What to Look for in an Electric Leaf Shredder
Finding the best electric leaf shredder to fit your needs isn’t as difficult as it once was. Where large volume wood chippers were the norm several years ago, the market is now flooded with leaf shredders that handle various volumes, have enough power for various jobs and have multiple uses. Let’s look at some of the criteria that will be a part of choosing the right leaf shredder for you.
Volume. A larger yard with lots of trees on it will be required to handle a great deal more volume than a small yard with just a few trees. Determining the volume of leaves that you are going to be dealing with in the fall and throughout the year is a factor in choosing the right electric leaf shredder.
Power. Larger volume and larger debris are going to have a greater power requirement. If you try to process to high volume and/or too heavy debris with an underpowered shredder, you run the risk of damaging the motor. On the other hand, there’s no point in having more power than you need for smaller volumes.
Versatility. Dealing with fall leaves or leaves after storms might be the only use of your leaf shredder, but you also might be creating mulch for your garden throughout the year. If that is the case, then you’ll want to consider versatility in your shredder. Another factor involved in versatility is how easily and conveniently the unit can be stored.
Safety. We’ve seen and read horror thrillers involving wood chippers. Though those are highly exaggerated, safety, especially when you have children, should be a factor in determining the right leaf shredder for you.
Budget. Justifying a $500 to $1000 wood chipper to shred leaves for your lawn might be pretty difficult. Fortunately, there are electric leaf shredders available for under $100 as well.
Best Electric Leaf Shredders in 2017
With these five criteria in mind, let’s take a look at the top 10 best electric leaf shredders available so that you can determine the right fit for your needs.
- 10. Earthwise 15-Amp Electric Garden Chipper/Shredder, Model GS70015
- 9. Sun Joe SDJ616 Shredder Joe 13-Amp 16:1 Reduction Electric Leaf Mulcher/Shredder
- 8. Eco-Shredder ES1600 14-Amp Electric Chipper / Shredder / Mulcher
- 7. Patriot Products CSV-2515 14 Amp Electric Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder
- 6. Flowtron LE-800 Leaf-Eater Electric Leaf Shredder
- 5. LawnMaster FD1501 Electric Chipper Shredder
- 4. GreenWorks 24052 15 Amp Corded Shredder/Chipper
- 3. Flowtron LE-900 The Ultimate Mulcher Electric Leaf Shredder
- 2. WORX WG430 13 Amp Electric Leaf Mulcher/Shredder
- 1. Sun Joe CJ601E 14-Amp Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder
10. Earthwise 15-Amp Electric Garden Chipper/Shredder, Model GS70015
- 15 Amp motor
- 1.2-bushel hopper
- Overload protection switch
- 16:1 leaf mulching and 3:2 chipping
This shredder/chipper sits on a very solid and stable, wheeled base. It uses steel blades to chop, but has a safety lid and handle for loading and tamping. It is primarily a leaf shredder but can chip small branches as well. It has enough power and stability to make it a decent consideration.
- Durable and stable
- Adequately powered
- Excellent safety features
- Has a knob for clearing jambs.
- Doesn’t do well with green branches or clumps of green weeds
- Doesn’t chip harder wood
When you focus on mulching, leaf shredding and chipping of the small twigs that are sometimes mixed in with your leaves, this unit does the job. Because of its stability and durability, it is often mistaken and consequently misused, as a heavy duty unit. When used for moderate to light yard waste cleanup it works just fine and is value priced.
9. Sun Joe SDJ616 Shredder Joe 13-Amp 16:1 Reduction Electric Leaf Mulcher/Shredder
- 13 Amp motor
- 8000 RPM
- 13.4-pound compact design
- 55 gallons per minute
- 12” cutting diameter
- 16:1 reduction of yard waste
Also, makes use of heavy-duty trimmer line for cutting. Its 19” diameter hopper makes it easy to store when it’s not in use. This unit also features a dust-reducing clean-air cooling system for its motor. Additionally, the Sun Joe includes an adjustable setting for wet of dry yard waste
- Sufficiently powered
- Grinds very fine
- Larger gauge trimmer line
- Great safety
- Not good on small twigs that are sometimes mixed in leaves
- Does not do well with wet leaves
Most users found this leaf shredder to be adequate for doing the job they needed it for. They find the light weight design to be a plus and are pleased with the heavier gauge trimmer line, though the need to replace it is still a little cumbersome to some.
8. Eco-Shredder ES1600 14-Amp Electric Chipper / Shredder / Mulcher
- 14-amp, 2.5-horsepower motor
- V-type blade
- 10: 1 reduction ratio
- 2,800 RPMS
- 65 lbs. but set on wheels
This shredder will allow you to do a little bit heavier material and has the added convenience and stability of a built-in stand with wheels. This shredder uses a v-type blade and will allow you the added convenience of being able to chip branches of up to 1 3/8” in diameter. It has a three-way feed and overload protection which shuts the motor off if it becomes jammed.
- Added ability to chip small branches
- The wheeled cart allows it to be portability and stability
- Blades rather than trimmer line
- Perhaps it is overpowered for its design
- Won’t handle branches larger than ¾”
Where this machine excels above those that use heavy-duty trimmer line, it isn’t quite up to snuff when it is used like a chipper. As a leaf shredder, which can also handle the twigs that are often mixed in with leaves it does a great job, but some users complain about its durability when being used for heavier work.
7. Patriot Products CSV-2515 14 Amp Electric Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder
- 14 Amp, 2.5 horsepower motor
- 96 lbs. with wheeled stand
- V-blade cutter
- Uses standard collection bag
This machine starts to become a serious consideration as a wood chipper as much as it is a leaf shredder. It’s a little more stable than the other models because it is working harder than a light-duty leaf shredder. This unit is also set on a wheeled tripod stand. It is designed to handle branches up to 2 ½” in diameter.
- Medium to heavy yard waste work
- More heavy-duty design than the others
- Has won Consumer Digest “Best Buy” for electric chippers four times
- Priced a little high for light-duty users
- A little under-powered for heavy-duty users
This unit falls in that category, where it can easily be mistaken for more heavy-duty use than it was intended. When looking for an electric leaf shredder, this goes well beyond what’s necessary, especially where your budget might be concerned. This is a solid mid-range shredder and chipper, which will meet your needs if you’re not expecting it to work at a commercial level.
6. Flowtron LE-800 Leaf-Eater Electric Leaf Shredder
- 14 Amp motor
- Mulches from 8:1 to 30:1 with adjustable setting
- Has tilt feature for easy loading
- Weighs 16 lbs.
This unit is a powerful leaf shredder. It uses double thick heavy-duty trimmer line instead of the single thickness, allowing you to shred leaves longer without changing the line. It has a large-mouthed funnel attached to the shredder unit and is easy to carry and set up in various locations. It also includes safety shutoff when it is overloaded.
- This is a monster for leaf shredding, it eats leaves as fast as you can feed them
- Light weight, decent price for its primary purpose
- Well powered for a light-duty machine
- Will not chip branches
- The stand is not as stable as the wheeled units
If you are doing light-duty clean up, this machine will get the job done. It is lightweight and easy to store and move around. Don’t expect this machine to do medium or heavy duty lawn clean up and you’ll probably be satisfied with its performance.
5. LawnMaster FD1501 Electric Chipper Shredder
- 15 Amp motor
- 10:1 mulch ratio
- V-blade cutting
- 25 lbs.
Lighter weight, portable convenience, and supported on a large 8” wheel frame are features that make this chipper/shredder a nice, low-priced, mid-range unit. It has overload shutoff for added safety. Works on branches up to 1 ½” in diameter and it is powered enough to handle the job.
- Sufficiently powered to handle medium ranged jobs
- Fits in the same price range as the light-duty units
- Good durability
- Wheeled cart design is very stable and the larger wheels make it go through thicker grass
- Won’t chip hardwood or green branches that are 1 1/2” in diameter.
- Not quite there for heavy-duty work
Users of this chipper/shredder were very pleased when they used it for their medium ranged clean up. Because it works well on the medium-duty jobs, it is sometimes mistaken for a heavier duty unit and users attempt to use it for jobs it’s not meant. The price range on this unit is probably its biggest advantage. In many ways, this unit delivers the best bang for your buck.
4. GreenWorks 24052 15 Amp Corded Shredder/Chipper
- 15 Amp motor
- 38 pounds
- Small 14” x 19” profile
- 10:1 mulching
This unit is another affordable chipper/shredder with plenty of power to do medium duty yard clean up. With a 7” wheeled stand and plenty of stability, you can get around your yard and get it cleaned up in no time. The GreenWorks shredder/chipper uses the v-blade design for cutting rather than trimmer line.
- Priced for those on a budget
- Handles larger branches with ease
- Great stability
- Feeder paddle for added safety
- Design of its feed doesn’t do well with shredding leaves
- Too easily clogged
This is another unit that gives you better bang for the buck for lawn clean up. A great concern with this unit is that it doesn’t do well shredding leaves. If that is a major issue for you, then this is probably not the right machine. On the other hand, it seems to handle decent sized branches well and leans toward the heavier-duty machines in durability and performance.
3. Flowtron LE-900 The Ultimate Mulcher Electric Leaf Shredder
- 8 Amp motor
- Speed adjustable
- 17-pound compact design
- Adjustable mulching fineness
Hopper is 21” in diameter and has a bushel capacity. This shredder also uses heavy-duty trimmer line. The Flowtron has a feature for adjusting how finely you want to grind your mulch from 8:1 to 30:1. This unit includes an adjustment for allowing the hopper to be set at an angle for easier loading under certain conditions. Its features include:
- More versatile with its speed and loading angle adjustments
- Mulch fineness adjustment is an added convenience
- Wider-mouthed hopper makes it a little easier to use
- The motor is a little underpowered
- Stand is a little wobbly
This is a light-duty leaf shredder with a few extras that can help make your job easier. Overall, where it is used in its proper capacity, it seems to serve the purpose well. The smaller motor and the potential for crowding the machine too much and choking it down is probably something to take into consideration.
2. WORX WG430 13 Amp Electric Leaf Mulcher/Shredder
- 13 Amp motor
- 8,500 RPM
- Tool-free assembly
- 53 gallons of leaves per minute
- 20 lbs. compact design
- 13” cutting diameter
- 11:1 reduction of yard waste
The compact design of this unit makes it easy to use and store. It’s easily assembled without any additional tools. The WORX Leaf Mulcher has a dust-reducing, clean-air cooling system for the motor. This mulcher uses a bladeless cutting system for added safety, place of blades, it uses a flexible cutting line similar to that used in a weed cutter. It also features a universal bag holder which will allow you to make use of plastic or paper bags to gather and store your mulch.
- 13 Amp motor is powerful enough to handle the job
- Great safety with the bladeless cutters
- Compact and easy to assemble
- Grinds into fine mulch
- Have to replace the line often
- Will clog if you overload it
Users of this product are pleased overall. The major complaint of this unit is having to change the line, but typical .080 or .090 line is easy to find. This unit will take care of basic leaf shredding, but isn’t going to work for chipping.
1. Sun Joe CJ601E 14-Amp Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder
- 14 Amp motor
- 4300 RPM
- 30 lbs on a wheeled cart
- 16:1 mulching ratio
This machine is a great fit and great value for light duty and medium duty yard cleans up. Its wheeled base offers more stability and mobility, but it is not bulky to maneuver around your yard. This Sun Joe provides extra safety with its feeder handle along with a shutoff switch when it is overloaded. It is adequately powered and will do both leaves and larger branches up to 1 ½” in diameter.
- Great value when compared to its features and quality
- Uses blade rather than trimmer line
- Great safety features
- Offers versatility of both shredding and chipping
- Feeding branches into the machine is a little awkward
- Might not handle 1 ½” branches that are green or hardwood
This is a dandy little machine that performs medium and light duty yard clean up. It is affordable on anyone’s budget and offers a little more than just shredding leaves. It is adequately powered. Its safety features make it something that can boost your confidence and get you right to work on cleaning up your yard.
When it comes to choosing an electric leaf shredder, your main focus should be on considering how you are going to be using it. If the bulk of your clean up is leaves and small twigs, a lighter duty unit will probably be adequate. If you are expecting to chip branches over an 1” in diameter, then none of these machines are probably going to perform that function in high volume. Keep in mind:
- The volume of your task will require more durability.
- Your unit will need to be adequately powered.
- Besides being able to perform various tasks, it needs to be versatile in storage and in mobility.
- It needs to be safe to operate.
- It needs to fit your budget.
Know exactly what your needs are and purchase the proper tool for the job. Any tool, which is being used for something, which it was not designed to do, has the potential for being unsafe or for causing you plenty of frustration.