The word "mulching" in home gardening use usually means "to put mulch on or around something," but when you're talking about excavator mulchers, it has quite a different meaning: "to turn something into mulch." If you're thinking of investing in a mulcher for your excavator, congratulations! They can be a lot of fun to use and very effective at clearing whatever vegetation is in your way. To help you decide which type of mulcher is best for your needs, here are the pros and cons of four types of excavator mulchers.
1. The Forestry Mulcher
This mulcher has achieved some measure of Internet fame. If you've ever seen the video of an excavator attachment demolishing entire trees in 10-15 seconds each, this is the mulcher that did it. Pros of this mulcher include enormous power and an unrivaled capability to destroy trees. Cons include relatively limited maneuverability, an application limited to forest and brush clearing, and cost.
2. The "fixed hammer" mulcher
Some mulchers are identified as being either "fixed hammer" or "swinging hammer" mulchers. The "fixed hammer" type can be more useful for certain applications. For example, it's easier to mix your mulch back into the ground when using this type of mulcher. In addition, they're more durable because they don't have as much wear from swinging parts. Cons include requiring an experienced operator (it's more difficult for beginners to use).
3. The "swinging hammer" mulcher
Pros of the "swinging hammer" type are that it's easier for a beginner to use and that it's better in rocky environments because it's less likely to become jammed. Cons include a narrower range of uses (this design is recommended for light to medium mulching work, including trees under six inches in diameter) and, inevitably, more wear due to continual swinging movements.
4. The Mulching Mower
Pros include different sizes available (for both mini excavator and full-sized excavators) and versatility. It's ideal for mowing areas that a conventional mower can't access, and it can process both grass and other vegetation for maintenance of mixed fields or roadsides. Cons include limited brush capabilities (in roadside maintenance, for example, some other attachment would be required to perform tree trimming).
The application you're planning to use your mulcher for will dictate which types could fit your needs, but you do have some choice in the matter. For example, if you're trying to choose between a fixed hammer and swinging hammer model for light mulching work, it's important to look more closely at the strengths and weaknesses of each. These pros and cons can help you make the best decision about which excavator mulcher to rent or buy.