For the owner of a large garden with hedges and trees, the shredder proves to be an indispensable tool: it shreds branches, twigs, leaves and all weeds so that the recut residues are easily compostable. Some devices even work so fine that the clippings are then suitable for mulching. A powerful, reliable machine will become the faithful companion of the industrious garden friend.
Top 10 Shredders
What is there to consider when buying a shredder?
Like before buying any other device, the question is: Which functions do I need – and which not? Which decides which garden shredder exactly meets your requirements and supports your work as much as possible. In the private sector, mainly the more cost-effective electrically operated devices are used since their performance for low to medium material throughput is absolutely sufficient. Electric shredders come with branch sizes of up to 40 or 45 mm clear, for really thick branches, they are rather unsuitable. Professionals rely more on the more expensive and even more powerful gasoline shredders, which also bring a higher weight on the scales and therefore much less mobile.
Among the garden shredders, there are both specialists and all-rounders, although the latter, of course, do not spend the same amount of money in all areas at the same time. The leading Bosch shredders, for example, are among the rare devices that prefer moist green waste and are a lonely leader in this field. Other Bosch shredders, however, expressly regard themselves as universal shredders, which, according to the manufacturer, process hard, dry garden waste just as effortlessly as soft, moist material. In addition to the universal and leaf chippers, there are still special forage harvesters and wood chippers, which are not treated in this guide on gmomf.org, however.
It is important at this point to first make clear what waste is to be minced exactly how thick in about the branches to be processed fail and whether the amounts are rather small or larger. Your new garden shredder should work as quickly as possible – and the required catch basket size is also based on it. Also, think about whether you need a particularly mobile, lightweight device, or whether a much heavier shredder is eligible. Does the background noise also play a big role for you? Then look around for a silo shredder designed to emit noticeably less noise. How to piece by piece to your desired product zoom!
Overview of the 13 most important selection criteria
- Power unit
- largest branch strength
- ease of use
- security features
- Mobility / Weight
- Staircase device
- space-saving storage
- Specialization on branches/foliage
- Material Throughput
Advantages and disadvantages of own garden shredder
The purchase of a garden shredder always means a certain financial investment, which should be well considered. The advantages are nevertheless obvious: The device processes your regular green waste into much smaller portions, which you can then handle much more easily. In addition, the shredded material is ideal for composting or, in some cases, for mulching: so you build your own biological circuit in your garden, which provides the plants with fresh nutrients in a sustainable way.
Anyone who has no compost at all and does not want to mulch is still faced with the question of how to dispose of the clippings, despite the shredders. Landfills also accept untreated material, so you do not necessarily need a shredder. However, it does facilitate the transport when large branches are chopped up into fine pieces. Of course, the operation of a shredder always generates corresponding noise that could disturb the neighbors. Hours of chaffing have disrupted many a neighborly peace! A noiseless shredder keeps this problem under control, and those who still stick to the local rest periods will probably have good maps.
Which shredder is the right one?
The knife chopper
We not only distinguish between gasoline and electric choppers but also between knife and roller devices. In the beginning, there were only knife cutters, which had a flywheel equipped with knives. This disc rotates around its own axis and crushes the shredded material. Resourceful machine designers came up with the idea of placing a second knife ring in the middle, which is responsible for shredding small branches, thuja, cherry laurel, and leaves.
Knife choppers seldom wait with an effective self-feeder! A tamper should naturally be included in this case to protect your fingers as much as possible. At the bottom comes out in many cases a very fine material that can even be used for mulching. Unfortunately, woody material blocks a knife chopper rather than a rolling chopper: so if you have lots of trees and hardwood shrubs, the knife chopper is not the device of choice.
The roll chopper
The forage harvester came into play later, he always pulls in the shredded material due to the system. Branches and leaves get between the roller and the opposite sheet and are neatly crushed, while the steel knife located on the roller serve the dismemberment. Some roll chippers are still supplied with a pusher, which simplifies the work if necessary still a good deal.
Although this garden shredder variant delivers a less fine result than pure knife chopper, you do not normally have to reload by hand and the noise level is usually much quieter. In addition, the knives sharpen themselves during operation. Roll choppers are particularly well with shrub and tree cut clear; In addition, they often have a rewind function, which dissolves a possible blockage fairly quickly.
The Quiet Shredder
And then there is the Leisehacksler, which is a particularly quiet working roll chipper. It is ideal for use in a noise-sensitive neighborhood, of course, it should be noted that these devices do not emit the noise. By the way, a high wattage is a signal for power, but real quality results only in the interaction of strength and technology. However, a well-equipped device should have at least 2200 watts to meet your needs.
How much does a shredder cost?
The price of a shredder is very much geared to its purpose: Simple home appliances move in a much lower cost price segment than professional petrol-driven shredders, which have to process large amounts of clippings day after day. Our comparison refers to the range of hobby equipment for small to medium-sized gardens, here you can expect prices between 90 and 400 euros. Midfield is where machines have located that cost around 200 to 250 euros.
Expect a cheap device to tend to work less quickly and thoroughly, and may not last that long. High-quality knives made of precision steel are not even for a mockery price to have, as well as strong engines that bring a decent performance permanently.
In the middle price range settle on some excellently usable shredders, which could convince also Stiftung Warentest. The higher-priced electrical segment between 300 and 400 euros is rather sparsely populated, for this money you can expect quite a few extras and a particularly long device durabilities. If you have a large garden of more than 500 or even 1000 square meters to call your own and have a lot to chop, this investment will probably be worthwhile. That’s when you need a device that is as resistant to wear as possible, and which tolerates the high chopping frequency over the long term.
Those who have to manage a huge property with many trees, shrubs, and hedges prefer to use a gasoline shredder. These devices are available from about 500 euros to buy up – if you want, you can even invest several thousand euros for it. But these devices are more tailored to the needs of landscape gardeners and farmers and are rarely worthwhile for private use.
Maintenance and care: How to keep your shredder fit!
As you have already seen in the section above, roll chippers normally require less maintenance and care than knife choppers. However, the rule applies to both types of devices: A careful treatment preserves the service life!
Read the instructions for use of your new garden shredder carefully and pay attention to the care and maintenance instructions contained there. Clean your shredder regularly with the mains plug unplugged, paying particular attention to the moving elements inside. Lubricate the bearings according to the manufacturer’s instructions so that they run constantly smoothly.
Knife choppers require at certain intervals after a resharpening of the knife, while rolling devices every now and then the pressure plate must be readjusted.
Equipment and accessories: You need this when working
Almost every garden shredder has an associated catcher or at least a collecting bag, which catches the freshly processed clippings. Often it is a sturdy box that can be easily hooked and has a safety switch. When removing the grass catcher, the cutting unit automatically stops – and the fingers do not get into dangerous zones.
Transparent or at least semi-transparent boxes provide sufficient visibility so you can see the fill level and act in time. Opaque baskets prove less practical. The textile bag with carrying handles is simply placed under the device, it has no circuit breaker and is well visible from above. Make sure that your new garden shredder already comes with a grass catcher or a grass catcher – in rare cases you may need to purchase the useful utensil.
A large fishing box needs to be emptied less often than a small one: Most shredders for private use have a 40- to 65-liter box, professionally used devices have even more volume to offer. Keep in mind that every time the catch box is full you have to stop working to empty the shredded material. This costs a lot of time with small containers – but if you only want to shred a few garden waste anyway, this circumstance will probably not bother you at all.
And something else is of great importance in everyday work: the mobility of the shredder. Hardly a shredder can do without its two rollers, which serve to pass comfortably from one location to another. An ergonomic handle facilitates this process, while a low overall weight and stair-rolling wheels ensure maximum mobility. But beware: With lightweight devices, it could happen the stability, so you better watch at this point very carefully! Overall, a garden shredder should be as stable as possible, because during operation there are some vibrations.
All important accessories at a glance
- Catcher or catch bag
- transport handles
- safety switch
The safe use of your garden shredder
Safety comes first in this area, after all, you have to deal with a device that easily cuts hard branches and thus could be dangerous to your fingers: That is why this aspect naturally belongs to our great guide on gmomf.org. Infeed funnels not only keep you at a maximum distance from the roll or knife mill, but they also allow for orderly, comfortable operation. To plug the branches always a pusher must be used! If your device does not come with a pusher, then you’d rather get one before you’re tempted to use your hands alone.
If your header is clogged, shredders can block in the middle of operations. Often it is to blame on too wet or soft garden waste, the knives and rollers stick together; sometimes it is too thick a branch that does not fit through the shaft. Another possible cause: Maybe the user has filled too much material at once. However, in the case of a blockade, always the return function must be activated, which in many devices even triggers itself. Cleaning by hand should only be done when the power plug is unplugged and the unit is safely switched off.
The restart protection prevents the automatic start of the device after a power failure or after maintenance. A dead man’s switch protects the user from possible injuries because he must be operated permanently so that the chopper remains in operation. Alternatively, some machines have an easily accessible emergency stop switch, which serves to switch on the cutting unit from now on. The overload protection protects the engine and transmission, it is active when the device threatens to run hot.
For this, you can use the shredded material
There remains only one question left: What uses are possible for the shredded material? We have already talked about mulching and composting in this guide on gmomf.org so that you can supply your garden plants with healthy nutrients. Of course, you can also deposit the material in organic waste or drive it to the ground. However, this raises costs from certain amounts!
Through-dried shredded material can also be used as fuel for a woodchip heating, so you even save money instead of spending it. If you do not own such a heating system, then you may ask your neighbors and friends if they accept the material.
With shredded material can even create garden paths, it just has to be tamped well: This looks wonderfully natural and blocking weedy weeds the way, especially if you infer it with a corresponding fleece.