to the tip that's the pain...
     
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  9. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Spent about 6 hours yesterday mulching with this beast of a chipper Red Roo C100 and finished up using it for another 4 hours today.

    I probably ended up with about 2.5 standard trailer loads of wood chip mulch out of three felled trees and a heap of stick debris from the back of the property around my poultry free range area.

    The chainsaw came in handy because any crooked branches or forked sticks needed chopping before feeding it into the chute and nature doesn't usually make things straight!

    My arms and hands (and legs) are a bit battered, scratched, and bruised plus several splinters needed removing but overall it wasn't too taxing and a whole lot easier than loading the trailer up and taking about seven trips to the dump.

    I return the chipper tomorrow and all up it cost about $140 (that's including about 10 litres of fuel - possibly less). Fuel economy was remarkably good!

    Operation was great - started easy and had no trouble chipping wood (no palm fronds though). Good hearing protection is a must because the motor combined with the cutting drum is very noisy.

    My desire to buy a chipper has gone - unsurprisingly :D I now realise a machine like this is the MINIMUM I would want or need for my property and a chipper like this would cost about $7000 which is way too expensive for an equipment I would only use every quarter at most. I'll just save my debris (and money) and hire this machine once or twice a year.

    I wouldn't bother with a chipper under 100 mil for a treed acreage property like mine so the cheap Michigan on eBay would definitely be a no goer - that's my guess anyway.
    red roo c100 chipper mulcher.jpg
     
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  10. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    Glad to hear you still have all your limbs :twothumbsup:
     
  11. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Ha ha... :)

    Actually, they're not very dangerous as long as you don't go reaching down into the chute but you can't get pulled in or anything. Unlike those big ones that do logs - now they are really dangerous and ya wouldn't want to be slack operating one of them!
     
  12. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Got a bigger chipper mulcher this time! It looks like I have made my mind up about whether to buy a chipper/mulcher or rent one when I can get this monster for around $200 overnight and do some serious chipping why go and buy...:twothumbsup:

     
  13. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member

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    Wow. I can't fathom the cost of these machines for what you get. Motors on them aren't by Rolls Royce or Boeing, and the construction doesn't seem to be more intricate than what a ride on mower would have. Why the big price tag?
     
  14. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member

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    Just stumbled across this mulcher on eBay that claims to be over 60% off the usual price. Seems too good to be true. What do you think Mark?

    15hp Ducar Michigan Commercial Series Wood Chipper for $799
     
  15. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    They have to be well made with durable parts due to the stress placed onto the machine in operation.

    Yeah, those chippers are always around that price on eBay and I will admit to being tempted to try one over the years but in my research I have read the cutting blades and drive belts are low quality and they don't last very long. There's a big difference in price between the Chinese based units and the ones made fully in Australia or the USA - I just wonder if that's because our manufacturing costs are so high here or if the units are better made and designed?

    Having said that, it does come with a 12 month warranty so at that price it might be worth a gamble - still a lot of money if it turns out to be a lemon though...
     
  16. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member

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    12 months is all you could expect to get out of them (most Chinese things, especially on eBay), which would be pricey (a bad product can never be cheap enough!). I like the sound of those old machines that were built to last generations and just keep running well...
     
  17. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    The Chinese stuff is improving though and there are certain products that are worth a gamble on, eg, I purchased a tiller off eBay years ago and it is a beast of a machine that has never failed me.

    I'm not sure about cheap chippers only because I have not seen much information on them and what I have found wasn't very good.
     
  18. Ash

    Ash Valued Member Premium Member

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    Yeah. I also think the Chinese have come to realise that repeat business relies on their reputation of workmanship. This is a good thing, but this doesn't apply to all things made there. Trick is to know which ones are good before you buy them.
     
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  19. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Which council are you in? Ours charges you to dump the green waste & then charges you to buy their mulch, and it's not cheap to do either
     
  20. Letsgokate

    Letsgokate Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    We are in SEQ.
     
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