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How to buy the best garden shredder

By Adelaide Gray

Find out how to choose the best garden shredder, which features to look out for and how much you need to spend to get a good one.

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A good garden shredder can save you money on skip hire or numerous trips to the council tip. They're also great for reducing piles of everyday prunings into woodchips that can be used in the garden.

Use our expert advice to help you decide whether you need a roller or an impact shredder and find out how much we suggest spending to get a good model. 

Alternatively, head straight to our best garden shredders.

In this article: 

Video: how to buy the best garden shredder 

Types of garden shredders 

There are two main types: impact and roller. 

Impact garden shredders

Impact shredders - also known as rapid shredders - are generally the cheapest type of garden shredder and the noisiest. 

They have a blade mechanism that slices up garden material into very fine pieces and don't block as often.

Impact shredders are more suited to chopping up leaves and lighter garden foliage rather than big chunks of wood, and are typically lighter than roller models. 

If you opt for a impact shredder try to look for one that has more than one blade as they will get blunt less quickly. 

You should also choose a machine with a regular-shaped hopper as it will help you feed material into the shredder more easily and get the job done quicker.

Roller garden shredders 

Roller shredders, or sometimes know as quiet shredders, use a ridged roller to crush and cut garden debris. The roller action draws material through the machine, which can make it easy to shred lots of waste.

Unfortunately, these shredders do tend to get blocked by greener, more fibrous material and are normally more expensive. 

Before buying a roller shredder, make sure you can move it around easily. They can be pretty weighty machines. 

You should also check that you can adjust the gap between the roller and the plate. Not being able to do so could result in ineffective shredding.  

Jump straight to our garden shredder reviews to find out which model you should buy.

How much do I need to pay for a good garden shredder? 

Garden shredders start from about £100, although you could pay more than £400, depending on what features and type you want. 

Impact shredders are cheaper than roller models. The starting price is around £100, although we'd recommend spending around £200 to get a really good model. 

Roller shredders cost from £150 up to £500, but you can pick up a Best Buy for around £250. 

Generally, it can pay to spend a bit more to get a good garden shredder. Although if you do your research you can definitely find a quality budget model, too. 

We round up our top three high-scoring garden shredders

Petrol or electric garden shredder? 

Most gardeners will opt for an electric garden shredder. But it's a good idea to check that the length of the cable is sufficient for your garden. Some brands skimp on cable length, so you might need an outdoor extension cable.

If you don't have an outdoor power supply then you might want to go for a petrol model. These models are normally more powerful, but will be more expensive and will need servicing regularly. 

Best garden shredder features to look for 

Using a good garden shredder can make clearing garden waste a breeze, but a bad model will struggle to slice anything and get blocked up every five minutes. The following features can really help: 

  • Safe and easy access to the roller This will keep the time spent clearing blockages to a minimum. 
  • Collection box To help reduce the mess when you're gardening and make it easier to transport the shredded material. 
  • Tamper or reverse setting Both can help force items back out of the shredder if there's a blockage. 
  • Wheels If you have a big garden, wheels will make it easier to move your shredder around. 
  • Accessories You'll need to buy some basic safety equipment to use a shredder, including goggles, gloves and ear defenders.

Use our garden shredder reviews to find the right model for your needs. 

Garden shredders compared 

Below, we've listed the key specs and features for some of the most popular garden shredders.

Alternatively, head straight to the best garden shredders to see the models we recommend.

Makita UD2500, £270

Type: Roller

Fuel: Electric 

This heavy-duty Makita shredder costs about the average for a roller. It comes with a collection box which should help with keeping the garden tidy while you work. And the cable length is really generous, so it's perfect for those of you with larger gardens. 

Unfortunately it doesn't come with a tamper, so let's hope it isn't prone to blockages.

Read our full Makita UD2500 review to find out how it fared in our tests.

Bosch AXT Rapid 2200, £169

Type: Impact 

Fuel: Electric

Bosch's impact garden shredder is really lightweight at just 12kg. It comes with a tamper included which should make loosening blockages super easy. 

You'll need to buy a separate collection box for all your mulch and potentially an extension lead because the electric cable is quite short. 

The most important thing is how well it shreds, though. 

Read our full Bosch AXT Rapid 2200 review to find out if this lightweight model impresses.

Viking GE250, £385

Type: Impact 

Fuel: Electric

The Viking GE 250 is the largest of the Viking garden shredders. It also one of the most expensive shredders we've reviewed. It doesn't come with a collection box or a tamper, but Viking says the shredder will give excellent results and eject the shreddings without blocking. 

We tried it out on tricky trimmings such as conifers and fibrous perennials to see if it really was block-free.

Find out how it fared in our full Viking GE250 review.

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