Best Wood Chippers & Shredders: Electric, PTO, Industrial and Gas

Wood chippers break down larger trees into smaller usable pieces that can be used for other purposes. The tree waste could be trees fallen in storms or branches or twigs that have just fallen. The waste from trees can be converted to mulch and pressed wood with the right garden shredder. They’re sometimes referred to as compost shredders.

The shredders have made the work of clearing gardens and farms more economical. Now, you can clear your ground yourself using these machines. They will significantly reduce the cost of clearing your property for both larger and smaller branches.

You can use them to avoid burning wood waste from farms and gardens. This also means a reduction in pollution of the environment. By reusing the shredded wood elsewhere on the ground, you avoid pollution from burning waste. You also recycle the waste organically and naturally. At the same time, you don’t have to buy other materials instead—a very eco-friendly solution.

There are different types and sizes of shredders. Depending on the intended use, you can choose from small to large commercial or residential shredders. They are also powered differently. Larger shredders are normally gasoline-powered, whereas most smaller types use electricity.

Below, you will find a list of the best wood chippers and shredders. A variety of electric solutions and the best PTO, industrial or gas-powered options. And finally, a list of what to take into consideration.

Buy or Rent

Are you undecided on whether to buy or rent a tree shredder? You might feel like purchasing one costs a lot of money. If it’s a good idea to buy or rent, it depends on the number of times you expect to use it. If you use it often or expect to use it for many years, then renting will be more expensive in the long run. If you need it only one or a couple of times, renting probably will be the best choice for you. You would have some of the same considerations if you were buying a metal lathe or a wood lathe.

Options
BuyRent

You could also use the device to make money by selling the products produced. Some furniture can only be made out of products from these high-quality machines. Thereby, you will be getting a faster return on your investment.

Family and neighbors may also appreciate borrowing it.

We also have other tools like UV light sanitizers and cassette toilets covered here. Click here to learn more about utility room sinks and lawn tractors.

Shredders come in three major categories. They are;

  1. Electric
  2. Gas
  3. Power take-off (PTO)
Types
ElectricGasPTO
Industrial  

Electric

The electrical models are smaller in size compared to the other types. They are used on wood pieces less than 4 inches wide, and they operate without making much noise. They are used for small twigs and branches from the garden, primarily for domestic purposes. Depending on your neighborhood, you may have to respect local rules concerning noise level.

They run on electrical power through electric cords connected from the house to the device. Ensure the correct type of wire is attached to avoid damaging the machine or starting a fire. When handling an electrically powered shredder, keep the electrical cord away from the shredding part of the machine. For more information on choosing the proper wire size, please click here and here.

Gas

Gas models run on gasoline. These models may be used for smaller pieces of wood or branches and twigs. They also work well on slightly larger items than the electric models can shred. They can shred branches that are more than four inches large. This type is mainly used by people who need to work relatively small wood slices located far from electricity. This machine is highly mobile since moving it doesn’t depend on access to an electric power supply.

However, the machine makes some noise while running. You will also have white smoke generated while dealing with the device. The smoke and the machine’s noise are results of the motor burning the fuel.

Power Take-Off (PTO)

These are heavy-duty machines used in vast land pieces with massive trees. If you need to clear your property or are in the process of landscaping, this is the right type. You can use these machines to produce some of the items you may need if you are landscaping. They are also used in areas where burning vegetation is prohibited. You may need to clear a large area of woody vegetation.

The PTO machines are driven by the engines of motor trucks or tractors by connecting them to the spline. They are more powerful than both gas and electric shredders. Power take-off shredders also cost more than either electric or gas models. The most common option for this type is the 3-point model.

Industrial

These are machines designed for large-scale industrial use. They are used in chipping and shredding materials for furniture use. The products can also make mulch, animal bedding, and boiler fuel. Unlike other heavy-duty shredders, industrial ones run on electricity.

Factors to Consider

It is advisable to know what to look at before buying. We will take you through some factors to look at before you determine the ideal machine to go with.

Factors
Bin capacityType of work
Engine horsepowerReduction ratio

Bin Capacity

Some machines come with a container to collect the shredded pieces. The containers are primarily found in smaller electric and gas models. When choosing the bag capacity, consider one that is of modest size. Your choice of the collection bag should be decided by the load that you can comfortably carry. You will avoid injuries by carrying backpacks too heavy for you by considering this. You can even specifically get an MTD chipper shredder which is great for your yard.

Type of work to be done

There are different machines for various scales of job to be done. The size of logs, branches, and twigs you need to remove defines the type of shredder you should choose. You generally need an electric or a gas shredder for smaller items, whereas you should consider PTO for heavier work. If you are bush clearing a large piece of land, you would also need a PTO model.

The reduction ratio

The reduction ratio determines the output of the products you will get. A reduction ratio of 15:1 means it reduces 15 sacks of material to one bag. The higher the reduction ratio, the finer the outcome you get. The more refined materials also make better products for furniture. Carpenters can use the highly reduced wooden waste for a wide range of purposes.

Shredders with a higher reduction ratio are more expensive. If you don’t need a very high reduction ratio, you should choose a machine with a lower reduction rate to save money. Machines with a high reduction ratio may be more expensive. They also produce a finer result and may contribute to a faster return on your investment.

Shredding chute

A shredding chute is used for more delicate material, which a traditional shredder normally cannot process. They are intended for items such as leaves and smaller twigs. The shredding chute is an addition to the main unit. You can buy a shredder chute separately, but it normally comes higher. Purchasing a combination of the two will save you money.

Engine horsepower

The amount of horsepower determines the capacity the machine can handle. More horsepower also means a more powerful machine. Depending on the functions you intend to carry out, you would compare the horsepower of the machines you’re considering. Choose the appropriate amount of horsepower for your task. Domestic machines don’t have or need as much horsepower. They normally begin at 3hp and go up gradually to 10hp. Commercial shredders require a higher amount of horsepower. They typically begin from 10hp and upwards.

Top Picks

Predator 6.5 HP (212 cc) Chipper Shredder

This high-speed model comes with a waste collection bag. It is gas-powered with a high reduction ratio of 20:1. It processes branches up to a maximum of 3″ diameter. It operates with four chipper hammers and a shredding plate to slice the wood to the required size.

The main advantages include;

  • Pneumatic wheels that can withstand different terrain and surfaces.
  • Reduced blockage due to large discharge ports.
  • Dual-action slicer for breaking stiff branches.
  • Wheel brakes for better control.
  • Low oil shutdown.
  • Can operate on large branches.

Pros

  1. Large discharge port that prevents blockage when in operation.
  2. Comes with a collection bag for the finished product.
  3. Automatic shutdown in case of low oil levels.
  4. Easy to move around due to its large wheels.
  5. It has large handles that make controlling easier.

Cons

  1. It has a heavy engine that requires a lot of effort to turn over.
  2. Feeding chute as large as indicated, but not all 3-inch-wide branches fit.

Yardmax yw7565 – Best Design

You will find this to be relatively easy to operate. The Yardmax chipper has a self-feeding mechanism. You just put the debris in the chute, and it will automatically pull and process it. Moving the machine around is easy. If you assemble the device independently, the manual is straightforward to understand. It takes in twigs of up to 3″ diameter.

Features include:

  1. It’s a highly mobile machine saving time while in use.
  2. Pneumatic wheels can withstand any surface.
  3. Easy to maintain with its easy-to-access blades.
  4. They are designed to handle long branches.
  5. A high reduction ratio of 10:1.

Pros

  1. It comes with a two-year warranty.
  2. Easy to handle.
  3. Low maintenance cost
  4. It has a powerful engine of 6.5 horsepower.
  5. Easy to move around

Cons

  1. Hard to work on fresh wood.
  2. It easily clogs.

Portland Electric

The Portland chipper is a relatively small model ideal for domestic use. It is an electric device that is relatively quiet compared to others. It comes with good safety features leaving you with little risk of having an accident. It features a push stick to feed the twigs safely. It is ideal for converting twigs and branches into mulch.

Features;

  1. It’s easy to move with its 6″ wheels.
  2. It’s safe to operate with its circuit breaker protection.
  3. It is highly durable and made of hard material that rarely dents.
  4. It has a polypropylene hopper that prevents rust.

Pros

  • Zero carbon emissions
  • Easily portable
  • It provides enhanced safety while operating due to its circuit breaker.

Eco ES 1600

The Es 1600 is a light-duty electric 2.5 hp motor shredder with 2800 rpm designed for domestic use. It has a reduction ratio of 10:1, which you will find ideal for this machine.

It has a 3-way feeding system designed for different material sizes. The top hopper can take in larger twigs and stems. The side feeders can be used for smaller materials. If the blades break, you can repair them using one of these MIG welders.

The features of this shredder include:

  1. It includes a safety design such as an overload system for switching off the machine in case it malfunctions.
  2. It rarely clogs due to its discharge chute designed to emit the maximum amount of processed items.
  3. It has seven-inch wheels, which makes it easy to push around.

Pros

  1. Produces high-quality garden mulch.
  2. It perfectly also works with the small sticks that need to be shredded.
  3. Easy to store.
  4. Rounded discharge compartment for ease of removal of products

Cons

  • Quickly jams while in operation.
  • It takes a long time to shred large amounts of leaves.

Patriot products CSV-2515

Like Craftsman, Troy Bilt, Vermeer, or Dr. Power, Patriot also makes powerful machines for you too. The CSV- 2515 is an electric model with 1.5 horsepower. You can use it for wooden material of up to 2.5″ in diameter and shreds leaves. It’s designed for a standard domestic voltage of 110 or 120 volts. The mulch you get from this machine is perfect for gardens.

Features:

  1. Compact and easily stored in a garage
  2. It chips relatively large materials (2.5″) compared to other units of this size.
  3. It is packaged with safety goggles and a collection bag.
  4. High mobility due to its large wheel design
  5. It’s easy to maintain.

Pros

  1. Easy to operate
  2. It has a two-year warranty
  3. High capacity 14 amperes motor
  4. It handles branches up to 2.5 inches.
  5. Award-winning model trusted by many

Cons

  • Expensive to buy.
  • Stalls occasionally while in use.

Ways to take care of your machine

Like most machines, durability is determined by correct handling and regular maintenance. If operated as recommended, it will serve you for a longer time. Many people don’t manage their appliances as advised by the producer, leading to frequent breakdowns. You will find that proper maintenance makes machines exceed their expected operational time.

Ways of proper maintenance include:

  1. Frequent oil change as recommended by the manufacturer.
  2. It requires regular greasing of moving parts.
  3. Clean the blades after using the machine.
  4. Regular cleaning and replacement of the air filter when necessary.
  5. The unit should be stored inside to keep the internal components from rusting.

Safety precautions to take

Always handle the machine with care and according to the producer’s instructions to avoid injuries while operating it. Manufacturers have a set of recommendations you need to follow to stay safe while using it. Some machines come with protective equipment that the manufacturer recommends worn while working.

Ways of keeping safe while using them include:

  1. Read and understand the guide before starting.
  2. Always wear safety goggles to avoid ejected pieces from injuring your eyes.
  3. Use hearing protection for noise reduction to protect your ears while operating the machine.
  4. Never insert your fingers in the device while it’s turned on, as this could cause serious accidents.
  5. Completely switch off the machine while maintaining it. Remove the plug to ensure it doesn’t accidentally switch to gas power.
  6. Don’t force branches into the machine. This prevents you from damaging the device and reduces the risk of you being harmed.
  7. Swiftly step aside once a self-feeding machine has grabbed a piece of wood.
  8. Keep the tool away from children and animals.
  9. Always engage the brake while using the machine.
  10. Avoid scarves or loosely fitting clothes while operating it.

How to use a wood chipper

  1. Place the wood chipper on a leveled surface to avoid tipping over.

  2. Adjust the chip chute and deflector settings to your ideal distance and direction.

    Make sure the adjustment allows you comfortable control over the chipper.

  3. Set the parking brake on whatever equipment you’re using to haul the wood chipper.

    This helps reduce the risk of the equipment moving along with the wood chipper.

  4. Assess the power situation.

    Make sure the engine has enough fuel to get the job done. In an electric setting, ensure the wires are securely plugged in.

  5. When running the wood chipper, make sure to feed the dull end first.

  6. Feed the chipper a mixture of dry and green limbs.

    This ensures that moisture clogged in the limbs lubricates the dry parts, preventing the chipper from jamming up.

  7. Stand at the side of the hopper instead of directly in front.

    Ensure you protect yourself against debris that flies out of the hopper as it runs.

F.A.Q.s

These are some of the most asked questions about the topic.

Do I need hearing protection while using a wood shredder/chipper?

Yes. It is advisable to wear hearing muffs while operating a wood shredder/chipper. The machine produces a high level of noise of about 85 to 110 decibels which requires hearing protection.

How do you operate a wood chipper?

Before using it, make sure that the ground is leveled for your to operate it safely and correctly. Engage the breaks, which will stop the machine from accidentally moving while operating. Check if the machine has enough oil for the operation. Check the chord’s connection to a power outlet for an electric appliance. Start the machine and feed it.

When should you clean a wood chipper?

You are recommended to clean your wood chipper after each use. The maintenance helps prevent the cutting blades from rusting after cutting wet leaves or wood. Cleaning after being used will save you time the next time you use the machine as it is already clean, and you won’t need to do it then. Cleaning it immediately after use is always easier than after cuttings have dried.

How much does a good wood chipper cost?

Renting a wood chipper costs anywhere from $50-$70 an hour, while purchasing a reliable unit may cost you around $1000.

Who makes commercial wood chippers?

J.P. Carlton manufactures a wide variety of wood chippers specifically designed for its commercial audience. Carlton, Speed Force, Earthquake, and SuperHandy are recommended for their commercial models.

howto: how to use a wood chipper

We hope that this guide has helped you make the best choice for you when deciding which shredder/chipper to buy. Check out our information on shower versus bathtub resale values as well, now that you’re here!

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