Knife chipper or roller shredder - These are the differences

The Content Of The Article:

Whether DIY or Internet - the supply of shredders is great. Finding the right one for yourself is not that easy. We have presented the differences here in more detail.

Knife Chipper Roller Chipper Comparison

Shrubs, hedges and trees need a pruning every now and then to grow vigorously and thrive better. After a gardening season, so a lot of green waste can accumulate here, so that many hobby gardeners think about the investment of a shredder. (Reading tip: shredder in the test - test winner comes from Bosch)

Of course, as always, there are several models that differ greatly in some respects. When choosing the optimum shredder, it is not just about the resulting shredded material, but also what you want to do with the shredded material afterwards. Should the clippings be used for mulching or composting? Not every device is suitable for both types. Here are the two most popular types presented.

Which shredders are there?

In the trade you will find two different types of shredders. This is on the one hand the knife chopper and on the other roll chipper. Both differ not only in the price-performance ratio, but also in the chopping technique.

Which shredder is the right one for me?

In many shredders, sharp knives are used to reduce the clippings. Other models dismember the branches and twigs with their rollers. As I said, which way you finally decide, depends mainly on the conditions in your garden.

➤ Knife chopper

The knife shredder cuts the clippings into very small pieces with its sharp knives that sit in a rapidly rotating flywheel. This shredded material is then especially useful for mulching garden beds, as this decomposes only very slowly. So you can thus cover your plants with it and thus also to attack the weeds.

A knife chopper is particularly suitable if you have to shred more soft plant parts. These include above all grass and all green waste of shrubs and bushes.

✓ Advantage of knife choppers

The big advantage of knife choppers compared to roll choppers lies above all in the price segment. Knife choppers are much cheaper to buy and also have a lighter weight.

Especially with dry and hard wood, the knives can become dull very quickly. But you can easily remove and sharpen the knives. (Here hone knife instructions)

✗ Disadvantages of knife choppers

The unmistakable disadvantage of knife choppers compared to roll choppers is the noise level. Knife shredders work very loud. Therefore you should wear ear protection when working. If your garden is in a development area, you should think about buying a knife chopper because your neighbors can quickly feel disturbed.

➤ Review Tip:

In 2012, the ETM test magazine tested five multifunctional shredders. The winner of the test was the shredder of the company DENQBAR.

"To the ETM test report

Another disadvantage of the knife choppers is that you have to constantly feed the clippings. A simple move does not work here. In addition, these models are also more likely to clog up faster. Here, the device must then be disassembled and cleaned. The maintenance effort is a bit higher here.

➤ Roll chopper

In the case of the roll chopper, which is also known as a quench chipper, the clippings are squeezed by a roller. There are small spikes on the roller, which pull in and crush the remains. The shredded material offers by crushing a higher attack surface for microorganisms that are responsible for rotting. The clippings are therefore suitable here especially for composting.

The purchase of a roll chipper is especially worthwhile, if you want to chop hard wood and unbelaubte branches. In soft plant residues, the roll chopper often clogged.

✓ Advantages of roll chippers

Roll choppers work much quieter than their competitors. That is why they are clearly more popular in small gardens. Just to not endanger the good relationship with the neighbors.

With the roll chipper you have the further advantage that the clippings are consistently pulled in by itself. Blockages are therefore much less common. And if it does happen, then it can be fixed quickly and easily with the built-in return. The maintenance is therefore a little lower here.

✗ Disadvantages of roll chippers

Probably the biggest disadvantage of the roll chopper is the greater amount of time associated with this device. If the material is wet, it may cause blockages on this unit as well.If the rewind does not work properly, it can be quickly comlicated here. If there are long branches and twigs in this shredder, it can be painful here. The clippings can namely while whipping wildly whip through the area. Safety gloves and goggles should therefore be required when working with the roller chopper.

The weight and price compared to knife choppers is already enormous. Roll chippers can weigh 30 kilograms or more and sometimes cost a few hundred euros.

" Note: For both types of chippers you will find models with electric and petrol engines. Personally, I prefer devices with a gasoline engine, because you are not tied to a specific place. So you can hide somewhere on its garden area set up a small wooden yard where wood is chopped and shredded. The waste you have thus distributed everywhere.

Advantages and disadvantages at a glance

blade shredders✔ cheaper to buy
✔ low weight
✔ Clippings suitable for mulching
✔ suitable for soft plant parts (grass, perennials, etc.)
- high noise level
- Clogging of the clippings possible
- high workload
rolling chopper✔ quiet work
✔ Independent collection
✔ coarse shredded material for compost
✔ suitable for hard wood and unapprehended branches
- high purchase price
- high weight
- Danger from whipping branches
- Blockages caused by wet clippings
- higher time expenditure


Which shredder you ultimately choose depends, as you see, on your own needs. If you value a quiet device, a roll chipper is a good choice if you have enough wood. If you have more soft clippings and a lot of them, then you should prefer to use a more powerful knife chopper.

Video Board: How to Sharpen your Chipper Blades (yourself!).

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