The Best Electric Garden Shredder – 2019
Turning leaves and branches into useful compost or mulch with an electric garden shredder is a great eco-friendly way to clean up your yard.
Collecting this debris in garbage bags and hauling away is not only time consuming but can be costly.
A chipper or shredder can eliminate this process and allow you to utilize nature’s debris to enhance your garden or landscape.
There are 2 different types of garden shredder available - the "string" type resembles an upside-down weed wacker inside a funnel.
PROS (STRING TYPE):
CONS (STRING TYPE):
The other type of shredder uses a blade, or multiple blades.
PROS (BLADE TYPE):
CONS (BLADE TYPE):
We’ve researched the market and reviewed 5 of the most popular garden shredders to help you choose a machine that will fulfil your yard work needs.
Our current favourite shredder is the Sun Joe SDJ616. This model is a good value, lightweight string-type shredder, with a 13-amp motor, and 12" cutting diameter.
The Best Electric Garden Shredder In 2018 - Comparison
#1 - Sun Joe SDJ616 - Our Choice
In our opinion, the Sun Joe SDJ616 is the best electric garden shredder for the money. We believe it has everything most people will ever need in a shredder, at a reasonable price.
Being a string type shredder, this is similar in concept to an upside-down weed wacker inside a funnel. The SDJ616 is ideal for leaves, bark and smaller branches. If your needs are more heavy-duty than this, other shredders may be better for you.
Build quality seems good, especially for a lower-priced shredder such as this.
The shredder is very light weight, at only 13lb - one of the lightest we have seen.
Assembly is straightforward, it shouldn't take any longer than 10 minutes before you're ready to go.
The 13-amp motor is powerful enough for most cases - if you need much more power than this, you'll need to invest much more money in a gasoline shredder - in fact, you can typically buy this shredder for less than what a gas model would cost to rent for the weekend.
You can adjust how fine or coarse you want the garden waste chopped up - there's an adjustment lever on the side.
Sun Joe claim a maximum mulching ratio of 16:1, which means one bag of mulch for every 16 bags of garden waste fed into the machine. In practice, and similar to most shredders, you're unlikely to achieve figures close to this, but the mulch will still take up much less space than the leaves and branches you start with.
Similarly, the SDJ616 is claimed to process up to 55 gallons of leaves per minute. We suspect claims like this made by Sun Joe and other manufacturers are based on laboratory testing in ideal conditions. In practice, the garden debris you are mulching will be awkwardly shaped, may have to be pre-cut to fit in the shredder, and overall we'd be surprised if anyone in the real world got close to these figures.
This shredder copes really well with leaves (the drier the leaves are, the better), and small branches. It struggles with damp material (the chute gets clogged), and heavier / thicker branches will cause the string to wear out quickly.
This shredder has a two-year warranty for residential use.
Some users have reported problems with the telescopic legs coming loose, resulting in the shredder dropping down during use, as the motor causes quite a bit of vibration. If you make sure the leg adjustment is screwed in tightly, you should avoid this problem.
A similar problem is the coarse / fine adjustment lever - vibration can make this move of it's own accord. If you suffer this problem, taping the lever in the correct position should fix it.
As mentioned above, and like other string-type shredders, the string can wear out quickly if you try to shred heavy or thick branches. Be aware of the limitations of this type of shredder; it may be necessary to spend more money on a bladed shredder.
In common with other shredders, there will be a lot of dust. Safety equipment such as eye protection, hearing protection, gloves and a breathing mask are essential. Sun Joe have tried to reduce the dust problem by careful routing of the air flow, but you (and your immediate surroundings) will still get covered in dust.
WE DON'T LIKE:
#2 - WORX WG430
At 53 gallons per minute, the mulch output is highly efficient and can meet any of your lawn clean up needs.
This product has two unique features. The first is the flex-a-line bladeless system it uses for creating mulch. As opposed to dangerous metal blades, it utilizes common, heavy duty line normally used for grass trimmers.
It also operates with a dust reducing and clean air cooling motor system.
- [53 GALLONS/MIN] That’s right, the 13.0 Amp motor mulches up to 53 Gallons of leaves per minute
- [RIGHT INTO THE BAG] Disposes of leaves and debris into a bag you can attach beneath (bag not included)
- [11:1 MULCH RATIO] That’s 11 bags chopped down into 1, all due to the innovative blade-less Flex-a-Line mulching system
#3 - Sun Joe CJ601E
The Sun Joe CJ601E Wood Chipper/Shredder is a great performer, considering its budget price. It is not going to compete with shredders in the $200+ range, or gasoline shredders.
However, it is one of the cheapest blade-type shredders we have seen.
The 14-amp motor provides plenty of power.
It accepts limbs and sticks up to 1 ½" in diameter (though in practice it works best if you keep the size under 3/4") and produces wooden mulch.
Unlike the SDJ616, this shredder doesn't have any way for the user to adjust mulch size.
The machine is mobile, extremely lightweight and comes backed by a 2 year warranty.
- Questions, Text 563563 to chat directly with a Sun Joe expert
- POWERFUL: 14 amp motor effectively chips and shreds branches up to 1. 5-inches thick. No load speed is 4300 rpm
- MULCHING: Ideal for turning branches and twigs into nutrient-rich garden mulch, reducing your yard waste up to 1/16th its original size
#4 - Eco-Shredder ES1600
This shredder is usually quite a bit more expensive than the previous shredders, but operates an impressive triple action mulching/cutting system.This 3 cycle process produces consistent, uniform results every time.
Extra cutting blades are included with the Eco-Shredder ES1600 and the 14 amp motor requires no gasoline, just electric power.
A three way feeder makes loading quick and 7 in wheels allow the unit to be moved about.
An important, built in security feature shuts the unit off in the event of a jam.
This shredder has a 12 month warranty.
#5 - Flowtron LE-900
The lightweight (17lb), portable design allows you to move it around your lawn easily.
The basic shred and spread operation can quickly transform garden or yard waste into mulch that is rich in nutrients.
The LE-900 also has specialized settings for the various types of debris, ranging from fine to coarse.
- 17 pounds; limited one-year warranty
There were no recalls listed for any of the garden shredders mentioned here at the time of writing (October 2017). However, it's always a good idea to check the latest information at the Consumer Product Safety Commission website before buying any large, expensive or potentially dangerous product.
Do you own any of the garden shredders mentioned here? Did you choose a different one? Let us know in the comments!