Best garden shredder 2022: rid your yard of branches, twigs and leaves

Reduce branches and other twiggy waste with the best garden shredders of 2022

Bosch garden shredder
(Image credit: Bosch)

The best garden shedders of 2022 aren't ideal for disposing of bodies, no matter what the movies might make you think. But they're really great at getting rid of other things that are taking up space, like cuttings and thick branches up to 45mm in diameter.

In this guide, we've called in a cluster of well-received domestic models and put them through their paces using a variety of pruned vegetation. From compost-friendly models to powerful and aggressive machines, we've found the best of the best garden shredders that fit all budgets and garden types.

As we do when we're rating all types of garden gear, such as the best garden hoses, best secateurs, best garden shears or best pressure washers and best cordless lawn mowers, we've supplied some buying advice on what you should be looking out for in a garden shredder. This will help you find the right product for your needs.

While we're talking finding products for needs, the Amazon Prime Day sale is a great time to buy outdoor equipment like garden shredders at a reduced cost. Some of the best Amazon Prime Day deals we've seen in previous years have been on garden shredders, so consider holding fire on any purchase right now until we've seen what Amazon's 2022 super sale has to offer.

The best garden shredders 2022

Cobra QS2500 on white backgroundT3 Best Buy Award badge

(Image credit: Cobra)

1. Cobra QS2500

The best garden shredder for value and performance

Specifications

Weight: 26.9kgs
Power source: Mains
Cutting capacity: 40mm
Collection box: 50 litres

Reasons to buy

+
Great performance
+
Exceptionally quiet
+
Large collection box

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't cut larger branches all the way though

The Cobra QS2500 is our favourite garden shredder for performance, low noise level and price. Similar in both design and function to the popular Bosch AXT 25 TC, this drum shredder impresses in a number of ways but mostly on price.

This writer has used the Cobra QS2500 on a number of occasions and it has excelled every time. On at least two occasions, I fed it about 25 beech tree branches with full foliage one after another and it just kept on churning. This model accepts branches of up to 4cm in diameter though, in essence, it will swallow anything you can fit through the top-mounted portal. Just be sure to lop off any nubs and stalks beforehand.

Being of the drum variety, the Cobra is exceptionally quiet in operation – in fact it makes less noise than a cordless lawnmower. Its drum simply churns continuously, chucking the remnants of bushes and trees into its ample 50-litre collection box.

Granted, the fully-leafed beech branches I tested it with remained in one mangled piece as opposed to being completely cut all the way through, but that didn’t bother me because I wasn’t considering using the mulched results as garden fertiliser. Instead I simply poured the contents into my garden waste bin. If you’re after a top-performing garden shredder that is almost as quiet as a field mouse while being relatively cheap to buy, then this one is a shoo-in.

Bosch AXT 25 TC on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

2. Bosch AXT 25 TC

The best high-end garden shredder

Specifications

Weight: 30.5kgs
Power source: Mains
Cutting capacity: 45mm
Collection box: 53 litres

Reasons to buy

+
Superbly efficient
+
Very quiet
+
Well designed

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy and ungainly
-
Not cheap

Like an enormous masticating juicer, this quiet, electric-powered 2,500 watt turbine model uses a bladed drum that spins relatively slowly under massive torque, trapping, crushing and cutting branches up to 45mm in diameter against a solid plate.

The Bosch handles both wood and leafy materials, as was amply demonstrated when I fed it half a fig tree, green fruit and all. It chopped and crushed the whole thing into tiny pieces and deposited them into the box below ready for easy disposal in the garden bin or compost heap – some shredding aficionados will even spread the nutritious remains over flowerbeds.

Rather considerately of Bosch, this heavyweight model comes ready-built with the wheels already attached, so all you need to do is clip in the top hopper, ensure the 53-litre collection box is properly engaged, switch it on and shred. The top of the chute has a slightly wider access than others in this roundup and that makes it generally easier to stuff in branches of a more unwieldy nature, while the included tamper helps coax mutinous vegetation. 

If you have a mixture of both wood and leaves in your garden, this Bosch shredder is a great choice. It justifies its slightly higher price by being extremely effective, easy to use and quiet enough to not disturb the neighbours. To see how this shredder fares against a top rival product, take a look at our Bosch AXT 25 TC vs Einhell GH-KS 2440 (opens in new tab) comparison feature.

Einhell Electric Shredder GC-KS 2540 on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Einhell)

3. Einhell Electric Shredder GC-KS 2540

An efficient budget-priced option for seasonal use

Specifications

Weight: 13.5kgs
Motor: 2,500 W
Power source: Mains
Cutting capacity: 40mm
Collection box: No

Reasons to buy

+
Good price
+
Surprisingly effective
+
Easy to manoeuvre

Reasons to avoid

-
Really noisy
-
Requires some assembly

You’re not going to get Bosch-like build quality at this price but what you will get is an extremely efficient multi-talented impact shredder that mulches both woody and leafy material in a thrice. Just be sure to keep tree branches below the 45mm maximum diameter and snip off any extraneous branches or they won’t fit through the feeder portal.

The 2,500-watt Einhell uses a pair of fast spinning blade to cut through vegetation but larger pieces of hardwood and too many leaves will likely block the chute which means reaching for the included tamper. It’s quite a scary machine, mind, since it literally slices through branches in a violent and exceedingly noisy manner. Thankfully, a motor circuit breaker switch cuts in to protect it from overloading.

The Einhell performed surprisingly well when fed a pile of long, thick rose branches, chopping the whole lot up into small 5mm pieces with only the occasional hiccup. Although it’s equipped with a discharge funnel, you will need to place a sheet of tarpaulin or a large plastic trug underneath the chute to catch all the clippings. If you only do occasional pruning and don’t require the brute force of a Bosch or Cobra, then this is a good budget-priced starting point.

Bosch AXT Rapid 2200 on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

4. Bosch AXT Rapid 2200

Another cheaper Bosch classic

Specifications

Weight: 12kgs
Power source: Mains
Cutting capacity: 40mm
Collection box: No

Reasons to buy

+
Efficient chopper
+
Easy to manoeuvre
+
Cheap

Reasons to avoid

-
No collection box

If you can’t afford the Cobra QS2500 or Bosch AXT 25 TC, give this cheaper but equally useful alternative a whirl. It’s a lot more mobile for start though you will need a box, tarpaulin or garden trug underneath it to collect the ejected detritus.

The Rapid 2200 uses tough laser-cut blades to slice through vegetation (preferably of the harder, drier variety) in a thrice. It’ll happily swallow branches up to 40mm in diameter though you may need to trim a few stems in order to feed those branches of a more ungainly persuasion into the hopper.

This model is of the impact variety which means it’s noisy in operation. It works well with dry canes and most tree branches but not so well with fibrous materials which can occasionally jam up the aperture. Still, for the price it’s a very decent performer indeed. You can compare this garden shredder to the other top-rated Bosch unit in this guide in our Bosch AXT 25 TC vs Bosch AXT Rapid 2200 (opens in new tab) comparison feature.

Ryobi RSH3045U 3000W Silent Impact Shredder on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Ryobi)

5. Ryobi RSH3045U 3000W Silent Impact Shredder

A powerful garden shredder with large collection bin

Specifications

Brand: Ryobi
Maximum power: 3000W
Container size: 55L
Power source: AC
Colour: Hyper Green

Reasons to buy

+
Mid-tier price point
+
Big 3000W shredding power
+
Large 55L collection bin

Reasons to avoid

-
Not a looker

This model offers big shredding power and a large 55-litre collection bin. With 3000 watts of cutting power, the Ryobi RSH3045U 3000W has got enough grunt to go through all but the largest of garden detritus, with two reversible, hardened steel blades designed to shred branches, brambles and shrubs to a fine mulch.

The only real down side of this shredder is how it looks, which is not particularly premium. Also, it’s not exactly ‘silent’ as the ad suggests. Nevertheless, the Ryobi delivers plenty of bang for your buck, mainly due to the amount of power it offers.

Stihl GHE 355 on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Stihl)

6. Stihl GHE 355

Great multi-functional model for all garden materials

Specifications

Weight: 30kgs
Power source: Mains
Cutting capacity: 35mm
Collection box: No

Reasons to buy

+
Tackles both woody and leafy stuff
+
Stihl efficiency and build
+
Easy to move around

Reasons to avoid

-
Extremely tall
-
No chippings collection box
-
Makes quite a racket

Got a garden with a mixture of hard-wooded trees, firs, shrubs and rubbery plants? Step right this way because this tall-standing, multi-functional model does the lot by dint of a unique ‘blade rotation reversal system’ that deals with both hard and soft materials. 

For leaves, twigs and palm fronds, flick the switch on the front and shove some greenery into the large opening. The blades spin at high speed ripping everything to shreds. Likewise, when it comes to the harder stuff, turn the knob to the branch setting, feed in anything up to 35mm in diameter and out comes a pile of tiny wood chippings ready for the compost heap, the borders or the green wheelie bin.

This model doesn’t come with a collection box though it does at least feature a guard hood. I’d advise placing a garden tarpaulin underneath the exit chute so you don’t end up with a garden full of chippings and mulched leaves.

The Stihl GHE 355 is an extremely efficient shredder-cum-chipper but it costs a lot of wonga and, at 1.41 metres, is exceedingly tall. But, hey, it’s a Stihl so you can safely expect it to shred till the cows come home.

DIRTY PRO TOOLS GARDEN SHREDDER on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Dirty Pro)

7. Dirty Pro Tools Garden Shredder

A lot of shredding power for very little money

Specifications

Weight: 15kgs
Power source: Mains
Cutting capacity: 40mm
Collection box: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Cheap yet effective
+
Has collection box
+
Great for heavy loads and detritus

Reasons to avoid

-
Blades blunt quickly

This 'dirty' garden shredder may or may not be 'pro' but it is equipped with a powerful 2,500 watt engine that should be able to shred most things short of a crowbar. Users queue up to applaud the way this cheap ’n’ chunky chaff chewer gulps down branches up to 40cm in diameter and then farts them out into a large 50-litre box as little wooden chips. 

Ironically, the more seemingly lightweight likes of leaves can cause it to choke, splutter and come to a halt, so stick to the heavy stuff. You can clear blockages easily enough by unscrewing a knob and gaining access to the blades. I'd advise doing this with the machine switched off, but hey, it's a free country. 

At this price, you’re not going to be getting the best quality components and, sure enough, one common online complaint with this shredder is that its blades blunt quickly. On the other hand (which I thankfully still have), to get something that shreds as well as this for a shade under £100 is quite a rare treat.

Makita UD2500 on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

8. Makita UD2500

Keenly-priced shredder with collection box

Specifications

Weight: 27.6kgs
Power source: Mains
Cutting capacity: 45mm
Collection box: 67 litres

Reasons to buy

+
Pleasingly quiet
+
Large collection box
+
Well built

Reasons to avoid

-
Struggles with moist materials
-
Pretty damn heavy

This smart-looking electric model is about the same size and weight as the Bosch and Cobra, and just as well built, though some assembly is required, including fitting the wheels.

However, it doesn’t tackle as many different materials as the Bosch and Cobra, and struggles with anything that has high moisture content like large leaves and soft springy branches. I fed it the same type of rose branches that the cheap Einhell model made light work of and it jammed up a few times requiring me to hit the reverse button to free up some of the leafy congestion.

It also doesn’t come with a tamper which would have felt somewhat safer than using a stick to coax in some of the more rebellious stuff. It eventually swallowed the lot but closer inspection of the huge 67-litre collection bin revealed that it had simply crushed rather than cut the branches, which meant I wasn’t able to spread the remnants over the flowerbeds.

However, it made a much better fist of dealing with a couple of 30mm hardwood branches once I'd cut off a few gnarly twigs to get the branch through the small hopper opening. It was pretty quiet, too, which seemed to please the neighbours.

Titan Pro 15HP Petrol Chipper Shredder Mulcher on white backgroundT3 Approved badge

9. Titan Pro 15HP Petrol Chipper Shredder Mulcher

Multi-talented, petrol-powered behemoth

Specifications

Weight: 103kgs
Power source: Petrol
Cutting capacity: 75mm
Collection box: No

Reasons to buy

+
Chips large branches
+
Tackles most foliage
+
Lots of power

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Huge and extremely heavy
-
Ear-shatteringly noisy

An altogether more serious proposition, this costly, petrol-driven brute annihilates anything up to 75mm in diameter. We’re talking proper tree branches here, the kind of stuff other domestic shredders fear. 

Just be sure you’re fit enough and have a decent sized outhouse or shed to store it in because, despite having wheels, the machine weighs 103kgs and the feed hopper is about head height. Also, it spits everything directly on to the ground so your best bet is to use a tarpaulin to collect all the chippings or you’ll make a right old mess of the lawn.

The Titan comes with two main portals. The top chute accommodates leaves and twigs up to 10mm and uses a ‘flail arm’ system to mulch them into tiny fragments. However, look to the side and there’s a circular portal for branches up to 75mm diameter: simply shove in a branch and out comes a pile of wood chippings of near sawdust consistency. Unfortunately, the side chute only accepts straight branches so some sawing will inevitably be required.

The downside to all of this is that the Titan is huge, heavy, ugly and noisy and it uses an electric-start 15hp four-stroke engine that will, at times, require some TLC. If you can stand the racket, this beaver of the shredding community is right up your garden path.

How to buy the best garden shredder for you 

Let’s cut to the chase. These domestic shredders aren’t like those machines the council uses when pruning trees in the street, or like the one Peter Stormare feeds Steve Buscemi into in that memorable scene from Fargo

Most of the models here won’t handle anything thicker than 45mm in diameter so you can forget stuffing in a tree trunk. You will also need to snip off stiff twigs and large stubby bits or the branch simply won’t fit through the hopper’s opening slot. Think hard about whether you really need a shredder in the first place and whether you have room. Many people will likely only use it a couple of times a year and the rest of the time they’ll need somewhere under cover to store it.

There are two main types of shredder: impact and drum. Impact shredders use sharp, fast-spinning blades to cut into garden waste and can process a wider variety of materials, including most hard wood branches and fresh, moist cuttings and leaves. However, they are extremely noisy and their blades will eventually blunt if used excessively. They can also jam up if asked to process too much at a time.

Drum (or quiet) shredders tend to crush the material using a slow rotating, bladed wheel that traps plant matter against a solid plate before cutting it into little pieces. Drum shredders make far less noise but aren’t considered as effective at dealing with leafy materials.

Most shredders are equipped with a reverse switch to release trapped vegetation (it happens a lot) and some are equipped with a handy tamper to help force undisciplined branches into the portal of death. 

Be careful how you insert branches as they jiggle about violently while they’re being swallowed. If it’s a thorn-covered branch and you’re holding on to it, lacerations are a very real risk. You’re advised to wear gloves and goggles or sunglasses. A stylish, hi-viz jacket is optional.

Derek (aka Delbert, Delvis, Delphinium, Delboy etc) specialises in home and outdoor wares, from coffee machines, white appliances and vacs to drones, garden gear and BBQs. He has been writing for more years than anyone can remember, starting at the legendary Time Out magazine – the original, London version – on a typewriter! He now writes for T3 between playing drums with his bandmates in Red Box (redboxmusic). 

With contributions from