best-garden-shredder

DIY Garden is reader-supported. If you click through using links on this page, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

5 Best Garden Shredders For Home Use (2021 Review)

The best garden shredders should have enough power (ideally 2500 W) to chomp through branches at least 40mm wide without jamming. They should have automatic safety features, with a stable base for peace of mind. You’ll also want to look for a large enough collection box to catch the chippings, and a cable of at least 6m for convenience.

The team at DIY Garden have spent hours putting the best models to the test. From checking the shredders can handle the branch diameter they say they can, to checking how often they jam. The results are in and this is what we discovered…

What is the Best Garden Shredder For You?

Back To Contents

Comparing The Best Garden Shredders

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that's most important to you.

  • Best For
  • Max. Branch Diameter
  • Motor
  • Weight
  • Blade RPM
  • Shredding Rate
  • Collection Box
  • Cable Length
  • Noise Level
  • Cost
  • Our score
  •  

Back To Contents

In-Depth Reviews of Our Recommended Garden Shredders

Bosch AXT 25 TC Quiet Garden ShredderBosch AXT 25 TC Quiet Garden Shredder

Best garden shredder overall

Design
Performance
Speed
Safety
Noise
Value for Money
Overall
4.5333333333333
CHECK PRICE →

Bosch AXT 25 TC Quiet Garden Shredder review

Specifications

  • Max. Branch Diameter: 45 mm
  • Motor: 2500 W
  • Weight: 30.5 kg
  • Blade RPM: 4100 rpm
  • Shredding Rate: 230 kg/h
  • Collection Box: 53 L
  • Cable Length: 6 m
  • Noise Level: 90 dB

When clearing the garden, there’s nothing worse than having sub-par tools that let you down halfway through the job. A decent garden shredder, like the Bosch AXT 25 TC, will cut organic debris into chippings, even managing large branches up to 45 mm in diameter, without faltering. It’s a highly reliable tool to have in the shed, and one that makes it a lot easier to dispose of large amounts of organic matter without making several trips to the dump.

The AXT 25 TC’s ability to cut diameters of up to 45 mm trumps 95% of shredders on the market; other machines are generally limited to 40 mm. Of course, you probably aren’t going to go out and measure your branches, but it’s good to know that this shredder has a bit more leeway than most.

With blades that turn at a rate of 41 rpm, powered by a 2500 W motor, it’s not really surprising that this machine can deliver such impressive results. This is a lot of power, working out to a shredding rate of 230 kg / hour.

The Bosch shredder uses a strong system for cutting, which helps it achieve these results; the branch is cut between the blades and the cutting plate. Once the blades start to wear down, the cutting plate can be moved by twisting a screw, to improve contact with the blades once more. This ‘turbine-cut system’ means it’s able to both chop and crush, making it versatile enough to handle anything from hard wood to soft greenery.

Whilst it does work extremely well on hard wood (shredding anything from birch, to ash, and apple), some green matter may need to be put through with harder material to stop the blades from jamming.

However, as shredders go, this particular model rarely jams, even when tackling those bigger branches, and when it does get stuck, it’s easy to correct. The touchpad control on the unit has a ‘reverse’ function which releases any problematic material.

The 53 L collection box is larger than that of a lot of models, requiring relatively infrequent emptying. In fact, it’s so big, that when it’s not in use, the hopper stores inside it. As a result, when storing this unit, it’s only measures 67 cm high and can tuck away neatly in the shed.

Getting this shredder in and out of storage is really the only place where this machine could let itself down, weighing 30 kg it might be a little heavy for some people to manage. There are two wheels which aid movement over flat surfaces, but if it needs to be picked up or transported in any way it can feel uncomfortably weighty.

Pros

  • It is not prone to overly frequent blocking.
  • Will handle most wood (birch, ash, apple) up to 45 mm diameter.
  • Smaller branches will be turned into evenly-sized wood chip.
  • The box that collects the chippings is very easy to remove and empty.
  • Easy to store because the hopper can store inside the unit, making the entire unit only 67 cm high.

Cons

  • Can be a little top heavy, so care needs to be taken when moving it around.
  • Mouth isn't very wide, so side branches need to be removed from primary branches before they will fit.
  • May be less effective at shredding green waste than woody waste.

Back To Contents

Ryobi Silent Garden ShredderRyobi Silent Garden Shredder

Best value for money

Design
Performance
Speed
Safety
Noise
Value for Money
Overall
4.4833333333333
CHECK PRICE →

Ryobi Silent Garden Shredder review

Specifications

  • Max. Branch Diameter: 45 mm
  • Motor: 3000 W
  • Weight: 24 kg
  • Blade RPM: 5500 rpm
  • Shredding Rate: 200 kg/h
  • Collection Box: 55 L
  • Cable Length: 6 m
  • Noise Level: 93 dB

Whether disposing of greener shrubbery, or bigger branches, the Ryobi Silent Garden Shredder proves itself to be very capable of chopping up an assortment of organic materials.

Whereas many garden shredders struggle with green matter, this Ryobi model handles it fairly effectively. Able to chop up conifer branches and pruned twigs, as well as harder wood branches and dried clippings from the garden. It really rarely jams, even when faced with wood of 45 mm which is its maximum cutting diameter.

The 3000 W motor is part of what makes this machine so reliable, combined with its rotating ‘cog’ blades which crush and chop branches against a hard side plate. The resulting chippings are relatively fine, creating chunks the size of wood chips that can be spread over the garden or easily disposed of in the green recycling.

As its name suggests, this shredder is quite quiet – especially in comparison with petrol shredders, but also when compared to some other electric shredders too. It’s unlikely to disturb your neighbours, which gives more flexibility on when it can be used.

A 55 L container for holding the shredded material is included; this is generally one of the larger sizes available which is great for saving time, but it can get quite heavy.

On the subject of weight, this shredder weighs 24 kg which may make it difficult to manage for some people. There are wheels attached, so it can be pulled over flat terrain, but it might prove challenging to take up slopes or steps.

On arrival, there is a bit of setting up to do which can take around 20 minutes. The most important calibration is adjusting the cutting plate so that it is well positioned in relation to the blades. Getting this right can make all the difference when tackling greener material.

Pros

  • Copes well with mixed handfuls of material, not requiring only same-size branches at a time.
  • Generally feeds the branches in by itself, freeing you up to grab the next one.
  • Quite a lot quieter than other shredders and unlikely to be heard by neighbours.

Cons

  • Small twigs will likely fall through un-shredded.
  • The funnel opening is quite narrow, which can limit what can be put through.
  • It may struggle with branches that are not straight as they can be difficult to feed into the machine.

Back To Contents

Bosch AXT Rapid 2200 Blade Garden ShredderBosch AXT Rapid 2200 Blade Garden Shredder

Best lightweight option

Design
Performance
Speed
Safety
Noise
Value for Money
Overall
4.15
CHECK PRICE →

Bosch AXT Rapid 2200 Blade Garden Shredder review

Specifications

  • Max. Branch Diameter: 40 mm
  • Motor: 2200 W
  • Weight: 12 kg
  • Blade RPM: 3,650 rpm
  • Shredding Rate: 90 kg/h
  • Collection Box: n/a
  • Cable Length: 5 m
  • Noise Level: 103 dB

The Bosch brand name is pretty synonymous with getting jobs done, and with a name like the Bosch AXT Rapid 2200 it’s pretty clear that this machine has been designed to be efficient. Plus, it’s considerably cheaper than the Bosch’s AXT 25 TC model, so it offers a good balance between features and price.

It’s got a 2200 W motor and is a great tool to have on hand when pruning bushes or trees, plus you can position your own receptacle (bag/box etc.) under the exit shoot, meaning there’s no need to move the chippings into a separate container when it gets full.

Instead, you can just use several bags, making it easy to take the waste to the dump or leave outside on rubbish collection day – a better prospect than leaving a more valuable machine-specific collection box outside, or emptying the heavy debris into a green bin.

Realistically, this shredder is best suited to cutting branches of up to 35 mm. Whilst Bosch states that 40 mm can be achieved, it’s more reliable when faces with slightly smaller items.

Weighing 12 kg, this is a relatively light machine with two wheels and a handle for easily carting the unit around the garden. It’s a good size for navigating into smaller spaces as well as carrying over uneven terrain.

Overall, the results this shredder achieves are in line with the price of the machine; whilst it may stutter with larger branches, and struggle with some greener debris if not combined with dry matter, when used consciously and loaded carefully, it can do a good job of helping clear the garden.

Pros

  • Can chip branches of at least 35 mm if fed one at a time.
  • A good machine for shredding debris from bush prunings.
  • Lightweight enough to be easy to manoeuvre up steps and around multi-level gardens.
  • Replacement blades are available for when they get blunt.

Cons

  • May not always manage 40 mm branches, more comfortable with 20 - 35 mm.
  • Smaller twigs may get missed, ending up whole in the shredded chipping pile.
  • Exit chute is positioned approx. 30 cm from the floor, so bigger boxes or bags may not fit to collect chippings.
  • Greener material can cause it to block more regularly and is best mixed with dry material too.

Back To Contents

Dirty Pro Tools™ Garden ShredderDirty Pro Tools™ Garden Shredder

Best budget garden shredder

Design
Performance
Speed
Safety
Noise
Value for Money
Overall
4.05
CHECK PRICE →

Dirty Pro Tools™ Garden Shredder review

Specifications

  • Max. Branch Diameter: 40 mm
  • Motor: 2500 W
  • Weight: 15 kg
  • Blade RPM: 4,050 rpm
  • Shredding Rate: Not listed
  • Collection Box: 50 L
  • Cable Length: 6 m
  • Noise Level: 111 dB

If the high prices of garden shredders have left you feeling slightly aghast, it’s worth investigating some of the cheaper options on the market. The Dirty Pro Tools Garden Shredder, for example, is one of the best garden shredders for those on a budget; in terms of efficiency it doesn’t come far behind the top models, yet it’s positioned at a fraction of the price.

Now, it’s true, Dirty Pro Tools don’t necessarily have the fancy branding or visual appeal of, say, the Bosch brand, but this shredder still pits itself valiantly against those from more renowned companies.

With a 2500 W motor, this shredder actually matches the Bosch AXT 25 TC in terms of power, and the blades turn at 4050 rpm which helps it chop branches of up to 40 mm in diameter.

It’s worth being aware that, due to the design of this machine, it’s generally best suited to tackling straighter branches – the feed slot is quite narrow which can lead to more awkwardly-shaped pieces getting stuck. Sawing any bent branches in advance can help avoid this issue.

The collection box of 50 L is a good size, and other containers can also be used if you would prefer to position a large bag or other receptacle under the outflow shoot. The produced chips are great for composting or acting as mulch in the garden; although, if smaller twigs are put into the shredder they may be missed and come out the other side unscathed.

A 6 m mains cable comes included, which might even remove the necessity to use an extension lead in some gardens. Plus, it’s not a difficult machine to move around when required, at 15 kg.

Of course, as a budget option, there are some places where this shredder doesn’t manage to match the performance of more expensive brands. It’s not as efficient at dealing with leaves and green material as the Bosch AXT RC 25 or Ryobi shredder, and, as you’d expect, it’s a bit more prone to blockages. In particular, more time needs to be spent, more frequently, clearing obstructions from the outflow shoot.

Pros

  • Can shred finely enough to create good composting material
  • Will run for a long time, at least an hour, without having any problems of overheating.
  • Spare blades come included which saves on buying more in the future.
  • Clearing blockages does not take long and is simple to do.

Cons

  • It’s quite noisy and may need to be used at considerate times so as not to disturb neighbours.
  • Doesn’t cope well with shredding leaves and doing so may lead to frequent blockages.
  • The outflow shoot can get blocked easily and require regular clearing during shredding.
  • The machine doesn’t self-feed, material needs to be manually pushed through the feeder.

Back To Contents

The Handy Electric Garden ShredderThe Handy Electric Garden Shredder

Best for safety features

Design
Performance
Speed
Safety
Noise
Value for Money
Overall
4.2833333333333
CHECK PRICE →

The Handy Electric Garden Shredder review

Specifications

  • Max. Branch Diameter: 45 mm
  • Motor: 2500 W
  • Weight: 13.8 kg
  • Blade RPM: 4,500 rpm
  • Shredding Rate: Not listed
  • Collection Box: 40 L
  • Cable Length: 3 m
  • Noise Level: 106 dB

Safety is a very reasonable concern to have when looking for a garden shredder, after all – these are machines that are able to macerate large bits of wood… Whilst it’s true that the majority of shredders have numerous safety features in place, The Handy Garden Shredder has a particularly good mechanism that means it won’t start unless the collection box is secured and locked in.

This is a feature that not every shredder has, and it acts as an extra safety precaution, keeping the blades far out of reach whilst also protecting from any rogue, flying wood chips.

On top of this, The Handy shredder is one of the most affordable models featured here, yet it still features a 2500 W motor which is the same power as many more expensive machines. It also rivals its pricier competitors in terms of maximum cutting diameter – cutting branches up to 45 mm, the same as the reputable Bosch AXT 25 TC.

Weighing 13.8 kg, it’s one of the more manageable machines on this list, with robust wheels and a 40 L collection box. The collection box is semi-transparent, making it possible to see how close to full it is and when it needs emptying.

One of the main drawbacks to this shredder is its short 3 m power cable; whilst some shredders are fitted with 6 m or even 10 m mains cords, it’s unlikely that you would be able to escape using an extension cable with this The Handy model.

Pros

  • Good safety features - the motor won't start without the collection box in place.
  • Can cut through hardwood like willow.
  • When a blockage does occur, they are easy to clear without dismantling the machine.
  • Auto-feed means that most material will feed through without pushing.

Cons

  • Shredding wet, green material may easily cause blockages.
  • Can be quite a slow shredding process - it can't cope with too much material in one go.
  • Gloves may be required as the auto-feed can 'snatch' branches out of hands quickly.

Back To Contents

Things to Know Before Buying a Garden Shredder

If you’re someone who loves to prune the garden, but hates having the deal with all that bulky garden waste, a garden shredder can make your life so much easier!

They efficiently slice up waste, making it much easier to dispose of.

So, if you’re thinking about buying one, have a look at the pointers below to help you make an informed decision:

The Benefits of Using a Garden Shredder

There are several key benefits to buying a garden shredder.

Firstly, they can massively reduce the volume of your garden waste.

When I was a kid, we were lucky enough to live opposite some woods. I’ll always remember my Dad transporting wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of branches and leaves every time the garden needed tidying up. For the majority without this luxury, the only alternative is to cram clippings into your council garden waste bag, or take multiple trips to the dump – don’t even get me started on how messy this gets your car!

A handy shredder reduces down this garden waste making it much easier to handle and dispose of.

Secondly, the little chips and shreds make a great addition to your compost.

The trick to a healthy compost heap is a good balance between your ‘greens’ and your ‘browns’. The greens are nitrogen-rich, whilst the browns are carbon-rich. Having a garden shredder than can handle both will enable you to get the balance just right.

The shredded chips provided great insulation.

Over the past year I’ve been growing my own date palms. But, as with many new plants, plummeting temperatures can take their toll. Good insulation is a must. This is where your garden shredder can help out. Run a few branches through it, and use the wood chips to protect the base and roots.

This is a money saver too – no need to buy bark or similar insulation from the garden centre!

Lastly, the waste makes great mulch!

Feeding garden matter back into your soil is a great idea. Not only does it give your plants added nutrients, it acts as a barrier against weeds. What’s more, some nice wood chippings look very attractive too. All you need is a good garden shredder and you’re set!

What Are The Different Types of Garden Shredders

There are 3 main types of models you can buy.

Impact Shredders – These have a blade that spins at a very high frequency – many over 4,000 times per minute. As the matter passes through, the blade chops it into small pieces. This is generally the best garden shredder type for most households.

Roller Shredders – These use a different kind of technology. They have a rolling drum which is positioned up against a fixed metal plate. As the matter passes through, it gets crushed by the mechanism. These shredders tend to be a lot quieter, and you don’t have to worry about blunt blades. However, the units are usually bigger and heavier.

Turbine Cutter Shredders – These shredders combine the technologies of both Impact and Roller to crush and chop the matter as it passes through. This gives you the best of both worlds, and a shredder like this can handle both ‘greens’ and ‘browns’.

What’s The Difference Between a Shredder and a Chipper

Generally speaking, a garden shredder is best suited to general home use. It can handle smaller branches up to 4.5 cm, and sometimes ‘green’ waste too, depending on the shredder. If you’re looking for something to help you tackle standard garden tasks, reducing down small branches and clippings, a garden shredder will make a great companion.

A wood chipper is heavy duty and better tailored to larger branches and trees. If you’re working industrially cutting trees, or have one fallen tree in your garden, you’re going to need a wood chipper. These can be hired for a day which can prove helpful.

Garden Shredder Weight is Important

Models can range significantly in how much they weigh.

The lightest shredder that I reviewed weighs just 12 kg. Naturally, this makes it much easier to move around than a heavier model. The heaviest shredder on this list weighs 35 kg, but seeing as it has wheels it’s not too taxing to transport.

A lighter shredder may not be quite as robust as a heavier model, and this will likely be reflected in the size of waste it is able to handle. Therefore, you need to strike a compromise between finding a practical weight for you, and a shredder that can handle what you need it to.

Consider the Size of the Cutting Diameter

Generally, the best garden shredder will have a cutting diameter of around 4 – 4.5 cm.

Anything smaller than this and you may find that it’s not worth bothering with. Of course, you will also be trying to shred branches smaller than 4 cm, but if your shredder can cope with a larger diameter, it will make lighter work of these smaller tasks too.

The Bosch AXT 25 TC can handle up to 4.5 cm whilst still shredding effectively. Then several of the other models that I reviewed could comfortably deal with 4 cm branches.

Back To Contents

Garden Shredder FAQs

How do garden shredders work?

Garden shredders work much in the same way as your classic paper shredder. You feed in the branches and clippings, and it will automatically pull the matter through the machine, cutting it into small pieces as it goes.

Once the collection box or bag underneath is full, you simply empty it, replace it, and you’re good to go again.

Will a garden shredder shred leaves?

Yes. So long as they’re dry! It depends slightly on the model, but most models have cutting blades which are very capable of chopping leaves finely. This will result in green matter perfect for your compost heap.

What can’t I put through my garden shredder?

First up, you should not put soil or stones through your shredder. Soil will clog it up and stones will absolutely annihilate it! Just make sure that you brush mud off any roots or plants before they go through.

Next up, you’re asking for trouble by putting any damp matter through. It’ll stop the blades being able to run efficiently, and ultimately lead to a jam.

And lastly, if you’re musing ‘will a garden shredder also shred paper or cardboard’… it won’t. It doesn’t have the same mechanism as a paper shredder and will most likely jam. Better to save yourself some time in the long run and just buy a paper shredder as well.

How much does it cost to hire a tree shredder?

Having done some research, electric garden shredder hire costs about £30-£45 per day. If you want a petrol one, you’re looking at close to £100.

Now, if you know you’re only going to need it for one day, it’s certainly cheaper to hire one. Anything more than 2-3 days and you’re better off buying one.

Back To Contents

Sources

  1. Bush-Brown, Louise; Bush-Brown, James (1996). “Chapter 32: Mulches”
  2. Jeff Gillman (February 1, 2008). The Truth About Organic Gardening: Benefits, Drawnbacks, and the Bottom Line
  3. “Mulch & Soil FAQs”The Mulch & Soil Council.

 

 

Back To Contents

Scroll to Top