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The 9 Best Leaf Mulcher or Shredder 2021 Reviews: Your Buyer’s Guide

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Leaf mulcher can be quite handy for people with large yard with many trees. It saves a lot of time and hassle by turning large piles into small manageable sizes.

They are capable of decreasing leaf mulch of 10 bags to almost 1 bag. They can make the leaves ready for compositing in an eco-friendly way.

To choose the best leaf mulcher, you should consider certain factors. Few of them are mentioned below…

  • Power Source : Leaf mulchers are available in electric and gas powered options. Gas powered models are more powerful and effective than electric ones. Though electric ones are whisper silent, they have a limit on how far they can reach, making them suitable for residential use. Gas powered ones are suitable for lawn maintenance and professional landscapes.
  • Motor Power : It is measured in amp rating for electric leaf mulchers. For gas models, it is represented in CC or HP. However, rule remains same for both – higher the rating, better the performance. Ideal motor power for electric ones are 13 to 15amps. For gas mulchers, it is 200CC to 300CC or 10HP to 15HP.
  • Mulching Ratio : It represents how well a leaf mulcher can decrease the debris volume. Ideal reduction ratio of a leaf shredder is 13 to 1.

Other factors to consider are coping mechanism, capacity, noise, and speed adjustments. You can read a clear description in our “Buying Guide”.

A list of best leaf mulchers in 2021 is provided below. It includes standard mulchers, combination options and few heavy duty mulchers. You can choose any one among them according to your requirements.

Top Rated Leaf Shredder/Mulcher 2021

Best Leaf Mulcher Shredder Reviews

1. Worx Bladeless Electric Leaf Mulcher

WORK LEAF MULCHER

Worx is known for making value for money power tools that are also reliable. They also make various leaf mulcher models that are powered by an electric motor.

The Worx WG430 electric leaf mulcher is present in the 1st position in this article as it offers a great value for money. Even though it has a very justified price tag, you get a 13 amp electric motor in it. One of the greatest things about this motor is that it is highly reliable and comes with a 3-year long warranty that is one of the best options out there.

Its 13 amp motor is able to offer a decent 11:1 mulching ratio to its users. You can achieve this mulching ratio with a high mulching speed of up to 53 gallons of leaves every minute. This electric motor has a total of 24 cutting lines that air-cooled for proper performance. It also comes with an easy start-stop system for ease of use while using this leaf mulcher.

Best Features:

  • 13 amp electric motor
  • 11:1 mulching ratio
  • 3-year warranty
  • 24 cutting lines
  • Mulch 53 gallons of leaves every minute
  • Supports a debris bag
  • Tool-free and quick assembly

Components:

  • Electric leaf mulcher
  • User manual
  • Warranty card

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2. Sun Joe Electric Leaf Mulcher/Shredder

Sun Joe Electric Leaf Mulcher

Sun Joe makes a wide range of backyard lawn tools and equipment that also includes a wide range of leaf mulchers for households.

Sun Joe’s SDJ616 electric leaf mulcher is present in the 2nd position in this article as it is one of the most affordable options out there and yet highly powerful. Just like the previous Worx leaf mulcher, this one also comes with a 13 amp motor. Since this is a budget option, you get a 2-year warranty with it which is to be expected at the given price.

This motor is able to offer a high mulching ratio of 16:1 as you get an 8000 RPM motor in this leaf mulcher. You can even change the speed of this motor quite easily using its easy to read control dial. A great thing about this leaf mulcher is that it comes with a 16 gauge extension cord that has a maximum length of 50 feet for easily reaching a power socket.

Best Features:

  • 13 amp electric motor
  • 16:1 mulching ratio
  • 2-year warranty
  • 8000 RPM electric motor
  • 16 gauge extension power cord
  • 50 feet extension power cord
  • Easy to read control dial
  • Trash can compatible hopper

Components:

  • Electric leaf mulcher
  • User manual
  • Warranty card

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3. Earthwise Corded Electric Chipper/Shredder

Earthwise Corded Electric Chipper

Earthwise is a brand of power tools that offers tools for your backyard with a high user rating. Its electric leaf mulcher offering also has a high user rating due to its features.

This Earthwise GS70015 electric leaf mulcher is present in the 3rd position in this article as you get various useful features in it. It is powered by a highly powerful 15 amp electric motor. As a result, you can shred leaves as well as branches that have a thickness of up to 1 ¾ inch. You also get a decent 11:1 mulching ratio with this leaf mulcher.

One of the best things about this leaf mulcher is that it comes with a 1.2-bushel collection bin. You can collect all of the mulched leaves for using them as fertilizer later on. This leaf mulcher includes wheels on the back to easily move it around your backyard. Unfortunately, you only get a 1-year warranty with this leaf mulcher.

Best Features:

  • 15 amp electric motor
  • 11:1 mulching ratio
  • 1-year warranty
  • 2-bushel collection bin at the bottom
  • Wheels on the back
  • Mulch leaves and branches of up to 1 ¾ inch thickness

Components:

  • Electric leaf mulcher
  • User manual
  • Warranty card

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4. Sun Joe CJ603E Electric Silent Wood Chipper

Sun Joe CJ603E Electric Silent Wood Chipper

As we have already mentioned, Sun Joe makes a wide range of leaf mulchers. Thus, we are here with another option from Sun Joe that is more powerful than the previous one.

The Sun Joe CJ603E is the most powerful electric option present in this article. While it comes with a 15 amp electric motor that is quite similar to other options out there, you get a high mulching ratio of 21:1 with this leaf mulcher. You can use it to mulch or shred leaves and branches of up to 1.73 inches in thickness.

Just like the previous Sun Joe leaf mulcher, this one also comes with a 2-year long warranty. A great thing about this leaf mulcher is that it is quite small and compact. And since you get 7-inch wheels at the back, you can easily move it around your backyard.

Best Features:

  • 15 amp electric motor
  • 21:1 mulching ratio
  • 2-year warranty
  • 7-inch wheels at the back
  • Small and compact form factor
  • Includes a safety hopper with locks
  • Shreds 1.73 inch thick branches and leaves

Components:

  • Electric leaf mulcher
  • User manual
  • Warranty card

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5. GreatCircleUSA Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher

GreatCircleUSA Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher

Just per its name, Great Circle USA is a power tools brand that is based out of the USA. It makes powerful gas-powered leaf mulchers for your backyard.

Great Circle USA’s leaf mulcher is one of the few gas-powered options present in this article. And even though it comes with a highly powerful 212 CC gas engine, it has a very justified price tag. This powerful gas engine allows you to shred up to 3 inch thick branches quite easily. It has a very respectable mulching ratio of 15:1 for small leaf pieces.

You get a highly reliable gas engine in this leaf mulcher that offers a 3-year long warranty. This engine also provides EPA and CARB safety standards compliance that is always great to have. The engine of this leaf mulcher is used to power 4 y-hammers and 2 steel chipping blades that work quite well.

Best Features:

  • 212 CC gas engine
  • 15:1 mulching ratio
  • 3-year warranty
  • 3 in 1 multi functions
  • 3 inch supported branch thickness
  • 7 HP gas engine
  • EPA and CARB certified

Components:

  • Gas-powered leaf mulcher
  • User manual
  • Warranty card

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6. Flowtron LE-900 Mulcher Electric Leaf Shredder

FLOWTRON ELECTRIC LEAF SHREDDER

Most of the power tools from Flowtron have a high user rating because of the features that you get. This is also true for their electric leaf shredder mentioned in this article.

If you are looking for a leaf mulcher with a high mulching ratio, then the Flowtron LE-900 can be a great option. It has a mulching ratio of 30:1 that is much higher than other options out there. This can be quite useful if you want fine leaf pieces for using as a fertilizer. You get this mulching ratio with the help of its highly efficient 5 amp electric motor.

Unfortunately, you only get a 1-year warranty with this leaf mulcher, which might be an issue for some users out there. Thankfully, its build quality is quite decent even though it is quite compact and weighs just 17 pounds. You get a total of 36 cutting lines inside this mulcher that are able to offer a high mulching ratio. It even comes with a tall and adjustable stand.

Best Features:

  • 5 amp electric motor
  • 30:1 mulching ratio
  • 1-year warranty
  • 36 cutting lines
  • Weighs 17 pounds
  • Tall and adjustable stand

Components:

  • Electric leaf mulcher
  • User manual
  • Warranty card

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7. Craftsman Electric Leaf Blower / Leaf Vacuum & Mulcher

Craftsman Electric Leaf BlowerCraftsman is a global leader in developing and selling power tools, hand tools, hardware equipment, and outdoor equipment. The products are known for its robust build quality and outstanding performance.

This is a 3 in 1 corded electric blower that allows you to blow, vacuum, and mulch leaves. It is powered by a 12 amp motor that offers a high performance of up to 450 CFM and 260 MPH. With this high speed and large airflow capacity, you can clean large yards within a short time. Besides, the leaf blower comes with 2 adjustable speed controls that you can choose depending on the size of your yard.

You can easily switch this tool between blower and vacuum and mulcher effortlessly without using any tools. The leaf blower has been designed to offer maximum convenience to you. The backpack features lightweight straps that provide comfort when you are operating the blower. There is also a dust bag that can collect up to 55l of debris. The mouth of the dust bag is very wide so that you can easily dump the debris. There is no mention of warranty on the product page but Craftsman’s leaf blowers, in general, come with a 3 years warranty.

Best Features

  • 12-amp electric motor
  • 3-in-1 function
  • 450 CFM airflow capacity
  • 260 MPH speed
  • 2 adjustable speed controls
  • Lightweight straps
  • 55l capacity dust collection bag
  • 3 years warranty

Components

  • Electric leaf mulcher
  • User manual
  • Warranty card

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8. Patriot Products Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder

Patriot Products Wood Chipper

Patriot Products is another brand of power tools that is based out of the USA and also offers leaf mulchers. But unlike other options in this article, it provides a gas-powered leaf mulcher.

You get a highly powerful Briggs & Stratton gas-powered engine in the CSV-3100B leaf mulcher. It is rated at a capacity of 305 CC that is able to offer an engine power rating of 10 HP. Since this engine is so powerful, it can easily shred branches with a thickness of up to 3 inches. This is possible as it uses a swinging-hammer for shredding leaves and branches.

As a result, you get a high shredding ratio with this leaf mulcher. You can side discharge all of the leaves and branches using the side hopper. And it is able to do this while being quite fuel-efficient. One of the best things about this leaf mulcher is that it uses a reliable Briggs & Stratton engine, which offers a 3-year long warranty.

Best Features:

  • 305 CC gas engine
  • Engine power rating of 10 HP
  • 3-year warranty
  • Shred branches and leaves of 3-inch thickness
  • Side discharge mulch using a side hopper
  • Wheels on the back
  • Fuel efficient engine

Components:

  • Gas-powered leaf mulcher
  • User manual
  • Warranty card

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9. Black+Decker Electric Leaf Blower & Mulcher

BLACK DECKER Electric Leaf Blower

Black Decker makes a wide range of affordable and value for money power tools. You can also find various leaf mulchers that are powered by electric motors.

The Black Decker BV6000 electric leaf mulcher is the cheapest option in this article. Even then, it is one of the most unique ones as it offers a total of 3 working modes. This allows you to use this power tool as a leaf blower, a mulcher, or a leaf vacuum. All of this is possible because of all the attachments that you get with this leaf mulcher.

It is powered by a decent 12 amp electric motor that is able to offer a mulching ratio of 16:1. As for the blowing speed, it can blow air at a speed of up to 250 miles per hour, depending on your current speed. This leaf mulcher even comes with a 2-year long warranty. Since you get all of this at a very low price tag, you get a high value for money with this leaf mulcher.

Best Features:

  • 12 amp electric motor
  • 15:1 mulching ratio
  • 2-year warranty
  • 3 working modes
  • Up to 250 miles per hour blowing speed
  • Weighs 8.1 pounds

Components:

  • Electric leaf mulcher
  • Attachments
  • User manual
  • Warranty card

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Buying Guide For The Best Leaf Mulchers

What is a Leaf Mulcher?

The main responsibility of a leaf mulcher or leaf shredder is to ground down the garden waste (like leaves, twigs, branches) into mulch. This can be used to prevent any weed growth or you can add it to compost bin in order to create compost.

They work similar to a garden trimmer – shred leaves using blade or cutting line, which is further reduced into smaller pieces. It will make it more compact for recycling or storage.

How to Choose a Leaf Mulcher?

While analyzing a leaf shredder, you have to make sure the model you choose has powerful system that is capable of working on even hard tasks as well. To choose the best, you may have to consider some factors. We have mentioned them below for your reference.

1. Power Supply

Leaf mulchers are either powered by electricity or battery. A clear description of each type are provided below.

It comes with a cord that has to be plugged in an electric outlet for power. This can limit the coverage of the reach into yard. However, being plugged represents continuous supply of power. They are perfect for residential purposes as they are lighter, easy to store and quieter.

Gas mulchers provide unlimited coverage as you can take it anywhere you want without connecting it to anything. Compared to electric one, they are powerful to handle any tasks efficiently. The only thing to worry about is the fuel you require to run it continuously. Gas leaf vacuum mulchers are perfect for professionals and lawn maintenance services as they are capable of performing efficiently even in large areas.

2. Engine/Motor Power

Despite the power type you choose, the power output of your leaf mulcher is quite important to check. This is due to the reason that a powerful motor or engine is required for properly mulching down leaves and branches.

You can find the power rating of electric leaf mulchers mentioned as amp rating. It includes leaf mulchers with a power rating of 13 amps or 15 amps, out of which the 15 amp motor performs better.

As for the gas-powered leaf mulchers, you can get an idea of their performance by looking at the engine size. This is due to the reason that a 300 CC engine usually performs better than a 200 CC one. Some of these gas-powered leaf mulchers also have their power rating mentioned as 10 HP or a higher 15 HP.

3. Mulching Ratio

Also known as reduction ratio, it is a very important factor to consider, especially if you have large year with several trees. The ratio is determined by the capability of how small them mulcher can break the leaves into small debris.

For example, if a leaf mulcher reduces the size of leaves by 10 times, the mulching ratio becomes 10:1. While some of the leaf mulcher options out there come with a 15:1 mulching ratio, others might have a better ratio of 21:1. Ideal leaf mulcher ratio is considered as at least 13:1 which means you can fit 13 bags capacity of leaves or twigs into one single bag. This will save you a lot of time and energy. A higher ratio allows you to get finer leaf pieces for using as a natural fertilizer for your backyard lawn.

4. Chopping Mechanism

All the leaf mulcher come with one of the three different types of chopping mechanism. Types of chopping mechanisms often found in leaf mulchers are…

  • Metal Blades
  • Plastic Blades
  • String

Whatever model you choose, make sure it is strong enough to cut through any amount of leaves without any hindrance or hassle. If you have to deal with small amount of trees regularly, then string is the efficient choice.

For large yard or if you have to deal with large amount of leaves every fall season, then metal blades are suitable. Because they are more durable and less likely to get easily damaged. Leaf mulchers with plastic blades are less expensive than others. However, they break easily and need replacement often.

5. Capacity

You have to choose the capacity based on the size of your job. Smaller yards and fewer trees won’t require much capacity but large estates and public parks, you may need higher capacity. Leaf shredders come with bins that are substantial to add the leaves. It is better to choose anything above 10 gallon capacity. However, this is a personal preference so you can get whatever your job requires. Also consider how many times you may have to empty the bin throughout the project. This may give you a fair idea which suits you better.

6. Speed Adjustment

Speed settings will help you adjust the fly according to your requirements. Shredding leaves can be easy but shredding small twigs or branches may require a little more speed based on the size. Sometimes, leaves can get sucked into the machine due to speed. In such cases, you may have to reduce the speed to prevent any clogging that may interrupt the machine blade. So, having variable speeds can be helpful and flexible.

7. Safety Features

It is better to invest in a machine that comes with auto-shut off feature because it will stop the machine in case of overheating or as soon as you remove the hopper. Blocks in the machine can lead to electrical problems or risk of accidents while unblocking. Most of the shredders come with filters that prevent any dust from escaping. It also stops from inhaling the tiny little leave pieces which may be harmful for you.

8. Noise

It is one of the important factors to keep in mid while purchasing a leaf mulcher. Too much can be a hurdle to you and your neighbor as well. If it is too much, then neighbors can file a complaint against you. It is quite challenge to choose a leaf mulcher that is whisper silent. Among all the types, electric shredders are not as loud as motor-operated counterparts.

Check the municipality bylaws for shredders and mulchers because some gas-powered ones are prohibited in some areas. For further information on noise bylaw regulations, we recommend to check out the website for noise pollution clearing house.

9. Design

Leaf shredders come in four different designs. We have mentioned them below for your reference.

  • Freestanding – It sits in one spot and lets you put leaves on top of it.
  • Portable – It comes with a shoot on top where you can load the leaves. However, unit will be on the wheels which allows you to take it around your lawn while working.
  • Mower-Style – It has to be pulled behind the riding lawnmower. It picks up the grass and provides a rough chop. After that, clippings will be sucked through a tube into mulcher where they will be chewed up much finer.
  • Leaf Vacuums It is portable which makes it easy to carry around and also point the nozzle towards whatever you want to pick.

10. Mulcher Versatility

Most of the mulchers come with great versatile options which saves you money as well. If you invest in a 3-in-1 mulcher, then you can blow up the leaves together, mulch then suck away using vacuum. This helps you clean the lawn, work on the garden and reach the flower beds where any conventional option cannot reach.

11. Storability

You have to consider where you will be storing the shredder. Most of the leaf mulchers are small enough to be easily stored in a garage cabinet. However, if you have a little smaller one or if you have garden shed, then you should consider a model that is compact and foldable. Generally, leaf vacuum and sgredder models are much smaller than mulcher and woodchipper models. Some are even light in weight, easy to transport and easy to disassemble.

12. Portability

You have to consider this factor as you will have to carry the leaf mulcher from one place to another around the yard. Make sure to check out for durable and heavy-duty wheels for easy transport and long lasting life.

13. Weight

Based on the size of your yard, you will have to carry the mulcher for a reasonable amount of time. Even a couple of pounds can make a huge different on the weight which may strain your shoulders, arms or back. If you are older, then it can add more weight and heavy to move around with it.

14. Environmental Impact

When it comes to environmental efficiency, electric shudders are more gas-powered leaf mulchers. If possible, go for electric shredder. Investing in a reusable collection bag further minimizes impact on the environment. Leaf shredders come with built-in mulching technology which contribute the environment as well. Mulched leaves can be used as a fertilizer to encourage the plant growth.

15. Replacement Parts

If you are going to purchase leaf shredder with blades, then make sure brand provides free replacements or spares while purchasing. Some companies also provide extra shredding strings; they will come in useful if the original ones break. It can be effective and improve your shredding capabilities.

16. Ease of Use and Assembly

Well, having a product that can be assembled easily is the best choice. Some of the awesome features that make the whole easy assembling is movable chutes which allows to throw the leaves from all the angles, automatic leaf disposal and adjustable shredding settings. Check out the customer reviews or specifications to check if the product is easy to assemble, use and store.

17. Warranty

You can find a manufacturer’s warranty included with most of the leaf mulcher models out there. And this is highly important to check since you have to rely on the warranty to get any issues fixed down the road. While some leaf mulchers come with just a 1-year warranty, others might even offer a 3-year warranty. Such leaf mulchers can easily last for a long time as they are quite durable and reliable.

How Exactly Does a Leaf Shredder Work?

Leaf mulchers come in few different designs that include handheld, gas and electric.

  • Electric shredders – They use string trimmer lines much similar to weed eaters. These plastic string are thick enough to chop all the leaves into small pieces. They are best suited for dry and brittle leaves.
  • Gas-powered shredders – They come with heavy-duty metal blades and grinding plates which can handle large branches and big sticks that are 1 to 3 inches thick in diameter.
  • Handheld shredders – They are a combination vacuum, shredders and a blower. They use metal impeller which looks similar to fan blade with a solid back. If it is placed in vacuum mode, the impeller will spin and cut the leaves into small pieces as they pass through channel and finally into a bin.

How to Use a Leaf Shredder?

Every lead mulchers come with their own set of rules on how to use it. Everyone should follow the manufacturer’s instructions provided in the manual. It contains information on use, assembly and breakdown.

  • Gas and Electric Mulchers – They come with chuter – either on the side or top where you can add the leaves. They either come with a bin or bag or else you can use your own bin to dump the mulch.
  • Handheld or Leaf Blower Shredders – These devices have to be placed on your back and you have to place the collection bag near to catch the leaves shredded. Using these types of mulchers, you can walk around the property sucking up the leaves as your go. You can actually collect them into a big pile and vacuum at once.

Safety Tips To Consider While Using a Leaf Mulcher

There are several safety concerns while using a mulcher. Because if you don’t, you may end up getting hurt. This is even more important if you have children running around your home.

Some of the potential injuries that can be caused due to shredders or mulchers is bruises, pinches, eye injuries, young children, excessive noise exposure, breathing problems if inhaled any debris, hearing loss, projectile debris and air pollution.

Some of the safety tips are mentioned below for your reference.

  • While operating, make sure you wear closed-toed shoes, gloves, eye and ear protection.
  • Make sure the hair is tied back and be careful around the cords so that you don’t trip on them.
  • Let the gas-powered models cool off completely before refuelling.
  • No matter whether the mulcher is on or not, never leave children unattended around it.
  • Don’t allow youngsters or kids to operate mulchers. Even older kids should use them under adult supervision.
  • Avoid placing your hand into the machine, especially while it is running. To deal with any clog or debris, we recommend turn off the machine, remove it from power source and do it using protective gloves.
  • We recommend to disable the unit before cleaning it.

Can a Leaf Shredder Best Used To Shred Paper?

It depends on the type of mulcher you are purchasing or using. If you have a gas powered, heavy duty chipper that can handle big branches as well then you can use it for shredding paper. Because they have metal blades that can easily mulch the paper.

However, if you have vacuum or blower type of leaf shredders, then they are not capable of shredding paper. Even compact shredders cannot do the job as they come with trimming string. These type of shredders don’t have enough power to shred the paper. If you do so, then it may damage the machine completely.

Conclusion

You can use leaves as a natural fertilizer for your backyard lawn by breaking them into smaller pieces. This can be easily done using a leaf mulcher since they are powered by an electric or a gas motor. Since these are so handy, there are a lot of options available out there, including the best leaf mulchers mentioned in this article. To help you in easily choosing the best one for you, we have mentioned their best features and options along with a buying guide. It has all of the important factors related to leaf mulchers that can be handy for choosing the best one for you. Yet, some of you might be confused while buying a leaf muncher. In that case, you can simply buy one of the following options from our recommendations:

  • If you do not want to spend a lot of money on your first leaf mulcher and just want to try out one, then you can go with the Black Decker BV6000 leaf mulcher. It is the cheapest option present in this article and yet offers a lot of things to the user. You get a 12 amp electric motor in this leaf mulcher that is able to provide a mulching ratio of 16:1. Despite its affordable price tag, you get a decent 2-year warranty that is great to have. This leaf mulcher offers a total of 3 working modes to the user for flexibility and ease of use while using it.
  • The Sun Joe CJ603E is the most powerful electric leaf mulcher present in this article. It comes with a highly powerful 15 amp electric motor that is as good as other high-end options out there. Although, this leaf mulcher comes with a high mulching ratio of 21:1 that is much higher than other options out there and results in small leaf pieces. It can also shred tree branches with a thickness of up to 1.73 inches. You can take this mulcher around your backyard lawn quite easily as it comes with 7-inch wheels in it.

Although, some of you might be looking for a gas-powered leaf mulcher who can consider the Great Circle USA

Make sure to share your thoughts in the comments section. You can also post any questions down there if you have any!

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