Everything You Should Know Before Buying a Quiet Garden Shredder

Knowing how Quiet Garden Shredders work is a useful part of helping you chose the shredder that is right for you.  There is a perception that machines that rotate speeds as low as 40 RPM cannot be as good as the impact shredders that rotate at 3,500 RPM plus.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Quiet Garden Shredders use an entirely changed shredding technique compared to their more raucous relatives – the impact shredders. In place of the high-speed cutting blades a great deal slower revolving gear and plate mechanism is utilized. When the gear wheel rotates the teeth catch onto the garden waste jamming it against the solid plate. Further movement of the gear pulls the cuttings into the shredder while crushing and cutting them against the side plate.

Bosch Refers to this as a ‘drum cutter‘. Other manufacturers have very similar mechanisms but will call them by different names.

Bosch AXT 25D Quiet Shredder Cutting Mechanism to help show how quiet garden shredders work

Is it Quiet?

Sound ratings are normally two to three times less if you are standing next to a quiet garden shredder. Ear protection is not necessarily required. Only a slightly raised voice is required in order to have a conversation right next to the machine. There is little difference in noise output when shredding even hard, dry, woody clippings too. These machines are unlikely to upset your neighbours. Obviously they certainly are substantially less noisy – at least when compared to an rotary shredder.

Shredding Efficiency

Shredding performance is for the most part determined simply by the correct set-up of the cutting cog to the strike plate. Indeed there continue to be various adverse reviews online for some quiet shredders because of the gears/cutters not being set up properly when the shredder is first used. Adjustment is generally quite easy however one shouldn’t have to carry out adjustments for a brand new shredder.

To maintain the correct gap in between gears and plates it truly is rather important that the shredder doesn’t deform or twist in operation. Therefore, quiet shredders are made to be much stronger than impact shredders. Furthermore, motors and gear trains have to provide very high force and high torque to keep turning when working. Again, higher torque motors and gears need to be made far more robustly than in high-speed motors.

Quiet shredders are usually engineered to give good results on principally woody cuttings. Even moderate amounts of soft stemmed waste will block the input chute and prevent the shredder working. The cutter gear mechanism continues to rotate yet you can’t feed more in through the dense wedge of compacted soft stemmed garden waste.

Soft stemmed garden waste could also become compressed in to the gaps in between the gear teeth. This prevents the teeth latching onto the waste and once again stops the shredder operating. Cleaning each and every single gap in between teeth is not really difficult but can be a little tedious.
Taking care not to input too much green matter in one go together with mixing all green waste with woody clippings goes a long way to maintaining the shredder working efficiently. You are going to need to prepare your shredding a bit yet fortunately it is really not too much trouble after you get familiar with the exercise.

Specifics to Note

The need for very stiff chassis as well as higher torque motors creates 2 evident consequences for the customer:

Continuous operation will depend more on the configuration and design of the motor and transmission compared to the basic electrical power rating. I have only once witnessed the cutter jam on a quiet shredder. The cutting I fed it was quite big and still had a lot of smaller branches attached. Where a group of the side branches all came out of the central branch there was a large, particularly tough knot. The shredder pulled the branch in but couldn’t cope with the knot. The self feed action is very powerful and the knot became firmly stuck within the cutter. Freeing the blockage with out dismantling the shredder wasn’t simple.

Stated throughput for this type of shredder are usually more than twice that of an impact shredder.

Is it for you?

The good

It depends on your garden. For my garden a crusher shredder is great. We have around 100metres of assorted hedging – Elm, Laurel, Holly and a handful of bits I can’t identify. We have a bunch of trees – Apple, Plum, Beech and Willow. Presently there are loads of bushes the majority of which I can’t identify. So my clippings are predominantly woody in type.

At certain occasions in the year we have significant volumes of waste material. The larger (compared to rotary or impact shredders) output is essential. A great deal of the greater throughput is probably delivered by the self feeding operation of the shredders. As soon as you have presented a branch down into the shredder it will try to catch hold of it and pull it in. With impact shredders someone has to add the branch or cuttings through which is clearly more time consuming.

The not so positive

The shreddings produced by quiet shredders are far from as fine compared to any of those out of Impact or rotary shredders. Soft stemmed shoots and leaves may possibly remain whole but will commonly end up being squashed and marked (stems will have no rigidity). The cuttings and bruising mechanism prepares and breaks down a plant’s cell structure getting it ready for composting but it may well take more time until it is ready to be your garden.

Branches are going to be broken down into around 1 centimetre pieces which should have been broken and split by the garden shredder mechanism. The output is good for composting but it will take substantial time to rot down enough to be added back on to the vegetable patch.

Quiet shredders are currently definitely considerably more heavy as compared to their impact or rotary equivalents. Moving any of them tends to be quite challenging in the event that you have steps or multiple tiers in your garden.

You should additionally expect to spend far more – most likely 50Percent more plus – than a comparable rotary or impact shredder. However, it is unlikely that you will have to replace the cutters in a crusher shredder. Furthermore, the more robust framework ought to suggest that the shredder lasts much longer.

So, is it for me?

For my money, quiet shredders are the right tool for anyone with medium sized gardens with lots of hedges, bushes and trees.
At the moment, the market leading quiet shredder is the Bosch AXT 25D.

You might also like to take a look at the other options listed in the table on our Types of Shredder – comparison page