Cleaning up can be a tiresome job if you have a large yard littered with huge trees. More often, you need to pick up and prune dead branches and twigs from trees and shrubs. The cleanup job, of course, becomes doubly difficult as you prepare your yard for spring. Hence, you need to know where to start and how to dispose properly of fallen branches and twigs. One best way to facilitate the cleaning-up process is via the use of a wood chipper.
Wood chipper is a more powerful machine than those of the mulchers or shredders. It can deal with large branches with ease. You can feed this machine with branches of huge trees, bushes, and brush, and any kind of woody material. These materials will then pass through various blades that are bolted to feverishly rotating discs. Then, the materials come out from the other end of the machine in small pieces or chips.
The wood chipper is somewhat similar to the shredder, although the shredder is not capable of handling huge loads of branches. The shredder also doesn’t come with blades for cutting wood. Rather, it features flails that quickly spin. These flails are called “blunt blades.” Shredders usually produce excellent mulch. The wood chipper, on the other hand, is designed to handle large branches.
Table of Contents
- What Features Should the Best Wood Chipper Have for Homeowners?
- What Can A Wood Chipper Do?
- Best Wood Chippers Recommended for Home Use
- 1) Champion 3-Inch Portable Chipper-Shredder
- 2) Patriot Products CSV-25
- 3) Tazz 18493 K32 Heavy Duty 212cc Gas Powered 4 Cycle Viper Engine
- 4) GreatCircleUSA Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher
- 5) Sun Joe CJ602E 15-Amp Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder
- 6) Southland SCS2052 Chipper Shredder
- 7) Powerhorse 420cc Chipper Shredder
- 8) Landworks Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher
- 9) Sun Joe CJ603E
- 10) Earthwise GS70015
- Buyer’s Guide: Factors to Consider When Buying a Wood Chipper for Home
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Conclusion: Choose Something with a Top-mounted Hopper
What Features Should the Best Wood Chipper Have for Homeowners?
The ideal wood chipper for maintaining your lawn should have the following characteristics: being portable, easy to use, and powerful enough to deal with yard waste. Of course, wood chippers come in different styles and sizes. There are also myriads of brands of wood chippers in the market today. Most of these wood chippers, however, are either gas- or electric-powered.
If you have a large property, it will be best to opt for commercial-grade wood chippers. Your choice should be a heavy-duty one that could tackle larger branches. It will be best too to opt for a chipper/shredder combo likewise. Chipper/shredder combos are cheaper and less difficult to store away. They are also powerful enough to handle branches that are three-inch-thick. If money isn’t important to you, you can always go for high-end models that let you select the output size of the chips.
However, going for a compost or mulch shredder would be best if you have a smaller garden. These smaller wood chippers appear like a wood chipper’s smaller version. They are equipped with blades that can tackle smaller branches with ease.
Some of them make use of nylon connected to a drum that breaks materials apart. These wood chippers function like a weed whacker. They also work well only on less hard materials. Moreover, they are not suitable for wood.
What Can A Wood Chipper Do?
By its name, wood chippers can chip woods and break down tough branches with diameters of up to 3 inches. You simply need to throw branches into its hopper. You can see the hopper in front or top part of the wood chipper. The wood chipper features hammers and sharp blades in its grinding chamber. These powerful blades and hammers chip woods into small pieces. The chipped woods are then expelled from the machine’s side into a collection bag.
Another thing is, if you buy a wood chipper/shredder type, you can tidy up your garden with ease. This machine will take fibrous materials like leaves or brush, and its blades will shred these materials into chopped organic matter, which you can use as compost. So, you don’t need to load up all the branches and leaves into your truck for dumping because you already have this machine at hand. You also avoid the tedious process of loading, unloading, and loading and unloading again. Hence, you save time and effort in the process.
Wood chippers feature a wide variety of designs and brands. Its primary function, however, is to grind branches into more manageable and smaller wood chips. Wood chippers can also shred, and some models feature a mulching function. To have a clear understanding of what a wood chipper does, you can check out the following functions of wood chippers:
A wood chipper is engineered to break down branches into manageable sizes. It can break down branches ranging in diameter from two to three inches. You only need to throw the branches onto its hopper. The hopper is a cone-shaped feature of the wood chipper found at the front top of the equipment. You can also find it on the side of the machine in some models.
The wood chipper’s blades and hammers grind the branches and turn them into small wood chips. These small wood chips are then expelled via the side of the equipment onto a collection bag attached to it.
Shredding and Mulching
The wood chipper can also shred and mulch any fibrous material you feed into it. The blades shred and mulch the fibrous materials turning them into chopped organic matter, perfect for use as a compost heap. With this functionality, the wood chipper enables you to breeze through the tidying up process of your garden. It saves you effort and time when cleaning your lawn.
So, instead of raking your lawn and cutting the branches manually, you simply use the wood chipper. You don’t need to sweat yourself out so much. For this reason, a wood chipper is a handy machine in this fast-paced world.
Best Wood Chippers Recommended for Home Use
To facilitate the process of shopping around for a wood chipper, we have listed here the following five most recommended wood chippers for home use:
1) Champion 3-Inch Portable Chipper-Shredder
The Champion 3-Inch Portable Chipper-Shredder is known for its versatility. It can handle up to 3-inch wide branches without necessarily jamming. It is equipped with a 388cc engine. It features powerful steel blades for evenly chipping materials. It is also easy to maneuver and comes with a great design for easy storage.
The Champion Chipper-shredder features an easy-feed chute along with a large bag for easy handling of mulch. With this powerful equipment, you can keep your properties clean. At the same time, you can utilize the chips for other purposes.
This wood chipper doesn’t jam or experience any technical glitch, being equipped with a high-load shutdown feature. It can run at a high RPM for handling heavier loads. You will find this equipment handy in keeping your property clean and free of debris and twigs. Moreover, it is not difficult to store away and doesn’t require much storage space.
2) Patriot Products CSV-25
The Patriot Products CSV-25 is a smaller wood chipper and shredder, yet, it is powerful. It can shred and chip branches with a maximum diameter of 2 1/2 inches. It is easy to operate. With a simple push of its on/off button, it will begin to churn and work.
The CSV-25 is equipped with a powerful electric motor. It is equipped with a two-bushel capacity bag for catching wood chips and mulch. It also has a solid construction and weighs around 95 pounds. It may not be the lightest model, but it is easy to transport to any place. Moreover, it is equipped with two wheels that balance well the equipment. It can handle a yard up to 1/2 acre in size.
With its powerful motor, it is a good alternative to gas-powered ones. You will need a heavy-duty extension if you want to expand the area that you want to clean. Moreover, you will need a heavy-duty extension cord to maximize its use because this equipment needs more supply of electricity.
3) Tazz 18493 K32 Heavy Duty 212cc Gas Powered 4 Cycle Viper Engine
The Earthquake Tazz 30520 is compact and solidly built. It is powerful and is perfect for medium-sized lawns and yards littered with trees and bushes. Its blades and housing materials are of high-quality steel. It also comes with 11-inch wheels. Moreover, it comes with a front kickstand for better balance.
Its engine is a powerful 4-cycle (single-cylinder) 212cc Viper Engine. This gives this machine a 20% extra suction power for chipping, shredding, and grinding branches that have a maximum diameter of 3 inches. It can easily turn wood chips and plant debris into useful mulch and chips.
The Earthquake Tazz 30520 comes with a collection bag that can handle up to 2 bushels of wood chips. You can also attach and detach this bag for easy disposal. It also features a quick dock-and-lock bag connector and a bottom-out zipper. Its steel hopper is 34″ high. Thus, you can easily drop into it all the collected waste with not much effort. You can use the limb chute for larger branches as well.
4) GreatCircleUSA Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher
The GreatCircleUSA Wood Chipper/Shredder/Mulcher is a good choice for those who engage in gardening. It comes with myriads of features and offers a 3-in-1 design. It features a reliable recoil-start engine. It can handle up to 3-inch thick wood. It can turn rugged branches into small and usable wood chips. It is capable of a 15:1 reduction ratio.
It features a multi-function capability. It features a top-loading hopper, a side chute, along with a universal vacuum kit (sold separately). It is safe to use. It is also easy to use. All in all, this wood chipper/shredder can handle tough chipping and shredding jobs.
5) Sun Joe CJ602E 15-Amp Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder
The Sun Joe is a powerful small chipper that is electric-powered. Backed by a 15-amp motor, it can process branches with a maximum thickness of 1.5 inches. Its material reduction ratio is 1:17. Thus, with this machine, you can produce excellent mulch for use at home. It is capable of 4,300 rotations/minute. In no time, you can reduce twigs, debris, and leaves that litter your yard.
The Sun Joe Chipper/Shredder is perfect for residential use. It has a quiet motor that operates without disturbing your neighbors. It is also durable with wheels that never run flat. Moreover, it is easy to move around. Plus, it is easy to store away. It weighs around 26 pounds. As such, it is easy to move around where it is needed. It also doesn’t require elaborate maintenance. You can access with ease its blades for quick cleaning.
This chipper/shredder is made for ease of use and maintenance of small yard. You can use it for simple cleanup or seasonal trimming. However, you should not use it for larger branches, nor should you not feed it with a huge amount of twigs and leaves. It comes with a full 2-year warranty.
6) Southland SCS2052 Chipper Shredder
The Southland SCS2052 is an excellent choice if you would like to engage in cutting a tree, if you will clean debris after storms, or if you are cleaning branches on your lawn. It comes with a 205cc engine made by Briggs and Stratton and comes with two chipping blades. These blades can tackle branches up to 2.5″ in diameter.
You only need to toss whatever debris onto its top-mounted hopper or simply stick those branches onto the chute. You can use the finished debris as mulch for your garden or landscape. Its reduction rate is 10:1. Moreover, it features a collection bag (5 bushels).
This chipper shredder is a large one. Nevertheless, you can move it around easily because of its excellent 10″ pneumatic tires. You can also buy an optional hitch for extra mobility. The Southerland Chipper Shredder will undoubtedly facilitate the cleaning of your yard.
7) Powerhorse 420cc Chipper Shredder
If you are looking for a powerful chipper shredder, you should consider the Powerhorse 420cc Chipper Shredder. This one is a standout model and maybe one of the best in the market today. This equipment is a user-friendly chipper shredder that features a two-way chute, along with a self-feeding operation. Its top-funnel comes with a neck that can handle branches and twigs with a maximum diameter of four inches.
The belt-drive system of this chipper shredder delivers power to the cutting blade. It also features a clutch control for its best performance. Its motor, a 420cc motor, is gas-powered. Moreover, it is strong and powerful and can quickly work the branches into the desired sizes or chips.
If you have a larger yard, you better consider this chipper shredder, for it will indeed provide you with excellent performance and power. In addition, you can use the rich mulch produced afterward to enrich the soil of your garden.
8) Landworks Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher
One perfect wood chipper/shredder/mulcher for a medium-sized garden or yard is the Landworks Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher. This wood chipper can perform chipping, shredding, and mulching. It can handle falling branches, dead leaves, and other debris in your yard.
The Landworks Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher is a piece of compact equipment that exhibits enough power. It is easy to start and features a very efficient (4-stroke) 7HP engine, powered by gas. It also features two heavy-duty knives and hammers that do the grinding in the grinding chamber. With this chipper, you can easily chip branches with a maximum diameter of three inches. It can also shred a half an inch thick brush and twigs.
It is easy to use. You simply feed the debris and branches onto its self-feeding chute that is side-mounted. You can drop the leaves onto the wider hopper. You can also convert green waste into useful mulch by simply connecting the leaf vacuum kit that you can buy separately.
The Landworks Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher comes with innovative features like its chute’s rubber cap, producing a strong sucking force in wet and dry leaves. It also comes with an auto-feeding feature that makes work safer and faster. Moreover, it features slanted housing that lessens instances of jamming and improves the performance of the chipper.
9) Sun Joe CJ603E
If you are desirous of using a wood chipper that doesn’t create much noise, you better consider the Sun Joe CJ603E. Since the Sun Joe CJ603E is run by electricity, it is also easy to operate and never runs out of fuel unless there is a blackout. It is lightweight at 38.6 pounds. It is compact and is powerful enough with a reduction ratio of 21:1. Nevertheless, it can only handle branches with a maximum diameter of 1.73 inches.
The Sun Joe CJ603E is run by a 15-amp motor that provides it with enough energy. This motor powers its blades to chip, mulch, and shred debris. This wood chipper is also environmentally friendly because it doesn’t produce unhealthy fumes.
It also comes with a safety mechanism that stops its motor automatically when you open its hopper. This safety measure lessens the level of risks when operating this equipment.
10) Earthwise GS70015
The Earthwise GS70015 is a heavy-duty machine that comes with big tires for easy movement across your yard. A cursory look into the built and design of this wood chipper will reveal that it is of durable construction. Its hopper, for example, is bigger and more efficient and can hold up to 1.2 bushels of wood chips and mulch.
The Earthwise GS70015 comes with metal legs for greater stability along with large wheels for greater mobility. This unit features aluminum, ABS plastic, and metal parts.
The company that produces this wood chipper is also well-respected for making equipment like this. This wood chipper is powered by a 15-amp motor that can easily mulch branches up to 1.75″ in diameter. It is also environmentally friendly.
Buyer’s Guide: Factors to Consider When Buying a Wood Chipper for Home
There are myriads of wood chipper brands and models in the market today. Given this fact, choosing the right one becomes a bit confusing. Thus, when shopping around for a wood chipper, you need to consider the following factors to zero in on the right one for your home use:
One factor you should consider when buying a wood chipper is the size of your property. If your property is not that large and you have neighbors that will be disturbed, then, a small-sized wood chipper would be enough. It can be something that is run by electricity. It should be able to chip branches up to 2 inches in diameter.
If you have a medium-sized or large enough yard in rural areas, then you should go for a more powerful gas-powered wood chipper that can chip larger branches of up to 3 inches in diameter. Gas-powered ones, of course, are still portable. They also come with sturdy wheels. You can also upload them onto a trailer for quick transporting around your property.
Side-mounted Branch Chute
You will also find some chipper shredders that feature a chute. The chute lets you insert large branches. When purchasing a wood chipper, you can go for something with a side-mounted branch chute. Such a feature will let you chip large branches and let them go past the flails and straight into the chipping blades. Go for a larger chute if you are tackling larger branches more often.
If you choose an electric shredder that is light, you won’t be needing wheels on your wood chipper. Yet, if you go for larger shredders, you might as well choose something with wheels. Wheeled wood chippers range from the small ones to those with wheels that let you transport the wood chippers anywhere. You can also find road-ready wood chippers that have wheels worthy of the road.
You should also consider the reduction rate of a shredder when purchasing one. The reduction rate refers to the volume reduction which the wood chipper’s shredder can accomplish. A chipper shredder can achieve a ratio of 10:1 up to 20:1. This means the chipper shredder can reduce the debris volume down to 10% if its reduction ratio is 10:1. Reduction rate refers to how small the size of materials will be after letting them through the wood chipper. A wood chipper, for example, with a reduction rate of 20:1, will reduce material to one-twentieth of the size of the material.
The shredder’s weight will factor well in easing out the clearing of your yard. When shredding or chipping woods and debris on your yard, you will often need to move the wood chipper more often. So, it will be best to consider the weight of the wood chipper that you would choose, especially if you will often move the wood chipper around.
The wood chipper’s feed capacity will exactly tell you how much debris you can feed onto the chipper shredder at one time. You can find multiple chute models, and their feed capacity would indeed differ for every entry point.
You should also consider maintenance needed to keep a particular shredder in topnotch condition. One good tip worth considering is this—gas-powered ones are more difficult to maintain than electric chipper shredders. You need to prepare, for example, a gas-powered one for the winter.
Electric-powered ones, however, have fewer moving parts than gas-powered ones. Moreover, you need to ensure that your chipper’s blades are sharp, so you need to engage in sharpening the blades of your chippers.
Two factors spell out the portability of a wood chipper. First, its weight, which matters when it comes to its portability; second, its wheels. As you shop around for wood chippers, you will find that wood chippers for home use are light to medium in weight. They weigh around 150 pounds. Electric units, of course, weigh less than gas-powered ones. They can weigh as low as 40 pounds. Yet, they are limited more often by the length of their cords.
The wheels also factor well in the level of portability of a wood chipper. So, when shopping around for one, you should ask yourself the following questions; “Are their wheels sturdy enough to tackle all types of terrain?” “Are the wheels stable enough even when tackling muddy or sloping grounds?” Some expensive wood chippers, of course, come with larger wheels while the majority of them have wheels with diameters of 6 inches to 10 inches.
When it comes to the power source, you have two choices, namely: electric and gas-powered. As mentioned above, small wood chippers are generally powered by electricity. The larger ones, however, are powered by gas. Moreover, the engine size usually impacts the power level of the machines and their performance.
If you have around a half-acre land, it will be good to get an electric wood chipper. Electric wood chippers can chip branches with diameters of up to 2 inches. They are eco-friendly and are quieter. Moreover, they are easy to maintain.
The electric wood chipper, however, does come with disadvantages. First, it has a limited capacity and can only deal with a limited amount of garden debris or wood. Compared to a gas-powered one, It is not heavy-duty. Moreover, the area it can cover is limited by the length of its cord.
If you want more powerful wood chippers, you should go for gas-powered ones. They can process branches with a diameter of up to 3 inches. They can also handle a huge amount of wood, even those of hardwood. They come with more powerful engines and feature dual hammers and two cutting blades. They are perfect for use in large yards. They are also fraught with disadvantages that include the fumes and the noise that they produce and the hassle of manually refilling their oil tank.
Another factor you need to consider when shopping around for a wood chipper is its shredding capacity. The maximum size of branches that a chipper can handle is determined by its shredding capacity. Residential chipper shredders can usually handle branches as thick as three inches. Commercial chippers, on the other hand, can process thicker branches. To prevent jamming of the machine and motor burnout, it is advisable to choose chippers with higher shredding capacity than your intended use.
Another valuable factor to consider when buying a chipper shredder is the blade. Shredders are usually equipped with three types of blades, namely: drum blades, disc blades, and screw blades:
a. Drum Blades
Drum blades feature a parallel-sided drum that comes with pivoting knives and a chip breaker. The pivoting knives are horizontally attached, while the chip breaker is positioned perpendicular to its blade, at the back of the rotating knives. Commercial wood chippers come with this type of blades. Moreover, chippers with this type of blades are generally utilized by landscapers.
This type of blades features a steel flywheel that is perpendicularly positioned. It is designed for chopping and features slotted discs. The pivoting knives engage in the opposite cutting direction. These blades can reduce branches into little chips.
c. Screw Blades
The screw blades are conically shaped-blades like screws that have sharpened edges for chopping wood.
Ease of Storage
The smaller the machine, of course, the easier it is to store away. The gas-powered chippers come with larger sizes. As such, they will be needing larger storage spaces. You can’t just leave them outside, exposed to the natural elements of weather. The reason for this is that they have working parts that may get affected by the changing weather. Hence, you should ensure that you store them in a place that is free from the harsh natural elements if you want them to last longer in use.
Machines like wood chippers create noise when operated. The noise they create may exceed 85 decibels. As such, they may become a nuisance to your neighbors when you operate them for a long time. Hence, you need to consider the noise factor when buying a chipper. If you have neighbors that live close enough to your house, you will disturb them if you are going to use a gas-powered one. In such a case, it would be better to choose an electric wood chipper that operates more quietly than a gas-powered one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Aside from knowing the essential factors to consider and the most recommended models of wood chippers in the market today, it will also help if you familiarize yourself with the following frequently asked questions:
How Does a Wood Chipper Differ From a Mulcher?
Wood chipper differs from the mulcher in some ways. But their primary difference is in their power. Moreover, wood chippers are heavy-duty equipment. They are engineered to deal with larger wood pieces. On the other hand, mulchers are also referred to as shredders. They are less powerful and smaller. They are used for cleaning up small gardens and for repurposing the organic materials into beneficial mulch.
What Size of Wood Chipper Should I Buy?
The wood chipper you should choose should depend on the size of your yard and the number of loads that you need to process regularly. If most of the debris you are processing are large, you need something that can handle larger-diameter branches. If not, you might overload your wood chipper, leading to its bogging down.
Nevertheless, if you are one of those homeowners who own a small yard, you should not go for a larger and noisier wood chipper, for your neighbors may get mad at you. Moreover, it is overkill to use a large wood chipper for a small yard.
What Features Should I Consider When Selecting a Wood Chipper?
When selecting a wood chipper, it will be best to know the abovementioned factors to consider to zero in on the best wood chipper for your needs. You should also consider the sizes of debris that you will chip. It is best likewise to consider something with a vertically extended chute for easy and safe chipping.
So, before choosing a wood chipper, figure out first whether you would like gas or electric-powered one. Moreover, you should ask yourself if you can handle the wood chipper well. Is it portable? Does it come with wheels? All these considerations are crucial to the selection of a wood chipper suited for your needs.
Conclusion: Choose Something with a Top-mounted Hopper
When choosing a chipper shredder, it will be best to choose something with a hopper that is top-mounted. Top-mounted hoppers let you simply drop the yard debris and food waste directly onto the machine. Then, gravity works on the food and other materials and facilitates everything for you.
A responsible homeowner will always aspire to keep his yard clean and safe. The yard, of course, is a good place to while away your time, and as such, if you keep it clean and serene, you will find peace of mind while whiling away your time in your yard. Having a wood chipper will allow you to keep your outdoor tidy, and the best wood chipper will make the cleanup process quick and easy.