Which are the best wood chippers available in the UK? I’ve put together this guide to help you choose. I’ve looked at cost, power, size and fuel in this selection, which includes petrol wood chippers and electric garden waste shredders. You might think that a wood chipper is something only professional gardeners and foresters use, but there are lots of options out there, and models for domestic gardens are increasingly popular.
Our best buy for domestic garden use: Bosch Shredder AXT 2200 Rapid
Reasons to Buy a Wood Chipper or Garden Waste Shredder
If your council does a green waste bin collection, you’ll be used to putting out your garden trimmings for disposal. But what if you’ve got more garden waste than you can put out on the doorstep? Filling your bins with awkward branches is hardly ideal. If you find you are always trying to get rid of garden waste and making loads of trips to the tip, it could be worth getting a wood chipper or garden waste shredder at home.
Grinding branches into sawdust is one way to dispose of them. But think about what you could use that sawdust for too. Chopped up branches and other cuttings can make a great mulch for your garden (as long as you don’t chop up any troublesome weeds in it, which should be disposed of separately). Sawdust is great for lining pet cages – think rabbits, hamsters, gerbils… do you know someone who would welcome a regular supply of fresh sawdust?
Once you have a wood chipper or garden waste shredder, you might find your services in demand too. Other people may want to get you shredding their garden waste. It could be a way of earning a little bit of cash on the side. You could even hire out your kit. Maybe you already run a tree management service and you’re looking for the best chipper you can buy. Read on to find a range of wood chippers available in the UK right now.
Can You Hire a Wood Chipper Instead of Buying One?
Yes, you can hire wood chippers and garden waste shredders from garden centres and DIY outlets. This is a good idea if you have a one-off job to do. But if you are planning to use a chipper a lot in your garden, it could save you money in the long run if you buy one.
Having a wood chipper or garden waste shredder cuts out the hassle of picking up and returning hired kit all the time, and you will probably use it more often than you think. It will also make light work of dealing with garden waste, and you will save money by producing your own mulch for the garden.
There are plenty of affordable options. We’ve included shredders and chippers across the price range in this guide, so you can pick one that suits your budget.
So What’s the Best Wood Chipper?
There are lots of options, from small easily portable units designed for soft garden cuttings to heavier duty machines which will tackle big branches and wood up to 10cm thick. Think about what you’ll use your wood chipper for. Have you got lots of big mature trees that need regular maintenance, or just a few smaller trees and shrubs? The capabilities of wood chippers and garden waste shredders can vary quite a bit, so make sure you pick wisely. This guide gives you all the advice you need to make the right choice.
Petrol or Electric Wood Chipper?
Petrol-powered wood chippers are usually large, heavy-duty bits of kit used by professionals such as tree surgeons and forestry workers. Electric wood chippers tend to be smaller and easier to move around, designed for less bulky garden waste.
Check the specifications carefully to make sure your chosen chipper will do the job. If you know you are going to be regularly chipping a lot of big branches and heavy material, you probably need a commercial-standard chipper. If it’s only going to be used occasionally for fairly small garden waste, take a look at the range of electric garden waste shredders first, as these are designed for domestic use.
There are benefits to electric. No petrol fumes for a start. On the whole, the electric models should be quieter than petrol ones. This is good if you don’t want to disturb your neighbours on a Sunday morning with the sounds and smells of a petrol engine! Electric is also more environmentally friendly than petrol.
What Size Branches Do You Need to Shred?
Make sure your kit is going to stand up to the job you need it for. The key features of each wood chipper are included in our guide here. You’ll need to know the diameter of a typical branch you want to chip. The models in this guide range from a maximum 39 mm cut diameter, a fairly small branch, to around 100 mm – a pretty hefty one.
What Sort of Power Should You Look for in a Wood Chipper?
If you are going for an electric wood chipper, make sure you have enough juice. We recommend a minimum of 2000 watts. Anything less is probably a waste of your money. For petrol models, you can get 15 horsepower (hp) at the top end. The more powerful models will be at the more expensive end of the price range. Bear in mind though that more horsepower doesn’t always mean a better quality product. A decent engine with less horsepower could do the job you’re after just as well.
What’s the Difference Between A Wood Chipper and a Garden Waste Shredder?
A wood chipper deals with branches and hard woody material. They are usually heavier duty machines with petrol engines. A garden waste shredder can process soft cuttings like grass clippings and plant stalks, small twigs and branches. Smaller shredders are often powered by electric.
Let’s look at what’s available.
Best Wood Chippers and Garden Waste Shredders – Our Top 8 Picks
We’ve included wood chippers and garden waste shredders currently available on the UK market. Our guide includes key features and a short overview of each model so you can make the right choice for you.
We’ll start with the electric shredders and move on to the bigger petrol-powered wood chippers.
Weighing around 13kg, this is a relatively lightweight and compact electric shredder that is easy to move around the garden. It’s suitable for soft garden cuttings – if you want to chop up and make mulch from leaves, grass and small twigs this should do the job fine. A small shredder for occasional light use – and you won’t have the noise and smell of a petrol motor.
- Electric 2200W motor
- Shreds branches up to 40mm
- Lightweight with wheels
- 2-year parts and labour guarantee
- Soft and hard cuttings
This 12kg machine is the lightest in our guide, and very easy to move around your garden on its wheels. Despite its lightweight construction, it is more than capable of processing tough woody garden debris. We’d say it probably offers the best value for money in our guide. If you are looking for a reliable garden shredder for domestic use and you haven’t got huge trees to cut up, you can’t go far wrong with this one.
- Electric 2500W motor
- 53 litre collection box
- Takes branches up to 45mm thick
- Great for woody cuttings
- Folds down neatly for storage
This garden shredder looks a bit different to some on the market, with a large collection box for your shredded material and a plunger to compact the cuttings. It’s a thoughtful design that is easy to store – it folds down to a mere 67cm high. It’s also versatile and will process both soft and hard cuttings. Some shredders struggle to deal with tough woody debris, but this one doesn’t seem to. It’s relatively quiet too. You have the added benefit of the Bosch reputation for quality, plus a free 2-year guarantee. It’s not the cheapest electric shredder, but it’s one of the most versatile and well-thought-out.
- 4 stroke 208cc 7hp petrol engine
- Heavy-duty chipper
- Takes branches up to 70mm
- Easy electric start button
- 3-year Hyundai warranty
This Hyundai wood chipper is a great choice if you regularly have lots of wood and garden cuttings to get rid of. It’s a meaty piece of kit designed for larger branches up to 70mm in diameter. The engine is petrol, but easy to start with an electric button. This chipper has proper tyres, which helps a lot with moving it around as it’s one of the bigger models we’ve listed here. There are sturdy feet to stop the chipper moving while it is working. It also has a handy storage box for tools and an emergency stop safety feature. Plus it’s reassuring to know that you get a 3-year warranty with Hyundai.
- Powerful 6.5hp Lifan petrol engine
- Takes branches up to 60mm thick
- Safety cut out lever
- Easy to move on wheels
- Narrow shape for the easy garden gate access
Another heavyweight chipper, the Titan Pro features a reliable engine and blades that will chop branches up to 60mm in diameter. One of the great things about this machine is the narrow design. The makers have thought about how to get the chipper in and out of tight spots, or through narrow side alleys and gates. A nice touch. You can direct your wood chippings where you want with the adjustable exit chute. Like the other heavy-duty machines in this list, it has pneumatic tyres for easy movement.
- 4 stroke 196cc 6.5hp petrol engine
- Chops branches up to 76mm thick
- 2400-3600rpm blade speed
- Free safety glasses, gloves and ear defenders
- Easy to move on wheels
The TMech is a favourite with reviewers. It’s strong enough to deal with all the usual garden waste you need to process. Plus it’s very reasonably priced when you compare it to others of a similar spec on the market. You also get all the safety gear you need with it. It’s aimed at professional gardeners and landscapers as well as hobby gardeners, so it’s more than up to the job of regular chipping use – as long as you don’t want to chop anything bigger than 76mm in diameter.
- 4 stroke 420cc 14hp petrol engine
- Handles branches up to 102mm thick
- Two chutes to handle different size material
- Ideal for hard woody cuttings
- 3-year Hyundai warranty and parts back-up
The second Hyundai chipper in our list. The HYCH1400 has two feed-in points – one for grass cuttings and green garden waste, the other for hard cuttings, and large branches up to 102mm thick. This is the largest branch size of any chipper we’ve listed in this guide. At 95kg it is also the heaviest we’ve featured – but it has proper pneumatic tyres to make moving it around easier. It’s not cheap. But you have the 3-year Hyundai warranty to give you peace of mind, and Hyundai parts are readily available in the UK.
- 4 stroke 420cc 15hp petrol engine
- Shreds branches up to 100mm thick
- Two chutes for different size material
- Free ear defenders and toolkit
- Best for hard cuttings
The T-Mech is a similar spec and size to the Hyundai HYCH1400 we included above. They have the same size engine and eat branches of about the same size too, up to around 100mm thick. The hopper takes small twigs and gardens waste such as bramble cuttings, while the bigger branches are fed through a separate chute. This chipper is designed for heavy domestic use. You’ll find the price slightly cheaper than the Hyundai-branded model.
Turn Your Garden Waste into Compost
The neat thing about having a garden waste shredder is that you can make your own compost. If you are a keen gardener, this is useful. Add your chopped up wood and soft cuttings to the compost heap – they are full of nutrients that will enrich your soil. You can also produce wood chips to cover beds and make pathways if you choose a wood chipper.
Why mulch, I hear you ask? There are loads of reasons. For a start, mulch keeps the weeds down. A good layer on your garden flower beds and the vegetable patch will also keep moisture in the soil. This cuts down the amount of watering you’ll need to do. Adding mulch around vulnerable plant roots helps to protect them from the frost in cold winters. And last but not least, making mulch saves you money. You won’t need to buy sacks of stuff at the garden centre any longer.
How Does a Wood Chipper or Garden Waste Shredder Work?
It’s pretty straightforward. With a wood chipper, you feed branches into a large hopper (like a big funnel) and rotating blades chop the wood into chips, which are shot out of a chute on the other side. The shredded material forms a pile on the ground or is stored in a collection box, depending on what type of machine you have. Garden waste shredders work in the same way, but they are usually designed for chopping up soft plant material such as stalks and smallish branches from shrubs rather than bulky lumps of wood.
You May Need to Build Your Chipper
Some chippers and shredders come in parts and need to be put together. For the larger models you may need two people to build your wood chipper – just bear that in mind when you order it! The models we have listed here all come with assembly instructions and are fairly straightforward to build.
Wood chippers need to be used with care. The blades are sharp and powerful. Don’t let children near them or people who have not been shown how to use them. Make sure you set the chipper upon a level, solid surface, and that you aren’t firing wood pellets into anyone’s eyes. A lot of machines come with safety goggles and gloves, so take advantage of these – a splinter of wood in the eye is not a very nice experience, trust me! Don’t put your hands in the hopper when the engine is running. If it’s clogged up, switch off first and clear the blockage.
I hope you’ve found this guide to the best wood chippers helpful. Happy shredding!
Our best buy for domestic garden use: Bosch Shredder AXT 2200 Rapid