Best Compost Shredders – 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. We reviewed 9 compost shredders to help you find out the best one for you. Keep reading to learn more.

6 Best Gas-Powered Compost Shredders Reviewed


#1. 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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#2. 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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#3. 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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#4. 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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#5. 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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#6. 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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3 Best Electric Compost Shredders Reviewed


#1. 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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#2. 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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#3. 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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Gas-Powered Compost Shredder Vs. Electric Compost Shredder

Electric compost shredders have quieter running motors and are therefore, eco-friendly. But gas shredder models pack more power than electric models. As such, if your garden produces more wood that you need to compost, gas-powered shredders are the way to go. 

Also, electric shredders are light and thus easy to move from one corner of the garden to the next. But that depends on the length of the extension cord. However, most of them feature a cutting diameter of 1.75 to 1.5 inches. Only a few exceptional brands exceed that range. If you want to shred twigs and small branches, electric shredders suffice. 

Gas-powered shredders handle large tree branches up to 3 inches thick. Furthermore, they don’t require any electric cord. So except for its weight, you can use it in any part of the garden. Besides, you won’t live with an annoying trailing cable that might entangle you. 

If your yard produces a large volume of waste to shred, consider investing in gas-powered models. You can then shred woods of various thicknesses. However, if you need a portable engine that runs silently, electric compost shredders win (though with limited use). 


Compost Shredder Buying Guide

There is a list of features you should consider before buying.

Weight

You will need to transport a chipper shredder to various parts of the garden. And the weight of the equipment influences its portability. So select the chipper shredder whose weight you can manage. Otherwise, ensure you have a lawn tractor that will help you move it from one location to another. 

Engine type

Chipper shredders are mainly of two types. That includes gas and electric-driven chipper shredders. Each kind has its advantages and disadvantages. So go for the engine type that matches your garden design and size. 

An electric engine requires very little maintenance. Also, it starts up very quickly. But it fits light-duty chipping or shredding. However, it relies on an extension cord. And that limits how far you can reach with the machine. Unless you are ready to invest in a portable generator.

On the other hand, a gas-powered chipper shredder is very portable and has high power. But when you compare it to its electric counterpart, gas chipper shredders attract high maintenance. 

Blades

A chipper shredder with several blades makes a better choice. That’s because it registers less wear and tear on individual blades. Further, that translates to less sharpening frequency and replacement of blades. 

Reduction ratio

The reduction ratio of a chipper shredder is critical. It shows how many bags of yard waste the equipment accepts at the input to produce a bag of mulch. For example, the equipment can have a reduction ratio of 11:1. That means the shredder processes 11 bags of garden wastes into a bag of mulch. 

A higher reduction ratio means that the garden equipment produces fine mulch. But the reduction ratio is also dependent on whether you are chopping wood or shredding leaves. 

Noise Level 

A large engine chipper shredder produces high noise intensity. If your garden lies in a noise-restricted neighborhood, the more the noise factor counts. In such a case, an electric model is ideal. Furthermore, engines producing more than 90 decibels require you to wear noise protection. 


What’s the difference between chipping and shredding? 

Many people often confuse the terms to mean the same thing. A chipper and shredder work to chop organic limbs into tiny bits. However, there is a small difference. 

A chipper uses sharp blades to chop large and hardwood branches into chips. Chipping large logs accelerates their decomposition rate. And to work on hard logs and wood branches, a chipper has sturdy blades and a body. 

Furthermore, its blade spins at high speed. And for that reason, a chipper registers excellent results on both wet and dry wood. 

On the other hand, a shredder has blades (flails) that aren’t sharp like that of a chipper. Besides, it’s only suitable for breaking down soft greenwood and smaller branches. Since the blades are somehow blunt, the flails tear on the materials. 

But even though a shredder functions by tearing, it breaks down the size of the organic matter into tiny proportions that compost faster. When comparing a chipper and shredder, a chipper handles large and difficult organic material. However, a shredder disintegrates materials into finer bits than a chipper. 

On the other hand, a chipper shredder does both functions. All you have to do is choose the setting that you desire. 


FAQs

Do you need a shredder for compost?

Well, a compost shredder isn’t a must. However, it’s worth considering investing in one. That’s because it disintegrates leaves into smaller bits. As a result, you have quality compost in a short duration of time. Therefore if you want to prepare compost in less time, a shredder is a vital piece of equipment. But without a shredder, the organic materials may take many months to decompose. 

How do you shred compost material?

You can shred compost materials in various ways. But a straightforward method is to employ any of the shredders listed in the post. You can also make use of a chipper or lawnmower.  

When you need to shred leaves and grass clippings, you can use a lawnmower or shredder. For large and more difficult organic materials, a chipper is suitable. But feed only enough materials that the chipper or shredder can handle at a time.  

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. 

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

If your yard requires a gas-powered compost shredder, we recommend the GreatCircle chipper shredder. For less demanding shredding, Sun Joe electric chipper shredder is hard to beat. Feel free to make your choice.

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The Green Thumbs Behind This Article:

Tiffany Lei

Tiffany Lei

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