As parts of the UK continue to enjoy an Indian summer this year, there is no excuse for not getting out in the garden for a final clear up before autumn arrives. Before the leaves start to fall, now is a great time to tidy all those bushes and borders in your garden.

The scene that follows however can be a large pile of stems and prunings from your shrubs that need to be dealt with. You now have a choice; do you bag it up for the "green collection" which can be time-consuming and also like throwing money away. Alternatively, by investing in a garden shredder, you can reduce your valuable garden waste in size, recycle it and reuse it around the garden. Not only will you be tidying up, you will also be adding to that all important special ingredient to make your plants and hedges bloom the following year.

Which Type of Shredder to Choose?

Impact or rapid shredders tend to be the noisiest but are lighter to transport around the garden. The branch or stem hits on one or more revolving blades. As these shredders do not usually have an integrated collection box, you may need to add your own. Make sure you wear gloves and safety goggles as the ends of the stems can whip round.

Quiet drum shredders are the cut-and-crush kind sometimes referred to as roller shredders or reduced gear shredders. They tend to be heavier. The branch is drawn into the hopper by a revolving heavy drum or roller which crushes the main stem against a blade and cuts it into little pieces which compost much faster than standard chippings.

Petrol chippers are ideally suited to larger gardens which produce a greater quantity of debris. They are heavier to move but will cope with large branches.

Six of the Best Garden Shredders and Chippers

The Handy THISWB Electric Impact Shredder £139.99

This electric shredder from Handy is an entry-level machine for light domestic use.

The shredder is powered by a 2500 watt electric motor. The shredding system comprises two reversible blades which can process branches up to 45mm in diameter. Features of The Handy THISWB electric shredder include a removable leaf hopper, generous 40 litre collector, safety switching, wheels for easy transportation and a plunger to assist material throughput.

Backed by a one year manufacturer's warranty, the shredder is supplied with a three metre power cable.

Cobra QS2500 Electric Garden shredder - £189.99

New from Cobra, the QS2500 quiet drum electric shredder is ideal for shredding domestic garden waste.

Powered by a 2500 watt motor, the Cobra QS2500 features a drum gear shredding system and is capable of dealing with branches up to 40mm in diamteter. Its auto-feed function takes the effort out of processing material, whilst a practical plunger is included for increased throughput on heavier loads. Debris is collected in 50 litre collection box.

The Cobra QS2500 shredder has a 10 metre power cable and is backed by a two year manufacturer's warranty.

Wolf-Garten SDE 2800 EVO Quiet Electric Garden Shredder - £235.00

Equipped with a powerful 2800 watt induction motor, the WOLF-Garten SDE 2800 EVO electric shredder will convert your garden waste into valuable compost. Thanks to the cut and crush action of the low noise cutting system, even woody waste up to 45mm in diameter can be quickly and quietly converted into quality compost material.

Offering top quality cutting performance with dual on/off, the WOLF-Garten SDE 2800 EVO garden shredder features reverse feed control to ensure any blockages can be easily cleared.

The Handy THCS-65 Petrol Chipper Shredder - £769.99

The Handy petrol chipper shredder will dramatically reduce the volume of your garden waste whilst at the same time producing nutritious mulch for flowerbeds, borders and shrubs.

This heavy-duty, all-steel construction chipper shredder is powered by a commercial-grade 6.5hp Briggs and Stratton overhead valve engine. The machine features dual input hoppers; the smaller for branches up to 50mm, the larger for garden waste up to 15mm in diameter, so all your recycling needs are catered for. It is more than capable of a throughput of 1000-1500kg of small branches or leaves per hour.

A transport handle, combined with pneumatic tyres mean The Handy THCS-65 petrol chipper shredder is easier to move around the garden.

Lawnflite Pro GTS900L Wood Chipper - £1864.00

Designed for semi professional and domestic applications, the Lawnflite Pro GTS900L is a powerful garden chipper with a capacity to chip branches up to 80mm in diameter. The chipping mechanism is a drum on which two blades are mounted. Branches are easily drawn in and chipped, and safety is ensured thanks to the emergency stop feature.

The Lawnflite Pro GTS900L is powered by a high performance 9hp Loncin engine and the large 400mm wheels and handle enable easy transportation.

DR Pro 16.50 RS Petrol Chipper - £2999.00

The mid-range DR Pro 16.50 RS self-feeding petrol wood chipper will help you keep ahead of accumulating garden debris by transforming it into useful landscaping material.

The dedicated chipper features a large intake hopper, the opening of which measures 43cm x 68cm, capable of accepting branches up to 12cm in diameter. Most materials will self-feed so once you drop a branch in, you are free to retrieve the next piece.

The self-feeding design of the vertically oriented hopper, precisely angled chipping knife and powerful air channel combine to draw materials in and spit them out of the extended discharge chute. The sharp, hard-wearing Pro-Spec chipper knife is made out of high-carbon / high-chromium hardened D2 steel for excellent edge-holding ability. The knife is mounted on a heavy-duty 22.6kg flywheel with a 45.5cm diameter that rotates at 128mph and takes an amazing 40 "bites" per second.  Five oversized steel flywheel fins strike chipped material 9600 times per minute, blasting material out of the machine. The inertia created by the flywheel lets the work go smoothly with less strain on your machine.

The extended discharge chute allows you to load chips directly into your pickup bed, cart or wheelbarrow, so you don't have the hassle of collecting the discharged mulch up off the ground.

DR chooses a legendary 420cc Briggs & Stratton engine with overhead valve technology to power the Pro 16.50 RS chipper. The easy-pull, manual-start engine will almost always start on the first pull and delivers an impressive 16.50 foot pound torque. It also features a debris management system that protects the engine from flying debris.

The chipper is supplied with a hitch pin which enables it to be towed to and from the work area with either a garden tractor or an ATV. 

Most impressively, in over 300 hours of testing, DR's testers have never experienced any clogging whatsoever!

The Green Reaper offers an extensive line up of garden shredders and chippers which offer a safe, economical and efficient method for ridding your garden of unwanted waste.