How to Select the Best Wood Chipper Shredder?


Knowing how to choose the best chipper shredder for the money can be tricky. After all, there are so many different kinds on the market to look at and review. Within this buying guide, we aim to show you several different types of wood chipper shredders, as well as pros and cons for each one.

Not all the wood chipper shredders up for sale are going to suit your particular requirements. In fact, many are only suited for certain industries or people rather than just anyone at all.

 

Work Type

The kind of wood chipper shredder you require will solely depend on the tasks being undertaken. If you’re a homeowner looking to clear a fruit tree or leaves, an electric wood chipper shredder will suffice.

However, if you’re clearing a forest block for wood chip, then a large industrial machine will be more suitable. Pay careful attention to the specs of each wood chipper shredder you look at, in order to determine whether it’s the right machine for you.

 

Safety

Wood chipper shredders are easily one of the most dangerous pieces of machinery a homeowner or worker can buy. If it can chip or shred solid wood, imagine what it could do if it got hold of a body part. Users should pay careful attention to the safety guidelines that generally come with a new machine.

In order to be as safe as possible around a wood chipper shredder, you should:

  • Check the machine for defects before use. This could include cracked hinges and pins and broken hood latches. Replace any worn or damaged parts before use.
  • Make sure the hood covering the chipper knives is completely secured in place.
  • Always wear protective gear, including ear and eye protection, as well as a hard hat.
  • Use the chipper with someone else supervising.
  • Run the chipper on a low speed initially to listen for any odd noises.
  • Make sure hands and feet are kept out of the in-feed hopper.
  • Work closest to the emergency shut-off button. This will allow you to stop immediately if something goes wrong.

 

Efficiency

In order to get the most efficiency from your machine, you need to ensure it’s fit for its purpose. Some wood chipper shredders can only handle light loads of yard waste and aren’t suitable for large logs and stumps.

They will not work at their best with large loads and may break under the pressure. If you only intend on clearing small branches in your backyard, you may find that an electric wood chipper shredder with a small motor is all you require for optimum efficiency.

However, if you plan on clearing full sections of trees and shrubs, something with a bit more power will ensure better efficiency.

 

Features

The features of a wood chipper shredder vary from one machine to the next. However, they are generally made up of a chipper mechanism, a collared hopper, and a tub for collecting the wood chips. Many use a flywheel, although some are also constructed with a drum in order to work the engine or motor.

Wood chipper shredders which are more suitable in commercial or industrial settings feature grooved rollers within the feed funnels. These help move the yard waste towards the blades and do so at a rate which helps prevent injuries.

Important features you should factor into your decision are:

  • The horsepower.
  • The maximum branch size to fit.
  • The reduction ratio - how small the pieces are, once chipped.

 

Maintenance

Because wood chipper shredders are such dangerous pieces of machinery, the user must always ensure they undertake regular maintenance.

This can include:

  • Clearing away debris from the engine and muffler.
  • Cleaning the control linkage.
  • Filling the fuel tank and oil reservoir.
  • Lubricating all moving parts, the release rod, the levers and the chute.
  • Replacing the air filter.
  • Changing the oil and filter.
  • Changing the spark plug.
  • Sharpening or replacing the knives/blades.

Some of these maintenance checks should be completed before use, whilst others should be carried out after each use, or after 25-50 hours of use.

 

Budget

The level of work needing to be undertaken can determine what your budget should be. Generally, the more you spend, the better the wood chipper shredder you will receive. Of course, this isn’t true in all cases, but your budget is generally representative of the features the machine has, in order to complete a small or large job.

If you are a home user, your budget can easily be smaller as there is a wide market of backyard machines available at competitive prices. However, if you’re a commercial or industrial worker, you should set your budget a little higher and aim to spend at least $1,000.

 

Wood Chipper Shredder Power Source Types


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Electric-Powered Wood Chipper Shredders

Generally, electric-powered wood chipper shredders are more suitable for home users and those with minimal work to complete.

However, technology advancement has made it possible for electric-powered wood chipper shredders to be more than sufficient for a large range of markets; just not all of them.

Normally, they run cleaner than their gas-powered counterparts and just require an electrical cord to get them running.

If you are interested in this type of a chipper shredders, you would love to read this full buying guide on how to select the best electric wood chipper shredder for the money including reviews & comparison.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • They are better for the environment.
  • They are cleaner to run.
  • They don’t require as much maintenance.
  • They are quiet to run.

Cons:

  • They are far less mobile due to the need of a constant power source.
  • Generally they aren’t as powerful as gas-powered wood shredder chippers.

Applications

Many people who opt for an electric-powered wood chipper shredder are looking for something basic to use around home. For minimal backyard clearing, an electric machine is more than sufficient to get the job done. Many home users also opt for them due to how reliable they can be, even with irregular use.

Maintenance

Maintenance on an electric-powered wood chipper shredder is far less intensive than its gas-powered counterpart.

It includes:

  • Servicing the hammers and sharpening the knives/blades (unless it’s self-sharpening).
  • Check bolts and screws for tightness.
  • Remove and clean the flail screen if it’s clogged or dirty.
  • Clean the chute with a dry cloth.
  • Make sure it’s empty of debris before each use.
  • Use light machine oil for lubrication.
  • Change the air filter after every 25-30 hours of use.
  • Every 12 months replace the blades.
  • Wash the chip bag/tub twice a year.

 

2

Gas-Powered Wood Chipper Shredders

Gas-powered wood shredder chippers suit a wide range of people looking to clear trees and shrubbery. There are several different kinds, all designed with varying levels of power and features to undertake different kinds of work.

For example, some have more powerful engines in order to chip large trees with ease, whilst smaller engine sizes can easily tackle backyard chipping tasks.

There are even top-rated commercial and industrial wood chipper shredders which are designed for mass chipping tasks in a professional environment. The key is to find the correct gas-powered wood chipper shredder that best suits your needs.

If you are interested in this type of a chipper shredders, you would love to read this full buying guide on how to select the best gas wood chipper shredder for the money including reviews & comparison.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • They are generally more powerful than an electric wood chipper.
  • They can chip trees far quicker.
  • They can handle larger loads.
  • They are more mobile as they don’t require cords.

Cons:

  • They can’t be used in closed-in spaces.
  • They produce gas fumes.
  • They require far more maintenance.
  • They can be more expensive.

Applications

The good thing about gas-powered wood chipper shredders is their ability to be used in a variety of settings. It doesn’t matter if you’re working in your backyard or on a farm – they can be used for both.

Because there are so many kinds of gas-powered wood chipper shredders on the market, you are spoilt for choice. However, this doesn’t mean all are suited to your exact requirements. For example, you wouldn’t need a large, heavy-duty gas powered chipper for the removal of a small fruit tree.

Nor would you opt for a low-powered chipper for a large tree chipping operation. Pay careful attention to the engine size in order to make sure you choose the right chipper for your application.

Maintenance

Maintenance, although more complex than that required by an electric wood chipper shredder, is still relatively easy.

You should:

  • Check bolts and screws to ensure they are tight. Replace any that are worn, damaged, or rusty.
  • Clean the flail screen.
  • Clean the chute with a dry cloth.
  • Clean around the muffler.
  • Clear the machine of debris.
  • Change the oil after 8-10 hours of use.
  • Make sure the controls are all clean.
  • Lubricate moving components with light machine oil.
  • Change the air filter.
  • Change the spark plug.
  • Use clean fuel.

 

3

Hydraulic Wood Chipper Shredders

Hydraulic wood chipper shredders are normally used for large-scale jobs in a commercial or industrial setting. The kind of wood chipper which uses hydraulic power is normally one which is mounted on a truck, powered by a separate engine.

The hydraulic component is the crane, or feed input, which aims to make the operator’s job significantly less labor-intensive. These hydraulic machines aren’t aimed at home users as they generally aren’t mobile by themselves.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • They are very powerful.
  • They can handle much larger loads.
  • The hydraulic components make them less labor-intensive.

Cons:

  • They suit only a very specific market.
  • They cost a lot of money to own and operate.
  • Maintenance is far more expensive and time-consuming.

Applications

Hydraulic wood chipper shredders are only suitable for commercial and industrial activities. Due to their large size and the expertise required to use them, an average home user would not operate one.

Generally, they are mounted to the back of a truck or hooked onto a large trailer. This means they can be transported from one large job site to the next.

The work they undertake consists of producing large quantities of wood chips and mulch for gardening and landscaping businesses.

Maintenance

If a hydraulic wood chipper shredder requires maintenance or servicing, it’s best to leave it to the experts. The sheer size of these machines, coupled with the complex components, means only someone with experience should ever attempt to repair or maintain them.

Standard maintenance is required, such as changing spark plugs, checking hydraulic lines, checking for damage, and topping up fluids.

 

4

PTO-Driven Wood Chipper Shredders

Anyone in the farming industry will no doubt be aware of the benefits of a PTO (power take-off) chipper shredder. These machines are used on farms and lifestyle blocks and are conveniently mobile when hooked up to the back of a tractor.

Some come on wheels as their own trailer unit, whilst others can be vertically mounted to an already existing trailer. They are a farmer’s best friend when it comes to clearing storm damage or removing troublesome trees that are not suitable for firewood.

If you are interested in this type of a chipper shredders, you would love to read this full buying guide on how to select the best PTO wood chipper shredder for the money including reviews & comparison.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • They are mobile to be easily transported around farms.
  • They are more powerful than self-driven chippers.
  • They can be run from the engine of your tractor.

Cons:

  • They are quite expensive to own.
  • They are only really suitable for farmers and lifestyle block owners - not small property owners.

Applications

The way in which PTO wood chipper shredders are built means their application is very industry-targeted. Because they are built either on a trailer, or for a trailer, they are only suitable for farmers, lifestyle block owners, and those who operate tractors.

They are large in size and are generally very powerful to take on a variety of tasks out in the field. The operator hooks the PTO shaft up to the input shaft of the tractor, and this draws energy from the tractor’s engine. It’s a convenient system for those who use a tractor on a daily basis.

Maintenance

Maintenance can be carried out with ease if you know what you are doing. Always read the instruction manual carefully in order to care for the wood splitter shredder properly.

You should:

  • Lubricate all moving parts.
  • Check the rotor, twig-breaker, and blades for any damage or blockages.
  • Ensure all bearings are turning freely and replace any that are worn or damaged.
  • Check to see if all guards are free from damage and are securely in place.
  • Make sure the feed hopper curtain is in good condition to prevent chips from flying out.

 

Available Wood Chipper Shredder Types on the Market


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Drum Wood Chipper Shredder

Drum wood chipper shredders are very effective at creating wood chips speedily. The ‘drum’ component refers to the parallel drum with knives attached horizontally.

They aren’t generally used by homeowners and have been largely operated by those in commercial or industrial operations.

They are often more expensive and more dangerous than other wood chipper shredders on the market. However, they can handle logs of 6-20 inches which would suit a variety of people.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • They chip and shred wood effectively and speedily.
  • They can chip branches of between 6-20 inches in size.
  • They are more powerful than many other kinds on the market.

Cons:

  • They are very loud to operate.
  • They are far more dangerous than other kinds of wood chipper shredders.
  • The wood chips produced are generally larger than what other machines produce.

Applications

A drum wood chipper shredder is generally only used by landscapers, forestry workers, arborists, and land developers.

Maintenance

Drum wood chipper shredder maintenance is comparable to most other chippers. However, it should still only be carried out by someone who knows what they are doing.

This could mean you may be best to transport it to a servicing agency with staff who are experienced in the upkeep of such machines.

General maintenance includes:

  • Checking bolts and screws to ensure they aren’t worn, damaged, or loose.
  • Remove and clean the flail screen.
  • Use a brush to clean out the chute and around the muffler.
  • Remove any debris from each part of the machine. Ensure the machine’s spark plugs are removed and it’s completely off before attempting this.
  • Change the oil after 8-10 hours of use.
  • Use light oil for lubricating moving parts.
  • Replace the spark plug each year.

 

2

Disc Wood Chipper Shredders

Disc wood chipper shredders are largely used in the commercial industry by tree care companies, arborists, and landscapers.

The inner workings of the machine include a flywheel which is fitted with a large steel disc and chopping blades. These blades cut through the wood in varying directions as it appears through the chipper.

Because the chips produced are consistent, these particular wood chipper shredders are commonly used in the production of particleboard.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • They produce even sized and shaped wood chips.
  • The larger commercial disc chippers can take logs of between 6-18 inches, or 160 inches with an industrial disc chipper.

Cons:

  • They are not as energy-efficient as a drum wood chipper.
  • They can be more dangerous than other kinds of wood chippers.

Applications

Disc wood chipper shredders are largely used by professionals in a commercial or industrial setting. Very rarely would you find such a machine sitting in a suburban backyard.

The reason they are so popular in the commercial industry is because of the wood chip consistency. Each chip produced is very similar to the last. This makes for more attractive chips when laid in gardens, as well as being easier to use in the production of particleboard.

Maintenance

Maintenance on any kind of chipper is important, but more so on one that’s used in an industrial or commercial setting.

General maintenance includes:

  • Checking bolts, screws, and fasteners to ensure they are tight.
  • Lubricating all moving parts.
  • Changing the oil and filter.
  • Checking and/or replacing the air filter.
  • Cleaning or replacing the spark plug.
  • Cleaning, checking, and refilling the fuel tank.
  • Checking hoses and lines for leaks and imperfections.
  • Checking drive belts.
  • Sharpening or replacing blades.

 

3

Screw Wood Chipper Shredders

A screw wood chipper shredder is very similar in design to a drum wood chipper shredder. However, the blade setup is slightly different.

Unlike a drum machine, this screw wood chipper has a blade which is in a screw shape. The edges of it are sharpened to cut, rather than the entire blade. It also rotates in a parallel direction to where the wood enters, which then pulls the wood in.

In effect, its screw design acts as a way in which to pull the wood in. The cutting process and wood chip size and shape is relatively similar to the drum chipper.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • They are more fuel-efficient than other kinds of wood chipper shredders.
  • They require less maintenance than other wood chipper shredders.

Cons:

  • They are less mobile than other kinds of tree shredders.
  • In comparison to other models, they are less affordable.
  • The wood chips aren’t consistent in size or shape, which is often necessary for some industries.

Applications

Because the wood chips aren’t uniform as they are released from the chipper, the target market and application for this chipper are greatly reduced. It’s not suitable for the manufacturing of particleboards, nor does it produce a preferred kind of wood chip for gardens.

However, it could easily be suitable for farms and lifestyle block owners who simply want to get rid of large, imposing trees.

Maintenance

The maintenance of a screw wood chipper shredder is very similar to most other models. However, the blade components can be a little tricky. Below are general maintenance tips:

  • Sharpen and replace the blades/knives.
  • Ensure the bolts and screws are tightly fastened.
  • Make sure all moving parts and the levers are lubricated with light machine oil.
  • Change the oil and air filters.
  • Clean the entire machine with a brush or cloth.
  • Remove debris from all areas.
  • Change the spark plugs.
  • Check hose lines.
  • Check belts.
  • Make sure all parts are in good, working condition. Repair or replace any parts that aren’t.

 

Where to Buy Wood Chipper Shredders?

Surprisingly, quality wood chipper shredders and mulchers can be purchased just as easily online, as they can be in stores. In fact, if you’re looking for the best deal on the market, you are sure to find it on websites such as Amazon. Many leading brands and manufacturers choose to market their wares on Amazon, giving consumers all the information they need to make an informed decision and eventually buy online.

 

Leading Wood Chipper Shredder Brands

    • Tazz
    • Yardbeast
    • Patriot
    • Boss
    • Farmer Helper

 

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