A Review of the McCulloch MCS2001 14 Amp Electric Chipper/Shredder

Updated on September 20, 2019
hysongdesigns profile image

Mary Hysong was born and raised in Miami, Arizona. She has been drawing and painting for as long as she can remember.

A Helpful Tool in Your Organic Garden

An electric garden shredder can be a big help in your organic garden. Since things like tree and shrub prunings and corn stalks take a long time to break down in the compost pile, it really speeds up decomposition to shred or chip them into fine pieces. But who has time to do that by hand with clippers or a machete? I certainly don't!

There are not as many models of electric shredders available here in the United States as there are in Europe, and there were even less available 10 years ago when I bought mine. In fact, I looked online for weeks before I finally found one I could afford. I bought a McCulloch MCS 1400, and it has proven to be one of the best investments I've ever made in garden equipment.

The McCulloch MCS2001 14 amp Electric Chipper/Shredder appears to be identical to my old model 1400, so the following information should be just as applicable to the new model.

The McCulloch MCS2001 Electric Shredder is great for small prunings.
The McCulloch MCS2001 Electric Shredder is great for small prunings.

Selecting a Shredder: Know Your Options

My McCulloch MCS1400 looks just like the new MCS2001, so I suspect that they are basically the same machine.

When I decided I wanted a garden shredder, I knew that I did not need a big gasoline-powered chipper, because most of my garden waste is under 2" diameter. In fact, branches that size and larger become fuel for my wood stove. At the other end of the spectrum, I also knew that I wanted something that could handle more than just fall leaves.

I also wanted it to be electric because it would be quieter, even if it wouldn't be as powerful as a gas-powered shredder. Due to a back injury, I can no longer pull the starter ropes on gas-powered tools. So I really needed the ease of just flipping a switch.

An electric shredder like the McCulloch MCS2001 is good at what it does: handling small diameter branches, corn stalks, and green waste. It will not handle large branches or very hard, dry materials. If most of your yard waste consists of these types of items, then you are better off looking at a more powerful gasoline shredder/chipper.

A garden bed mulched with shreddings from my electric garden shredder
A garden bed mulched with shreddings from my electric garden shredder

Using the McCulloch MCS2001 Electric Chipper/Shredder

The McCulloch Electric Chipper/Shredder is great for small tree branches. I have a lot of weed trees on my property that spread not only by seed but also by suckering from the roots. They mostly grow very straight with little branching until they are quite large.

When I shred them, I start by putting the smallest end into the side chute first and feed it in slowly. I listen to the sound of the motor as I go. As the tree gets bigger, the motor will have to work harder to shred it, and you can hear the difference in the sound of the motor. Also if you are feeding it too fast, it is likely to jam up the blade and trip the safety switch. With practice, I've discovered how fast I can feed a branch, pulling it back at the slightest indication Im bogging down the motor, so that I don't trip the switch.

Even though the electric motor on the McCulloch is quieter than a gasoline engine, you should still probably wear some hearing protection. Long pants, closed toed shoes, and a long sleeve shirt are also good ideas—and of course, safety goggles to protect your eyes.

If you have allergies to dust or to any of the weeds or trees you are shredding, then you might want to think about wearing a dust mask and maybe taking an allergy pill beforehand to help prevent a bad allergy attack.

An electric shredder is not as powerful as a gas-powered shredder, but it can still throw debris out with enough force to hurt. Sometimes things come flying out of the top hopper or from the side shoot when you least expect it.

Bigger Projects Might Require a Gas-Powered Shredder

If you have a lot of tree prunings each year or just a really big garden, you might want to look at the more powerful gasoline shredder/chippers. Usually they have more horsepower and can handle larger, dryer, harder pieces of wood, with the most powerful being able to handle things like waste lumber in the 2x4 range.

The McCulloch Electric Garden Shredder Isn't Perfect

While I love my little McCulloch Electric Garden Shredder, it isn't quite perfect. There are a couple of things about it that I would like to see done differently:

  • The big yellow top is held onto the base with three thumbscrews. There is not enough space between them and the housing to really get hold of them when they are sticking and hard to loosen, which happens sometimes when I haven't used it for awhile. I think they should use some other type of handle on these screws if they can't move them farther away from the housing.
  • I wish that either the ejection chute was a different shape or that it sat up a little higher off the ground. The chute (at least on my model MCS 1400 and it looks the same as the MCS 2001) is too wide and too close to the ground to get a 5-gallon bucket completely under it. I can get a bucket most of the way under it, but some stuff still misses the bucket.

Really, those are my only two beefs with the design as it is. A couple of other things have happened that you should be aware of, however.

Once, the shredder was making a god awful metal-on-metal racket. When we took it apart, we could see that the blade had been hitting the inside edge of the side chute. It took a bit to figure out what was going on. Over time, the vibration had loosened up some of the bolts on the frame, and everything had gotten just a tiny bit off-kilter. My son went through and tightened up all the nuts and bolts and that took care of that.

Another time, I was using the shredder and wasn't fast enough to pull a branch out before it jammed the motor and tripped the safety switch. The switch is located under the housing on the deck that the blade sits on. It's a little pressure switch recessed in the deck and covered with a little bit of red rubber. Well, this one time even after taking off the housing and clearing all the debris around the blades and replacing the housing, the motor wouldn't come on. I thought I had killed the motor. So I didn't use it for about a year.

Then a friend saw it sitting around and asked about it. I explained what happened and they offered to take a look at it. They got it running again. What happened was the little bit of rubber cover had come off the switch and there was now not enough pressure when the housing was in place to push the switch all the way down. They cut a piece of rubber or plastic to fit the spot that was thick enough and put everything back together and it worked.

Safety Accessories

Of course, any time you are working with power equipment, you should have your safety equipment on. In addition to long pants and a long sleeve shirt, gloves, eye goggles, and hearing protection are all smart accessories to the day's work.

Nothing is worse than having to halt a project to take someone to the ER, especially when the accident could have been prevented by wearing the correct safety equipment. (And even if you are too macho to wear it, do it anyway and be a good example to your kids!)

© 2011 hysongdesigns

Guestbook Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      6 months ago

      it is no longer available on Amazon, where can I find replacement parts?

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      I read gardening pages because I long to have a garden again. This chipper would have been a useful addition back when I had a nice-sized back yard. I especially appreciated your sharing the problems you have had with the chipper, such as the time the reset button failed and you thought you had broken the motor, and how your friend helped you fix it.

    • Ursel001 profile image


      8 years ago

      Very useful tool for composting...


    • Msqdoo profile image


      8 years ago

      I like a lot your lens, thanks for sharing this information.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)