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5 Best Wood Chipper and Shredder for Home Use – Reviews & Comparisons

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Do you have a house that is surrounded by trees that litter your garden with dead leaves and discarded branches? Do you live on a property that has its own forest or lots of dense brush that needs clearing? If your answer is yes, then a Wood Chipper is a fast and efficient gardening machine that will have your lawn and property looking spick and span in no time.

One of the best things about a woodchipper is that it is a very versatile machine.

You can use it all year round for reducing the amount of organic build-up on your lawn, clear away debris after a storm, quickly dispose of weeds and dead plants from your flower beds and vegetable patch, and it can also create high quality compost. You can even make your own wood chips from hickory or apple tree branches for your wood smoker.

Our pick

THE BEST WOOD CHIPPER

Patriot Products CSV-2515 Electric Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder

If you have a residential property up to ½ acre and you are looking for a wood chipper that can offer you great power and a high quality cutting and shredding performance at an affordable price, then this compact machine is the best choice.

What is a Wood Chipper?

Most wood chippers do more that just grind branches into smaller and more manageable sized wood chips, they also come with a shredding function and some models also have a mulching function as well.

Chipping

A wood chipper can break down branches from 2 to 3 inches in diameter. This is how the wood chipper works. Once you have thrown the branches into the hopper, which is the large cone shape that is located at the top or the front of the machine, or the side chute, the sharp blades and hammers in the grinding chamber create small wood chips, which are either expelled from the side of the machine or into an attached collection bag.

Shredding and Mulching

The shredding and mulching function works by taking any fibrous material like brush or leaves and the blades shred or mulch them into finely chopped organic matter that you can use it in your compost heap.

The wood chipper/shredder not only makes light work of tidying up your garden, but it can save you from having to rake the lawn clear of leaves or manually cutting the branches to put them into the trash can.

In such a fast paced and time-poor world, a wood chipper/shredder can give you back those precious hours, so that you can spend your time doing something other than gardening.

How to choose a Wood Chipper

Size of Your Property: Residential or Rural

The first thing factor you need to consider before buying a wood chipper is where you live and the size of your home. Wood chippers come in different sizes, and have different power sources. For urban or residential homes, most of your garden clean-ups will involve dead leaves and branches from overhanging trees, and maybe an occasional larger branch from a storm.

So if your property is located close to your neighbours, and in order to keep the peace, it is probably not ideal for you to go out and buy a powerful gas-powered unit that can make a lot of noise. A small sized wood chipper that is powered by electricity and can chip tree branches up to 2 inches should be sufficient.

For medium yards and larger rural properties like farms and acreage, choose a gas-powered wood chipper that can chip thicker branches up to 3 inches in diameter. These types are wood chippers are very portable with sturdy wheels and can be put on a trailer so that you can move it around your property.

Electric Wood Chippers

Electric wood chippers are ideal for small sized residential properties up to ½ acre. They can process tree branches up to 2 inches, they are a cleaner source of power with no nasty fumes, they are quieter and are easier to maintain than gas-powered models.

The disadvantages of using an electric wood chipper is that most models can only handle a small amount of wood or garden debris, so they are not suitable for heavy-duty jobs. They are not portable and you may have to use a heavy-duty extension cord.

Gas-powered Wood Chippers

Gas-powered wood chippers are more powerful and they can handle tree branches up to 3 inches in diameter and they will have no trouble tackling large amounts of wood, especially hardwood. As they have larger engines and they have two cutting blades and dual hammers, they are an ideal choice for people who have a larger yard, or acreage that has a lot of trees and brush to be cleared.

The downside of using a gas-powered wood chipper is that they use gas, they are more expensive, are noisier than electric models, they produce fumes, and you may have to manually add and check the oil level.

Three Features to Look for When Buying a Wood Chipper

1. Power

Before you buy a wood chipper, consider the power capacity of the machine. Electrically-powered wood chippers have engines that range in power from 14 to 15 amps. Gas-powered machines have engines that range from 4 to10 horsepower, and engine sizes from 120 up to 320cc.

Although smaller electrically-powered wood chippers should be suitable for residential properties, some models can even rival their gas-powered counterparts in the power and vacuum department. So when it comes to power, it all depends on the size of your property and the type of garden debris you will need to dispose of or use in your compost heap.

2. Feed Capacity and Size of the Chute/Hopper

The feed capacity relates to how much garden debris you will be feeding into the wood chipper chute, which is also called a hopper.

If you need to chip a small amount of branches every now and then, a wood chipper with a small sized hopper would be ideal, but if you have a large pile of branches, loads of dense brush and leaves to process, then a wide hopper will be needed.

The hopper size is very important because if you have a small hopper and you try to fed a lot of debris into it, the garden waste can get stuck, which can cause the machine to malfunction. It will also make the chipping/shredding and mulching process that much slower.

A. Self-feeding/Extra Vacuum capacity

Some gas-powered wood chippers come with a self feeding capacity or extra vacuuming power for sucking the branches or leaves into the machine’s chute. Instead of pushing the branches into the hopper, all you have to do is just place the branches or whatever kind of garden waste you have into the hopper or chute, and the high powered suction will do all the work for you.

B. What type of material will you be mulching?

One of the major reasons wood chippers fail to meet operating expectations is because operators feed the wrong type of material into the machine. Make sure that the machine can cope with the kind of organic matter that is around your property.

Wood chippers are designed primarily for wood, brush and leaves, so if other kinds of waste like plastic or newspaper or even pine needles are fed into the machine, it can cause it to stop operating. This is a good reason to read the instructions before you start to use the machine.

3. Handy Operating Features

Some wood chippers come with innovative operator features. There are some electrically-powered chippers that start with just a push of a button.

Others have a collection bag that has a “Bottom-Out” zipper so that you can unzip the bag to empty the contents. Chippers like the PowerSmart PS10 Electric Chipper Shredder has a safety locking knob that prevents the blades from spinning when the unit is turned on, until you are ready to use it. The PowerSmart chipper also has an overload switch in case you feed too many branches into the hopper.

Other handy features can include extra safety goggles and extended warranties up to two or three years.

Six Safety Tips When Using a Wood Chipper

Besides the power and cutting performance of a wood chipper, safety is ultimately important. Any kind of power tool that you use in and around your home is a potential mechanical hazard that can cause serious harm. The powerful suction and razor sharp blades can cut off more than just tree branches if the machine is not used correctly.

1. Before you starting using your wood chipper, read the instructions or manual. By reading the product instructions from the manufacturer who knows the machine, will give you the best operating experience, and can save you from those frustrating moments when the machine does not function properly.

Reading the instructions can also save you from having to wait on the phone to talk to a customer service representative.

2. Wearing the right safety gear and clothing is important. Avoid loose clothing and wear safety glasses, and sound reducing earplugs that still allow you to hear the engine running.

3. If the machine gets jammed make sure you do not just reach inside the hopper or chute. Make sure it is switched off before you remove any clogged up material.

4. Do not lean over and look directly into the hopper or chute while the machine is operating as loose organic material can fly out and hit you in the face.

5. Be extra careful when you are feeding branches into the the hopper. It is best not to push the wood in with your hands, use another larger tree branch to propel the branches into the machine.

6. Do not leave the machine unattended, and keep it away from children.

Best Wood Chipper — Reviews

Electric Wood Chippers:

1. Patriot Products CSV-2515 Electric Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder

Although this wood chipper and shredder from Patriot Products is one of the smaller units that are available, it is remarkably powerful and can chip and shred branches up to 2 ½ inches. It can be started with just a push of a button and it is a fast worker.

It is powered by a strong electric motor, and has a two-bushel capacity bag to catch the wood chips and other kinds of organic gardening refuse.

The chipper is made from a solid construction, and it weighs 95 lbs, so it may not be one of the lightest models, but it has two sturdy wheels and it is well balanced.

If you have a small sized yard up to ½ an acre, and you are looking for a powerful alternative to gas, then this smart looking wood chipper is a great choice.

The chipper also comes with a 2-year warranty, a standard collection bag, and safety goggles.

An important tip for when you need to use the unit away from a power source, you will need a good heavy-duty extension cord as this unit draws 14 amps of electricity and could cause a power surge.

What we like:

  • Ideal for small properties
  • Powerful
  • Can chip branches up to 2 inches
  • Good cutting action
  • Quiet
  • 2 year warranty

What we don't like:

  • Not ideal for larger properties
  • Small collection bag

2. PowerSmart PS10 Chipper/Shredder

The PowerSmart PS10 electric chipper and shredder is a small, but sturdy machine. It is very powerful with a 15 amp motor and can easily chew through branches up to 1.625 inches in diameter, even walnut wood. It can also pulverize mulberry branches and overgrown shrubs and vines.

It has a mulching function that is very handy if you need to quickly top up your compost heap. The machine is lightweight at 33 lb and with 6 inch wheels it easy to move around, and it has a push button start.

The Powersmart chipper comes with two great safety features: a safety locking knob that prevents the blades from spinning until you are ready to start loading the hopper or chute with branches, and an overload switch in case you feed too many branches into the hopper.

An ideal choice for small residential properties, the PowerSmart Wood Chipper and Shredder is quiet and it is easy to clean.

What we like:

  • Ideal for small gardens
  • Chipping, shredding and mulching capabilities
  • Can cut branches up to 2 inches
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to start and clean
  • Safety locking knob and overload switch

What we don't like:

  • Not ideal for heavy-duty work
  • Small chute
  • No collection bag

Gas-powered Wood Chippers:

3. Tazz K32 Chipper/Shredder

The K32 Chipper and Shredder from Tazz is a compact and solid machine that has loads of power, so it is ideal for medium sized yards and larger properties that have a lot of wooded areas. The chipper's housing material and the blades are made from high quality steel, and the 11 inch wheels and the front kickstand means that the machine is well balanced.

It is powered by a strong 4 cycle, single cylinder 212cc Viper engine that gives the chipper an extra 20% of suction strength to be able to chip, grind and shred branches up to 3 inches in diameter and other kinds of plant debris into wood chips or mulch.

The rugged chipping machine stands at only 34 inches high so it is easy to drop all of your garden debris into the hopper, and it has a kickstand that keeps it well balanced.

The collection bag can hold up two bushels full of wood chips, and the “Bottom-Out” zipper and the “Dock-and-Lock” bag connector means you can attach and detach the bag quickly for easy disposal.

Tazz has also designed this wood chipper with an extra safety feature, the rubber mesh straps or baffles prevent flying debris that could escape from the top of the leaf shredding chamber.

What we like:

  • Ideal for medium to large properties
  • Strong engine
  • Easy to start
  • Powerful
  • Great chipping and shredding action
  • Bottom-Out zipper on the collection bag
  • Dock and lock collection bag connector

What we don't like:

  • The oil reservoir is hard to access

4. Earthquake 14267 Chipper and Shredder

If you have a medium sized garden that is always covered by dead leaves in the fall or tree branches in the spring, or if you have acreage with a lot of forested land, the Earthquake Chipper and Shredder is a great choice.

It is a compact machine, but it has loads of power due to the strong Viper engine, and 2 heavy-duty chipping blades and patented dual triangular hammers that can easily chip and pulverize tree branches up to 3 inches in diameter.

You have a choice of two entry points, you can feed tree branches into the chute that is located on the side of the machine, or into the wide hopper on the top of the machine.

Earthquake has also designed this chipper and shredder with innovative safety features like the plastic guards over the hopper that prevent any debris from flying back out during the chipping process, an ergonomic handle, and there is also an emergency shut-off switch.

What we like:

  • Ideal for medium sized yards and acreage
  • Solid construction
  • Powerful
  • Very good chipping and shredding action

What we don't like:

  • Noisy
  • Instructions are not very clear

5. Yard Machines 24A-45M3000 Wood Chipper and Shredder

This 3-in-1 Chipper and Shredder from Yard Machines is the ideal choice if you have a large yard with a lot of trees, or a property up to two acres. It is a sturdy machine that is powered by a strong 208cc 4-cycle Powermore engine that can deliver an overall powerful chipping performance. The wood chipper will have no trouble chipping, shredding and mulching leaves and tree branches up to 2 inches thick, even hard maple wood, and the collection bag can hold up to 2.5 bushel loads of chips or mulch.

The large 10 inch semi-pneumatic wheels means the chipper is well balanced and easy to maneuver around your property

One of the highlights of this machine that makes it an ideal choice if you have back problems and prefer not to lift up heavy branches, the hopper also drops down onto the ground, so all you have to do is rake up the gardening debris into it.

The chipper/shredder also comes with engine oil and safety goggles, and there is a 2 year limited warranty.

What we like:

  • Ideal for medium properties up to 2 acres
  • Easy to assemble
  • Easy to use
  • Strong engine
  • Powerful
  • Very good chipping, shredding and mulching capacity
  • Hopper can be lowered onto the ground

What we don't like:

  • Not ideal for residential properties
  • Heavier organic matter can get stuck in the the chute
  • Collection bag can be difficult to remove

Our Top Pick

Our top pick for the best wood chipper is Patriot Products CSV-2515 Electric Wood Chipper and Leaf Shredder. 

Our pick

THE BEST WOOD CHIPPER

Patriot Products CSV-2515 Electric Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder

If you have a residential property up to ½ acre and you are looking for a wood chipper that can offer you great power and a high quality cutting and shredding performance at an affordable price, then this compact machine is the best choice.

Although it is powered by electricity, it has the power to rival gas-powered models and can chip and shred tree branches up to 2 ½ inches thick. For an emission free alternative to gas, but with a similar power level, you cannot go wrong with this fast and efficient wood chipper and shredder.

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