How to buy the best garden chipper shredder

best garden chipper shredder

The value of garden chipper shredders

In my view even the best garden chipper shredders can be can either be incredibly useful tools or intensely frustrating ones.

Incredibly useful, because there is something very satisfying, almost magical, about clearing away your tangled mess of clippings, prunings and fallen leaves reducing them in volume and turning them into perfect material for mulch or your compost heap.

Intensely frustrating, because quite often the machine you are using turns out not to be ideal for the type, size or volume of material you are asking it to process.

Believe me, I’ve used all sorts of these machines over the years and I think the biggest takeaway from that experience is that it is pretty hard to find a garden chipper, shredder, mulcher (whatever name it goes under) that can do all of the chipping and shredding you might want to do.

Maybe we have to accept that that one machine is probably not going to be perfect at doing everything. Different machines will be better for different jobs like processing perennial or vegetable stalks, shredding leaves or chipping small branches.

It’s therefore essential you ask yourself the right questions about your needs in order to get to the right your choice of machine for you.

Realising that you require one of these machines is the first step. Now you just need to decide which one is best able to accomplish the jobs you have in mind.

The essential questions for the garden chipper shredder buyer

Here are what I consider to be the essential chipper shredder questions to consider. Remember, that one machine might not be perfect for all jobs, so ask yourself what you need the machine to do most often.

  1. What kind of material will you need to process? Some industrial wood chipper shredder machines are capable of chewing up entire small tree limbs. Smaller, electric models are only capable of handling twigs and leaves. What’s more, the chipper models are not really designed for processing softer material, like leaves. You need to think about what you will mostly need the machine to do and check out the machine’s advertised capabilities carefully.
  2. How often will you use the chipper shredder? Will you use it several times throughout the year, or will you only need it in the fall/autumn to help clear your yard of leaves? If you only intend to use the machine sparingly, you may not require the most durable, heavy-duty unit. However, if you plan to use it regularly, you will need to choose a tough machine.
  3. How large is your property? If you have a large space that will require you to use the chipper shredder in a variety of settings, you should purchase a unit that you can easily move throughout your property. Also, if your yard or garden is fairly large, you may not be able to use an electric model effectively, since you may not always be around electrical outlets. If your property is small and you have very little debris to process, you could probably do well using a stationary electric model. If your yard is of average to large size, but you do not have large debris to clear, you might want to consider a walk-behind model.
  4. How much stuff will you need to process in one go? If you have large volumes of material to deal with at any one time, you’ll need to look for a machines that can accept reasonable volumes of material in one go. Some machines will get jammed if you try to process more than a branch or two at once or in quick succession. This makes the job very time consuming, not to mention a serious pain in the backside because you’ll have to keep stopping to unjam the machine when (as you will) you just try to add that extra little bit more to speed things up.
  5. What is your budget? If you find that you can effectively do your work with a small, economical, electric unit, you may not need to concern yourself with the price. On the other hand, if you require a gas-powered chipper shredder, cost will be a factor. As with most items, you tend to get what you pay for. You certainly do not want to pay for features for which you will have no use, but don’t under-buy. Because you’ll end up buying twice.
  6. Gas/Petrol or Electric? Gas powered wood chipper shredders powered by gasoline are more powerful and portable than electric models, but they also require you to fill them with costly gasoline. They are also heavier, less environmentally friendly and will require more maintenance. Electric chipper shredder models are lighter and tend to be easier to operate. However, electric chipper shredders are not capable of operating far from a power outlet, plus they are not nearly as powerful as gas-powered models.

Types of Chipper Shredders

On this site we’ll consider the various types of chipper shredder under the categories of:

But you also have to bear in mind that there are:

  • machines that shred – These are suitable for leaves and soft material, all fed into a wide hopper at the top of the machine,
  • machines that chip – These are suitable for branches and woody prunings and usually have a narrower chute entry point,
  • machines that chip and shred – These are suitable for both sorts of processing with both a hopper for soft material and a chute for branches,
  • machines that vacuum up debris – mostly these are walk-behind models but some other units have a vacuum option like the Earthquake model featured.

Knives, blades, flails and screws

Because chipper shredders can use a variety of methods to process material, it is worth covering the most frequently used types here.

Chippers most often use flat blades or knives which are bolted to a spinning fly wheel. As the branch is fed into the machine the spinning blades slice it into wood chips.

Patriot Products chipper-shredder knives, blades and flails

These blades need to be kept sharp, though they will usually last 20 hours or so between sharpening as long as they are not blunted by stray stones or metal objects being introduced into the machine.

Generally, blades don’t cope well with soft green material or conifer leaves. They are also for use with freshly cut branches and will be quickly blunted if used to chip large quantities of old branches.

Some European-manufactured chippers (e.g. some Bosch models) use a screw type mechanism which cuts and chips the material as the screw is turned.

Shredders, most often use a number of flails (painted blue in the picture above) which are smaller steel blades mounted on a rotor. The rotor spins and the flails shred the material that is entered into the machine.

Summing Up

When making a purchase for a piece of outdoor power equipment, choosing the perfect model for your specific needs is not always easy.

The best garden chipper shredder for you will be one that comes from a reputable manufacturer, has the features you require, and can be purchased at an affordable price.

Best Buys

GARDENBEAUT S3 Wood Chipper Shredder, 7 HP 212cc Gasoline Engine, 3" Max Wood Diameter, 1-Year Warranty After Product Registration
  • This Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher design has a Reduction Ratio of 15:1, capable of high volume Chipping/Shredding/Mulching via the Large Extended Feeing Chute for upto 3" MAX branches, limbs and debris
  • Built to be compact and lighter than other steel chippers, this design has a highly desirable Vertical Extended Discharge Chute with Adjustable Discharge Guide to deliver accurate debris discharge, with a angled range of 90°-145° degrees
  • This Chippers powerful recoil starting 7HP Horizontal 4-stroke Single Cylinder OHV Gas Powered Engine, handles up to 3" diameter wood without a problem; Fuel w/ 87+ unleaded gasoline (NO ETHANOL recommended), 0.7 gallons Max capacity
  • Always operate according to directions outlined in the user manual, always wear the appropriate hand and eye protection (ENGINE OIL NOT INCLUDED); Can be used to aid in fire prevention and building firebreaks; This machine is EPA/CARB Certified
  • Use for Forestry, Gardens, Landscaping or Green Waste Recycling to chip tree branches/limbs, shred brush, mulch leaves and corn stocks; DO NOT use for: fresh greens, pine cones, palm branches (fronds will jam), pertrified wood or vines
Patriot Products CSV-2515 14 Amp Electric Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder
  • Purchase Patriot's Electric Cord now and EXTEND YOUR CHIPPER’S WARRANTY ONE YEAR.
  • The quiet, smooth, maintenance free electric motor starts with just the flip of a switch.
  • Easily shred mountains of leaves by sliding them into the large hopper on the top of the unit.
  • The Patriot will make coin-sized chips out of branches up to 2 1/2 inches in diameter.
  • All processed material will discharge out the side of the machine into the standard collection bag.
Landworks Mini Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher Heavy Duty 7HP Compact Design 3" Inch Max Capacity
  • EFFFICIENT PERFORMANCE; This Mini Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher design has a Reduction Ratio of 15:1, capable of high volume Chipping/Shredding/Mulching via the Large Extended Feeing Chute for upto 3" MAX branches, limbs and debris
  • UNIQUE DESIGN; Built to be compact and lighter than other steel chippers, this design has a highly desirable Vertical Extended Discharge Chute with Adjustable Discharge Guide to deliver accurate debris discharge, with a angled range of 90°-145° degrees
  • POWERFUL; This Chippers powerful recoil starting 7HP Horizontal 4-stroke Single Cylinder OHV Gas Powered Engine, handles up to 3" diameter wood without a problem; Fuel w/ 87+ unleaded gasoline (NO ETHANOL recommended), 0.7 gallons Max capacity
  • SAFETY; Always operate according to directions outlined in the user manual, always wear the appropriate hand and eye protection (ENGINE OIL NOT INCLUDED); Can be used to aid in fire prevention and building firebreaks; This machine is EPA/CARB Certified
  • BEST APPLICATION; Use for Forestry, Gardens, Landscaping or Green Waste Recycling to chip tree branches/limbs, shred brush, mulch leaves and corn stocks; DO NOT use for: fresh greens, pine cones, palm branches (fronds will jam), pertrified wood or vines

Last update on 2022-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Patriot Products CSV-3100B 10 HP Briggs & Stratton Gas-Powered Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder
  • The chipping power of the 10 hp Briggs engine coupled with Patriot's unique design will wow you.
  • Make short work of branches up to 3 inches in diameter.
  • Shredding leaves is a breeze with Patriot's swinging y-hammer system.
  • The side discharge allows you to work in the same location all day long without moving the chipper.
  • 50 State Compliant
Landworks Leaf Mulcher Shredder Electric Green and Waste Management Heavy Duty 120V AC 11" Inch Cutting Blade .5" Inch Cutting Capacity for Leaves, Grass, & Clippings
  • SPECIFICATIONS - This All Electric Leaf Mulcher Shredder is designed w/ a durable Heavy Duty Steel Upper Feeding port & Body. We are powering this machine with all powerful 15-AMP 1800 Watt 120VAC 60Hz Electric Belt Driven motor, capable of 0.5”inch (12.7mm) MAX Diameter small branches/ twigs. Providing consistent speeds with (3) 11" (280mm) inch blades gyrating at 4,100RPMs. Unlike gasoline powered chippers this electric Leaf Mulcher produces no smog & is quieter, making it ECO & USER FRIENDLY
  • DESIGN & CAPABILITIES - Great choice for Green Renewable recycling & Waste Management.The durable Steel housing is supported by a firm & sturdy powder coated steel frame, protecting the motor assembly.. Our Leaf Mulcher is equipped w/ an instant start switch & Overload Protection switch. Included are (2) 6” wheels to make transporting easy. Waste Catch Bag Made of Durable PP fabric with PE coating, which is water and tear resistant.
  • SAFETY & PROPER USE - Always use the correct extension cord type/size for the distance of extension needed, refer to the owner’s manual on page E2 for recommended instructions, also always connect Wood Chipper to a GFCI outlet. Landworks Leaf Mulcher Shredder are best suited for outdoor environments.
Landworks Wood Chipper Shredder Electric Light Duty 17:1 Reduction 15-Amp 1800 Watts 120VAC Dual Edge Blades for Lawn and Garden Use or Fire Prevention Building a Firebreak
  • SPECIFICATIONS - This All-Electric Corded Wood Chipper Shredder and Mulcher is designed w/ a durable and all-powerful 15-AMP 1800Watt 120VAC 60Hz Electric Belt Driven motor, capable of 1.5” inch (39mm) MAX Limb Chipping Capacity to 17:1 Reduction Ratio, and overall Speed of 4,100RPMs
  • ECO and USER FRIENDLY - Unlike gasoline-powered chippers this electric wood chipper produces no smog and is quieter, making it a reliable choice; Included are a set of Dual edge blades from CR12MoV material, that provide longevity for extended use; We included a Sturdy Push Paddle, so you can safely feed material into the hopper
  • EFFICIENT DESIGN and CAPABILITIES - The durable Polypropylene housing will not rust nor dent and protects the rotor assembly which consists of (2) 2-7/8"Cutting Blades for maximum chipping capability; Our Wood Chipper is equipped w/ an easy instant start switch and an Overload Protection switch; Also included is a Supply Cable of 13.7” inch (0.35m/1.1’) and transported easily w/ the (2) 6” inch Wheels giving great portability
  • SAFETY and PROPER USE - Our Electric Wood Chippers are quality tested to industry standards; Wood Chipper Shredders are best suited for outdoor environments

Last update on 2022-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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