4 found this review helpful
My Steele Shredder/Mulcher works well; I like it.
Steele Electric Lawn Shredder-Mulcher Review
I ordered this Steele Electric Shredder/Mulcher through Sears before the item had any reviews on the Sears website, so I didn't know what to expect. I took a chance and ordered it anyway. Here is my experience after I have had it for over a month.
ASSEMBLY: Assembly would have been easy except that when I had it nearly put together I discovered that two of the cap screws (part 58) holding the body to the legs had evidently been overtightened at the factory, then had snapped off and were rolling around in the packing box. I then had to disassemble the machine to get at the remnants of the broken cap screws. I soon found out that the Steele company that made this machine is Chinese owned with a distribution outlet in the US and that they were "currently out of stock on all parts for this unit". When I called the Steele "service" number (888-896-6881) I got something called "AC Warranty" which claimed that a shipment of parts is expected in 2 or 3 weeks. They did arrive in about a month. These cap screws are hard to get hardware items but fortunately I was able to find them in a local hardware store. With these replacements, I was able to finish the assembly quickly. After the broken screws and no-parts-available problem was solved, assembly was easy.
OPERATION: Aside from the broken parts problem, the machine appears to be very solid and well built. It is basically just a big garbage disposal with some extra v-shaped blades and a heavy motor. It has three ways to input material (leaves, clippings, and branches) with a separate input hole for each type and has a nice paddle type pusher to help shove material into the cutter chamber. So far, after shredding many wheelbarrow loads of pinion pine and juniper cuttings, I am very pleased with how it chews up the materials and spits them out into a bucket that I place under the discharge chute. I only shred twigs no bigger than 1/2 inch in diameter although Steele claims it shreds branches up to 1.375 inches in diameter.
CONCLUSION: If this Steele shredder/mulcher continues operating as well as it has for its first couple months, and if Steele actually supplies spare parts, such as replacement blades, as needed , then I would give this machine a high recommendation for my type of light use: small pinion and juniper clippings and branches. It is easy to use and easy to disassemble when needed.
3 found this review helpful
Due Diligence Required Before Purchase!
This piece of machinery is simply too small to be practical! The hopper is only 15 inches by 10 inches, thus, if you have a tree in your yard, forget mulching leaves as only a small handful can be mulched at one time. Also, even small branches have to be pruned of any side branches because the chute size is only 1 3/8 inches by 2 inches. I have rose bushes and had difficulting pruning them so they would fit into the machine. I had a medium sized pile of yard refuse and worked on it for over an hour with little to show for my efforts. In frustration, I went back to my old standby, the lawn mower and mulched the remainder of the pile in a couple of minutes! Although I have only myself to blame, this purchase was a total waste of money! Bottom line, if you just have a few grass clippings and a small amount of other plant material, you would probably be happy with this machine.