Last updated: September 7, 2021

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Garden shredders are useful tools that can make gardening easier. They are easy to operate and help to convert the cuttings produced during gardening into compost. Unlike their alternative, the knife shredder, the garden shredders are much quieter and can also shred more robust materials.

Garden shredders are a little more expensive to buy but with proper handling and maintenance they can last for several years. With our large garden shredder test 2021 we want to help you choose the right garden shredder.




The most important facts

  • A garden shredder is a practical and versatile garden shredder that can be used for robust materials and thick branches as well as for simple green cuttings. It can be powered by electricity or petrol and is very popular due to its quiet engine.
  • Proper and regular cleaning and maintenance of the garden shredder prevents expensive repairs and ensures a long service life. Before cleaning, however, you should be well informed about the cleaning process so that it is carried out correctly.
  • The alternative to the garden shredder is the blade shredder, which is more suitable for soft green cuttings such as grasses, bushes or hedges. The two differ in their essential features and have their advantages and disadvantages which should be thoroughly weighed up.

The Best Garden Shredder: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for garden shredders

There are various criteria that can help you decide on the right garden shredder. Our criteria can also help you to compare the various machines with each other. We have identified the most important ones for you and divided them into:

In the following paragraphs, we will go into more detail about the individual purchase and evaluation criteria for garden shredders. In this way you will learn more about what you should look for before buying and can decide for yourself which criterion is particularly important to you.

Type of drive

In addition to the garden shredder, there are different types of shredders and different operating modes. In general, a powerful motor is the be-all and end-all and a guarantee for a strong shredding performance. A garden shredder can be operated in two different ways: either electrically or with petrol. Both types of operation have their advantages and disadvantages, which need to be considered carefully before you decide on a machine.

Type of cuttings

The type of material to be chopped is often important when choosing a shredder, because not all chippings are the same. A blade shredder, for example, is particularly suitable for shredding green cuttings, while a garden shredder is particularly suitable for shredding branches and unusual cuttings.

In principle, the shredded material of a garden shredder is rather coarse; shredded material that is too small or too thin often passes through the garden grinding mechanism untreated. However, if the clippings are larger or thicker branches, they are shredded and can be used further within the garden.

When working with a garden shredder, it is important to ensure that the cuttings are dry. Wet or damp cuttings can lead to severe clogging of the garden grinder. So, in order to choose the right tool, the type of use and the type of clippings should always be clear. Once the hedges and shrubs have been trimmed and then chipped, the clippings can be used as mulch for the garden, among other things.

Cutting capacity

In addition to the operating mode or the noise level, the cutting capacity is also important when choosing the right garden shredder. Of course, it should be ensured that the machine is designed for a certain cutting capacity as well as for a certain cutting quota. The specifications of the cutting capacity vary from machine to machine, but they are generally in the range of 24 to 45 millimetres.

The cutting capacity of a garden shredder is always a good indicator of the fineness and size of the material to be cut.

Depending on the type, nature and intended use of the material to be chopped, the capacity can also be set differently.

Volume level

The volume level is always a consideration when deciding on a new machine. It often does not matter whether the appliance is a household or a garden appliance. But if the peace of the neighbourhood is important, then the noise level of a large garden tool, such as a garden shredder, is a decisive factor.

Basically, a garden shredder operates with an average sound pressure level in the range of 90 to 95 decibels. However, this sound level is only a guide and not the norm. To illustrate how loud the garden shredder is when the engine is running, 90 decibels would be the very loud closing of a room door.

To keep the peace within the neighbourhood, possible gardening work should not necessarily be done early in the morning or late in the evening.

Another important tip for working with a garden shredder is: always wear hearing protection while gardening! To give you an idea of the approximate volume of a garden shredder, we have selected a short but informative video. Here you can hear the volume of a garden shredder and see how it works.

Weight

Often the weight of a new purchase is a major exclusion criterion before buying. This is of course also true in the case of a new garden tool. Especially here, people look at how heavy the tool is and how it impedes the mobility of the hobby gardener. The garden shredder and its alternative, the blade shredder, differ in their weight, among other things.

The weight of a garden shredder depends largely on its engine and material. Some models weigh 15 and others weigh 30 kilograms. However, if the machine is to be used in different places in the garden, it is advisable to opt for a lighter garden shredder in order to have a certain degree of mobility.

Decision: What types of garden shredders are there and which one is right for me?

If you want to buy a garden shredder, there are two types to choose from:

Garden shredder

Every spring, the change of season draws many hobby gardeners outdoors. A hobby gardener who wants to trim his trees, bushes and hedges asks himself the question after gardening: A garden shredder is often colloquially called a quiet shredder because of its quiet engine.

This technique releases important microorganisms in the clippings, which make rotting and composting much easier. The garden shredder effortlessly shreds particularly robust and coarse materials, such as bamboo. The positive thing about a garden shredder is not only that it shreds thicker branches without any problems, it also has an automatic feed.

Advantages
  • quiet
  • shreds coarse materials
  • shreds thick branches
Disadvantages
  • expensive
  • not suitable for soft green waste
  • high own weight

As you have already read, the garden shredder has both advantages and disadvantages. One of the major disadvantages of this purchase is that it is more time-consuming. If the cuttings are wet, the intake becomes blocked and the gardening work can be delayed.

If the advantages for the garden shredder are still not convincing and you would like to look at another variation of the garden shredder, we recommend the quiet garden shredder. The advantages and disadvantages of the quiet garden shredder are similar to those of the garden shredder, read the following paragraph to get an idea of the quiet garden shredder.

Quiet garden shredder

In addition to the practical and almost silent garden shredder model, there is another type of garden shredder that makes quiet gardening possible. The quiet garden shredder is, as the name suggests, a sub-type of garden shredder.

This garden shredder is particularly popular with gardeners because of its quiet engine. Thanks to its almost silent engine, the quiet garden shredder is particularly suitable for gardening in a noise-sensitive neighbourhood. The quiet garden shredder works in a similar way to the garden shredder. A fast rotating cutting garden shreds the existing cuttings into small pieces.

Advantages
  • very quiet
  • shreds coarse materials
  • high-performance motor
Disadvantages
  • expensive
  • high weight
  • risk of clogging

The quiet garden shredder has an automatic self-feeding system for branches, which makes gardening particularly easy. This garden shredder can be operated with petrol or electricity just like the garden shredder and has a maximum cutting capacity of 45 millimetres.

Similar to the garden shredder, you should also pay special attention to the cuttings with this shredder. The quiet garden shredder is particularly suitable for branches and more robust material; soft green cuttings from grasses, bushes or hedges can cause blockages here.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about garden shredders answered in detail

In the following guide we would like to answer the most important questions about the garden shredder. We have selected a few questions for you and will answer them shortly. After reading this guide, you will hopefully have all the essential information to help you with the purchase of a garden shredder.

What is a garden shredder?

A garden shredder is a garden tool that uses its garden to shred the resulting clippings into many individual pieces. The roller of the shredder has practical little prongs that pull in the remains of the clippings and shred them.

Walzenhäcksler-1

A garden shredder is a practical garden tool that can help to beautify your garden
(Image sources: NeONBRAND/unsplash)

Purchasing a garden shredder is particularly useful when large, thick branches need to be shredded.

What are the advantages of a garden shredder?

The garden shredder is much quieter than a knife shredder. Another advantage of a garden shredder is that it has an automatic intake, which prevents blockages. However, since the risk of blockages is generally very rare with a garden shredder, the maintenance effort is correspondingly low.

What should the garden shredder shred?

Before you buy a garden shredder, you should ask yourself what you want to shred. Do you want to shred simple green cuttings in the form of bushes, hedges or grass or do you want to shred more robust material such as bamboo?

Walzenhäcksler-2

The resulting shredded material can be used as fertiliser for new seedlings
(Image sources NeONBRAND/unsplash)

The garden shredder is more suitable than the knife shredder for thick branches or more robust material.

How should the garden shredder be operated?

A garden shredder can be powered by either an electric or petrol engine, both of which have their own pros and cons. The petrol engine is powerful and shreds large quantities of clippings, while the electric engine is quiet and environmentally friendly.

What are the alternatives to a garden shredder?

The most popular alternative to a garden shredder is the blade shredder. The knife shredder shreds the cuttings into very small pieces with sharp knives and a fast rotating disc. The resulting shredded material is ideal as mulch for garden beds due to its minimal size.

The two differ in their essential features.

A knife shredder is particularly suitable for shredding soft plant parts. This means that the blade shredder is ideal for gardening with grasses, green cuttings and bushes. The advantage of the shredded material produced during work with the blade shredder is that it decomposes only slowly and can therefore be used to cover other plants. One of the biggest advantages of the knife shredder is that it is cheaper to buy than a garden shredder. In addition, the knife shredder can also be used for simpler gardening tasks.

Not only is the knife shredder clearly cheaper, it also weighs less than the garden shredder. To give you a better idea of the two types of shredder and how they work, we have selected a video that introduces you to the garden shredder and the knife shredder.

How is a garden shredder cleaned?

The roller is particularly important and should be cleaned of the chippings after each use. Tips on how best to clean your garden shredder can be found in the following paragraph:

  • Disconnect the unit from the power supply: to avoid a short circuit or dangerous injury, you should disconnect the garden shredder from the power supply while cleaning it
  • Remove cuttings: to properly clean the roller of your shredder of all unnecessary cuttings, you should carefully unscrew it, remove the remains of the shredded material and then screw it back on
  • External cleaning: the best way to clean the outside of the shredder is to wipe it with a damp cloth with a little washing-up liquid
  • Important note: the garden shredder should never be washed with a garden hose. If water enters the housing, it is impossible for it to dry from the inside and is therefore irreparable

Image source: nikkytok/ 123rf.com

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