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 here at home. Luckily I don’t have to wind my way through the tedious process of 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.
Backyard Boss Top 5 Wood Chippers in the Summer of 2021
|Sun Joe Electric Wood Chipper / Shredder||Check The Price!|
|Sun Joe CJ603E||Check The Price!|
|Earthwise GS70015||Check The Price!|
|WEN 41121||Check The Price!|
|Landworks Wood Chipper / Shredder||Check The Price!|
Why You Can Trust Us
When I worked in landscaping, the company purchased bulk wood chips from local suppliers, so we never invested in a chipper of our own. But now that I’ve started an organic garden, I have really begun to consider the investment. Relying on a compost pile takes months, even years, for everything to break down properly and turn to mulch and/or wood chips. So for the past year or so, I’ve had my eye on a few residential chippers.
I’ve found that there are dozens of standard wood chippers to choose from. But despite there being so many models to choose from on the current market, all of them are obviously not equal. That’s why we’ve rounded up and provided the units below. Each one boasts some of the very best features and highest ratings for homeowner use. At the very least, the following wood chipper reviews provide an excellent reference as to the best of what the current market has to offer.
What We Like: This unit from Sun Joe is everything you need in a standard wood chipper and then some. It handles all the basic debris from your yard, is mobile, and lightweight.
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 ratio, this creates an excellent mulch for use in your yard and garden. With 4,300 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 easily transport this when needed as well. The simple maintenance and easy access to blades is a serious perk as well.
Who Should Buy It: For those who are looking for a chipper for cleaning up around the yard a few times a year, this one is hard to pass up, price-wise as well as performance.
What We Like: For a compact and highly portable machine, this “little” chipper packs a wallop. It works well for everything smaller than logs and thick branches.
If you have a large yard, or more than one wood or brush pile, this unit is a great choice. It is small and lightweight but handles most debris with ease. It even has a slightly larger mouth than some of the other chippers on our list, measuring 1.7 inches in width. The chipper features a safety hopper that fills easily and is simple to empty as well. It is compact in design, and its back wheels make it even more maneuverable.
Who Should Buy It: If you need a portable unit that you can move around from one property to another, or simply from one part of the yard to the next, this Sun Joe chipper and shredder is a prime candidate.
What We Like: For a standard electric wood chipper, they don’t come much more heavy-duty than this Earthwise machine. It also has nice big tires that make it easy to move around.
This wood chipper is one of our favorites because of its highly durable construction. You can tell just by looking at it that it is a bit different than the others. Even its hopper is bigger and better, with a capability to hold as much as 1.2 bushels of mulch and wood chips. The chipper incorporates metal legs for stability and over-sized wheels for mobility. The unit consists of ABS plastic, aluminum, and metal. That said, this machine is made by a company that has been in business for an incredibly long time (over a century and a quarter). It does need a bit of assembly upon arrival or purchase, but it seems to be well worth it.
Who Should Buy It: If you’re after a long-lasting wood chipper for all your residential wood chipping and mulching needs, or even for small commercial jobs, this is the one we suggest giving a closer look at.
Best for Small Debris
What We Like: This particular model from WEN is made from high-quality materials and components, and has sharp dual blades that make short work of most yard debris.
The WEN 41121 is a 15 amp electric wood chipper and shredder designed to handle mainly small branches, twigs, and leaves. It has super sharp dual blades that measure seven inches in length. The unit was created with safety as well as high-performance in mind. That is why it comes with both a safety hopper and a push stick. The unit cuts at speeds of 130 cuts per second. It also has 6-inch wheels for portability.
Who Should Buy It: For those who want a powerful and reliable wood chipper specifically for dealing with downed branches, twigs, and leaves, this chipping and shredding machine could easily be the one.
What We Like: When it comes to the “bang-for-the-buck” factor, few wood chippers get you this much value for this little of an investment. It does everything the other models on our list do, but costs as anywhere from 10-percent to 50-percent less.
This wood chipper and shredder from Landworks has a 1.57-inch cutting width with dual blades to chop and shred branches and debris extra fine. The body of the machine is made from high-end polypropylene, which means it will never rust and is dent-proof as well. The frame sits on 6-inch wheels too, so moving it around isn’t an issue either. The mouth of the hopper is extra wide which makes it easier to feed handfuls of debris like leaves and twigs.
Who Should Buy It: If you are shopping on a tight budget, or are on the fence about spending a couple of hundred dollars on your first chipper, this one hundred dollar option is an affordable choice.
What Is a Wood Chipper?
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 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.
Why Would I Want a Wood Chipper?
For starters, 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.
Types of Wood Chippers
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 feed through it, courteous of the spinning blades within.
The drum chipper has a side drum into which you feed your wood along which has blades attached in a horizontal direction. Behind these blades are the chip breakers that break down the larger pieces of cut wood. The fine chips are then deposited out the other side.
A disk chipper uses a flywheel with a large steel disk that spins in a perpendicular direction and chopping blades with a slotted disk to cut chips. When you feed in the material, it is first cut, and then more finely chopped as the blades pass over them.
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.
Difference Between Gas and Electric Chippers
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 the advancement in technology, this may not always prove to be true. For the most part, gas machinery is considered to be 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 four 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.
How to Choose the Best Wood Chipper
There is 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 a 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 in 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 of 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 that will be needed.
How We Picked
As I mentioned earlier, I have been looking into wood chippers for my organic garden for over a year now. But, I still haven’t made my mind up at the time of writing this guide. Luckily for you, I have spent enough time looking into wood chippers, and am in the same boat as most of you. I know I need a chipper, I am aware of how oversaturated the market is, but I am not willing to settle for less than one of the best.
To come up with my list, I went back over the chippers I’ve been eyeballing, as well as some of the most popular units on the market, and compared them with a magnifying glass. I checked them for quality of construction and materials, as well as things like cutting diameter, mobility, power sources, safety features, and more. What I came up with is what I genuinely believe to be the best five wood chipper models currently available for buying online.
Choosing the Best Wood Chipper for You
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.