Owning one of the best garden shredders is essential if you find yourself facing a pile of twigs, branches and leafy materials. When the other options are spending the day manually cutting them down to fit into your green waste bin, or driving to the local tip, it's a no-brainer to invest in a shredder that does the hard work for you.
You can keep your hedges and shrubs tidy with one of the best strimmers on the market, but a garden shredder is practical for cutting this waste down to size, and sprucing up your garden or plot.
Unsure where to begin if finding the best garden shredder for you? They can be technical pieces of kit, for sure, so finding one that's easy to use is a must.
You might also want to look for a shredder that has a collection box, which means you can compost your waste. Plus, look out for models that come with a plunger, which will help you feed debris through the hopper, so you can avoid the thorns of branches.
Without further ado, here's our guide to the best garden shredders available now.
(MORE: Garden Design)
Best Garden Shredders
1. Bosch AXT 25 TC
The overall best garden shredder
Weight: 30.5kg | Power: Mains | Cutting capacity: 45mm | Collection box: 53L
This premium Bosch model is really well designed for both efficiency and user-friendliness.
It comes with the wheels already attached, so you just need to clip in the top hopper (which can be easily removed when you're finished), engage the collection box and switch it on. It cuts branches up to a sizeable 45mm in diameter (the widest on this list), and easily handles both wood and leafy materials.
It's also remarkably quiet, which your neighbours will thank you for, and you can get through 230kg of waste per hour. Plus, once you've removed the hopper it stands at just 67cm, making it easier to store.
It's heavy, however, and a sizeable financial expensive, but the best machines always cost a bit more - and this Bosch shredder is no exception.
2. Cobra QS2500
The best for a quiet life
Weight: 26.9kg | Power: Mains | Cutting capacity: 40mm | Collection box: 50L
Garden shredders can be noisy machines, so the words 'quiet drum technology' are like music to our ears. Cobra's QS2500 is one of the quietest machines around, utilising a drum cutting system which makes shredding quieter without impacting on cutting efficiency.
It can deal with branches and twigs up to 40mm in diameter, and includes an auto-feed function which makes it easier to shred, as well as a reverse function for quickly clearing jams. Additionally, a plunger is included for tackling heavier loads.
It also comes with an impressively long 10-meter power cable, and the large wheels ensure easy usage when moving it around the garden.
3. Einhell Electric Shredder GC-KS 2540
The best budget shredder
Weight: 9.8kg | Power: Mains | Cutting capacity: 40mm | Collection box: No
If the prices of the first two shredders on this list made your eyebrows twitch, then check out this budget-friendly Einhell machine instead.
Not only is the GC-KS 2540 inexpensive but it's also good value for money, easily shredding both wood and leafy materials, and the two long-lasting, robust reversible blades will handily chop through tree branches providing they're below the 45mm maximum diameter. There’s a motor circuit breaker to prevent overloading too.
It's lightweight and easy to use, and while it doesn't come with a collection bag it does have debris bag which is fitted on to a hook. It also comes with a plunger.
On the negative side, it is pretty noisy and it requires some assembly. It's also not as effective for larger shredding tasks, but does the job for occasional seasonal pruning.
4. Bosch AXT Rapid 2200
A great lightweight and compact model
Weight: 12kg | Power: Mains | Cutting capacity: 40mm | Collection box: No
Bosch's second entry on this list is cheaper than the AXT 25 TC, and while it lacks some of the mod cons, it compensates with laser-cut precision blades to cut through vegetation. It'll happily swallow branches up to 40mm wide and can effective slice through wood and green waste.
You can put 90kh an hour of waste through the hopper, and it comes with a plunger to help you feed debris through.
It's a little inconvenient that there's not only no collection bag but no debris bag either, so you'll need a box or a tarpaulin underneath to collect the waste.
5. Spear & Jackson S28ES
The best garden shredder for power
Weight: 22kg | Power: Mains | Cutting capacity: 42mm | Collection box: 60L
This is a really powerful shredder that boasts a 2,800W motor to slice through your garden waste. And combined with a huge 60L collection box, this is a great shredder to have if you want to infrequently blast through lots of detritus.
It shreds branches up to 42mm in diameter, and comes with overload protection and a reverse function to help remove jams. It's also very quiet, comes with a plunger, and its wheels are robust for ease manoeuvrability.
The only slight downside is that it isn't 100% consistent with shredding smaller materials.
6. Ryobi RSH3045U (Bare Tool)
The best cordless shredder
Weight: 24.1kg | Power: Cordless | Cutting capacity: 45mm | Collection box: 55L
Ryobi's RSH3045U is a powerful 3,000W impact shredder which boasts impressive features for a thoroughly reasonable price.
It operates through two reversible, hardened steel blades which easily shred branches, shrubs and brambles up to 45mm in diameter. Once you're ready to empty the waste, simply press the safety plunger (which keeps your fingers away from the cutting blades) and it will push it out into a large 55L collection box.
It's not 'silent' as advertised, but you certainly won't need ear defenders. There's also an integrated handle for ease of use, and it comes with large wheels for easy movement around the garden.
You can buy the bare tool if you already a Ryobi ONE+ battery pack, or you can buy the shredder and battery together.
How to Choose the Best Garden Shredder
Before you buy your new garden shredder, it will pay to be aware of a few things.
Firstly, most shredders won't handle anything thicker than 45mm in diameter, so you'll need another way to dispose of tree trunks. Also, you may still need to cut off stiff twigs or larger growths on a branch as these won't fit through the hopper's opening slot.
Also, be careful when inserting branches, especially thorn-covered branches, as they can jerk about quite violently, meaning lacerations are a risk. For this reason, you’re advised to wear gloves and goggles or sunglasses.
Types of shredder
There are two main types of shredder: impact and drum. Knowing the differences between them can help you understand how to match your shredder to the demands of your garden.
Impact shredders chop up what your feed using fast spinning blades and can generally process leafy and green material too. They tend to be on the noisy side, and can jam if you want it to process too much at one time.
Drum (or quiet) shredders use a slow rotating, bladed wheel that traps waste against a solid plate and cuts it into little pieces. They're less noisy, but less effective at dealing with leafy materials.
Many shredders will include collection bags which you can use to fertilise your lawn or simply carry to the recycle bin. Some will just come with a debris bag.
But some shredders won't have either, in which case you'll either need to buy a collection or debris bag separately, or use something like a tarpaulin to place under the shredder to catch the waste.
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Jack is News Editor for Homebuilding & Renovating, and strives to break the most relevant and beneficial stories for self builders, extenders and renovators, including the latest news on the construction materials shortage and planning reforms. Having bought his first home in 2013, he and his wife have renovated almost every room and recently finished a garden renovation.
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