I have a "Super Tomahawk" with an 8 hp Briggs & Stratton engine. I'm guessing this is overkill for a small 'burban lot - but if you're married to an engineer, you'll understand perfectly!
I have owned 3 other shredders - and this is by far my favorite. It has the power to do about 1 1/2 to 2 inch branches and damp leaves. It will bog down if I put in bag after bag of soggy leaves - but then I bog down when I try and do that too! It has a wonderful design - most of the shredders we looked at make the leaves or sticks go around a corner - and this is where you will end up with clogs. This one lets me dump things in, and the shredded product comes straight out the bottom. The only thing I would like to change on it is to add an electric starter - I hate trying to start it with the pull cord - but Mark doesn't have a problem with it.
I talked to a master gardener a few years ago about shredding - and he said he simply runs his mower over the leaves a couple times and it works much better than any shredder he's tried. I think that works fine - but I don't like the mess it leaves on the grass. I want all of my hard work to go into the mulch pile!
Today I did 49 bags of leaves - that's a lot!!!! Here's what my pile looked like when I was done. I think I did about 20 bags on Saturday. I'm kind of hoping this is all I'll have to do this year, but I'll let it settle for a couple days before I decide for sure.