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A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Right Chipper for Your Needs in 2023

Updated: Jul 4, 2023

Are you interested in buying a brand-new wood chipper? Find out what to consider before choosing a chipper by reading the information below.

Choosing the right chipper is essential to maximize your investment and accomplish your wood  chipping goals

When faced with an unsightly and unruly pile of dead branches in your backyard, a chipper becomes an appealing solution. However, choosing the right chipper depends on several factors that require careful consideration. Before delving into the essential features to look for when buying a chipper, it's important to gain a solid understanding of how these machines work. In this guide, we'll help you navigate the decision-making process and find the perfect chipper to tackle your yard waste.

How Does a Chipper Work?

The primary objective of a chipper is to reduce the size of the wooden material it receives. This process begins when a branch is fed into the chipper's chute, where it encounters either a single or a series of rotating blades. These blades come into contact with an anvil or a counter knife, applying a scissor-like cutting force that shaves off a portion of wood with each rotation. In some cases, additional components such as hammers or flails are positioned along the shaft to further break down the material being cut by the blades. Alternatively, these components can handle other materials that are fed through a separate chute known as the shredding chute.

Electric vs. Gas-Powered Chippers

Powered chippers come in two primary types: those powered by internal combustion engines (gas or diesel) and those powered by electricity. Electric-powered chippers are typically smaller in size, with a chipping capacity of around 1.5 inches. These chippers are designed for home use and operate on standard power capacities, usually 110V with an amp rating of up to 14A (it's important to consult with a certified electrician before connecting such a machine to your house outlet). In certain industrial settings, electric chippers with larger engines (30+ electric horsepower) are used for indoor operations.

On the other hand, chippers powered by internal combustion engines are the most commonly found. They range in size from 1 inch to whole tree chippers exceeding 2 feet in diameter. Gas engines are prevalent in residential and commercial applications, typically up to 37HP. For higher power requirements, diesel engines are more common than gas.

Here at Yardbeast, we currently offer chippers with a chipping capacity of up to 6.5 inches, powered by engines up to 25HP.

Hand Towed vs. ATV Towing Kits

We offer a range of chippers, some of which are compact enough to provide a hand-tow option. The feasibility of this option depends on various factors, including the typical travel distance, the width of your paths, and the possibility of fitting the chipper in a truck bed.

As the chipping diameter increases, so does the weight of the chipper. In such cases, a standard option is to use a towing kit designed for ATV vehicles or trucks (Highway towable). Certain chippers, like the Yardbeast 3514, can be purchased with a standard hand tow or ATV tow option directly from our website. Alternatively, additional kits for towing can be purchased separately to accommodate your specific needs depending on your Yardbeast chipper model.

Residential vs. Professional vs. Commercial Chippers

The performance and quality of a chipper greatly rely on your available budget. Lower-priced units found in retail stores may claim to handle larger branches (up to 3 inches), but they often fall short of their advertised capabilities. These chippers typically feature thinner steel gauges and incorporate a significant amount of stamped and plastic components to keep costs, and consequently retail prices, down. These are commonly referred to as residential-grade chippers, with prices ranging from $600 to $1,500.

On the other hand, if you're willing to invest more in a chipper that not only lives up to its promises but also endures over the long haul, consider a professional-grade unit. Professional chippers are equipped with premium engines, sturdier steel gauges, and higher-quality components like tool steel blades, ensuring reliable performance year after year. Yardbeast offers the 2510, 3514, and 2090 models as examples of professional-grade chippers.

For continuous and heavy-duty use, commercial-grade chippers are designed to withstand varying weather conditions and endure extended maintenance intervals. These machines are highly sought after by tree care companies, municipalities, and similar entities. Our lineup of commercial-grade chippers includes the 4521 and 6525 models, built to deliver consistent service in demanding environments.

Type of chippers

It is very important to assess which type of wood chipper will fit best your property needs. Here is a quick short guide to help you choose the ideal chipper for you.

There are essentially two types of wood chippers. Wood chipper and chipper shredders.

Wood Chipper (dedicated)

For customers dealing with green or dry debris and seeking a chip-only solution, a dedicated wood chipper is an ideal choice. These machines exclusively produce wood chips. Models like the 3514 can efficiently process leaves that remain attached to stems, thanks to their faster processing speed. They feature a disc rotor with one or more blades, rotating to generate the necessary cutting force. Wood chips are expelled through rotor vanes located at the back. With a wood chipper, you can obtain only one size of wood chip. Electric, gas engines, and PTO are common power options for these chippers.

Designed for customers requiring specific chip sizes for various applications like poultry beds, composting, decoration, or the removal of green or dry leaves, a wood chipper shredder (such as the model 2090) is the preferred choice. It typically includes two hoppers: one for dedicated wood chipping and a larger hopper for shredding material, particularly leaves. Property owners with numerous deciduous trees often opt for a wood chipper shredder due to its faster wood shredding capabilities. The output size can be regulated using a sizing screen with various hole geometries and sizes tailored to specific applications. These chipper shredders can be powered by electric, gas engines, and PTO.

Our chippers and chipper shredders come with manual towing as the standard option, except for the Yardbeast 2090, which includes ATV towing by default. Additionally, we offer conversion kits should you decide to utilize ATV towing for a standard hand-towed chipper.

If you need to discuss how to better address your wood-chipping needs, please give us a call or email us at


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