Monday, 5 May 2008

Eliet Minor shredder review follow up

Two months ago I posted a review of the Eliet Minor garden shredder. Two months later I have had a chance to review the composting results from the resulting shreddings and to test the courage of my convictions following the test results to decide on whether I would buy one or not.

Composting results
When I trialed the Eliet Minor two months ago I had basically two types of material to deal with. The first was general woody garden prunings and trimmings etc; the second was the contents of a rough mixed open composting bin that had a mix of semi-rotted down woody and soft material gathered over about a year.

Two thirds of the first lot of shreddings was mixed into a 1m3 wooden composting bin along with what was already there and the general composting material over the next couple of months, including the first lots of lawn mowings. The rest was put into a bin with the product from the second type of shreddings. In the two months that have passed since the shred-fest this material has essentially rotted down into usable compost. It has been turned into a 0.5m3 (500 litre) bin where it is maturing and being used as needed. The Head Gardener is very happy with it.

My experience (about a decade of competent composting) tells me that this is pretty quick for the time of year. Since we have had a cold couple of months and I have not done anything exceptional to make this material rot down quickly I am impressed and can only conclude that the claim from Eliet that its “Hatchet Principle™”, which cuts the woody stems lengthwise, does indeed work and produces material that composts quickly.

The Minor dealt with the second lot of material with the optional general purpose screen. At the time I picked out the largest unshredded bits (the screen is pretty course) and re-shredded them. The rest filled a second 0.5m3 bin along with the remainder of the first type of shreddings, where it was watered occasionally and turned once in the two months it was in it. After about two months it was pretty much completely rotted down and it was then spread onto the borders as a mulch. The Head Gardener was pretty happy with the quality of it.

So my conclusion from observing the composted shreddings for the Eliet is that it produces shreddings that rot down quickly and easily.

So did I buy one?

Recently I realized that we had built up a mound of woody material needing shredding as big as the one at the end of February. So presented with the choice I had to decide whether to spend days (literally) with my old Scheppach Lonos, hire or buy.

It was really a very easy decision– I bought the Eliet Minor, along with the optional general purpose screen.

I looked around for the best price and delivery option and decided to buy it from the on-line UK retailer Gardenlines (who often appear in Google AdSense listings). They were helpful and courteous on the phone, both before and after the purchase, and it arrived exactly when they said it would.

I have just spent most of a day shredding the mountain of mixed woody and mushy material, producing about a cubic metre of shreddings which is now in my compost bins steaming as I write. The time consuming bit was not the shredding itself, but getting the material to the shredder and carting the shreddings away from it. The actual shredding was as easy as I remembered it.

So I am happy and I expect this lot to rot down in record time.

In case you think that I have any commercial relationship with either Eliet or Gardenlines, then I can categorically say that I have never had any dealings with Eliet and my only dealings with Gardenlines were for this one transaction. I am just a happy customer.


frog2 said...

Thanks for the reviews.

I'm using a cheapo cog shredder that is already a godsend, and looking into something that makes branches more 'compostable'.

There is still a dearth of reviews about !

Nigel from Mumby said...

Many thanks for your thoughtful and informative review of the Eliet shredder. Three years ago I was in a similar position to yourself...500m+ of hedges, 5 acres of "garden" to look after. After reading your pieces I decided to get an Eliet Major, and found what I thought would be a scrapper on Ebay ready for a winter rebuild. It arrived, looking a little forlorn, but after changing the oil etc the Honda fired straight away. The only things wrong were a missing screen and badly sharpened blades.( This was probably due to someone reading the manual and trying an angle grinder to sharpen them in,no,no, for 'angle grinder' read 'Die Grinder').
Screen eventually arrived, costing as much as I paid for the whole machine, and it has performed faultlessly ever since. a very well engineered and robust piece of kit that does exactly what the manufacturer claims.
Thank you for pointing me in the right direction!

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