Specifically designed to shred leaves and, in some models, give them a new life as mulch, leaf shredders don't need to have the same power as chipper shredders designed for wood and general yard waste. Thus, home-use leaf shredders can be had for around $150 to $200. If you want a model that mulches as well as shreds, be sure to check the specifications-not all do both. Generally, the leaves are fed into a hopper and an adjustment level allows the user to set it for coarse to fine leaf shredding. Most also handle grass clippings and pine needles. Most leaf shredders are electric, but those that are gas-powered are, of course, more portable. Brands include Kemp Shredder Company and Flowtron.
If you shred leaves before using them as mulch, they will be more porous and thus air and water can circulate better, which makes for healthier plant growth. Also, a leaf shredder can turn the equivalent of 10 or more bags of leaves into one bag of usable mulch.
Safety is important when using leaf shredders. Wearing protective goggles is recommended.