11 Best Leaf Shredders: Your Buyer’s Guide

leaf shredder

Caring for a lawn can be a major chore at all times of the year, but when the leaves start falling it is especially hard to keep up with all of the work. Raking, bagging, and disposing of leaves can take hours or even days if you have a lot of trees. Luckily, leaf mulchers can save you a lot of time and hassle.

This article contains our top picks for leaf mulchers in 2019. We have included standard mulchers as well as combination tools, and even a few heavy duty chipper/mulchers for big jobs that include clippings from shrubbery or tree branches.

What Are The Best Leaf Shredders Available Right Now?

worx leaf mulcher Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 11:1 leaf to mulch ratio
  • Easy start and shut off
  • Lightweight and easy to store
Price: $152.30 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Patriot Products CSV-3100B Gas-Powered Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Very powerful motor
  • One year warranty
  • Relatively inexpensive for how powerful it is
Price: $1,399.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Patriot Products CSV-3100B Gas-Powered Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Very powerful
  • Side discharge to avoid moving shredder
  • Unique design for efficiency and power
Price: $1,399.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Sun Joe SDJ616 Shredder Joe 13-Amp 16:1 Reduction Electric Leaf Mulcher/Shredder Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Produces less dust than other mulchers
  • 16:1 leaf to mulch ratio
  • Two-year warranty
Price: $89.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Worx Trivac Blower & Mulcher with Leaf Pro - Lightweight and Easy to Use Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Easy to use, light weight
  • Powerful electric motor
  • Vacuum into trash can or carry bag
Price: $83.76 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
WORX TriVac WG500 12 amp All-in-One Electric Blower/Mulcher/Vacuum Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Very inexpensive
  • Over 700 positive reviews
  • Ergonomically designed for all heights
Price: $167.67 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
earthwise leaf mulcher Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Mulches twigs as well as leaves
  • 1.2 bushel collection bin
  • Relatively inexpensive
Price: $216.01 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
SuperHandy Electric Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 17:1 leaf and stick to mulch ratio
  • Chips branches up to 1.57" thick
  • Powerful 15 Amp electric motor
Price: $84.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum, Variable-Speed (up to 250 mph) with Metal Impeller, 12 amp Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Very light weight
  • Easy to use, multiple speeds
  • Inexpensive
Price: $99.96 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
flowtron leaf mulcher Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 11:1 reduction of leaves to mulch
  • Can shred directly to compost or trash can
  • One year warranty
Price: $136.17 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
black decker leaf mulcher Amazon Customer Reviews
  • High quality and inexpensive
  • Reduces leaves to mulch by a 16:1 ratio
  • Vacuum, blower, mulcher all in one
Price: $89.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Best Electric Leaf Shredder: WORX 13 Amp Electric Leaf Mulcher with 11:1 Mulch Ratio and Fold-down Compact Design

    Pros:
    • 11:1 leaf to mulch ratio
    • Easy start and shut off with oversized switch
    • Lightweight and easy to store, under 30 lbs total weight
    • 13 Amp electric motor
    • Uses safe string trimmer lines instead of dangerous metal blades
    • Reduces dust with clean-air cooling system
    Cons:
    • May require extension cord
    • Does not come with bags
    • Reviewers found it very noisy

    This compact leaf mulcher from Worx is lightweight, easy to use and easy to store when the job is done. 

    This is one of the best leaf grinding machines for people who don’t have a lot of storage space to spare. It has a fold-down design for easy transport and storage. No tools are needed for assembly, simply pop the mulcher on to the base, insert a bag into the universal bag holder (compatible with both paper and plastic) and you are ready to go. 

    The 13 Amp motor is capable of mulching 53 gallons of leaves per minute, so you will have your yard cleaned up in no time. It deposits directly into a bag (not included) and is able to achieve a high leaf to mulch ratio of 11:1. It also has a patented clean-air cooling system to reduce dust and exhaust. Air is separated from mulched leaves through an external cool air intake and exhaust. 

    You do not need any tools to assemble or disassemble this electric shredder, and it is very compact to store. The start-stop system on this unit is easy to use with an oversized on/off button. Instead of using dangerous metal cutting blades that will rust and become dull, it uses heavy-duty grass trimmer line. It comes with 24 cutting lines included and a three-year warranty.

    Dimensions: 13″ x 22.5″, 28 lbs

  2. 2. Best Commercial Chipper Shredder: Earthquake 9060300 Chipper Shredder

    Pros:
    • One year warranty
    • Very powerful motor can chip branches up to 3 inches in diameter
    • Relatively inexpensive for how powerful it is
    Cons:
    • Expensive
    • Very loud gas-powered engine
    • Heavy at 107 lbs

    This Earthquake Chipper Shredder is heavy duty and can handle the biggest jobs with leaves, brush, and branches.

    This chipper can handle branches up to three inches in diameter with heavy-duty chipping knives and hammers, so you can convert not only leaves and small sticks but tree branches into usable mulch for your garden bed or compost pile.

    This super efficient system converts with a 20:1 ratio of branches/leaves to mulch. It comes with a two-bushel bag to make transportation easy and reduce dust as you work. This mulcher is powered y a heavy duty Briggs and Stratton Engine, and it has wheels to easily transport to any spot in your yard.

  3. 3. Best Heavy Duty Mulcher: Patriot Products CSV-3100B 10 HP Briggs & Stratton Gas-Powered Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder

    Pros:
    • Very powerful, can chip and shred leaves and branches up to 3 inches in diameter
    • Side discharge lets you stay in one spot all day without moving shredder
    • Unique design for maximum efficiency and power
    Cons:
    • Not as portable as other options
    • Relatively expensive
    • Very loud

    This Patriot Products gas-powered mulcher is a powerful machine that can handle way more than a standard leaf shredder. This machine can turn anything up to three inches in diameter into fine mulch, so if you have trees or shrubs to prune this is a perfect machine for you.

    The chipper is powered by a ten horsepower Briggs engine, and the chipper has a unique design to maximize efficiency and speed. To shred leaves, this shredder uses a swinging Y-hammer system that beats plastic shredding wire in speed and power. It can chip branches as well as shred them depending on your mulch needs.

    This mulcher also has a side discharge tube so you can work in the same place all day without having to move the chipper around. It is recommended by the Handyman Club of America and is compliant in all 50 states.

  4. 4. Best Dust Free Mulcher: Sun Joe SDJ616 Shredder Joe 13-Amp 16:1 Reduction Electric Leaf Mulcher/Shredder

    Pros:
    • Produces much less dust than other mulchers
    • 16:1 leaf to mulch ratio
    • Processes 55 gallons per minute of leaves
    • Two-year warranty
    Cons:
    • Some reviewers had issues with assembly
    • Heavier than some other models
    • Does not come with bags

    This Sun Joe Leaf Mulcher is perfect for small to mid-sized yards with a 13 amp motor, 8,000 RPM and large capacity.

    This mulcher has the ability to reduce yard waste by up to a 16:1 ratio of leaves to mulch. You can attach it to any leaf or mulch bag for easy disposal.

    The Sun Joe leaf shredder also has a special dust-reducing motor cooling system, and it compacts to a small size for storage.

    The top funnel has a large 19-inch opening and uses a heavy-duty trimmer line with a 12-inch cutting diameter to process up to 55 gallons of leaves per minute, about the size of a large trash can.

    This shredder has an easy-to-read control dial for hassle-free operation, and it comes with a two-year warranty. 

     
  5. 5. Lightweight and Easy to Use: Worx Trivac Blower & Mulcher with Leaf Pro

    Pros:
    • Easy to use, light weight
    • Powerful electric motor
    • Vacuum into trash can or carry bag
    Cons:
    • Not as powerful as other models
    • No warranty
    • Relatively expensive

    The Trivac is a powerful Worx leaf blower, mulcher and vacuum combination tool that makes it easy to mulch leaves directly into your trash can.

    The Trivac comes with a long vacuum tube and an adapter bag that attaches to the top of your trash can so that you do not have to transport the leaves after they are mulched. It also comes with its own 26-gallon collection bin. The tube is angled for easy access under bushes, tables, and storm drains.

    This is an electric leaf vacuum so there is no need to purchase gas or make gas and oil mixtures to power it. When shopping for a leaf blower vacuum combo, cordless seems more convenient at first. However, electric motors are cleaner, quieter, and more efficient.

    The Worx leaf vacuum is powerful enough to suck up leaves and grass as well as small sticks and loose dirt. You can use this model with a portable bag that is easy to carry along with you as you work in the yard.

     

     
     
  6. 6. Best Ergonomic Leaf Shredder: WORX Trivac 3-in-1 Electric Blower/Mulcher/Vacuum

    Pros:
    • Very inexpensive
    • Over 700 positive reviews
    • Ergonomically designed for people of all heights
    Cons:
    • Very loud
    • Bag may fill up quickly in large yards
    • Cannot mulch directly into trash can

    Here is another version of the Trivac, a powerful yet inexpensive blower/vacuum/mulcher from Worx. The included carry on bag has a shoulder strap to make it very easy for you to walk around the yard and mulch leaves as you go. The tube is angled for easy access under bushes, tables, and storm drains.

    This blower has a compact and lightweight design and can be operated single handed in both blowing and vacuuming modes. It even has an ergonomic design with soft grip handles that can accommodate people of all heights and reach length. 

  7. 7. Best All-in-One Shredder: Earthwise GS70015 15-Amp Electric Garden Chipper/Shredder with Collection Bin

    Pros:
    • Mulches twigs as well as leaves
    • 1.2 bushel collection bin
    • Relatively inexpensive
    Cons:
    • No warranty/li>
    • Only handles small twigs not large branches
    • Relatively heavy at 31 lbs

    This Earthwise leaf shredder is the best all-in-one system that includes its own collection bin for easy use and simple transport of your shredded leaves. 

    This shredder can also handle small twigs and branches, making it an excellent choice for compost, which often consists of all kinds of yard waste, not just leaves. It has a powerful 15 amp motor and a leaf chute and tamper tool to keep your hands safe while mulching.

    The collection bin below holds up to 1.2 bushels for easy cleanup. This leaf shredder also features overload protection with a reset switch and easy portability with the durable back wheels.

  8. 8. SuperHandy Electric Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher

    Pros:
    • Very powerful 15 Amp electric motor
    • Reversible blades for extended use
    • Polypropylene exterior will not dent or rust with outdoor use
    • Wheels on bottom for easy transport
    • 17:1 leaf and stick to mulch ratio
    Cons:
    • Some customers had issues with chipping wet sticks
    • Product description does not include warranty information, unclear whetere there is a warranty at all
    • Does not deposit directly into a bag
    • This SuperHandy electric shredder is one of the most powerful electric shredders available, with a 15 Amp belt-driven motor that is capable of mulching wood as well as leaves. This is the perfect choice if you have small branches to shred along with your leaf piles. 
    • This machine is capable of chipping branches up to 1.57″ (39mm) in diameter. It has a reduction ratio of 17:1. The electric motor is cleaner and quieter than a gas-powered leaf mulcher, with no nasty smelling exhaust.
    • The blades on this machine are double-sided and reversible, so when one side wears out you can simply flip them over for extended use. 
    • This machine has a durable polypropylene exterior that is completely weather-proof and will not rust or dent. Using the machine is easy with an instant start switch and an overload protection switch. It has two large wheels on the bottom for easy transport from your garage to your yard and back.
    •  
  9. 9. Best Inexpensive Mulcher: Toro 51621 UltraPlus Leaf Blower Vacuum Mulcher

    Pros:
    • Very light weight
    • Easy to use, multiple speeds
    • Very inexpensive
    Cons:
    • Not as powerful as other mulchers
    • Made in China
    • Not a lot of reviews

    If you want a good mulcher for a lower cost, this Toro 12 Amp Leaf Mulcher will get the job done.

    This leaf shredder vacuum is inexpensive and very lightweight. It is a three-in-one machine with blowing, vacuum and leaf shredding capabilities.

    Toro advertises a maximum blowing speed of 250 mph and a drastic 97% reduction in size from leaf to mulch using a dual metal impeller. It is easy to convert between vacuum and blower modes.

    You can choose between two speeds – High speeds for tough jobs and low speed for small areas. The variable speed works in both blower and vacuum modes. In vacuum mode, you get a CFM of 410.

  10. 10. Best Direct-To-Compost Mulcher: Flowtron LE-900 The Ultimate Mulcher Electric Leaf Shredder

    Pros:
    • Small and light weight
    • Can shred directly onto your compost pile or on top of trash can
    • One year warranty
    • 11:1 reduction of leaves to mulch
    Cons:
    • Not as compact as others
    • Wire cutters must be replaced more often because there are two
    • Some reviewers had issues with the switches

    The Flowtron leaf shredder is an excellent and popular shredder that has only the features you need and nothing you don’t. You can use the Flowtron with the included stand and mulch right on top of your compost pile, or you place it directly on top of a trash can.

    This shredder weighs only 17 lbs and is very easy to operate. It also includes a removable air filter to reduce dust. This is a rugged machine with high-density polyethylene funnel and housing and has the capacity to reduce 11 bags of leaves to just one.

    The Flowtron uses a patented double cutting line design for more reliable and effective mulching. You can easily adjust the level of mulching between fine needles, leaves and grass/thatch to ensure maximum efficiency for whatever you need to mulch. 

     

     

  11. 11. Best Inexpensive Vaccuum Mulcher: Black & Decker BV6000 High Performance Blower/Vac/Mulcher

    Pros:
    • High quality and inexpensive
    • Reduces leaves to mulch by a 16:1 ratio
    • Vacuum, blower, mulcher all in one
    • 250 MPH blowing speed
    Cons:
    • Electric cord may get in the way
    • Not as powerful as stationary motors
    • May get heavy as you vacuum leaves

    Black and Decker is a leading brand in outdoor tools, and their 3-in-one electric blower/mulcher/vacuum is a high-quality option for your yard. 

    This handheld mulcher has a 12 amp motor that operates as either a vacuum or a blower. It can also mulch your leaves while in vacuum mode with the 

    The blower runs at speeds up to 250mph and has two-speed settings to choose from so that you can protect delicate plants and flowers when necessary. Even with such a powerful blower, this machine operates 50 percent quieter than other leaf vacuums. 

    The vacuum is easy to switch to with just one button, and the mulcher can reduce leaves by a 16:1 ratio. It also comes with a two year manufacturer’s warranty. This is the best leaf mulcher vacuum for the price. 

If you have a yard with trees, leaf shredders are one of those tools that may not be absolutely essential but can really save you a lot of time and hassle over the years. Each year when your trees drop their leaves, you have a big job ahead of you raking, bagging and disposing of or composting those leaves.

If you have to dispose of leaves at the landfill or county composting center, this can be a huge hassle as well, depending on how many bags you have to dispose of. If you compost at home, you need a huge compost bin to process all of those leaves!

Leaf shredders and mulchers make all of these jobs easier. They turn huge piles into manageable sizes, decreasing the overall size from as many as 10 bags to only one bag of leaf mulch. Mulchers also make the leaves more ready for composting by increasing the surface area and decreasing the overall size of each piece, making it easier for beneficial bacteria and other microorganisms to digest them and turn them into black gold that you can till back in to your garden soil.

Vacuum mulcher combination models make it possible for you to clean your yard up without even having to rake. They combine leaf blowers and vacuums and shredders in one, so you can get the job done with just one tool.

How Does A Leaf Shredder Work?

Leaf shredders have a few different designs- Electric, Gas, or Handheld.

Electric shredders use string trimmer lines, much like weed eaters. These thick plastic strings spin at a high speed in order to chop the leaves into small pieces. This type of shredder works best on dry, brittle leaves. 

Gas-powered shredders use heavy-duty metal blades and grinding plates. These can usually handle large sticks and branches, anywhere from one inch to three inches in diameter. 

Handheld shredders are usually a combination tool with a blower, vacuum and shredder in one. These utilize a metal impeller, which looks much like a fan blade but with a solid back. When the tool is in vacuum mode, the impeller spins and mulches the leaves as they pass through the channel and into the collection bag or bin. 

How To Use A Leaf Shredder

Each of the leaf shredders listed above has its own specific instructions for use, and you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions on their assembly, use and break down. 

Electric and gas-powered mulchers are stationary and have a chute either on the top or on the side where you dump the leaves. They will either have their own bag or bin, or you can use your own to catch the mulch. 

Leaf blower shredders strap on to your back and have a collection bag that catches the shredded leaves. With these models, you either walk around the property vacuuming up the leaves as you go, or you can blow them into a big pile and then vacuum them all up at once. 

Can A Leaf Shredder Shred Paper?

Whether a leaf shredder can shred paper depends on the type that you purchase. For heavy-duty gas-powered shredder/chipper combos that are designed to handle branches as well as leaves, the answer is yes. These have metal blades that can easily cut through paper. 

Blower/vacuum shredders can not shred paper. Neither can compact shredders that use plastic trimming string. These just do not have enough power to shred paper, and you can damage them by attempting to do so. 

Why shred paper? Composting enthusiasts will often add paper to their piles, whether it is a newspaper, junk mail, cardboard pizza boxes or other types of paper. Composting paper is convenient, especially with items that cannot be recycled like greasy pizza boxes. However, it does not add any nutrition into your compost and should not make up a significant portion of your pile.
If you have a worm composting bin, newspaper strips make it convenient to add layers of food scraps while still allowing air space for your worms

Keep in mind that you should not ever shred and compost glossy papers such as magazine pages or shiny wrapping paper. These use a high percentage of strong chemicals containing toxins that are not good for soil creation. 

Should I Shred My Leaves?

There is one more factor to consider while planning your Autumn lawn care. Many species of moths, including beautiful Luna moths and Promethea Moths, build their cocoons inside of fallen leaves. This means that the piles of leaves you rake, and potentially shred, could contain moth caterpillars overwintering inside of the leaf rubble. 

It is definitely possible to learn to identify moth cocoons among the fallen leaves and to save them if you wish. Another option is to set aside some of your fallen leaves to use as a groundcover around trees, shrubs, or temperature-sensitive garden areas. This will give the moths the chance to survive the winter while protecting your plants much like wood chip mulch or pine needle mulch would.

See Also:

Disclaimer: Heavy Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate advertising programs and may receive a commission if you purchase a product via a link on this page.

Read More