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mikess_gw

Chippers, Part II

mikess
17 years ago

Hello again fellow chippers,

Having decided there is no hope for my 10 HP MTD (Yard Man) machine, I decided to start looking at the alternatives.

From the feedback I've gotten on Gardenweb, a move to something better is either a McKissik or a DR Chipper. I've seen the infomercials and even ordered a tape on their Brush Mower, so I'm a little bit familiar with the DR products.

So, my search started with the DR Chipper.

I use eBay a lot for buying things, so I thought to start with eBay just to see if anything was there.

What I came back with on a search for "DR Chipper" was the following ad. It's the most unusual auction ad I've ever seen on eBay. Usually if someone is selling something they try and emphasize its positive features. Seldom is someone so angry with something they own that they describe their eBay item as you'll see below. I'm copying and pasting the text from the ad. eBay item number is 4350667048. Check out the auction itself on eBay to get the full flavor of it.

Please give me some feedback re this auction, you chipper people! I'm really looking for a good chipper to chop up my piles of deadfall and tree trimmings! I thought for sure, since their price is top of the line, that I could count on the DR Chipper! I don't want to make a second mistake . . . and I consider this 10HP MTD unit to be a definite mistake. It's a decent leaf shredder, IMHO, and that's about all.

Maybe 12 HP (this DR Chipper auction) is just too little power?

eBay ad #4350667048

Ad text:

Description

This is a 12 HP electric start. They say it will chip up to 4.5 inches. It will if its dry bamboo and you want to work at the incredible slow pace of "not working at all"

It vibrates so bad that the hopper skirt, bolts (locking bolts!) and metal strap fell off and into blade the first hour I used it. They gave me new blade and skirt etc. Never put back on. It barely goes through bone dry 3 inch limbs. You need to be very strong to feed it. Don't believe the commercials. It draws in the limbs once you feed it and start to stall so you have to jerk, pull, wrestle every couple of seconds to keep from binding the fly wheel. I've put another new blade on it and it still does not work. I called to see if I could get 9 month free trial and send it back? They said no but I could take it somewhere and have someone look at it. Screw them. For 2100 dollars they should bring me a new one and shine my shoes while they are here. Burger flipping scrubs!

Country Home Products gives you 6 months free trial knowing that you may not get to use it for 6 months. I'm had mine since May 1st and I messed up big time buying it and not running it a lot before the end of the free trial. It doesn't do anything except make me want to beat up of who ever runs Country Home Products. Their marketing dept got me. Don't let them get you. If you want this junk buy mine for less than a new one. It has about 20 hours on it. Too bad for me I didn't put hardly any hours on it during the free trial. ITS STINKS Really Really stinks. I can't imagine selling this and stealing from people like they do. If you want it great but you need to know it stinks. Really Really stinks. I can't stress that enough. It stinks. Useless. If you buy a new one that makes you as dumb as me. Please don't be as dumb as me. You will hate how you feel.

Gotta be honest even if it hurts me. Unlike Country Home Products.

Buyer will pay any shipping.

Comments (109)

  • honeydoo53
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Folks, I have to admit that I joined as a member to this website just so I could thank you all for the info about the MacKissic 12PT10. I desperately needed a chipper to get rid of lower branches about about 400 white pines that are around the perimeter of our 5 acre lot. Researched DR, Patriot, Bearcat, but your threads about the 12PT10 Mighty MAC was what convinced me that I should go with the 12PT10. Every positive report is right on the money. I was able to find one new for $ 1523, including tax, in July 2006. It has power to spare, and I love it so much that I look forward to weekends so I can get back to using it. The only thing I am worried about is whether constantly exposing non-stop it to sappy white pine branches will harm the chipping blade, or gum it so bad that I am headed for a problem. Any one know whether this will be a problem. PS, thanks especially to MaineMan -- his detailed threads about the plusses of the 12PT10 made deciding a whole lot easier.

  • bbriggs
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Yeah, MaineMan convinced me too. Not before I tried a Bearcat though.

    I don't think you'll have a problem with the white pine. Mine has seen a lot of pine, though most of it has been scotch pine. There is some buildup of gum on the knife(s) which seems to cause me no problem. I knock it off with a wire brush each time I sharpen the blade(s) one my machines.

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  • maineman
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Honeydoo,

    "The only thing I am worried about is whether constantly exposing non-stop it to sappy white pine branches will harm the chipping blade, or gum it so bad that I am headed for a problem."

    I'm glad you are enjoying your new 12PT10. After 3 years of heavy use, my chipper blade has become somewhat dull. Maybe very dull. It still chips, but it doesn't have the "bite" and "pull" of a new blade. And it may be chipping slower now.

    I recently purchased a blade replacement kit, which includes a new blade, new mounting screws, a small tube of Loctite 243, and a Knife Gauge "tool" to set the gap between the chipper knife blade and the wear plate.

    I have chipped a fair amount of gummy wood, including pine and Eastern Hemlock, but I won't be able to assess any damage the gum may have done to the blade until I remove the access plate and remove my old blade to inspect it.

    My impression is that the blade gets somewhat hot during use and when you shut the machine down any residual moisture on the blade evaporates. But gum is another matter, and I don't know whether it can accumulate during use. I would think that the ongoing impact of the blade on the wood being chipped would have a "self cleaning" action, but I am just speculating.

    Bbriggs has left messages in this thread and elsewhere about the advantages of more frequent sharpening of the chipper blade. A message I obviously need to heed. He uses a Tormek sharpening machine to put a razor sharp edge on his chipper blades. He has both a big SC183 and a 12PT10. The best of both worlds. He may not be "the pinball wizard", but I think he must be "the woodchipping wizard." (grin)

    When I replace my dull chipper blade I intend to keep it and sharpen it later to use as an eventual replacement for my new blade. That way I can always have a sharp chipper blade in my Mighty Mac and another blade in the process of being resharpened. Bbriggs has made a good case for the Tormek sharpening system, even though it does cost several hundred dollars. I did some googling for the Tormek, and I was impressed by what I learned about it.

    I am thinking the Tormek is worth the money, and with the right attachments it can sharpen a lot of things, including kitchen knives, fillet knives, pocket knives, scissors, woodworking tools, etc. And, of course, my chipper blade. Maybe I will get a Tormek sharpener for Christmas.

    Well, back to your concerns about what the pine gum might be doing to your chipper blade. You raise a good question that I don't know the answer to. But the good news is that you can buy a chipper blade replacement kit for about $35 when you need to. It must be made of some pretty good steel. It's a heavy little thing, only about 4 1/8" long, 1¼" wide, and ¼" thick. It looks like it has enough spare metal to accommodate many sharpenings.

    However, if you don't want to go to the expense of buying a device to re-sharpen your old blades, you could always just buy new blades. You could buy over 10 new blades for the cost of the Tormek system needed to sharpen the chipper blades.

    MM

  • bbriggs
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Don't throw those old blades away! They're made out of darn good stuff and have TONS of life in them after their edge is lost. WestPowerTools will sharpen your blade for you, as will many other vendors. If you take it to a local shop, might want to ask how they sharpen. One of the local shops here would have used a dry grinder. Such heating of the edge on these tool steel knives would not be good. You can sharpen a lot of times, each time takes off mere thousandths of an inch. MaineMan is correct in assuming the gum does not build up where material hits it. In my limited experience, therefore, one shouldn't worry about gum buildup. If you don't have a nice wet grinder, a spare blade to send off and sharpen is a good idea. That was my original plan, but the Tormek turned out to be a better one (for me).

  • rider997
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I need to rotate the flails on my chipper, and I'm trying to find the correct size for the old Troy-Bilt part number 11536 for a Super Tomahawk chipper shredder. It's the 10" chassis with 8HP B&S IC engine.

    I can't find a cross reference for this part number on the web, and none of the dealers I've called have old enough catalogs to find it.

    I'd really appreciate any help!

  • maineman
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    rider997,

    "I need to rotate the flails on my chipper, and I'm trying to find the correct size for the old Troy-Bilt part number 11536 for a Super Tomahawk chipper shredder. It's the 10" chassis with 8HP B&S IC engine."

    Could you explain your question in a little more detail? I'm not clear on what you are asking for. Rotating the flails (or the hammers on a hammermill) usually doesn't require any additional parts. You just need a wrench or two, and maybe a punch and a hammer to knock out some pins, and you just follow the procedure in the manual.

    "Rotating" implies that you simply use the flails that are already mounted on the rotor, but detach each flail, "flip" it, and remount it.

    Since you are talking about part numbers and old catalogs, apparently I don't understand your question.

    MM

  • rider997
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I need to get new roll pins. I am doing what you said- I'm removing the flails, rotating them, and reassembling. I would like to ascertain the size of roll pins required for this application, so that I can have them in hand, and can work on the chipper when I have the spare time.

    I could drive out an existing pin, take it somewhere to match it, but this would mean I can't use the chipper until I've found a replacement pin, and I would need to do the entire job right now.

    I also don't want the normal problem with finding fasteners where all that is available at the local store are Chinese pot-metal fasteners. There's no way I'm putting a junky fastener into a hammermill that I'm going to be using. Last time I got a "cheap" roll pin for a non-critical application, it sheared off immediately.

    I would like to get the actual size of the roll pin for that part number (11536), then call some local stores or mail order high quality carbon steel or stainless steel roll pins of the correct size.

    Thanks!

  • maineman
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    rider997,

    I'm not certain you can't reuse the existing pins. If your manual has a parts list, it might possibly tell their size, although parts lists frequently don't give dimensional details.

    Otherwise, if you want to avoid driving out a pin and taking it to a hardware store to find a match, you could go to a place like Home Depot that allows returns and get several sets of pins in different sizes and after you open up your chipper and find what size you need, use those from your purchase and return all of the other sizes for a refund.

    I personally think it is going to take longer to find the size of your pins on the Internet than it would take to simply open up your machine, remove a pin, and measure it.

    Then, if you need to continue using your machine in the interim before you obtain the new pins, you could simply re-install that original pin. I think they have a natural "spring" action that should make them re-usable at least long enough to get new pins, provided that you use the correct size of punch to drive them out.

    MM

  • chas045
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Just hopping on the end here to thank you guys for all the info on chippers. I just got a new 12pt9 (sitting in store 2 years for $1303) and am very pleased. It sucks brush into the hopper and easily chips branches completely under control. Of course I burn wood and wouldn't waste big branches for mulch even though I need as much mulch as I can get to add to my horrible clay soil.
    MacKissic has very helpful people but one must be persistant to deal with their sub distributers who don't alwasy know who sells their products.

  • maineman
    16 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Chas,

    You saved some real money on that MacKissic 12PT9, which is the same model I have. I even saw an older MacKissic 12PT8 in one of our local Outdoor Power Equipment dealers. It had an 8hp engine, and was priced considerably less than $1000. Somebody got a real bargain on that, because everything but the engine was the same as our 12PT9s and the current 12PT10s.

    MM

  • woodchuckcanuck_com
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Great thread. I'm in the market to buy a chipper/shredder but haven't really decided and don't really know the best choice. We have a 20 acre lot with 70% balsam fir tress and the remaining is alder (I call them tree-weeds). We're looking to reestablish a xmas tree growing operation. As well as help out with the in-laws operation which is 400 acres. The lot has a woods road that a truck can drive through. I would rather had a towable unit that I can pull with the quad, but either way would do.

    I stumbled across this today, interesting info. Mostly geared towards resellers but it had some good points to consider. http://www.forconstructionpros.com/print/Rental-Product-News/Features/Dont-Blow-It/6FCP2888

    We're mostly looking to mulch and leave the clippings where they are on the forest floor. Definitely want to get rid of the alder and the rest would be balsam fir trees and branches that don't make the grade for saleable xmas trees. I've read a bit about sap build up and it doesn't seem to be an issue but balsam firs are heavy sap trees.

    I enquired locally about a troybuilt cs4310 http://www.troybilt.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_10001_14102_13808_17689_-1 but the more I read here, the more I realize I may have to step up to a used Vermeer. The local rental place has a Vermeer 24 Hp that they will let go for $5G's. Its got 1000 hrs on it but I don't know its age or model number. Besides it was more than what I was budgeting ($2500).

    A lot of people here seem to be happy with the 12PT10 by MacKissic. I think I'd rather have a machine that self-feed. Or is that just luxury option whose money could be better spent? Any opinions on any of this?

  • woodchuckcanuck_com
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Forgot to mention, tree size would range from 2-3 inches with some 4" that could probably be left for firewood. Smaller branches are 2" or less. Only other consideration is with the balsam fir branches they can be quite wide so I'm wondering if these smaller units might require more chainsaw work as opposed to a Vermeer 620 or somethign like that.

  • woodchuckcanuck_com
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago
  • maineman
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Jim,

    If your budget is $2500, I am puzzled that you are considering a Morbark Model 1000 Tub Grinder. That thing would cost a small fortune.

    MM

  • maineman
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Woodchuckcanuck,

    "Smaller branches are 2" or less. Only other consideration is with the balsam fir branches they can be quite wide so I'm wondering if these smaller units might require more chainsaw work as opposed to a Vermeer 620 or something like that."

    I use a pair of big 3-inch loppers to do most of my trim work. I keep a bow saw nearby to handle the few side limbs that my loppers can't. My chainsaw gets involved only with larger trees used for firewood, and not with my chipping operation. My MacKissic's chipper chute is well-designed, and "folds back" a lot of the smaller side limbs. I have fed whole 3-inch 25-foot sapling trees to it with no prep work at all.

    The smaller units like the MacKissic 12PT10 series can handle your trees and limbs OK, but with 20 acres of woods to process, and then there is your in-law's 400-acre operation, you have so much stuff to process that the labor of feeding your stuff and the processing time is a factor. Your budget of $2500 is probably low, considering the magnitude of your task.

    Maybe you should consider spending your $2500 for rental of a big machine like the Vermeer or a Morbark. After all, after you get your place converted to a Christmas tree farm, you won't have a need for a big machine. (I think we should let your inlaws deal with their 400 acres themselves.)

    You could consider the $5000 purchase of the 1000-hour 24hp Vermeer, with the idea that after you finish your conversion to a Christmas tree farm you will re-sell the Vermeer to recover part of your investment. However, with 1000 hours on it, the Vermeer may already need some money to be spent on it to replace worn parts. So it may actually cost significantly more than $5000 to get it ready. But hopefully the Vermeer would still be worth something after you finished your conversion project. How easy is it to feed trees to the Vermeer? Would it be a lot easier than feeding trees to a MacKissic SC262?

    {{gwi:295348}}

    Incidentally, pay no attention to the guy in the blue shirt with no ear protectors, eye protection, or gloves. That's not a very realistic pose. This picture should have looked more like the picture of the MacKissic SC150.

    MM

  • masiman
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    He does have eye protection on. :)

  • maineman
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    You're right, he does. Probably has a pocket protector, too. (grin)

    MM

  • chipper-roy
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Looks like this "board" has been inactive for about a year; however, it steered me in the right direction. I have been considering a wood chipper for several years with 1 3/4 acres, mostly trees, brush and briars.

    Finally, a few days ago, following some consumer forum recommendations, I bought a Troy-built CS 4310 for $850. the saleman was steering me towards a Mightly Mac 12PT-10, but it was twice the price.

    The minute I left the store, I felt I had made a mistake; something he said about the brush feed hanging up due to the shute's sharp angle of feed into the shredder. When I got it home and set it up, it just didn't feel right. I called him up and told him exactly that, he said I could bring it back, since there was no oil or gas added yet.

    I went on line that night and found this bulletin board through Google. I truly became enlightened.

    The next morning I returned the Troy-Built and bought the 12PT-10 on the spot. The salesman was in shock, but it was the right decision.

    I used the chipper/shredder today for the first time. It was everything I wanted it to be. I was surprized that it was not as loud as I expected, but then again, I am a little bit hard of hearing. It's so practical.

    I am now recycling my brush. I owe you all a thanks.

  • love2landscape
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    My thanks are due also. I purchased a 12P10 and couldnt be happier.

  • den69rs96
    15 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I purchased a 12pt10 bases on advice from maineman as well and I couldn't be happier. Its definitely a quality machine and its the perfect size. I have 1.5 acres but my yard is surrounded by a forrest. Anything that it can't chip becomes firewood. I wish I had more free time to use it as I have an endless supply of material to chip.

  • lakesider_2007
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I found this forum about a week ago, while looking for info on a good gas powered chipper-shredder. After looking at other sites, to include DR, MacKissic and others, I am going to order te MacKissic 12PTE10. The folks here have discussed much of what I have to work on. My biggest problem is we have leaves and branches that have been down for years...knee deep!!!! I thought I read where the horizontal bar is best for damp leaves/material. Oh yeah, I was given the distributor in my area - sent an e-mail and have not received a reply....West Tool will take my business. Thanks for all the inputs folks put in, it made the choice easy. Wish I would have done it before reaching 66, but my "follow-up" crew will enjoy" ha.

  • lakesider_2007
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well I finally ordered and received my MacKissic. I put it off after my last submission....made it a belated Xmas Gift for myself!!! I bought thru West, and it was smooth as silk; had it in 7 days. I asked for Lift Gate because I live on the side of a steep hill in the boonies. Driver put it on some hand operated forklift and brought it right on down and parked the pallet under the carport. I have been reading the manuals and plan on lighting it off Sunday. Again, thanks to all the folks here for the recommendations. Ron

  • maineman
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Ron,

    I think you will enjoy your MacKissic. Be sure to check the oil in the engine before you start it. I think they may ship the engines "dry" (without oil) and it would possibly ruin the engine to start it without oil. Read the instructions for the engine. I think the engine has a separate manual from the shredder-chipper itself. You may be supposed to use the first oil only for a limited time before you drain it and replace it. I use Mobile One synthetic oil in my MacKissic, the weight depending on the season.

    MM

  • den69rs96
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Ron, I think you'll be happy with the Mackissic. This machine is great. This thing goes through smaller branches 2.5 inches or less like a hot knife through butter. Take your time with the larger branches and wear thick gloves. You hands will thank you. Also highly recommend you wear ear and eye protection.

  • dmullen
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I have a Mackissit too and it is great.

    Recently, I put an hour/tach meter on it because when trying to figure out when to change oil and lube the bearings, I realized that it is almost impossible for me to keep track of the number of engine hours.

    It may be something that you might want to add too before running it too long.

  • lakesider_2007
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I have put Mobil I 5W30 to start off with; my book shows I can use it regularly in my climate area. I have to tell this one - you have to turn it up on its end to get the tow handle out....and at 67 and five heart attacks - I just don't have the strength any longer. My wife said leave it go until our sons visits in about three weeks!!!! We are the only folks living here in the colder months. After stewing, I got my Come-Along out and went to work, yeah, that bad boy got it up, the handle out, and helped lower it!!
    Wow, when that thing came to life and I fed the first batch of leaves and branches into its throat, I knew I made a great investment. Again, thanks for all your guidance and help...I look forward to continued reading and learning from you all. Ron

  • jerry_nj
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hum, not in the market at the moment, I purchased a reconditioned MDT from Home Depot (new, just a return with almost no time on it), but this thread caught my "eye". I always wonder why one would buy a commercial unit for home use and conclude from a brief scan of the last couple of posts you "guys" put some serious hours on your units each year, e.g., installing an hour meter to be sure to change the oil on time, for the rest of us changing it once a year is throwing away clean oil. How many hours per year are you talking about?

  • mikess
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hello Jerry_ni,

    I started this thread some time back, looks like over three years ago now. Hard to believe I bought my 10 HP Home Depot MTD chipper that long ago. What are you using yours for?

    Mine has turned out to be not good for anything but mulching leaves. The bottom of the chute for branches is so small that you have to spend a lot of time trimming even small branches so they'll fit through the tiny hole, and forget about chipping anything bigger than about an inch.

    In the three or four times I've used it since I bought it, I've used the leaf hopper for just about everything, but it jams easily and you risk your eyes and limbs from debris flying back out of the hopper while trying to dislodge a jam-up or trying to force something through. Naturally I bought a face shield with ear protection and use heavy gloves.

    It was a good idea, buying a chipper, since I have lots of trees and debris that needs chipping, but this piece of crap was a waste of money. My debris accumulates in three big piles and I'll eventually haul it off instead of making the mulch I bought the chipper for.

    What are they selling for these days? I need to sell mine since machinery not used just deteriorates. I've kept it sprayed with WD-40 and I run the engine every few months so it's in like new condition, but there's no point in hanging on to it. I should have bought the McKissick everyone seems to like so well. The engine always starts easily and runs strong. The engine is great. It's the rest of the design that I've found useless.

    Please let me know what you paid for yours so I'll have some idea what to charge. It's the right time of year to get rid of it.

    I'm in San Diego if anyone reading this is anywhere around and is interested. (619) 449-5145

    Email: Laser147@Juno.com

    Mike

  • jerry_nj
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Mike,

    Happily my experience with residential (non-commercial) equipment is much better than yours. I purchased my first Sears Chipper/Shredder in 1975, it had a 3.5 or 4 hp engine, I don't remember. I unit mostly for leaves, but as for branches up to about 2", it didn't have a separate chipper shoot, everything went in the hopper. I gave it away in about 1990, it still ran but wasn't in great shape. I purchased another Sears with 5 hp and a separate chipper shoot, and found it better. I ran it until about 2003 when I got it so jambed up I had to take it apart to get the jamb out, then (I'm normally good mechanically) I managed to put it back together wrong, something not tight and the next time I used it the chipper blade came loose and, well everything came to a stop. The housing worked, prevented any metal from flying out into my space. Looking at repair part cost I decided it didn't pay to repair. I next bought a Sears three way yard vacuum, blower, and small chipper, nothing more than about 1" in my experience. It has a 6 hp engine. So, I lived without a dedicated chipper shredder for a couple of years when I saw the local HD had a 10 hp, good to 3" I think they say, normally about $600 for sale for, best I can remember, $395. It sat there for a couple of weeks so I asked the manager if he could "knock" anything more off, he took another $50 off, making the price $345. I then talked to the HD associated who handled the unit, had to go back to get some of the accessories that were stored in a closet the manager didn't know about, and the associated said he sold and took the return on the unit, said the guy just didn't like it, and in fact hardly used it. It went back, nonetheless, to the shop for a check out and a branding stating it was "reconditioned". I have only tested it, both chipper up to about 2" and leaves, it seems to work well....looks like a good deal at almost half off.

  • mikess
    Original Author
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    You sound like a well experienced chipper user, and a patient one too. If something doesn't work well, especially something spinning blades and grinder wheels at high RPM making lots of noise and spitting things out at high velocity, I just don't want any more to do with it. Any machine that doesn't do it's job well either because it is worn or just badly designed, is useless and possibly dangerous. Think of a dull ax or a stripped screwdriver. In the case of this MTD, I think something is wrong with the design.

    If it works for you then it sounds like you got a deal. I vaguely remember mine on the other side somewhere of $500.

    These things must be useful to someone or they wouldn't keep selling them, so I'm sure I'm just expecting too much from it.

    Thanks for the report. Looks like this is an extremely early Spring this year, (at least in SD), so better than let it set any longer I need to take advantage of the time of year when people are thinking about their yards.

    Mike

  • amirm
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Just adding my feedback here. The information here sold me on McKissic 12p and it was a good purchase. I replaced a 5 HP MTD which was a nightmare to use compared to this unit.

    I have about 15 to 20 hours on the unit so far. It was not auto feeding as well anymore so I openned it up to change the blade and was disappointed that it required a torch to losen the bolts. On the positive side, I was most impressed with the quality of the blade/chipper in there. It was a very high quality steel, still quite shiny and sharp to my touch. Alas, it had a part of it chipped so I suspect it uses pretty hard steel so stones and such are liable to chip it more.

    The other thing that has become annoying is the pile that builds up under it. You have to keep stopping to clear that out. I got the bagging option and that is something I do not recommend as it causes the unit to clog. A side shoot would make the machine ideal.

    Other than above, the machine works exceptionally well. It is speedy (with sharp blade), and the engine rarely slows down. The locatino of the chipper shoot is nice, not requiring to bend down too far.

    The handle bar is nice for hand carrying. But when I use my lawn tractor, it will not work backward because it turns to left or right at random, making it impossible to back the unit into any spot. I wish it had a lock for this mode of operation.

    Overall, I give it A-.

    Oh, one more thing. They have the worst distributor in Pacific NW and California. Even after I pinged MacKissic and they asked their distributor to tell me where I could buy their units here, they would not respond! And their distributor web site makes no mention of coverage for WA, nor lists any dealer. I am sure they are losing a lot of sales due to this. I had to purchase mine mail order.

  • lakesider_2007
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    When I changed the oil the first time on my Might Mac, I had to make a "diverter" of sorts because the oil will drain right on the frame and make a mess. This is not a design problem, but interface, I believe.
    I found a solution in a Drainzit Oil Drain System. This allows the oil to drain through a rubber hose about 6" in length. When not being used, the hose is doubled back and held with a rubber holding device. If anyone is interested, checkout Precise Engine Repair's website. He carries B&S stock, along with these Kits. FYI, the size drain plug is the 1/4" one.....yeah, I ordered the wrong one and had to return, ha!!!! Bruce, the owner is most accommodating and provides excellent service. Ron

  • maineman
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Ron,

    Thanks for the tip about the Drainzit Oil Drain System. I have been using a couple of big pans under my Mighty Mac to catch most of the oil but, as you say, it is a mess. I tilt my machine forward and chock the wheels to get a better drain down. I'll probably change the oil before I start using it this Fall. I will definitely consider purchasing a Drainzit Oil Drain System.

    MM

  • mark94544
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I bought a Sears 8 hp chipper. It is what it is. I bought it because it was readilly available for about half price, $350 or so.

    I am using it in Hawaii in the Puna area of the Big Island. There is a weed tree called the strawberry guava that grows in incredibly thick stands, crowding out all other growth and using up all the nutrients. The one good thing about it is that in these thickets each tree is incredibly long and skinny, like a 20 footer is only 1" thick at the bottom. Of course they come lots thicker than that too. There has been a learning curve. Only feed in the skinny ones and then only so far. Up to 1" the branch feeds very easily and the engine can take it. Larger than that requires you to put your weight against it and push it through in pulses, both due to the force required and to let the engine speed back up. Above 1 1/2" it's not worth the effort.

    I laugh self conciously when I read some of the descriptions of using these cheaper units because they ring true. Cramming brush into the top of the shredder is a horrible job. The shredder chute has a couple of bends to keep stuff from flying out. Where the shredder chute turns and enters the actual shredding chamber, it has necked way down in size and makes almost a 90 degree turn. Clogging is almost inevitable unless extreme care is exercised. There is definitely a technique to using the machine. There is a huge temptation to defeat some of the safety features to get stuff to feed easily into the machine. I would if I could see how. Really it is like some kind of joke, or torture. Who was the guy who had to roll a boulder to the top of a hill, only to have it roll down the other side for all eternity? Imagine making a Z-shaped chute that you are supposed to feed tree limbs into, where you can't even see the blades from the opening, and where a good sized grapefruit, if rolled in, might or might not make it to the blades. I remember thinking that they must all be this way until I looked into the top of a rental unit at home depot and was shocked to see the hammer blades right there within easy reach (you to them and them to you). This also allowed me to see the large chunk of steel bolted on to provide an adjustable chopping block against which the blade would shear the incoming limb. This rental unit had 18 hp I think but the chipper opening was only slightly larger than on the Sears unit. I have no doubt however that the commercial unit will chip whatever will fit through that opening. In contrast, on the Sears unit the chipper chute, which bolts on, serves as the anvil described above. I had the chute bolts loosen once and the machine stopped chipping, just sat there buzzing the crap out of my hands. A close tolerance is required so that the blade can shear the branch off. Too much clearance or give and the wood fibers bend without shearing. I tightened up the chute bolts and chipping improved. I have never sharpened the blades. I think I will do so before the next use.

    As I said, it chips small limbs OK. It shreds leaves OK too. However, if you have anything larger than an inch thickness or anything gnarly enough that it won't go down the shredder chute that is as convoluted as your small intestine, that multiplies the work load and some jobs are beyond the capacity of the machine. At times I found myself leaning with all my weight into one or the other of the chutes trying to get stuff to go through. I know having the hammer blades exposed where you can just drop things onto them from above poses some risk but surely a design where the user is tempted to climb on top and stomp stuff in with his leg poses an even greater liability.

    Never had any problem with the engine.

  • maineman
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Mark,

    In my opinion, the layout of the MacKissic 12PT10 models is about ideal, as hopefully this "X-ray" view will show:

    {{gwi:295347}}

    You have a separate chute for limbs (and vines) and, for other stuff to be shredded, like small limbs, brush, leaves, weeds, etc, you have the big shredder chute up on top. You do have a direct view of the hammers if you look in through the top (shredder) chute, but you aren't supposed to do that when the machine is running, for obvious safety reasons (and you should be wearing safety glasses or goggles anyway).

    The machine handles limbs up to 3½" just fine, through the chipper chute, and takes almost any kind of stuff that you toss into the shredder hopper. Its interchangeable screens let you control the texture of you product. For maximum coarseness, remove the screen altogether. For the finest texture with tremendous surface area for quick composting, I use the optional ¼" screen.

    Of course, this machine does cost considerably more than your Sears 8hp chipper. I have the MacKissic 12PT9, which was the 9hp predecessor to the current 12PT10 10hp model, and I like mine just fine.

    MM

  • mark94544
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Maineman:

    I lust after your chipper. Unfortunately, due to financial constraints and the fact that I have nowhere yet that I can securely store it, I can not get one. I am building a place on undeveloped land, 1 acre of strawberry guava and uluhe ferns with a few ohia trees thrown in. I had the property partially buldozed, which was necessary in order to be able to drive onto it or build a house w/driveway. The rest is still lava covered with ferns and strawberry guava, a horribly invasive alien tree. I plan on clearing the guava by hand. Now that I have learned my lesson about what the chipper will do I will use it as best I can until I kill it. The price was right and I got what I payed for. I will feed the skinny guavas in top first, stopping when the chipping gets hard. What is left will be set aside for stakes or firewood. I don't know if there is any way I can modify the shredder chute to make it more useable.

    I shredded a lot of the uluhe ferns, which grow all over between the trees. They really smother other underbrush and even climb up the trees. As such they serve a purpose in that they prevent invasive weeds from gaining a foothold. It is usually recommended that you don't buldoze until you are ready to build because that lets a lot of weeds get started. I tried composting the ferns and could not get the pile to heat up for the life of me. I threw in some horse manure and it got a little warm. Just the manure going off I suppose. Meanwhile, on a trip back to upstate NY to visit my parents, we shredded a bunch of fall rubbish from their garden and 12 hours later that pile was up to 135 degrees. The ferns must have something in them that the thermophilic bacteria don't like.

  • maineman
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Mark,

    You have some interesting problems in Hawaii. We have a lot of ferns here in this part of Maine, and I consider them to be a renewable source of greens for my compost piles. The trees provide a bountiful source of brown leaves in the Fall, and I also process a lot of deadfall (dead limbs, brush piles, tree prunings, leaf-mold, etc.) It appears that I have an un-ending source of compost for our garden, thanks to our "Mighty Mac". Since its hammermill design can process nearly anything, including "dirt", occasionally I send a compost pile back through it before using it in the garden. I frequently feed old compost along with new material to "inoculate" the product for good composting.

    MM

  • lakesider_2007
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    When I bought my MacKissic, I bought the bagging attachment. I installed it and found it to be a pain - like someone else mentioned it causes clogging - it is coming off. We never know if something is a good idea or bad if we don't try them; just like listening to you folks -I bought the Mac over the Big Box Store offering.
    My grandsons are spending the entire summer with us, and I have had them dragging branches, etc., and making piles - can't wait for cooler weather and to lite the Mac off. Maineman, I'm not talking the kind of "cool weather" you get - VA cool, ha!! Ron

  • art5910
    14 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    If this is the DR vac with chipper ... I agree, the chipper is a joke. It should not be sold nor advertised. The vacum part is pretty good but as a chipper, use your knife and fork instead. You will save time.

  • CaptTurbo
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I guess it's my turn to drag up this old thread because I have enjoyed it so much. I've actually read back through it several times.

    I have been a "shredder addict" since my 25th year which was 1985. My first chipper was a Troy-Bilt Garden Way era 8 Horse Super Tomahawk which I still own up at my Ohio property. That machine has taken a beating and did suffer some of the cracks problem mentioned in this thread but I punished it without mercy and it will still crank up today and rip it!

    I bought a Kemp K6 for my Florida property in 1989 and pounded on that poor thing until March of this year when the chipper shute side maine bearing went out. I did find a set of replacements but it took a while and if you are a true chipper addict as I am (I suspect that Maineman will under stand this) you fly into a panic when your pride and joy tosses the wobbler and start an immediate search for another machine because well, ... I have to have my "fix" LOL.

    OK while the Kemp was a fabulous unit and would have lived forever had I replaced the cover after the weather had taken it's toll. I failed to do that and the wet Florida evironment caused the dear machine to rust a bit. With that in mind I thought about the decades of amazing service from the old Tomahawk and with this being the new ebay era I decided too take a look to see what was being sold.

    Since I'm flapping along so long windedly I should offer the reason for this post to begin with. I wanted to put an option into the minds of those thinking that they could not afford a fabulous chipper / shredder like the Mackissic for their home use and would have to settle for some crappy contraption from a box store.

    OK from my ebay watching, I found that the Troy-Bilts, the real ones before they went away are fairly plentiful and selling for much less the the Box store junk! I bought another Super Tomahawk and it's slightly more modern then my other one which is of the early ones. My "new" one has the forward discharge shute on it. The coolest difference was the re-inforcements that they added later in the area where the early ones had problems with cracks!!! I don't see that being a worry with this one.

    The biggest concern for myself and I'm sure for others as well is support for the wear parts. I was very pleased to see that I could buy anything I needed from vendors on ebay as well. I bought a spare belt, shredding flails, chipping knife, and a new pin and spacer set as well just for the peace of mind to know that I now have all the stuff I need for this machine to last a very long time.

    I gave my Tomahawk a workout today (and my Maxtra polesaw as well) trimming trees in advance of not one but two tropical storms that are aimed at Florida. The trees have a better chance of not being destroyed if I thin them out before the hurricane force winds have at them.

    Sorry for such a longwinded post but thanks for reading and thanks as well to everyone that posted to this thread though the years. Mulching men rule! Be safe. Turbo.

  • idaho_gardener
    13 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Or something like that. Brand new toy. $2000. Electric start, four wheel, with a tow bar. I hook it up to the spare lawn tractor and tow it to where the job is.

    If you have an acre or more, I suggest looking for something like a Mackissic Mighty Mac 12p. They do show up on craigslist, but they get a good price.

  • fresh-tea
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi everyone. I found this site doing a search for the Mackissic 12 PT. I have had mine for a couple of years now and have used it for approx 40 hours and am thinking it is time to sharpen the blade and rotate the hammers.

    I make a pretty mean compost pile but i am not much of a mechanic. I was wondering if anyone can recommend someone in the Southern California area to do the work

  • zen_man
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi fresh-tea,

    At 40 hours you should have greased the main bearing several times and perhaps replaced the air cleaner on the engine and changed the oil. But, in my opinion, you shouldn't need to sharpen the blade or rotate the hammers after only 40 hours of use.

    I purchased a blade replacement kit through my dealer at about the 400 hour point. The kit includes a new blade, mounting bolts, a clearance guide, and red Loctite. I will eventually get the old blade sharpened by a specialist, and re-install it. The blade is made of tool steel, and should be cold sharpened to avoid taking out any of the temper.

    I have about 800 hours on my 12PT9 and I should rotate the hammers now because their leading corners are very rounded. However, it still works fine and the rounded corners just slow down the throughput, but don't affect the product quality.

    I don't know what your dealer situation is in Southern California, but if you have a competent dealer, you might inquire with him. He should know who has the equipment to cold sharpen tool steel. He might possibly be set up to do that himself. It is quite possible that it might cost almost as much to get the blade properly sharpened as it would cost for a blade replacement kit.

    Be aware that you will probably need a MAPP torch to heat the blade bolts hot enough to loosen the LocTite. The bolts screw into the heavy flywheel, which acts as a heat sink and conducts heat away from the bolts. Once the bolts are heated hot enough to melt away the LocTite, they can turn easily. Otherwise you can break a hex tool trying to break the Loctite bond. Or worse still, round the hex hole in the bolts. I learned that the hard way, after using a small propane torch in a futile attempt to break the Loctite bond. Fortunately my Craftsman hex socket bit broke before rounding the hole. And Sears replaced the hex bit. So all was well after I bought a MAPP torch. MAPP burns hotter than propane.

    ZM

  • fresh-tea
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thanks for the info ZM. I agree, my blade seems fine, but I have noticed the hammers not working as well as they used to and thought I would get them done at the same time. Maybe I will wait a bit, and just do the other service you mentioned, which I can do myself.

    I did talk to someone in Temecula that is familiar with the machine, and seems reasonably priced.

    Thanks again for the response.

  • Reeking
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well, here's my experience... I have had the Mackissic 12PT10 for about 7 or 8 years or so now... I primarily bought this model hoping to shred my crazy jungle full of palm fronds and giant bird of paradise here in So. Cal.

    First of all this hammermill chipper/shredder works awesome for any woody type material... it just eats em up without any problems at all.. The circular knife shredder/hopper portion of the unit works awesome for long branches also.

    As for wet stuff like palm fronds the hammermill can work fairly well, but you gotta have a system down, otherwise the thing will just get clogged up with a bunch of wet mush. Another problem with palm fronds is that they can wrap around the shaft and bind it up fairly easily... Don't put the fronds in the hopper, it will bind and cause problems.

    Steps to keep this thing from clogging or binding..
    1. the metal screen that comes with 1 to 2 inch holes is no good for palm fronds and wet materials.. I ended up cutting out the holes so that they were about 3 inches or so with my handy grinder. Bigger holes in the screen is better, but can't just remove screen because the fronds will just shoot out and not get shredded at all, so just use a screen with giant holes. Works waaaay better.

    2. It's best not to throw full length palm fronds in the hammermill, it will slow it down.. Recommend cutting them first into 12 or 16 inch lengths first before shredding them.. Same with the giant bird of paradise leaves/stems. Note: recently I have been using an electric lawnmower to shredd my giant bird paradise leaves/stems... it will shredd em so dang fast.. just tilt the lawn mower up and open the side exhaust/bag connection shoot and feed the giant leaves (stems first). Whatever is left at the end can easily be thrown into the 12PT10..

    3. Also after a few years, the hammermills do get a bit dull. Just take a cheap 4" carbon fiber grinding disk and sharpen up the edges of each of those small steel hammers.. Doesn't take long. Just remove the screen and you can sharpen them up while they are still mounted on the machine.

    My yard has about 50 palm trees and 20 giant birds that I need to tend too myself along with tons of other tropicals, so this 12PT10 has come in real handy for creating my super mulch pile.. Beets putting out 12 or 15 cans each week overfull of fronds and cuttings.

  • zen_man
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Reeking,

    "Also after a few years, the hammermills do get a bit dull."

    Have you looked in your owner's manual for instructions on how to rotate or flip your hammers? The leading edge corners of your hammers can get rounded with wear, but by flipping and/or rotating your hammers you can get use out of all four corners of the rectangular hammer bars. As MacKissic's advertising says, that quadruples the useful life of the hammers.

    ZM

  • bigwavefarm
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hello,

    We are beginning our composting on a small mini farm using chicken manure for our 'greens' and wood chips from a tree service for our browns. We are planning to use the 'hot' composting method and think that we need to shred the existing wood chips down into smaller pieces in order to work in a 'hot' composting system.

    We also want to be able to shred the chips into a size and texture that we can use to for bedding with our hens and also line the chicken run.

    Can you recommend equipment that will be suitable for the job?
    We have about 1 acre in food production and about 40 hens. Thanks.

  • Charlie
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I have a very nice gas powered wood chipper/leaf shredder that can chip limbs as large as 2 inches. Bought it years ago from Home Depot for $675. I used it maybe 5 times and it has been just sitting in my shed for years. After all that sitting it will probably need a tune up. I am in Northern Virginia and would like to trade it for anything useful. I am interested in material to make a water feature, landscape blocks, edible plants, light fictures for my seed starting shelves, bee hive or will consider any trade offer. I don't want to ship it so you need to be within driving distance, i.e. virginia, maryland, DC, west virginia.

  • zen_man
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi bigwavefarm,

    " We are planning to use the 'hot' composting method and think that we need to shred the existing wood chips down into smaller pieces in order to work in a 'hot' composting system. We also want to be able to shred the chips into a size and texture that we can use to for bedding with our hens and also line the chicken run. "

    A shredder-chipper that uses a hammermill system has the versatility you need to chop your wood chips to a fine form suitable for composting. The MacKissic 12PT chippers have optional screens that let you control the particle size of your product. For the finest product that has a lot of surface area for rapid composting, I use the 1/4-inch optional screen. That would probably also be the best screen for making bedding for your chickens, although you might like the product that comes through the 1/2-inch screen as well. I have most of the optional screens for my MacKissic, but I use the 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch screens most often. For garden path material I use the 3/4-inch screen to get stuff that doesn't decompose quite so rapidly in place, although my garden paths tend to be horizontal compost piles.

    ZM
    (not associated with any product or vendor mentioned or linked)

  • chas045
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I'm wondering if you really need anything. The tree service has already chipped things up for you. You certainly want some solid stuff for the paths. Perhaps you could rake some of the heavy stuff away from the finer stuff if you really think it will make a difference. Otherwise, I would agree that a McKissic with different screens would make things much smaller, but even there, I would think the regular screen would be just 'fine'.