Best Chipper Shredder for Composting

The Best Chipper Shredder for Composting Yard Waste

Ian Mutuli
Updated on

Are you tired of manually shredding and chipping yard waste into smaller pieces? Getting rid of the leaves, twigs, and debris crowding your garden or landscape can be tedious. However, you can ease this process with the best chipper shredder for composting.

The cost of regularly renting a chipper shredder will exceed that of buying one after a while. This post reviews the best gas and electric chipper shredders on the market. Let's get started!

What Is a Chipper Shredder?

As the name suggests, a chipper shredder is a machine built for chopping, shredding, and grinding organic waste into smaller sizes. It's a valuable tool to have when you are composting because they help accelerate the process. Smaller pieces of branches, leaves, and debris will compost faster than larger pieces.

Did you know that you can reduce water usage in your yard using mulch? Even if you don't need compost or mulch, a chipper shredder can still help reduce the size of waste to help you dispose of it more conveniently. Now that we've defined chipper shredders let's look at the best ones you can buy.

1. GARDENBEAUT Wood Chipper Shredder

GARDENBEAUT S3 Wood Chipper Shredder, 7 HP 212cc...
  • This Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher design has a Reduction Ratio...
  • Built to be compact and lighter than other steel chippers, this...
  • This Chippers powerful recoil starting 7HP Horizontal 4-stroke...
  • Always operate according to directions outlined in the user...
  • Use for Forestry, Gardens, Landscaping or Green Waste Recycling...

This GARDENBEAUT unit is the best gas chipper shredders on the market. It offers a powerful and reliable performance that can help manage yard waste for years. The engine is strong enough to overwhelm a garden's tree branches, limbs, and leaves.

One thing I love about this compost shredder is its sleek design. It has an ergonomic handle for pushing the shredder to where I need it. The maximum capacity for the branches I can feed into the hopper is 3 inches wide. Collecting mulch will be easy because this unit has an adjustable chute.

Image Credits: ebay.com

You can trust that this machine is durable courtesy of the reinforced steel housing, which is designed to withstand the rigors of landscaping and yard work. The wheels are large to make it easy to maneuver this shredder through uneven yards and gardens.

Pros:

  • Compact design
  • It has peek doors for checking the blades
  • Maneuverable
  • Powerful engine
  • Clear assembly instructions

Cons:

  • Some bolts are hard to set during assembly

2. Landworks Wood Chipper Shredder

Sale
Landworks Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher Super Heavy...
  • This 3-in-1 wood chipper shredder mulcher design has a reduction...
  • The slanted housing design reduces jams, unlike other chippers,...
  • This Chippers powerful recoil starting 7HP horizontal 4-stroke...
  • Always operate according to the directions outlined in the user...
  • Use for forestry, gardens, landscaping or green waste recycling...

If you prefer gas models to electric ones, here's another chipper you should check out. This 3-in-1 chipper shredder mulcher gave me a comprehensive solution to multiple yard problems. Not only is it ideal for chipping wood and shredding branches, but it's also ideal for mulching leaves and debris for compost.

The Landworks Wood Chipper Shredder is built to work with a vacuum attachment and collection bag. However, these parts are sold separately, so I had to throw in some extra bucks for the added convenience. This model can also attach to a tow bark kit for hooking up an ATV, small tractor, or lawn mower for more versatility.

Image Credits: walmart.com

This unit is among the best chipper shredders for composting because it comes with a 3-year warranty. This means that you'll be covered in case your machine arrives faulty.

Pros:

  • Easy start
  • Powerful gas engine
  • Large tires for easy maneuvers
  • Large tank capacity

Cons:

  • Accessories come with extra charges

3. EARTHQUAKE Chipper Shredder

EARTHQUAKE Chipper Shredder K33,33964 Heavy Duty 301cc,...
  • DEPENDABLE – Featuring a powerful 301cc 4 Cycle Viper Engine;...
  • EASY-TO-USE – This Chipper Shredder makes quick work of...
  • POWERFUL CHIPPING – Strong enough to chip branches up to 3”...
  • WASTE-REDUCING SHREDDING- Smaller twigs and leaves are placed in...
  • CONVENIENT SIZE– Measuring at 29.9" wide by 29. 9" long, the...

Another gas-powered chipper shredder worth your consideration is this one by Earthquake. The hopper on this machine is 34 inches high, reducing the need to bend over to feed yard waste into the chute. It comes with an easy-starting but powerful engine that packs enough juice to chip branches as thick as 3 inches in diameter.

This gas chipper shredder also features airless wheels to eliminate the risk of flat tires. As a result, I can push this machine to where I need it, whether the terrain is friendly or not. Getting the shredded garden waste to my desired location isn't a hassle because the machine attaches to a debris bag that collects the mulch. The Dock-and-Locking knob prevents the bag from accidentally detaching from the machine as I work.

Image Credits: homedepot.com

Thanks to the small footprint of the Earthquake gas-powered shredder, I can easily store it in my shed or garage without taking up a lot of space. This also makes it ideal for carrying in my car, which is useful for people who provide landscaping services.

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Chews through branches with ease
  • Not noisy
  • Convenient debris bag

Cons:

  • It takes a strong pull to start the engine 

4. Superhandy Wood Chipper Shredder

SuperHandy Mini Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher Heavy...
  • EFFFICIENT PERFORMANCE - This Mini Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher...
  • POWERFUL - This Chippers powerful recoil starting 7HP Horizontal...
  • UNIQUE DESIGN - Built to be compact and lighter than other steel...
  • SAFETY - Always operate according to directions outlined in the...
  • BEST APPLICATION - Use for Forestry, Gardens, Landscaping or...

Whenever you need to deal with leaves and tree branches in your yard, the best chipper shredder you can use is the Superhandy Wood Chipper Shredder. It might seem small, but it is a powerful machine with a high reduction ratio. In high volumes, this chipper shredder can do three things; chip, shred, and mulch leaves and branches.

The chute is large enough to take in branches, debris, and limbs of up to 3-inches in diameter. It delivers a robust performance thanks to the 7HP gas-powered engine. I only needed about 0.7 gallons of unleaded gasoline to operate this chipper shredder. It's worth noting that ethanol isn't suitable for this machine.

Image Credits: greatcircleus.com

When I compare this unit with other chipper shredders, I noticed it's more compact and lightweight. This is because it was built with portability in mind. As such, I can easily take it where I need to without getting quickly exhausted. Unfortunately, there are materials that I can't put in this shredder, like pine cones, palm fronds, vines, and fresh greens.

Pros:

  • Durable build
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Powerful performance
  • Easy to use
  • Versatile functions

Cons:

  • Jams often
  • You'll need to disassemble it to unclog the jam

5. GreatCircleUSA Wood Chipper Shredder

GreatCircleUSA Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher Heavy Duty...
  • MULTI-FUNCTION CAPABILITY - This 3-in-1 Wood Chipper Shredder...
  • POWERFUL - This Chippers powerful recoil starting 7HP Horizontal...
  • EFFICIENT DESIGN - Hookup your favorite: ATV, lawn mower or small...
  • SAFETY - Always operate according to directions outlined in the...
  • BEST APPLICATION - Use for Forestry, Gardens, Landscaping or...

Here's another multifunctional option among gas-powered shredders. The GreatCircleUSA Wood Chipper Shredder offers 3-in-1 functionality as a shredder, chipper, and mulcher. It features a high reduction ratio of 15:1, allowing it to cut down branches and limbs as large as 3 inches in diameter.

Image Credits: walmart.com

I can attach a leaf vacuum kit to this machine for mulching. It's also compatible with an ATV, lawn mower, or small tractor, allowing me to use it more diversely for yard work. The downside is that the vacuum and tow bar kits are sold separately, so I had to pay extra to get them.

Something else that makes this machine potentially the best chipper shredder for composting is its EPA/CARB certification. This means I can use it to build firebreaks and prevent fires. This unit is excellent for any garden or landscaping, and forestry.

Pros:

  • Solid construction
  • 3-in-1 function
  • Easy to use
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Compatible with optional vacuum kit

Cons:

  • Noisy performance
  • Accessories are sold separately

6. Earthwise Electric Chipper Shredder

Sale
Earthwise GS70015 15-Amp Garden Corded Electric...
  • Powerful mulcher wood chipper with a 15-amp electric motor to...
  • Safety shutoff with quick re-set button: When overloaded the...
  • Chute and tamper tool to keep your hands free and safe from the...
  • Powerful 15-amp motor requires 12-guage 50ft extension cord (cord...
  • Is not intended for leaves or fibrous plants like corn stalks

The Earthwise Electric Chipper Shredder is the best electric wood chipper shredder you can buy. It features a powerful electric motor that offers gas-like cutting power for an efficient chipping or shredding session. It makes cleaning up my yard a more straightforward task that I can finish quickly.

The 15-amp motor enables this shredder to handle branches 1.75 inches thick. It rotates the durable steel blades at a speed of 4500RPM, ensuring this unit can shred, chip, and mulch yard waste without hassle. If you are all about using clean energy, this unit is better than a gas-powered model.

Image Credits: homedepot.com

Thanks to the sleek, lightweight design of the Earthwise electric chipper shredder, I can store it without rearranging your entire garage. Additionally, the rear wheels allow me to push this unit to where the yard waste is, so I don't need to carry it. The package includes a 10.5-gallon collection bin for easy bagging and transporting yard debris.

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • It comes with safety features
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Powerful motor
  • Compact design

Cons:

  • Clogs when shredding green leaves

7. PowerSmart Electric Chipper Shredder

Sale
PowerSmart PS10 15-Amp Electric Garden Chipper/Shredder...
  • 【Silence & Long-Life】 Powerful 15 Amp brushless motor...
  • 【Shredder for Composting】 PowerSmart electric wood chipper...
  • 【Lightweight and High Manipulable】 the compact design with...
  • 【Safety Hopper Locking Knob Design】 The Safety hopper locking...
  • 【Customer Satisfication】 PowerSmart is always aiming on...

PowerSmart is a brand that has been developing outdoor tools for more than a decade. That's why this electric chipper shredder is among the best your money can buy. Featuring a brushless induction motor, this leaf shredder can deliver a noiseless but powerful performance that leaves your garden or yard clean. It'll transform lawn clippings, branches, and foliage into nutrient-rich garden mulch.

Image Credits: lowes.com

Inside this unit are two 7-inch blades that are durable and sharp enough to chip and shred what the garden throws at them. One of the challenges of electric shredders is that they are prone to overloading issues. Fortunately, this shredder comes with overload protection which prevents the unit from overloading by automatically switching the motor off. This ensures the unit lasts as long as possible without developing performance problems.

The chances of injuring my hands while working with this shredder are low because it features a safety hopper that turns the motor off while it remains open. This means my hands are safe from harm when feeding yard waste into this unit or cleaning the blades.

Pros:

  • Stylish appearance
  • Easy to assemble
  • Easy to use
  • Maneuverable
  • Hand safety
  • Overload prevention

Cons:

  • Not great for leaves

8. WEN Rolling Electric Wood Chipper Shredder

WEN 41121 15-Amp Rolling Electric Wood Chipper and...
  • Turn your excess lawn clippings, twigs and foliage into...
  • Shred sticks and branches up to 1.5 inches in diameter with ease
  • 15-Amp motor provides up to 8000 cuts per minute (over 130 cuts...
  • Internal safety mechanism automatically prevents startups when...

Another electric shredder worth the money is the WEN Electric Chipper Shredder. It features a powerful 15-amp motor and a reduction ratio of 17:1, making it an excellent tool for shredding branches and yard debris. It will easily cut down branches as thick as 1.5 inches. The two 7-inch blades rotate at a speed of 8000RPM to help me clear out yard waste as quickly as possible.

Image Source: wenproducts.com

Unlike gas-powered models, this electric unit doesn't require much maintenance. I don't have to change air filters, spark plugs, or carburetors. Another notable difference between this electric shredder and a gas chipper shredder is the ease of starting the motor. Say goodbye to pulling chords and say hello to a quick start flip.

Moving this unit across my yard or garden was a breeze thanks to the two rear wheels and ergonomic handle. Once I reach the debris I want to shred, the machine stands upright, supported by a bar to keep it stable as I work.

Pros:

  • Quick start switch
  • Minimal maintenance required
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Powerful motor

Cons:

  • Replacing the blades is challenging

9. ENGINDOT Wood Chipper Shredder

ENGINDOT Electric Wood Chipper, 15Amp Power Chipper...
  • ▲POWERFUL & DURABLE - The wood chipper shredder is equipped...
  • ▲HIGH EFFICIENCY - 1.73 inches maximum cutting diameter and...
  • ▲LOW NOISE - The metal planetary gearbox and quiet motor have...
  • ▲ANTI-CLOGGING SYSTEM - The anti-clogging and reversible blade...
  • ▲SAFETY & COMPACT - The storage slot of the electric shredder...

The next wood chipper we'll review is the ENGINDOT Wood Chipper Shredder. This electric unit comes with a 15-amp motor that controls a seven-tooth blade stronger than regular blades. It packs enough power to easily shred and chip larger chunks of wood and branches to a more manageable size.

This wood chipper shredder comes with a large collection bag that can hold up to 60 liters of waste. As a result, I don't have to keep emptying it every few hours, and I can work longer without breaks. You should use this model for wood and branches rather than vines and green leaves since the latter can lead to clogging.

Image Credits: pricepulp.app

One advantage of electric chipper shredders is that they don't need to be loud. This one is designed for silent operation and doesn't interrupt my family or neighbors with motor noise. The blade in this shredder has a reversible design which helps reduce clogging issues. A storage compartment on this shredder can be used to hold my safety gear or tools.

Pros:

  • Silent operation
  • Large collection bin
  • Safety features
  • Fair price

Cons:

  • Spare parts are unavailable

10. Sun Joe Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder

Sale
Sun Joe CJ601E Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder, 14-Amp,...
  • Questions, Text 563563 to chat directly with a Sun Joe expert
  • POWERFUL: 14 amp motor effectively chips and shreds branches up...
  • MULCHING: Ideal for turning branches and twigs into nutrient-rich...
  • PORTABLE: 6-inch wheels for easy portability
  • SAFETY HOPPER: Locking knob prevents the motor from operating...

With a cutting speed of 4,300 RPM, the Sun Joe Electric Chipper Shredder is one of the fastest ways to make mulch from yard and garden waste. After reading the instruction manual, operating this machine was easy because the controls are buttons. There's a knob that activates the safety hopper function, preventing the motor and blades from running while the hopper is open.

Image Credits: lowes.com

A reset button allows you to save the machine from damage in case of an electrical overload. This shredder features a high reduction ratio of 16:1, making it an ideal choice for minimizing leaves, branches, and limbs to smaller sizes. Alternatively, you can prepare mulch for your garden using the best mulching lawn mower.

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Great customer service
  • Safety lock
  • Lightweight build

Cons:

  • Not ideal for shredding piles of green leaves

What Are the Types of Chipper Shredders?

Chipper shredders come in two main types; gas-powered and electric models. Each model has its advantages and drawbacks, and we'll discuss that below.

1. Gas Powered Chipper Shredders

Gas chipper shredders are the most popular choice among gardeners and landscapers. They provide a more powerful performance than electric shredders. These shredders have a bulky build and weigh much more than their electric counterparts. Generally, these shredders are the best for tackling larger branches and tree limbs because of the amount of power they pack.

Image Credits: grit.com

Gas shredders are so powerful that they can chip branches 1 to 2 inches thick without hassle. Another advantage these shredders have over electric shredders is that they don't require an extension cord to function and are, therefore, the better option if you can't access an electric power source.

Unfortunately, gas shredders are loud and noisy because of the engine. So, electric shredders are the better choice if you'd like to keep your surroundings quiet while working in the yard. Since these models are usually large and bulky, they are heavy to lift and carry.

2. Electric Chipper Shredders

Electric shredders require an electric power source for them to operate. These units don't have an engine; instead, they use a motor to run the shredding blades. Electric shredders tend to have a smaller capacity and are better suited for chipping small branches and piles of dry leaves.

Electric models are much lighter and more compact than gas-powered shredders. This makes them more portable since they are light to carry. These units also cost a lot less than their gas-powered counterparts, making them ideal if you are on a tight budget. You'll be glad to know that these chipper shredders don't release smoke or fumes into the atmosphere, providing an energy-clean way of clearing your organic waste.

Since electric shredders don't have an engine, they have a more silent performance than gas shredders. These compost shredders are excellent if you aren't chipping any large branches.

3. Walk-Behind Shredders

These shredders use gas for power, but unlike a standard model, these are designed to work with various accessories. This makes them great for handling multiple yard tasks at the same time.

For instance, you could get one that works with a vacuum to make it easier to clean up as you handle your landscaping duties. Check out the best leaf vacuum mulcher for your garden here.

Image Credits: ironbaltic.com

The vacuum sucks the yard debris into the shredder, where the chipping blades chop them up. The mulch then enters a bag attached to the back of the chipper shredder for easy transportation to the compost pit. As you may have noticed from the best chipper shredders in this post, some can even attach to a lawn mower, ATV, or small tractor.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Chipper Shredders

Various factors determine the best chipper shredder for composting. We'll discuss them in this section.

1. Reduction Ratio

The reduction ratio represents how much the shredder can reduce yard debris. A high reduction ratio of 15:1, for instance, means that the machine shreds branches and garden waste to a fifteenth of its original size. So, the ideal reduction ratio depends on how small you want the chips or mulch to be.

You should consider the purpose of shredding the garden waste before you choose a model. The key to achieving the ideal size of mulch is choosing a machine with the ideal reduction ratio.

2. Capacity

The capacity of your compost shredder depends on the size of the chute. Most chipper shredders have chutes that are large enough to accommodate branches with a maximum thickness of 1 to 3 inches. Unfortunately, a shredder with a small chute will limit the amount of garden waste you can put in at a time.

If you want to take as short a time as possible shredding waste, you should go with a shredder that has multiple chutes or a large capacity. This could allow you to work faster and check shredding mulch out of your to-do list without spending all day in the yard.

3. Functions

The best chipper shredders are built to tackle more than just shredding branches. Some models have as many as three functions: chipping, shredding, and mulching. This eliminates the need to buy separate machines for these tasks, making these models a great buy.

If you don't need the extra features, you can choose a machine that only does the task you want.

4. Portability

Different elements affect the portability of wood chippers. The first one is weight. The heavier compost shredders are, the more energy you'll require to move them from place to place. If you store your shredder far from where you'll be using it, you are better off with a lighter model. Generally, electric chipper shredders are lighter than gas-powered ones.

The next thing to look at is the type and size of the wheels. Larger wheels are the best for navigating rough and uneven terrain. Smaller wheels are ideal for smaller yards with a leveled landscape.

A compact design also makes a shredder more portable since it can fit in small spaces like your car trunk when you want to take the machine elsewhere.

5. Noise Level

If noise is a problem you can't overlook, you should get electric models because these have a less noisy performance. Gas-powered shredders are loud and can disrupt the surroundings.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best chipper shredder for composting?

The best chipper shredder for composting is the GARDENBEAUT Wood Chipper Shredder.

2. What are the types of chipper shredders?

The two types of chipper shredders include electric and gas-powered shredders.

3. What is the importance of a chipper shredder?

A chipper shredder eliminates the hassle of manually cutting and chopping branches, twigs, and garden waste. It helps in conserving time and energy.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.