While we love the manual approach to outdoor work here at Axe & Answered, we understand that sometimes it just doesn't make sense. When it comes to turning all the excess branches, twigs, and even hedge trimmings in your yard into useable wood chips and mulch, a little help from a powered tool goes a very long way into make your life easier and saving you a heck of a lot of time.
Aside from the massive amount of time you can save, by making your own wood chips or mulch from the organic material you already have access to, you can save a ton of money as well. You no longer need to pay for expensive delivery or make a run to your local gardening store and pay them for what you can make on your own.
But, what electric shredder is going to be right for your particular needs? Keep reading to find out.
What to Look for in a Quality Wood Chipper & Shredder
Like any tool, not all chippers and shredders are going to be the same. And, while we're mainly focusing on the electric variety here, there are gas powered option too if you decide that's the route you want to take.
The very first requirement your new electric shredder needs to meet is whether or not it falls within your budget. You may find the best of the best to be absolutely amazing, but if it's priced at double the top end of your budget, it's simply not a realistically affordable option.
Next, it's a good idea to do a little research into the internal mechanics of the unit you are considering purchasing. Different shredders function in different ways.
For example, some use a hammer mill combined with a shredding disk while others have a turbine full of cutting blades. These are just a couple examples as there are many different configurations.
You should also take in to consideration the size of your yard and how often you plan on using it. Large machines are going to be much more useful for large yards than small machines. And, while they might be a little more expensive, they're going to be much more efficient, especially as far as your time in concerned.
Reviews of Our Top Picks
Now that you have a little bit more of an idea on what goes into picking the best model for you, it's time to look at some specific models. There are our top choices.
Sun Joe CJ602E-GRY
If you have a small to medium-sized yard, this is a very good choice. It's small and lightweight, but it does what its supposed to.
This model is the gray one, but you can sometimes find it in red or green if that's something that concerns you.
About the CJ602E
The CJ602E is manufactured by Sun Joe, a New Jersey based company that makes all kinds of gardening and outdoor tools like pressure washers, lawn mowers, and even fire pits. The CJ602E is one of the several models of wood chippers they make.
Pros & Cons
The ES1600 is another electric option that is not going to break the bank. Like the Sun Joe model, it's similarly sized and powered.
It's another good choice smaller jobs such as for working in your year. It might not be strong enough if you plan on using it for anything more than that.
About the Eco-Shredder
The ES1600 comes with a 2.5 horsepower motor that's ample enough to deal with twig and branches as thick as 1 and 3/4 inches. It's lightweight enough to wheel around, but sturdy enough to do its job.
Pros & Cons
Another electric option is from Earthwise. It too has a 15 amp motor keeping up with the theme of the previous reviews. It's also in the same general price range as the others.
Upon first look, it resembles the design of the Eco-Shredder.
About the GS70015
The manufacturer claims it can handle up to 1 and 3/4 inch thick branches. It also has a 1.2 bushel collection bin that's attached.
Pros & Cons
If you are looking for a multi-purpose chipper and shredder, this is NOT the options for this. The Flowtron is listed here as an honorable mention because it does such a good job with leaves.
About the LE-900
The LE-900 is a great machine if your primary concern is dealing with a yard full of fallen leaves. It first shreds and then mulches any leaves your feed into the hopper.
It's powerful enough to handle pine needles too, which is great if you have a lot of them in lieu of leaves.
Pros & Cons
GreatCircleUSA 7HP Heavy Duty Chipper
Before you read any more about this option, be aware that it is NOT electric. This is a gas-powered model.
Why is it on here?
Because the above electric models might be underpowered for some people, so we felt the need to show a different option.
About the Heavy Duty Chipper
When you need something more than a 15-amp electric motor, you might need to go with a gas-powered model. This one features a 7 HP 212 cc motor that will handle most of what you throw at it.
Pros & Cons
Many shredders are built for heavy duty work, thus they are powered via gas. There are a few electric models though for when you just need something suitable for your home's small yard.
When choosing what model is right for you, keep in mind what tasks you will use it for and how often you'll use it. If you only need it for leaves, a simple leaf shredder is going to make the most sense. You'll get a great machine for a reasonable price that's built just for that sole purpose.
But, if you know you have a lot of twigs and small branches to deal with, you need to go for something a little more heavy duty than those made only for leaves as they won't come close to breaking down wood.
Also, while you might have your heart set on something electric, understand that it's going to take you more time to accomplish all your work when compared to what you can do when using a gas powered model. If you're OK with that, then great.
It's time to get to work!