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I purchased my Impact Shredder a few weeks ago now, and have to say Iím really pleased with it. It has made disposing of the garden waste so much easier. Prior to purchase I had two options available to me. Neither of which were really practical.
1) Collecting the hedge cuttings and bagging it up in Council Garden Refuse sacks. As Iím sure you know, not cheap. The council will refuse to collect if put into any other garden refuse sack other than their own, they are making a tidy profit out of us keen gardeners that's for sure. The price now set at £7.40 per roll of 10, or 74p a bag. A rather expensive way of doing it.
2) Using my garden incinerator bin that I purchased last year to save money. Though this in itís self is not ideal either. I have one neighbour who will complain at the drop of a hat, or dictate to you why you canít burn anything tonight. (I like to give all my neighbours within a distance of my garden warning that I will be lighting it, just so they can close any windows etc.)
After a couple of days worth of said neighbour telling me you canít do it tonight, and the cuttings sitting in a huge pile on my lawn (which was yellowing by the day). My mother suggested purchasing a shredder which she offered to pay for as a birthday gift. Much searching later I settled on the B&Q 2500w Impact Shredder. It was reasonably priced at £79.98 and more importantly in-stock at my local B&Q.
(Iíd like to mention a warning here: If you have any back problems at all, make sure you take someone with you when going to purchase you Shredder as the box weighs a tonne! Well not literally, but you know what I mean.)
On getting it home and unpacking the first thing you note is that there is very little assembly needed before your up and running. The main Shredder unit, two L shaped bars, one straight and the two wheels. In all a total of six bolts! The unit ships with the necessary tools for assembly, in this instance the Allen Key and a small thin Spanner.
TIP: Allen keys are notoriously fiddly and a slow process, epically when coupled with holding a nut still by use of a spanner. To speed up this process I suggest you use an electric screw driver or drill with an Allen Key attachment.
Once I had finished putting the stand together I was ready to go. A quick read of the instructions later and what would have taken me a couple of nights worth if burning or twenty or thirty garden refuse sacks was completed in a little under an hour and a half. The number of bags used in the end = 1.5 ( A huge difference to prior number!)
The shredder was able to take upto 45mm branches, which equates to 4.5cm or 1.7inches. Though do bare in mind the harder and thicker the wood, the faster the blades will become blunt. (I will go into blades in a moment, as I want to explain a problem I had in this area!)
The noise level was 96db if I remember correctly. So it wasnít as noisy as some, and the ear plugs I purchased at the same time werenít really needed.
You are provided with a plastic plunger to push in smaller branches, larger ones auto feed into the shredder. At first I was worried that I might catch the cutting blades with this, then I realised it was designed it such a way the you couldnít. The moulded plunger had a ridged area that stopped it from going down to far.
The cable length wasnít great, only 3 meters long, so if you wanted to work any distance from the house you would need to use an extension cable.
Moveability is a dream with large wheels, very sturdy and easy to move around.
Collection bag was probably the only real let down, (well apart from the short cable length ). This was made out of a flimsy material, with two handles either side. The slightest breeze meant the sides collapsed in on themselves, and needed to be constantly straightened up again, or you ended up with the shredder spewing itís shredded contents all over the place. (I personally found it better to use a large storage crate beneath the shredder Chute!) Itís supposed to take 64L capacity , though this will never be achieved, as after it fills around half way you would need to empty it. If you donít the ejection area becomes clogged due to build up, and the shredder stops working until itís cleared.
Any blockages are cleared by unscrewing a large easy grip plastic topped bolt on the front of the Shredder. It only takes a few seconds! (It is also by this method that you gain access to the cutting blades!) The shredder has a safety feature built in, that stops the shredder from being started up again until the access area is closed and the bolt is tightly screwed up. So saving fingers in the event that the on button is depressed. Incidentally the on/off button and reset button (in-case it trips) are protected with a weather proof membrane, should wet come into contact with them.
Now for the blades themselves! I must confess I ended up with two of these shredders. The first worked as it should, right up until a piece of old wire fence got mixed in with some of my hedge cuttings. I didn't notice this at the time, but by the time I did, it was to late! The shredder started to make a rather loud noise, at which point I stopped it and opened the cover to expose the blade area by use of the afore mentioned easy grip bolt. Thatís when I discovered the cause of it. After removing the said piece of wire and starting it up again I realised that the shredder had stopped auto feeding longer items. So again I stopped the shredder, opened the access area, and went and read the problem page of the instruction manual. The possible cause they gave for this was, that the blades were blunt and needed changing. Not a problem I thought, as each blade is double sided. By this I mean they can be turned over to revel a new sharp blade on the other side. Great I thought, umm it didnít really go as easy as that though, life never does :). The blades are attached to the spinning plate by two bolts on each blade. These bolts again have Allen key heads, and thatís where my problems started. I first tried to remove these bolts using my electric screwdriver with the Allen key attachment. They wouldnít budge, and if I wasnít careful I was in danger of sheering out the Allen key area! So I change to doing it manually with the Allen Key supplied, no luck here either! Wouldnít budge an inch.. This was when I then realised that I was going to have to return the shredder and exchange for a new one. At first I thought that maybe the bolts had become over tightened in some way through use of the Shredder. So the next day when I went back to B&Q to explain my problem (customer services were great by the way) and pick up my exchange the first thing I did on returning home( after putting it together), was to try and unscrew the bolts that held the blades in place. To my utter shock they were exactly the same, so I guess Iím saying I donít know what Iím going to do when I do need to change them, and feel you should also be made aware of this! Any way I think that about covers my in-depth review, I hope you find it useful in deciding if the B&Q 2500W Impact Shredder is for you. Happy Gardening!
Welcome to Ciao, Linda! . . . It sounds like the B&Q designers haven't properly thought this one through . . . I wonder if anyone else has had similar problems or if it is a particular manufacturing batch
. . . ♥ ~ Jesi ~ ♥