Best Chipper Shredder Reviews of 2019 (Gas or Electric?)

If you’re embarking on a serious garden tidy-up, getting the right kit will make your life much easier. A chipper shredder will make short work of twigs and branches, turning unwanted foliage into nutrient-rich mulch.

Here we review seven of the best chipper shredders out there today. We’ll take you through their features, and guide you through the questions to ask before you buy.

Best Chipper Shredder Reviews 2019

1.   WEN 41121 Rolling Electric Wood Chipper And Shredder

 

This cheerful looking shredder from WEN won’t be hard to find on a cloudy day – it’s bright orange and black. More importantly, its compact frame packs a hefty punch that will shred and chip your garden waste in seconds.

The power here comes from a 15-amp motor, capable of delivering over 8,000 cuts per minute. That’s an impressive 130 cuts per second.

There are two good quality seven-inch blades that rotate to chop up twigs, leaves and grass cuttings.  Those blades are reversible, and they can be sharpened too. Treat them with care, and you should never need to replace them.

WEN says the machine will handle branches up to 1.5 inches thick. We’ve found that performance is best if you stick to below an inch or so in diameter. Watch out, too, for sappy woods like sycamore. The moisture they contain can pose problems, and the machine may not shred them effectively.

At the other end of the spectrum, very thin twigs may escape those blades unscathed. If you’re looking to use the shredded material for mulch, though, they’ll be slender enough not to cause problems.

The foliage is fed through a slot at the top, not unlike a paper shredder. And it’s only wide enough to fit that maximum 1.5 inches. That might be frustrating if you find yourself with a branch that’s a little too wide. But it does mean you won’t be able to get over-ambitious and jam the mechanism.

You’ll find you need to keep up a steady pressure to feed the wood into the shredder. Get yourself a pair of gardening gloves to avoid injuring your hands.

There’s a decent sized hopper at the bottom to collect the shredded material. And the whole thing is on wheels, so you can move it around easily. If you want to stick your shredded waste into your compost bin, for example, it couldn’t be simpler.

Last but not least, this shredder comes with a collection bag and a two-year warranty. And as many of the parts can be replaced, it offers excellent value for its modest price tag.

What We Like

  • Sharp, good quality blades
  • Easy to maneuver and store
  • Two-year warranty and good availability of replacement parts

What We Don't Like

  • Best for smaller branches – anything over an inch in diameter is likely to cause problems
  • Doesn’t work well with sappy woods like sycamore
  • Needs pressure to keep feeding in the wood.

2.   GreatCircleUSA Gas Powered Multi-Function Wood Chipper Shredder (Our Top Recommended)

 

If you’re looking for a beast of a chipper and shredder, check out this option from GreatCircle USA. It’s fueled by gas, and you’ll get two to three hours of operation from a full 2.8-liter tank.

The 212cc motor will handle chunky branches up to three inches in diameter. And unlike many other shredders, the manufacturers’ recommended maximum is an accurate guide here. The auto-feed works well, so you won’t have to keep pushing in the branches as the machine does its work.

The clever design means it will also deal effectively with thinner twigs. Heftier branches go in through a side chute, while anything up to half an inch across slots in through the top.

There’s also an optional vacuum attachment. This clever gadget will suck up leaves and munch them straight up. It’s a great add-on for any garden with lots of trees.

And whichever function you’re using, the shredded material will be dispensed straight into a bag. The whole operation can be completed very neatly.

There’s a three-year warranty and the shredder is fully mobile, with robust polyurethane tires. All of this, and it also comes in a fantastic fire engine red! And it’s half the price of the Patriot model.

So is there anything not to like?

Well, we’ve heard a number of tales of shredders damaged in transit. Customer service has put right the problems, but that does mean the added hassle of contacting them. And you’ll be need to prepared to spend longer on assembly if you’re happy to install replacement parts yourself.

As a gas-powered shredder, it’s a bit noisier than electric, and there’s a bit of faffing with oil and fuel. If you can cope with that, though, you’ll be getting a high-performance shredder at a very reasonable price.

What We Like

  • Separate options for chipping thin and thick branches, and for shredding leaves
  • A powerful machine will munch through branches up to three inches across with ease
  • Bag attachment for neat operation

What We Don't Like

  • Watch out for damage in transit
  • You’ll need to store and refill gas and oil.

3.   PowerSmart PS10 Electric Garden Chipper/Shredder (Best Electric)

 

Like the WEN, this shredder from PowerSmart is also powered by a 15-amp motor. It even looks similar – the finish here is a striking red and black.

The blades spin at 8,000 revolutions a minute to chop your garden waste down to size.

Again, branches and foliage are fed into the shredder at the top. The maximum width here is slightly bigger than the WEN at 1 5/8ths of an inch. It deals with branches towards that upper limit well, but they’ll put more strain on the blades and motor. Mix them up with smaller twigs if you can.

Another advantage over the WEN is that this really sucks in the wood as you feed it through. But beware of wet foliage, and especially palm fronds. They can get tangled up in the blades and cause them to jam.

This is another lightweight shredder, so if you’re planning to perform serious tree surgery it won’t be the best option. But it works well for smaller branches, and has the advantage of being easy to move around.

It doesn’t come with a collection bag, but that needn’t be a problem. Maneuver it on its seven-inch wheels and position it where you want your mulch to end up. Then just feed in your garden waste, and fork over the results when you’re done.

The hopper has a knob to lock it while the shredder is in use. It also means that you can’t operate the shredder while it’s open. It’s an important safety feature that prevents any horrible accidents if you’re messing with the insides.

This isn’t the biggest shredder on the block, but that means it’s easy to store. You won’t need a large shed or outhouse to find it a home.

We’ve heard good things about PowerSmart’s customer service, and they commit to responding to queries within 24 hours. The shredder comes with a two-year warranty too.

What We Like

  • Powerful motor deals effectively with branches up to around 1½ inches in diameter
  • Compact and lightweight for easy maneuverability and storage
  • Highly-rated customer service and a two-year warranty

What We Don't Like

  • Leaves can get tangled in the blades, especially if they’re wet
  • No collection bag.

4.   Sun Joe CJ602E Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder (Best for the money)

 

If you prefer your shredders to bled into your garden, you might like the model CJ602E from Sun Joe. Available in classic green or soft grey, it has a decidedly more low-key look. But don’t be fooled – when it comes to performance, it’s every bit as dynamic.

It’s an update of Sun Joe’s bestselling CJ601E, and it looks pretty similar. The key difference here is the motor, which has been upgraded from 14 to 15 Amps.

The maximum diameter of the branches it will shred is accordingly slightly bigger. The CJ602E will cope with branches up to 1.57 inches across, as against 1.5 inches for its predecessor.

The reduction ratio is larger too – 17 to 1, compared to 16 to 1. In other words, expect your branches and leaves to be chopped into one-seventeenth of their original size. The result is a fine mulch that will look good whilst it’s feeding your flower beds.

The blades here turn more slowly than the PowerMate. They’re still pretty speedy, though, with up to 4,300 revolutions every minute. It’s good at drawing in the wood while it chops, so it’s easier on your hands than some others.

This is another compact and lightweight shredder, and its six-inch wheels mean it’s easy to move around your garden. There’s a stand to keep it in position. And the hopper has a locking knob for safety, meaning you can’t shred while it’s open.

When it comes to the hopper lid, the same design applies as with the other shredders reviewed so far. You’ll need to push the branches through a slot, so remove any small twigs sticking first. Get out your gardening gloves to avoid splinters in your fingers.

There’s no debris bag with this one. That means you’ll either need to shred on a spot you want to mulch, or buy a container yourself. Annoyingly, though, the design of the stand makes it difficult to fit a separate container underneath.

What We Like

  • Makes short work of branches up to 1.57 inches across
  • Good at drawing through the wood whilst chipping
  • Full 2-year warranty

What We Don't Like

  • No container included, and fitting one underneath can be tricky
  • No good for bigger branches.

5.   Patriot Products CSV-2515 Electric Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder

 

If you’re looking for a heavier duty shredder, this one from Patriot Products should make your shortlist.

It’s an altogether larger proposition than the trolley-shaped shredders, and it requires a bit of room. It measures 35 by 24 by 37 inches, and weighs in at a fairly hefty 95 pounds. It’s pricey too – ten times the price of the cheapest shredder on our list.

You’ll need more space to store it, but it’s still easy to move around on its large, sturdy wheels. And unlike many bigger shredders, this one plugs straight into your electricity supply. You won’t have to worry about fumes or storing flammable gas.

It handles branches just as easily as leaves, and there are no slots to post your garden waste through. Instead, just dump it in the top of the hopper.

The robust blades will chop branches of up to 2 ½ inches in diameter into coin shaped chunks. That will give you much more versatility than you’ll get with smaller shredders. You even get a pair of safety goggles to protect your eyes as you work.

A collection bag is included in the package, and the shredded material will be dispensed straight into it. Keep an eye on it whilst shredding, and stop the machine when the bag is full. If you keep going, it will clog up.

This is a big machine and it will vibrate when it’s in operation. It’s best used on a grass surface, but place flattened cardboard underneath it and it will cope with concrete.

And while it will shred thicker branches than models like the PowerSmart, it still has limits. The gap where the material is pulled into the blades is smaller than some shredders of this design. That means Y-shaped branches will still be a problem.

As it runs on electricity, it’s quieter than large gas shredders. It is, though, slightly less powerful. Avoid shredding damp garden waste if you can. It’s likely to stick, and cleaning the machine can be a time-consuming process.

What We Like

  • Will handle branches upwards of two inches across
  • Quiet and fume-free alternative to gas shredders
  • Collection bag and safety goggles are included as standard

What We Don't Like

  • Fairly big – you’ll need space to store it
  • Not as powerful as gas versions – avoid shredding damp material if possible
  • You’ll need deep pockets to afford this one.

6.   Earthwise GS70015 Electric Garden Chipper Shredder

 

The GS70015 shredder from Earthwise is a good option for intermediate shredding requirements. It will handle branches up to 1¾ inches thick, but is compact enough to work well where space is limited.

It comes with a detachable leaf chute to make it easier to load in foliage. And there’s a handy plastic tamper to push moist leaves into the cutting area.

If you want to chip wood, you’ll feed branches through a slot, as with the smaller shredders we’ve seen already. You’ll get best results if you stick to branches less than 1½ inches in diameter. And if you can dry them out first, you’ll find the job much easier.

There’s a safety switch to prevent the shredder from starting while the hopper is open. Beware, though – we’ve heard some reports that this can stop the shredder working when the hopper is shut too.

While the top of the switch is carefully protected, that’s not the case on the bottom. That means that debris can get in and interfere with the function. It’s possible to by-pass the switch if you’re handy enough to do it – but you’ll have to compromise on safety.

On the plus side, the major advantage of this design is the integrated compartment to catch the shredded material. Just pull out the drawer when you’ve finished shredding, and your mulch is ready to go.

It’s light enough to maneuver easily, and there are big wheels to help you do it. Place it near your garden waste for shredding, then move it to your flowerbeds and empty out the container. Just make sure you do that as soon as the container is full, or it will clog up.

It’s pretty quiet too, so you won’t annoy the neighbors.

What We Like

  • Detachable leaf chute and plastic tamper make it easier to shred large quantities of leaves
  • Integrated container to collect your mulch
  • Quiet operation

What We Don't Like

  • The safety switch can cut off the unit if it gets covered in debris
  • It will have a harder time with thicker branches and moist wood.

7.   Earthquake TAZZ 30520 Gas Powered Multi-Function Wood Chipper Shredder

 

The second gas-powered shredder to make our list, the TAZZ from Earthquake bears many similarities to the GreatCircleUSA version.

There’s another 212cc engine, which will also chew up branches up to three inches across. It uses a combination of blades and hammers to reduce the material to one-twentieth of its original size.

It has a similar design to its rival, with dedicated functions for thin and thick branches and for leaves. And there’s a detachable debris bag which, like the GreatCircleUSA shredder, collects material from the side.

So is there anything to distinguish between the two?

Well, the TAZZ is a similar shape, but doesn’t have the good looks of the GreatCircleUSA shredder. Its primary color is gray, and it has a green trim. It looks fine, but it won’t set the world alight.

It’s also far weightier – at 125 pounds, it’s almost a third as heavy again. Assembly is really a two-person job, and it’s not easy to move around. It’s not quite as reliable on thicker branches, and we’ve heard some complaints of missing screws and wheels falling off.

It’s about ten percent cheaper than its rival, though. If you’re looking for a reasonable level of power and want to watch your budget, it’s worth considering.

What We Like

  • Three function design for leaves and thick and thin branches
  • Detachable debris bag
  • Good value for a gas-powered shredder

What We Don't Like

  • Not so reliable on thicker branches
  • Very heavy
  • Wheels aren’t as robust as they could be.


Buying guide

chipper shredder reviews

Still not sure which of these is right for you? Work through the questions below to find the features you need for your garden.

What do you want to shred – or chip?

wood chipper reviews

This is the first and most important question to consider.

If you just need to dispose of debris from light pruning, go for a smaller shredder, like the WEN or PowerSmart.

If, on the other hand, you’ll be lopping off thicker branches, you’ll need something more powerful. Anything over about 1½ inches in diameter will benefit from a bigger machine like the Patriot or GreatCircleUSA.

And if you want to mulch leaves, consider something with a vacuum attachment or leaf chute. It will make the job far quicker and easier.

Gas or electric?

best electric chipper shredder

Most smaller shredders will be powered by electricity. But if you’re looking for something bigger, you’ll have the choice of gas or electric models.

Gas machines are generally more powerful than their electric counterparts. But they do have disadvantages.

They’re noisier for a start – so if you have neighbors close by, they might not be the best choice. And you’ll need to refuel and carry out routine maintenance. That means storing and using flammable liquids.

Lastly, gas-powered shredders emit fumes. While they won’t be particularly smelly in the open air, electric machines are undeniably cleaner and better for the environment.

How much space do you have to store your shredder?

best wood chipper

These machines can vary a lot in both size and weight, and they need to be protected from the elements. Check the dimensions before you make your final choice. The last thing you want is to invest in your shredder and then find you don’t have room to store it.

Options like the Sun Joe and WEN can be tucked away in a corner without too much difficulty. But you won’t want to lug around the 125-pound TAZZ. Wherever you store it, it will need to be close to where you’ll be shredding.

Get ready to shred!

We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to some of the best chipper shredders on the market today. Whether you want a machine to mulch Fall leaves or decimate thicker branches, there’s an option out there for you.

Our favorite is the heavy-duty shredder from GreatCircleUSA. Its reliability, robust build quality and striking good looks make it a winner. But if you’re looking for a machine to handle lighter loads, the PowerSmart is a great option.

Whichever chipper shredder you pick, you’ll benefit from a tidier garden and a ready supply of nutrients for your plants. We hope you enjoy the results!

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