As a homeowner, your yard is often your pride and joy. You spend countless hours meticulously grooming your bushes and trimming hedges, but after that’s all said and done, what are you to do with the left over limbs and branches? If you live in a residential area, you aren’t going to be able to burn it. How can, however, shred it and turn it into usable mulch. But how?
Also, wood chipper safety is of paramount concern. When it comes to protecting your business associates and family, you can't skimp on safety.
The best wood chipper on the market is going to help you get rid of all that debris in a cinch. Now you may be wondering how much is a wood chipper, where to buy one, and what you should be looking for before you do buy one. That’s where we step in!
In this article, we are going to tell you what to look for in a wood chipper and we’re going to review some chippers that we feel are worthy of your consideration. You can find all of these products online and they range between $100 to $200, with one exception being a real investment at $1,500.
Without further ado, let’s get into what factors you should take into consideration when purchasing the best wood chipper to use in your yard.
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Factors To Take Into Consideration
When looking at all the wood chippers available on the market, it’s going to be helpful when you already know what it is that you’re looking for. Here are some key factors that you’ll want to take into consideration before you make that purchase.
Type Of Wood Chipper
When you’re looking at wood chippers, there are two types that you are going to come across:
1. Electric Powered – An electric powered chipper is not going to be as powerful as the gas counterparts, but they are still quite capable. These machines will come with a motor that will range between 1 or 2 horsepower and although most of these are only good for loose debris, the larger ones are able to chip small limbs. To use these, you will need access to an electrical outlet or a heavy-duty extension cord.
2. Gas Powered – A gas powered machine is going to be the best wood chipper option for homeowners because you’re going to want to chip and shred branches and limbs, right? These machines are going to have an engine somewhere between 4 or 10 horsepower—sometimes more! These are going to be heavy, sometimes more than 200 pounds. You’ll want a gas powered machine if you often have often have large amounts of yard debris to dispose of.
3. Gas Powered Walk Behind – These bad boys are going to change the way you approach yard clean up. Think of these as a vacuum for your yard. These machines will suck up leaves and light debris and will send it to the blades where it will be ground up into fine pieces. The mulch is then dumped into a bag where you can dispose of the debris when it gets full wherever you need or want to. These machines will have an engine that ranges from 5 to 8 horsepower and they can be up to 28 inches wide.
If you know what type of machine you want, here are some features to consider:
- Feed Capacity - This feature is in reference to the size of the limbs that you feed into the machine.
- Reduction Ratio – This is a nominal measure of how much the chipper is going to be able to reduce the volume of the debris. Typically, the values are either 10:1 to 20:1.
- HP/cc – This is in reference to the amount of power the chipper has.
- Number of Blades or Flails – The more blades or flails your chipper has, the better it is going to work at reducing the volume of the debris. Also, it shouldn’t need to be sharpened as much.
- Convenience Features – Some features will include tilt-down hoppers, electric starters, a tow bar, and even self-sharpening blades.
- Warranty – It’s always a good idea to find a product that has a warranty, just in case something happens to your chipper and it no longer works as it should.
Now that you know what kind chippers are available and what features you should look for before you purchase one, let’s take a look at five popular wood chipper models. Four of these chippers are priced under $200 and the last is going to be your investment piece of equipment, as it is priced under $1,500.
Sun Joe CJ601E Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder
The Sun Joe chipper is going to help you turn the rubbish in your yard into usable mulch much quicker. The 14A electric motor runs at 4300 RPM, which is capable of chipping 1.5 inch limbs with ease. The chipper only weighs 26 pounds, so transporting the chipper on its 6-inch wheels is going to be easy.
The Sun Joe wood chipper also features a special safety locking mechanism on the hopper that prevents the motor from running when you have the hopper open for cleaning. If you have a small yard with little debris, this is one of the best home wood chippers available. Though the housing is plastic, it is still quite sturdy and durable.
Sun Joe CJ601E Electric Wood Chipper Features
- Ideal for turning branches and twigs into nutrient-rich garden mulch
- Powerful 14 amp motor effectively chips and shreds branches up to 1.5-inches thick
- Compact design with 6-inch wheels for easy portability
- Safety hopper with locking knob prevents the motor from operating when opened
- ETL approved; Full 2-year warranty
When looking at the reviews for the product, 68% of customers left 4 or 5-star reviews. Of these reviews, customers said that they hadn’t expected very much from this chipper because of its low price point. However, upon using the machine, they were pleasantly surprised by how powerful the motor is and how nicely it chips limbs (as long as you stay within the recommended size limit).
Customers said they like how the chips come out, they are uniform in size and decent enough to use for mulching around the yard. Of the remaining 32% of customers who left 3-star reviews or lower, the common complaint was that the blades didn’t last long at all. One customer said they were only shredding for a combined total of 10 hours and the blade snapped.
Another customer said that they were only using the shredder for a mere 30 minutes before it conked out on them. Customers didn’t like that the hole on the unit was less than 3 inches and there was no funnel, so putting leaves through the machine was very difficult.
GreenWorks 24052 Corded Shredder/Chipper
Although you wouldn’t expect an eco-friendly lawn tool to be on this list, this electric wood chipper by Greenworks is certainly the exception to the rule. There is no carbon footprint with this machine, so for those who are eco-minded can use this shredder without worrying about the damage your shredder may be causing to the environment.
The 15 amp motor is able to chip limbs that are roughly 1.5 inches in diameter, and you don’t have to worry about a mess, as it comes with a collection back built into the design of the chipper.
GreenWorks 24052 Corded Chipper
- Powerful 15 Amp motor for reliable results when shredding and chipping your yard debris
- Maximum cutting diameter of 1 3/8"
- 7" wheels makes relocating a breeze
- Push paddle makes feeding materials into the hopper safely
- A large collection bag for easy disposal when done
- Comes with additional set of reversible blades
When looking at the reviews for the product, 53% of customers left 4 or 5-star reviews. Of these reviews, customers said that the unit was very easy to assemble, all they had to do was install 4 bolts, 2 for the wheels and 2 to hold the frame onto the body.
They were fond of the safety features that this machine has, like the strain relief system so that the extension cord cannot be pulled apart from the machine. There’s also an interlock when you open the cover so that you can clear jams easily without putting your hands inside.
Customers have also said that it is only as loud as a lawnmower when it is chipping, so it isn’t going to disturb the neighbors too badly. Of the remaining 47% of customers who left 3-star reviews or lower, the common complaint was that it only really worked on small clippings.
One customer said it was “an oversized, inadequate food processor sold as a chipper.” Ouch. Customers have said that it isn’t capable of chipping dry branches that measure 1 3/8, despite being advertised as being able to do so. It will not shred leaves and it clogs up within a few minutes of using the machine.
Another customer said they tried to use it and it rattled suddenly, made a very loud bang, and stopped working. Upon inspection, they found the metal mounts broken out of the chipper because the blades struck and dug into the metal housing.
LawnMaster FD1501 Electric Chipper Shredder
For those who are looking for the best electric wood chipper to shred sticks and small limbs, then this is a great little work horse. This is a small unit, it can handle sticks and leaves with ease, although it may not be able to handle larger limbs that are 1.5 inches in diameter.
With that said, the blade of the chipper is going to be able to cut through green wood relatively easily and if it does get dull, you can sharpen it on a bench grinder. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of sharpening the blade, you do have the option of replacing it, as it is relatively inexpensive.
If you experience a clog while using the chipper, you can easily clear it up by unscrewing a single knob, push back the cover and remove the blockage. This chipper also includes a bag that will collect the mulch, so that you can use it for your flower garden or compost.
LawnMaster FD1501 Electric Chipper
- Powerful 15-amp motor, and safe for the environment
- 10:1 mulch ratio
- 8-inch wheels for mobility
- Includes collection bag
- Not intended for bamboo
- Great price
When looking at the reviews for the product, 69% of customers left 4 or 5-star reviews. Of these reviews, customers said that this chipper was capable of working for a solid 4 hours of clean up. They also pointed out that when the machine did get jammed up, it was easy to clean out and it was safe.
Customers said this is a good little machine for the price point, especially if you are mindful of the limitations and try not to force it to do work that it is not designed to do. Some materials that it is able to chew through includes tumbleweeds, branches, forsythia clippings, tropical plant waste, and palm fronds.
Of the remaining 31% of customers who left 3-star reviews or lower, the common complaint was that it does not handle twigs very well and they basically come out as smaller versions of what you put in. Also, customers have said it does not chip green wood, forcing homeowners to dry out the pruning waste before they can chip it.
Earthquake 14267 Chipper Shredder
Because this Earthquake chipper uses a 212cc 4-cycle Viper Engine, you can expect to start the chipper really easily. There are 2 2-inch cutting blades that will rip through 3-inch thick hardwood limbs with no problem. This Earthquake chipper shredder uses J-hammers and tri-hammers to cut down the size of the material put into the hopper before it turns it into a uniform mulch.
The reduction ratio is 20:1, which is comparable to more expensive models. The rotor/flywheel is large, which creates better material suction and reduces the need to push material through.
Earthquake 14267 Chipper
- Chips materials up to 3 Inch in diameter
- Heavy-duty chipping knives and hammers
- Converts brush piles into usable mulch
- Safety hopper with locking knob prevents the motor from operating when opened
- ETL approved; Full 2-year warranty
- The reduction ratio is 20:1
When looking at the reviews for the product, 75% of customers left 4 or 5-star reviews. Of these reviews, customers said that it is able to chip small stuff when it is fed through the hopper correctly. Customers have also said that when they want to start the chipper, it is able to start right up with no problem.
One customer said they were able to feed a 30” Cedar into the chipper and it worked pretty well, although you do have to cut things down if they are larger than 3 inches. When the device does get clogged, they can easily clear the clog.
Of the remaining 25% of customers who left 3-star reviews or lower, the common complaint was that it is not capable of chipping bent wood, so if you are trying to chip anything with a bend, you are going to have to cut it off and feed a straight piece of wood though.
Another customer said the machine was entirely too noisy to run and they couldn’t even get it to chip branches that were just 1 inch thick—they stated it spat out “French fries.”
Briggs & Stratton Gas-Powered Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder
If you’re looking for the best wood chipper for residential use, then this powerful 10 horsepower engine is going to rip through 3-inch hardwood like butter. Because the shredder gently pulls the material through, you never have to push too hard, which maximizes the efficiency of the machine.
The patented Y-hammer flail design of the leaf hopper is also a great feature to turn those leaves into a very fine consistency. The shredder also features a side exhaust so that the freshly shredded material creates a pile on the side, away from the shredder. Of course, you also have the option to attach an oversized mulch bag for easy clean up.
Briggs & Stratton Gas Shipper
- The chipping power of the 10 hp Briggs engine coupled with Patriot's unique design will wow you.
- Make short work of branches up to 3 inches in diameter.
- Shredding leaves is a breeze with Patriot's swinging y-hammer system.
- The side discharge allows you to work in the same spot all day long without moving the chipper.
- 50 State Compliant
When looking at the reviews for the product, 92% of customers left 4 or 5-star reviews. Of these reviews, customers said the motor was very impressive and they like that it has a throttle so that you can turn the motor down when you aren’t actually chipping, but instead emptying a bag.
Customers have said that it starts right up after you put oil and gas in the machine. Customers have also said that it will take any branch you feed it, but be careful when feeding larger branches, as it’ll “take it out of your hands.” Customers have also said they liked the size of the mulch this machine produces, and they use it around the yard.
Of the remaining 8% of customers who left 3-star reviews or lower, the common complaint was that it should have a mower hitch that’ll allow you to pull the machine around the yard, they also do not like that it comes with a small bag, which fills up quickly, and if the device becomes clogged, it can be difficult to unclog.
Some customers have said that the machine is slow and it’s under powered. They mentioned that their machine wasn’t able to chip branches less than 2 inches because the blades become very dull quickly.
If you’re interested in buying a wood chipper, it’s understandable that you’re going to take into consideration the information you’ve read from other wood chipper reviews. These reviews will tell you important information about the chipper, but it’ll also give you an idea what to expect when you use the product.
For the best wood chipper that is going get the job done and not cost a whole lot of money, you can get away with the Sun Joe chipper. The chipper, priced under $100, is going to be able to handle smaller branches and limbs with ease. It’s lightweight and it’s easy to transport. All around, it’s a decent first chipper for smaller yards.
If you want something more substantial that will be able to handle larger bits of debris and you are looking to make an investment in an item that is going to last a long time, then you’re going to want the Briggs & Stratton Gas-Powered Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder.
With a 92% approval rating among customers who have purchased the unit, you’re going to be able to chip and shred more debris on a larger scale. Of course, that kind of power is going to cost you a pretty penny, as this chipper is priced slightly under $1,450.
While some chippers stand out and perform a little better than others, we feel that you can’t go wrong with any of these wood chippers.