When you're pruning in the garden, rather than adding the spent branches to your green bin or bagging them up and taking them to the recycling centre, why not make the most of this valuable resource by shredding it for the compost or for use as a mulch? A garden shredder chips garden waste so that it takes up less room and breaks down quickly and easily, and if you want to save money on compost and mulch in the future, they’re an essential piece of kit.

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There are two main types of garden shredder, roller and impact, and these are available as petrol or electric machines:

Roller shredders use a rigid roller to draw material into the machine to crush and chop it. They're usually quick and therefore good if you have lots of material to shred. They're quiet but tend to struggle with fresher, greener growth, and are heavy and usually more expensive.

Impact shredders are often the budget option. They're simple to build, and light and easy to move around, with steel blades that finely shred material that's perfect for mulching. However, they're noisy, and cheaper models can feel flimsy and unstable in use.

To help you in pruning season, see our tests of the best secateurs, the best pruning saws and the best loppers. And to stay safe while you work check out our test of the best gardening gloves.


Our expert testers trial hundreds of garden tools to work out which will do the job well and offer the best value, comfort and quality. We’ve tested essentials like the best garden spades and best hoes as well as more specific kit like the best hedge trimmers, the best splitting axes, the best pressure washers and the best strimmers.


Best Buy shredders at a glance

Our expertise

We tested a range of electric corded shredders, using them with different prunings, including both woody branches and fresher growth, to help you find the right one for your garden. Each has a detailed list of pros and cons for clarity and has been rated according to assembly and storage, ease of use, performance, and value for money. Every shredder in our round up has scored a minimum of four out of five stars, so you can buy with confidence.

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In every review we award the outstanding products our coveted Best Buy award. To see these and the others we recommend, browse our pick of the best shredders below:


Best shredders in 2023

1

Hyundai electric garden shredder

Hyundai electric garden shredder review BBC Gardeners' World magazine
Hyundai electric garden shredder review BBC Gardeners' World magazine

RRP: £159.99

Our rating: 4.5/5

Pros

  • Simple assembly
  • Light and easy to move
  • Shreds finely and quickly

Cons

  • Noisy

A BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy award winner for best budget shredder, this easy-to-use impact shredder comes with all the assembly tools you need and just the stand and wheels need attaching and it’s ready to go. At 10.3kg it’s light, and large wheels and a handle make it easy to move around the garden and in and out of the shed. It has a long, 10m orange cable that's easy to see and comes with a good sized collection bag that attaches to two hooks on the side to catch the shreddings as they fall. A flat plunger helps you push down waste into the funnel easily but it pulls in material strongly and smoothly. Best of all, it shreds quickly and finely, making great mulch. It's quite noisy and not as sturdy as some of the rotary models but for the price, the ease of use and quality of the shreddings we think it's a great value shredder.


2

Ryobi RSH2545B corded 2500W impact shredder

Ryobi RSH2545B corded 2500W impact shredder review BBC Gardeners' World magazine
Ryobi RSH2545B corded 2500W impact shredder review BBC Gardeners' World magazine

RRP: £179.00

Our rating: 4.5/5

Pros

  • Easy assembly
  • Shreds efficiently and well
  • Solid collection box
  • Good length, bright cable

Cons

  • Round plunger less effective than flat
  • Takes up room in storage

This well thought out impact shredder won a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy award for features. It's easy to set up and unlike most of the other impact shredders in our test has an easy-to-use 40L collection box that slots under the funnel and helps to make the shredder sturdy and stable. A safety mechanism ensures that the shredder only works if the box is in place ands although the box feels sturdy, if it breaks, it will need to be replaced or the shredder won't work. Despite its size the shredder is light to move around and it has a 6m orange cable, which is easy to see but shorter than some in our test. The round plunger is useful for pushing material into the funnel and this has a safety flap to protect fingers and a reset button in case of jams. It pulls material in well and shreds quickly and efficiently, down to a fine mulch.


3

Bosch AXT Rapid 2200 shredder

Bosch AXT Rapid 2200 shredder review BBC Gardeners' World magazine
Bosch AXT Rapid 2200 shredder review BBC Gardeners' World magazine

RRP: £269.99

Our rating: 4.5/5

Pros

  • Easy to assemble, move and store
  • Fast, efficient shredding
  • Pulls material in strongly
  • Flat, wide plunger

Cons

  • No collection bag
  • Hard to access blade

Awarded a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy for performance this impact shredder is well-designed and a joy to use. It's easy to assemble, just the legs need attaching and at 12kg, it's light and easy to move around the garden and in and out of the shed. It has a large funnel and comes with a wide, sturdy plunger that was our favourite on test and which helps to push material into the shredder easily. It copes with all prunings fast, grabbing and drawing them into the funnel quickly and smoothly and shreds them into a fine mulch. However, no collection bag is provided and the bright red cable is easy to see but only 4m long, so you may need an extension lead with this, depending on where in the garden you're shredding. It's also a little tricky to access the blades, as the dial was stiff to turn and reach. For shredding performance and ease however, this is a worthy Best Buy winner.


4

Webb electric silent shredder

Webb electric silent shredder review BBC Gardeners' World magazine
Webb electric silent shredder review BBC Gardeners' World magazine

RRP: £234.99

Our rating: 4.5/5

Pros

  • Pulls material in well
  • Quiet in operation
  • Large collection box and long cable
  • Easy to store

Cons

  • Heavy to move

One of the quietest shredders on test this rotary model won a BBC Gardeners' World Magazine Best Buy for best rotary shredder. Like most rotary shredders this needs more assembly than an impact shredder but it's not complicated to put together and once assembled is sturdy and stable. It is heavy though, at 27kg, and is not the easiest to move around and it would be difficult to lift if you needed to get it up and down steps. But, it breaks down well for storage, with the funnel slotting upside down into the collection box, and if storage space is limited, would fit easily into a corner or under a shelf. The plastic collection box has a large capacity of 55L and a safety mechanism so that the shredder will only work when this is engaged - if the box breaks, it will need to be replaced or the shredder won't work. This shredder is quiet in operation with a strong pull on material in the funnel and it shreds prunings down to compostable material easily, dropping them into the box below. It has a reverse button if material gets stuck, a safety switch, a round plunger for pushing material into the funnel and a long, 10m orange cable that's easy to see.


The best of the rest

Although some models didn’t quite achieve a BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy award, they still have great features that make them worth recommending. Browse our pick of the best of the rest on test.


5

Einhell electric knife shredder

Einhell electric knife shredder review BBC Gardeners' World magazine
Einhell electric knife shredder review BBC Gardeners' World magazine

RRP: £139.95

Our rating: 4.3/5

Pros

  • Simple assembly
  • Easy to move
  • Shreds finely
  • Comparatively quiet

Cons

  • No reset switch
  • Unstable when loading

This impact shredder just needs the stand and wheels attaching and it’s ready to go. At 9.9kg it’s light, and has large wheels and a handle so it’s easy to move around the garden and in and out of the shed. The black cable is short, at just 3m long, and it comes with a small collection bag that attaches to hooks on the side to help it catch the shreddings as they fall. The flat plunger helps you push down waste into the funnel and can be hung on a simple hook on the handle when it's not in use, a nifty feature which should prevent the plunger getting misplaced. There's a safety flap to protect fingers and the steel blade shreds well, producing fine shreddings. It's comparatively quiet but it can feel quite flimsy and wobbly when loading so it must be firmly set up on flat ground. There's also no external reset button on this shredder but it does have an internal stop button if jams occur.


6

Mac Allister MSHP2800D-2 corded 2800W silent shredder

Mac Allister MSHP2800D-2 corded 2800W silent shredder review BBC Gardeners' World magazine
Mac Allister MSHP2800D-2 corded 2800W silent shredder review BBC Gardeners' World magazine

RRP: £159.00

Our rating: 4/5

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Grabs and pulls material strongly
  • Breaks down for storage

Cons

  • Larger shreddings, for compost only
  • Heavy and awkward to move

Although this rotary shredder needs more assembly than an impact shredder it has clear instructions that make it easy to put together. It's sturdy and stable when it's up and running and although it's awkward to move around, at 20kg it's the lightest rotary shredder in our test. It also breaks down well for storage, with the funnel slotting upside down into the collection box, which is handy if storage space is limited. It has a round plunger for pushing material down towards the roller blades and a short, black 4m cable. It's simple to use, with easy controls and a reverse function if branches get stuck and it grabs and pulls in material easily. But like other shredders that come with a collection box , it's only useable when this 50L plastic box is in place. if it breaks and cant be used the shredder won't work. It shreds well producing larger chippings that are best for compost rather than mulch.


How to choose a shredder

Impact or roller shredder?
Most electric, domestic shredders are designed to handle branches around 40mm thick. If you have lighter, fresher branches and twigs to chip, an impact shredder will chop these up easily and quickly. Woodier growth is better suited to a rotary shredder, which can crush most waste apart from wet, sappy material, which will get stuck. They’re also fast, so if you often have piles of prunings etc one of these would be a good choice.

What do you want to do with the shreddings?
In our test some shredders were particularly good at finely chipping while others were better suited to breaking down fresher waste, so think about whether you want a fine mulch to use on your borders or are content with condensing garden waste and speeding up the composting process.
A collection box or bag makes it easier to move and use your shreddings, and the bigger the better as it will save you emptying it less often. A rigid box may be easier to use but note these shredders have a safety mechanism that stops them working if the box is not in place. If the box breaks it will need to be replaced or the shredder won't work.

How often will you use your shredder?
If the shredder is in and out of the shed regularly, you’ll need one that’s easy to manoeuvre. Look for large wheels and comfortable handles and if weight is an issue, opt for an impact shredder which will be much lighter to lift and move.
If you’re planning on shredding away from the house at the end of the garden, check the length of the electric cable or factor in the need for an extension cord.
If storage space is limited, assess which type of shredder will better suit the room you have – most impact shredders are tall and thin, while roller models can be broken back down to the size of the collection box and should fit in a cupboard or under a shelf.

Is it safe?
Impact shredders should have a safety flap within the funnel to protect fingers from the blades but stability is also important. Check the shredder has firm feet so that it remains stable in use. A motor protection lock is also essential if the blades jam and a reset button will help ensure you only start the machine when it’s ready to go again.

Is it easy to look after and repair?
The blades on cheaper impact shredders can blunt quickly so make sure you can access them easily – most funnels swing open with the twist of a dial and all the machines in our test had reversible blades, so they last twice as long before they needed replacing. Check how easy it is to get new blades before you buy. Rotary shredders need the gap between the roller and the plate adjusting regularly, so ensure this is easy to do or your machine won't shred well.

Shredding with care
  • Ensure the shredder is standing firmly on a flat surface.
  • Always wear gloves, eye protection and ear defenders. 
  • Don’t put too much material in the funnel at once and put the thicker ends of branches in first if you can. 
  • As you shred, alternate fresh, wetter, and then dry material to prevent the machine jamming.
  • Never shred in the rain or in wet weather.
  • Clean out the shredder regularly and particularly after shredding sappy growth.

How we tested shredders

The BBC Gardeners' World Magazine reviews team tested different electric shredders for the same amount of time and with the same range of material - including woody branches and fresher growth and both straight and messier, branched stems. The shedders were assembled and the following criteria were used to calculate the scores, with equal weight given to each:

  • Assembly/storage: Assessed how easy the shredder is to set up, its size and weight, and also how easy it is to store.
  • Ease of use: Looked at funnel size, noise levels, blade adjustment, cable length, safety features, collection boxes or bags, and how easy it is to clear blockages.
  • Performance: Judged debris collection, blade efficiency and the quality of the final shreddings.
  • Value for money: Considered all of the above, plus quality and design, the RRP and length of warranty and availability of spare blades.

For more information on our testing process, see How we review


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This review was last updated in January 2023. We apologise if anything has changed in price or availability.

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