Garden Shredder Review

The Garden Shredder Review is intended to provide you with all the information you need to buy the garden shredder that is right for you and your garden.

If you want to skip this preamble you can follow one of the links below to jump straight to our recommended garden shredder reviews:

Bosch Shredder Reviews

Other Makes

Bosch features strongly on this web site – they provide the most innovative and all encompassing range of electric garden shredders on sale in the uk today. In the past we have included reviews on shredders from Ryobi, Qualcast and Draper.  However, over the last few years we have seen Bosch shredders come to dominate the market.

Other makes are well worth you attention though – particularly if you can find a good deal.

Shredders in the UK

Almost inevitably, for any but the largest of private gardens, you will be considering an electric garden shredder.  The petrol driven machines you see your local council or local woodlands management using are generally not suited to more average gardens.

If you visit the US the term garden shredder is virtually unknown.  Instead, you will see ‘wood chippers’ and ‘leaf mulchers’ advertised.  These are the same machines though, as often seems to be the case in America, the market tends to be for the bigger, petrol driven machines.

In the UK the number of garden shredders in use is still comparatively low.  Perhaps it is a perception that shredders are expensive.  Or maybe it is because the benefits of using shredders are not well understood.  Whatever the reason we want to help increase the usage of shredders in the UK

Why Use Electric Garden Shredders?

When it comes to garden waste i reckon there are 3 categories of gardeners:

  • The composters – everything that comes off the garden goes straight onto the compost heap or compost bin.
  • The ‘stuff it in the dustbin’ crowd – in summer this always seems a bit hopeful as even a small garden can generate pretty large amounts of bio-mass – grass and hedge clippings, weeds, dead headed flowers and the like
  • The ‘bag it and tip it people’ – I used to be one of these – everything that comes off the garden is put into black plastic bags and then taken to the local tip.  In summer I used to go to the tip at least once per weekend – a round trip of almost 20 miles.

All categories of gardeners have something to gain from the use of a good garden shredder.

The composters (take a look at our in-depth articles on composting) are often stumped when it comes to woody waste.  Wood does not compost readily or quickly unless it is broken down into very small pieces first.  Consequently, the composter will often resort to the dustbin, the trip to the tip or the garden bonfire.  One thing I have noticed over the last several years is that the acceptance of even small garden bonfires in built up areas is pretty low.

Woody waste is just too bulky to fit in the dustbin easily.  Hands up anyone who has stood for a couple of hours with the secateurs or lopping shears in hand cutting the waste up into small enough pieces to fit into the dustbin.

Bagging and tipping is not easy either.  Woody waste always has branches sticking out of the side which inevitably rip through the bags.  I have frequently scraped my legs and damaged the interior of the car too.

Shredders reduce practically any waste down to a size and condition that is ideal for composting.  But if you don’t want to create a compost heap the waste will have been reduced in volume by 80-90%.  You will get so much more into your dustbin or garden bags.  There will be no nasty sharp branches sticking out either.  Just one minor note of caution:  Shredders reduce the volume of waste not the mass.  Your bags or dustbins can be pretty heavy.

Types of Shredders

There really aren’t too many options when it comes to electric garden shredders.  Essentially there are only 2 types: impact shredders which have small blades that rotate at high speed and chop up waste fed into them; and, crusher shredders which use cogs or gears to crush the waste put into them.  Crusher models are often called quiet shredders as they turn at much lower speeds and don’t generate as much noise.

Shredder Power Ratings

One of the most common questions we hear is, “What power rating should we buy?”  In general, the higher its power rating, the greater the average throughput of the shredder.  However, many other factors come into play – motor efficiency, gearing, quality of the blades and construction and many other factors too.

In our experience any electric garden shredder rated above 2,000 Watts (2kW) is more than adequate.  If in doubt skip on over to Amazon and read the reviews.  You will soon see if any real-life users have any problems with the power rating of their machines.

Which Type of Shredder is Right for You?

Ok, this is the tough question.  First of all, if you have an enormous garden with lots of trees and hedges you should probably be looking at a more industrial, petrol driven machine.  However, assuming you have read this far here are some questions that might help you make your choice:

  • What sort of garden waste do you expect to use the shredder for?  The more woody the waste the more you should consider one of the quieter, crusher type shredders.
  • Is noise an issue?  Impact shredders can be very noisy.
  • What is the maximum size of branch you are likely to be cutting?  Most modern garden shredders will cut up to 40mm.
  • If you cut mostly leafy or green waste the impact shredder is much less likely to jam.

That’s it really.   There is a lot more to choosing the exact model of shredder you want but we cover that in our individual garden shredder review.

 

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