In this guide we’ll take a look at the best garden shredders for the UK market.
We’ve compared shredding power, cutting width, reliability and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Is The Best Garden Shredder?
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 will 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 a garden shredder, have a look at the pointers below to help you make an informed decision:
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 garden 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!
There are 3 main types of garden shredder.
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’.
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 shredders 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.
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. The Qualcast Garden Shredder isn’t far behind, managing diameters up to 4.2 cm. Then several of the other models that I reviewed could comfortably deal with 4 cm branches.
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Bosch AXT 25 TC Quiet Garden Shredder Review
My top recommendation is the Bosch AXT 25 TC. It’s a top-of-the-range garden shredder with some really impressive features.
Here’s why I think it’s so good – firstly, it’s extremely powerful. With an impressive 2500 w motor, this first-rate machine will make your life easy; effectively chewing through garden matter without any problem. To throw some more figures your way, this mighty engine results in 41 rpm per minute and a shredding rate of 230 kg per hour. That’s a lot of garden waste it can chomp through!
It’s also got quite a unique blade which Bosch call their ‘turbine-cut system’. This means it’s able to both chop and crush, making it versatile enough to handle anything from hard wood to soft greenery.
If you look through the reviews of other buyers, this Bosch garden shredder is praised for how rarely it jams. This is impressive considering the mass of the matter being shredded. In the rare case that it does jam, you simply use the neat touchpad control; pressing the reverse button generally sorts out any issues.
Another feature that sets the Bosch AXT 25 TC apart is its cutting capacity. It can cut diameters of up to 4.5 cm. This trumps 95% of the market; other machines are generally limited to 4 cm. Of course, you probably aren’t going to go out and measure your branches, but it’s good to know that this shredder won’t shy away from most tasks.
You’ll also be pleased to know that it’s got a 53 L collection box, which is bigger than most. Bosch have fitted it with a system to help keep you safe: the unit won’t operate unless it’s securely in place, which just gives you that added piece of mind.
What’s more, I challenge you to find a quieter shredder! Purring in at just 82 decibels, you won’t ever have to worry about disturbing your neighbours.
In terms of storage, it’s been designed very well. You can simply remove the hopper which makes it 30% smaller, and tuck the 67 cm high unit neatly away in your garage or shed.
The only real downside when considering this model is its weight. At 35 kg it’s quite heavy, especially considering that the others on this list sit at about 15 kg. I don’t find it much of an issue as it’s got 2 wheels on the back, but it’s something to bear in mind.
Overall, this is a top of the range shredder, with industry leading features. It wins my vote for the best garden shredder you can buy!
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Bosch AXT Rapid 2200 Blade Garden Shredder Review
The Bosch AXT Rapid 2200 is one of the most popular garden shredders on the market; it strikes has a good balance between features and price. Overall, I consider it to be an excellent mid-range option.
It’s got a 2200 w Bosch Power-Drive motor. Pretty powerful and capable of shredding branches up to 4 cm. At just 12 kg it’s incredibly light, so you’ll have no issues wheeling it around your garden.
Where it differs somewhat from other models, is that instead of a waste collection box, it comes with a bag. This could potentially be more versatile: for some it might be quite handy. You could take the bag to the dump or leave it outside on rubbish collection day – a better prospect than leaving the more valuable collection box outside, or emptying the heavy debris into a green bin! Ultimately though, box or bag, it just comes down to your personal preference.
Overall, this Bosch garden shredder is a tried and tested product from a reputable brand. It’s got great features at a decent price, and this makes it one of the best garden shredder options on the market.
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Dirty Pro Tools™ Garden Shredder Review
The Dirty Pro Tools Garden Shredder is the best garden shredder on a budget, in my opinion. I say this because efficiency-wise it doesn’t come far behind the top models, but it’s a fraction of the price.
Now, it’s true, it doesn’t have the fancy branding or visual appeal of a Bosch garden shredder. But, what it lacks in aesthetics, it makes up for in features and value.
At 2500 w, it actually matches the Bosch AXT 25 TC in terms of power. And, producing 4050 rpm, it’s certainly a hard worker.
It’s got your standard cutting width of 4 cm, and a generously-sized 50 L collection box. All very helpful features for getting the shredding done fast. I’m a fan of the large wheels too – combined with its 15 kg weight, this shredder is very easy to manoeuvre around your garden.
It’s relatively quiet; at 98 decibels you won’t be bothering the neighbours too much. Furthermore, it’s got a 6 m power cable which is longer than most – this gives you a bit more freedom and you might not even have to use an extension lead.
I rate this Dirty Pro Tools shredder so highly because of its unrivalled value for money. Its features come close to the Bosch AXT 25 TC, but is considerably cheaper. It’s without question the best garden shredder you’ll find for the money.
Of course, it’s not without fault – it’s certainly not as efficient as dealing with leaves as the Bosch, and, as you’d expect, it’s a bit more prone to blockages. The trick is to understand its limits, and not try to push your luck!
Overall though, for those on a budget this model is a great choice; all the features of a high-end model, but it won’t leave your wallet in tears.
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Ryobi Garden Shredder Review
The Ryobi Garden Shredder effortlessly shreds garden materials, both hard and soft.
It has a good 2500 w motor which is powerful enough to convert most types of garden debris and clippings debris into well-shredded waste. You’ll cut time too by not having to sort the hard from the soft, offering an easy and convenient way to keep your garden clean.
It weighs 15 kg so is quite a standard, relatively-lightweight option. The two sturdy back wheels aid manoeuvrability as well, so it isn’t difficult to position in the garden.
The collection box is a reasonable 40 L – not the biggest, not the smallest. It will hold a fair amount of waste and is easy to remove for emptying.
Equipped with powerful steel blades, this makes light work of any kinds of debris, while the safety features keep your hands safe. It comes with a comfortable, ergonomic handle for easy portability, while the body is both well made and long lasting.
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Makita UD2500/2 Electric Garden Shredder Review
The Makita Electric Garden Shredder is an ingenious machine. It utilises an effective cut-and-crush system that minimises the volume of shredded waste.
This is excellent news considering it has a large waste-collection box – you certainly won’t have to worry about it filling up too quickly!
The motor produces 2500 w of power and the cutting speed is up to 40 rpm. It’s a great shredder for getting the job done without being overly loud.
This shredder has an easy to use control panel with an automatic anti block system for long lasting and easy usage. The automatic forward and reverse change is easy to operate, while the fill in the container is easily visible through the cut out holes.
It is quite heavy, at 27.6 kg, so you should consider how often you’ll need to be moving it before purchasing it. That said, the large rubber wheels and convenient handholds do facilitate transportation.
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TACKLIFE Garden Shredder Review
The TACKLIFE Garden Shredder may be new to the scene, but it’s certainly worthy of a spot on this list.
Tacklife, as a brand, has gained a lot of credibility over the past few years for creating reliable products with striking ‘DIY’ looks. Naturally, this shredder is no different!
Like most on this list, it has a powerful 2500 w motor and a 4 mm cutting width.
What really sets it apart though is its huge 60L collection box, robust design and clever safety features.
In a nutshell this means: you won’t have to stop to empty the box as much, you can get the job done quickly, and all your fingers will remain intact!
Joking aside, it’s a fantastic addition to the market, and a shredder that we expect to see in more and more UK gardens over the next few years.
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Qualcast SDS2810 Garden Shredder Review
The Qualcast Garden Shredder is an exceptionally powerful shredder that’s perfect for large gardens.
Out of all the shredders on this list, it’s the one which packs the most power: operating with a massive 2800 w. Unsurprisingly, this level of sheer power, plus tough steel blades that run at 45 rpm, result in its impressive ability to shred branches up to 4.2 cm in diameter. Time to clear that garden!
This comes with a large collection box of 60 L, making it ideal for big gardens or ones that need a lot of work. It requires infrequent emptying, so your job won’t be constantly interrupted. However, it’s also easy to remove and empty when needed.
The short 3 m cable is a slight drawback – you may find that you have to use this shredder very close to the house, or with an extension cord if necessary.
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Cobra QS2500 Quiet Electric Garden Shredder Review
The Cobra Electric Garden Shredder has been specially designed to be quiet. Therefore, it’s the best option if you’re nervous about disturbing the neighbours with your garden maintenance.
This shredder uses ‘quiet drum technology’, whereby the drum cutting system ensures both an efficient and quiet shredding process. As a result, it’s perfect for some Sunday morning shredding!
With a 2500 w motor, this makes light work of tricky jobs. It can shred branches up to 40 mm thick, coping easily with even large garden waste. The auto-feed and reverse features offer plenty of control: it’s easy to clear blockages with the reverse function.
Another simple, but clever feature, is the 50 L transparent collection box. Not only is this a great size, but the transparency makes it easy to see when it needs emptying.
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POWERPLUS Garden Shredder Review
The POWERPLUS Garden Shredder is another easy-to-use, powerful shredder that can cut branches, shrubs and other garden waste. It has the potential to shred shrubs of up to 4 cm thick, making it a fuss-free, easy way to liberate your garden of debris.
It weighs 20 kg, so is on the heavier side, but has an ergonomic handle and two sturdy wheels to help move it around.
The sliding collection box makes it easy to empty when needed. And, for further easy of use, a push stick is included. This is helpful for encouraging waste through the hopper. Although it doesn’t regularly block, it can be easily shut down and unblocked if needed. For safety, it will only turn on and operate if the collect box is properly locked in.
Garden Shredder FAQ
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.
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.
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.
Having done a bit of 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.