How to buy - Shredders

These machines are ideal for reducing bulky, soft, wet green material, Sally Drury explains.

The Eliet chipper/shredder from Pinnacle - image: HW
The Eliet chipper/shredder from Pinnacle - image: HW

See full woodchipper and shredder listings at

Q. I have got a chipper. Do I really need a shredder as well?

A. Your chipper is for woody waste and will reduce timber materials to woodchips. If your business or estate generates soft, wet green materials that need reducing for ease of transport or to aid composting, then you will need a shredder as well.

Depending on the model, shredders can tackle materials varying from prunings, expired bedding plants, root balls and pulled weeds to cardboard, plywood and even window frames. Combination chipper/shredder machines are available to offer both facilities.

Q. Are there any new shredders available for commercial operations?

A. The Hardmet Landforce range of landscaping, waste recycling and forestry machinery has been expanded with the addition of the Commercial Multi-waste shredding machine. Designed to shred green waste and also plywood, chipboard, timber, fencing, pallets and even tile battens with nails, rigid plastic window frames and guttering, the machine reduces waste by as much as 8:1 by volume.

It features a reversible hydraulic feed roller with stress control to prevent overload and has an elevator to carry shredding material into a truck or trailer. Power comes from a Kubota turbo diesel engine with an output of 45hp, hydraulically driving the destruction rotor. Sitting on a heavy-duty steel chassis with twin axle, the Commercial can be towed from site to site.

Q. Is there any new kit available for professional gardeners or contractors looking after smaller sites?

A. Suitable for large gardens and shared use on allotments and community garden projects, the new Viking GB460 combined chipper/shredder has been introduced to tackle both soft garden materials and woody branches with twigs. Petrol powered, the GB460 features twin-chamber technology to tackle a variety of waste.

Bulky soft material is fed into the wide, sound-insulated straight feed chute and processed as shreddings for composting. Woody material - including branches up to 60mm in diameter - is fed through a separate feed chute that unfolds from the rear. The cutter blade system is self-feeding with a low kickback tendency.

The chipping blades are reversible. The shredding blades grab and chop soft waste. A clearance bar under the cutter disc is incorporated to clear waste off the underside for jam-free operation.

Handles and large pneumatic tyres aid movement of the machine around the site. Once in position, the broad axle and balance of the machine provide stability. For safety, a switch cuts power to the rotating cutting disc in the event of the chute being opened.

Q. What happened to the Saelen vegetation processing machines?

A. They have been rebranded. Since the merger of the manufacturers Tunnissen and Saelen Industrie within the SEE Group two years ago, both Tunnissen chippers and Saelen vegetation processors now appear under the one brand, TS Industrie. The machines are available in the UK from Eric Hunter of Maidenhead.

Q. Do I need personal protective equipment to operate a shredder?

A. Your assessment is likely to show that the operation brings a risk of flying debris, including irritants and sharp objects, so it is important that you wear a helmet and visor. You should also wear close-fitting clothing to reduce the risk of getting caught in the machine. Ear defenders are likely to be required and you will need gloves if the material is thorny.

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