If you have a garden and yard, you will have a lot of garden waste. You may wish to discard this yard waste, but the best solution is to turn it into usable compost.
Garden waste will take less time to biodegrade the smaller it is, so shredding your garden waste will save lots of time when it comes to composting it.
You can cut it all down manually, but a more efficient way of doing this is with a wood chipper or garden shredder. This will be one of the most important gardening tools you will need if composting is a big part of what you do.
In this article, I’m going to go through the 6 Best Chipper Shredders on the market that will make light work of cutting up all of your compostable materials.
6 Best Chipper Shredders
1. SuperHandy Wood Chipper Shredder
The SuperHandy Wood Chipper Shredder is a top of the range gas model shredder that will handle all types of garden and yard waste. This chipper will shred dried wood, branches, leaves, cardboard, weeds, and twigs.
It has a top hopper that you can fill with leaves. This shredder will turn them into mulch. It also has a side chute that can take branches up to 3” in diameter.
You can also buy a leaf vacuum kit attachment online that reduces your workload further. Using it to vacuum leaves up will be much faster than picking it up and putting it into the hopper.
The shredder has an attached nylon bag that will catch the shredded material, or you can remove the bag and simply place the shredder next to your compost.
The slanted housing is designed to reduce materials clogging up the chipper. It is very powerful, with a 7 horsepower 4-stroke single-cylinder overhead-valve gas-powered engine. It uses unleaded fuel and the gas tank has a 0.7 gallon capacity.
This powerful machine has a reduction ratio of 15:1, which means it can reduce 15 bags of leaves and other materials down to only 1 bag.
SuperHandy Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher Ultra Heavy Duty 7HP 3 in 1 Multi-Function 3" Inch Max Capacity (Amazon Exclusive)
- MULTI-FUNCTION CAPABILITY; This 3-in-1 Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher design has a Reduction Ratio of 15:1 when using the top Hopper for 1/2" MAX volume Chipping/Shredding; Side Chute for 3" MAX branch/limbs, or the attachable leaf vacuum for mulching
- UNIQUE DESIGN; The Slanted Housing design reduces jams, unlike other chippers; Hookup your: ATV, lawn mower/small tractor, for easy transportation with a Tow Bar Kit and use the vacuum inlet for easy leaf mulching with a Vacuum Kit (BOTH SOLD SEPARATELY)
- 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), petrified wood or vines
2. Sun Joe Electric Silent Wood Chipper Shredder
The Sun Joe Electric Silent Wood Chipper Shredder doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, but it’s number two on the list down for its price, durability, and quietness.
This is a decent option for those on a budget who have mostly small branches. It will only take branches 1.7” thick, and it’s best to let your wood dry out first.
Its quietness is a great feature if you don’t want to annoy your neighbors with too much noise!
Also, as it is electric instead of gas-powered, it’s perfectly feasible to use this in a shed or garage on a rainy day. Its 15-amp motor will still effectively chip twigs, although admittedly, you won’t be able to use it with thicker branches.
It has a reduction ratio of 21:1, which is actually better that the SuperHandy wood chipper, but remember it won’t take branches over 1.7” thick.
This chipper will shred anything woody, but it may struggle with small items like leaves or weeds. If you do have issues with smaller materials, try drying them a bit before putting them through the shredder. It’s easier to shred dry materials.
Cardboard will shred down well with this one. Rather than blades, this chipper is fitted with a kind of metal cog that has sharp edges and chews up the wood into small chunks.
It’s also a safety hopper, so the cutting blades will not operate when the hopper is open.
Sun Joe CJ603E 15-Amp 1.7-Inch Cutting Diameter Electric Silent Wood Chipper/Shredder, green
- [VERSATILE]: Ideal for turning leaves, twigs, brush, and branches into nutrient-rich mulch ; Rated Voltage 120 V - 60 Hz
- [POWERFUL]: 15-amp motor effectively chips and shreds branches up to 1.73-inches thick
- [SAFETY]: Safety hopper with locking knob prevents the motor from operating when opened
- [PORTABLE]: Compact design with 7-inch wheels for easy portability
3. Sun Joe Electric Wood Chipper Shredder
While not as quiet as the Sun Joe silent chipper, this Sun Joe Electric Chipper Shredder is still distinctly less noisy than gas-powered options.
This electric model will only chip tree branches of up to 1.5 inches in diameter, but it makes short work of them and is a great budget option for anyone who has trees in their garden.
This shredder has a reduction ratio of 17:1, which puts it behind the Sun Joe silent shredder, but as it is cheaper, it is a good value alternative for those wanting to save a few dollars.
This chipper will be great for any dry, woody material and cardboard. Wet plant materials like tomato vines will ruin the inner workings of this shredder, so avoid putting them in the hopper.
Sun Joe CJ602E-RED 15 Amp Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder, Red
- Ideal for turning branches and twigs into nutrient-rich garden mulch
- Powerful 15 amp motor effectively chips and shreds branches up to 1.5-Inches thick
- Compact design with 6-inch wheels for easy portability
- Safety hopper with locking knob prevents the motor from operating when opened
4. Sun Joe Electric Leaf Mulcher Shredder
The Sun Joe Electric Leaf Mulcher Shredder is better for mulching and shredding leaves, rather than chipping wood.
Its legs are removable for easier storage, and because it weighs only 13.4 lbs, it is easy to move around. The shredder also fits onto a 10 gallon trash can to make mulch collection easier.
This 13 amp mulcher gets up to 8,000 RPM and has a 16:1 reduction ratio. This mulcher will do wonders at mulching down any leaves you chuck into it.
It’s absolutely not designed for anything harder like pieces of wood chips, but it will break down soft materials like weeds, paper, or thin cardboard.
Sun Joe SDJ616 Electric Leaf Mulcher/Shredder 13-Amp 16:1 Reduction Ratio, 8,000-RPM, Mulch up to 55-Gallons per Minute, Adjustable Control Dial, Green
- [POWERFUL]: 13-amp motor with 8,000 rpm mulches up to 55 gallons of leaves per minute and reduces yard waste up to 1/16th its original size.
- [COMPATIBLE]: Conveniently attaches to leaf-bag-lined trash container for easy disposal.
- [CONTROL DIAL]: Adjustable control dial with settings for wet or dry yard waste.
- [DUST-REDUCING MOTOR]: Lightweight and durable dust-reducing motor cooling system.
- [LIGHTWEIGHT]: Compact and lightweight for easy portability and storage.
5. GreatCircleUSA Wood Chipper Shredder
The GreatCircleUSA Wood Chipper Shredder is another gas powered beast of a wood chipper. Gas is definitely the way to go if you have a lot to shred and you don’t mind the fumes!
It has a top hopper for mulching and a side chute that will chip tree branches up to 3” in diameter. It can also be used with a leaf vacuum kit like this one online.
It has much of the same specs as number one on our list, but without the unique slanted housing. This chipper will make short work of branches, twigs, weeds, and leaves. It is better to use dry material as it will reduce the chance that the chipper will clog up.
GreatCircleUSA Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher Heavy Duty Gas Powered 3 in 1 Multi-Function 3" Inch Max Wood Diameter Capacity EPA/CARB Certified Aids in Fire Prevention - Building a Firebreak
- MULTI-FUNCTION CAPABILITY - This 3-in-1 Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher design has a Reduction Ratio of 15:1 when using the top Hopper for 1/2" MAX volume Chipping/Shredding; Side Chute for 3" MAX branch/limbs, or the attachable leaf vacuum for mulching. professional design w/ CR12MoV cutting blades.
- 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. Max speed: 3600RPM，Max torque: 9.14ft-lbs@2500RPM
- EFFICIENT DESIGN - Hookup your favorite: ATV, lawn mower or small tractor, for easy transportation with a Tow Bar Kit (SOLD SEPARATELY) and use the vacuum inlet for easy leaf mulching with a Vacuum Kit (SOLD SEPARATELY)
- SAFETY - Always operate according to directions outlined in the user manual, always wear the appropriate hand and eye protection; 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), petrified wood or vines
6. Earthwise Electric Chipper
This electric mulcher comes with a tamper tool to push in your garden waste, along with a 10.5 collection bucket attached. This is another great little shredder, shredding branches up to 1.75” thick.
While it is not up for big jobs, it will help keep a small yard trim and tidy. It is less hardy than some of the others on the list, but it will do the job as it is a good budget model.
It has a round blade with 3 cutouts, and looks a bit like a cheese grater. It’s 15 amp motor makes it pretty powerful.
There’s no exact reduction ratio, as it depends on the materials you put in, but roughly 10 bags of garden waste can be reduced to 1 bag. This shredder is better for dry, woody material and may clog up if you put in any wet plant matter.
Earthwise GS70015 15-Amp Garden Corded Electric Chipper, Collection Bin
- Powerful mulcher wood chipper with a 15-amp electric motor to shred branches up to 1.75" thick. Works best with dry/aged branches
- Safety shutoff with quick re-set button: When overloaded the motor will shutoff preventing any damage, to continue using a circuit re-set button located by the power button on the chipper
- Chute and tamper tool to keep your hands free and safe from the corded electric wood chipper, 1.2 Bushel collection bin for convenient cleanup
- Powerful 15-amp motor requires 12-guage 50ft extension cord (cord not included)
- Is not intended for leaves or fibrous plants like corn stalks
- Corded Electric Chipper has 16:1 mulching ration
How to Choose a Chipper Shredder
When buying a chipper shredder there are a lot off things to consider. These are some of the top considerations before finalizing on any types of chipper shredder.
How Often Will You Use the Chipper Shredder?
Knowing how often you will be using your chipper is important because you’ll want to get a durable one if you’re using it a lot.
Chipper shredders can get rather expensive and larger models can take up a lot of room. If you’re only using your shredder sparingly, then a more compact smaller model at an affordable price might make more sense.
On the other hand, if you need to use your shredder every day for large tree branches, then you’ll want to make more of an investment on a high quality chipper shredder. Lessen the risk of having to replace a cheap shredder after a couple of months, as well as constantly replacing chipping blades.
What Will You Be Shredding?
Take a look at what materials you will be shredding from your garden, backyard, kitchen, and home. If you have a lot of leaves to mulch, but not much else, then getting a gas powered shredder will be overkill.
Sizes of Yard and Shredder
The size of your yard will affect how many materials you need want to shred, as well as how much space you have to store a shredder and materials.
Overall, if you have a lot of different materials that you want to shred, then the gas powered shredders are more versatile.
Electric vs Gas-Powered Shredders
You will notice our best chipper shredder list contains both electric and gas powered shredders. The power source is an important factor to consider with the ones above.
Gas power is definitely the way to go if you have larger branches to chip, as the electric shredders tend to not have enough power to chip up thicker branches.
When choosing between gas and electric powered chippers, they both have their pros and cons.
Here are some advantages and disadvantages for electric shredders:
- More eco-friendly
- Easier to operate
- Quiet operation. Less noisy than their gas-powered counterparts.
- Can be used indoors as they don’t emit any fumes
- Less power than gas powered chippers
- Needs a power outlet to plug into
Gas power shredders have their own advantages and disadvantages:
- More mobile and convenient as they don’t have to be plugged in.
- Usually requires more maintenance
- Not as eco-friendly as electric shredders
In the end, it probably comes down to personal preference more than anything else.
I would say that the gas-powered models are better if you are doing some serious landscaping or forestry. If you are just planning on using it in a small back-yard, then the electric kind is just as viable.
You should also consider the reduction ratio. The ratio isthe amount of material you get out of each load compared to the amount of material you put in. A higher reduction ratio means less waste.
A higher reduction ratio means that the material will break down quicker and into smaller pieces for easier storage.
If the reduction ratio is 20:1, that means for every 20 bags of yard waste that goes through the chipper shredder, it will result in 1 bag of material ready to go into the compost pile.
The smaller electric shredders usually come out on top, which makes them a good choice if you are using a composter with limited capacity.
Your budget is an important factor when considering buying a chipper. While more expensive options are usually more robust and durable, cheaper options can last just as long if you take care of them properly.
Always read the manufacturer’s instructions, and it’s usually best to leave wood to dry before chipping it.
Best Chipper Shredders Final Thoughts
All in all, there are plenty of great chipper shredders available today. You can find everything from very basic to high-end models.
There are manual models to automatic models, and even electric and gas powered types.
It really depends on what you’re looking for. You will definitely find one that will suit your needs and your budget.