Best Garden Shredders for Garden Waste Disposal
At different times of the year in the UK, we will have to get rid of garden waste. For most people that will mean a lot of cutting, chopping, trimming and mowing. That can include trees, bushes, hedges, shrubs, grass and the dreaded weeds.
It is hard enough having to do all of that, and it is often even harder to get rid of it all. For many people living in the UK, that can mean a few trips to the local waste or recycling centre. It will certainly mean a few trips back and forwards to the recycle bin.
I am sure like me, when you go to the recycle centre, you will find plenty of other gardeners, with trailers, vans and black bags filled to the brim with branches, twigs and grass cuttings. Most homes will also have a recycling bin for garden waste. Usually that is OK, but there will be times when we just have a lot of garden waste, and we have to make those longer trips to get rid of our garden waste.
A friend of mine told me about garden shredders, and just how useful they could be to help turn larger branches and twigs into easier to dispose of waste. That same waste could also be used for mulching or to add to a compost heap.
Essentially, these garden shredders take larger branches, pass them through blades and chop them up into small pieces. You can also pass grass through these shredders, and compost that as well.
On this website, we offer you some great advice, that will help you to buy the best garden shredder. A garden shredder can be a very useful product to have in your list of garden tools. It is especially important if you want to get rid of branches, twigs, bushes, and shrubs without a great deal of effort.
At this website, we will try and bring you as much useful information as we can, on buying the right garden shredder for your needs. If you have never bought one before, or are looking to replace one, then we offer you our best advice. There are quite a few of these in the UK market place. Like many gardening tools, it can often be difficult to find the exact one that will suit both your pocket, and what tasks you need it to do.
The Most Popular Garden Shredder
Bosch AXT Rapid 2200 Shredder
In a Hurry?
" If you are in a hurry and simply don't have time to read my full and detailed review, the most popular Garden Shredder by a very long way is the Bosch AXT Rapid 2200 Shredder "
For those who want more detail and information, then please feel free to read on. Here you will find everything you need to know about making the best choice for your own individual needs.
Top 10 Garden Shredders in the UK Market
Below, you will find a table with the top 10 buyer rated garden shredders, that are currently available in the UK market. These cost from around £80-300, depending on the brand, quality and size of the actual shredder.
I have included the product name, the RRP, buyer satisfaction rating (out of 100%), the power each shredder has, and a button if you want to read more about the shredder at Amazon UK. Underneath the table I will review each shredder in much greater detail.
If you want to go straight to those summary reviews, then simply click on the product name that interests you.
Homegear 2400W 50 Litre Electric Garden Shredder
Einhell BG-RS 2540/1CB Quiet shredder
Marko Gardening 2500W Garden Shredder
Sovereign Impact Garden Shredder
Draper 35900 230-Volt 2,400-Watt Garden Shredder
Bosch AXT 25 D Quiet Shredder
Qualcast Garden Shredder
Types of Garden Shredders
The first thing you may notice is the HUGE variation in price. That is worth some explanation. You can see that they all roughly use the same amount of power (wattage) to drive the motor in the shredder. There are slight differences, but that does not really impact that much on the price. They key difference in the price is caused by how the shredder actually works.
Blade Shredders vs Quiet Shredders
This is what accounts for the huge variation in price. Shredders priced at around £75-125 all use blades to shred branches etc. Those priced at around £300-400 use a grinding action to do the shredding. The bladed versions work perfectly well, but you will need to make sure that the blades are always kept sharp. You will also have to replace those as they will get too blunt, and they will wear out. How long they last, will depend on how much shredding you will have to do.
The more expensive shredders, use like a burr grinding action ,which draws the branches in and essentially chops and squeezes the branches. They last a great deal longer. They are also a great deal quieter than the bladed shredders. That may not initially seem that important, but if you live in a quiet neighbourhood, it certainly can be.
My recommendation to you is that if you just need to use a shredder a few times a year, buy a cheaper bladed option like the Dirty Pro, or the Homegear models shown above in the table. If you need to do a lot of shredding, or want something that will last for years, then get a quiet shredder like the Bosch AXT 25 Tc, or the Einhell BG-RS.
Before we look at the two types blade and burr in detail, it is worth mentioning that, garden shredders can either be powered by electricity, or by a petrol driven motor. 99.9% of garden shredders will be used from a normal UK electric socket. The petrol option is used by professional landscapers, orchards, councils or by those who have very large gardens. That makes the petrol option quite expensive.
Most home owners will only ever need a good electric garden shredder. They are perfect for small to medium size gardens. They are not that heavy or difficult to move around. They are really simple to use. As I mentioned earlier, they come in two distinct types. Those are the quiet style, also known as drum or roller style, and the more common impact or blade garden shredder.
Blade Shredders vs Quiet Shredders (Burr Style)
Impact Blade Style Shredder
- The impact or blade garden shredder is a lot noisier, and also a lot more aggressive in its approach. It uses either a disc, or a cassette which is set at an angle. This disc has a number of blades attached to it, which spin very quickly. These blades quite literally chop their way through anything that gets in their path.
- This type of shredder is ideal if you have a lot of wood type garden waste, like branches and twigs. It does not work that well for normal green waste like leaves and vegetables.
- It is one noisy machine, and I would highly recommend you do not do your shredding at 8 o'clock on a Sunday morning, unless you fancy taking on the neighbours.
Quiet Shredders - Roller Crushing Style
- This type crushes the waste using some type of rotating wheel or a drum. This drum has raised ridges that work against a flat plate. The wheel grips the waste, and pulls the waste in, and then crushes that against the flat plate. The raised edges also cut into the garden waste materials.
- This type of shredder can handle branches, wood types of waste and also all the normal garden waste. That is because of the unique way in which the rollers grab, and then crush just about anything that gets in their way.
- It is quiet so no worries about upsetting the neighbours.
There is no question that the "Quiet" style shredders are much better than the chopping blade style. If you can afford a Quiet one, then that is what you should buy. If you are working on a tighter budget, then a blade style will also work well. They work for about 75% of garden waste types.
What Is a Garden Shredder Used For?
A garden shredder simply chops up garden waste and turns it into mulch, compost or chippings. Many gardeners and indeed most homes will have old branches of trees, shrubs or bushes that have been cut back, hedge clippings or garden waste of that nature. You either want to find a better way of disposing of that, or to make better use of the waste.
Some of the better garden shredders can also shred what are termed the "greener" products like freshly cut grass. These green products would also include garden leaves and the many varieties of weeds.
Many people would use any wood that was chipped, for garden cover and mulching. For the greener products, they would use that to help make compost, that could then be used in the garden.
For many users though, they simply want a convenient way to dispose of bulky branches, twigs etc.
Why Use a Garden Shredder?
Garden shredders will certainly save you some money on having to hire a skip, or make multiple journeys to the recycling plant. For most homes in the UK, it will also leave more room, in your normal recycling bin.
Rather then fill it with garden waste, you can save that space for your household food recycling. The shredded material can often be placed on a compost heap, or turned into wood chips, for use in the garden.
These are a fast method of getting rid of many types of garden waste. If you have to regularly trim back trees, shrubs, hedges etc then that can quickly build up. That is of course especially true during the spring and summer seasons, when growth is at is quickest.
If you own a garden shredder, then this can quickly help get rid of bulkier waste that is difficult to fit in a recycling bin.
Summary Reviews of the Top Rated Garden Shredders in the UK
Underneath you will find summary reviews on the top 10 rated garden shredders, that are currently available in the UK market. I have also provided a link to a more detailed review on each shredder, where you can get more comprehensive details.
No 1 Garden Shredder - Bosch AXT 25 TC Quiet Shredder
VIDEO REVIEW OF THE BOSCH AXT 25 TC
The "TC" in the model name stands for "Turbo Cut". That simply means that this shredder quickly gets through the work of shredding garden waste, without straining the motor.
This model can shred branches of up to 4.5 cm in thickness (around 2") It has an automatic feed, and it is very quiet to use, so you will not be disturbing the neighbours
The hopper is large (53 Litres) and also easy to remove, when you need to empty it into the bin. The shredder measures 77.6 x 68.4 x 39.4 cm and weighs about 35 Kg. It comes with a 2-year guarantee, which you can increase to 3 years, if and when you register the product online at the Bosch website.
This is currently the best garden shredder on the UK market, but does come with a hefty price tag.
No 2 Garden Shredder - Qualcast Garden Shredder
VIDEO REVIEW OF THE Qualcast Garden Shredder
- This shredder from the Qualcast brand is pretty new to the UK market. As yet there are not a lot of reviews on this particular model. I have not included a breakdown of buyer ratings for this one yet, as it would not have much meaning. I will add that when there are more reviews available.
- This one does have the largest motor at 2,800 watts so it certainly has plenty of power. Qualcast is also a very well known gardening brand. It is a blade grinder though and at this price, I think that is expensive. It can shred branches up to 4. 2 cm in diameter.
- The collection box holds up to 60 litres and it has an automatic feed for safe and easy usage. It measures H96.1, W49.6, D60.1cm and weighs 24 Kg. It comes with a 2 year guarantee.
No 3 Garden Shredder - Dirty Pro ToolsTM Garden Shredder
- The DirtyPro comes out on top for me as the best blade shredder. It is certainly in my opinion the best value for money. All of these blade shredders are noisy, but at least this one gets the job done really well. If you only have to shred garden waste, a few times a year, then this is the one that I would recommend for you.
- The hopper is large (50 Litres) and can handle branches up 4 cm in thickness The shredder weighs about 15 Kg and comes with a 6 meter power cable. The large wheels make this one very portable and easy to move around the garden.
- As many buyers say, this one does what it says on the tin. Like all blade shredders it is not great with green leafy material, but it does deal with woody waste really well.
- Almost all buyers said they were very happy with their "new man toy."
This shredder is certainly the most affordable on the UK market. It is also well rated and that combination of price and quality makes this a very good choice for most gardeners.
No 4 Garden Shredder - Einhell GCRS2540 2000 W 40 mm Silent Garden Shredder
This is a very new product to the UK market. It is the Quiet style and with an average price of under £200, is considered very good value for money.
There is a wheeled under carriage for easy movement around your garden. It also has a large funnel opening for the waste, which is always a good thing.
It also has a reverse function, which is really useful if and when any jamming occurs.
No 5 Garden Shredder - Homegear 2400W 50 Litre Electric Garden Shredder
This shredder is the cheapest on the list at just under £85. I would describe this Homebase model as a cheap and cheerful option. It works perfectly fine and will do a good enough job for most people.
It is basic though with a 2,400 watt motor, blade operation and it does have wheels for easy movement. It has a 50 litre capacity which is very good.
It is worth noting that there are no bad reviews on this basic shredder. This one gets average reviews so does the job, but buyers do complain that it clogs up far too often.
No 6 Garden Shredder - Bosch AXT Rapid 2200 Blade Shredder
VIDEO REVIEW OF THE Bosch AXT Rapid Blade Shredder
There are hundreds of reviews on this particular Bosch model. For a very long time this was the number one choice for gardeners in the UK market. That was down to the powerful Bosch brand name, and the fact that there was not a lot of competition for this type of garden tool.
This shredder still sells very well, but the price point does put people off for a blade style shredder. The Bosch AXT Rapid 2200 is the best selling blade style garden shredder on Amazon UK.
This remains one of the biggest selling shredders on the UK market. It is good quality but expensive for a blade type of shredder.
No 7 Garden Shredder - Draper 35900 230-Volt 2,400-Watt Garden Shredder
Many tool owners really like the Draper brand. They are best known for making good quality and affordable tools. They are also in the gardening market.
This is a sturdy machine and it is portable, thanks to the wheels and a transport handle. The 2,400-watt motor is powerful enough to shred garden twigs of up to 40 mm in diameter. It is a blade style of shredder.
It uses a collection bag. The shredder comes with 3 metres of cable and an approved plug.
No 8 Garden Shredder - Bosch AXT 25 D Quiet Shredder
VIDEO REVIEW OF THE Bosch AXT 25 D Quiet Shredder
Another one from Bosch and this one is very expensive. It is the Quiet shredder style and you will always pay a lot more for that type.
The hopper is large (53 Litres) and also easy to remove, when you need to empty it into the bin. The ratings on this one are however pretty low with an average rating of just 3.7 out of 5 stars.
No 9 Garden Shredder - Marko Gardening 2500W Garden Shredder
With its bright green colour you will certainly not lose this one. This is the cheapest one available on the UK market, and it does get really mixed reviews. Overall the rating is low at just 3.5 out of 5 stars.
It uses a rotary blade to do the chopping and mulching and has a 50 litre capacity. It also has large wheels for easy movement around the garden.
No 10 Garden Shredder - Sovereign Impact Garden Shredder
This shredder from the Sovereign brand is the lowest rated on our top 10 list of shredders. Buyers give this one an average rating of just 3.3 out of 5 stars.
As you would expect this is a blade style shredder, and a 2,400 watt motor to spin that around. It has a 50 litre capacity and a 3 metre long electrical cord.
This is a fairly comprehensive overview of the best rated garden shredders, currently available on the UK market place. The main decision for most buyers will be whether to buy a blade style, or the quieter and more effective grinding style. The price difference is significant between the two of them.
My advice on this is to buy the cheaper blade style if you have a small to medium size garden. You should also but one of those if you have a garden with not that many trees, shrubs or hedges. That is because you will only use it a few times during the summer, and it will do a good enough job.
If you can afford the "Quiet type shredder," then by all means buy that style. They are better, they last longer and you don't have to worry about changing blunt blades.
Best Petrol Shredders/Chippers
Most people will never need one of these for their garden. They are however really fun and enjoyable to use, and will munch their way through just about anything. You find these being used in places like orchards, golf courses, farms and also by council workers and professional gardeners and landscapers. You could also justify buying one, if you had a really large garden, that generated a lot of garden waste.
These are quite literally beasts which run off a 2-stroke petrol engine. Many of those do come with an electrical start. The electrical shredders do depend on an electrical power socket, whereas these do not.
That makes them more portable and they can be used almost anywhere. The disadvantages of course is that you need to put petrol and oil in them, they cause emissions and they are heavy to move around.
You will need big deep pockets though, to be able to afford a petrol garden shredder. The one above is a 6.5 Horse Power chipper and mulcher and will set you back around £1,000. In reality most home owners, will never have any requirement for something of this size. They can handle tree branches of up to 8 cm in thickness, and will do that with ease.
These are mainly used in the forestry industry rather than for home use. Typically they use twin blades to do the cutting, and most of these run off a 4-stroke engine.
So, as you can see, there are plenty of choices when it comes to buying a good garden shredder. By quite a way the most popular are the basic blade shredder. These are ideal for people with small to medium sized gardens.
For those with larger gardens I would recommend the crusher style of shredder. They deal better with the larger waste, and also last a great deal longer. If you are a professional, or have a really big garden, then a petrol option is the better choice.
Do You Really Need a Garden Shredder?
Now personally I love using these. Grabbing old branches, or hedge cuttings and churning them through a shredder, is just a fun thing to do. I get a great deal of satisfaction from doing just that. It is certainly a lot more convenient than trying to break branches, and then fit them into the brown bin.
The reality though for many people is that they may not need one at all. It all depends on how much waste you create in a year. You also need to think about what type of garden waste you create.
The size of your garden, and what you have growing in it, is also important to consider. If you have hedges that need trimming, shrubs that need pruning, or trees and branches with falling leaves, then this is probably a very good investment for you. It certainly make light work of those tiresome gardening jobs.
I find it easier though not to borrow too much with leaves. These are better put in a compost heap or a compost bin. After a year or so there they make a great mulch for the garden.
Garden Leaf Vacuum Blowers/Mulchers vs Garden Shredder
When considering a shredder, it is worth having a quick look at these. Now they will not do what the shredders above can do, but for some users, they might be a perfect solution. If you have a garden that gets covered with leaves, then having a tool that can either blow or vacuum up those leaves, can be really useful. It will certainly save you time, and will also save the back breaking exercise of doing it with a garden rake.
Now if you add to that vacuum, some form of leaf shredder and mulcher, then that may be the ideal solution. These are certainly a cheaper option, then the two shredders shown above. These cost between £30-100, depending on the type that you want. I have shown what we think are three of the best in the UK market right now.
Garden Shredder Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
A garden shredder is not something that you buy every day. For most people, this is likely to be a one off purchase. If you buy the right one, then the chances are, you may never need to buy one again. There are some very common questions asked about these types of garden machinery. To save you the trouble of searching for answers, I have listed them most frequently asked questions below. Hopefully I have also provided practical and sensible answers.
FAQ 1 - DO GARDEN SHREDDERS REALLY WORK?
You should only every buy one of these, if you can get proper use from it. A garden shredder works really well for getting rid of garden waste like hedge clippings, shrub or bush pruning cut offs and smaller branches of trees. Most small gardens will never make full use of a shredder.
Those of us who have medium to larger gardens, will find one of these really handy. They work well for reducing bulky garden waste into wood chippings, or to turn garden waste into material suitable for a compost heap. They do not work that well for garden leaves, or general garden waste.
FAQ 2 - DO I NEED A BLADE TYPE OR CRUSHING DRUM TYPE?
This is probably the question we get asked the most. Blade shredders are the cheapest and they cost around £100-150. The better quality drum style crushing shredders are anything between £300-500. Our advice is to buy what you can afford. It almost goes without saying that the more expensive ones are better.
That said, for the huge majority of home owners, a simple blade model will be able to handle almost anything that you need to do. The main disadvantage of the blade ones is that you do have to keep the blade sharp, and it will need replacing from time to time.
FAQ 3 - DO GARDEN SHREDDERS NEED A LOT of MAINTENANCE?
They do not really need that much looking after. We would strongly recommend that you give them a quick clean after every use, to prevent the build up of dirt and grime. A simple hand brush and a cloth will do the job in 5 minutes. 99% of these shredders are electrical, so it is always worth quickly inspecting the main's lead.
Other than that, they do not need a lot of work. As I mentioned above, if you have bought a blade version, you need to check the edge of the blade, and make sure it stays sharp. Depending on use it may need replaced, but that is a pretty simple process.
FAQ 3 - HOW OFTEN DO BLADES NEED REPLACING?
If you decide to buy a blade style of shredder, then at some point the blades will need replacing. By doing a little maintenance, you can help prolong the life of the blades, but at some point they will need to be replaced.
The exact time to do that will greatly depend on how much use your garden shredder will get. If it is only being used a few times a year, then blades will last for around 5 years.
It also depends on what you are putting through it. Smaller twigs and branches are easier chopped up than thicker branches. If you use the shredder mainly for those thicker woods, then the blades will need to be replaced sooner.