With bin collections decreasing, plus more and more restrictions being placed upon what can actually go in your bins – getting rid of waste is becoming a bit of a problem! Many areas have also now placed a limit on the amount of times that you can go to the local waste disposal site too, so anyone with a medium to large sized garden may find themselves struggling!
We have found the best way to get rid of garden waste (and some home waste too) is with a garden shredder. A garden shredder is basically a smaller, more compact, chipping device. By shredding your garden waste into smaller, more manageable pieces, you will be able to fit more in your bin, make the waste better suited for a compost heap, or make it perfect to be added to large waste sacks so that it can be taken to your local tip without making a mess of your car!
If this sounds like just the tool that you need then look no further – we have found some of the best garden shredders to help you make the most of your time (and space!) in your garden!
Best Garden Shredder – Bosch Shredder AXT 25
- The AXT 25 TC quiet shredder – the first universal shredder for both soft and hard materials
- High torque high-performance 2500 W motor
- Patented block release system allows blockages to be loosened easily without the need to remove the hopper
- Effortlessly shreds woody materials up to a maximum diameter of 45 mm thanks to extremely high torque of 650 Nm
- Items included: AXT 25 TC, plunger for trimmed material, 53-Litre collection box, cardboard box (3165140465373), material throughput: 230 kg/h, max. cutting capacity: Dia. 45 mm, 2500 W
In A Hurry?
Green bin overflowing? A compost pile that looks more like a rubbish dump? Or maybe you have a large project to start and don’t know where to begin with removing the debris and cuttings from your garden. If any of these reasons sound like you then we can understand why you would be in a hurry to purchase a garden shredder! Keep reading for all the essential information that you need to know about garden shredders, including some of the best models that you can purchase right now!
Types of Garden Shredder
The two main types of garden shredder are impact garden shredders and crushing garden shredders. These will both work very differently to get the job done but you need to consider both to see what is going to be right for you!
An impact garden shredder utilises a sharp blade to chop through your garden waste, such as leaves and branches. The benefit of opting for a blade model is that they will be able to cut your leaves and branches into very fine pieces which makes them easier to remove and easier to break down on a compost pile. However, there are some downsides to opting for an impact garden shredder – the main one is that it is going to be quite loud when being used, so you are going to have to consider wearing ear protection (and warning your neighbours!). You will also find that you have to replace the blades as they will begin to blunt over time.
The other option that you will have is a crushing garden shredder. These work very differently to an impact garden shredder is that instead of cutting up the materials they will actually brush them against a plate. This happens using rollers or a drum to draw materials in and then press them against a plate with such impact that they splinter into many pieces. The main benefit to these models is that they are going to be considerably quieter than the impact models as they aren’t cutting up the materials in the same way. However, because of the action that they are using, you will find that they only really work well with drier materials such as branches and sticks! This means that leaves and other “wet” materials are just going to clog up the system!
TOP TIP: Don’t forget to check what types of garden waste your garden shredder will be able to work with. This is normally going to be specified on the product details and is crucial if you are wanting to work with a variety of waste in your garden without damaging your garden shredder.
You are also going to have two choices when it comes to the power of your garden shredder – electric or petrol. You will find that electric models are more common for smaller or average sized garden shredders, whereas petrol tends to be used for the considerably larger models – although there are exceptions to the rule.
Electric models are going to be cheaper, lighter and smaller, which means that they are more portable so can be moved around your garden depending on where you are working. This will massively reduce the amount of time that you have to spend moving your debris around the garden. However, due to them usually offering less power, you can be more limited in the size of branches/hedge trimmings etc that you are able to work with! Another slight downside is that you are going to need to be close to a mains power source, which can limit the distance that you can go into your garden and will potentially stop you from using your garden shredder in different locations.
A petrol garden shredder is going to avoid all of those problems, as you will be able to use these anywhere that works for you! Not only that but they are considerably bigger and more powerful models which means that they will be able to work with larger branches and garden waste – making your life even easier. However, you do need to consider that they are going to be more expensive to run as you are going to have to purchase petrol to keep them working. Not only that, but their sheer size is going to make them more difficult to move around to different locations.
Maximum Branch Diameter
Once you have decided on the type of garden shredder that you need and whether electric or petrol is going to be best for you, you need to start looking at the maximum branch diameter. This is going to control what you can actually use your shredder for. The maximum branch diameter is the largest size of branch that you can put into your shredder safely and without causing damage.
This will range from as little as 30mm up to around 80mm (even more for more commercial models), which as you can see is quite a difference. If you have average sized hedges and trees in your garden and are just completing general maintenance and “tidying” of your greenery then you will probably find a maximum branch diameter of around 45mm will be more sufficient!
Ease of Use
We would definitely recommend looking at how easy your garden shredder is going to be to use, as we found a lot of variation in how the different models work. Chances are you are purchasing a garden shredder to make your life easier – so machines that are going to be functional and easy to use are essential!
- Automatic feeding – Most impact shredders (and some crushing shredders) are going to need you to feed the material into the shredder by hand continuously. This is perfectly easy to do, but does restrict the time that you can spend doing other things in your garden. Some larger models avoid this issue by having automatic feeding, so you just fill up the chute and the shredder will do the rest. Roller models will be much more likely to automatically feed your branches in.
- Collection box – The collection box of your garden shredder is where all of the trimmings and clippings move to once they have been shredded. The size of your collection box is obviously going to impact on the amount of shredding that you will be able to do before you have to empty it. Look for models that are going to be easy to remove and then clip back into place, plus ones that have handles which will make them easier to carry to wherever you are disposing of the chippings.
Best Budget – Dirty Pro Tools™ Compact Electric Garden Shredder
- Will shred up to 40mm thick branches
- Large wheels for ease of manoeuvrability
- 2500 watt motor turning out 4500 RPM, With the safety cut out switch
- Weight approx. 10 kg
- 50 litre chip collection bag
It is incredibly important to consider how safe you are going to be when using a garden shredder as they can be dangerous pieces of machinery if not used correctly.
- Impact shredder blades – If you decide that an impact shredder is going to be best for you then you need to consider the sharpness of the blades at all times! Check for models that have locking systems for the blades and even safety covers for them to avoid them getting into the wrong hands when you are away from your machine!
- PPE – We would definitely recommend using PPE when you are using ANY garden shredder, however you are purchasing an impact shredder then you are definitely going to need PPE. This is because you will often find that the branches move around as they are fed into the shredder and bits of wood chip can actually fly back out of the machine, so gloves, goggles and ear defenders are a must!
- Noise levels – Different garden shredder styles are going to have different noise levels, you will usually find that impact shredders are louder because of the cutting motion that they use. Louder models should always be used with ear protection to avoid any damage to your hearing over prolonged use!
The Best Garden Shredders All Have….
Now that you know the essential factors you need to consider before purchasing a garden shredder, here are some of the extra features that we found in only the best models.
- Portability – The best way to get the job done quickly is to be able to move your garden shredder around the garden as you need it! For this to be possible it is going to need to be portable! Check for garden shredders with heavy-duty wheels and handles that are positioned well to drag your shredder around.
- Transparent collection boxes – A transparent collection box will make it much easier for you to see the waste that you have collected and how close you are to being full!
- Mulching – Some garden shredders will have mulching options which will allow you to turn your garden waste straight into a “mulch” which can be put back onto your garden to provide you grass and plants with nutrients.
- Reverse setting – We particularly like garden shredders that come with a reverse setting as these allow you to remove items that may have caused a blockage. This not only makes the machine safer but also easier to use!
- Access hatch – Look out for garden shredders that come with an access hatch which will allow you to get to the mechanisms, rollers or blades much easier. These are going to be essential to remove any blockages from your shredder and will save your shredder from coming up against any damage.
Best of the Rest
- Powerful 3000W impact shredder
- Two reversible, hardened steel blades shred branches, brambles, and shrubs to a fine mulch
- Integrated handle and large wheels for easy movement around the garden
- Large container holds up to 55L of shredded material
- Safety plunger pushes green material into the shredder and keeps fingers away from the cutting blades
- For effective operation the Einhell GC-KS 2540 electric shredder has two long-lasting, robust reversible blades made of special steel which are driven by a powerful 2,500 W motor.
- The large funnel opening means it is convenient to use and makes it easy to feed in the material you want to shred, for branches up to 40 mm in diameter.
- The funnel has a safety interlock and can be swung down for cleaning and maintenance. There is a motor circuit breaker for protection against overloading.
- The electric shredder can be transported quickly and easily in the garden and home grounds thanks to the wheels and robust chassis. An integrated practical transport handle makes this even easier.
- The shredder has a shredder debris bag which is fitted quickly and easily on a hook.
- Fitted with 2200 W Bosch PowerDrive motor
- Patented large capacity hopper for quick and easy feed
- Practical plunger for increased material throughput
- 40 mm high precision laser-cut, twin edged blade, reversible for extended life, lightweight with wheels for easy transportation
Frequently Asked Questions
What warranty comes with a garden shredder?
The best garden shredders come with between a two and a three year warranty depending on the model. It is rare that this will include the blade though as this is going to be a wearable part that will have to be replaced from time to time.
How often should I replace the blade on my garden shredder?
How often you should replace the blade on your garden shredder largely depends on how much garden waste and the types of garden waste that you are shredding. For example, leaves and “softer” waste won’t blunt the blades as easily as branches will do. We would recommend replacing your blade every 6 months or so (or more often if you feel that it is struggling to cut and you are developing blockages. We found some garden shredders actually have “reversible” blades that you can flip round to get more life out of when one side becomes blunt!
What is the difference between a chipper and a shredder?
The main difference is that a chipper is most often used to work with waste wood and branches, whereas a shredder can work with a much wider variety of garden waste. However, more recently you do tend to find the two names being used interchangeably.
What can I put through a garden shredder?
A garden shredder can be used for so many different types of garden waste and food waste too! You can put “green” materials through such as fruit and vegetable waste, grass cuttings, teabags and plant cuttings. But you can also put bigger items such as twigs, branches, garden waste and even cardboard through your garden shredder too!