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Old 12-05-11, 07:27 AM   #16
Journeyman EcoRenovator
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Maynard, MA Eaarth
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I got a Toro Power Curve 1800 electric snow blower, but as of yet, I have not had to use it.

We did get a lot of downed branches with the early super-wet snow at the end of October (while the leaves were still on the trees, much later than they usually are!) and I had a pile of smaller branches almost twice as big as my 1 car garage... And there are branches down on neighbors property, too. (My immediate neighbors are dealing with the mother Deb collapsing on Thanksgiving morning -- she was unresponsive for about a day, but she is back home now.)

So, I bought an electric branch chipper:

(click on image for link)

It works quite well. I have misplaced my Kill-A-Watt so I don't know what it consumes, yet. I have chipped about 3/4 of the new storm-downed branches, and then I have to work my way through the older branches. About four of my neighbors want to buy into it, and I'm happy about that. It fits up to 2 1/2" diameter branches, but in the real world it is the bends and curves of the branch that limits what you can chip.

Also, I want to save the larger sections for use in a wood stove or fireplace. The blades are not as sharp as when it was new, so anything above 1" or so takes careful feeding to not bog down the motor -- I have not blown the breaker yet. You have to hold *back* on the larger pieces to keep them from getting pulled in too fast. It is the smaller boughs that are so bulky and not worth burning, and these are a piece of cake for this chipper, even with about 7 or 8 hours of use on the blades.

The pile of chips is fairly impressive -- it's about 14' x 10' oval and over a foot deep in the middle. :-) I'll post a picture when I can.

By the way, it also shreds leaves and small twigs up to 1/2" diameter using the hopper, and it has a large (about 6' long x 2' dia) heavy duty filter bag, if you want to control where the chips go more precisely than just pointing the outlet.

Last edited by NeilBlanchard; 12-05-11 at 07:29 AM..
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