Best Wood Chippers: Easy Landscape Cleanup Solutions
After my spring cleanup, I literally have branches lying in every corner of my property. First, the tall bushes needed to be trimmed, then the fruit trees, and finally I tackled the pines that border the property and took off some bottom branches to influence growth higher up.
I also want to spread some new mulch and chips in my garden beds. I can load up all these branches in my truck to the local dump for them to chip and shred, and then bring back a load, or I could do it myself right at home. Luckily I don’t have to wind my way through the tedious process of loading, unloading, loading, and unloading materials, again and again, to get what I need. Instead, I can use my small chipper/shredder at home and save myself a bunch of time and effort.
If you have been on the market for the best wood chipper for home use, read on below for the wood chipper reviews that may work for your landscape needs.
Table of Contents
- Tazz 22752 K33 Chipper Shredder
- Patriot Products Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder
- Champion 3-Inch Portable Chipper-Shredder
- Sun Joe Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder
- PowerSmart Electric Chipper/Shredder
Not to be confused with a shredder or mulcher, a wood chipper is a much more powerful machine than the other two and can handle large branches (depending on the model you purchase) with ease. Although many models are sold as a combo chipper/shredder, in short, a chipper allows you to feed in the branches of trees, brush, bushes, and whatever other woody material you have on one side of the machine. The materials then pass through a series of blades bolted to rotating discs, after which the chips are expelled from the other side.
A shredder is very similar in nature to a chipper but isn’t able to handle as large of material as a chipper. They also do not utilize blades to cut the wood, but rather quickly spinning flails (also called blunt blades). Shredders create an excellent mulch and are good for yards that do not have larger branches to dispose of. A mulcher works a bit like a weed wacker that you feed materials into. It chops up softer, small organic materials, such as leaves and smaller twigs as into a soft mulch material.
For starter, why would you not?! But in all seriousness, a wood chipper can handle the majority of the branches and other wood waste you may have from your landscaping cleanups. Wood chippers come in many shapes and sizes, so don’t feel as if this is some beast you would have to have stored in your gardening shed- rather, you can choose a wood chipper that is best used for residential use, is small enough to store, and handle your seasonal cleanups with ease.
As mentioned, many of the best wood chippers for home use are also a combination shredder- meaning it can get your chips into an even finer wood shred preferable for mulching delicate garden beds. Since mulching large areas can get quite pricey, and you do want to do it every few years as it can wash away and start to break down over time, a chipper can begin to pay for itself in no time.
There are actually a couple of different kinds of wood chippers you can take advantage of. These are all slightly different in overall design, but the end result is the same: chipped up pieces of whatever wood you fed through it, courteously of the spinning blades within.
The blade in a screw chipper is a conical, screw-shaped blade. The wood is pulled in by the movement of this blade which is sharpened along the edges and cuts the material as it feeds through. The further in it feeds, the finer the chips become.
Like most landscaping machinery, you can choose between gas and electric powered machine. It used to be that gas-powered products were the most efficient and powerful, but with advancement in technology, this may not always prove to be true. For the most part, gas machinery is considered a more durable, powerful device, but always be aware of the electric counterparts and their abilities.
Gas powered products do not need a power source, they are powerful, and they are very portable. They can be rather loud, and do require maintenance- plus they can take up quite a bit of room due to having a gas tank to run from. Wood chippers generally use a 4 -stroke engine to power their machinery.
Electric chippers run a bit quieter and do not put out any fumes- making them more environmentally friendly. You do have to have a power source at hand, however, which makes them less portable- but they are easier to maintain and also smaller. This makes them storage friendly as well.
There are actually quite a bit of detail you should consider before committing to a wood chipper purchase. The size, cost, and how it is used is definitely something to look into, plus, you want to ensure you get what you need, not what you think you need.
Why do you want a wood chipper?
Are you trying to clean up your yard, or do you need something to run for job purposes? There are many options to choose from concerning the types of chippers available depending on the jobs you have for them. If you are unsure of what you need, you can always run a few side by side comparisons.
What do you need to chip?
Wood chippers can handle larger branches, and even tree trunks depending on the size of the machine. Of course, you are probably more interested in top rated residential machines, rather than huge trailered ones, but if larger materials are not what you are looking to use it for, you may want to consider as shredder- which may also be more affordable.
Where would you store your chipper?
As mentioned, gas-powered chippers are larger than electric, and these are not an item that can often be left out to the elements due to the many working parts. You will want to ensure you have a place to store your machine when not in use to keep it working for many years to come.
Do you have available power outlets?
If an electric machine is an interest to you, you will need to ensure you have the correct outlet for the amperage used by the machine. By making sure your breaker can handle the load, you won’t blow your fuses. Many can be run off a 110 volt, but be sure to check what draw is required. Obviously, the more powerful the machine, the more needed.
Despite there being many models to choose from, I’ve provided some of the brands below that boast the highest ratings for homeowner use. These wood chipper reviews provide an excellent jumping off point to highlight the differences that exist, and what the current market has to offer.
- Dimensions: 29.9 x 24.7 x 51 inches
- Weight: 140 lbs
- Power: Gas-301cc
- Warranty: 5 years
This gas powered, compact design is made for taking on branches up to 3 inches in diameter, and reduce materials to a 20:1 ratio. The 4 cycle, 301 cc engine is powerful, durable, and is designed to last season after season. Plus, it is made for easy transport with a well balanced square style design, and easy handle for pulling along on its 11 inches, never flat wheels.
The top of the hopper only stands 34 inches from the ground as well, making it an ideal height to load those larger, longer branches without having to lift them over your head. It also includes a debris bag, so you don’t have to constantly be moving the chips, or machinery, to where you need the chips placed. This bag has a bottom out the zipper and handles for easy transportation and chip spreading.
- Easy to store and transport
- Powerful and works quickly
- Starts easily
- Feed larger materials slowly to avoid kickback
- Assembly instructions could be clearer
- Leaves may jam it up
This is a product made with the homeowner in mind. The design makes it easy to store and transport, plus it is perfect for those landscape jobs that require regular trimming of heavier, woody materials. If you have heavy woody vegetation, this will make keeping it under control that much easier.
- Dimensions: 35 x 24 x 37 inches
- Weight: 139 lbs
- Power: Gas-306cc
- Warranty: 3 years
Chip branches up to 3 inches in diameter, as well as leaves without jamming- and everything in between, with this combo chipper leaf shredder. This gas powered, 306 cc engine is powerful, and is a great solution for clearing up seasonal clippings, branches, trimmings, and leaves to create a rich ground cover you can use within your garden, or to compost with. It also is easy to transport with the durable wheeled system.
The upright hopper is easy to feed without having to lift your materials overhead, plus the chute can be pointed in any direction to direct your chip load if used without a bag. Although it comes with a bag, other sizes and accessories are available for separate purchase. A large, heavy-duty bag, grabber for easier feeding, a buddy for cleaning, and a tow bar for even easier portability behind a 4-wheeler are all optional buys.
- Easy assembly instructions
- Is not overly loud
- Powerful and works quickly
- Poor bagging system
- Hopper needs easier removal for cleaning
- Flimsy to move
This is a great choice for larger landowners who have regular organic cleanup and need a dependable machine to help clear the grounds. With the ability to handle both larger branches, and smaller, light materials, it makes short work of your seasonal waste.
- Dimensions: 41.3 x 25.2 x 29.7 inches
- Weight: 190 lbs
- Power: gas- 388cc
- Warranty: 2 years
The versatility of this product is highly praised, and can easily make short work of branches up to 3 inches in diameter, as well as smaller leaves and other ½ inch or fewer twigs without jamming up. The large, 388cc engine powers hardened steel blades to ensure you get even, well-chipped materials for your yard and garden- or easier disposal. Plus, it is easily maneuverable and boasts a more upright design for easier storage.
With an easy feed chute and large bag, you can keep your work area clean and get your chips to where you need them with a minimum of fuss. It also has a high load shutdown to avoid jamming or technical problems. When running at a high RPM (through a throttle you can control), you can ensure you handle those heavier loads more easily.
- Starts and runs easily
- Durable and rugged
- Great bag for mulch- very roomy
- Difficult to locate oil plug
- Can be rather loud to run
Property owners with a healthy amount of land to keep clean would benefit from this powerful model. It not only stores well but can handle just about anything you can feed it – like one rating exclaimed, “anything over 3 inches is firewood anyway!”
- Dimensions: 19.7 x 17.3 x 37.8 inches
- Weight: 26 lbs
- Power: electric – 15 amp
- Warranty: 2 year
For an electric version, this is a powerful little chipper that is backed by a 15 amp motor and can handle branches up to 1.5 inches thick. With a 1:17 reduction of materials ration, this creates an excellent mulch for use in your yard and garden. With 4300 rotations per minute, your smaller debris, twigs, and leaves can be reduced in no time.
The quiet run motor is perfect for residential areas, especially if you have nearby neighbors. Plus, it is seriously compact for easy storage, and with durable, 6 inch never flat tires, you can move it with ease. Since it only weighs 26 lbs, you can also easy transport this when needed as well. The simple maintenance and easy access to blades is a serious perk as well.
- Powerful for branches
- Creates a great size chip for mulch
- Very well made and built to last
- Leaves may jam the machine
- Best on mature, solid branches rather than twigs
- Must provide your own catch bucket
Made for yard maintenance, this is a powerful little chipper that can handle smaller branches for seasonal trimming and simple cleanup. It doesn’t work as well for large amounts of small twigs and leaves but can handle them as they are fed through with the branches.
- Dimensions: 12 x 17 x 24 inches
- Weight: 31lbs
- Power: 15 amp
- Warranty: 2 years
This 15 amp electric chipper is built to last and can handle branches up to 1 5/8th inches with a blade rotation of 4500 rpm. With a safety locking knob and overload kill switch, you can rest assured you are working with a safe model made with ease of use in mind. Although it is made for more mature, dried out materials, it can handle more pliable materials IF they are fed through slowly (for example palm fronds).
The quiet motor makes it ideal for homeownership, and it can work well with an extension cord of 50 feet or less ( to avoid overheating), so you can pretty much use it where needed. Plus, it is easily portable as it only weighs 31 lbs, and has 6 inches, durable never flat tires. Like most compact, electric machines, it stores well with very little maintenance.
- Well made and durable
- Runs reasonably quiet
- Plug and play!
- Be sure to feed anything pliable slowly
- A chute extension would be helpful
- Not for leaves on their own
Another product perfect for residential use, this is a durable little chipper that seems well equipped to handle a larger amount of organic materials. Useful for light work, this is a machine well worth considering if you have regular yard cleanup.
Looking for a well-rated wood chipper for residential use can yield quite a few decent results, but most are fairly similar in nature surrounding what they can accomplish, and the power behind them. Whether you are looking for a gas or electric version, you can expect some of the best to boast what we’ve highlighted in this article.
Our overall favorite is the Champion 3-Inch Portable Chipper-Shredder as it can handle just about anything organic you have in your yard with ease, plus it is easily moved, and stores rather well according to reviews. This is a great model for larger landscapes, especially if tree and brush trimming is a seasonal chore.
We’d love to hear about your experiences with any of the above models, or if you have a favorite product, please share below! And, as always, please pass on the knowledge!