[HOWTO] The garden shredder

Garden shredders, also called wood chippers, reduce your garden waste by a factor of 10. Proper use of your shredder ensures both the tool’s longevity and your safety.

How do you choose the right shredder model?

Before choosing, you’ll first need to figure out your needs according to the 2 below criteria:

1. The diameter of your branches will determine the cutting system

Your garden shredder’s power and blades for vegetation won’t be the same as shredders intended for fine plants, medium-sized branches or hard wood.

Shredders are characterised by 3 cutting types meant to overcome the thinnest to thickest of branches:

  1. Cutting system with blades or cutting drum: for branches no larger than 35mm;
  2. Spiral cutting system: for branches between 35 and 40mm;
  3. Turbine system: for branches up to 50mm.

2. Thermal or electric shredder: a difference in power and use

Thermal garden shredders are the perfect solution for working far from a power outlet. They work on gas, but are both more polluting and generally louder. This is the price you pay, though, for more power: it’s used for extensive, more professional work.

Electric garden shredders are more suited for regular garden maintenance. They’re perfect for domestic, household use.

Precautions for your safety

Before using your shredder, consider these protective measures:

  • For the noise: anti-noise headset or earplugs
  • For cuts and splinters: thick gardening gloves and long sleeves
  • For projectile: protective glasses

Shredder maintenance in 5 points

  1. Clean the machine before and after each use
  2. Check that each piece is functioning properly
  3. Consider unplugging the shredder if you need to touch the blades
  4. Sharpen the blades if you think they’re becoming dull
  5. Get it inspected at a specialised centre once annually

What do you do with the waste?

Depending on the cutting system, you’ll end up with either sawdust or chips.

  • The finest waste is compostable or can be used for a dry toilet.
  • The larger bits are perfect for controlling weeds in your flowerbeds.

However, be sure not to use any waste product if you shredded diseased plants or branches. This waste should be disposed of.

Two videos to learn more

See how to use


We wish you good gardening and, as you’ll see, shredding is fun!


Usitoo offers you its electric shredder to rent for your next gardening day. You’ll also find plenty of other gardening tools in our catalogue.

Leave a Reply