Best Wood Chipper for Turning Debris into Mulch
Buh-bye, unsightly debris! Tackle piles of sticks, branches, and logs with the best woodchipper on the market.
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Finding the best wood chipper is probably on your radar if you tire of dragging, bundling and breaking down branches. Additionally, you’ll likely benefit from a wood chipper if you frequently tackle yard work projects that produce piles of sticks, branches and logs.
A wood chipper is invaluable when dealing with storm damage, fire mitigation and tree health, making cleanup easy and compostable. Now, there are options for every sized project.
Wondering how a wood chipper works? Sharp blades chop bulky items into manageable piles of chips that can then be bagged up or used as mulch in a landscaping project.
As someone who enjoys yard work, I frequently utilize a wood chipper to clear overgrown brush. Once they’re in place, a wood chipper does most of the work for you, making the process a breeze.
Best Wood Chipper for Small Jobs
Sun Joe Electric Silent Wood Chipper/Shredder
This is the best wood chipper for beginners and light-duty yard clean-up. The narrow feed slot and safety stop—it automatically shuts off when the hopper opens—makes the Sun Joe 15 Amp a great option for those most concerned with workplace safety. The straightforward control panel makes it a breeze to operate.
With seven-inch wheels and a large handle, this 38-pound machine is comfortable to wheel from place to place. However, the relatively small 1.7-inch cutting diameter makes it ill-suited for heavy-duty jobs. The compact design and portability of this chipper makes it easy to store.
- Eco-friendly, no gas, oil or fumes
- Efficient at light tasks
- Useful safety features
- Lightweight and portable
- Easy to use electric operation
- Two-year warranty
- Tethered by a cord
- Adjuster plate known to fail
Best Overall Wood Chipper
Landworks Mini Wood Chipper
The lightweight gas-powered Landworks Mini Wood Chipper weighs 101 pounds, but two large handles and 10-inch tires make it easy to move around. It’s powerful enough to process branches up to three inches thick. This chipper has a 7-horsepower horizontal 4-stroke engine to devour branches and limbs.
We’re also big fans of the adjustable discharge chute so you can precisely direct the chips. A three-year limited warranty should have you covered if issues arise.
- Directional discharge chute
- 3 inch cutting capacity
- Easy to assemble
- Three year warranty
- Difficult to clear clogs
- Slow to feed
Best Wood Chipper for Large Jobs
Detail K2 Gas Wood Chipper
If you work with especially large logs, the Detail K2 Gas Wood Chipper could be the way to go. Powered by a 14-horsepower 429CC Kohler engine, this chipper can handle wood up to six inches in diameter. It can hit the road with D.O.T approved tires and a 48-inch extended axle. The removable tow bar has a two-inch hitch. The blades are double-edge reversible to get the job done.
The 180-degree rotating discharge chute directs your chips where you need it, sitting at 59-inch pickup bed height. The Detail DK is a heavy duty commercial rated chipper insuring long-lasting performance.
- Adjustable 180-degree discharge chute
- Built-in toolbox
- Reverse control
- 6-1/4 inch cutting capacity
- D.O.T Approved Tires
- Three year engine warranty
- Small twigs and green leaves tend to jam
Best Budget Wood Chipper
Sun Joe Steel Electric Wood Chipper
The 33-pound electric Sun Joe Steel Electric is the lightest option on our list, ideal for portability and convenient transport.
Despite the light weight, it chips sticks up to 1-5/8 inches in diameter. An included tamper tool lets you push material through the hopper while keeping your fingers at a safe distance. This backyard wood chipper is easy to maneuver with the large handle and six-inch rear wheels. This is one of the best small wood chippers for quick clean up.
- Light duty
- Easy to use
- Eco-friendly, no gas, oil or fumes
- Two year warranty
- Narrow feed chute
Best Residential Chipper Shredder
GreatCircleUSA Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher
If you plan on chipping large branches as well as softer lawn debris, the GreatCircle is a fantastic choice. It’s a chipper, shredder and vacuum all in one. Two steel cutting blades and four hammers transform three-inch branches into 1/2-inch mulch. The two-way feeder lets you feed branches into the top chute or dump of leaves into the side chute. You can add a vacuum attachment to it for quick clean-up. This machine
is a favorite for fire prone areas, as it is EPA/CARB certified and aids in creating a firebreak. It even includes a discharge bag. This is one of the best home chipper shredders for residential use.
- Three inch cutting capacity
- High-velocity output
- Wide top chute
- Mulches dry leaves
- Discharge bag included
- EPA/CARB certified
- Tow bar kit and vacuum sold separately
Best Splurge Wood Chipper
Power King Gas-Powered Chipper Shredder
If money is no object and maximum productivity is your priority, go with the Power King Gas Powered Chipper Shredder. Its powerful 14-horsepower engine can easily devour logs up to 5-3/4 inches in diameter. This chipper is extremely heavy, so you’ll need a separate vehicle and included tow bar to move it into position. We especially love that the chip chute can be directed to fill the back of a pick-up truck
One Amazon reviewer praised the efficient self-feed mechanism, allowing them to “start a 15-foot branch with 3-inch butt and walk away to get another.”
- Removable tow hitch
- Large rotational feed chute
- Hinged chip chute
- Long-lasting blades
- Easy start
What to Consider When Buying A Wood Chipper
What size wood chipper do I need? Consider these points:
- Type: You’ll find three—electric, gas and power take-off (PTO).
- Electric wood chippers are the least powerful and better suited for thinner branches, from 1/2-inch to two inches in diameter. And because they need to be plugged in, their portability is limited.
- Gas chippers are more powerful and more expensive, typically handling branches up to 3-in.-dia. But their engines are noisier, produce harmful fumes and require messy fuel mixes.
- PTO chippers are the most powerful and much larger than electric or gas. They hook up to your existing tractor and draw energy from the engine. PTO chippers would only be practical for clearing large amounts of land with lots of thick branches and logs.
- Size and Weight: Dimensions vary depending on the type. Measure carefully and note the weight. It needs to fit in your garage or tool shed, and transport easily to where you need it. Electric chippers typically weigh from 25 to 100 pounds, whereas gas models weigh more than 100 pounds and PTO chippers up to 1,000 pounds.
- Use: Some chippers process leaves and soft debris better than others. If you plan on using your chipper for sticks and leaves, go with a wider chute that can hold more debris.
- Cost: Essentially, the more expensive the wood chipper, the larger the diameter of wood it can handle. Consider type and size chipper carefully so you don’t waste money on a model that’s too powerful, or buy one that’s not powerful enough. If you’ll only use your chipper occasionally, it might be cheaper to rent one from your local hardware store.
How We Found the Best Wood Chippers
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject-matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.
Is a wood chipper a good investment?
Nothing makes storm clean up and tree trimming easier than having a wood chipper. Renting a wood chipper is an option, although it might make sense for you to invest in the best wood chipper for your property.
What size wood chipper do I need?
The most important detail to consider is the machines cutting capacity for the diameter of the branches you will be chipping. Large branches or logs may need to be cut into smaller sizes with a chain saw or log splitter before they can be chipped or shred.
For lightweight backyard brush trimming, an electric chipper with a large hopper would work well. For a large wooded property that requires major clearing, a power takeoff shaft (PTO) wood chipper connected to a tractor could be the right tool for you.
Can you put vines in a wood chipper?
Vines and wet materials have a tendency to tangle and clog wood chippers. A great workaround is to use hedge trimmers and lopers to break down vines before adding them to a chipper or shredder.
How do I sharpen wood chipper blades?
Depending on the conditions that your wood chipper is used, a general rule of thumb is that blades should be sharpened every 25-50 hours. However, it is best to consult the manufacturers’ specifications.
- Turn the chipper off.
- Unplug it if it’s electric, or disconnect the spark plug if its gas powered.
- Remove the hopper feed chute.
- Check the user guide and remove the inspection plate.
- Remove the blades to be sharpened.
A machinist can sharpen the dull blades. For DIY blade sharpening you’ll need a little bit of skill and a wet grinder, belt sander or hand sander. The blades need to be sharpened at the angle recommended by the factory.
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