MacKissic Mighty Mac Chipper Shredder
Workhorse lumber breaker-upper
I bought a Mighty Mac shredder/chipper about 25 years ago, have used it — heavily at times — all these years and, with a few engine repairs and turning the shredder blades around once (they are 2-sided), it’s worked flawlessly on our 1/2-acre homestead. This is a “hammermill” chipper with free-swinging hammer blades for the top-feed hopper, as well as a chipper, a side feed where you put in larger branches (it will grind up a 2×4) at a 90-degree angle to the balanced flywheel blade that runs on the same axle as the shredder blades. If you get one of the bigger professional type units you don’t need a separate grinder, but for home-style operation, I wouldn’t fool with any of the lower-cost feed-it-in-the-top units. You don’t really need to shred stuff like oak leaves (they compost nicely as is), and the smaller shredders tend to choke on stuff such as 1-incg diameter branches. This unit has changeable screens so you can adjust from fine to coarse output.
Be aware: these are dangerous tools. If you get careless and push down on brush in the hopper and get a sleeve caught in the blades, you’ll end up with a mangled (or no) hand. See the simple 2×4 pusher tool below for pushing stuck vegetation into the blades. I also use a Collins machete for chopping up branches for easy feeding and of course — Grandma speaking here — goggles (chips fly), earphones, and gloves.
Mine (depicted above) has a 7HP Briggs and Stratton motor. The current models have a 10 HP. I wouldn’t bother with the electric starter; the rope pull works fine.07/15/08