Wood Chipper Buyer's Guide

man shredding leaves on a chipper

A chipper is definitely an easy answer to come to when you think about the alternatives to getting rid of the untamed and ugly sight of that huge pile of dead branches sitting across your backyard. However, which chipper you will need depends on a variety of factors that you have to take into account. Before letting you in into the most common features you need to consider before committing to purchase a chipper, we believe it is important to first understand how a chipper works. 

 

How a chipper works

The main goal of a chipper is to reduce in size the wooden material that is being fed. The way this happens is the branch once it enters the feeding chute, is met by a single or a set of rotating blades that impact the branch against an anvil or a counter knife, exerting a scissor-type cutting force and shaving off a piece of the wood on every turn. Sometimes this blade is accompanied by a set of hammers or flails positioned across the length of the shaft that reduces the material being cut by the blade or some other material that is being fed through another chute (called the shredding chute).  

 

Now that we have broadly explained how a chipper works we will detail many features you have to take into account before pulling the trigger on a unit.  

 

Electric Motor Chipper  vs. Engine Powered Chippers

 

The most common types of powered chippers are either through internal combustion engines (gas or Diesel) or electric-powered. Electric powered chippers are normally small chippers with a chipping capacity up to 1.5 inches approximately that are powered through the standard rated power capacity for home use. Normally, these electric chippers are 110V and can handle an amp rating up to 14A (please consult with a certified electrician before connecting such a machine to your house outlet). Some industrial chippers are electrically powered when operated indoors for industrial purposes and usually have big engines (30+ electric horsepower). 

 

Chippers powered by internal combustion engines are the most common type of chippers and range from 1 inch up to whole tree chippers (in excess of 2 feet in diameter). Gas engines are more common in residential and commercial applications up to 37HP. Higher than that and diesel power sources will be more common than gas. 

 

At Yardbeast we offer chippers that can chip up to 6.5 inches and are power sources up to 25HP. 

 

Hand tow vs. ATV Kits

 

Some of our chippers are small enough that a hand-tow option is available. This option will depend on a variety of factors such as average travel distance, how narrow your paths are, and the ability to take this chipper inside a truck bed as well. 

 

Of course, as the chipping diameter gets bigger, the weight of the chipper increases too, leaving as a standard option and towing kit either for ATV vehicles or trucks (Highway towable).  Some of our chippers can be purchased as hand tow or ATV tow standard from the site such as the Yardbeast 3514, or additional kits may be purchased separately. 

 

Residential vs. Professional vs. Commercial Chippers

 

 The quality and performance of a chipper will obviously depend on the budget you have available for such a machine. The cheapest units are available through most retail stores and while they advertise they can do big branches (i.e up to 3 inches) they rarely are able to take in the maximum size advertised. These chippers are generally thin on steel gauge and have a lot of stamped and plastic elements so they can bring the cost, and hence the retail price down. Pricing for these chippers can vary from $600 up to $1,500. We like to call these chippers residential grade. 

 

However, if you are able to invest more money into a unit that not only can deliver what is promised but is a unit that will last a long time, then you might as well consider a professional chipper. A professional chipper is generally fitted with premium engines, heavier steel gauges, and more robust and quality components such as tool steel blades that in general, will make the chipper perform as expected throughout the years. The Yardbeast 2510, 3514, and 2090 are professional-grade chippers. 

 

A commercial-grade chipper is a machine that in essence is used to continuously provide service on a constant basis, so every component is outfitted to perform throughout the different weather conditions, and is designed to receive a good amount of wear and prolonged maintenance intervals. These units are sought after by tree care companies, municipalities, and such. Our commercial-grade chippers lineup comprises the 4521 and the 6525 models. 

 

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 correct beast for you. 

 

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

 

Wood Chippers (Dedicated, no shredding)

 

A dedicated wood chipper is best for customers who only need to clear away green or dry debris by chipping it. These machines produce only wood chips. These types of chippers (like the 3514) will coarsely process leaves that would still be attached to the stems. These chippers usually have a faster processing speed than chipper shredders. The major design feature is a disc rotor with one or more blades that rotates to gain sufficient inertia to cut through branches. Wood Chips are expelled through rotor vanes positioned at the back of the rotor. With a wood chipper, only one size of wood chip is possible. These chippers can be powered electric, by gas engines, and PTO. 

 

Wood Chipper-Shredder ( 2-in-1)

 

A wood chipper shredder is designed more towards customers that require particular chip sizes for different applications, such as poultry beds, composting, decoration, or clearing away green or dry leaves. A wood chipper shredder (like the model 2090)usually brings two hoppers, one hopper for dedicated wood chipping, and the other (bigger hopper) for shredding material, most commonly, to shred leaves. Customers with properties with many deciduous trees generally opt for a wood chipper shredder because it makes the task of wood shredding faster. The size of the output is controlled via a sizing screen. This size screen can have different hole geometries and sizes for particular applications. These chipper shredders can be powered by electric, gas engines, and PTO

 

Our chippers and chipper shredders are offered standard with manual towing, except the Yardbeast 2090 that is offered with ATV towing standard. We also offer conversion kits should you decide to use ATV towing on a standard manual tow chipper. 

 

If you need to discuss how to better address your chipping needs, please give us a call or email us at sales@yardbeast.com 

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