When many people think of wood chippers and shredders, they often think of giant machines, which run on gas, spew toxic fumes, and make enough noise to make you the enemy of the whole neighborhood. The good news is that modern electric models work just as well, and also run quietly, without producing any toxic byproducts.
But we know that it’s not always easy to find the model which is right for you when shopping online. Between ad copy that’s designed to sell you a product instead of helping you understand it, and the variety of prices that you can find online, it can be hard to tell when you’re looking at a great investment or a dud.
Our reviews are designed to help you see the good and the bad in every model. That way, you know exactly what you’re getting when you buy. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide to help you think through the buying process so that you come away with a model you love.
|Sun Joe CJ602E|
|Power Smart PowerSmart PS10 15 Amp||4.5/5|
|WEN 41121 15-Amp Rolling Electric||2 years||4.3/5|
|Worx 13 Amp Electric WG430 Compact||3 years||4.2/5|
The Patriot Products CSV-2515 Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder is the best overall electric wood chipper/shredder on the market today. It comes with a very quiet motor, which limits the amount of noise this machine puts out. It also comes with an oversized hopper so you can use this machine by yourself. Just toss in the branches or leaves as you work, and it will shred them while you move on to the next section. Furthermore, it’s extremely powerful. It makes short work of branches up to 2.5 inches in diameter, so you’ll be able to take care of all but the thickest logs.
This machine also comes mounted on large wheels. It does weight 100 pounds, which is something some people won’t like, but the large wheels make it so that you can easily move it around without too much effort. The only downside to this model is that it struggles with tangled branches. If you’re going to be removing bushes or scrubby trees, then you may want to invest in a different model, as you’ll have to force tangled branches through this machine. However, for most common types of work, most people will be very satisfied with this machine’s performance.
The Sun Joe CJ602E Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder is the model you should consider if you’re looking for a shredder that combines great safety with stellar chipping power. This model comes with a safety hopper. If the lid is open, the motor won’t, so it will never accidentally activate while you’re loading it. It also comes with a 15-amp motor, which provides the chipping power you need to get most jobs done quickly. While it won’t be able to handle branches as large as those handled by our top model, it is capable of shredding branches up to 1-1/2 inches in diameter, which makes it suitable for most around-the-house cleanups.
You can also get this model for about ten percent of what you’d pay for the top model on our list. That’s a lot of savings, and it means that this model earns the title of “best overall value for the money” on our list. Unfortunately, this shredder struggles with wet material, making a poor choice for those who are primarily working with leaves, which can be hard to keep dry. However, if you’re using this model primarily for branches, you’ll be thrilled with the performance it gives for the price.
If you’re looking for another safe chipper/shredder, you should consider the Power Smart PowerSmart PS10 15 Amp model. It comes with a model just as powerful as the one on the previous list. It’s not the most power you can get on the market, but it’s good value for the price overall. This model also comes with a safety hopper similar to the one found on the previous model. If the lid isn’t secured, then the machine won’t turn on, which greatly reduces the opportunity for an accident. The six-inch wheels on this model also make it easy to wheel it around, and since it weighs just 33 pounds, it’s definitely not the heaviest model on our list.
However, it has a couple of flaws that keep it out of the top two. The first is that this model just isn’t great with leaves, especially if they get wet. It’s more of a machine meant for chipping wood, and while you can get the job done if you have just leaves, it’s probably going to take longer than it should. Some units also have an issue with the blades dulling quickly, which greatly lowers the value for most people.
The WEN 41121 15-Amp Rolling Electric wood chipper/shredder is another model that’s a good choice for people concerned with safety. Like the previous two models, it comes with a safety hopper. If you want to make sure that you’ll never have an accident when working with your chipper, then a model with a safety hopper is the way to go. It also comes with a powerful, 15-amp motor, that will make short work of small, dry branches. Plus, this model comes with larger than average blades, giving it the power you’ll need to complete most projects completely.
However, despite the large blade, this model has a limited maximum capacity. It won’t do sticks much thicker than one inch in diameter, in large part due to the size of the hole at the base of the hopper. This model also has some quality control issues. Consequently, some units run very quietly, while others aren’t much of an improvement over gas-powered models in that respect. If you’re looking for a great electric wood chipper, you might be able to make do with this model, but you’re going to be able to find better value for the price.
If you have a lot of leaves that need to be shredded, then the Worx 13 Amp Electric WG430 Compact is the model for you. This model works differently than the other models on our list. Instead of using one or multiple large, metal blades, this model uses trimmer wire to its work. That makes it like using a weed eater, but for leaves instead. Consequently, it’s one of the safest models you’ll ever deal with. Since it’s so optimized for leaves, it’s a great choice for anyone living on a wooded property, and it does better with wet, clumpy leaves than most.
However, since it uses trimmer wire, you won’t be able to use it to cut branches down to size, unless they’re incredibly thin. That will likely lead to the trimmer line wearing out faster. Another downside to this model is that you have to replace the trimmer wire, which adds to its cost of operation. Furthermore, this model doesn’t have wheels, which can be a pain. While this is a great choice for people who will be primarily dealing with leaves, it doesn’t perform well enough in other areas to rise on our list.
The Eco-Shredder ES1600 14-Amp Electric Chipper/Shredder/Mulcher is a cheaper option that may lure some people in with its low price. However, like many low-price models, this one comes with some significant downsides. This model comes with a three-way feed, so you can stack leaves or small branches on the chute on top of the unit, or you can use the backport to feed larger branches directly into the blades. This model also comes with oversized, seven-inch wheels, which makes it one of the easier models to move around. Plus, it can handle branches up to 1-3/8 inches in diameter, which isn’t overwhelming but is decent relative to some other models on our list.
However, this model comes with a terrible product manual. It’s not very helpful when you’re trying to put this model together, and if you’re ever trying to fix a problem, this manual is unhelpful. This model is also slow relative to the others on our list. If you have a lot of branches and leaves to shred, you’re going to spend a lot of time waiting on this machine. Smart buyers will be able to save money and get a better experience with a different model.
Hopefully, our reviews have already given you some insight into what makes for a great electric wood chipper or shredder, and what makes for a model that will give you poor value. If you’ve never owned one of these great tools before, you may be wondering what else you need to consider to find the model which is right for you. This guide walks you through everything you need to know about these machines so that you can start evaluating them with an expert eye. We’ve also included some tips on getting great value, so if you’re looking to maximize your bang for your buck, make sure you check out this guide.
While most of the models on our list serve as both chippers and shredders, but it’s worth breaking down what each type of machine is supposed to do so that you can make sure that you’re getting the right model for your needs.
Wood chippers are the most powerful type in this category. They are designed to break down any wood that fits within their chute. They use sharp blades to break down the wood, and these blades are typically mounted to a spinning disc, ensuring fast dismantling of the wood. This is the best option for those with a lot of wood to break down, especially if it isn’t dry since these machines have the power needed to break down wet wood.
Wood shredders use a different kind of blade which is far duller. Instead of making chips as the chipper does, it produces mulch. Typically, these machines don’t have chutes that are as large as those found on the wood chipper, so these machines are usually limited to branches that are 1-1/2 inches in diameter or smaller. These can still handle branches, but you probably won’t want to put anything wet through them, since they won’t always have the power to get through it.
Mulchers are designed to break down twigs, leaves, and other organic debris. They typically lack the power to break down tree branches on their own. You can make mulch with a chipper or shredder if you’re starting with large branches, but the mulcher is designed for the lightest-duty work and is unlikely to have the power needed to make mulch like that found at the store.
The big plus to electric wood chippers is that they don’t use gas. That limits how powerful they can be since gas-powered internal combustion engines can usually put out more power for the price. However, electric-powered models tend to be cheaper to run, since they require electricity instead of gas, which can be expensive.
You also typically need a high-quality extension cord to use your shredder, especially if you’re going to be working far away from nearby outlets. That could mean you have to make an expensive investment up front to start using your wood chipper, but you’ll have a lower cost of operation over time.
Electric models are also lighter and easier to move around, so if you’re going to be taking your chipper on the road, it may be a good idea to get an electric model, if you know you’ll have ready access to electric outlets.
Another important factor to consider is the size of the hopper you’ll need. The nice thing about large hoppers is that you can stack branches, twigs, and leaves on top of what’s currently being cut so that you can keep the machine running nonstop. Plus, hopper size generally correlates with the power of the motor, so a larger hopper is usually a good sign that the machine can get the same jobs done faster.
Some machines come with safety hoppers. These come with a lid that must be closed for the chipper to run. That greatly decreases the chance for accidental injury, though following the proper safety precautions when using an open-hopper model would be roughly as effective.
Ultimately, this category comes down to how much work you need done. If you have a lot of work to do, it’s a good idea to invest in a larger hopper.
As with most tools, more power is almost always a better thing when it comes to buying a wood chipper. However, as we covered in a previous section, the amount of power that you need will be based more on what you want to do with the machine than on its engine size. If you’re looking to work with branches, then you’ll need a chipper, which are the most powerful machines in this category. If you’re looking to work with smaller branches, twigs, and leaves, you can make do with a less-powerful shredder, which typically comes with an engine with around 15-amps of power.
If you’re just looking to work with twigs and leaves, you can use a mulcher, which can have under 15-amps of power, but still a great job.
There are a lot of electric wood chippers on the market today, which can make it a challenge to find the right one for you. The best way to go about this process starts with identifying your needs. Once you determine what kinds of things you’ll need to chip or shred, you’ll have a better idea of what kind of machine you need to get.
Then, it’s a good idea to make a list of machines that can do that process and rank them by their convenient secondary features and by price. Eliminate any that seem like they’d be frustrating, and then choose the cheapest remaining model. It comes with the features you need at the best overall price, making it the best overall value for the money.
The Patriot Products CSV-2515 Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder is the best overall model due to its quiet motor, large hopper, and ability to chip branches up to 2.5-inches in diameter. In second is the Sun Joe CJ602E Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder, which has a great safety hopper, a good motor, and a great price, making it the best overall value for the money on our list. In third is the Power Smart PowerSmart PS10 15 Amp model which comes with a good motor and safety hopper but suffers from blade dulling issues. The WEN 41121 15-Amp Rolling Electric wood chipper/shredder has a powerful motor and large cutting blades, but has problems with noise, and can’t handle large branches. The Worx 13 Amp Electric WG430 Compact is the model to get if you’re looking to shred leaves but will be wrong for people who need to chip branches. The Eco-Shredder ES1600 14-Amp Electric Chipper/Shredder/Mulcher isn’t expensive, but its bad product manual and slow operation mean that it provides poor value for the price.
We hope that our reviews have helped you better understand electric wood chippers and have helped you find the model which is right for you.
We also have an article where we cover gas chipper shredders. You can also read our guide on choosing a wood chipper/shredder for professional use.
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!