Best PTO Wood Chippers: Powerful Landscape Solutions

Clearing out areas of your property for planting, or maintaining areas of heavy brush and other woody vegetation results in a lot of organic waste. You can either load these materials up to dump at a nearby landfill, burn them if it is permitted, or recycle them into materials that you can use to help enhance your landscape. If that last option sounded like an interesting choice, you aren’t alone. Landscapers worldwide spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on chipped and shredded woody materials to spread over their gardening beds for plant protection, and a clean, uniform look.

Wood chips are an excellent choice for mulching material as they break down slowly over time and help retain moisture. And if you regularly clean up your property of heavier materials, investing in a wood chipper to dispose of this waste is an economical solution. The best PTO wood chipper is those able to handle a large amount of material of various sizes and has the ability to be moved easily and effectively to where they are needed.

5 Best PTO Wood Chipper Comparisons

IMAGE MODEL FEATURES
WoodMaxx 8Hydraulic AutoFeed Chipper WoodMaxx Hydraulic Auto-Feed Chipper
  • Dimensions: n/a
  • Weight: 990 lbs
  • Horsepower minimum: 19
  • Feed System: Hydraulic
  • Warranty: 3 years
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Farmer Helper Wood Chipper Farmer Helper 4” Wood Chipper
  • Dimensions: 6 x 10 feet
  • Weight: 425 lbs
  • Horsepower minimum: 16
  • Feed System: Self-feed
  • Warranty: 2 years
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Western Pacific Tractor PTO Wood Chipper Western Pacific Tractor PTO Wood Chipper
  • Dimensions: 40"L x 42"W x 60"H
  • Weight: 425 lbs
  • Horsepower minimum: 18
  • Feed System: Self-feed
  • Warranty: 1 year
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NorTrac PTO Chipper NorTrac PTO 5 ½” Chipper
  • Dimensions: 54 x 34 x 60 inches
  • Weight: 350 lbs
  • Horsepower minimum: 20
  • Feed System: Self-feed
  • Warranty: 2 years
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Titan Attachments Tractor PTO Wood Chipper Titan Attachments Tractor PTO Wood Chipper
  • Dimensions: 40 x 42 x 60 inches
  • Weight: 431 lbs
  • Horsepower minimum: 16
  • Feed System: Self-feed
  • Warranty: 1 year
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What is a PTO Wood Chipper?

PTO Wood Chipper

PTO stands for power take off and refers to the drive shaft found on machinery that attaches to the splined output shaft of a tractor, mower, or truck. The PTO allows machinery to draw energy from the engine of the vehicle it is attached to. A PTO wood chipper is equipped with this drive shaft and is designed to work in conjunction with a vehicle from which it can draw its power. Typically, this means a large amount of power is being supplied to the equipment, and that it can be used more effectively than gas or electric powered versions to dispose of larger materials.

PTO chippers are built for rugged, durable work, and include a flywheel to grind up wood, as well as a roller feed to keep your materials working through the machine in an effective manner. Many are also are built to hitch directly to your vehicle to be transported where needed or can be placed easily upon a trailer.

Why Would I Want a PTO Wood Chipper?

PTO chippers come in a variety of different chipper, and chipper/shredder combination models from which to choose. They are much more powerful than gas and electric versions and can handle the many materials cleaned from larger properties. They make fast work of large woody materials, and for the cost, are often comparable to smaller, less powerful gas models. If you have the capabilities to run a PTO system, they are well worth the investment when regular property maintenance is a must.

Types of PTO Wood Chippers

Although the design of various models of chipper is basically the same, there are a few differences to be aware of when researching for one that you need to be aware of. All may be engine driven by an existing vehicle, but these differences can make an impact in the budget you may have put aside for such a tool, as well as influence how you use it.

Light vs Heavy Duty

Not all wood chippers are made to handle the same amount of loads. Most start out being able to take branches up to 4 or 5 inches in diameter, whereas others may handle larger, 8-inch diameters with ease. Lighter duty chippers are going to be for the obvious smaller materials and may be the handiest for regular seasonal cleanups of tree lines, hedges, and other brush like a waste.

Heavy duty machines will require more horsepower from your engine and will be able to handle a wider range of materials. These are best used on properties that require a lot of heavier maintenance of woody stems, trees, branches, and brush. These also work well for commercial businesses that are faced with a wider variety of jobs to complete.

Self-Feeding

Self-feeding machines pull the materials by using gravity as they are being chipped once you have placed them into the chute. This is due to how the flywheel works in conjunction with the rotating blades to create this effect. Many self-feeding machines may not be as powerful as a hydraulic feed, despite being able to handle larger loads.

Hydraulic Feed

Hydraulic feed systems usually work on your machinery’s hydraulic system to help feed the materials and control the speed and power behind it. They have a system of rollers that allow you to operate the feed once you have it placed in the chute- without having to continually place your materials in the chute manually as the machine runs.

Adjustable Height

Some chippers come on a trailer of sorts for direct hitch hook up, some are built to be placed flat on the ground (or a personal trailer), and others have legs that can be adjusted to height based on the needs you have for it. These are the types of details that can help make your job easier when hard at work.

Difference Between a Chipper and Chipper/Shredder Combo

Farmer Helper 5

Wood Chipper

Sun Joe CJ602E

Chipper/Shredder Combo

 

In your search, you are bound to come across the chipper and chipper/shredder combos. It may not seem like that big of a difference, but the distinction between the two, especially in such a powerful product, is actually worth making note of. Although similar in appearance, you don’t want to confuse them, especially if you have specific work needs in mind.

A chipper will have a large hopper to feed the materials into, and a chute to eject the chips. These are specifically used to reduce woody waste to chips, which can be used in mulches but are not as fine as a mulch or compost material.

A chipper shredded typically has two separate hoppers, and the ejection chute will usually be shorter as well. The biggest difference, however, is within the machine itself: there are a series of flails used to break down softer materials and create a finer output. These machines have a tendency to not be as powerful, and also are usually smaller in size and weight.

How to Choose the Best PTO Wood Chipper

As explained above there are a few details you should pay attention to when shopping for a PTO chipper. What type of vehicle you have to power your chipper, transport it, and use it are all indicative of what type of model you should purchase.

Why do you want a wood chipper?

Other than being a cool tool, what purpose do you have for a PTO chipper? Are you a business landscape owner? Do you have a large property you are looking to clear of brush and trees or keep maintained? These are all things to consider prior to purchasing to justify the investment you will make in such a powerful tool.

What do you need to chip?

If you have plenty of materials to keep your chipper busy with, do you know what it is you are going to be chipping exactly? Brush and other woody hedges aren’t going to grow as large as trees and respective trimmed branches. The largest, most powerful chipper would most likely go to waste with moderately sized materials- plus larger chippers require larger engines to run them.

How would you power your chipper?

Do you have a tractor or mower? Or even a truck equipped with a splined output shaft? In general, you want to be able to apply the correct horsepower to every inch of the diameter you can cut. Is your vehicle powerful enough to supply the drive needed to chip an 8-inch limb if that is what you plan on using it for?

Top 5 Best PTO Wood Chipper Reviews

Despite the many models available, there are a few PTO wood chipper reviews that stand above the others. We’ve provided a brief overview of some of the top rated below to provide you an idea of what is being offered.

WoodMaxx 8″ Hydraulic Auto-Feed Chipper

WoodMaxx 8%22 Hydraulic Auto-Feed Chipper
  • Dimensions: n/a
  • Weight: 990 lbs
  • Horsepower minimum: 19
  • Feed System: Hydraulic
  • Warranty: 3 years
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This is a seriously heavy duty machine, built with 2 rollers for hydraulic feed, and weighs 990 lbs to easily handle branches and trunks up to 8 inches in diameter. The hydraulics are also self-contained, meaning you do not have to depend on the vehicle being used to hook it up to, and can take advantage of the pump and tank included.

Feeder speed adjustments to handle smaller, green wood to dry large logs are part of what makes this highly dependable. Plus, with adjustable legs, you can ensure you have the correct height for proper PTO connections. With a minimum of 19 HP needed, this is a product that will provide hours of heavy-duty use.

PROS

  • Durable and very long lasting
  • Very safe to operate
  • Wonderful customer service

CONS

  • Roller screws may vibrate loose (replaceable)
  • Heavy to move

PRO TIP

If you have a large property with regular, heavy duty maintenance needs, this is an excellent choice. It is considered a top end product that will last, plus the customer service is considered top notch.

 

Farmer Helper 4” Wood Chipper

Farmer Helper 4” Wood Chipper
  • Dimensions: 6 x 10 feet
  • Weight: 425 lbs
  • Horsepower minimum: 16
  • Feed System: Self-feed
  • Warranty: 2 year
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Created as a lighter duty machine, the design of this chipper is of such to create a product that can be utilized by smaller tractors as a lower horsepower is required. Able to handle up to 4-inch branches in diameter, this chipper utilizes a self-feed system due to angled cutting blades and also boasts an adjustable discharge chute.

This product does not come with a leg stand, but one can be ordered separately, and it can be set on a trailer for use and portability, although you may have to remove it for shaft connection. It also has a 3 point hitch to take advantage of. With a minimum of 16 HP, the chipper can still power through almost anything you need to dispose of, but greener, smaller materials should be fed slowly to avoid clogging as it is built specifically for chipping, and not shredding.

PROS

  • Chips are smaller and mulch well
  • Customer service is top notch
  • Very durable and runs well

CONS

  • Adjustable leg stand is sold separately

PRO TIP

This is actually a very powerful machine that can handle just about anything you need to get chipped up to 4 inches in diameter. Built for property owners, it is fairly easy to move around with a lift and can run for hours on end.

 

Western Pacific Tractor PTO Wood Chipper

Western Pacific Tractor PTO Wood Chipper
  • Dimensions: 40″L x 42″W x 60″H
  • Weight: 425 lbs
  • Horsepower minimum: 18
  • Feed System: self-feed
  • Warranty: 1 year
Click For The Price

 

This is a machine that can do it all. With chipper, shredder, and mulcher capabilities, you can keep your property well maintained no matter what season it is. With only 18 HP needed to run, this chipper can handle up to 4-inch diameter materials of any sort through an angled, self-feed system that allows gravity to keep your materials in place.

Unfortunately, there is no there is no adjustable base, but you can place the product on a trailer for easier access and portability, plus it has a 3 point hitch. With a good, durable construction, your materials can be easily broken down to a smaller mulch like size due to the oversized rotor with reversible blades. There is also easy access to the blades for sharpening and maintenance.

PROS

  • Smaller shred/chip size
  • Easy gravity self-feed
  • Durable product

CONS

  • No adjustable base

PRO TIP

With the capability to work as a shredder and mulcher, this is a powerful little machine built for landscaping ease. The 18 HP minimum means it can work off of smaller sized tractors as well.

 

NorTrac PTO 5 ½” Chipper

NorTrac PTO 5 ½” Chipper
  • Dimensions: 54 x 34 x 60 inches
  • Weight: 350
  • Horsepower minimum: 20
  • Feed System: self-feed
  • Warranty: 2 year
Click For The Price

 

This is a compact little chipper that can handle materials up to 5 ½ inches thick with a gravity inspired self-feeder. The elevated chute also provides easy loading of wheelbarrows or other types of containers. With a 20 horsepower requirement, 6 ½ inch blades work in conjunction with a 75-pound flywheel to make short work of whatever you need to feed into it.

The durable steel legs may not be adjustable, but are of a design to make the 350 lbs of machinery easy to move with your tractor- plus you can also load it onto a trailer as well or take advantage of the three-point hitch. Although smaller green branches and leaves or twigs need to be fed slowly, and with encouragement- this is to be expected as a more powerful chipper built for larger materials.

PROS

  • Easy to assemble and hook up
  • Great customer service
  • Great for farm and land use

CONS

  • Small materials do not work well in large quantities
  • Knives may nick easily, but replacements available

PRO TIP

Designed for thicker branches and trunks, this is a machine that can handle smaller, softer materials, but only in smaller quantity- making it a good choice for larger landowners that need a dependable tool for a regular tree and brush cleanup.

 

Titan Attachments Tractor PTO Wood Chipper

Titan Attachments Tractor PTO Wood Chipper
  • Dimensions: 40 x 42 x 60 inches
  • Weight: 431 lbs
  • Horsepower minimum: 16
  • Feed System: self
  • Warranty: 1 year
Click For The Price

 

A powerful oversized rotor, reversible blades, and twig breaking paddles to help keep smaller materials well broken up to avoid clogs keep this machine working efficiently and effectively. With the ability to chip trees up to 4 inches thick, you can work worry-free with the angled hopper that depends on gravity to self-feed. The chute is also elevated for easy filling of chip movement.

The 431 pounds of machinery can hook easily to the 3 point attachment for easy portability, plus it has a stable base for easy transport on trailers. Although the minimum engine power is 20 HP, in order to truly take advantage of what you can do, you need at least 10 hp for each inch in diameter according to consumers.

PROS

  • Feeds well through the system
  • Small chips spread well
  • Easy to hook up

CONS

  • Green material needs a slow feed
  • Bit of learning curve for use

PRO TIP

This is a good choice for landowners looking for easy, regular property cleanup. Useful for smaller landowners, this chipper is probably the best choice for those materials that are not too heavy or thick, although it has excellent overall reviews.

Conclusion

Although there are quite a few differing PTO wood chippers on the current market, they all work from a similar premise and overall design. With differing capabilities surrounding power and material feed, you need to choose the one that provides what works best for the jobs you need it for. Plus, you also need to consider how you plan on moving it – especially if you do not have a tractor to take advantage of a 3 point hitch. Our favorite is the NorTrac PTO 5 ½” Chipper. The compact design provides a lot of power, as well as easy portability and storage. The hopper feed is also conducive to an easy feeding of uniform chips from the elevated chute.

If you have experience with any of the mentioned chippers or would like more information about any, please let us know in the comments below. And, as always, please share.

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