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If you take pride in maintaining the appearance of your lawn and garden, a chipper shredder is a must-have tool for your home. With a chipper shredder in your shed, you’ll be able to repurpose all sorts of yard waste, from branches and twigs to fallen leaves and dead plants, by chopping them up into mulch or compost. Not only is this a convenient way to dispose of garden refuse, but it can also save you from having to buy your own mulch, compost, or fertilizer.
Chipper shredders come in both electric- and gas-powered models, and you can pay anywhere from $150 to several thousand dollars for one. As you shop, be sure to take into consideration the type of debris you’ll be shredding, your desired reduction ratio (aka how small the resulting pieces are), and the pros and cons of different power sources.
Here, the best chipper shredders available now.
Best Overall: Brush Master 11 HP 270cc Commercial Duty Chipper Shredder
This Brush Master Chipper Shredder is powerful enough to tackle all the debris around your yard, including branches up to 3 inches in diameter. The commercial-duty machine is powered by an 11 HP engine, and it turns yard waste into useful 0.25-inch mulch.
The Brush Master Chipper Shredder has a two-way feed that features both a side chute and an oversized top funnel that’s ideal for twigs and leaves. The chipper is capable of turning 12 bags of yard waste into one bag of chips, and it’s made from heavy-duty steel that will last significantly longer than plastic models. While pricey, this model is one of the most powerful residential chipper shredders you’ll find, and it even comes with a trailer hitch, replacement belt and blade, safety goggles, and gloves.
Reviewers give this product top marks, saying that it’s effective on wet leaves, thick branches, and anything else you might have in your yard. Plus, many note that it’s easy to set up and produces extremely small chips.
Best Budget: Martha Stewart MTS-EWC15 Self-Feeding Electric Wood Chipper
If you’re looking for a small chipper shredder to use around your home, the Martha Stewart Self-Feeding Electric Wood Chipper is an affordable choice. This electric-powered unit has a 15-amp motor and can handle branches up to 1.5-inches thick, making it ideal for light jobs in your yard and garden.
This chipper is mounted on wheels to allow you to pull it around your yard, and it features a safety hopper with a locking knob that prevents the motor from operating when it’s open. Because it’s electric, the unit requires virtually no maintenance, and reviewers say it’s ideal for turning shrub clippings, twigs, and leaves into mulch.
Best Gas: Brush Master 5 x 3.5 in. 15HP 420cc Self Feed Gas Chipper Shredder with 120V Electric Start
The main appeal of gas-powered yard tools is that they deliver more power than their electric counterparts. If you don’t mind the additional maintenance that comes along with gas tools, the Brush Master Self-Feed Chipper Shredder is one of the best gas models available today. It’s powered by a 15 HP commercial-duty engine and can handle branches up to 5 inches in diameter, turning them into 0.25-inch pieces of mulch.
This chipper shredder has a 120-volt electric start that you can simply plug into an outlet, and it features both a self-feeding side chute and an extra-large top funnel. The unit can turn 12 bags of yard waste into one bag of chips, and it comes with a tow bar, extra belt, spare chipper blade, and a chip bag. This gas-powered chipper shredder is ideal for anyone with a large yard, and reviewers say it’s outstanding for making mulch, with many noting that the electric start is a major selling point.
Best Electric: Sun Joe CJ602E-RED Electric Wood Chipper
Sun Joe is a well-known brand that sells budget-friendly electric power tools, and its chipper shredder is one of the best electric models on the market. This affordable model is powered by a 15-amp motor, and it generates speeds of up to 4,300 revolutions per minute, allowing it to cut up branches up to 1.5 inches thick. The resulting chips will be just 1/17 of their original size, allowing you to turn yard waste into nutrient-rich mulch.
This electric chipper shredder requires little maintenance, and you simply have to plug it in to start chipping. It has a compact, lightweight design mounted on wheels for increased portability, and reviewers say the seemingly small machine has exceeded their expectations, tackling all manner of branches with ease.
Best Small: Predator 6.5 HP (212cc) Chipper Shredder
For those with limited space, the Predator Chipper Shredder is a compact, yet powerful choice. This small chipper shredder has a 6.5 HP gas engine and can handle branches up to 3 inches in diameter, using its dual-action slicer to cut through larger pieces of wood. The unit has an expanded hopper and branch chute for larger debris, and its side discharge port helps to prevent clogs. It’s mounted on large wheels that you can pull across all types of terrain, and reviewers say it’s powerful and capable, despite its compact form.
Best Vacuum: Craftsman 24-In. 163cc Chipper Shredder Vacuum
With a standard chipper-shredder, you have to manually load debris into the machine, but you can save yourself some work with the Craftsman Lawn Vacuum. This chipper shredder vacuum resembles a walk-behind mower, but instead of cutting grass, it pulls up leaves, twigs, and debris using its 24-inch vacuum. The machine then cuts the contents into small chips, reducing eight bags of leaves into just one!
This chipper shredder vacuum comes with a two-bushel collection bag, and you can adjust its nozzle height between 0.625 inches and 4.125 inches depending on the terrain. The vacuum includes a 3-foot extension tube to help you reach under shrubs and in other tight areas, and according to reviewers, it’s surprisingly fun to use, but you’ll want to wear a face mask, as it kicks up quite a bit of dust during operation.
Best for Composting: Sun Joe SDJ616 Electric Leaf Mulcher/Shredder
If you have a compost pile in your yard, a product like the Sun Joe Shredder Joe can help you create wonderful nutrient-rich compost in less time. This electric leaf mulcher and shredder is ideal for chopping up both wet and dry leaves and lawn clippings, which means the organic matter will break down faster in your compost bin.
This electric tool has a 13-amp motor that can mulch up to 12 gallons of leaves per minute, and it reduces waste to 1/16 of its original size. The shredder conveniently attaches to a trash container to allow you to collect your mulch, and there’s an adjustable control dial that lets you toggle between wet and dry waste. Reviewers confirm that the Shredder Joe is great for composting, and many like that it operates quietly thanks to its electric power source.
Best Heavy Duty: Power King 5 in. 14 HP Gas Powered Commercial Chipper Shredder Kit with Heavy-Duty Tires
For those with large yards—and large budgets—the Power King Commercial Chipper Shredder Kit is a heavy-duty model that can tackle even the toughest jobs. This tool is powered by a 14 HP Kohler engine with a maximum output of 3,600 RPM, and it can handle branches up to 5.75 inches in diameter. It offers a large feed chute and 360-degree spout for increased control, and it cuts debris down to a tenth of its original size.
This kit includes an extended wheelbase, removable tow bar, replacement blade set, and safety gear. The Power King Chipper Shredder is incredibly heavy-duty, according to reviewers, and it’s made from solid, durable materials that will stand the test of time. All in all, it’s the perfect option for those with several acres of land to maintain, as it can handle large pieces of debris with ease.
The best chipper shredder for you depends on a couple of factors including the size of your yard/jobs and what power source you’d like to use. Our top pick goes to the Brush Master 11 HP 270cc Commercial Duty Chipper Shredder (view on Home Depot) which is capable of turning 12 bags of yard waste into a single bag of chips. If budget is a concern, we also love the Martha Stewart MTS-EWC15 Self-Feeding Electric Wood Chipper (view on Walmart) which is electric powered and highly portable thanks to its wheeled design.
Power source Chipper shredders are commonly powered by gas or electricity. Electric chippers are low-maintenance machines that are perfect for light cleanup—and they’re more environmentally friendly, to boot. Gas machines, on the other hand, are typically more powerful and aren’t limited by a cord, but they require more maintenance.
Capacity As you shop, you’ll notice chipper shredders have a “capacity,” which signifies the largest branch diameter the machine can handle. If you’re looking for a chipper just to clean up twigs, you’ll be fine with a low-capacity machine. However, if you want to chip thick branches, you’ll need to spend more on a more professional model.
Vacuum capabilities If you want to save yourself some work, you may want to look for a chipper shredder that has vacuum capabilities. This style of machine resembles a push lawn mower—it sucks up, chips and bags twigs, leaves, and debris as you navigate it around your lawn. However, these models can’t handle larger branches.