Probably the most common question we get asked is “What Garden Shredder do I Need for My Garden”. The trouble is it is not an easy question to answer. The only starting point is to ask, “Well, what sort of garden do you have?”
There are just so many types and sizes of garden.
How we Chose Our Garden Shredder
Both Jo and I are both very fact and process oriented. We tend to spend a fair bit of time analysing our purchases and options – particularly for items that we don’t expect to buy very often. In the next few paragraphs I outline how we got to choose the shredder we still have.
Defining Our Garden
The first 2 images above are from my garden. It is medium to large – about 700 square meters – and is mainly laid to lawn. We have 40m of mixed elm and laurel hedge on our roadside boundary, and 35m of Laurel hedge between us and a neighbouring field.
We also have 7 biggish trees – 6-10m in height – and several bushes.
The hedges and trees mean we produce more woody clippings than we do soft, green waste. The volume of woody waste is pretty high and used to require at least one trip to the recycling centre most summer weekends.
Disposal of the shreddings
The garden is more or less triangular. The tip of the triangle, at the point where the roadside boundary and the field meet, was dead space. To make best use of the space we use it as an open compost heap. Most of our soft garden waste is simply dumped in the compost heap – the exception being lawn clippings which we try to spread out in the hedge bottoms. Being able to compost even our woody clippings and prunings seemed the most ecofriendly approach.
Getting on With the Neighbours
We live in a small, quiet village. Although our neighbours are not too close, we like the quietness of the village. By preference we like to limit the noise from any of our garden appliances.
Putting it Together - What Garden Shredder Did We Buy
By creating and applying the checklist below, we concluded that needed a quiet shredder. The volume of woody clippings meant we needed something with significant throughput. The shreddings would be mostly added to the compost heap.
Keeping noise levels down and being a good neighbour is important to us.
In the end, we bought, and still use, a Bosch AXT 2200HP – the predecessor to the Bosch AXT 25D. If you take a look at the features image abore your will see the AXT2200HP still looks like the current range of Bosch Shredders even after 8 years of use.
Helping You Choose the Garden Shredder That is Right For You and Your Garden
When you read the description of our buying process you will probably think, “What’s all the fuss about”. You’d be right.
To help you make your own shredder buying decision we advocate a 4-step process:
- Take a hard look at your garden:
- How big is it?
- What is your largest type of garden waste?
- How do you want to dispose of the waste created?
- Understand what each type of shredder is best suited for
- Match your garden with type of shredder.
- Review the shredders on offer to see what best meets your needs.
You can use the notes below to help you assess your own garden shredder requirements
Deciding on your garden type.
Many people have no problem telling us about their type of garden. They can often tell us exactly how many trees, bushes and other plants they have. Some people even tell us exactly how many trips to the tip they have made in the past couple of months.
For others it is not so easy.
In our Guide to Choosing a Garden Shredder we suggest that you use a simple table to give you a basic idea on our own requirements.
Understanding Your Garden Type
Tick all that apply
How big is you garden?
Small – Up to 100 Square Metres. Approximately half the area of a tennis court.
Medium- Between 100-400 Square Metres. Somewhere around 1-2 tennis courts
Large- Up to 400-1000 Square Metres. Not sure tennis courts are a useful measure at this stage. A thousand square metres is approximatly a quarter of an acre
Very Large- Over a quarter of an acre.
How would you view your garden in terms of the following questions?
Mostly flowers and/or vegetables.
Mostly flowers and/or vegetables with light hedges, shrups or trees.
Quite a lot of hedges, bushes and trees mixed with flowers and/or vegetables
Mostly trees and bushes.
Where is your house and garden?
Town house – neighbours are very close
Town house – neighbours not too close
Village location – neighbours not too close
Country location – neighbours are not a concern.
What do you plan to do with the shreddings?
Bag and bin
So? What Type of Garden Shredder Do You Need?
The next step in this process is pretty simple. All you have to do is to compare the requirements of your garden with the capabilities of the shredders available.
We provide a lot more information on the types of shredders and their capabilities in another post. Please go take a look before proceeding with this article.
It's Not a Science
Despite all of the thinking and planning – there is no equation that tells you what sort of shredder you should buy. It is most definitely not a science.
The problem is that neither the impact nor the quiet garden shredders cope well with all types of garden waste. Impact shredders excel with green and smaller woody cuttings. Quiet shredders cope well with bigger, tougher woody waste but can only deal with pretty small quantities of green stuff.
Impact shredders can be very noisy, so they are not always suitable for small gardens where you have unsympathetic neighbours.
Impact shredders arguably produce the shreddings best suited for composting. If you want to put down chippings to protect your plants, the shreddings from quiet or the turbine cut shredders are better.
Quiet Shredders are best in dealing with mostly woody clippings. They can chomp through quite large quantities of branches and bigger clippings without breaking beat. They do not cope as well with soft, green waste.
Turbine Cut Shredders can do a good job of coping with all types of garden cuttings. They are quiet and have good capacity too. Unfortunately, they are at the more expensive end of the market.
In general, no matter what the size of the garden – if your waste is going to be predominantly soft stemmed ‘green waste’ then you are probably going to be better off with an impact shredder. Otherwise, you have a decision to make.
The table below will help you make your final decision.
Matching Shredder Type to Garden Type
Your Garden Analysis
Suitable garden shredders
Any garden size – predominantly soft, green waste
Turbine Cut if neighbours are a problem
Small/medium garden – mix of softer, green and woody waste – cuttings generally 20mm or smaller
Small/medium garden – mix of softer, green and woody waste – quite a few cuttings over 20mm
Impact Shredder is OK if budget is tight
Medium garden – predominantly woody waste
Large garden – mix of softer, green and woody waste – quite a few cuttings over 20mm
Turbine Cut Shredder
Very large garden
Turbine Cut Shredder
A petrol garden shredder may be a better match for your needs
We never said that choosing a shredder was easy did we?
If you have a large garden and don’t like the idea of having to buy and store 2 shredders, the Bosch Turbine cut shredder is a distinct possibility. The Turbine cut shredders are very good, but they are expensive.
For similar sums of money, you could buy a much more powerful 6.5HP petrol shredder (6.5HP is 4850 Watts). The petrol machines can cope with pretty much all types of garden waste and are not limited to where you can get a power supply.
Follow this link to see our top picks for electric garden shredders in 2019