Gerald Kidder, professor emeritus at the University of Florida is of the view that “Fallen leaves, grass clippings, shrubbery trimmings, and tree limbs are all valuable plant material which can be used in a variety of ways to enhance your home or community’s landscape”.[source]
Fallen leaves blow around with wind and litter everywhere even when you rake them to the curbs or around your trees for recycling. That is natural and you have no control over that. There is one solution to that problem and that is to shred them.
By shredding the leaves you not only get rid of the litter but also take good advantage of them. The shredded or mulched leaves can then be used as fertilization for the trees and other vegetation in your yard.
Mulching the leaves with the mower is good but mulching them directly into the soil may hinder the growth of the turf by blocking sunlight. You need a leaf mulcher for better use of the leaves.
In this article, we are going to discuss some hand-picked leaf mulchers/shredders so that you can learn about these machines before making a purchase and to help you make the right choice. At the end of this article, you will be able to choose the best leaf mulcher and shredder for your yard.
1. WORX WG430 13 Amp Foldable Bladeless Electric Leaf Mulcher
Motor: WORX WG430 is powered by a 13 Amp motor. This much power is enough to cut down a tree and here it is only to drive mulching blades.
Reduction ratio: It offers a reduction ratio of 11:1. It will mulch up to 53 Gallons of leaves per minute which is quite a large quantity of leaves.
Cutting Mechanism: This mulcher comes with a bladeless system and employs a thick trimmer line with 0.09 inches diameter for the mulching job. It cuts in diameter of 13 inches. The line replacement is easy and tools less.
Hopper: It comes with a spacious hopper or chute to keep a large number of leaves at a time.
Ergonomics: The machine is ergonomically designed with the opening placed at a height convenient to put yard trash in.
Start switch: The on/off switch is bigger than the standard size for ease of use.
Warranty: It is backed by a 3-year warranty.
2. BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 Electric Leaf Blower, Leaf Vacuum, Mulcher, 12-Amp (BV6600)
Motor: It comes with a 12 Amp motor which supplies enough power to carry out the operations efficiently.
Reduction ratio: This shredder offers a reduction ratio of 16:1 which means it can reduce 16 bags full of debris into 1 bag. You don’t need to lug 16 bags to the curd rather 1 bag is enough.
Leaf Bag: It comes with a 1.5 bushels disposal bag which is a reusable bag and it is designed in a way to reduce your effort and save you time.
Metal Fan: It employs a high impact metal fan that prevents clogging when the machine is busy mulching.
Blow, vacuum and mulch: It is a 3-in-1 unit that can be used as a blower at the speed of 250 miles per hour when you find leaves littered all around. When it’s time to dispose of them, you can use the vacuum that sucks in all the leaves. If you mulch the leaves, this machine will fill the mulch in the attached bag.
3. Sun Joe SBJ606E-GA-SJG 14-Amp 250MPH 4-in-1 Electric Blower/Vacuum/Mulcher/Gutter Cleaner, Green
Motor: Sun Joe SBJ606E is also an electric machine powered by a 14 Amp motor which supplies even more power than our top two models.
Reduction ratio: The reduction ratio of this mulcher/shredder is 16:1 which means it turns yard trash to 1/16th of its original volume. It is a good ratio for such a compact machine.
Blower, Vacuum, Mulcher and Gutter Cleaner: It is a 4-in-1 unit that blows leaves from your lawn at the speed of 250 miles per hour. It has a vacuum that sucks up all the scattered leaves to make your lawn appear clean. It will also mulch the leaves for quick composting or biodegradation.
Most importantly, it performs a gutter cleaning job as well. So, if you are living in a cold environment, the gutter cleaning feature will help you save up money on eliminating the ice dams.
The conversion from one mode to another is quick and easy and hardly takes a few seconds.
Adjustable wind speed: The wind speed can be adjusted to 6 levels to ensure better control for better cleaning.
Impeller: The impeller is made of aluminium alloy which ensures durability.
4. WORX WG510 TURBINEFusion 12 Amp Electric Leaf Blower/Mulcher/Vacuum
Motor: WORX WG510 employs a 12 Amp motor to receive power for the operations. 12 Amp motor supplies enough power to successfully complete the assigned job with 16,500 RPMs.
Reduction Ratio: It has the greatest reduction ratio on this list which is 24:1. It means that this leaf shredder is capable of turning 24 bags full of leaves and twigs into 1 bag.
Turbine Fan: This shredder features turbine technology which helps better blowing, vacuuming and mulching of leaves and twigs.
Blower, Vacuum and Mulcher: It is a 3-in-1 machine which blows leaves with exceptional power. It vacuums debris to collect in a bag for easy removal or it will mulch the debris for better use.
Metal Impeller: It is incorporated with a 2 stage metal impeller that gives the finest mulch which can compost easily and quickly.
5. Sun Joe IONBV-XR 40V Variable-Speed Cordless Blower/Vacuum/Mulcher, Kit (w/5.0-Ah Battery + Quick Charger)
Battery: This leaf shredder is powered by a 40V 5.0 Ah battery which supplies power to perform functions effectively.
Reduction Ratio: It comes with the reduction ratio o 17:1 which means it can reduce down the volume of debris to 1/17the of their original volume.
Adjustable wind speeds: The wind blows at maximum 200 miles per hour and it can be adjusted to 6 different settings to achieve cleanliness with better control.
Blower, Vacuum and Mulcher: It is a 3-in-1 machine that blows the leaves from your lawn to the curbs. It takes in the leaves using the vacuum option. It features mulching capability as well to turn the leaves to vitamin-rich compost.
Bagging attachment: It comes with a 16 Gallons bag to collect leaves for the easy disposal.
6. WORX WG509 TRIVAC 12 Amp 3-in-1 Electric Blower/Mulcher/Vacuum with Multi-Stage All Metal Mulching System
Motor: WORX WG509 comes with a 12 Amp motor that works as an alternative to gas-powered machines.
Reduction Ratio: It features a reduction ratio of 18:1 which means it is capable of reducing yard trash to 1/18th of its original volume.
Metal Impeller: It comes with a two-stage metal impeller with shredder blades to ensure the finest quality mulch.
Blower, vacuum, and Mulcher: It is a 3-in-1 machine that works as a blower, vacuum, and mulcher. It can easily and quickly convert from one mode to another.
7. Sun Joe SDJ616 13-Amp 16:1 Reduction Electric Leaf Mulcher/Shredder, Green
Motor: This leaf mulcher/shredder is a powerful shredder powered by a 13 Amp motor with 8000 RPM. RPM (revolution per minute) is a measure that tells us how fast a machine is working in a given time. With 8000 RPM, this machine is speedy.
Reduction Ratio: The reduction ratio of this machine is 16:1 which means a reduction of 16 bags full of leaves to 1 bag. It can mulch 55 gallons of leaves in a minute.
Hopper: The 19 inches hopper or chute is spacious and big enough to keep a large number of dead leaves at a time.
Smart Shred Technology: The use of smart shred technology ensures dust reduction and motor cooling in an efficient way.
Control Dial: It features a control dial that provides you with a range of settings so you can choose settings based on the material you feed i.e. wet or dry material, grass clippings or leaves, etc.
8. YARD FORCE Electric Leaf Mulcher/Shredder with Bonus Accessory Kit
Motor: This shredder is empowered by a 13 Amp motor with 8000 RPM which exactly the same as our previous model.
Reduction Ratio: It comes with a reduction ratio of 12:1 which means it will reduce waste material to 1/12th of its original volume. It will not just reduce your effort but will also save you time and money.
Cutting Line: It employs 0.095 inches trimmer line that requires no tools to be replaced. The replacement of the line is a quick and easy job in the shredder.
Adjustable legs: All four legs are individually adjustable that ensures stability on all terrains.
Rakes: 2 hand rakes are included to help you put the leaves into the hopper rather than directly using your hands in dirty dead leaves.
Accessories: You receive 10 shredder replacement lines, bungee cord that is used as a clamp to hold bags and safety goggles.
When buying a leaf mulcher/shredder, it is important to take some time and think about a few things before making a purchase. It is just to avoid the hassle that you might face after buying a unit. There are a few major factors that can help you choose a good leaf mulcher/shredder.
The motor is the powerhouse of your leaf shredder. It cannot perform beyond the limit of the power it receives. So, make sure the leaf shredder houses a powerful enough motor to get help cleaning up your yard. There is no need to buy a high-end leaf shredder with greater motor power until and unless you really need one. If you have a lot of work to do then saving up some money and buying a leaf shredder with a small motor will just increase the trouble later on.
Gas-powered leaf shredders are usually heavy-duty machines but they are also hazardous to the environment. It is better to buy electric leaf shredders which are eco-friendly and makes no noise.
Gas-powered leaf shredders are only good if you have a huge property and piles of leaves to deal within a short period of time.
This is a considerable factor. The reduction ratio actually tells you how much material can be reduced to what amount. The reduction ratio of 20:1 of a leaf shredder tells that the shredder is capable of reducing 20 bags of leaves to 1 one bag. In other words, leaf shredder is capable of reducing leaves to 1/20th of its original volume.
Weight & Portability:
Weight of the leaf shredder matter a lot because you have to drag it out from your storage. People who have large properties, they keep more than one piles of yard trash at different spots. So, in such cases, leaf shredder should be portable and lightweight so you can easily move it from one spot to the other.
Some leaf shredders are handheld, they are usually lightweight but it depends how much weight you can carry. So, if you are buying a handheld leaf shredder, make sure to get the one that you can carry easily.
What is the best garden shredder to buy?
We have discussed a number of products above. They are the best ones among all that are available in the market. Please refer to that list to choose one.
What is the difference between a chipper and a shredder?
A chipper is a heavy-duty product that is used to chip branches of trees. Most of the chippers are capable of chipping branches from 1 to 3 inches in diameter and reduce them to ½ inch chips.
Shredders are usually used to shred leaves, twigs and pine leaves, etc. They are usually not designed to cut through heavy branches of trees like chippers but they can reduce hundreds of gallons of leaves into fine mulch in few minutes.
Can wood chipper shred leave?
Wood chippers can also shred leaves. They are a bit expensive than leaf shredders. You can get a combo of a chipper and a shredder that performs both jobs well.