10 Best Compost Shredders in 2021-Buying Guide & FAQs

Do you have a lot of woodpiles and garden clippings that are piling up and amounting to yard debris? What about those pesky leaves and plant waste that covers your lawn? It sounds like you may need a compost shredder. 

There are all kinds of garden shredders to choose from, and they vary in sizes and colors and are unique in their ways. From electric to gas-powered, these wood chipper shredders have the features you need to transform your wood waste, grass cuttings, or excess cardboard into beneficial nutrients for your garden.

Wood chippers offer a great method of green waste recycling in your yard. Mulch adds a nice look to landscaping and can retain what your plants need to flourish. No matter what size of property you have, there will be a mulcher, electric garden shredder, or electric chipper shredder for you. 

What to look for when buying compost shredder

When you shop for a compost shredder, think about why you need it and how much space you have. Do you have large trees or crowded gardens? If so, you will want a green waste compost unit that shreds, mulches, and chips. This will make yard care much simpler. 

Select a wood chipper that makes sense to you. If you have large piles of leaves, a big compost heap, or other yard waste all over your property and you do not like raking or a traditional lawn mower, consider buying a machine that will easily mulch it into a smart compost pile. 

Other things to consider while choosing a wood mulcher are the number of chutes, feed capacity, reduction ratio, quality of tires, noise levels, engine size, and safety features. 

Electric machines are typically quieter than gas-powered ones, and they are friendlier to the environment. If you need to cover more ground, a gas-powered chipper may be your best bet since it does not plug in. 

If engine size or reduction ratio matters to you, then shopping for the right machine will be a priority. This review lists the 10 best electric and gas composting shredders of 2021, which includes the pros and cons of each one. 

10 Best Compost Shredders Reviewed

#1. TAZZ Heavy Duty Chipper Shredder 

This powerful composting chipper is 34 inches tall and consists of a 4-cycle gas-powered engine. It can handle large thick branches up to three inches thick. The debris bag that comes with it is reusable, locks into place, and unzips so you can pour your green yard waste into your garden or compost bin. 

Put your branches and leaves through the large steel hopper and watch the grinding chamber shred them at a 20:1 reduction rate just like a paper shredder. 11-inch wheels and a sturdy steel handle make the Tazz Chipper Shredder easy to move around. 

Do you have too many leaves to shred? Hook up a leaf vacuum and suck up those pesky leaves. You will have to buy the vacuum separately. 

Pros

  • It offers a three-year warranty
  • It is easy to lug around the yard
  • It has a 20:1 reduction ratio
  • Includes a reusable debris bag

Cons

  • It may produce fumes
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#2. Powerhorse Brand Chipper and Shredder

The Powerhorse 15-horsepower chipper shredder is strong enough to shred up to four-inch pieces of wood. The gas-powered engine with electric start shuts down when the oil level gets too low. This shredder provides dual function shredding and chipping through the hopper for brush and leaves and the chute for sticks and branches. 

The Powerhorse has a belt drive system that protects the engine and makes the wood chip process smoother. It uses two chipping knives, ten hammers, and ten shredding blades to cut through four inches of any type of wood. 

When you finish shredding your twigs and branches, use the discharge chute to dispense your compost heap onto the ground under trees or into your compost bin. Attach the reusable 4.7- bushel debris bag to collect your clippings for later. 

You can pull your wood chipper to your work area with the built-in handle and the 13-inch pneumatic tires. 

Pros

  • It includes powerful shredding and chipping
  • It has automatic shut-down when the oil level is low
  • It’s easy to haul around
  • The manufacturer provides good customer service
  • The oil dipstick is easy to access

Cons

  • There is no vacuum hose attachment
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#3. Landworks Brand 3-in-1 Wood Shredder 

Like the Great Circle chipper, the Landworks machine chips, shreds and mulches wood, garden clippings, and other organic waste. This four-stroke, one-cylinder chipper shredder has a seven-horsepower gas engine that uses up to 0.7 gallons of non-ethanol gasoline. 

The Landworks wood chipper is one of the heaviest, weighing in at 129.7 pounds. Because of this, you can purchase a tow kit separately and hook it up to the back of your lawnmower or tractor and move it to your next shredding location. 

The 10-inch all-terrain solid polyurethane wheels make this chipper shredder easy to roll when you move it around. It has an EPA/CARB certification that makes it friendly to the environment. 

Place small piles of woody waste and yard debris into the half-inch hopper on top. What sets this shredder machine apart from the rest is the three-inch squared side chute. It angles up so that the large wood branches ease into the horizontal grinder without jamming it up. 

This leaf shredder comes with a mulch bag to catch your green waste. It is fairly small and may fill up quickly, so you may have to empty it several times. If it helps, there is a special attachment for the discharge bag available to buy separately. 

Are you tired of raking leaves? This shredder has a connection inlet on the back of the unit where you can attach a leaf vacuum to get those leaves faster. 

Pros

  • It has a 15:1 reduction ratio
  • It offers a three-year warranty
  • It consists of a slanted side chute to prevent blockage
  • It has 3-in-1 functionality
  • It chips up to three-inch branches

Cons

  • It is heavyweight and can attach to the back of a small vehicle
  • The waste bag is too small
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#4. GreatCircleUSA Brand Gas Wood Chipper

The wood chipping machine is a triple hitter, functioning as a chipper, shredder, and mulcher. It has two entry points: a half-inch tub grinder on the top for your twigs, small branches, and wet materials and a side hopper for limbs up to three inches in diameter. Two knives and five Y-hammers shred yard debris with ease. 

Measuring 30 x 24.1 x 41.6 inches and weighing 125.7 pounds, this chipper shredder is tough to move long distances. There is a tow bar kit you can purchase separately to pull the wood grinder behind your ATV, tractor, or other small vehicles. 

This seven-horse gas-powered machine is EPA/CARB-certified with a 15:1 reduction ratio. There is no worry of polluting the air. Fill the tank with ethanol-free unleaded gasoline, and you will be good to go. 

With this compost shredder machine comes a leaf discharge bag. You may have to secure the bag as it tends to move while filling. Do you have back problems? You can purchase a leaf vacuum and attach it to the base of the mulcher. Give your back a break and suck up those leaves. 

Pros

  • It mulches branches up to three inches
  • It serves three purposes as a chipper, mulcher, and shredder
  • It is easy to tow behind a tractor, ATV, lawnmower, or other small vehicles
  • It provides a small risk of polluting the air
  • It has an inlet to attach a leaf vacuum

Cons

  • It is heavyweight and hard to maneuver
  • The compost bag may move while filling
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#5. WORX Brand Electric Bladeless Mulcher

This is quite different from other mulchers. It is a leaf shredder only. That’s right! It does not mulch wood or large clippings. Not only is it lightweight (20 pounds), it is simple to take apart and fold for easy storage.

Instead of blades, this electric mulcher uses a 0.09-inch leaf trimmer line, or Flex-a-line, to shred leaves 1/11th of their original size. If you suffer from allergies, you will be happy to know that there is an external air and exhaust system that reduces the amount of dust. 

Having a filter system is a nice change since dust is a common problem with traditional mulchers. You may consider cleaning filters regularly to avoid clogging.

This powerful electric shredder uses 13.0 amps through an extension cord into a 120-volt outlet. It is easy to assemble using no tools, and once together, mulch up to 53 gallons of leaves a minute. Shredded leaves, grass clippings, and garden waste drop into a bag that you can attach below the unit. 

A unique feature of this shredding machine is that it mulches the equivalent of 11 bags of compost into one bag. You can purchase the bag separately, or a standard yard bag will do. Slide bag over stand, place mulcher on top, then lock the funnel into place. 

Pros

  • It produces an 11:1 mulch ratio
  • It is portable, foldable, and easy to store
  • It creates less dust than standard mulchers
  • It is lightweight
  • It has no blades

Cons

  • It does not mulch wood
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#6. Sun Joe Brand Electric Chipper/Shredder

This 15-amp chipper is perfect for turning regular yard clippings into green compost for the garden. Sun Joe designed it for only twigs and branches. You may put leaves through the 2 x 5-inch hopper but do it sparingly because it could clog easily. 

This wood chipper is compact and lightweight, with six-inch wheels to make it easy to move around in the yard. The motor of this electric garden shredder is powerful enough to grind pieces of wood up to 1.57 inches thick at a 17:1 ratio. Sun Joe added a safety lock to this wood chipper to shut the engine off while the hopper is open. 

The instant start switch under the safety hopper so it will turn on after plugging it in. If your machine jams up, you can restart it. 

Pros

  • It offers a complete two-year warranty
  • It is ETL-approved
  • It is lightweight and easy to move
  • There are no gas fumes to inhale
  • It has a safety lock for when the hopper is open

Cons

  • It uses a short power cord
  • It can be very loud
  • It is not for large piles of wood
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#7. Patriot Brand Electric Compost Shredder 

The Patriot Electric Compost shredder is more than a wood chipper. It is an organic waste compactor for the yard. It turns yard clippings, twigs, and other organic material into mulch. 

It measures about 35 x 24 x 37 inches and weighs roughly 95 pounds. 

The engine is practically silent and runs smoothly. The electric motor of this mulcher is easy to start with a switch. This rolling compost shredder has an extra-wide safety hopper on top of the machine to put in wood, leaves, clippings, and other waste. It can mulch 2.5-inch branches, which is the largest that any electric shredder can handle. 

A unique feature of the Patriot electric shredder is the thermal indicator that alerts the engine if it is getting too hot and needs to shut down. Since it is electric, there is no messing with oil or gasoline. It uses 14 amps of electricity and plugs into a 110-volt outlet.

You have to purchase the 100 ft electric cord separately, extending the manufacturer warranty from two to three years. Along with this powerful shredder, you will get a standard-size compost bag and safety goggles. 

Are you afraid to put leaves in without getting hurt? Buy the Patriot brand grabber to make shredding safer. If you have a large pile of leaves and a need for green waste disposal, you can purchase a jumbo-sized bag, also by Patriot. 

Pros

  • It mulches twigs up to 2.5 inches wide
  • It uses 110 volts of electricity instead of gasoline and oil
  • It shuts off when it overheats
  • It comes with safety goggles and a compost bag
  • It has an extra-wide safety hopper

Cons

  • It is heavyweight and can be hard to maneuver
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#8. Speed Force Brand Self-Feed Gas-Powered Chipper

The Speed Force Self-feed chipper is EPA/Carb-certified, meaning it is gentle on the environment. Although it is a gas engine, it does not overpower the air with fumes. The 6.5 horsepower engine can chip wood branches up to two inches, thanks to its steel blades. 

This compost shredder machine takes unleaded gasoline with 86 octane or higher and uses 

5W30 or 5W40 oil. How will you know if you are running low on oil? The engine will shut down.  

Do you have so many leaves and wood piles that it may take you forever to finish? You do not have to worry because this powerful machine can chip them all at the same time. This chipper also has something special about it: an adjustable exit chute that you can rotate 90-180 degrees using a chromed wrench (comes with the unit). 

Weighing only 93.8 pounds, you can easily haul the Speed Force gas chipper around the yard. Fold the hopper and chute together and store them away in your garage. Wow, that is another unique feature you did not expect! 

Pros

  • It easily folds for minimal storage
  • It is lightweight and compact
  • It comes with an extra set of blades
  • It will automatically shut off when the oil level is low
  • It consists of durable dual blades

Cons

  • It does not chip large branches well
  • It has plastic wheels
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#9. Champion Brand 3-inch Shredder/Chipper

This shredder/chipper has a strong steel frame and a 224 cc 4-stroke engine with a 0.92- gallon tank. The motor will turn off when the oil level gets too low. The Champion 3-inch shredder has a 20:1 reduction ratio, chipping branches up to three inches in diameter. 

The shredder/chipper unit comes with a two-bushel debris collection bag to catch your shredded material. If you prefer, leave the bag off and let the compost nourish the yard. 

The shredder chute quickly shreds the branches and other yard clippings up to a half-inch thick. There is a clean-out port in the back for green waste removal. This unit weighs about 113.5 pounds but can move well due to the 12-inch no-air wheels and the sturdy handlebar bolted to the hopper. 

Pros

  • It has a two-year warranty and free lifetime expert support
  • It is EPA/CARB-certified for better air quality
  • It is easy to clean
  • It includes a reusable green waste collection bag
  • It produces a 20:1 reduction ratio

Cons

There are reports of poor customer service

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#10. GreatCircle Brand Gas 3-in-1 Wood Chipper/Shredder

The GreatCircle 3-in-1 chipper has a 6.5 horsepower engine with a 15:1 reduction ratio, which takes unleaded octane fuel of 87 and up only. Not only can it shred half-inch thick branches through the top hopper, but it will also chip wood up to three inches in diameter through the side chute. It will also mulch leaves.

The four Y-hammers and two steel blades make the chipping process easier and quicker. You will have an option to buy a vacuum so you do not have to lean over to collect the leaves. Attach the compost collection bag and distribute the shredded waste all over your garden. 

Weighing a whopping 125 pounds, this wood chipper can hook up to the back of your 

ATV, tractor, or lawnmower for easy transport around your property. The tow bar kit for this is a separate purchase. 

Pros

  • The tank holds 0.7 gallons of gas
  • It has an auto-feed function for ease of use
  • 3-in-1 function offers versatility

Cons

  • It does not chip oak branches very well
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FAQs

Why should I shred twigs and other yard debris?

Shredding twigs and other pieces of wood saves room in the yard and removes the risk of falls. Chipped wood makes good mulch for the garden and areas around trees and bushes.

What kind of wood chipper should I use? 

It depends on what you need to chip or shred and how much of it. If you are on a tight budget, there are compost shredders that are less expensive and still powerful. 

Which wood chipper is better, gas or electric? 

Electric chippers are easier to use because they do not require extra maintenance of the engine and do not create nasty fumes. They are quieter and less expensive. Gas shredders are usually more durable and can chip large branches and wet material better. You can also use gas machines for longer-distance jobs since they do not require cords. 

How big of an engine do I need? 

It depends on what type of job you need it for. Jobs that include mostly wood in  

a larger area would benefit most from a 6.5-10 horsepower engine. Any land less than an acre would probably be fine with a four-horsepower engine. It also depends on whether you prefer electric or gas. 

Do all wood shredders have a warranty? 

Most wood shredders do have warranties through their manufacturers, but they vary. You will have to check with each product manufacturer to find out. 

What is the reduction ratio?

A reduction ratio is how well the wood chipper can break down the wood. For example, a reduction ratio of 15:1 means it can break down 15 bags worth of woody waste into one bag. 

What does EPA/CARB-Certified mean?

EPA means Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates air pollution on the national level, and CARB stands for California Air Resources Board, which regulates air quality in California. 

What are Y-hammers?

Y-hammers in wood chippers are double-sided blades that mash the wood into shredded material at a faster rate.

What does it mean when the wood chipper is ETL-approved?

It means that the unit went through safety tests before going on the market. 


Conclusion

Now that you know what options are available, you can choose a chipper/mulcher/shredder for your particular need. Each unit should come with an instruction manual, and it is crucial to follow all safety rules when using the machine. 

Safety goggles, snug clothing, long pants, boots, work gloves, hard hats, and earplugs are ways to protect yourself while operating a wood shredder machine. 

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The Green Thumbs Behind This Article:

Tiffany Lei

Tiffany Lei

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