The Ryobi RSH3045U 3000W Silent Impact Shredder is a heavy duty machine that also prides itself on being “silent”. Naturally I was intrigued to put it to the test! Read on to see how it performed…
Ryobi RSH3045U 3000W Silent Impact Shredder At A Glance
- Max. Branch Diameter45 mm
- Motor3000 W
- Weight24 kg
- Blade RPM5500 rpm
- Shredding Rate200 kg/h
- Collection Box55 L
- Cable Length6 m
- Noise Level93 dB
How We Tested The Ryobi RSH3045U 3000W Silent Impact Shredder
Seeing as this is supposed to be one of the most powerful garden shredders on the market, I haven’t given the Ryobi RSH3045U an easy time since it arrived. I collected up a whole range of garden waste to throw at it, using anything from grass to thick tree branches as ammunition.
Basically, my mentality has been ‘If I can fit it in the infeed slot, it’s going in!’. I wanted to see how much this shredder could take before it clogged up or admitted defeat. I felt there was no point in starting easy, so I tested out tough cypress tree wood, palm fronds, a blue spruce Christmas tree, and freshly cut grass.
Unboxing this shredder starts with managing the enormous cardboard box that it’s delivered in. It’s a heavy item to drag around, so I appreciated the plastic handles cut into the sides of the box. Everything was neatly wrapped with thick foam pieces, and there were no signs of damage during transport.
If you’ve seen any Ryobi tools before, you’ll be familiar with the colour scheme. The fluorescent green toxic-waste colour isn’t to everyone’s taste, but it’s a garden shredder, not a piece of art. Colour aside, this is a solid and impressive looking device in my opinion. The tubular metal legs and cast-metal blade cover look great. Overall, it’s a squat and powerful-looking machine that has a small footprint meaning it doesn’t take up too make space.
You can tell straight away that this is a high-end tool and not just some flimsy bit of budget equipment. My only gripe is the weight. It’s a heavy beast at a shade over 24 kg. Even with the wheels and handle, some users will struggle to pull this shredder over uneven ground or uphill.
Assembling the shredder was a simple process. I’m almost 100% sure that even the most flat-pack-phobic DIYer out there could put this together without too much cursing or angst. The manual makes sense, featuring exploded diagrams, and easy-to-follow steps, to help assemble the wheels and attach them to the frame.
A few of the reviews I’ve read online complain about the size of the infeed hopper. I would agree that it can be a bit lacking, but it really depends on what you’re trying to shred. When I was mulching down big branches, I didn’t have any issues feeding them in. As soon as they’re grabbed by the blades, you can just let go and the shredder takes over.
However, I did find shredding up grass a bit of a pain. If there was a large hopper attachment to go on top, you could load it up with all sorts of garden waste and let it run. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get much more than a handful of grass in at a time. Therefore, it’s a slow process if you want to shred up lots of small bits, as you have to keep loading them in.
Overall, I was completely blown away by this shredder. I’ve used garden chippers in the past. And spent more time clearing blockages than chipping, so the Ryobi was a breath of fresh air. In the four weeks I’ve been testing the RSH3045U, I’ve only needed to use the reverse function a handful of times.
To get a good idea about what this shredder is capable of, I’ve really put it through its paces, testing how it deals with some fairly challenging material. This is how it fared tackling different plants:
Freshly cut cypress wood
There were three overgrown cypresses on my property, and it was time for them to go. I didn’t plant them, and they’d been annoying me since I moved into my house over a year ago. I spent about three hours using the Ryobi Shredder, shredding wood in 30°C heat, and it was a lot easier than I imagined it would be.
I took the main branches off with an axe and started feeding them into the shredder. Switching on and operating the chipper is simple. The buttons will be familiar to most: you get “play”, “stop” and “pause/rewind”. No prizes for guessing what they do! It’s a nice feature that makes the machine really user friendly.
I was incredibly impressed straight away. It’s an impact shredder, but it’s not like any of the other ones I’ve used in the past. In place of a madly-spinning blade that makes an awful racket, there’s a surprisingly quiet and slowly revolving set of blades.
It grabs hold of whatever you push down into the hopper and drags it in for you. You don’t need to stand there pushing the branch or twig into the blade. You can simply introduce the branch or twig to the blade, then let the shredder do the work. In the meantime, you can gather the next victim ready for the shredder.
The only time you need to stop feeding is when the 55 litre collection box underneath is full. In fact, the first time the shredder hesitated, I though it had met its match. However, it was just a build-up of shredded wood and leaves underneath the cutting blades that stopped anything else from feeding in.
Ryobi reckon the thickest material you can shred is 45 mm, but the infeed slot is a bit bigger than that. I shoved in the biggest branch I could fit in, and it chewed through it like it wasn’t even there. What I found was that if the cutting edge on the blade below can grab hold of a branch, it will pull it in and shred it up. I’m pretty sure nothing can stop this beast so long as you set the blades correctly.
It must have an electronic power control because you can hear the motor react to the increased load. This is a sign of a quality tool that wont overwork itself and will hopefully last for a long time. There were only a couple of times I needed to use the safety plunger as well, which suited me fine because it doesn’t seem the best quality – it’s a little hollow and flimsy feeling.
The quality of the material left behind in the collection box is ideal for mulch. The pieces of branch and foliage were of an even and uniform size and shape. There weren’t any stragglers or uncut pieces of material that fell through the shredder intact.
The other stat on the box I tried to follow up is the work-rate of 200 kg per hour. All I know is that you can fit an awful lot of large branches into a 55 litre collection box once they’re shredded up. And a full box must weigh at least 25 kg, so eight full collection boxes in an hour seems doable.
Next up for the shredder: the constantly-moulting cabbage palm at the back of my garden. The tough palm fronds are a nightmare to deal with most of the time. Unless you cut them by hand with a sharp pair of secateurs, you’re stuck with huge piles of the stuff. You can’t put them in the composter unless they’re broken up either.
Feeding these into the Ryobi RSH3045U was easy. I just needed to bunch them up and push them in until the revolving blades grabbed them. Even though there was nowhere near as much “meat” to grab on to, compared to wooden branches, the blades did the job well. Some bits took a couple of passes though, which was a bit disappointing.
The leftover mulch was uniform, if a bit big, and ready to go on the compost. I scattered some around the bottom of my mature plants to help retain moisture and regulate the temperature as well.
Seeing how tough and stringy the palm fronds are, I expected some to get caught up in the mechanism. However, it seems that as long as you keep the blades nice and sharp, they’ll make short work of tough and fibrous leaf material like this.
Blue spruce Christmas tree
I think this was a real test for the Ryobi RSH3045U. Green cypress wood is one thing, but a dried-out gnarly Christmas tree is a lot harder. Just don’t ask me why I still had one hanging around in July! Like the cypress wood, the shredder just grabbed hold of the branches and dragged them in. It dealt with the thick bits without any problems at all.
The only problem it had was with the needles. Due to the large gaps between the blades, most of the needles from the spruce came through the shredder intact. It shows up that this type of shredder isn’t designed for the really small stuff.
Freshly cut grass
It smells great, and it’s an essential part of good compost; however, freshly-cut grass needs to be chopped up before being added to compost bins. With the Ryobi Shredder I found this task more challenging than I thought it would be.
The first problem is the size of the infeed hole. There’s no hopper to pile the grass up on, so I was limited to adding a fistful at a time. I then needed to push each bit down to the blades with the plunger accessory. Once it was down there, it chewed it up quite well though.
However, just like with the spruce needles, it didn’t produce the even cut I was hoping for. Some grass escaped through the blades unscathed, and the bits that were cut weren’t particularly small. I wouldn’t say it failed, but it didn’t quite produce the effect I was after, either.
In term of this shredder’s performance in general, like most tools, you need to get used to how it works to get the most from it. It might seem odd at first, but, before use, it’s vital that you wind the adjustment screw in until it just hits the rotating blades. When it hits, you then back it off a tiny amount. This does two things: firstly, it gives very clean cuts, and secondly, it keeps the blades razor sharp.
If you do happen to clog the shredder up, you can take off the access cover with the supplied hex key. There are only four bolts to undo, and you then have access to the seven cutting blades inside. These are easily removed from the drive shaft and can be replaced if necessary.
The only problem I have with this shredder is that it’s almost too heavy duty for a lot of tasks. It doesn’t do the best job on small garden waste like pine needles or blades of grass. The gaps between the cutting blades are just too big to chew up small waste effectively.
The 3,000 Watts of power you get from this shredder are pretty much unbeatable. I’ve not seen a garden shredder with more than 2,500 Watts before. My ancient 2,000 Watt shredder isn’t up to the job of chewing up anything bigger than a twig. So having this much grunt on hand is impressive.
The key to the Ryobi’s strength doesn’t come from speed, though. Most shredders run at high rpms in the hope that speed will break up garden waste effectively. The RSH3045U, on the other hand, makes use of a slower speed combined with massive amounts of torque. This powerfully obliterates just about anything you can shove into it.
After using the Ryobi RSH3045U extensively, I don’t think I want to go back to high rpm shredders. The slow speed was easier to manage and kinder on the ears. Plus, I never got tired of watching the big green machine steadily eat whatever I fed it!
That said, it’s not the best garden shredder if your main aim is to break up leaves and grass into smaller bits. It’s much more suited to heavier jobs and chewing up branches for mulch.
The sticker on the side of the shredder warns that it puts out 102 dB. That’s about the same noise level as a power lawn mower. However, I just don’t think it made all that much noise, even under a heavy load.
I always use ear defenders to protect my hearing when using any power tool. However, in the interests of research, I ran some thick cypress branches through the chipper without them on. It didn’t produce the deafening roar that I expected.
Thanks to the slow rotation speed of this shredder, the noise seems to be more manageable. Unlike the high-rpm shredders I’ve used elsewhere, which can sound like kitchen blenders on steroids even when idle, this one just doesn’t make an enormous amount of noise.
Overall, this is definitely not a “silent” shredder, even though it says so on the side of the box. However, it is much less noisy than a lot of the garden power tools that I use on a weekly basis.
If you follow the safety instructions and use common sense, this is a very safe piece of equipment to use.
The user manual has plenty of easy-to-understand instructions in the form of pictures. Essentially, if you want to clear a blockage or do anything to the machine that isn’t feeding in garden waste, switch it off at the plug.
Clearing blockages from the RSH3045U is a piece of cake. If you can’t work something loose with the forward and reverse functions, it’s simple to take off the blade cover to approach the problem from within. You can also remove the entire cutting head from the drive shaft if you need to, so it’s easy to work on if necessary.
My only gripe in terms of safety is the flimsy safety plunger. It’s not the solid bit of plastic you might expect. It’s a lightweight and hollow bit of polypropylene that does the job, but doesn’t fit with the rest of the shredder’s robust construction.
If you’re planning on cutting down a tree and disposing of the leaves and branches, this shredder is much cheaper than hiring a tree surgeon! But, overall, the value of this machine really depends on how much you’re going to use it. It’s an extremely capable shredder, but, unless you’re a very keen amateur arborist, it’s expensive.
It’s not best suited to breaking down grass cuttings or other small stuff, so you’ll need to justify spending a lot of money on a machine that isn’t the most versatile on the market. Smaller, faster, and more affordable shredders are available after all and they’re probably your best bet if you just want to break down small stuff for the compost bin.
However, when it comes to dealing with small trees and garden branches, this thing is worth its weight in gold. I don’t know of a better way to turn big branches into little chips without renting an industrial chipper. It’s that good.
- Best garden shredder for heavy duty jobs at home
- Amazing power to chew through tough branches
- Quiet to use due to its low RPM output