Electric Garden Shredders
Garden shredders are one of my favourite tools. Gone are
the days of smoky bonfires, neighbours complaining of smelly washing, dusty
cars and burned down homes. I now longer disguise my car as a mobile
forest and spend hours in a queue waiting to see the waste of an entire
city. Instead I sit happily beside a shiny machine feeding in branches and
receiving bags of woodchip mulch that I USED TO PAY ££££,S FOR.
Shredders are lovely, the equipment industry knows this and has flooded the
market with domestic shredders. Many unfortunately are rubbish.
I have tested the following shredders
AL-KO SP5000 Silent shredder, AL-KO Powerslider2500R
shredder, Atco 1800 Quiet shredder, Bosch AXT 180 Rapid Shredder, Bosch
AXT200 Rapid Shredder, Bosch AXT2000 HP Silent Shredder, Bosch AXT2000
Rapid Shredder, Bosch AXT2200 Rapid Shredder ,Bosch AXT2200HP Quiet
Shredder , Bosch AXT25D , Bosch AXT 23 TC, Black & Decker GA
1600e shredder, Draper 1800w and 2400W Shredders, JCB GSB 1800 Shredder, Makita
DSH201 Shredder, Powerdevil shredder. Ryobi ESR2400. Flymo Pac-a-shred.
my readers have also provided good feedback on the
Aldi 2500w, Ryobi RGS 1500 Shredder, MTD 115E shredder, Viking GE35L
shredder, VikingGE103 and GE250 shredders.
Top Tip - Always wear goggles and gloves when using garden shredders. If
you really want a poke in the eye let me know and I will see what I can
The Lux Optical glasses are the ones I use and superb
value for money
Some of the many garden shredders that I have extensively tested during the
last 8 years.
Quiet Shredders - Crushing cog or Spiral screw mechanism? Which is
My recommended crushing type (silent or quiet) shredder is
the Bosch AXT 25D. This machine is the most heavy duty and durable of
the Bosch machines. It replaces the AXT2200HP and the AXT2000HP.
The AXT25D uses a cog to crush the branches into chunks rather than chippings.
It is more robust than the old Bosch AXT2000HP machine that used a spiral
cutter and had a tendency for the edges of the spiral to corrode and
for more details or to send me feedback on your shredder mail me - email@example.com
check shredder prices at garden4less.co.uk
The Three Shredders
probably heard of the Three Tenors! well they are boring compared to the
Three Shredders I tested in my "shread to shread" showdown!
(Atco) Makita (Brill), and JCB and Draper did the job, (in different ways). Let me know if you have a shredder
that works well and we can tell the world.
I have also
tested many more shredders that I would not allow in my shed and sourced
hundreds of shredders for my readers who supply me with feedback on
performance and longevity..
There are 2 basic types of electric shredder, cutting
(spinning blade) and crushing
(cog or spiral screw) shredders. There are pros and cons of each depending on what you want to
achieve. To add to the confusion Bosch have now launched a "turbine
My favourite "silent" shredder is
the Bosch AXT25D
The Bosch AXT2000HP quiet shredder the spiral cutter is less robust than
the cog cutters and has been discontinued.
(Impact or Spinning Blade type)
|As these machines are simple and easy to make the can
be very cheap and can be good at dealing with softer material.
these cheap shredders are still total rubbish and should be avoided. The
cheapest ones have one blade like a razor blade and underpowered
In 2004 Bosch introduced the AXT "RAPID" impact shredders to
compete with the budget shredders. These machines can take
soft foliage as well as woody branches and have
double (reversible) blades similar to a rotary lawnmower.. However
some of my readers reported rapid blade wear and in response
Bosch have designed some new blades which are laser cut in Switzerland
and should be much better.
are thinking of buying a cheap shredder or want to tell me about a
bad one please e-mail me at
and I will recommend the shredder for your needs
Product News -
the Bosch AXT180 and AXT200 have been upgraded to NEW BOSCH AXT2000
RAPID and AXT2200 RAPID
WITH MORE POWER AND IMPROVED SWISS MADE BLADE
The Bosch rapid shredders are great but are noisy and hard work to
feed compared to a self feeding quiet shredder. However if you have a
smallish garden or infrequent use they are an ideal option for a good
A typical cheap impact or spinning blade shredder
This one has one (reversible) razor blade type cutter. The Bosch AXT
rapid shredders have 2 cutting blades on the end of a lawnmower
style cutting bar.
The most complained about products reported to fredshed are cheap
brands of garden shredders and bendy stainless steel garden forks.
Do yourself and the planet a favour and avoid these largely Chinese
made products. Mail me if you need help sourcing good quality long
lasting garden power tools.
Bosch AXT RAPID Shredders
Winner of the 2007 Golden Shed Award
(and then Which best buy)
click for Bosch shredder collection bag
Upgrade your Bosch Rapid Shredder with the new laser cut blade made in
lasts up to 70% longer, double sided, reverse it when one side becomes
STILL WANT TO
KNOW MORE ABOUT SHREDDERS ?
for my page dedicated to BOSCH GARDEN SHREDDERS
also links to Bosch Shredder parts
and repair tips!
See My New Page - Fred's Top 10 Practical Gifts
Best Mains Powered Electric Hedge
Hedge Trimmer or Hedge Cutter? is
there a difference?
According to me, a Hedge Trimmer is a
lighter weight, smaller bladed machine for removing soft green growth from
A Hedge Cutter, is a heavier duty,
larger bladed and more powerful machine capable of removing the green growth on
hedges and is
able to cut back into the older woodier
Some tools will fit into both categories
depending on the hedge you are cutting.
However , if a low powered hedge trimmer is
used to cut woody material it is unlikely it will do it for long as the blades
will blunt and wear or the motor or other components may burn out.
Cordless (battery powered) hedge trimmers are
rarely capable of cutting woody hedge material.
Some high powered mains electric hedge cutters
are better than most cheap petrol machines, so you cant judge just on power as
the size and quality of the blade is crucial.
To add more complication some models have anti
lock clutches or anti jam, sawing like features.
If you are buying a mains powered electric hedge trimmer
then it is likely that you have a large hedge so go for one with plenty of
power and a long blade if you have the strength to hold it.. More important is the quality of the blade since
this is a machine that is going to take a lot of stick!
Don't be tempted by really cheap hedge trimmers,
you will most likely be wasting your money as the blades will soon go
blunt and fail to cut or damage your stems.
Best Mains Electric Hedge Trimmer
For the money I think the most impressive mains
electric hedge trimmer I have tested is the Bosch AHS 45-16, or its
slightly larger cousin the AHS 50-16. This is a
real, no nonsense workhorse that has been in production many years
either as Bosch or Qualcast.
Qualcast is now Chinese owned and made, (and best
The Bosch hedgetrimmers are well made with
precision ground blades and tough motors. 16mm blade spacing ensures that
they cut even thick stems with ease.
A good alternative is the excellent Bosch AHS 60-16 which has a
very long 60cm blade and some really good customer
reviews. If you want a normal size, no nonsense reliable hedge
trimmer with quality blades at a low price then the Bosch AHS 50-16
is the one I recommend.
Best Mains Electric Hedge
The Bosch AHS7000 Pro massacring my thick old Eleagnus
The largest Bosch electric hedge cutter is the AHS 7000 Pro.
This machine is truly awesome and will outperform many
petrol machines. If you need to reduce the high
significantly of a mature hedge then this is the tool. You
will need to be fairly strong as it is BIG!.
It has a
700 watt motor, 70cm Blade Length with Tooth Spacing of 34mm
12m of cable, Laser Cut Diamond Ground blades
Quick Stop Blade Brake and high-torque (80Nm) slipping
clutch for easy cutting
Blade tip protector for cutting along walls and
Weight - 4.4kg
The AHS 50-16 has a bigger motor and longer blade
The AHS 60 - 16 has a 60cm blade for wider hedges.
For Heavy Duty Hedge Cutters see links below
Both models are the same apart from an extra 10cm blade length
Weight - 4.4kg
So you will need to be strong to use it!
Gardengroom safety Hedge
Trim, Vac and Shred in
Many accidents happen with electric hedge trimmers,
either by cutting fingers or electrocution from cutting the cable. About
7 year ago I met an Inventor called Graham Wilson who had a solution -
he designed a hedge trimmer with a concealed rotary blade. Another
advantage of this design is that the blade would cut and shred the
clippings and then blow them into a bag.
Over the years my testing concluded that the Garden Groom is not the best
hedge trimmer for everyone but as a specialist product it works very
well. It is definitely the safest and the only one that collects and
shreds the trimmings- thus saving you a lot of clear up time.
The Garden Groom works best on well maintained hedges
that are not too wide. It is fairly heavy and the collecting box fills
quickly. However it is now supplied in 2 sizes and with a tube and large collecting bag
which works well if you have space beside your hedge.
Inventor Graham Wilson showing me the original version
10 years ago
This is the Garden Groom Midi, there is also a
higher performance model known as the Garden Groom Pro
If you found my advice helpful you can support my work
by returning to this page and using my links when purchasing your
secateurs. Also any products bought from Amazon using the links below will
produce a small commission that helps cover my hosting costs. thanks, Fred
PLEASE CONTINUE ON THIS PAGE OR CLICK BELOW FOR MORE
Best electric grass
trimmers tested and reviewed
use the link below for my new
(click here for
cordless grass trimmers)
After testing most of the popular makes of electric
trimmer I was very disappointed. Many were either uncomfortable to use
or had ridiculously complicated nylon line dispensers that were very
hard to replace. Most of the battery powered ones just don't have the
umph to run more than a few minutes on the longer grass.
I know of at least 2 people who became so frustrated that they
smashed their trimmers against a
wall and threw them away!
Another annoying thing about electric grass trimmers is the cable -
that's why I much prefer the battery powered cordless grass trimmers.
Luckily Li-ion batteries have improved the
performance of these cordless tools and they are now worth looking
The new cordless trimmers from Bosch have a wheel that
supports the weight of the machine and the handles and shafts are
adjustable in every way to make the tools easier to use.
New Bosch 14.4v Lithium Ion grass
Also 18v model!
Like the Gtech trimmer these models also have telescopic
handle, rotating head, and uses plastic blades. They are heavier and
the small but powerful Li-Ion batteries have to be taken out to
re-charge which gives you the option of longer running times if you
get another battery.
Also as mentioned above, when the battery eventually dies you can buy
another and not have to throw away a decent tool, and charger.
A new development for Bosch is that the battery from these gardening
products is also used in some DIY tools like drills. Previously Bosch
garden and DIY used different batteries which annoyed me immensely.
The Bosch ART 23LI and ART 26Li trimmers use the same battery as the
one in the
Bosch AHS 48 Li and AHS 52 Li hedge trimmers
These products should run for approx 50 minutes on one charge
Battery Powered Cordless Chainsaws
The same 18 v battery can be used to power this hand held chainsaw as
several other Black & Decker powertools. It is well balanced and uses a good
quality Oregon chain which is automatically lubricated by a built in
petrol or mains powered chainsaw is a scary and potentially dangerous tool
to use but this is much more user friendly and perfectly adequate for small
This easy to handle powered saw is ideal for cutting up
old branches to make logs for wood burning stoves.
Use your garden waste as valuable fuel - don't use fuel to
A spare battery is around £40 but you can buy a drill battery and
charger for almost the same!
Click here to see my special page dedicated to
for prices and info for Bosch Electric chainsaws from a Fredshed recommended
buy spare chains for Ryobi and B & Q branded chainsaws
The well designed Black and Decker 18 cordless chainsaw. It has an oil
reservoir and good safety features.
I have also tested the more expensive Makita cordless chainsaws
The Makita saws have better batteries but shorter cutting bars and are
considerably more expensive.
If you do a lot of chain-sawing a reasonable option would be to buy the long
handled AND the normal Black& Decker
and have 2 batteries and chargers.
Click here to see my special page dedicated to
Mains Powered Grass Trimmers
Black & Decker Strimmers
Black and Decker GL690
Black & Decker Strimmers -
One of the most powerful electric trimmers
available was the
Black & Decker GL690 Strimmer, which has a 630w motor. As
with other higher spec machines it has full adjustment and can be
used to trim the top or sides of your lawn.
feature with the GL690 is that is has two different and
interchangeable cutting cassette systems. One conventional spool of
nylon and then a "heavy duty" clip in blade like a big nylon cats
whisker. Overall, due to the vast number of models with different
spool and line systems and constant changes I do not like to
recommend Black & Decker strimmers. For this product I am
happier recoemneding Bosch as they keep the models going for longer
and don't use as many different parts.
electric trimmers from a Fredshed recommended supplier
DID YOU NOW?
The word "Strimmer" belongs to Black and Decker. If you call any
other make of grass trimmer a "strimmer" you could be sued!
When it comes to Strimmers B&D have gone through more models than
Peter Stringfellow. So please don't ask me about spares or repairs
as I just cant keep up with all the numbers!
Many retailers and websites want to sell you the Grass Trimmer - but
can't be bothered to sell the line and spools you will need to
continue using it.
buy trimmer spool for Draper, Ryobi and Bosch Grass Trimmers
Wolf Garten Grass Trimmers
The Wolf Trimmer featured here is the Wolf GT845. it
is mains powered and uses a twin line spool called a GTF8.
These German made trimmers are very good quality and a good option to
the B&D ones if your budget allows.
One good thing about Wolf is that their products tend to have a long
lifespan where as B&D introduce new models all the time which can
cause confusion and difficulty when it comes to spare parts.
My heavy old B&D Strimmer ( above)
Black & Decker Trimmer Spares
Black and Decker trimmers use 3 types of nylon cutting systems. Manual
for the older and low spec models and reflex for later models.
large machines like the GL680 GL685 and GL690 use the Reflex plus
system which has the option of the heavy duty "cats whisker" type
I quite like the cats whisker blades as they are easier to
fit. Personally I hate nylon trimmer spools as I have wasted many
hours trying to fit or fix them. I have also wasted many hours gazing
at a rack of plastic spools and lines in B&Q wondering which one to buy!
have a Black & Decker Strimmer the most likely spools you will need
the ones below, click for specific model details.
Black & Decker A6481 and A 6441 spools, and best value 50
metre line !
Buy the cats Whisker heavy duty line for the Black & Decker GL680
GL685 and GL690 Trimmers
click here to buy nylon spool for the GL680/685/690 Trimmers
Alternative to Nylon Grass Trimmers
New Product - 2 Tools in 1
Grass and shrub
The Bosch ISIO can be converted from a grass shear
to a small shrub trimmer in seconds and is surprisingly efficient. I
also like the drop in charger base and metal tin that the tool comes
Running time is very good thanks to the Li-ion
batteries and I get 20 minutes use which included some woody shrub
material. The softer the material you cut the longer the battery will
last between re-charges.The Bosch Isio comes in 2 versions. The shrub
cutting version and the grass cutting version., and a kit with both
A goodt accessory is the telescopic handle
which makes the Isio easy to use without bending. The handle has
wheels and also allows the Isio to be turned on its side to cut
Use my links below to find the best deal, which is
usually the 2 bladed kit with the handle included.
Replacement blades are available for the Bosch Isio and I believe this
tool and it's spares will be available for many years, unlike the cheaper
copies from discount chains and mail order catalogues.
Telescopic handle and wheels.
Best pressure washers
Under testing, new Bosch Aquatak clic with easy retractable hose
Decent pressure washers used to cost a fortune.
They started off life as industrial machines and then were scaled
down for mass market consumption
recently bargain models have flooded the market. Many are complete
rubbish and break down, usually by leaking from failed plastic parts. Another common problem is
pumps that don't
turn off when you let go of the trigger- this causes the motors to burn out.
I have found pressure washers, (along with garden vacs) to be the most
fragile of all consumer electrical products and suggest extra
caution and research when making a purchase.
The tough hoses that come with pressure
washers have to be one of the most annoying items ever made. If you can
afford it do get a machine with on board hose storage as this will
save you a lot of work, swearing and make storing the machine much
Karcher - The brand leader in Pressure washers
As Karcher specialise in powered cleaning products
you should get a well researched and reliable tool and not just a "me
too copy from the far East .
Many of my readers use Karcher pressure washers and
the feedback has been very good.
I have used Karcher pressure washers and have also
tested 3 Bosch models extensively.
For cleaning patios both makes produce an
enclosed "hovering cover" device that prevents splash back and speeds
up cleaning. These devices only fit their own brand pressure washers.
I have tested the Bosch model and don't recommend it as it is one of
the very few products made by Bosch that is not durable enough to be
recommended on Fredshed. My main reason for this is that the nozzle
heads are not replaceable and I don't like products that cannot be
easily serviced or repaired. I can recommend the Bosch Aquatak
115plus so if you have one of these and want to a patio cleaning
device then buy an adapter and a Karcher T racer as it is better
than the Bosch patio cleaner.
New Bosch Aquatak Clic
This top end model has some new features that make
it easier to use and store. Primarily the on board hose storage and
self rewinding electric cable.
The other good feature is that the spray lance has
5 settings that are accessed by twisting the end. Most other
pressure washers require you to remove and replace each nozzle type
which can be a real pain. Mail me for my latest test results and
help choosing a pressure washer for your needs.
This is my patio after using the Bosch Aqautak 115plus. I
was amazed to discover its real colour. The tool is very therapeutic
to use (especially on a hot sunny day). It comes with a
range of accessories and a car washing brush. The Roto
nozzle is the best for cleaning slabs and the work shown above took
less than a minute.
This is my neighbour Annette with cleaning her land
rover with a Karcher pressure washer. Karcher are a German company and
the recognised brand leader in pressure washers - but are they really
The latest breakthrough in domestic pressure washer technology is
Karcher's use of an induction motor that is cooled by the water
before you spray it.
This simple and clever design gives the motor more power and a
The Karcher K3 575 Jubilee pressure washer is now one of the best
selling models and well worth considering.
A great accessory for your Karcher is the 8m extension hose, you can
use up to 2 of these linked together to reach right around your
vehicle without having to keep moving the machine.
check price on the Bosch Aquatak 115 plus
Nilfisk specialise in industrial pressure washers and make
some good value domestic models.
Top Tips This Month
Buy Seeds and Plants Online
Garden centres have huge overheads and consequently
are relatively expensive places to buy plants compared to the internet.
You do have the advantage of being able to see the plants
first but this is often outweighed by the fact you will likely come home
with some other expensive tat you didn't really want - like candles, pickled
walnuts and a plastic eagle owl.
Use the links below to check the price of plants and seeds
from my partner sites. These people are the best on the net and have to be
well organised to retain their reputation.
It will all be delivered to your door, well packaged
and ready for planting!"
Click here to find, plants, trees and shrubs to buy online
flower seed online
buy any vegetable seed online
SAVE THE PLANET AND KEEP FIT
A RAKE - NOT A GARDEN VAC!
The humble lawn rake has been around for hundreds of
years and using it will give you some healthy exercise without the
noise and dust of a powered machine.
Click link below to see my new page on
IF YOU FIND
THIS PAGE USEFUL PLEASE CONSIDER RETURNING AND USING MY LINKS WHEN MAKING YOUR
PURCHASE AS THIS HELPS TO PAY FOR MY WORK AND THE COST OF RUNNING
If you found my site helpful or want to look
for other tools or products please use the search box or links
below as any purchases will create a small commission that helps
fund my site and work. Thank you.
IF YOU FOUND THIS PAGE USEFUL PLEASE
CONSIDER USING MY LINKS WHEN MAKING YOUR PURCHASE AS THIS HELPS TO PAY FOR THE COST OF
RUNNING MY SITE.
My New Page - Fred's Top 10 Practical Gifts
AS WELL AS TESTING EVERYTHING
I HAVE ALSO CAREFULLY SELECTED THE BEST SUPPLIERS SO YOU WON'T GET RIPPED OFF
WITH AN OLD MODEL OR GRADED PRODUCTS.
Black & Decker Alligator Pruner
This unique tool from Black and Decker combines the
features of a small chainsaw with the action of loppers. The result is a
very effective pruning tool that is easy to use and most importantly very
The Alligator is light enough for me to use from my
wheelchair and the clamping jaws and double safety switches make it much
safer than any other powered pruning tool. There was an 18v battery version but it has been
use link below to buy a replacement chain for
your Black & Decker Alligator
The Black and Decker Alligator had a 550w motor and
weights about 4KG. It will easily cut branches up to 100mm ( 4 inches)
This tool is fun to use but you still need to take care
with it to protect yourself and also make the tool last longer. This one got
abused and a small cog broke. Luckily Black & Decker spares are easily
available and the parts were only £3.
Doff Your Cap To Squire Jenkins - another official
Fredshed tester of power products.
At his Welsh country estate Squire Jenkins and his man
servant "Ted" can give even the most robust tools a thorough workout- and if
they don't come up to scratch - just like the peasants, they shoot em,.......pull
Squire Jenkins, Purdey & Boss