8 Best Compost Shredders for 2022-Buying Guide & FAQs

This is our review of the compost shredders in 2022.

To reuse garden leaves, twigs and branches, you may want a compost shredder. There are thousands of compost shredders on the market. As a result, finding the right one can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for. 

I researched the best compost shredders and found that Sun Joe CJ603E electric compost shredder is the best overall option for small to medium size gardens; if you have a large garden, then I suggested GreatCircleUSA gas powered compost shredder to be your best choice. 

But depending on your preferences, you may need something different. If my first two options are not for you, there are two other electric compost shredders and four other gas powered compost shredders for your reference. 

Read on to find out which compost shredder is best for you!

3 Best Electric Compost Shredders

#1. Sun Joe CJ603E Electric Compost Shredder

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Many convenient and impressive features make the Sun Joe CJ603E emerge the best compost shredder for medium to small gardens.

As the best chipper shredder, its use goes beyond shredding! Yes, it functions as a compost shredder and a chipper. That makes the electric chipper shredder a great asset among your garden tools.

During use, the electric-powered shredder’s 15-ampere motor generates enormous power so that it can chip and shred branches as thick as 1.73 inches without struggling. That means the compost shredder machine conveniently turns twigs, bushes, and branches into nutrient-rich mulch in no time.

It also possesses a high reduction ratio of 21 to 1 that very few engines can surpass. And although it weighs 38.6lbs, its 7 inches large wheels support the weight, glide easily, and therefore make it very portable.

Anytime the hopper opens, its safety stops feature automatically engages. Besides, it can work in the reverse or forward direction, requires no maintenance, and features instant-start technology.

It’s so quiet that you can use it without any ear protection!

Pros

  • Easy assembly
  • Large collection bag
  • Runs quietly
  • Enhanced safety protection
  • Versatile use

Cons

  • A sturdier collection bag would be ideal


#2. WORX WG430 Electric Compost Shredder

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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


#3. Patriot CSV-2515 Electric Compost Shredder

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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 pieces of food scrap. 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, kitchen scraps 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


5 Best Gas Powered Compost Shredders

#1. GreatCircleUSA Gas Powered Compost Shredder

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It isn’t by chance that the GreatCircleUSA wood chipper shredder has emerged as the best gas-powered compost shredder.

Its 3 in one versatile function, 6.5 horsepower engine, and ability to chip 3-inch thick wood through the side chute spell out its top quality. And the dedicated four Y-hammers and two sturdy steel blades chip wood in no time.

From its maximum torque of 9.14ft-lb at 2500RPM, it is easy to understand why it can chip up to 3 inches of thick wood.

When you incorporate a leaf vacuum to it or attach an ATV tow kit to a gas-powered shredder, it becomes even more convenient to use.

You have an option to buy a vacuum so you do not have to lean over to collect the leaves. Also, you can attach the compost collection bag or 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 lawn mower 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


#2. Landworks Multi-Function Gas Powered Compost Shredder

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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


#3. TAZZ 35259 Gas Powered Compost Shredder

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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


#4. Champion Power Equipment Gas Powered Compost Shredder

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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


#5. Powerhorse Gas Powered Compost Shredder

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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


Features to Consider When Buying a Compost Shredder

a man is working with a compost shredder

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.

Reduction Ratio

Reduction ratio indicates how small the materials would be after passing through a compost shredder. For example, if a compost shredder has a 21:1 reduction ratio, it means the materials will be reduced to 1/21 of its original size. 

Materials

Before investing in a chipper shredder, it’s wise to consider the range of materials it can handle. That way you can gauge whether it can fit the use you wish to subject it to or not.

For example, it’s necessary to counter-check whether the chipper shredder can take on green leaves, palm fronds, and even bamboo.

Although some manufacturers claim their garden chipper shredders can take on anything from the garden, it isn’t prudent to countercheck such claims.

One way to go about that is reading through reviews and testimonies from past users on the debris the equipment handles well.

Hopper Design

A chipper shredder’s design entails many vital features that can either make it easier or less effective.

For example, the diameter of the openings counts. The width of the opening determines the chunk or speed at which you can feed debris into it. A narrow chute only accommodates less debris, thus making your work slower and irritating

On the other hand, chute position is another vital factor. A strategically positioned chute from the top taps on gravitational pull and hence requires less effort in pushing limbs into the chipper.  

A chipper shredder that has more than one input is more advantageous than the one with a single input. Numerous inputs lets you choose the opening that best fits the limb or debris you have. In the end, it doesn’t strain the machine.

Capacity

A low capacity shredder fits occasional use. But if you wish to subject the chipper-shredder to demanding regular use including feeding irregularly shaped limbs, a high capacity engine accomplishes the task more effectively and in less time.

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.

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. 


Electric Compost Shredders VS Gas-Powered Compost Shredders 

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 1.5 to 1.75 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). 


What’s the difference between a chipper, a shredder and a mulcher?

A chipper is big, robust, and can take on large tree branches and limbs, it uses sharp blades to handle the big branches or limbs into otherwise easy to manage smaller pieces (wood chips).

However, although it’s more powerful than a mulcher or garden shredder, it’s the slowest among the three. So when you have sturdy and thicker tree branches to easily compostable material, a chipper becomes ideal.

On the other hand, a shredder is more powerful than a mulcher but less than a chipper. It uses semi blunt blades (flails) to tear apart (shred) soft green materials, cardboard and a small branch of a tree.

It’s also worth pointing out that a shredder reduces the original size of the green raw material into smaller bits than a chipper. and so it makes it easier to get a finished compost in less time. A shredder works faster than a chipper but slower than a mulcher.

Besides, a chipper shredder is garden equipment that plays double roles; it can work as a chipper and shredder depending on the setting you use.

It is possible to transform a wide variety of matter into mulching materials and manure to aid in compost production. A mulcher is only strong enough to handle soft leaves, grass and plant waste. But it handles such matters very fast.


FAQs

a leaf shredder is working on garden leaves

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. 


Are garden shredders worth it?

Well, a compost shredder isn’t a must. However, it’s worth considering investing in one because it makes carbon(brown) materials into smaller bits, like tree branches, twigs. As a result, you have quality compost in a short duration of time. 


Should I shred my compost?

Achieving a carbon-to-nitrogen ratio of about 25:1 is an essential factor in creating favorable conditions for backyard composting. If you need to use enough carbon materials from fall leaves, twigs, bark, and branches, I suggest you shred your compost before putting them into your compost pile. Without shredding, the organic materials may take longer to decompose because of their big size.


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.


Our Verdict

All the compost shredders featured on the review list are good quality, in which Sun Joe CJ603E is the best overall electric compost shredder and GreatCircleUSA is the best overall gas powered compost shredder. 

Whichever option you choose, make sure it suits your shredding needs and your budget.


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