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Top three garden shredders

By Adelaide Gray

We round up our favourite high-scoring garden shredders to help you shred up garden prunings quickly and efficiently.

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Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

Looking for our full reviews? Click to head straight to our independent garden shredder reviews.

The best garden shredder for you

The three garden shredders below have all proved their worth in our thorough tests and been named Best Buys, so you can be sure they'll shred garden debris smoothly and effectively, without frustrating blockages or deafening noise.

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Top three garden shredders

Bosch AXT 25 TC
Today's best price £369.00
Which? score 74%
Reviewed Jul 2008
Best Buy
Difficult garden material:
4 out of 5
Blocking:
5 out of 5
Blade Access:
5 out of 5
Type of garden shredder:
Member exclusive
Max branch cut:
Member exclusive
Weight:
Member exclusive

A top-of-the-range roller shredder with a turbine cutter, designed to prevent blockages, this powerful machine will make short work of woody and green debris. It's quiet to use and still churns through a hefy amount of material in a few minutes.

AL-KO Silentec 4000 safety
Typical price £525.00
Which? score 72%
Reviewed Nov 2013
Best Buy
Difficult garden material:
4 out of 5
Blocking:
5 out of 5
Blade Access:
3 out of 5
Type of garden shredder:
Member exclusive
Max branch cut:
Member exclusive
Weight:
Member exclusive

This roller shredder is one of the quietest we've tested, so you won't be gritting your teeth through the process. Its blockage-clearing mechanisms work well, and it's great at tackling branches up to 40mm in diameter. Despite its weight, the shredder has big wheels which make it easy to move around.

Bosch AXT Rapid 2200
Today's best price £185.00
Which? score 70%
Reviewed Jul 2008
Best Buy
Difficult garden material:
3 out of 5
Blocking:
4 out of 5
Blade Access:
3 out of 5
Type of garden shredder:
Member exclusive
Max branch cut:
Member exclusive
Weight:
Member exclusive

This is a great little impact shredder for lighter loads - it whizzes through material very quickly, plus blockages are easy to clear so won't slow you down too much. The robust temper helps to push softer waste and stray pieces of branch through the machine, and it copes well with soft, fibrous waste such as stringy perennials.

Some of the worst garden shredders

The only way to tell if a garden shredder is any good is to chop up a range of different clippings from the garden, which is exactly why Which? does exactly that in our independent lab tests. We use each garden shredder to cut up thicker branches and pruning to see how well they chop it, and how quickly and easily they handle all your garden waste. 

Not all garden shredders are great. Here are three models that leave you feeling underwhelmed as they fail to cut thicker branches, get blocked easily or are very hard to unblock. 

But avoid these mediocre models

Viking GE 105
Typical price £240.00
Which? score 50%
Reviewed Jul 2008
Difficult garden material:
3 out of 5
Blocking:
4 out of 5
Blade Access:
2 out of 5
Type of garden shredder:
Member exclusive
Max branch cut:
Member exclusive
Weight:
Member exclusive

This noisy shredder blocks easily, even when putting through straight branches. It can’t cope with thick branches either.

Handy THIS 2400W
Typical price £90.00
Which? score 49%
Reviewed Nov 2013
Difficult garden material:
3 out of 5
Blocking:
4 out of 5
Blade Access:
4 out of 5
Type of garden shredder:
Member exclusive
Max branch cut:
Member exclusive
Weight:
Member exclusive

This shredder struggles to shred branches, so it's very slow to use. It also blocks frequently, slowing you down even more.

Qualcast QS42
Typical price £144.00
Which? score 47%
Reviewed Jul 2012
Difficult garden material:
2 out of 5
Blocking:
1 out of 5
Blade Access:
1 out of 5
Type of garden shredder:
Member exclusive
Max branch cut:
Member exclusive
Weight:
Member exclusive

This shredder is both hard to use and doesn’t shred well. It blocks frequently and is hard to unblock.

Why Which? garden shredder reviews are better

When clearing up garden prunings, you want a reliable and quick shredder that'll help you whizz through the job - not one that's constantly blocking up, struggling with certain materials or making a racket. We put garden shredders through their paces in our tough tests so you can choose one that'll make your gardening chores that bit easier.

Each shredder has material fed through it for 10 minutes. We rate how easy it is to put branches into the machine, then weigh the material produced to see how much it shredded. We put a variety of garden debris into each shredder to see how good it is with different types of material, including:

  • Straight, fresh branches, up to 20mm in diameter
  • Prunings from an overgrown conifer hedge
  • Spiny and woody branches with side-shoots growing at awkward angles
  • Soft, fibrous plants
  • Dead branches up to the maximum diameter specified for the shredder (typically 30-40mm).

We rate how fine the shreddings are and how much the machine blocked in the process, plus how easy it was to clear out when it did. The shredders are assessed for speed and efficiency, as well as noise and vibration, and how easy they are to move and store. We also look at overall ease of use as well as safety, so we get an idea of how user-friendly they are for experienced and novice shredder users alike.

To find the best shredder for your garden, go to our independent garden shredder reviews.

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