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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 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.

Garden shredders start from about £100 and go up to more than £400. The best models will tackle prunings up to 40mm in diameter, and we've found Best Buys for less than £200.

Take a look at our garden shredder Best Buys, to discover the models that we recommend.

How much does a good garden shredder cost?

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, but you can pick up a Best Buy for less than £250. Find out more about the different types of shredder below.

Generally, it can pay to spend a bit more to get a good garden shredder, but we've uncovered Best Buy garden shredders for less than £200. 

Impact or roller shredder?

Before you choose a garden shredder it's worth thinking about how much shredding you'll do, what type of material you have to shred, how you're going to dispose of the shredded garden waste and how much noise you can cope with. 

Impact shredders (also known as rapid shredders) are noisier than roller models. They have a blade mechanism that slices up garden material into very fine pieces and don't block as often. 

  • Look for an impact shredder with more than one blade as they will get blunt less quickly.
  • 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.
  • Check that you can access the blades safely and easily as even impact shredders block occasionally.
  • Impact shredders start from about £100, but you can pay as much as £250.

Roller shredders (sometimes known 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 material. Unfortunately, these shredders also tend to get blocked by greener, more fibrous material.

  • Look for a roller shredder that has safe, easy access to the roller as this will keep the time spent clearing blockages to a minimum.
  • Make sure you can easily adjust the gap between the roller and the plate it crushes plant debris against to keep it shredding effectively.
  • Check that you can move the shredder easily as some roller shredders are weighty, top-heavy machines to move around.
  • Roller shredders cost between £150 and £500, although we have a Best Buy model for £250.

Which else do I need to consider when buying a garden shredder?

Most home gardeners will opt for an electric garden shredder. When buying, 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.

Most machines will shred prunings, but there is a trade-off between speed and noise when in use. If you can’t stand noisy machines, there are quieter models, but they usually take a bit longer to do the job.

You'll need to buy some basic personal protective equipment to use a shredder safely: goggles, gloves and ear defenders. 


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