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Best Garden Mulchers, Wood Chippers, and Shedders | Australia 2022

We’re becoming more and more aware of our role as guardians of our land these days, so ensuring our garden waste is properly recycled is one of the most important things we can do to take care of our soil, as well as our wider environment. In this article, we’re going to talk about wood chippers, how, and why they help in that endeavour.

Later, I’ll talk about the differences between wood chippers and garden shredders, and why it’s important to mulch plants back with their own clippings where possible, but most importantly, we’ve got a comprehensive guide to the best wood chippers you can buy online right now.

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Garden Mulchers, Wood Chippers & Shredders Product Chart

Wood Chippers Buyer's Guide

What is a Wood Chipper?

Best Wood Chippers Australia

Wood chippers are large, free-standing, power tools that process timber into mulch by crushing or shredding branches into mixed sized garden clippings. 

Do You Need a Wood Chipper?

Wood chippers reduce garden waste by creating mulch which can be used all over the garden to help retain moisture in the soil, and improve soil structure over time. 

By breaking down trees and shrub cuttings as often as possible you reduce your council waste collections, improve your own personal impact on the environment. By not having to drive to dispose of your timber, or burn it, you create a much more circular environment in your garden too.

For shrubs like Camelia and rhododendrons, they love being mulched with their own leaf and wood mulches so by creating your own mulch you are improving the health of your own plants too.

Different Types of Wood Chippers

Types of Wood Chippers

Wood chippers are often sold as wood chippers, mulchers, or garden shredders, but there is a slight difference with each. While mulcher is a general term, it usually refers to a shredder, which breaks down materials as small as possible so they break down faster, while a chipper is designed to crush timber.

The two main types of wood chippers are explained in more detail here:

What is a Wood Chipper for?

Wood chippers are for breaking down branches as quickly and efficiently as possible. The more expensive the wood chipper, usually, the bigger the branches it can handle. 

You should never put general garden waste in a wood chipper as they are not designed for shredding, and have blunt blades designed to rip and crush timber rather than neatly cut it into pieces, and the blunt blades can easily be clogged by soft fibrous materials.

What is a Garden Shredder for?

Garden shredders are great for small branches, softwood, and leaf litter, and can even help break down grass clippings so they compost even quicker.

Garden shredders should never be used to break down large branches though as they will quickly have their blades blunted by hardwood, or timber too thick for their blades.

What to Look For When Buying a Wood Chipper

A man storing a garden shredder

When you’re looking for the best wood chipper for your garden there are a few basics to consider that will help you with your decision. Firstly, how often are you planning on using it?

Don’t spend thousands of dollars on something you only need once, when you can rent a wood chipper. Second, how big is the tree you need to break down? 

If you’re just buying a wood chipper for general garden maintenance, a good quality shredder might be enough. And lastly, what fuel do you need? 

If your garden is huge there’s no point carting around an extension lead every time you use a wood chipper, so it's probably best to invest in a petrol wood chipper.

Capacity of Wood Chippers Explained

When you’re looking for the best wood chipper or even a basic garden mulcher, you’ll come across a figure called ‘feed capacity’ or sometimes just ‘capacity’. All this means is the width of the branch your chipper can handle.

Most garden shredders can handle branches up to 40mm wide, but only the best wood chippers can break down branches over 100mm, so for professional tree surgeons you should be looking at wood chippers with a capacity of at least 100mm, and ideally, 120mm if you can find it.

Wood Chippers Safety Guide

Wood Chippers Safety Guide

There are some pretty obvious health and safety considerations for using a wood chipper or garden shredder. First and foremost, never put your hand anywhere near the blades.

Some shredders are self-feeding, meaning they will continue to pull whatever they are cutting further in. Some shredders come with automatic shut-downs so when you let go of the switch they turn off, and others do not. 

Get to know your machine before using it to make sure you know what to do in an emergency.

  • Always wear goggles
  • Always wear thick gloves
  • Feed slowly, one branch at a time to prevent clogging
  • Wear a mask when cutting down any timber (wet or dry) to prevent dust inhalation

Mulcher, Garden Shredder, & Wood Chipper Reviews

Ducar Wood Chipper and Shredder

The Ducar wood chipper and shredder is great for everyday garden use, and still within a good price range for serious gardeners, with all the tricks and features of professional wood chippers, and the power of a petrol engine.

The self-feeding, fast cutting wood chipper can handle big branches and creates a really fine mulch even from damp timber.

Pros

  • Max branch width: 60mm
  • Fast cutting
  • Self-feeding

Cons

  • Loud
  • Expensive
Ozito 2400W Silent Garden Shredder

Ozito makes great budget tools for DIY gardeners, and for anyone with tall hedges, this is a must-have tool. While it only cuts branches up to 40mm thick, it’s efficient, really quiet and makes a super-fine mulch which is perfect for compost or even directly mulching garden beds.

It’s astonishingly good value too, with any directly comparable wood chipper coming in at almost double the price.

Pros

  • Quiet
  • Self-Feeding
  • Fast cutting
  • Plug-in
  • Good value

Cons

  • Max branch width: 40mm
Michigan Ravenger Petrol Wood Chipper Mulcher

The Michigan commercial petrol wood chipper, the Michigan Ravenger, is capable of branches up to 120mm across, cutting them down with a twin blade system that makes even finer mulch than most domestic leaf chippers.

There is no world where a domestic gardener should need to buy a Michigan Ravenger, but they’re a great choice for rentals for big DIY jobs.

And for professional landscapers and tree surgeons these are pretty much the only choice for big jobs especially when used alongside a wood splitter to break down the bigger material first.

Be sure to check our buying guide and product review on the best log splitters for 2022

Pros

  • Max branch width: 120mm
  • Fast cutting
  • Self-feeding

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Loud
Bosch Rapid Shredder AXT 2000 Wood Chipper

The Bosch rapid shredder is a really great wood chipper for the home garden. It’s not going to churn through entire trees, but for most branches and shrub pruning it’s got more than enough power to shred them down into mulch, or ready for the compost heap.

The shredder doesn’t drag materials down itself, but the plunger included with the machine means it’s safe and efficient to push materials down into the blade without getting your hands anywhere near them.

Pros

  • Fast cutting
  • Plug-in
  • Good value

Cons

  • More expensive than comparable models
  • Loud
  • Max branch width: 40mm
  • Manual feeding
Sun Joe CJ603E Electric Silent Wood Chipper and Shredder

This electric wood chipper by Sun Joe is a surprisingly powerful tool. Like most in its price range, it handles branches up to 40mm, so it’s never going to work through fully mature trees, but for standard garden maintenance, it’s a good choice with really durable blades.

There are cheaper options, but the durable build of this machine means it’ll last longer so in the long-run probably save you money on a replacement shredder.

Pros

  • Quiet
  • Fast cutting
  • Plug-in
  • Good value

Cons

  • Max branch width: 40mm
  • Manual feeding
Ryobi 2400W Electric Mulching Shredder

The Ryobi mulching shredder needs manual feeding but can handle thicker branches than most in its price range, so is a great option for anyone looking to add that extra capability to their tool shed.

If you’re looking for a simple shredder from a reputable brand then this is a good choice, but if you’re willing to risk it on a less known brand there are cheaper options.

Pros

  • Fast cutting
  • Plug-in
  • Good value

Cons

  • Max branch width: 45mm
  • Manual feeding
  • Loud
Michigan Raptor 900 2-in-1 Portable Wood Chipper and Shredder

This is the professional choice. You will not find a better wood chipper, shredder or mulcher online for this price.

Ok, so it’s ten times the price of any other mulcher or chipper on review here, but that’s because this is a serious machine for professional tree surgeons, capable of shredding down branches up to 76mm so it’ll handle most semi-mature trees and shrubs.

The only word of caution with this is that it's designed for chipping timber, not mulching fibrous materials, so shouldn’t be used to break down general garden waste.

Pros

  • Max branch width: 76mm
  • Fast cutting
  • Self-feeding

Cons

  • Loud
  • Expensive

Best Wood Chippers Australia

Wood Chipper - Our Top Pick

Top Rated Best Wood Chipper in Australia
Ducar Wood Chipper and Shredder

The Ducar Wood Chipper and Garden Shredder is a surprisingly compact machine, capable of cutting branches up to 60mm across, making it a useful portable shredder for professionals as well as a good premium wood chipper for domestic users.

It’s the fine mulch created by the Ducar garden mulcher that makes it the best wood chipper on review here though, suitable for compost and direct mulch and everything in between.

Best Value Wood Chipper

Best Value Wood Chipper in Australia
Ozito 2400W Silent Garden Shredder

Ozito might not be known for their heavy-duty tools, and frankly, most of their power tools are pretty flimsy, but this quit running garden mulcher is actually really good at what it does.

And with a cutting width of 40mm, the Ozito 2400W Silent Garden Shredder is good enough for most garden jobs and makes light work of shredding down cuttings and pruned wood into mulch than can be used straight away.

Premium Choice Wood Chipper

Premium Choice Wood Chipper in Australia
Michigan Ravenger Petrol Wood Chipper Mulcher

No wood chipper is going to break down a tree trunk, but the Michigan Ravenger Petrol Wood Chipper is as close as you can get, making light work of 120mm branches so all you’ll be left with is a trunk to cut down.

Michigan are the best wood chipper brand, with dozens of models, but their latest Ravenger range is their best wood chipper yet and is specifically designed for professional landscapers and tree surgeons.

Wood Chipper FAQs

What is the difference between a wood chipper and a garden shredder?

Wood chippers are designed to break down larger branches into mulch (usually 40mm+) while shredders are designed for branches under 40mm, leaves, and fibrous materials.

Wood chippers can often get clogged by fibrous materials and grasses so make sure you use the right tool for the job.

Can you put pallets in a wood chipper?

Most pallet timber is over 75mm across, so should only ever be fed into a professional wood chipper that can cope with at least 12mm. It’s also incredibly important to take out any nails, screws or fittings from the pallet and no chipper is designed to work through metal fittings.

What is better, compost or mulch?

Compost is great for adding nutrients to your soil, while mulch serves one very simple purpose; moisture retention. By adding a wood chip mulch from a wood chipper, you can increase water retention in your soil and improve the overall soil health without affecting the pH or nutrition of your garden.

Can you put grass clippings in a wood chipper?

Grass, hay, and leaf litter are all fibrous materials and can quickly clog wood chippers. Garden shredders are better tools for breaking down general garden waste and will likely be more useful for most home gardeners.

For more gardening tool reviews, see our list below:

Get the Best Wood Chipper for 2022

Just before I sat down to write this article, I had to take down part of a conifer on the boundary of our garden. It’s a beautiful tree, but it needs training and controlling more than we had in the past, but did you know that conifer chippings are one of the best mulches you can have in the garden?

Conifer is ericaceous, so other than buying exceptionally expensive ericaceous soils there is little you can do to promote healthy growth of shrubs like hydrangeas, camellias and rhododendrons, or even ferns. That sort of work needs the best wood chipper to work through the sticky, sappy, timbers.

Best Wood Chippers Australian Buying Guide

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Author:

Gary Clarke

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