This study aimed to improve XOs production by enzymatic hydrolysis of xylans from various lignocellulosic waste biomasses namely corn cob, cotton and sunflower stalks, rice hull, wheat straw by using two commercial xylanase preparations, Shearzyme 500L and Veron 191. Shearzyme 500L showed better xylan hydrolysis capacity with high amount of xylose liberation. Xylobiose was the main hydrolysis product in each case. Even though the enzymatic hydrolyses using Shearzyme 500L resulted higher reducing sugar production compared to those of Veron 191, the hydrolysis of complex xylan structures was improved and the production of undesirable xylose was lowered by the co-utilization of xylanase preparations. By the co-utilization of xylanase preparations, the reducing sugar production from wheat straw, corn cob and sunflower stalk originated xylans was increased by 36%, 33% and 13%, respectively, compared to the expected reducing sugar yields. The highest reducing sugar production was obtained from complex corn cob xylan. The depolymerization of cotton and sunflower stalk xylan was poorest even though they have simple structures. Poor utilization of these xylans might be related to their high residual lignin content which might hinder the accessibility of xylan by the xylanases. However, the utilization of sunflower and cotton stalk xylan was improved when they were hydrolyzed within a xylan mixture containing equal amounts of each of five different xylans. In short, XOs production efficiency from agricultural waste materials was improved by the co-utilization of suitable xylanase and/or xylan mixtures considering the heterogeneous structures of xylan and different substrate specificities of xylanases. (C) 2013 The Institution of Chemical Engineers. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.