If you are looking for ways to clean up the leaves in your yard and other organic yard waste, then buying a new leaf mulcher or leaf shredder is the answer to your problem. Leaf shredders are perfect for people who have a home with a lot of trees that shed leaves because a shredder can easily break down that yard waste. And leaf mulchers provide a way for you to make your own organic garden mulch. Not only is this great for the environment, but it can also save you money and keep your garden and lawn healthy and looking good. Your lawn and plants will get a lot of nutrients from the organic mulch you can make with your mulcher.
And instead of needing two separate machines, you can get a combo leaf mulcher and shredder machine that won’t take up a lot of space in your garage or shed.
Top 10 Wood Chippers, Shredders, & Mulchers 2015 - 2016
Shopping for the Best Sellings Leaf Mulchers and Shredders
For years, my dad has complained about the amount of time it takes him each fall to rake the leaves out of the yard and how often he has to do it. He is old school and has always used a manual rake with a big black trash bag to collect the yard waste. So, that got me to thinking that a leaf mulcher or leaf shredder would be a great Christmas gift or Father’s Day gift for my dad. Since I do not own my own home, I knew nothing about these devices and had to get to work doing a little research to determine what I needed to buy and where I could go to buy a good leaf mulcher or shredder.
One of the first things that I learned is that there are combo machines. That means that I could choose to buy just a leaf shredder or just a leaf mulcher — or I could buy a combo mulcher/shredder. I even discovered that there is a machine that is a mulcher/shredder/chipper – but it seemed to not really meet my dad’s needs. A chipper is better for people who have a lot of trees and bushes where they need to break down fallen limbs and such. You can’t put limbs in a leaf shredder/mulcher – just the leaves and grass trimmings.
Comparison: Top 5 Best Leaf Shredders and Mulchers
After looking at all the machines on the market, I narrowed it down to my top 5 choices. After thoroughly considering each of them, I give you my reviews below so that you can make an informed decision on the best one for your yard needs.
Eco-Shredder ES1600 14 amp Electric Chipper / Shredder / Mulcher
I really like this product because it is a combo unit that brings a lot to the table. Since it is a 3-in-1 machine, it means that you only need space for one item in your garage or shed instead of three. And that is important when you do not have a lot of space for yard equipment. Plus, the Eco-Shredder ES1600 Electric Chipper / Shredder / Mulcher is one of the most popular selling items of its kind at Home Depot. So that means that tons of people are trusting it, so why not me too?
In evaluating this product, I was looking for benefits or positive features that make it really stand out. Here is what I have come up with so far.
- Multi-Function All-in-One Machine – Eliminates the need for extra equipment in the yard.
- Portable And Easy to Move – It has wheels, which makes moving it around a breeze!
- Multiple Waste Chutes – The large top cylinder is for leaves and small debris while the side chute accepts tree limbs.
- Compact Design – It is smaller than most mulchers and shredders, which makes it easy to store in the garage.
- Good Customer Reviews – Owners of the product have good things to say about it, with negatives seeming to come from improper usage.
- Quiet In Use – Compared to gas models, this is a very quiet piece of equipment.
- Free Replacement Blades – The Eco-Shredder comes with free replacement blades in the box.
- Accepts Wet Debris – Works well with wet leaves and other wet yard waste.
Despite all the positives, nothing is not without its problems. And the Eco-Shredder ES1600 is no exception. In fact, this yard equipment might not be for everyone.
- Easily Overloaded – If you add too many leaves or twigs at once, this unit will seize up until you clear the debris.
- Specialty Screws – Replacing the screws that hold the blades is time consuming because they are special made for the unit.
- Blades Need Sharpened Regularly – For the best results, you need to sharpen the blades after each use.
Where to buy:
WORX WG430 13 amp Electric Leaf Mulcher/Shredder
The WORX WG430 is one of our highest rated combo lead mulcher/shredder devices on the list of models on the market this year. It is a very basic piece of equipment that does a good job when it comes to getting rid of the leaf and yard debris from your lawn. It also has one of the lower prices.
While the WORX WG430 looks like a simple, basic electric lead mulcher and shredder, it actually has a number of positive benefits that make it one of the best options for your money when it comes to electric leaf mulchers and shredders.
- Very Efficient – This device can process 53 gallons of mulch per minute
- Excellent Mulch Ratio – It can take large piles of leaves and make a tiny pile of mulch – 11:1 ratio.
- Compact Design – Due to its small size, this leaf mulcher/shredder is small and easy to store in a packed garage or yard shed. Plus, it is easy to assemble and take down.
- Safe Bladeless Cutting System – Instead of dangerous, sharp blades, the device uses heavy-duty grass trimmer line.
- Low Dust Generation – Unique motor reduces the amount of dust released into the air when the leaves are mulched or shredded.
- One-Step Process – The unit has a universal bag holder, to make the collection and disposal process a one-step process.
- Works With Wet Debris – The device has no problem handling wet leaves and yard debris.
Of course, the WORX WG430 is not for everyone. In some instances, the cons of the WORX WG430 might not make the product meet your needs.
- Sticks Can Break The Lines – The lines that shred the leaves can easily get broken if you put in any sticks by accident. This means that you have to insert small amount of leaves by hand to check for sticks, which is a little time consuming.
- Changing Lines Isn’t Easy – Big tools are required to be able to change the lines on the machine.
- Replacement Strings Often Out of Stock – It seems that WORX has a hard time keeping the replacement strings in stock.
Where to buy:
Flowtron LE-900 The Ultimate Mulcher Electric Leaf Shredder
This electric leaf shredder is a real powerhouse compared to its competitors. However, it only has one function, which is to shred leaves. But if you only need a device that is a leaf shredder, then this is an excellent choice.
If you are considering the Flowtron LE-900, take a look at some of its best features.
- Large Funnel Opening – You can insert a lot of leaves at once in the 21-in diameter funnel opening.
- Easily Fits Over Trashcan – Due to its long base legs, the LE-900 can easily straddle a large trashcan to collect your mulch.
- Efficient Two-Step Process – First the machine shreds the leaves and then it mulches them.
- Range of Shredding Adjustments – Wide range of adjustments from fine to coarse for your leaf shredding.
- Easy Portability – This shredder is both lightweight and easy to transport, thanks to its built-in handles.
- Easy Maintenance – To clean, just periodically remove and clean the removable motor intake filter.
Depending on your needs, the Flowtron LE-900 might not be the best leaf shredder for you. Take a look at some of its cons below.
- Motor Breaks If Overstuffed – While it can process a lot of leaves at once, overloading it will actually cause the motor to jam up.
- Generates a LOT of Dust -Unlike the previous product, this one creates a LOT of dust when in use, which means you need safety goggles and a mask.
- Only Works With Leaves and Grass – This item cannot handle pine needles or small twigs with overloading.
Where to buy:
Patriot Products CSV-2515 14 Amp Electric Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder
This product is the Rolls Royce of leaf shredders, which is why it is a serious contender. Unfortunately, it’s higher price tag makes it a less than ideal option for a lot of people, but it is still a solid product.
If you are wondering what makes the CSV-2515 one of the top leaf shredders for sale, just check out some of its benefits below.
- Also A Wood Chipper – Unlike most of the other listed leaf shredders and mulchers, this one can handle large branches with no issues.
- Easy To Transport – It has large wheels so that you can easily move it around the yard and back into the garage or shed.
- Safe Side Discharge – All of the other leaf shredders on this page run the risk of throwing small rocks and bits up at your face while in use, but this one has a side discharge that is much safer.
- National Home Gardening Club Member Tested Seal-of-Approval – It takes a lot to be rated this highly!
- Consumers Digest Pick – TWICE! – This item also was rated a “Best Buy” by Consumers Digest magazine.
- Easy Start – The electric engine starts up quickly with just the flip of a switch. It is also fairly quiet compared to competitors.
Like the other leaf shredders mentioned, the CSV-2515 has some disadvantages that might be of importance to shoppers.
- High Price – While not the most expensive leaf shredder on the market, this is the highest priced of the all ones that I checked out.
- Special Tool Required to Remove Cover – If you get a serious clog and need to take the cover off, you will be surprised to learn that you’ll need to request a special tool from the manufacturer to do so.
- Motor Not As Powerful As It Should Be – Electric motors never have as much power as gas ones, but you would expect more from a device with this high of a price.
Where to buy:
Yard Machines 24A-45M3000 208cc OHV Gas Powered Chipper/Shredder/Vacuum
With a mid-level price, this Yard Machines leaf shredder is the final product that I evaluated for my dad. It has a lot of good features as well.
If you want to know if you should buy the Yard Machines 24A-45M3000 leaf shredder, just take a look at some of these benefits.
- Powerful Gas Motor – The gas motor in this leaf shredder is one of the more powerful of the ones that I checked out.
- Ultra Portable – The large wheels on this leaf shredder means that you can easily move it around the garage or yard with little effort.
- Also Functions As A Wood Chipper – Unlike some of the leaf shredders I looked at, this one can handle larger branches with no problems.
- Steel Blade – Some of the leaf shredders I looked at did not have metal blades but strings like a weed eater. A blade like this gives better cuts.
- Large Output Capacity – The bag can hold 2.5 bushels of shredded or chipped yard waste before needing emptied.
The Yard Machines 24A-45M3000 does have some things that might be disadvantages for select users. If you are considering this leaf shredder and chipper, be sure to take a look at the cons below after reading the above pros.
- Can’t Run Gas Tank Dry in Winter – While you may be used to running the gas tank dry to winterize your equipment, you cannot do that with this machine.
- Can’t Buy in California – This machine is non-card compliant and cannot be sold/delivered to California.
Where to buy:
Leaf Shredder/Mulcher vs Leaf Chipper/Shredder
Should You Look For A Mulcher or Chipper?
If you’re looking for a combo piece of equipment, and I suggest that you do for the cost savings, you have two options – go for a combo chipper and leaf shredder or a combo leaf shredder and mulcher.
The problem with a leaf chipper/shredder is that this type of machine just cannot handle sticks at all unless they are very small twigs. In fact, an accidental branch mixed in the leaves can result in the machine getting jammed or even the lines breaking.
Of course, the leaf shredder/chippers are generally higher priced than the leaf mulcher/shredders. But you know the saying – “You usually get what you pay for.” So, that is something to keep in mind.
For me, I considered the fact that if someone has leaves in their yard, that means that they have trees – which can drop branches that you might not see under those leaves. And I did not want my dad to end up with a leaf shredder/mulcher just because it was cheaper just to have it break on him. Instead, I invested in a higher quality chipper/shredder. And guess what I learned – chipper/shredders also work as mulchers even though it doesn’t say so!
Yard Machines Chipper/Shredder In Use
Take a look at the Yard Machines Chipper/Shredder in action. It is easy to see why it is such an excellent choice. This is the one that I actually ended up buying for my dad.