I'm a composter
One of these days, I may get around to writing a page about my attempts,
successful and otherwise, to turn garden and kitchen waste into rich black
soil-enhancing compost. For now, I'll content myself with describing my
relationship with one of my favorite composting tools.
See, I get my composting genes from my father, who used to maintain a
modest bin at my childhood home (he's since gone upscale with a fancy three-bin
system and several humongous slow-composting piles). My brother and I used to
earn a quarter for each bucket of horse manure we'd haul in from a nearby
meadow (walking half a mile each way, and risking the ire of
horses who delighted in galloping right up to us and scaring the living daylights
out of us. Talk about poor pay!). But I'm getting off topic. The point is -
this childhood compost bin was located in the Netherlands, legendary for its
soggy climate. I'm convinced that you can get anything to turn into black
gold over there. No such luck in Pennsylvania, where the composting materials
are frozen for three months every year, and dried from heat for most of the
remainder of the year. My first attempts at composting yielded a mess of moldy
black sticks and strings - partially decomposed, but hardly usable for any
gardening purpose. I christened the stuff notpost, but set out to find
Comminution is my friend
So if a stick in a compost pile is destined to become a black moldy stick, and
a stalk a black moldy stringy substance, the solution is to just not put sticks
and strings in. And that's where tools come into play. At first, I used some
manual pruners to cut larger pieces to size. When it became clear I was well on my way to carpal tunnel
syndrome, I turned my attention to power tools. My first purchase was a
second-hand Mighty Mac gasoline-powered shredder (it made no claims
for chipping). A fearsome monster of a
machine (especially after the muffler fell off) using brute force rather than
sophistication (or even sharp edges) to beat yard waste into submission. It
wasn't ideal, but it was something. I never did like the gasoline engine, with
all its problems starting up and its foul fumes, though. So when Mac finally
failed altogether, I was determined that its replacement be of the electric
Minor problem: nobody around here sells electric chipper/shredders.
Of course there's always the web, which revealed that I had two options: a
really expensive high-powered unit, or a wimpier version that was easier on
the pocketbook. I believe I mentioned before that I'm a Dutchman... So the
cheaper one it was.
Chippy McCulloch, my yellow buddy
It was a Christmas present to myself (in fact, he arrived just in time to eat
the spruce that had graced our living room through the holidays). Chippy is a
McCulloch model 1400 garden shredder — but luckily, he shreds my garden
only selectively. After
I affixed some screws and bolts, he was ready to go. The picture at right shows
him in all his glory, shiny yellow metal with black plastic parts, and some
debris for extra authenticity. In this configuration, Chippy was adept at
taking dry stalks and medium branches and turning them into a surprisingly small
pile of wood and fiber chips underneath the chute.
Unfortunately, not all garden waste is dry and rigid. Getting leafier or
fluffier materials in through the top-feed slot proved to be a hassle
— worse: it would often clog up the barrel, requiring tedious
intervention to get things going again. So I committed an unspeakable act of
civil disobedience — I circumvented Chippy's wholesome, sensible
safety features by removing the plastic parts protecting both its inlet and
outlet zones. Warning - don't do this at home! The picture
at left shows a stripped-down Chippy, ready for action.
The scoop on shredding
As is the case with any tool, it took a while to figure out how to get
Chippy to perform at its peak. The first part is easy - flip the switch, and
marvel over the steady electric hum (quite an improvement over Mac!). Model
1400 has two ports of entry - material can be fed into the main barrel from
the top, where it will meet with a stubby grindifier before it passes
through the knife blades and out of the machine, or via the side chute
straight into the slicing blades.
The side port is meant for woody branches (and handles
them quite nicely), but I found that it is also the best way to deal with just
about any dry stalky material - even waste that in itself is too floppy to
be pushed through will often pass when bunched together, or combined with small
sticks. The advantage of using the side chute is the perfect control over the
feeding rate - when I'm too ambitious, Chippy tells me by changing the pitch
of his hum, and I can back off to let him pick up steam again.
Leaf material, fine grass blades, and other odds and ends don't fit through
the chute and must be top-fed. Here you lose control - if a wad of fibrous material
wraps itself around the grindifier in just the wrong way, Chippy will come
to an unceremonious halt, hum unhappily for a bit, and then turn itself
off altogether. At that point, the only recourse is usually to disconnect him
at the waist, using three hand-knob bolts, clear out any material, put
everything back together, and start back up. Takes a minute or more, so you don't want
to do that too often.
Another possible source of trouble is the exit chute. Anytime the material
being shredded is leafy or otherwise moist, it tends to build up in the
bend where the stuff's direction turns from outward to downward. Not Chippy's
best design feature, I'm afraid. The solution, once again, comes from
experience: a sturdy short stick is ideal for dislodging the clumpy material,
and can be used while the machine is running. Chippy helps by changing his
pitch when the chute is clear. I found it was much easier to complete the
unclogging operation with the plastic end removed.
With those precautions, I manage to run for quite a while between the
almost inevitable stop-ups. Not surprisingly, everything is much easier when
the blades are sharp. Over the course of the first year of use, the knife
blades had slowly but noticeably dulled. Early this year, I turned them around
(they are reversible, with two sharp edges), and was amazed at the difference
it made, especially in processing larger branches. See the section on replacement
parts below for sources of fresh blades.
Play it safe
I may have defeated some of the machine's safety features, but I prefer not
to put myself in harm's way. The removal of the top-feeding arrangement results
in a few shreds and chips being thrown out once in a while, so safety glasses
are indispensible. A pair of good gloves makes all the handling (think
rose briars and hawthorns!) much easier on the hands. And with three small
children in the household, I never walk away from Chippy without disconnecting
him from the extension cord that powers him.
At the end of a long session of shredding, there's the reward - a pile of
compost-bin food. Depending on the raw material, it can be more like wood
chips or clumpy mulched leaves - but it will certainly break down much faster
than what I started with.
So that's how Chippy helps me works towards my goal of preventing any
plant material originating in our garden from leaving the premises. After about
fifty years of applying the resulting compost, the soil may attain that same
dark crumbly consistency I remember from my father's garden. In gardening,
you gotta keep the long view.
As you can read in the comments from other Chippy owners below, it's not
always easy to find replacement parts, especially blades. You can read the
blow-by-blow account of which sources are current, but I'll also try to keep
a list of links to possible sources right here. Let me know if you find
additional sources, or if the ones listed here are no longer good. Note that
Chippy comes loaded with two cutting blades, so you'll need to order two for
a full refurbishment. Jim from Boston sent a nifty link to the
the service parts document, a useful reference.
They list a replacement item for the cutting blade, but no longer carry
Likewise, they no longer carry it
They carry the blades, with part number MC 6250 200001(P). Available as of
22 Nov 2009, at $18.45
- MTD Lawn Mower Parts.
They carry the blades, with part number MC 6250 200001(P). Available as of
22 Nov 2009, at $18.48
- M&D Mower was a good source for quite a while, but I can no longer find
the cutter blades on their site. They do still carry the V-cutter blade, $22.71
as of 22 Nov 2009
- Ordertree.com has most recently offered a good price for the blades, about $4 each. Try
visiting the McCullogh part of the site,
and search for part number 6250-200001.
Visitors to this page have left the following comments
|Bob Spencer||Aug 06, 2006||Thank you for your review of Chippy.|
|Neal Pressley||Sep 26, 2006||I would mainly purchase the mcculloch chipper/shredder for leaves and small limbs/garden waste. Is it o.k. for leaves, especially in the fall? Thanks. Neal|
Dry leaves will work OK, small limbs is what this unit excells at. Alternating the harder, drier material with the wetter stuff (like green garden waste) helps keep the exit chute clear.
|Mary Jo Sharkey||Oct 03, 2006||This description helped me to decide. I want a CHIPPY of my own!!! Thanks.|
|Jim in Boston||Oct 12, 2006||I just bought the Yard Machines version of Chippy. Looks idendical to Chippy except it's orange. Both made by MTD and have same model number & specs. Got it thru Amazon.com and it arrived yesterday. It's not assembled yet. I did notice the owner's manual gave no source for replacement cutter blades. Will start a web search for them so I can swap them out if they get too dull. Can these be sharpened by the user ?
Jim scoped out a source for replacement blades - see the text above.
|Mike from California||May 28, 2007||Just got back from the annual clean-up weekend at my mountain cabin. We purchased a 'Chippy' to help reduce the volume of haul-down-the-hill material. Worked great, but I'll be committing my own act of civil disobediance next year. The hopper is just in the way when you're dealing with piles of dried Black oak leaves. Thank you for the replacement blade information! I was having a hard time finding anything on McCulloch's website regarding these. |
|Joseph from Phoenix||Jul 09, 2007||I am getting ready to purchase a chipper. I have bougenvilla, which has thorns. Do you think chippy would destroy the thorns? I don't want to use product in my compost tumbler if it contains thorns. Also, would it be better to let the leafy branches dry out before shredding, i.e.: to reduce blocking the exit.
I've shredded many thorny plants - from small-thorned roses to fierce hawthorns. I'm sure the thorns are not completely destroyed, but I've never been stuck by them in handling the shredded material.
Yes, somewhat dried material is easier to process than fresh leafy stuff.
|Jud||Jul 23, 2007||Hey Joe from Phoenix:
I bought one of these myself and have used it very successfully to munch up bougenvilla. Lots of them. I didn't notice any thorns. |
|Joe T. in TN||Aug 18, 2007||I have the Yard Machines MTD 1400K - the red twin to your chipper. I re-sharpen and change out blades regularly. The trouble is the screws that hold the blade need to be replaced but both the MTD and M & D Mower can not get them – the company that made both units went out of business in 1990. I have not found an outlet that carry the size needed, do you or anyone have supplier that stocks – P/N: MTD-MC-6200-200002?|
I don't, but I'll leave your question here in case anyone does. I guess I'll need them replaced myself sooner or later...
|anita||Oct 05, 2007||I'm getting one of these chippers to chip the grape vines, rose canes, etc. Is there any difference between the different models- ie: McCulloch 14 Amp Electric Chipper/Shredder #24B-404A777, vs the MCS2001, vs MCS1400? Do they all have the same blades/knives? |
|Leah in So Cal||Nov 01, 2007||I found this post because I have been positively scouring the internet for parts for the McCulloch MCS1400. MTD no longer sells the parts. However, I have found that "Ordertree.com" claims to sell McCulloch chipper parts. After waiting two weeks for my order from "Ordertree" to come in I called and now they are telling me that parts are on backorder until December, 2007. I can't tell if they are just saying that because they don't know but I am keeping my fingers crossed. I specifically asked if these are discontinued parts and they said "no". I wonder if maybe the manufacturer only makes extra parts when it wants to make more machines. I ordered the Blade-V Cutter (MC-6250-200003), the Screw that Joe is looking for (MC-6200-200002), and the Straight Cutter that cuts the branches (6250-200001). I don't know what the deal is but I am desperate for those parts since my Blade-V Cutter broke in half and leaves and dead branches are piling up fast.|
|Debbie||May 19, 2008||This page has turned into an online Chippy support group! We love our Chippy and we broke our V Cutter today. Thanks for the replacement parts info -- www.m-and-d.com is just what we needed. You're a lifesaver.|
|John from Ottawa, Ontario||Jul 18, 2008||I'm looking for an electric chipper/shredder to use in a retail flower shop to break down for compost the large quantities of waste cuttings from flowers and greens that we use in arrangements. Lots of fairly leafy material as well as woody stems from roses and the like. Does anyone who has experience with the MCS1400 have any thoughts on whether it would be suitable for that use? From the comments I read here, I am wondering whether the machine would bog down in shredding that sort of material? |
Yes, I'd be concerned about blocking the outlet chute when the feed is mostly fresh leafy material. I don't know of a good alternative off-hand, though.
|Ken from California||Jul 21, 2008||I've been using another source of parts for my Chippy (MTD Parts on-line):
www.m-and-d.com is cheaper it looks like.
I've tried re-sharpening the blades without much luck. Anyone have any ideas on how to sharpen them?|
|Dave Wesely||Jul 23, 2008||I've owned at 1400 for several years now and it is time to replace the blades. I found early on that you don't want to put any roots through the machine - the dirt dulls the blades fast. The same goes for leaves that may have small rocks mixed in with them. Unfortunately the blades are made of hardened steel so they do not sharpen like a lawnmower blade. This is so they stay sharp longer AND because they probably spin much faster than a lawnmower blade does. It is easy to get a blade like this lopsided and unbalanced with sharpening. With sharp blades this will go through small branches and brambles with ease. I wouldn't switch to a gas chipper for anything. Originally I thought I could chop up green garden material as well, but that plugs it to easily and dirt becomes a problem. |
|Alia||Sep 03, 2008||Thanks for the parts info! We have been using this chipper for about 1 1/2 year and the blade broke this weekend. We probably use it for heavier work than it was intended, just can't afford the larger models yet. |
|Rachel Wofford||Oct 08, 2008||You might want to try a leaf shredder for the leafy materials - I have one of the red ones I found reconditioned online that uses plastic strings to cut with, like a weed eater. That way, there are no metal parts to rust. The openings are much larger, and it has worked well for wet and dry leaves. Leaf mold is a great addition to your soil, especially if added with some high N materials like coffee grounds, blood meal, or manure.|
|sneezer2||May 21, 2009||The screw for holding the blades is not so hard to find. If you ask for it by
part number, yes you will have trouble but I believe the reason those
companies don't stock it that way is that it is so common. It's just a
metric screw, 8 mm diameter and 15 mm length. Try to get a hardened version.
Any place that carries a good selection of screws will have this, even Lowe's.
A good hardware store will have a wider variety. My local Ace does well. If
you really get stuck, try an auto parts store. Really, this is not a hard find.|
|Old Geezer from Northeast Ohio||May 27, 2009||I have the McCulloch shredder that I have used several years and have found it a most useful tool. It's much MUCH better than my 8 HP temperamental vibrating gasoline shredder that I had for years. I agree that parts are not always easy to get, but the knives are easily touched up with a diamond-imbedded file or stone. I am in the process currently of shredding fruit tree branches from my neighbor. The beauty of an electric motor is, of course, that shredding can be done indoors (the garage, not the house) without carbon monoxide poisoning if weather is inclement. Everything shredded is either composted or added directly to the various beds as mulch. When shredding cornstalks or broccoli and/or brussels sprouts stalks in the fall, I add the material directly to the fallow bed, turn it in with my tiller, and let it compost "in situ" during the winter. This is a very useful and informative site, and I hope I contributed some useful info in exchange for what info I've taken from it, thank you all.|
|Pam||Jul 09, 2009||Tried to get new blades from the online resources mentioned in previous posts. No luck. Does anyone have other suggestions? My blades are quite dull and while I'll attempt sharpening, I would like a back-up pair of blades. |
|Erik||Jul 15, 2009||I just ordered the blades (at least I think they're the blades) online at http://www.mowerpartsweb.com/Iteminfo.asp?ITEM=SPMC-6250-200001P. Be advised that they have added a "P" to the end of the part number (SPMC-6250-200001P) as mfg. are wont to do. Strangely, they're only 5 bucks each, so I ordered two in case they aren't coming in pairs anymore. I promise to get back to you in 4-5 working days when they arrive.|
|Carol||Sep 01, 2009||I have the yellow chipper and shredder, the screws have come out that hold the hopper on, I can see on the replacement parts list, the screws but some of the nuts have also come out that fit in hopper, where can I get them they are not listed on the parts list|
|Kathleen from San Francisco||Sep 03, 2009||We purchased our Chippy in 2005. Last year I sharpened the V blade with a sharpening wheel instead of a file. It worked very well and with care you can keep them balanced. On Aug 23 I ordered a new V blade (just in case) and the flat blade from M & D they arrived on the 31st.
In San Francisco we shred our garden debris every week unless it rains. In the winter we have a lot of florist flowers in addition to the garden stuff. John from Ottawa was asking about florist material. Chippy will not be happy with anything that mats - babies breath, Queen Anne's Lace, etc, nor with anything that goes mushy - bulbs. It happily gobbles mums, carnations & dianthus and roses - anything that is crisp. Evergreens tend to mat and camellia leaves tend to come out whole.
We had an old gas engine shredder previously that was too heavy to move and needed constant maintenance. It is true that it could handle roots with soil, the occasional rock left it unfazed and odd shaped branches & twiggy growth went right through. The fuss outweighed the advantages though. The Chippy is wonderful and is a real workhorse and we feel it is worth it's weight in gold.
We also lost some of the hopper bolts and took one of the remaining ones to our nearby hardware store to find replacements. What we have now are longer but they work well and we haven't lost any. Thank you sneezer2 for info on the blade screws.
This is a great website and a terrific support group for Chippy fans!
|Julie||Sep 26, 2009||My purpose for buying the MCS 1400 would be to chip grape vines and wisteria vines. I can't tell from reading all the posts if it will be effective since they are vines (which seem to shred) but they are also leafy and moist (seems to clog). Can you answer my question?
Thank you, Julie|
Wisteria vines are the number one thing my Chippy chokes up on - not because of the leafy growth, but because the vines are so tough that they tangle around the blades instead of being cut up. It's OK with nice sharp blades, but when they dull a bit I usually skip the vines in my Chippy sessions.
|Robert||Nov 26, 2009||Thanks for this web site! Very easy to get information on blades and re-ordering. I look forward each time I use my chippy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yd4SxUhb08k |
|Ken from California||Nov 29, 2009||None of the above websites had the cutters in stock. I ended up ordering them from here: http://www.ordertree.com/modelinfo/MCC/MCS2001/139.MCS2001.1.32.1.html
Part #: 6250-200001
The price was good ($4.08/blade -> you need two), but the cutters were "special order", so I'm not sure how long it will take to ship.
Thanks for the information, Ken. I didn't find that source when I hunted around last week. I agree that's a good price, so I ordered a few as well. I've updated the list above with the new info.
|Scott McMahon (Menlo Park, CA)||Dec 07, 2009||Was unable to find replacement blades at any of the links listed so far. I did find some for $15.81 each at http://www.sepw.com/SearchResult.aspx?KeyWords=MC-6250-200001P&Exact=True, and for $18.48 at http://www.mtdlawnmowerparts.com/proddetail.php?prod=6250-200004. Hope this is helpful for someone else.|
|Robert||Dec 11, 2009||Here's what www.ordertree.com emailed me on 12/02/2009: "I am sorry to inform you, but the part MC-6250-200001 on your order is no longer available from the manufacturer". And from partstree.com: "I am sorry to inform you, but the part MC-6250-200001 on your order is no longer available from the manufacturer". I was able to get the last 9 from another vendor, and they won't be restocking. Guess I'll have to learn how to sharpen the cutting blades myself.|
|Scott McMahon (Menlo Park, CA)||Dec 17, 2009||Yeah. My orders bounced too, although one of them took a week to tell me. Now I wish I had an old one to sharpen. I took my blades to a guy who sharpens knives on weekends at the local hardware store. He said they need to be sharpened on a high-speed (I think he said 350 RPM) water-wet grindstone. He had one at home, but, unfortunately for me, my blades were too far gone to allow another sharpening. If he could have done the job, he said his price would have been about $2 per inch of sharpened edge.
If anyone finds a place to order blades, please post it here!|
|Curt||Dec 23, 2009||Thanks for doing all the legwork on finding these parts! I just placed an order with Partstree.com for a replacement V-cutter and the safety switch. If I have any issues receiving them, I'll re-post here. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!|
|micki||Jan 12, 2010||I have an Eco-Shredder model ES-1600 which looks almost exactly like the McCulloch chipper. It is a great machine...and it has the same little "hiccups" as Chippy because of the similarity in design. The blades dulled and I needed to get more (they can only be sharpeed so many times before they need to be replaced), but spare parts are difficult to find. If it hadn't been for this site, I would never have found "universal" blades for it. Now I can continue to work in my garden and make quick work of cuttings for mulch and my compost pile. Thanks, Rob, you're #1 in my cabbage patch. Micki|
|Jim H||Jan 16, 2010||The Chippy flat blade MC-6250-200001 doesn't seem to be available anywhere. But it is a fairly simple, generic shape. Does anyone know if there is some other shredder with an identical replacement blade, under some other part number, so we can buy that blade?|
|Scott McMahon (Menlo Park, CA)||Jan 28, 2010||About 2 weeks ago, I placed an order at ordertree.com for the blades recommended by "Ken from California," (see his Nov 9 posting.) They were listed as "Special Order." I called them today to check the status, and was told that the blades are out of stock and ordertree is expecting to get more around April 10, 2010. (They're coming form China.)|
|K West||Feb 24, 2010||I bought one of these 1400 years ago, and it has performed wonderfully. Chip your limbs while green. I sharpen the blades with my diamond hone after about 5 hours of chipping. Disconnect the cord. The v blades can be sharpened easily, the flat blades can be sharpened by passing the hone over them horizontally in place. They don't need to be razor sharp, just a clean edge. Makes a lot of difference in performance. If you take them out, use some thread sealant on the screws when reassembling. My only problem is the little rubber seal over the safety switch is worn out and I can't find a replacement. I am going to use a piece of rubber glove. The thing is so good, it's obsolete! |
Thanks for the tip on sharpening - sounds like I need to go invest in a diamond hone...
|Wes B||Mar 26, 2010||I have had a McCulloch 1400 shredder for several years, and like everyone else am trying to find replacement cutter blades. In my shredding experience, moist items such as succulents or any moist or wet plant tissue will turn into peanut butter and gum up the machine (warning by reduced RPM or sometimes even steam vapor coming out); then the machine needs to be opened up and cleaned out, a nuisance. It's better to sun-dry the moist items first (I put them on my concrete patio in the sun until dry enough). I don't shred sticks bigger than 1/4 inch diameter -- too slow, and probably dulls blades faster. Sticks go through more easily if I first break or cut then into 4 to 6 inch pieces. I'm careful to avoid putting in any stones or dirt -- they tend to settle toward the bottom of a container of material for shredding, so I take handfuls of material off the top and sometimes shake them before putting into the shredder, to avoid stones and dirt. Shredded material makes excellent mulch if you run out of compost bin space. I rotate among 3 bins, in different stages of maturing. I keep them aerated with a compost tool, 2 or 3 times a week depending on temperature, and keep them moist with a nearby hose outlet (California weather is usually very drying).|
|Stuart M||Mar 29, 2010||I bought a Chippy about 18 months ago and it sat in my shed until this weekend when I finally decided to put it together. However, when I plugged it in and switched it on, I got a humming noise for a few seconds then it tripped out. I could see the blade turning at about 1 rev/sec. The blades are free to turn by hand when the top is off. Anybody got any ideas on what is going on?|
Afraid I'm no help. It may the overload circuitry. Hopefully someone will come along with a suggested course of action.
|Sarah||Apr 02, 2010||I cannot get the screws holding my blades in place loose - I have tried WD40. They look a bit tarnished and maybe clogged up with plant material but not particularly rusty... can you recommend anything?|
|Fred||Apr 09, 2010||I saw on another site that the blades stocked at Harbor Freight for their import Electric Chipper appear to be an exact replacement for the McCulloch. Worth a look . . . |
Thanks for the tip! I just received (surprise!) three sets of blades in the mail. I had ordered them back in January, and had given up on ever receiving them. It's nice having sharp blades :-)
|Paul||Apr 12, 2010||Regarding the V-Cutter (blade). I just had to back order the item through McCulloch (1-800-521-8559). The local vendor they had told me about does not even work on electric motors nor carry the parts for McCulloch (which he told me is now actually a Chinese company & the item does say, "Made in China"). He was frustrated because of frequent calls to his company when he has nothing to do with them. He also complained that he has spoken with them to remove his company as a vendor without success to date. Now, when I placed the order, I was told that the Part # is now 6250-200002 instead of *01. Other websites state that the *02 part is now replaced with *03. I just thought I would share that information with everyone.
I also wanted to share that while some may have had good experiences with the item, I have had some problems. I purchased the chipper / shredder circa late 2007. I am disabled military and needed some assistance to care for my small property. First, right out of the box, the hopper (top) was defective. That, plus a missing screw, was replaced free by the vendor. I have not had much use of the machine except in 2007 and 2008 (mostly hedge cuttings and fallen branches of small diameter). 2009, I did not use it at all. Recently (APR 10), after doing pre-use maintenance, I began chipping the cuttings, etc. I did not get very far in this as there were sudden loud noises. I stopped the motor and disconnected power to the device. I removed the to find that the V-Cutter had broken apart at the base section in 3 places. The cutting blades were intact. Upon examining the pieces, I found that there were significantly sized areas where the metal was a dull gray in color as well as porous in appearance. From experience, I know this to be defective metal. I am thankful that no pieces of the broken cutter were ejected or pierced the metal chute. As stated, I was chipping small (from little finger to middle finger diameter) cuttings / branches when the above event happened. I have not used the device but a few times and for that I have had to put more into maintenance than profitably use the device. I hope others don't fare the same, but be carefull!|
|Ed Ferranto||Apr 13, 2010||I got my Chippy about a year ago from Amazon and have been pretty happy with it. I removed the flexible flaps on the top-chute and side-feed hole and removed the plastic discharge piece. Much easier feeding without them. Still have the top feeder chute installed. Wear eye protection as some small pieces come out the top now.
When it jams up I take the top-feeder off instead of the yellow body piece. I replaced the tamper-proof screws with regular NF screws and only put in 3 screws to hold the top-chute on. Much quicker to get apart. I use a 5/8" socket with a long extension and rachet to turn the cutter and can usually get jammed wood out of the blades without having to take the whole thing apart; Sometimes I can even get it free without taking the top chute off this way.
The V-Cutter broke apart two weeks ago just like Paul said. I ordered it from ordertree.com and I just called them to see where it is. They said "July 4th".
I think a machinist could do some business with us making up these blades and cutters out of good steel.
Not sure what to do now.|
|Rohmell Brills||Apr 14, 2010||Call Harbor Freight Tools at 1-800-444-3353, tell them that you have a Model 66910 Electric Chipper Shredder, and that you want to buy replacement blades, Part number 20.
Interestingly, this model does not use the V-blades that seem to be prone to breakage for others.|
|Rohmell Brills||Apr 17, 2010||Harbor Freight Tools Update:
Contact the Order Department at 1-800-423-2567, and order item number 12181 for $2.94 each. These blades are double sided, so you get twice the usage before resharpening. Helpful Hint: I touch up the blades before each use with a EZE-LAP Diamond 'M' knife sharpener, which is great for mower blades, too!|
|Scott McMahon (Menlo Park, CA)||Apr 30, 2010||Finally received my new blades (ordered back in January from ordertree.com.)
These are the blades recommended by "Ken from California," (see his 11/9/09 and my 1/19/10 postings.) What I ordered was part # 6250-200001. They cost $4.08 a pair. They look exactly like my old blades and work great in the machine.
Note: My Chippy is a slightly different model from Rob's. (It's an MS2003.) From the schematic on McCulloch's website, the parts # for my blades should be MC-6268-200001, but these new blades from ordertree, labeled 6250-200001, appear to be an exact match for my old blades and work quite well so far. These blades are double sided, with two sharpened edges on each blade, so they're reversible, and are sharpened with the top side flat. The blunt inboard and outboard ends are cut on a bevel with some rounding.
Good luck everyone. Bought my Chippy used with blunt blades and haven't used it much yet. Will report back when I have more experience using it.|
|Paul||May 01, 2010||Please refer to my post of 12 April (BTW, my chipper model # is MCS 2001). On 30 April 2010, I e-mailed ordertree.com (I had backed up my order through McCulloch just to have the parts). This is part of the reply I received from their customer service, "As indicated during the order process one or more items on your order are special order items. Please note that as soon as these parts are into stock they will be shipped to you promptly.... Estimated Time of Arrival to Warehouse: Week of 04-Jul-10" I printed out every page of the "order process" of 12 April and can find NO reference to "special order" nor any expected delay. I also e-mailed McCulloch for an order update and am awaiting a reply (was told originally that they would be in their warehouse in 10 days which would have been circa the 22nd of April). In any event, I can see why there are not a few complaints online, here and elsewhere, about significant delays and difficulties in obtaining (basic) parts. Coincidentally, I had a "tree man" at our place yesterday as we need to have a tree removed. I showed him the hedge cuttings that I have piled up. I asked him if they should have been a problem, based upon size, for the chipper and he said definitely not. Good luck to all out there in use and getting parts!|
|Ken from California||May 06, 2010||I finally got my parts from Order Tree (replacement blades & replacement flap for the branch feeding nozzle). They were nice enough to call me first to make sure I still wanted them and didn't charge my credit card until they actually shipped them.
I've been too busy to do much chipping lately, but I'm down to my last set of blades so I'm glad to get the new ones.
I also bought some diamond embedded hones from Amazon because I wasn't sure if the blades would ever show up:
I'm going to try those first before I install the new blades. I'll report back how they work.|
Thanks for filling us in, Ken. I'd be interested to hear about your experience with the hone.
|Rohmell Brills||May 15, 2010||Hi to All. This site is a wonderful resource for Chippy information.
While shredding moist leaves, you may notice a buildup of a film of leaf material on the internal surfaces of your machine. Before using your Chippy, spray the surfaces with silicone spray, snowblower non-stick chute spray, or even a non-stick cooking spray such as PAM. You will find that leaves will clog the machine less frequently, if at all, and you will be able to simply wipe away the green leaf film very easily. Also, as Neal Pressley mentioned, by alternating wet leafy materials with dry hard branches, your machine will clog less often.|
|CeCe from WNY||May 23, 2010||Great source for info on the McCulloch electric chipper/shredder; I am the gardener in the family, put the machine together by myself with little problem (Amazon website notes problems with that); bought it a few years ago and had no problems (except for the usual - don't try too wet material, larger than recommended branches and/or any with bark). Last Fall the blade broke, have waited until now to find a replacement. Any updates would be appreciated - I may try Harbor Freight as they have a local store, tried the Ordertree site but get answer that part is 'unavailable'. Any updated info on replacement blade would be appreciated - thanks - great site!|
|Pat Mundy||Jun 13, 2010||Have had the yellow version for three years. Am an aggressive hot-composter and our "Chippy" has seen heavy-duty use each summer. Have taken to sharpening the v-Cutter surface with a flat file from time to time and that helps, but had no idea (can't find the manual since garage clean-up!) that the main flat blades were reversible... yesterday we were shredding and chipping privet shoots after trimming the big hedge and got frustrated with the dullness of those blades. I called the store where we bought the machine (OSH) and they don't stock replacements (what a mistake!) and couldn't find much on the internet anywhere until I found this site! Reversible blades, I can't believe I didn't see that! Pulled out my set of metric allen wrenches and in a few minutes we were back in major business, thanks! (And that's one reverse after 3 years of heavy use!) Will be ordering some replacement blades from one of the sources above just to have 'em. Great site - thanks a million for having it AND keeping it up. Sorry to hear about Paul and Ed's troubles with defective metal, maybe newer versions (mine was purchased in 2007) are using inferior metals and McCulloch should be written directly about this. I've had no troubles whatsoever and I'm very aggressive about using the machine - including, despite my best efforts to avoid it, rocks, small screws and the occasional large nail making their way in. Of course, I stop the machine and remove these obstructions as soon as it is apparent - from the sound - that they have entered, but my point it that it has really be a phenomenal work-horse around here. Very happy with the investment (as are the vegetables in the garden which love the finished compost...)|
|M>C>||Jul 06, 2010||Have found that if you let your branches with leaves lie for at least 24 hours (48 is better) before shredding they are less likely to clog the machine. |
|Scott McMahon (Menlo Park, CA)||Jul 07, 2010||Have been using the chippy for a few months now. Was able to chip up some pretty big branches (1 1/4" or so.) If you want to keep it from clogging up, it runs through the material pretty slowly -- 15 minutes for a half wheelbarrow. All day for a big pile of trimmings. But oh my, what a compost miracle. I have about a 1 cu yd pile and it steams when I open it up and turn it. Been doing that every other day for about 3 weeks now and its still steaming inside. I love it. A smaller pile is also doing well. Steaming hot inside.|
|Paul||Jul 30, 2010||Please refer my post of Apr 12, 2010 and May 01, 2010. I had ordered from what I thought was McCulloch (1-800-521-8559 from the manual) and from ordertree.com on the same date, 12 APR 10. Attempts at follow by phone were futile as an automated system did not even ask for order number, etc. It just told you that orders were back logged or words to the same effect. E-mail was not much help either. I should note that I even received an e-mail from Husqvarna (why???) who told me that they did not retail parts. I never even knew that I had contacted them. Well, today is July 30, 2010 (30 JUL 10) and we came home to find two packages at the door. I had ordered the V-Cutter from McCulloch and another plus the two flat blades from ordertree.com. Both were processed by ordertree.com with an invoice date on each invoice of 28 JUL 10 (2 days ago). They charge S&H w/ Priority Mail (a few hundred miles away and a long time since last April) which amounted to $18.98 which is close to the amount of one of the shippments (V-cutter and 2 flat blades). What is odd is that the V-cutter ordered by phone cost $1.50 more than the one ordered online.
At this point, I am just happy to have them. I am glad to have a back up V-cutter because of the past experience with defective forged iron on the original blade that broke in 3 places at the base, not the blades themselves.
McCulloch is actually a Chinese company like many others today, as I have been told. I would recommend good old Army style "PM" (preventative maintenance and safety checks before each use). Since the blades are essential components and since everywhere I go online I see the same delay complaints, I would suggest being prepared in advance by obtaining a spare V-cutter at minimum and at best that and the 2 flat blades. BTW, for those 8 or so small screws that hold the hopper in place, a drop of medium strength "Loctite" Threadlocker might be considered so that none loosen from vibration and get lost.
My best to all users. |
|Newest one here||Aug 14, 2010|| They ARE here.
I put this off so long that Paul beat me to it, but the Ordertree company does have the blades in. At least they did on 7/28. That's when they sent mine, too. I only ordered them on July 14, but since they didn't come as soon as I was lead to believe, I thought I was in for a long wait, too. Thanks to you people, I ordered 5 pairs, so I won't have this happen again anytime soon.
Because their part number information on the internet (which I'd saved in a "bookmark") automatically changed to another part number which was about $25, I called them at 877-500-7499 to make sure I'd only be paying $3.45 a blade.
I have the same model as our host here, and bought it based on the information you people have left. For $50, never out of the box, though 6 years old so I get the parts problem.
If you're in Northern California, you can plan on one pair of blades to take care of 3 thujas, thugas? about 4' x 8', and I also cut about 11 oleanders from at most 20' down to 7' and shredded the branches. They were a lot easier than the others. And like our host says, if you have something wet, let it dry first. It didn't take long for some geraniums to foul things up. I didn't realize they're wet on the inside.
Thanks again for having this spot available, otherwise I'd be dealing with a gas engine and I've never had much fortune with those. This thing's mighty.
P.S. They're not easy to find but they're here: Go to http://www.ordertree.com/cms/parts-lookup-help/73.html and enter 6250-200001 in the "Parts Lookup Help" box.
P.P.S. They asked for my internet address, so they could let me know when they sent them, but I never recived such a message. |
|Karin||Aug 15, 2010||Thanks all for the info on replacement blades. I just ordered some from Ordertree. I hope they come soon because my blades are rather dull. I've had my 'chippy' only a few weeks, but have done quite a bit of chipping. I don't know what I'm doing differently that I'm dulling the blades so quickly. When I turned them around and I was surprised at how much more quickly things went. Thanks to all the info here, I went ahead and ordered a new V-blade, too. I ordered 4 blades, I'm not sure from what they say if that is 4 single blades or pairs. Now to practice my sharpening skills in the meantime. Thanks again!|
|Sandy, From Lolo MT||Aug 17, 2010||I was hoping to learn if the replacement blades from Harbor freight actually fit the Mcculloch 1400 chipper. As I too am having the perverbial problem of locating blades. As of yesterday 8/16/2010, ordertree said they do not carry the blades anymore. |
|Pete||Aug 18, 2010||The blades are relatively easy to remove and to sharpen. I'm sure it will take many sharpenings before they need to be replaced.
My problem is with broken bolts. Several bolts have broken over the couple years of use. I replaced one holding the motor onto the frame, but others are not so easy to find. 2 bolts holding the platic feeder chute to the body are gone and one screw holding the flat blades is gone. I can't find any of these parts at local hardware stores or a specialty bolt store.
has anybody else had similar problems or know where to find bolts?|
|Mark from Livermore CA||Aug 28, 2010||Thanks for the great site. I have the Ecoshredder unit which is very similar to the McCulloch as you know. After about 2 weeks of use both wings of the V-cutter snapped off, and in the process chewed up the lower horizontal cutter also. The unit came with horizontal cutter replacements, but not for the V-cutter. I called the Maxtool company in La Verne, CA, and also emailed them at the provided address. Their email address is not valid, and I called several times and was directed to a person, Andrew, who was never in (regardless of the time of day called) and never returned my calls. I just gave up on them and starting searching for parts, eventually finding this site. I tried most of the sources listed and only ordertree.com worked. I bought two V-cutters, $16.45 each, and additional horizontal cutters, $3.45 each. Shipping was $10 or so. The parts came in about a week, and have been installed and work perfectly. Note: the allen bolts on the horizontal cutters take a 6mm allen wrench.|
|Darkwater Warrior||Oct 13, 2010|| Thanks Newest for the information helping to navigate the ordertree site. It was quite flaky the first time I tried it. Today was better and found that it wasn't accepting AE cards, at least not mine. Got ten ordered on a M card.
This is my second mccollough, the first is idle because of noisy bearings that I brought on by hoping to flush soft vegetation blockage with water; don't do that! Also its a good idea to oil the screw threads holding down the flat blades periodically or even after each use to keep them from sticking.
And Rob, thanks so much for this site!|
|Dale from Littleton CO||Oct 18, 2010||I needed a new switch for my "Cippy McCoullach" (identical to yours. Thinking it was a specialty item, I search the interent and even tried your recommendations above. One claimed to have it and then emailed back 'out of stock'. I went to my ACE Hardware store and lo and behold there it was!
Rocker Switch with Lock-Out. ACE item # 3135878. $11.99 If your store doesn't have it, they can order it for you or go to their web site! Thanks!|
Thanks for the info, Dale!
|Rohmell Brills||Nov 02, 2010||
An additional source for the Rocker Switch with Lock-Out:
|Robert||Nov 23, 2010||Just check Order Tree for the Blade-V cutter and received this message:
MC-6250-200003 Part is No Longer Available (and none in stock)
I've called several other places with no luck. |
|Jerry Long Beach CA.||Dec 24, 2010||Haven't had any problems ordering from www.ordertree.com for my ecoshredder. Always use their site. Ordered 6250-2000001, blades, on 7 Jul 10 and received a few days later. Ordered 6250-2000002, V-Cutter, Dec 14 and it came a few days later (16.45 for cutter and 8.99 for s&h). This is the second replacement V-cutter in the 7 months I've owned this shredder. Not exceeding limits, just normal garden clippings. My only concern is that when the V-cutter blade breaks that it will send some metal parts up the branch feeder chute or out the top feed area. Thanks for this site, it kept me sane when I originally started trying to find where to get parts.|
|CJ Hulin||Jan 17, 2011||Purchased a MCS2001 on ebay and after putting it together the unit didn't run. Removed the motor cover and found the white wire to the cut-out switch unattached.
The small brass clip on the switch came loose and cannot be reattached. According to Ordertree this part will no longer be available. Can the switch be bypassed.
I imagine you can bypass the switch. It will of course eliminate this safety feature. While I would probably do so myself if I were in your position, you need to weigh the pros and cons for yourself.
|Roger||Jan 20, 2011||I just busted my V-cutter, and can't find any source for a replacement. Any hope? My e-mail is email@example.com|
|Rick Hegberg||Feb 08, 2011||Was able to order both V cutter and blades from Ordertree. Both showed as in stock. Will update when order arrives.|
|Dan Hafeman||Feb 11, 2011||I stumbled on this site today looking for the flywheel to which the blades of the 1400 attach. After years of use, mine broke due to fatigue. Fortunately, I bought another 1400 a couple of years ago to use for parts. I run my 1400 an hour per week chopping everything from the garden. The material feeds my compost pile.
Like the author, I removed all the plastic safety surroundings to make the machine usable. However, I felt the open tank was too unsafe and also more difficult to force material into since there are no sloping sides. So I modified the plastic top by cutting out the solid plastic piece in the center which covers most of the tank. This opens up the tank with the plastic top still in place. It is a bit more safe in that the operator can slide materials in at an angle and therefore never has to look down directly into the tank. The handle remains in place making movement of the unit much easier.
I sharpen the blades and v-cutter using a small shop bench grinder after each hour of use. It takes about 10 minutes to do the sharpening. But it pays back in much faster chipping, reduced electricity usage, and less physical and emotional stress on the ol body. A double sided blade lasts me about a year. I retire a pair of blade when they have been ground down so far that the blades no longer extends beyond the flywheel base opening.
I use a metal paint stirrer to unplug the uncovered outlet while the unit is running. It works great in that the unit rarely plugs inside due to wet materials. The plug develops at the outlet and like the author of this site said, the unit tells you by the sound of the motor when the outlet needs to be unplugged. Simply swipe the paint stirrer across the opening removing material built up there. New material from the inside will start to spill out. Swipe a couple more times until the unit is cleared.
One warning. When the unit is operated with an open tank, a fatigue failure of the v-cutter often results in one of the sides flying out of the tank. It could be deadly if it hit the operator in the head. So... never look directly into the open tank and inspect the V-cutter weekly. It tends to fracture at the base. The unmodified plastic top prevents the failed v-cutter piece from flying out of the tank. I can't imagine, though, what it does to the blades and other parts inside.
I buy replacements from Ordertree.com.
Anyone have an old flywheel they no longer want? Please reply here if you do.
|J Catledge||Mar 06, 2011||Just ordered the V-cutter, blades and screws from Ordertree today, all listed as instock. |
|J. Perkins||Mar 11, 2011||thanks for this page. i am now in seach of those elusive blades. bought my 1400 at Sears a few years ago and am peevied they have no clue on how to work on items they sell. @~@
Thanks for saving my spring cleaning|
|C. Woyewodzic||Apr 24, 2011||Love having this page!
Couldn't find blades anywhere until I searched for McCulloch v-blades and this came up:
I just ordered 2, hope they fit.
|Quimby||May 01, 2011||found the flywheel at M&D Mower and Appliances - MAC-M62680200101! also blades. Took about 4 weeks to arrive. |
|B. Casebolt||May 06, 2011||I'm sold on the amazing 'CHIPPY', AND WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ONE FOR my very own. The only Problem is, I believe the McCulloch Co. has gone out of business. If you know otherwise, or know where I can get a new 0ne, please let me know. I have called several garden centers in this area, and none of them carry them anymore. |
|Bryce Casebolt||May 06, 2011||I'm sold on the amazing 'CHIPPY', AND WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE ONE FOR my very own. The only Problem is, I believe the McCulloch Co. has gone out of business. If you know otherwise, or know where I can get a new 0ne, please let me know. I have called several garden centers in this area, and none of them carry them anymore. |
|Tom Coxon||May 21, 2011||Having just bought a McCullock MB340 from eBay & found that it could do with a blade change, I've found them very hard to come by. However, I have an old 1983 McCulloch in the garage - it looks like an older version of the 1400 shown above. Although I haven't interchanged the blades to prove it, both machines look like they use the same blade – lozenge shaped, double sided 61mm(2 1/2") along the cutting edge, and 32mm(1 1/4") along the side, holes 35mm(1 1/2") between centres).
Now the potentially useful bit of information.
My old McCulloch in the garage looks just like the old AL-KO shredders on eBay, and the AL-KO parts look just like the McCulloch parts e.g. the AL-KO Shredder Blades and Bolts set – part no 325030 have the same dimensions as above. So I got a couple of sets and.....
The blades are identical. I can't tell about the bolts for sure until I actually remove one from the shredder & find out if the threads are the same, but so far the only difference that I've found is that the bolts on the shredder have a slot for a flat blade screwdriver & the new AL-KO ones are made to be used with a spline key.
So it looks like McCulloch & AL-KO use the same blades & possibly other parts since the AL-KO Garden Shredder Parts Blade Disc 500587 looks the same as the blade disc in my old shredder.
Hope that helps someone find blades to keep their shredder working a bit longer.|
|Ken from California||Jun 04, 2011||They are selling replacement blades on Amazon now:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004918MQA/ . I've had some luck resharpening blades in place using the set of diamond hones:
I start with the roughest and work to the finest. I leave the blades installed and just work the hone back and forth keeping the same angle as the blade. Then I do it flat on the top of the blade to knock off any curled edge.
It cuts better, but never as good as new blades. I do it before each use.|
|Dave in San Juan Capistrano||Jun 24, 2011||I found the blades and V-cutter on www.eco-outfitter.com, June 2011. I use my chipper for a lot of dry palm grinding. Not recc. by the manufacturer., but does a good job if I sharpen the v-cutter and blades each time. Pull them and sharpen the angled surface on a grinder. Then use a mill-bastard file to keep the flat side flat. This is a well built, hardy tool, so I stocked up on blades.|
|John Stephens||Jun 28, 2011||I have to cut up brances, etc, to feed into the machine. Also I had a terible time finding a broken sheet metal part on line for the electric shredder but Sebastopol Tractor (707-829-5671) found them. John Stephens, Napa, CA|
|Marc in Oakdale, CA||Jul 18, 2011||Ordered V-blade (part# ES1600-24) and cutter blade (part# ES1600-21) from Maxtool.com. Both in stock. Waiting for delivery. We have a McCulloch MCS1400. Eco-Shredder ES1600 is the same.|
|Shero in Tempe, AZ||Aug 12, 2011||I echo everyone's comments about the usefulness of this site! Having read the comments from top to bottom, I was inspired to dust off and fix my old Chippy instead of assuming having a discontinued model was a lost cause. Contacting McCulloch and MTD (the contact company in my user manual) was quickly a dead end. But it appears I will be able to get spare parts either through online parts companies and/or using similar models still in production, all detailed on this website. I did try to find blade and hopper screws locally after reading at least one comment that stated this was easy to do. I did not find this to be the case. After checking Ace, Lowe's, and two specialty bolt stores in the Phoenix area, I came up empty handed. Very specifically, the blade screws are M10 metric flathead screws, 1.5 thread pitch, 10mm length, 15mm head diameter that require a 6mm hex wrench to tighten. The hopper screws are one-way M5 metric machine screws, 0.8 thread pitch that require a flathead screwdriver to tighten. Let us all know if you can find either locally! I did try a jury-rigged solution for my missing hopper screws: I used easily obtainable (and cheap!) M5 button head screws, 12mm length that require a 3mm hex wrench to tighten. To keep them in place, I tried using liquid Threadlocker (Red) from Loctite. I'll let you know if it works - so far so good!|
|C Alderson||Aug 16, 2011||Rob, many thanks for your site. It was invaluable. Like many others here, I came across it while searching for replacement blades. I have the McCulloch MCS 1400. A few weeks ago, the V-blade broke and took out part of the plastic hopper with it. This was quite a surprise, as it has done a ton of work for me over the years and has held up quite well.
I ordered a new blade from MaxTool per Marc's 7/18/11 recommendation and received it in just a few days. Hooray. I installed it and merrily started chopping away at the pile of yard debris that had accumulated in the meantime. That lasted all of two hours, when the brand new blade broke. This one damaged the blade seat and the branch feed port on the side. $*(@#$(*&&%^!!
The quick failure of the blade makes me suspect that it could be critical to make sure the blade seat and hold-down clamp are clean, square, and tight. When the blade is whacking debris at 3400 RPM, it probably isn't good to have any flexing or vibration.
I ordered two more blades from MaxTool. I ordered other parts from PartsTree.com (manufacturer = MTD, model = MSC1400 24B-404A777 will get you a diagram and parts list).
In case it helps for finding parts, the Steele Electric Lawn Shredder/Mulcher (Sears), Eco-Shredder ES1600, and McCulloch MCS1400 all appear to be the same machine.
MTD Lawn Mower Parts *does* list what appear to be blades 6250-200003 and 6250-20004. Each is about $10 more than the MaxTool blades. Does this mean the quality is better? One wonders.
I echo everyone else's comments about how useful this thing is.|
|C Alderson||Aug 16, 2011||PS - A complete parts diagram is here: http://www.ordertree.com/docs/327/MCS%201400%20IPL.pdf.|
|Jael in Pittsburgh||Aug 25, 2011||Does anyone have recommendations for those of us who can't find a Chippy? Anyone know the Earthwise GS70014 or Chicago 66910? The Eco-shredder has gotten awful reviews and I wonder if the steel quality has gone down now that it's made in China.|
|IanM||Sep 26, 2011||Very interesting page! The mulcher/shredder pictured above looks identical to the now obsolete Talon AS200100, which is identical to the recently released Ryobi RGS1500R. I presume they were all made in the same factory in China over many years with only superficial variations when released by different companies. I am quite convinced that the blades and other parts will be identical between all three. One of the Alko shredders has almost the same blades too (specifically part number AK 102-650), however the bolt holes are 8mm instead of 10 mm. File them out a bit and they will work. You may need to take them to an engineering works to properly countersink the holes though. Check clearance before switching on, as you may need to also file half a mm off the top corner of each blade. The Alko blades are actually superior quality blades compared to the Talon ones.|
|IanM||Sep 26, 2011||Forgot to mention, I believe these are the hex screws needed for the blades.
They are high tensile, metric, plain black, M10, countersunk, flat heads, with 1.5mm pitch. They use a 6mm allen key. I am not sure about the length. I guess you could easily file a bit off the ends if they are too long.|
|IanM||Sep 28, 2011||I have made some more enquiries. Ryobi have told me that their blades and bolts are specific to their product and will not fit on other makes/models even though they may look similar. They give the corporate line about "no warranties can be expected if products are not used according to their intended purpose" etc, which is fair enough. I emailed them back, asking for the exact dimensions of the blades and bolts on the Ryobi RGS1500R, but they did not reply. So I am not sure if they are indeed different or if I'm just being lead off the track. Next time I'm in the hardware store I'll take a measuring tape with me! :-)
Secondly, regarding the screws to which I provided a link in my previous message. It seems that these screws have a 20mm diameter head, but are otherwise suitable. The M10 screws that hold the blades in place on my Talon have 15mm diameter heads. It should not be too difficult to grind them down to suit.|
|Don Klaser||Oct 07, 2011||Rob - Great Site!! Thanks for having it available to those of us who love our 'Chippies'! I'm just starting to run into the problems others have spoken about on this site; their experiences will no doubt make my life a little easier.
Don in Detroit
|IanM||Oct 07, 2011||Can someone tell me the respective diameters of the McCulloch blade disk, the Alko blade disk, and the Ryobi blade disk please? It would also be good to know the dimensions of the square cut out in the centre of the disk and the diameter and thread type of the central bolt? I can tell you that the Talon blade disk is 18cm diameter and has a 3.5cm X 3.5cm cut out square in centre. I am starting to think that althought the Alko uses basically the same blades, the diameter of the blade disc is different and the centre square cut out is smaller. Can anyone confirm this? The Talon uses M10 countersunk screws with a 15mm diameter head to fasten the blades down while the Alko uses M8 screws with a 10mm diameter head. (Both are non-standard so not commercially available).|
|Brien||Oct 12, 2011||My EcoShredder's V-blade broke almost immediately, and they are all on backorder for a month. Fortunately just the tip snapped off one side, and I was able to just grind the other side down to match and keep balance. Still, I won't be putting anything but the thinnest twigs and leaves down the top chute. That V-Blade is ridiculously weak. The way mine snapped resembled the way an Xacto blade snaps when you want a fresh edge. You couldn't even tell it was broken except for the length. This leads me to believe it was a manufacturing defect of some kind, brittle steel maybe.
Some manufacturer needs to sell a super duty v-blade and make a fortune off us weirdos!|
|Bob B.||Oct 24, 2011||McCulloch chippy has been sitting for a few years. Needed it again and it worked fine, but of course I lost the screws for the hopper.Went to local hardware and got M5/10 pan head phillips and they work good. Thanks to the info I got here.|
|IanM||Oct 24, 2011||It is interesting that people are quoting a whole range of different screw sizes for the blades. I suspect this must be dependent on models. One problem with buying "over-the-counter" screws is they may not be the correct grade strength and could fail catastrophically once they are put under a heavy load. A lot of hardware stores stock screws ranging from galvanized and zinc alloy to stainless steel, but the shredders require higher grade machine screws. Titanium is the best material by far, but I suspect hardened steel is used in most commercially available shredders.
The Talon AS200100 has M10 titanium screws with a custom head size of 15mm. I believe this must be the same as used in Rob's McCulloch 1400. In fact his whole machine looks identical to my Talon in every way.
Talon ceased production not long after I purchased my shredder (which made me a bit grumpy to say the least). I had only just purchased the product, but when I went back to the store a few months later to buy replacement blades, they told me "Sorry, they are not available".
I did manage to track down one supplier who still stocks the blades, but I wonder for how long? I am also finding the blade screws for the blades impossible to find commercially. I searched everywhere, and I do mean everywhere! I even managed to locate the factory in China that made these shredders and I emailed them regarding spare parts. They did still have parts available, but unless I was willing to order around 2000 parts at a time, they were not interested in helping me. So that was a dead end.
Finally out of frustration I stumbled on to a clever solution. I realized that the more commonly available Alko shredder blades (AK102-650) were almost identical to my Talon blades, except for the fact that they were higher quality and they used M8 countersunk screws (with a 12mm head diameter and a T30 socket) instead of M10 countersunk screws (with a 15mm head diameter and 6mm allen socket). At first I tried to drill out these blades to suit the M10 size screws. But the blades proved to be extremely tough and the holes had to be countersunk too. I soon realized that at the rate I was burning up drill bits I would need to investigate other alternatives.
So I looked at the Alko blade assembly disc itself (Al-ko part # 500587) and soon realized that it was an 18cm diameter disc with a square cut out in the centre, just like the one used in my Talon. I wondered why I could not adapt this disc to suit my Talon? I made some more enquiries and eventually decided to bite the bullet and fork out $68 for an Alko blade assembly disc. The assembly disc comes with two new blades and 4 screws, so is quite good value really. On opening the package I soon realized just how similar the disc is to my Talon. The disc was different in a couple of ways. It had 4 small protruding lugs that had clearly been cut off on my Talon disc. So this was easily rectified. I just got a hacksaw and chopped them off. ((WARNING: Always remove the blades first, before doing any work on the disc!!))
The other difference was more problematic. The central cut out square was 3cm X 3cm, but the one on my Talon is 3.5cm X 3.5cm. So I drew the precise outline of the square on the Al-ko disc, fastened the disc in a vice and gradually started filing down the edges using a flat file. I started with a smaller file and as the square got larger I progressed to a wider file. It is best to count the number of file strokes per side (e.g. 100) then turn the disc one turn at a time and repeat the same number for each edge. This will help you to keep even. ((Warning: Avoid taking too much off at a time!!)) Check your boss mount regularly. It only took me about half an hour to fashion a snug fit with the boss mount.
Then it was simply a matter of putting the blades back on the disc and refastening the blade assembly. I believe that Alko blades and screws will probably be around for a while to come, especially in the UK and Europe, so I should have no problems obtaining parts in future.
My solution to the problem may seem a bit drastic, but it was either a case of getting rid of a perfectly good machine and buying a new one, or making a few simple alterations to refit it with available parts from other brands. As it turned out, the solution I chose was the most cost effective.|
|martin behannesey||Nov 14, 2011||v cutter blade broke and none of your html links are active. I have scoured the internet for parts and am ready to scrap heap my mcs1400, because parts are not available anywhere. I will not be buying ANYTHING that has a McCuLLOCH name attached to it.|
|martin behannesey||Nov 15, 2011||I got lucky and found v cutter at partstree.com. The bottom blades are badly nicked up from the v cutter failed, but they are reversible.|
|martin behannesey||Nov 28, 2011||The V cutter blade is not available on the internet Partstree accepted my order, then e-mailed the part was not available.
So I welded the broken v cutter onto the base. If you do this (or have it done) make sure you retain the same ANGLE, as the clearance of the blade and the metal entrance shute is critical. Welding to the base on the outside will grab the fattest part of the blade and retain the square interior of the base for mounting the welded blade. Once welded the v-cutter blade should never cause a problem that the designer of the unit created. Save the broken v blade for yourself or for others that wish to repair their unit but have already thrown out the broken v cutter blade.|
|John Yossarian||Dec 11, 2011||For those looking for V-Cutters, I just ordered and received two from M & D Mower. $18 each for the cutters, plus shipping:
As of right now (11 Dec 2011), they appear to still be in stock.
|Marc Wagner||Dec 29, 2011||I just tried ordering the V-Cutter blade--called about 8-10 major distributors and it does not seem to be available at the moment. The part was manufactured by MTD in Taiwan and is not available on their webpage. If anyone knows where the V-cutters can be had, please post. |
|Brian||Feb 23, 2012||My V blade broke, and chewed up the horizontal blades. The horizontal blades are reversible so I just switched them around. The V blad was harder to find M & D Mowers no longer has the parts. I tried to order and they refunded my money. Maxtool.com has the V-blades and I ordered 2 and they are on their way. http://www.maxtool.com/us/products/ES1600-24.asp
I do wonder if it would still work if I could just get a spacer and not use the V blade at all. If these blades fail I may give that a try. Thanks for the informative webpage.|
|Ken Hollis||Apr 08, 2012||THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for having this page. Thank you Brian for finding the Maxtool.com V-Cutter part number. This was a perfect replacement for my Yard Machines Garden Shredder Mulcher Model MTD1400K part number 6250-200003. Replacement was easy and the operators manual has all the instructions - http://www.hammerwall.com/Manuals/MTD/Description/MTD1400K/MTD%20Yard%20Machines%20Garden%20Shredder%20Mulcher%20Manual/6096-200123/ (or just search for it http://www.bing.com/search?q=MTD1400K+manual you don't have to buy the manual)|
|Dan Ciske||Apr 21, 2012||If anyone needs the V-Blade for a McCullough Garden Shredder MCS 1400, MaxTool.com has them they are under DuroStar replacement Center-Cut V-Blade for the EcoShredder ES1600, ordered ($28 with shipping) received and perfectly installed. Same part and chipper as the McCullough 1400|
|Jim K.||May 11, 2012||Thanks for posting V cutter blade info from maxtool.com. Have been looking for replacement for MCS1400 for ever! (although I had a clue when the selling dealer did not sell replacement parts). MTD and McCullough should be ashamed for selling a product without proper parts support, usually I can find MTD parts easily. This has been the only disappointing experience with 'my little friend'! (apologies to Al Pacino)|
|Hector Patino||May 12, 2012||Does anyone know where I can get the capacitor for the motor. My chipper is down until I find one|
|Brad Wise||May 26, 2012||Thank goodness for this site! Just ordered two of the v-blades for my McCulloch MCS2001 14 amp Electric Chipper/Shredder from Maxtool. As many others have experienced my v-blad snapped in half and without a spacer or a replacement blade there is no way to tighten down the cutting base, so I'm down for now. I've flipped the blades once on the unit in 3 years (or tried to, managed to flip one of them, the other I couldn't get the bolt loose). Heck of a unit, though all of the screws holding the hopper cover on have come off and been lost, currently holding the cover on with bungees which hook on the really annoying screw bolts (those 3 hand turned bolts which hold it on the base) and cross on top. Very effective and much easier to resolve jams by taking off the hopper by releasing two bungees rather than those crazy bolts. To the author of the site who runs with the hopper cover off completely, you're nuts dude. The velocity of wood chips etc coming out of there is deadly, never mind what would happen if your v-blade shattered while you were over top of it, or if a small rock or nail/screw etc got in there in a handful of brush. Safety glasses aren't going to do squat with 3000 rpm metal shards coming at you. At least the cover will give you a fighting chance. My opinion anyway.|
|Russ||May 31, 2012||My wife and I were driving through East Petersburgh, PA, when I noticed a guy placing a "Chippy" outside his antique shop. I did not know it was a Chippy at the time, I just saw what looked like a small yellow chipper, perfect for my needs! He was writing out the for sale sign as we drove by. I yelled out the driver's side window, "How much for the chipper?" He yelled back, "25 Dollars!" I turned the van around, walked in, looked at the chipper and the owner's manual, and drove away with the chipper. As soon as I got it home, I plugged it in and started chipping and shredding a pile of future compost. It was great, clogged up once because I stuffed a too large stick in it.
So, then I came on the internet to see just what I have, how much it is worth, and find parts. I knew right away, with the high rpm, those cutters will have to be sharpened and, eventually, replaced.
What a joy to find this site! I thank all of you above for the time and research. I ordered two V-cutters and two flat cutters from MaxTool. Even better, shipping is free when the total is over 25 dollars.
I, too, am safety concious and would not take the plastic top off.
Another concern I have is the ability to keep the blades balanced after sharpening. Balancing the flat blades is fairly simple, they can be attached to the ends of a rod with the rod suspended in the middle, like a with a string, but how do you balance the V-cutter? Right now I am using a file and counting the strokes, but that will, eventually, still lead to unequal sides.
As far as replacing the capacitor, they usually have the ratings righ on it. You can get one with the same ratings (capacitance and voltage) and close to the same size from any electronics store or motor repair shop. |
|Darkwater Warrior||Jun 07, 2012||I had to order a bulk purchase on the thermostatic breaker in order to get my chippy repaired so that I could sell it since I'm moving. I'd like to get rid of these e x t r a s as well. Send me an email and we can work it out, thinking about $5 each. firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Fabrizio F.||Jun 14, 2012||
I have a MC 1400 as in the pictures above and can't find a V-cutter to replace the one that broke. I call MC and all the other parts dealers suggested by MC - no luck. The part is not available any longer. I was intrigued by Russ recent posting about MaxTool. I called them but their shredder is different (looks similar but not the same).
Any suggestion on where to find v-cutter blades for the MCS 1400?
|Christopher||Jun 16, 2012||Yea! Thanks to Brian for finding MaxTool.com My McCulloch's V-Blade came apart while chewing up some apparently tough rose roots. Soon I'll be back to mulching my trimmings.
Thanks too to Rob for maintaining this site.|
|Christopher||Jun 29, 2012||Just a little status update and a piece of advice ... When I placed my order back on June 16th, their web site was not taking web orders so I called the 800 number, placed the order, etc. Two weeks later, no package. So I called the 800 number and talked to someone who could not find my order. Hmmmm.
Them: "When did you place your order?"
Me: "Two weeks ago on a Saturday."
Them: "Oh! That explains everything, that was the answering service that took your order."
Me: "So you're saying your answering service is useless?"
(Okay maybe not direct quotes, but close enough.) He then took my order again and says it should be out in less than a week.
Today's advice - order during business hours.|
|C. Alderson||Jul 28, 2012||Just wondering whether people have had as much trouble with the V-blades as I have had. My machine has been idle for the better part of a year because the blades keep breaking. In some cases, they broke after only a couple hours. Every time they break, they cause more damage to the other parts. The blade that came with the machine lasted years before it broke.
I'm not overloading the blades. After the first couple breaks I started feeding material in more slowly and in smaller amounts. The blades should easily be able to handle it, yet they still break. I'm at my wit's end. I can't keep ordering one or two new blades every month.|
I'm still on my first V-blade. Given all the trouble reported here with ordering new blades and keeping them whole, I hope it lasts a good while longer...
|Cazuma||Jul 30, 2012||I noticed the blades were getting a bit dull and chipped on my McCulloch MCS2001 (bought from Amazon three years ago). Thanks to the helpful information on this site, I was able to get replacement blades and a new V-Blade from Maxtool.com. I think I received the parts within a week from ordering. That was the easy part! I can't get the old blades off as I managed to get only one of the four countersunk screws off. Over the years, the screws have just fused itself onto the plate. I've tried everything, including using the Grabit screw extractor before totally destroying the screws. Hopefully I haven't damaged the threads. Just ordered replacement screws, pn 6200-200002 from eco-outfitter.com while I figure out how to get the old screws out. (I'm going to take the plate into a mechanic's shop next week) From the comments, I'm thinking I should keep the original v-blade, just sharpen it. It looks pretty solid still -- but first, I have to get the screws off!!|
|Charles||Aug 13, 2012||After maybe four hours' use this season, chipping up rosemary branches up to maybe an inch in diameter, the V-blade broke. That's happened before. The V-blade design seems pretty lame to me; two sections of steel, 3/16 by 3/8 inch, are all holding each half of the blade to the base. Nor does the steel look all that sound, where it snapped; it doesn't seem crystallized, but it's of uneven quality. Oh well: ordered a new one from Maxtool.com; we'll see how long that lasts…|
|Rohmell Brills||Aug 29, 2012||V-Blades, V-Blades, V-Blades! It seems that everyone is having problems with the V-blades in their machines. The version that is sold at Harbor Freight Tools does not use the problematic V-Blade, and the sell replacement blades that fit all of the other machines ,too, no problem. See my posts above for the phone number to call and the HFT part number.
Also, it looks like Lowes is selling the blade (singular, not plural) for 32 bux each! (Item #: 251837 | Model #: 29293). Nah, I'll pass on that one.|
|H.Marx||Sep 21, 2012||Apparently the McCulloch model is no longer offered anywhere I can find. I like it's old-style funnel opening and the side-feed branch chute. I considered ordering the similar Powermax "Eco-Shredder ES1600 14 amp Electric Chipper / Shredder / Mulcher" as sold on Amazon.
But I wanted to see one in person, and I was a bit leery of the V-blade replacement issue I've read about everywhere. I didn't know how well it would perform if I continued running it with the blade broken. And that's how I discovered your web page -- thanks a bunch for this "public forum" discussion!
I began looking for consumer-grade electric chipper/shredders in the usual local outdoor lawn power tool stores -- Lowes Home and Garden, Home Depot, Sears, hardware stores, etc. -- to see/judge them in person. Frankly, considering this should be the peak sales season for the annual autumn/fall cleanup, I was surprised to find so little on display (lots of gasoline models, though).
A couple of days ago I went to a local Harbor Freight Tools store here in Cincinnati, Ohio, to look at their model 69293 1.5-inch Capacity 14 Amp Chipper Shredder, which is presently the only "electric chipper" I could find listed on their website. It seems virtually identical in appearance and description to the "Earthwise GS70014 14 Amp Electric Chipper/Shredder", or the "Sun Joe Chipper Joe CJ601E 14-Amp Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder", or the "Great States 14 Amp Corded Garden Chipper Shredder" and probably others as listed on Amazon.
Instead I purchased their in-store-only (unlisted online, anyway) Chicago Electric model 66910 for $149 on sale (lists for $199). Apparently during sales of recent years past (per Google search) it went for far less -- $119, $89 -- wish I had bought one earlier versus the cost of living and my bank savings interest rates! I think they have raised their price as the competition has dropped sturdier models in favor of more cheaply-made ones. Possibly these 66910 models have been discontinued and they are trying to sell out of remaining in-store inventory/stock.
Anyway, comparing and looking over these two in person, there is a night-and-day difference in sturdiness and quality of materials and construction. Once I had assembled my 66910 at home I was even more impressed (apparently the store's floor unit was not as tightly/carefully assembled).
The 66910 uses a fairly heavy-gauge steel housing for the feed chute/tube and cutter wheel housing/chassis with a heavy-gauge plastic discharge chute vs. the 69293's light-weight plastic components.
The overall weight difference between the units seems about 2-to-1. The extra weight is not necessarily an advantage in favor of the 66910, but it sure feels sturdier. Perhaps the mostly-plastic 69293 won't rust, but I wouldn't leave any chipper in the rain anyway. I think the mostly-steel 66910 has the advantage in that others have reported uncontained wood chunks and broken blade parts coming through the plastic walls of the 69293 look-alike units.
The 66910 uses an induction motor (constant rpm; good running torque; no brushes) vs. the 69293's less expensive universal motor (higher no-load rpm which slows under load; brushes to replace, which I think is the likely cause of many false instances of "my motor burned out!").
I could be wrong, but I think the 66910 cutter wheel assembly itself appears to be much heavier/sturdier vs. the 69293. Certainly the surrounding metal enclosure of the 66910's material flow path inspires more confidence than the wear/crack-prone plastic of the 69293 and its look-alikes.
The 66910 was much easier (for me, anyway) to unscrew two large knobs and tilt the entire hinged feed chute and cutter wheel housing to clear out clogs and jammed wood chunks vs. the 69293.
As others have mentioned, the 66910 uses no V-blade on top of the cutter wheel as does the McCulloch/Eco-Shredder. It only has just two reversible (or double-edged) trapezoidal-shaped cutter-wheel blades. I'm not sure this is "better" performance-wise (see below).
Bottom-line: I can't address the relative performance of the 66910 versus the McCulloch/Eco-Shredder models or the 69293 and look-alike models since I personally was unable to run representative units of each side-by-side. My 66910 seems to work OK given it's restrictive material-feed opening no doubt imposed by safety lawyers. And, yes, not surprisingly for a small electric chipper it does occasionally jam on dried/hard pieces of oak tree branches which I had accumulated and which the manual cautions against.
Perhaps those other models actually cut faster and are more jam-proof due to improved design; but for the money I really can't see the housings and motors of the mostly-plastic units holding up near as long, nor do I have to worry about broken V-blades of the other units. Although having that side-feed chute would be nice for branches...
Well, if my 66910 dies I'll "step up" to either an Eco-Shredder or perhaps the $1000 Patriot CSV-2515 120V/14A electric chipper-shredder which gets great reviews (as it should!).
I think the Harbor Freight sale goes until the end of this or next month (Sept.-Oct. 2012).
Oh, before I forget, a couple of assembly notes:
This unit comes with two allen wrenches (for the fasteners and cutter blades) and an open-ended wrench in a little pouch -- a nice touch. You will only need a flat-blade screwdriver for three little screws that hold the plastic funnel top (with size-restrictive opening) onto the tubular metal feed chute. And it comes with a plastic holder for a plastic plunger/stuffer to help out with clogs.
However, the unattached "L" & "R" (left & right) legs of my unit were mislabeled/reversed per the user manual directions, leading to my having to unbolt the wheels, axle, brace, etc., and swap sides when I was nearly finished.
I also had to add a couple of extra junk-drawer spacer washers (about 1/8 inch worth) on each side of the axle so the rim of the wheels would not rub against the frame of the unit. These issues were fairly minor and cost only a few extra minutes.
(Now that I've written all this I probably should have posted it on a more appropriate page, but this unit is not sold by Amazon nor does a product page exist on Harbor Freight Tools!)|
Thanks for the extensive review. If my Chippy ever breaks down, I'll have to look into Harbor Freight's options!
|Peter Central Florida||Oct 02, 2012||•Maxtool.com has the V-Blades for the Eco-Shredder ES1600 on sale for $18.99 with free shipping for orders over $25
Web Description follows:
"This new long lasting blade will restore your shredder to its original factory performance. It's made from durable high quality steel. Fits all EcoShredder ES1600 models (Also fits McCulloch model MCS2001).
The ES1600-24 Features:
• Center-Cut V-Blade
• Made of durable high quality steel.
• Genuine replacement blades ensure exact fit and best performance.
◦ Width: 4-3/4
◦ Height: 2-1/4
◦ Deep: 1-3/4
◦ Blade Width: 1-7/8
◦ Blade Height: 2-1/2
• Shipping Weight: 1.00 lbs.
Item Number: ES1600-24 Sale Price: $18.99
Free Shipping on orders over $25
|Peter Central Florida||Oct 04, 2012||Flat Blades Pricing Update and Quality Question:
MaxTool has flat blade sets (two), ES1600-21, for $18.99 with free shipping over $25.
Do these use a higher quality steel than the Harbor Freight Blades, 12181, $5.54 each?
Note: The Harbor Freight website does not list the blades, but they can be ordered by phone 1-800-423-2567
|Cincy Josh||Nov 06, 2012||I have the McCulloch MCS2001 and recently ordered replacement blades. I am very pleased with the quality of the replacement parts. I basically have a brand new chipper/shredder now. Here is some confirmation that two of the above suggestions still work:
V-CUT BLADE: Go to maxtool.com and order Item Number ES1600-24 (DuroStar replacement Center-Cut V-Blade for the EcoShredder ES1600). $18.99
FLAT BLADES: Call Harbor Freight Tools at 1-800-444-3353 and order Item Number 12181-VGA (66910 BLADE). $5.54 per blade (not per pair). Now that I've ordered them and used them for several hours, I plan on ordering several spares.
|Ardee||Nov 17, 2012||This site has proven to be God-send. I too have been having a problem with obtaining a replacement V-cutter. Thanks to this site I have found it. The V-Cutter for EcoShredder ES1600 works fine (almost) and its available thru MAXTOOLS.COM, part # ES1400-24. The only problem I had was the center hole was maybe 1/100" too small, so I used my bench grinder to grind down slightly the Cutter Bush(ing), item #21 on MCS1400 parts diagram. I chose the bushing (vs hole in V-cutter) because it was aluminum and it took me all of 3-4 minutes to reduce it enough to fit.|
|Gene Ulmer||Nov 22, 2012||I bought a MCS1400 second hand from local guy yesterday.Found this site,and learned the difficulty in finding parts like blades. After much searching,I found the cutting blades for the EcoShredder ES1600 would work,before I read through the comments on this post,and found the parts on Amazon.com for $14.36 for the cutting blades. They have the v-blades also. |
|Ken from California||Nov 25, 2012||I'm glad to see this site is still going.
I'm a little late reporting on the diamond hones I bought a couple of years ago, but better late than never.
I think they helped a little, but my blades still get dull way too fast. The way I used them was to leave the blades on the wheel, and start with the coarsest hone. I rub along the beveled edge of the blade a few times then the flat side. Then I switch to the next finest. It only takes a few minutes.
The machine still shreds when they are dull, but feeding branches through the lower chute doesn't work. I have to cut them up into 3-4" long pieces and let the V-Blade chop them up until they can be shredded. Eventually it gets them done, but it takes a long time.
When I first bought my "chippy" the blades lasted at least a year until I thought they were getting dull enough to do something about. I shoved everything that would fit through the lower chute and it just ate things up!
Speaking of my chute, it has had some damage to it due to all the use. When a branch got stuck it bent part of the chute and I had to remove it. It is okay now, but internally, the chute is no longer complete.
I think the blades that are currently selling are made of cheap steel that won't hold an edge. I only get one or two uses (3 barrels of cuttings per use) out my blades before I have to swap them out.
The hones helped a little, but not enough.
I've tried sharpening the blades on whetstones, but with little luck. My latest idea is to buy a Work Sharp WS3000 Wood Tool Sharpener with a wide blade attachment. It is expensive, but buying those cutting blades add up, so in a few years, it should pay for itself. I haven't thrown out any of my dull blades, so I have plenty to practice on!
This is the one I’m thinking about buying:
Here are some tips on how to use it:
I'll report back when I try it out (hopefully sooner than 2 years!)|
Thanks for telling us about your experience and plans for sharpening blades, Ken. It's something I haven't tried yet, but I've been contemplating doing so.
|Dick from NE Ohio||Nov 26, 2012||I've owned my 1400 chipper/shredder since June 2006. Like may others, I've had experience with gasoline-powered monsters that were noisy, cantankerous and needed frequent tune-ups, etc. It was necessary when living in the countryside where I needed something very portable, but not after we moved back to the city. Surprisingly, I do more shredding and mulching here in town; not only for myself, but for a few of my neighbors. I maintain a minimum two composting bins, plus a huge pile of mulched woodchips blended with nitrogenous material.
I keep the knives sharpened with a two-speed grinding wheel which I use for sparingly keeping the knife edges honed on the fine grit wheel at slow speed. I've tried to limit the number of times edges need sharpening, but found that it wastes my time and energy not to touch them up after two or three sessions of using the shredder because the shredder is no longer efficient. When the branches are literally "eaten" by the shredder, I know the knives are sharp.
One caution I might offer here is listening to the operation of the shredder to become aware of any unusual sounds — and that goes for familiar sounds that signal something like a piece of jammed material. I'm sure we're all familiar with that rapid/annoying "clickity-clickity-click" that eventually disappears as the clogged item is cleared by other material. I recently experienced that annoyance, and it continued despite my having manually/visually checked what could be wrong. It suddenly dawned on me that the noise disappeared suddenly as the rotation slowed. IT WAS A SMALL CRACK AT THE BASE OF THE "V" CUTTER. The centrifugal force of rotation spread the V just enough for that side of the cutter blade to strike the edge of the feeder tube. It's only a hairline crack, but I already had the experience of having a cutter fly loose inside the body of the shredder (which has a bulge where it was struck); I can't think of a more lethal piece of shrapnel than a chunk of steel at 3300 rpm.
And that recent episode above is how I happened across this website, since I need to replace the spare V cutter blade. Happily, I found it on the Amazon site in the ES-1600 shredder parts, thanks to entries here.|
|Mark||Dec 05, 2012||I need a V-Cutter blade for my McCulloch MCS1400. Have only replaced the blade once several years ago and got a replacement through McCulloch. I see that several places carry the blade, but am concerned with the blade not fitting well and fear the blade breaking after a short time of use. It almost makes you wonder why no one has come up with a new design or had a higher quality blade machined to resolve the issue of bad quality. Then start selling the blade to people from this site who are fed up with bad quality. Any takers?|
|Dick from NE Ohio||Dec 08, 2012||I rec'd my "V" cutter blades this week, having purchased some ES-1600 parts through Amazon. I haven't used them yet, so can't comment on how they compare with the blades that were standard with the MCS-1400. I haven't measured the thickness, either, with a micrometer, but the blade appears a little heavier stock. I'm not so sure about the angle of the cutting edge either, as it is much shallower than my originals. I matched my old "V" cutter with the new one, and I see no problem so far as interchangeability.
Can't understand what all the fuss is about bad quality of the replacement cutters. I must be missing something here. They're all made in China, so far as I can see, and so was the original MCS-1400 chipper/shredder, which is a very well made item. Does this mean I need to stop using my chipper/shredder because of an inherent risk of having been sold junk spare parts? I don't think so. Until someone is willing to invest time, effort and money in the design, mfgr and distribution of a better product (I know I can't!) then we need to accept what's available. I agree that it would be nice if it were in fact mgf'd somewhere in the United States, but we need to be realistic.
On the other hand, there's the old method of composting by piling everything up until it rots down of its own accord. . . which can take several years in some cases. I use that method, too, and it works very well depending where it's used. Sometimes we drive a Porsche to get where we want to go; other times we ride a mule.|
|Robert||Dec 10, 2012||Love this page, still using my Chippy after ten years, even bought another used one for parts. Would like to find a source for the bolts that hold in the blades.|
|H S Fullerton||Mar 02, 2013||I have had my Eco-shredder version of the Chippy for nearly three years, and I was thinking it had become an orphan until I found this thread still going. I bought it to clean up after one of our hurricanes, and it paid for itself in a few weeks. Like others, I had problems finding blades in 2010, but then OrderTree came through. Now I find that both the flat and V-blades are listed on Amazon and Maxtool, so I presume deliveries are more reliable. The original flat blades seemed to be made of a very brittle steel, and they broke before they went dull. The replacement blades from OrderTree have lasted well. I find that keeping them sharp is vital to good operation. When they are dull, the blades fail to chip well,and the unit hangs up on small branch pieces. My oak trees drop s lot of hard, seasoned dead branches that are tough to chip. Finally, my V-blade broke yesterday, for the first time. It took out part of the feeder tube, which does not seem like much loss. Never like that tube, as the weld down the side failed years ago, and I occasionally had to bend the metal to keep it out of the way of the V-blade. I'll be ordering a new V-blade and expect to get several more years of hard work out of this baby. For the price I paid, I have little to complain about. |
|Michael||Mar 30, 2013||I got one of these shredders, and the blades need replacing, does anyone have a link? ive tried amazon and partstree but cant find it. says its unavailable?|
|Bill||Apr 11, 2013||I bought the Eco Shredder ES1600 last fall (2012), worked fine with leaves and small dry brush. Green branches would shred and bind. I had to clean out the green shredding to keep it running. Today (4/11/2013) I pulled it back out to clean up the yard branches and leaves. I guess I did not tighten the bolt enough and the blades vibrated loose all the way, and blades, bolt, etc. flew apart inside the compartment. One square part got stuck tight under the shut, buggered up a bit. Now I can't find the instruction manual to place the parts where they should be. Can't find a diagram online yet, any ideas?|
|John||Apr 14, 2013||I have a bit of a love/hate relationship w/ my McCulloch 1400.
Bought it several years ago, almost new, for 35 dollars from someone who used it a few times but was underwhelmed with its abilities.
I have produced many bins of compost and beds of mulch with it, and have been happy with that.. but oh, what work it has been.
When several of the one-way bolts holding the top chute on fell out, I replaced them all with hex bolts.. then finally got rid of them altogether. I got tired of having to remove the top half of the machine to clear every little jam.
I now keep the top chute on to operate the machine... which helps keep material from flying out... but it is simply set on there. When the machine jams, I shut off the machine, remove the chute, and can more often than not clear the jam without taking the machine apart.
I've also removed the plastic discharge chute. I got tired of also having to take the machine apart constantly when mulching green leaves, grass, etc., in order to clear discharge clogs. Now it clogs less frequently (though wet material still clogs it pretty quickly) and I can usually clear a clog with a stick, without having to shut down the machine. (Shutting it down with any material still in it almost guarantees a stall when attempting to start back up.)
One of the worst problems is that if the smallest pebble finds its way in with whatever's being mulched, the blades are instantly dulled. I have three sets of spare blades and an extra V cutter, and rotate them.
Once dulled I just do a quick and dirty "sharpening" with a bench grinder. It's not the cleanest way of doing it, nor does it get them as sharp as possible, but I quickly tired of trying to manually file them and/or hone them with a whetstone.
The latest problem I had was the safety switch physically breaking. To finish the job I was doing, I temporarily bypassed it (and was just careful to unplug the machine any time I opened it.) After determining who the original Chinese manufacturer of the switch was, a little online searching turned up a supplier of the identical switch for 3.99 plus shipping. In case anyone needs one, it's: http://www.zorotools.com/g/00057631/k-G1190077/
Also, for anyone looking for a diagram, here is a parts diagram of one of the many variants sold. Some parts may vary (such as the handles) but it is essentially the same machine. http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/pdfImages/ae/ae1ecb65-d9da-4625-a984-4d4e3f5084a0.pdf
I'll keep this thing running as long as I can get use out of it, but I'd really like to find an electrically-operated hammermill mulcher, with a large enough capacity that it won't be as prone to clogging. So far I haven't found one... nor have been motivated enough to try to fabricate one.. but I always have my eyes open... especially after just completing another wrestling match w/ the McCulloch.|
|Hugh||Apr 24, 2013||Once again, you guys on this thread have saved the day. My Eco Shredder quit shortly after I installed a new V-blade. Apparently had nothing to do with the blade. Turned out that it was a broken safety switch, just like John reported. Using the link John provided, I ordered a new switch from Zoro Tools. Probably never would have found a source by myself. Let's hope it is the only thing wrong -- my garden trash is piling up. I did a short on-line survey of competing small chippers. After reading the reviews, it looks like none can do what Chippy does, although several others are a bit cheaper. If my Chippy ever completely quits, I'll look into the one at Harbor Frieght suggested by H. Marx.|
|Bill||Jun 11, 2013||I have a McCulloch Garden Shredder 14.0 A LR90874 which looks just like the Ryobi RGS1500R. I have the hum problem - turn it on and it hums but blades do not spin? Trying to find a repair or parts manual? Great help in the thread comments.|
|George||Oct 01, 2013||I just purchased a harbor freight #69293, which is their new shredder. It is not direct drive, but uses a belt drive. It also does not have the V blade.
I have researched the Ryobi RGS1500R for you all, and here is what I have determined:
RYOBI Replacement V-Blade for RGS-1500 Shredder
This is the 'V' shaped blade that is found inside the Ryobi RGS-1500 shredder.
* Old Ryobi part number: 6250-200002
* Square hole is 27mm x 27mm approx
* Base is 40mm x 45mm widest approx
* Blade span at widest points is 118mm approx
* Blade height from base to top is 55mm approx
* Genuine Ryobi Parts
RYOBI Shredder Blade 5131004882 / ACC030
This is a single flat blade that will fit to the spinning disk inside these Ryobi shredders:
* RGS-1500 shredder.
* ESR-2240 shredder
* Genuine Ryobi Parts
* PRICE IS FOR A SINGLE BLADE - these machines take two of these.
* P/N was 6250-200004, 099014004015, 6250-200001
If you will go to this page, there are small pictures that will enlarge to show actual dimensions
|Nicholas||May 03, 2014||Found a replacement V-cutter: http://www.maxtool.com/durostar-replacement-center-cut-v-blade-for-the-ecoshredder-es1600|
|Lewis||May 23, 2014||Thanks for this great forum, guys. I, too, have happily used a McCulloch MCS2001 electric shredder for years. Its V-blade broke today and chewed up the flat blade rather badly before I could get it shut down. Thought I'd never find replacement parts, but thanks to George (Oct 1, 2o13) and Nicholas (May 3, 2014), I was able to easily find new blades at MaxTool.com. |
|Tom||Jun 05, 2014||Everyone, thanks for all your comments on this shredder! As I read though the notes, I found all my same sentiments regarding my own McCulloch. Maxtool folks helped me with both the V-cutter and the two flat two-sided cutters. The cutters have both worked great for the last 2-3 days of mulching miscellaneous tree branch material. And yes, my shredder jams as well if I feed material that's too wet, too large, or in too fast of volume. Learn by experience.|
|Susan||Jul 13, 2014||Great website! Durostar V-blades and flat blades for McCulloch model 1400 are now available at www.newegg.com. Shipping seems to be free. |
|Paul||Jul 14, 2014||maxtools was great for the V cutter. I ordered the two smaller cutting blades from ordertree. I received a confirmation of 3-5 business day delivery. When I sent them an email 10 days later they told me was actually on back order and expect delivery in 3 months. I cancelled the order and will now order from maxtools. |
|Paul||Jul 14, 2014||To order parts for this on max tool search for es1600. This will give you three things the DuroStar version of this schreeder and both the V blade and the flat blade. The parts will not reference the Model 1400 but will fit. by the way I used my schreeder for the first time on corn husks yesterday. I feed them through the branch feed and they came out like sawdust. |
|Scouse Mike||Jul 19, 2014||Thanks everyone for the replacement blades information.
I love my chippy, just broke my 2008 ordertree.com V-Blade.
Last time I read the blog there was no reliable source - I'm glad I checked back today, and have ordered a couple of blades from MaxTool.
5.5 years of regular weekend use and frequent sharpenings, I don't think those blades are so bad.|
|Ned Rasmussen||Sep 03, 2014||I need an owners manual for my recently purchased MC 1400 "Garden Shredder" Can you give me a source? |
|CZ||Sep 13, 2014||I have an Eco Shredder that I bought in fall, 2012. It has worked well in reducing a huge brush pile. I recently had a problem as the bolt inside vibrated loose and bounced around inside the grinding chamber until I could turn the machine off. In the process at least one part must have fallen into my mulching pile and I lost it. I called the 800# in the owner's manual and found their customer service to be very good. They have replacement parts and have sent them out for me (reasonable cost for each part). |
|CZ||Sep 13, 2014||Ned, you can download the owner's manual at: http://lawnandgarden.manualsonline.com/manuals/mfg/yard_machines/mtd1400k.html?p=1
It is a free download. In the future, you may want to just Google the brand, model and manual of a machine. Usually most manuals are available on-line. |
|Jim from California||Mar 28, 2015||I confirm all Rob says (except I'm the one with three compost bins, not my father), but I would NEVER use this with the black safety top removed.
If the V blades are kept sharp then twisty branches are unlikely to clog the shredder, but even so I have given up shredding fresh wisteria branches.
I alternate green stuff and dry twigs to prevent the exit chute from clogging.
The flat cutter blade is currently (March 2015) available for $3.28 at http://www.ordertree.com/poulan/mcc-6250-200001|
|Laura in DC||Jul 14, 2015||I am searching for a new cutter base pn 6268-200101 and replacement screws for the blades pn 6200-2000002. Any suggestions? I am coming up empty handed and -gasp - this may mean the end of my chippy|
|Mark||Sep 08, 2015||As of today www.maxtool.com manufactures and stocks the parts for the Eco-Shredder which is identical to the McCulloch MCS1400 model.|
|Eric Oregon||Sep 18, 2015||Just received my "V" blade from MAX TOOL yesterday, so they are in stock. I went to the web site several weeks ago and they ad indicated they were out of stock for the blade. I tried to order it anyway and it did accept the order and put it on back order. If it states "out of stock" try to place it anyway if you have time to wait. |
|Scott in Austin||Nov 30, 2015||I finally tracked down a square bushing at www.ordertree.com. In the Replacement Parts Part Finder do a search for part number 6156-200001. 3 bucks for this critical piece that holds the V-blade in place. I ordered 2 online and they arrived within a week.|
|Pat||Nov 07, 2016||I purchased my McC 10 years ago. Purchased a tool sharpener earlier this year. V-blade, is on tighter than expected. How do you remove the flat blades? |
I never had a problem with this, but I never went ten years without taking it apart. I prescribe a regimen of WD-40, a piece of 2x4 to block rotation, and a beefy ratchet. Perhaps using a couple of extenders so you can spin the wrench outside of the barrel and get more leverage would do the trick. Good luck!
|pete warren||Nov 07, 2016||I have a McMculloch MCS1400. The bearing is starting to make a lot of noise. Is there something special needed to change it out? Where would I get one?
Thanks for any help, Pete|
|Pat||Nov 08, 2016||I had the McC in the basement and is rarely used (approximately 15-20). You confirmed WD-40 can be used. Thank you!|
|Serge||Jun 07, 2018||I have ms300. Have got the V-blade broke in two pieces as it cracks right where it should - in the corners of the square hole. I welded it back together and reinforced with two pieces of metal welded between the blades. They leveled with the central square block that holds the blade down so there is no interruptions with shredding material. Had it hardworking for two years since the repair. No sign of new cracks so far. Hope it help smbd.
A pair of the new blades is a problem though. Thinking about grinding the replacement out of the different model%(|
|Carole||Jul 07, 2018||I have loved my chipper/shredder since I purchased it in 2005!! !'ve mastered through the quick and its been my best buddy every summer. Its shutting down immediately when I turn it on- I guess thermally out. Any idea where to buy a new fuse? Is McMculloch no longer in business?|
|D||Oct 28, 2018||As of this date, if you search on eBay for EcoShredder blade, you will see an overseas option that may fit the McCulloch and older Harbor Freight chippers. Have not gotten mine yet so I cannot be sure, but measurements match to pictures in the listing.|
|D||Oct 28, 2018||If you need an immediate replacement, you can find an ES1600-21 EcoShredder blade on Amazon (higher price). They have rounded corners but seem to be working well in my HF chipper. Package says they are also a replacement for MCS 2001.
|D||Oct 28, 2018||Re Carole comment. I am not an electrician, but an immediate shutdown on starting, followed by not starting at all on my HF chipper turned out to be a bad capacitor. An electrical parts store checked mine and told me it was bad. Finding a replacement took a lot of hours of reading about capacitors and then hunting through eBay listings. The big problem was finding a 45mm diameter part with lead wires which is apparently not a common configuration anymore.|
|D||Nov 05, 2018||re, removing cutting blades. I use a piece of wood that is thinner than a 2x4 that I can fit into a flywheel slot to block the rotation of the flywheel. Harbor Freight sells socket type hex keys, they have a metric set and an sae set. I don't know which set you would need. Since my screws have been removed a number of times, I am able to use a Harbor Freight stubby ratchet and the socket hex key to remove the screws. It is possible you would need a longer handled ratchet to break them free the first time. Just be careful to keep the hex key squarely in the hole in the screw head.|
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