Shred and Spruce: The Ultimate Guide to Garden Mulchers

May 2, 2023 — by Richard Dawson

Are you tired of countless hours raking leaves, trimming branches, and hauling away yard waste? Say goodbye to the hassle and hello to a beautiful garden with the power of a garden wood chipper! Not only can this machine reduce waste and save money on buying mulch, but it can also improve soil health and promote healthy plant growth. Get ready to transform your gardening game with the ultimate tool every green thumb needs – a wood chipper.

What Does a Garden Mulcher Do?

garden mulcher
source: titan-pro.co.uk

A garden shredder mulcher, also known as a wood chipper, is a machine that chops, shreds, and grinds organic yard waste into small pieces. You can then use these pieces as mulch to cover soil, retain moisture and weed growth, or add them to a compost pile to create nutrient-rich soil. In short, a woodchipper helps reduce yard waste, improves soil health, and enhances the overall appearance of your garden.

What Are the Benefits of Garden Shredder?

Mulchers or chippers offer a range of benefits for gardeners. Buying a heavy-duty garden mulcher can:

  • Help reduce yard waste by turning branches, leaves, and other organic materials into small, easily manageable pieces, which means less time hauling trash to the curb and more time spent enjoying your garden.
  • Help create nutrient-rich mulch, leading to healthier plants and improved soil quality.
  • Save money on buying mulch from a store. Instead, you can create your mulch using materials from their yards. That not only saves money but also promotes sustainability and reduces waste.

Types of Garden Mulchers

Choosing a suitable garden mulcher for your needs can quickly and silently process yard trash without becoming clogged. Picking the right type that’s now powerful enough with trouble mulching even the flimsiest of branches and is easily stuck can make removing garden debris a noisy ordeal.

Regarding the source of power, there are two main types of wood chippers:

  1. Petrol
  2. Electric

Regarding the type of cutting system, there are:

  1. Impact Mulchers
  2. Roller Shredders

Here’s an overview of each type, so you can get an idea of which one’s best for you and your garden.

Impact Garden Shredders

source: viivilla.no

Impact garden shredders, known as rapid shredders, are economical but are noisier than other garden shredder types. They use a blade mechanism to slice garden materials into small pieces and are less prone to blockage. Impact shredders are more suitable for processing leaves and lighter garden debris and are typically lighter than roller models.

When choosing an impact shredder, opt for one with multiple blades, as they’ll wear out less quickly. Also, selecting a machine with a regularly shaped hopper makes it easier to feed material into the shredder and complete the job faster.

The advantages of impact garden shredders include affordability, lightweight design, and their ability to avoid frequent blockages. However, they can be noisy while in use.

Roller Garden Shredders

Roller garden shredders, commonly referred to as quiet shredders, employ a ridged roller to chop and crush garden waste. The roller’s motion pulls the material through the machine, making it effortless to shred a large amount of waste. However, these shredders are prone to blockages caused by green and fibrous materials and are usually more costly than other wood mulcher types.

It’s crucial to ensure that the roller shredder is easily movable before purchasing one, as it can be reasonably heavy. Additionally, adjusting the gap between the roller and the plate is essential as it could affect the shredding efficiency.

The advantages of roller garden shredders include their ability to shred a large amount of waste. However, they are more likely to get blocked and are more expensive.

Petrol vs Electric

The majority of gardeners will choose an electric yard shredder. However, ensuring the cable’s length is adequate for your garden is crucial. Because some brands shorten the cable length, you might need an outdoor extension cord.

A petrol wood chipper might be better if you don’t have an outdoor power source in your yard. Typically more powerful, these models will cost more and require frequent maintenance. That’s why many gardeners choose electric models with an onboard battery for working in remote areas of their property.

Features to Look for When Buying a Garden Wood Chipper

Garden Wood Chipper
source: psdgroundscare.co.uk

Ease of Use

When looking for a shredder, assess the ease of use by testing how easy it is to lift and maneuver. Heavy or bulky models may be challenging to use over rough terrain or at a distance. Additionally, check how easily you can access the blades for adjustment, and consider choosing a model with a reverse function to facilitate clearing blockages.


The small paddle with a handle used to push the material into the shredder, known as a plunger, can prevent finger injuries. If the model you prefer doesn’t have a plunger, you can use a durable stick as a substitute.

Collection Bag

If the shredder doesn’t come with a collection bag, you can use a robust garbage bag as a suitable alternative. This is basically a large bag attached to the machine that catches the wood chips when the material is shredded. Be sure to place it correctly, with the opening facing away from the blade. Avoid using plastic or lightweight bags, as they may tear and become a hazard.

Branch Thickness

When evaluating various shredder models, it’s essential to consider the maximum branch thickness that needs shredding and ensure that the shredder can accommodate that size. The way in which the machine handles thicker branches can vary significantly, with some being able to chip material up to 10 cm thick, while some models can only accept branches up to 4 cm in thickness.