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Sun Joe SDJ616 Shredder Joe 13-Amp 16:1 Reduction Electric Leaf Mulcher/Shredder
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- Powerful 13 Amp motor with 8000 RPM mulches up to 12 Gallon (46 L) of leaves per minute
- Reduces yard waste up to 1/16th its original size
- Conveniently attaches to leaf bag-lined trash container for easy disposal
- Adjustable control dial with settings for wet or dry yard waste
- Dust-reducing motor cooling system for cleaner air during operation; Lightweight and compact for easy portability and storage
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Get Shredded! The Sun Joe Shredder Joe SDJ616 13-amp electric leaf mulcher/shredder instantly turns the hefty heaps of dead leaves crowding your yard into nutrient-rich mulch that can be easily disposed of or utilized as compost. Not only will Shredder Joe reduce your yard waste up to 1/16th of its original size, but it will also create an ideal fertilizer that can be recycled and reused to rejuvenate your garden. Plus, Shredder Joe uses electric power, not gas, so you can eco-consciously shred your leaves without producing toxic emissions. Shredding leaves into mulch is easy with Shredder Joe. Simply dump handfuls of leaves into the easy-to-load 19-inch hopper, and watch its powerful 13-amp motor and bladeless mulching system make quick work of your yard waste. With its 12-inch cutting diameter and heavy-duty trimmer line, Shredder Joe safely and efficiently mulches up to 55 gallons of leaves per minute! Featuring Smart Shred technology, Shredder Joe employs an advanced motor cooling system that diverts the air from the shredded leaves to significantly reduce the amount of dust generated during use. Unique to Shredder Joe is an easy-to-read control dial with adjustable settings for wet or dry yard waste, including leaves, thatch, grass clippings and even pine needles. Weighing only 13.4 lbs, Shredder Joe is easy to transport and its space-saving design lets you remove the legs and nest the motor housing inside the hopper for compact storage. Shredder Joe assembles in minutes with no tools required! Twenty replacement cutting lines are included and are equally effortless to install. GET EQUIPPED for fall cleanup with the Sun Joe Shredder Joe — the smart, safe and efficient tool to lighten up your leaf load.
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This item Sun Joe SDJ616 Shredder Joe 13-Amp 16:1 Reduction Electric Leaf Mulcher/Shredder
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|Color||Green||Red||Green||Red||Black, Green, Grey||Green|
|Item Dimensions||21.3 x 21.3 x 49.2 in||22.6 x 22.6 x 13.2 in||20 x 17 x 36.75 in||19.5 x 23 x 19.5 in||18 x 24 x 42 in||16.5 x 20.1 x 41.3 in|
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The build quality is pretty good. It's mainly plastic, but the hopper is reasonably sturdy. I also liked that it was packed well by the manufacturer in the box, so it can withstand being bounced around by UPS.
It has legs that can be adjusted so you can position a yard waste bag under the discharge chute, which is held in place by an elastic cord. That worked sort of OK in holding the bag. I had much better luck using the hopper on top of a garbage can with a bag in it. That keeps the side blow back to a minimum, ensures the collection bag does not fall off, and provides for a more sturdy work platform.
The motor certainly has some power to it - it's a 13 amp motor which spins the head at a no load speed of 8,000 rpm (as listed in the manual). The cutting head has two attachment points for the cutting line. No tools are needed for line replacement - just feed the line through the holes and loop it to attach. The result is that there are 4 cutting lines. The stock cutting line is 0.1 inch in diameter, so it's something you can pick up in a bulk spool instead of having to buy the replacements from SunJoe.
There's an adjustment lever on the side that allows you to select how fine you want the leaves chopped. The adjustment lever turns a plate at the bottom of the hopper which determines how much time the leaves spend in contact with the cutting line. A fine level closes off the holes, keeping the leaves in contact longer for more chopping. A coarse level lets the leaves fall through quicker, and thus does not subject them to as much chopping.
It worked great on dry leaves. I had a sack of leaves that I keep forgetting to put out on the curb, so they have been drying to the point of being quite crisp. The mulcher went to town on those - just mowed right through and created a pretty fine leaf mulch. It also processed the leaves pretty quickly.
But, when it came to fresher leaves, the performance was not nearly as good. Even though the leaves were only a bit damp, the mulcher struggled to get through them in a manner that made a significant reduction in their volume. It was much, much less effective (in terms of volume reduction) than using a handheld blower vac. It was also more time consuming, since it you have to feed the hopper slowly to prevent an overload.
I then tried some really wet leaves. Even with the control lever set to the wet leaf setting, the strings just could not get through them. The motor labored even with just a modest amount in the hopper.
The problem is with the cutting lines - it needs to have more than 4 lines or, better yet, a combination of string lines and plastic "blades" to get through anything other than bone dry leaves. A handheld blower vac works better since it has a spinning set of plastic or metal blades. That's a far more effective chopping device than 4 pieces of string trimmer line.
I tried using some better quality string line (some twisted Gator line) instead of the stock line. That helped a little, but not enough to make a big difference.
This does have some value, especially if you have to pay for leaf pickup (some localities charge by the bag for pickup). It certainly is easier on the back than hauling around a blower vac. But the limited effectiveness it has on damp leaves (and VERY limited effectiveness on truly wet leaves), plus the slow processing speed keeps my rating at 3 stars.
I'd also suggest cross-shopping this with the WORX WG430. It's a very similar device, but it has a better system for holding the bag in place (uses a ring rather than elastic cords). The cutting mechanism of the WORX (or other similar models) is the same as this one, however, so it will also struggle with less than crispy dry leaves.
I didn't have problems assembling the thing (unlike others). But I can confirm the extendable legs' fixtures may not hold well in place. You need to apply extra (not excessive, though) force to tighten them up.
It can shred leaves (both dry and wet ones) pretty effectively. The 16:1 reduction rate is an overstatement, though. I could barely see about 3:1 (at most). I guess, this ratio represents the number of shredded bags of leaves I will get out of the original volume. No, nowhere close to that.
12 gal/min shredding speed seems to be a little exaggerated, too. It took us about an hour to get through two 50 gal bags (and there were 2 of us working).
Also, not sure about the shredding speed. You can get a 'continuous' shredding only if you put a handful of leaves in (literally), any more and you gotta wait until they're done.
The whole body is plastic and the security cover is held in place by plastic pieces. It's not easy to get the cover off without braking those small plastic pieces. I already (after 3 uses) have one broke off.
The overall process gets really messy. The dust will cover you head to toe, so make sure you wear your work clothes (I really mean that).
And, of course safety glasses and gloves are a must. Sometimes small pieces fly back out, so safety first! Oh, and it makes perfect sense to get those dust masks (not to breath that dust which flies around).
As it was mentioned, the protective cover of the on/off buttons is not too soft, so turning the thing on/off with your gloves on is a bit hard.
The shredded is pretty noisy. Make sure you don't work too late.
Now, the plastic line used to shredding is okay against plain leaves. If you start getting twigs, the line breaks pretty quickly. It gets shorter and shorter and you start getting leaves accumulating under the cover. Yes, it can handle thin twigs, but at a cost. And you have to replace the line more often.
Basically, it's not a bad thing. But given the ratios above (and extra time to shred, and the cost of electricity) you better do you math if you need those savings or just want to have your leaves collected w/o shredding. By the way, you can't have a full 50 gal bag of shredded leaves, it's too heavy and most likely won't be picked up by your refuse service.
I guess, if you only need to shred some leaves for your compost heap or to add to mulch it may make sense to get something cheaper.
And if you're looking to save on leaf bags... not sure if this will deliver huge savings.