Wood Chipper Reviews and Buying Guide 2017

Overview

Wood chippers are also known as tree chippers. They are machines that are used for cutting down huge chunks of wood from trees and breaking them down into small chips. These are used mostly in manufacturing, agricultural and wood recycling industries. They are made up of the following parts – hopper, collar and a bin for collecting the chopped wood. Wood chippers run on an internal power source which runs on capacities anywhere between 2.2kW to 750kW. The engine’s power capacity is based on the size of the wood chipper.

Best Wood Chipper 2017

Model
Power
Weight
Rating
Price
 

Patriot Products CSV-3100B
10 HP
188 pounds
4.5 out of 5
$$

Earthquake 9060300
6.5 HP
122 pounds
4 out of 5
$$

NorTrac PTO Chipper
20 HP
350 pounds
4.6 out of 5
$$

Brush Master CH4M17
15 HP
275 pounds
4 out of 5
$$

WoodMaxx 8" Hydraulic Auto-Feed Chipper
19 HP
990 pounds
4.6 out of 5
$$$$

Types of wood chippers

There are three main types of wood chippers – high-torque roller, drum, and disc. Let us now see a brief overview of each of these types so that we know why they were named thus and how they operate.

High-Torque Roller

These are the quietest models of chippers that you will find in the market today. The grinding rollers used in these machines rotate at a very low speed, and the electric motor that powers them doesn’t produce any noise at all. You will not find any dust accumulated while operating these shredders because these machines come with self-feeding and anti-jamming features as well. Due to its lack of sound, it is one of the best chipper shredder for home use. Read our electric chipper shredder reviews here.

Drum

This is one of the more dangerous models of wood chippers. It is named “drum” because it has a huge drum powered by a motor at its center. It is this drum which ensures that wood is drawn in and chipped nicely before it is sent to the output chute. Drum chippers are known for their large sound and their rapid processing time. There have been many accidents reported in the past while using this model of wood chippers. Operators should be very careful while feeding these chippers because a slight mistake here can result in fatal accidents. Also, these drums tend to get jammed quite often because of large chunks of wood getting caught at its base. When the drum gets jammed, the entire machine turns faulty, resulting in costly repairs and maintenance.

Disc

For this type, wood chipping is done by a steel disc that has cutting blades on it. Wood pieces reach this disc from the hopper and immediately after that, the disc starts to rotate. The sharp blades start cutting the wood into small chips at a very rapid pace. Due to the precision and sharpness of these disc chippers, they are commonly used in industrial and manufacturing applications.

Wood chippers, however simple they may seem, are quite costly. Before you invest in a particular model, look around to see if you have chosen the best. Therefore, invest in a wood chipper only after careful analysis, so that you can save a good deal of money on your purchases.

Types of engines

The two main types of engines that wood chippers use are electric motors and gas-powered motors.

Electric motors are used for the best home wood chipper used in residential applications. Chippers using these motors are powered by internal combustion engines. Read our electric wood chipper reviews here.

On the other hand, if you want more powerful chippers for industrial applications, you should use the best commercial wood chipper that is powered by a gasoline engine. Chippers with gas-powered motors are very heavy and are used for heavy duty tasks in industrial and commercial establishments.

Wood Shredders vs Chippers

Many people still believe that wood chippers and wood shredders mean the same thing. However, in reality, there are a lot of differences between the two. Both machines help in cutting wood and chipping them into small pieces. The differences lie in the size and features. The second major difference comes in the areas where they are used.

A wood chipper has one hopper and a very long chute, through which the chipped wood pieces are ejected. Wood chippers are quite big, and they use powerful motors which make them suitable for industrial and commercial applications as well.

A wood shredder, on the other hand, has two hoppers and a short chute which eject the shredded wood. Wood shredders are quite small, and they can be used for residential purposes only. You cannot use them to shred large and heavy duty wood.

You should be thorough with the features of both of these machines and their pros and cons. This will help you make a qualified decision when it comes to choosing one to suit your requirements.

Advantages of buying from online stores

Wood chippers are available on a variety of online stores. If you want to make the most of your chippers, you need to browse these sites and ensure that you never miss a good offer. Are you looking for a wood chipper to chop down the extra growth of trees in your garden? You don’t have to worry about the chunks of wood chips that will result in the process. You can use these wood chippers to decorate your garden floor with chips, in such a way that not only your garden becomes neat and decorative, but it is also kept free from pests and weeds.

Plenty of choices

When you want to buy wood chippers from online stores, you will be pleasantly surprised at the sea of options available to you. When you visit brick and motor stores, you will be restricted to choose from a particular brand only. However, on online sites, you only need to give your specifications like the size and budget, and a host of options come up on screen. Since you have a lot of brands vying for attention, you can be sure of picking up the one that is excellent in quality.

Discounts

Prices of wood chippers on online stores are less than the ones that you find in the normal stores. This is because these sites don’t have any overhead costs or don’t have to stock their products at a particular location. Therefore, you will find many advertisements about wood chippers almost throughout the year. All you have to do is to watch out for these ads and check the sites during these seasons to get attractive offers on prices.

Easy Returns

One of the best things about buying wood chippers from online stores is that if you are not satisfied with the product that is delivered to you, you can always return them within a specified time and get an exchange or get your money back. How easy is that! You can never imagine doing this so easily when you buy chippers from physical stores. So, if you still thought of visiting your nearby store for buying a wood chipper to clean your garden, think again! You can do a better job sitting inside your home with just a click of a button.

If you want to get the full benefits of buying used or new wood chippers, you should know your requirements. Choosing between drum, disc and screw chipper can be a challenging process if you don’t know what you want your tree chipper to do. Screw chippers are just like disc chippers; the only difference between the two is that in the former, the blades are in the shape of screws. These wood chippers are eco-friendly, and the chips that they produce are used in various recycling activities. You should remember to buy safety gears like gloves, ear and eye protections when you are buying wood chippers because you need these accessories to protect yourself from potential injuries.

How to buy the best chipper shredder

When you proceed to buy a wood chipper, you will be presented with lots of options, and it can get quite challenging for you if you are not sure about your requirements. This is where the following tips should help you to a great extent.

Size of the chipper

This is the first and foremost point that you should take care of while buying wood chippers. Different chippers come with different size capacities. You should buy chippers that are compatible with the size of branches of your trees or plants. Usually, for residential purposes that involve regular garden and backyard cleaning, the best wood chipper for home use should be one that can process branches up to 3inches in diameter.

Source of power

You will need to do enough groundwork to understand if you need electric-powered chippers, gasoline-powered chippers or chippers that powered by PTO (Power Take Off).

If you want to chip wood of small branches, you will need electric chipper. This model is powered by electric and it is cost-effective as well. It helps you to clean the branches and twigs that accumulate in your garden area. Read our electric leaf shredder reviews here.

However, if you are looking a chipper for a bigger purpose, that is to chip huge branches, you should use the models powered by gasoline or PTO. These are quite heavy, create a lot of noise and are steeply priced. Therefore, invest in the best PTO wood chipper only if you are convinced that you need these heavy-duty models to do your work. Read our PTO wood chipper reviews here.

Additional Features

You wouldn’t want your wood chippers to do only chipping work, would you? It could help you to a great extent if your chipper could do some shredding and cleaning as well. Therefore, choose a model that has shredding chutes, so that your garden cleaning job becomes a breeze. In addition to cutting off twigs and branches with the chipper, you can also use the leaf shredder functionality of the best leaf mulcher to clean the accumulated leaves and weeds. This way, you will get more value for your money. Read our best leaf shredders review here.

Size of collection bin

Wood chippers come with collection bins to collect the wood chips. This way, these chips can be employed again for other useful purposes like decorating your floor and other recycling activities. When you buy a wood chipper, check for the size of the collection bin. If this bin is too small, it may require frequent manual intervention from you to clear it off every now and then. In this case, you should invest in a wood chipper with a bigger bin. The choice of wood chipper should depend on your convenience and requirements. If you are worried about the weight of the bigger bins and are fine with manually emptying out the contents frequently from the smaller bins, you can invest in it accordingly.

Reduction ratio

Reduction ratio refers to the rate of reduction of wood chips by the machine. For example, if a machine has a reduction ratio of 10:1, it means the chipped wood that is produced in its chute is about 1/10th of the size of the original wood that was fed into the chipper. This technical specification will help you know about the size of chips that you will get as output. Though this is not the only basis for making your decision, it can prove to be a helpful factor for you to choose the model that suits your requirements.

Common mistakes to avoid

You have done all the hard work by buying the best machine after reading all the chipper shredder reviews. You have made the smart decision by saving a great deal of money on your purchase. So isn’t it natural that you should use your machines the right way so that you get maximum benefits from them? Here are some of the common mistakes that people commit while operating these chippers, which results in injuries and accidents. Have a look at these mistakes so that you can learn from them and avoid them when you use your chippers:

Inappropriate dressing

Though it may sound weird, most of the accidents and injuries caused while operating wood chippers are because the operators are dressed inappropriately. You cannot afford to wear loose garments while using these high-speed motor-powered chippers. While feeding wood into these machines, your garments will be pulled inside the machines due to their velocity, if they are loose and ill-fitting. This can result in fatal accidents in most of the cases. The inappropriate dressing also involves wearing of accessories like jewelry, watches, bangles, belts and the like. All of these have the potential to be pulled inside the chippers within seconds if you are not careful.

Not giving importance to safety gear

There is a reason why you need to wear helmets, goggles, gloves and earplugs while operating wood chippers. Wood and dust particles fly about in high speed when these machines are in action. Therefore, you should protect your body parts fully well. In most of the industries, operators are allowed to touch the chippers only after they have worn the necessary protective gears. This rule is a must in these industries.

Apart from this, people tend to feed in huge chunks of wood into the machines, thereby resulting in serious accidents. It is common knowledge that you should feed in the wood gently and from a safe distance so that your body doesn’t come in direct physical contact with the wood chippers. Follow the safety instructions that are mentioned on the package of chippers, so that you will never go wrong while using these chippers for your residential or commercial purposes.

Safety tips

When you are handling wood chippers, you need to exercise caution because even if you make a small mistake, it can result in serious injuries. In some cases, it can result in fatal accidents as well. Therefore, these safety tips should always be kept in mind.

Size of the feed

Almost all wood chippers rotate at a very high speed as soon as wood is fed into them. Therefore, you need to be careful about the amount and size of wood that you feed into the machine. When you feed in a large chunk of wood, the machine starts operating at high speed, and the pieces may hit you, causing severe injuries. The wood that is fed into the chipper should be reasonable in size and should be free from foreign elements like stones and dust so that your machine doesn’t get jammed. Wood chippers don’t come cheap; therefore, it costs you a huge sum of money to get your chippers repaired.

Type of feeding

Feeding the chippers is one of the most important areas where you need to exercise due caution. You should use long twigs or sticks or handles to insert the wood into the chipper so that your hand doesn’t come in direct contact with the machinery. You should also maintain a safe distance when you are feeding the wood so that you are safe from injuries. If you are complacent while feeding wood, your body parts might get pulled inside, causing fatal accidents in most of the cases.

Be careful about clothing

When you operate wood chippers, you should be very careful about your clothing and accessories. You should wear tight clothing so that it doesn’t get caught in the chippers when the machine is in action. Also, avoid wearing any accessories like watches, bangles, belts and other accessories, so that they don’t get jammed inside the machine. When your clothes get pulled inside the machine, you will suffer from severe injuries. Almost all the chippers come with safety instructions that one needs to follow while operating them. You have to spend considerable time in reading through these, as these are the fundamentals of operating chippers.

Safety accessories

Protect your head, eyes, ears and hands with proper safety gear, so that they are well protected against the wood particles and other dust that will fly off from the machine. Since these machines operate at a very high speed, you should be prepared to witness a lot of sound and dust. To protect your ear drums from these very high volumes, you need to wear ear gears compulsorily. If you fail to safeguard yourself with these protective equipment, these wood particles can cause permanent disability like blindness or deafness in you.

In a nutshell, you should do whatever it takes to protect yourself from the hazards of the wood chipper. Safety should be your priority, irrespective of whether you use these chippers for light, residential purposes or heavy, commercial purposes.