Maybe it was winter weather. Maybe it was a savage storm. Whatever it was, it wrecked your lawn. What was once a peaceful, clean space is now chaotic and covered in debris. Branches and leaves are scattered all about. Dead plants are overshadowing your healthy ones.
A simple solution that will help you clean up your yard and make sure it’s better than ever is a chipper shredder. You can use a chipper shredder to dispose of unwanted yard debris and turn them into helpful materials like compost and mulch. This easy to use, convenient tool is a must-have for lawn care fanatics. This guide covers everything you need to know before buying a chipper shredder, including reviews on the top 5 rated chipper shredders you can buy online right now.
Best Chipper Shredder Comparison Chart
|Sun Joe CJ602E Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder||Check The Price!|
|GreatCircleUSA Wood Gas Powered Chipper Shredder Mulcher||Check The Price!|
|YARDMAX YW7565 Chipper Shredder||Check The Price!|
|Patriot Products CSV-2515 Electric Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder||Check The Price!|
|Yard Machines 24A-45M4700 Gas Chipper/Shredder||Check The Price!|
What’s the Difference Between a Chipper and a Shredder?
Wood chippers take large chunks of wood like stumps, sticks, and branches, and turn them into smaller chunks that are easier to use and deal with. You feed the uncut wood into the hopper and then they go through a large flywheel which cuts the chips using a sharp blade and high speeds. The pieces are then ejected out the other side of the chute.
Chipper shredders are typically smaller than wood chippers and it’s more common for them to be used residentially. They have 2 hoppers instead of one and lack the large ejection shoot wood chippers have. In a chipper shredder, the wood goes through the flywheel and then through a system with dull blades and hammers which squash and pulverize soft materials. The processed materials are then ejected out the other side, either below the machine or into a bag.
What is the Best Wood Chipper for Home Use?
If you have a large property with lots of difficult branches then a wood chipper may be the smart move for you. Wood chippers are very powerful machines that can be used to handle tough branches. Choose a high power one that can handle thick wood.
If you are looking to use your machine to make compost and mulch though, a chipper shredder will serve you better.
What is the Best Wood Chipper?
Our favorite wood chipper overall was the Champion 3-Inch Portable Chipper. It can easily handle all the organic debris in your yard with ease. It’s easy to use, easy to move, and stores well. For large lawns, this is the wood chipper for you.
If you are looking for a PTO wood chipper then try the NorTrac PTO 5 ½” Chipper. PTO wood chippers work in conjunction with a vehicle they are drawing power from. This power source often allows them to work harder and faster than gas and electric models.
Are Garden Shredders Worth It?
If you take pride in your lawn or do a lot of gardening a shredder can be an incredible tool to use to revolutionize your landscape.
It can take materials you don’t want in your lawn or garden, like sticks, leaves, prunings, and dead plants, and turn them into things that you do, like compost, mulch, or garden path material. For environmental and lawncare reasons, garden shredders can be an invaluable, long-lasting tool. Your lawn can become better than ever and your waste can become something useful.
Electric wood chippers normally cost in the $100 to $150 range which can be totally worth it if you normally buy mulch and fertilizer anyways.
Gas-powered, however, can be more in the $600- $1,000 range. You should only buy a gas model if you know that you are frequently going to use it.
How Much is it to Hire a Chipper?
It’s very common for people to rent this common lawn care tool.
However: Is it worth it?
Smaller wood chippers will cost you around $100 a day while larger ones could be anywhere from $200-$400 a day.
Do the math to determine whether it’s worth investing in your own chipper, or if you should just rent one.
If you are looking for a smaller chipper, which might only cost you around $150, clearly you should buy one because even renting as little as twice will cost more than owning one.
If you are looking for a bigger one, perhaps that costs $700, determine whether you will need to rent one more than 2-4 times.
How To Use Your Own Chipper Shredder
This video shows how to actually use a chipper shredder after you buy or rent one.
What Type of Chipper Shredder Do I Need?
Which type of chipper shredder you need depends on the gardening and landscaping tasks you are using it for. To help you determine which kind you should buy, I have included descriptions of the different types of chipper shredders below.
What Type of Garden Shredder is Best?
Electric vs. Gas
Gas chipper shredders are often more powerful than their electric counterparts, with motors in the 200cc range. Electric shredders on the other hand normally operate on motors with energy capabilities around 15 amps.
Because of this, commercial wood chippers are almost always gas-powered. Homeowners tend to use both electric and gas-powered chipper shredders, with people who handle bigger lawns and branches tending to lean more towards gas-powered ones.
Electric shredders, however, do tend to be far less expensive, are more maneuverable, and are much better for the environment.
Electric and gas chipper shredders both have similar outcomes when it comes to waste reduction. You should look for chipper shredders with a waste reduction ratio somewhere between 10: 1 and 20:1.
Gas-powered chipper shredders normally have a maximum branch diameter capacity of 2-3 inches. Electric powered chipper shredders on the other hand normally can only handle branches with a maximum diameter of 1.5 inches. Keep in mind that these estimates are based on manufacturer claims, but that it’s normally a good idea to go a little bit below the listed maximum capacity.
Because gas-powered chipper shredders tend to have more powerful motors and larger capacities, they often outlast their electric counterparts. This could be attributed to them mostly being made of metal while electric chippers tend to have steel blades but plastic body parts. If you treat your electric shredder correctly though, and this goes for gas-powered ones as well, it should last.
Chipper shredders tend to have one of two types of drives: either a direct drive or a clutch drive.
They were not created equal.
When you turn on direct drive machines, the blade starts moving while a clutch drive motor allows you to turn on the blades with a switch. The direct-drive motor tends to be more common, especially in cheap chipper shredders, while clutch drive motors tend to be stronger and experience fewer jams.
Ease of Use
There are a few attributes that can make chipper shredders much easier to use.
Check to see if your chipper shredder has plastic wheels. If it does, keep in mind that the likelihood of those breaking or going wonky is high. It’s a heavy, hardworking machine. It shouldn’t have wheels made out of the same thing as toy cars.
Also, choose a chipper shredder with a wider hopper to make loading it up easier. Your back will thank you later.
Lastly, ensure that you can easily access your chipper shredder’s blade area because it’s sadly unavoidable that it will jam at some point.
Who Makes the Best Chipper Shredder?
Which chipper shredder is right for you will depend on your preferences.
However, keep in mind that it is indisputable that chipper shredders with a clutch drive motor, higher maximum capacity, and features that make them easier to use, are better.
How to Use Your Chips and Shreds
Now that you have gone and bought your chipper shredder, and chipper and shredded all of the debris around your yard, what should you use your chips and shreds for?
Try some of the ideas below:
- Fire Starter
- Erosion Control
If you come up with any other ideas, let me know in the comments!
Top 5 Chipper Shredder Reviews
Best Electric Chipper Shredder for Most Home Uses
This chipper shredder is definitely the best bang for your buck- and tree bark. The Sun Joe CJ602E is an electric wood chipper/shredder with the capacity to rip through wood-as long as it’s under 1.5 inches in diameter. Fortunately-for most homeowners that’s as much capacity as you need. The motor of this machine is nothing to sneeze at, it’s 15 amps and generates 4300rmp.
Not just power, but also safety is prioritized with this chipper shredder. It has features like a safety hopper and locking knob to help prevent accidents. It’s extremely easy to use and maintain, with its lightweight, compact design and durable frame.
Weighing in at only 17 pounds, this chipper shredder is easy to lug around your yard on its 6 inch wide wheels. It’s much quieter than gas-powered models, and you don’t have to deal with buying gas or fumes and smoke.
Not to mention, it’s easy to store and mulches extremely well. It should be noted that it doesn’t come with a bag so you may have to get creative with how you collect the mulch. This is the perfect chipper shredder for people with small to medium-sized lawns who don’t have to deal with a lot of heavy and thick debris
Best Chipper Shredder for Heavy Residential Use
This powerful chipper shredder can easily and efficiently take care of all the debris in your yard, turning it into usable mulch.
This powerful chipper shredder has a 212 cc gas engine and the capabilities to transform your yard. It can handle up to 3” diameter wood- which is the maximum amount that most residential chipper shredders can handle. Boasting an impressive 15:1 reduction ratio, this chipper shredder can greatly reduce your wooden debris. This incredible chipper shredder has 3-in-1 features, with shredding, chipping, and mulching capabilities.
It comes with other incredible features too, like its vacuuming feature which you can use to suck up leaves and debris with ease. This chipper shredder was designed to be easy to use, and safe to use. Your purchase is safe too with this product’s 3-year limited warranty which is a good thing because it is somewhat on the expensive side.
It includes a discharge bag to collect what you chip, shred, and mulch. It should be noted that the bag design is somewhat wonky and hard to use. A good way to ease this problem is by removing the bag before it becomes full. If you don’t, you risk clogging the chipper shredder’s system. This product is best suited for residential use in small to large lawns. This is one of the most powerful chipper shredders you can buy online.
Best Gas Chipper Shredder for Multipurpose Use
The YARDMAX YW7565 chipper shredder is a powerful, durable machine that can effectively clean up your yard and convert your debris into something useful.
It was created with power and ease of use in mind, efficiently cleaning up debris and only requiring a minimum amount of effort on your part. The self-feeding chute makes feeding long branches into this chipper shredder easy while the pneumatic wheels make this machine extremely simple to maneuver.
Handling wood that is up to 3” in diameter in size, this chipper shredder has one of the maximum capacities on the market.
It is gas-powered, which could be a pro or con depending on your preferences. It should be noted that it is fuel efficient, making the most of the gas you feed it.
No need to constantly update and maintain this machine, it was built to last and handle the toughest jobs you throw at it with solid steel castings throughout its design. With safety in mind, YARDMAX made the chipper blades easy to get to.
The only downside of this chipper shredder is that no collection bag is included which is disappointing considering its high price. That’s a quick fix though, you can easily find a creative solution or a bag to hook up to it.
This chipper shredder is perfect for big to small yards with a range of debris, for people who want high horsepower and a gas engine.
Best Wood Chipper Shredder for Small Debris
This powerful chipper shredder blows other electric motors out of the water with a 2.5” wood diameter capacity.
Proving that just because you have an electric motor, doesn’t mean you aren’t a high powered chipper shredder, this machine powers through wood, leaves and other debris with its 14 amp engine.
It even can take on wood with a 2.5” diameter which is basically unheard of for a chipper shredder with an electric engine.
No gas required, but you do need an extension cord and an available outlet to power this machine. Flip a switch and this baby is ready to rumble, quietly rumble that is, running much smoother than a noisy gas engine.
The lightweight frame is 95 pounds, which I realize isn’t REALLY lightweight but is for a chipper shredder. Using its jumbo wheels you can move it all around your yard- as long as you stay within reasonable distance of an outlet.
The wheels can get a bit wonky sometimes, hindering this chipper shredder’s maneuverability. The other note of warning is that wet leaves can clog this machine- but they tend to have that effect on most chipper shredders- so just be wary of that.
A collection bag and safety goggles are included with this somewhat pricey purchase which is backed by a 2-year warranty.
This product is perfect for residential or professional use for small to large debris- as long as it doesn’t exceed a diameter of 2.5”.
Best Wood Chipper Shredder for Large Yards and Debris
This machine is powerful and efficient, easily mastering your lawn. The 208 cc engine runs smoothly, powering through leaves, branches, grass, and other debris, producing mulch and compost.
It’s effectiveness in large part can be attributed to its cutting blades made of hard steel chromium. They easily chip wood, giving this machine a 2” chipping capacity which is perfect for residential use.
Making yard clean up easy, this machine features a chipper chute, drop-down rake-in chute, and drop-in hopper.
It has an impressive reduction rate of 10:1, reducing debris significantly.
It not only includes a bag for processed debris collection, it features an oversized one that makes collection easy with a 2.5 bushel capacity. There is no need to frequently empty it to keep your chipper shredder from jamming.
Notably, this chipper shredder quickly works, decimating branches in seconds, turning them into usable wood chips.
It is extremely durable and reliable which is good because it is on the pricey side and only boasts a 2-year limited warranty. Keep wet leaves out of this machine if you want it to continue to run smoothly and not clog.
The clear winner of the roundup is the Sun Joe CJ602E! This efficient and effective machine gets the job done, using ecofriendly electric power. It’s by far the least expensive option, and therefore the best for residential use.
The only thing to note is that it can only handle wood that is half as thick as some of the other options on this list. If you are looking to shred and chip wood that is more in the realm of 3” in diameter, than try one of the other options on this list! All of them are incredible machines that are guaranteed to clean up and improve your yard and garden.
If you found this article helpful, be sure to share it! Comment below with which chipper shredder you decided on.