10 Best Chipper Shredder Models For 2020

As gardeners, part of our responsibilities lie in maintaining the landscapes that we aren’t actively cultivating. Our lawns (if you have one), trees, bushes, and shrubs on our property all require care. But with that care comes yard waste — annoying branches, leaves, and shrubbery that piles up over the course of the year. ​Suddenly, you want the best chipper shredder for your money.

You can break ​yard waste down by hand or dispose of it curbside in your local green waste bins, but why not recycle these materials back into your garden in a productive way? That’s where a wood chipper shredder comes into play. Sure, you can rent one from your local home improvement store, but chances are you’ll use it so often that you may as well own one.

When I purchased my chipper shredder, I could feel the weight of 1,000 dead branches lifted off my shoulders — literally and figuratively!

But figuring out what the best chipper shredder was for my needs was a real chore…so we put all of our research power into this article. Better yet, we regularly update with the newest and best models on the market. I hope it helps you make an easy buying decision!​

Product Features
Patriot Products CSV-2515 Electric Chipper ShredderBest ElectricPatriot Products CSV-2515 Electric Chipper ShredderBest Electric
  • 95 pounds
  • 20:1 waste reduction
  • 2.5" diameter branches
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DK2 Power 14HP Gas Chipper ShredderHigh Powered GasDK2 Power 14HP Gas Chipper ShredderHigh Powered Gas
  • 395 pounds
  • Commercial reduction
  • 6.25" diameter branches
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Merry Mac Walk-Behind Chipper Shredder VacuumVacuum PowerMerry Mac Walk-Behind Chipper Shredder VacuumVacuum Power
  • 220 pounds
  • 8:1 waste reduction
  • 2 7/8" diameter branches
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Earthquake TAZZ 30520 Gas Chipper ShredderLong WarrantyEarthquake TAZZ 30520 Gas Chipper ShredderLong Warranty
  • 121 pounds
  • 20:1 waste reduction
  • 3" diameter branches
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Sun Joe CJ603E Electric Wood Chipper/ShredderSafe & EasySun Joe CJ603E Electric Wood Chipper/ShredderSafe & Easy
  • 38.6 pounds
  • 21:1 waste reduction
  • 1.73" diameter branches
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Champion Portable Chipper-ShredderSteel FrameChampion Portable Chipper-ShredderSteel Frame
  • 190 pounds
  • 20:1 waste reduction
  • 3" diameter branches
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GreatCircleUSA Wood Chipper ShredderCompetitive PriceGreatCircleUSA Wood Chipper ShredderCompetitive Price
  • 130 pounds
  • 15:1 waste reduction
  • 3" diameter branches
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Earthwise GS70015 Electric Chipper ShredderRigid Debris BinEarthwise GS70015 Electric Chipper ShredderRigid Debris Bin
  • 31 pounds
  • 10:1 waste reduction
  • 1.75" diameter branches
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Landworks Wood Chipper ShredderGood Gas ModelLandworks Wood Chipper ShredderGood Gas Model
  • 130 pounds
  • 15:1 waste reduction
  • 3" diameter branches
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EFCUT C30 Mini Wood Chipper ShredderAdjustable ChuteEFCUT C30 Mini Wood Chipper ShredderAdjustable Chute
  • 116 pounds
  • 20:1 waste reduction
  • 3" diameter branches
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10 Best Chipper Shredder Reviews & Picks

This is a crucial machine in the garden and one that you should ideally only have to purchase once. So I figured it was better to give you too much info rather than not enough.

Below, you’ll see my recommendations for the top wood chippers in three different types: electric, gas, or gas walk-behind vacuum categories. We’ve provided ample detail to help you make the right choice for your needs. Whether you’re looking for wood chippers to help you on the urban farm or just looking for something to handle leaves, we’ve got a choice that will suit you.

1. Patriot Products CSV-2515 Electric Chipper Shredder

Patriot Products CSV-2515 14 Amp Electric Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder
  • Purchase Patriot's Electric Cord now and EXTEND...
  • The quiet, smooth, maintenance free electric motor...
  • Easily shred mountains of leaves by sliding them...

The Patriot Products CSV-2515 is the top of our list of best chipper shredders because it’s an amazing electric unit. It can tackle branches almost as large in diameter as gas chipper shredders. It’s lightweight for the power that it packs, coming in at 95lbs. The large, top-loading hopper allows you to dump in tons of leaves and food debris, and the side-loading branch chute makes feeding long branches into the unit a breeze. You’ll need a heavy-duty extension cord that is less than 100ft long to avoid a voltage drop with this bad boy. Make sure you have a reliable power source.

  • Horsepower: 14 amp, 1.5hp
  • Weight: 95 lbs
  • Capacity: 2.5″ diameter branches
  • Reduction Ratio: 20:1
  • Warranty: 2 year limited
  • Features: Large top-loading hopper, side-loading branch chute, large transport wheels, collection bag.

Verdict: If you’re looking for the absolute best electric wood chipper, look no further than the Patriot Products CSV-2515. The lack of maintenance on electric models pushes this up to the top of our list of the best chipper shredders with no question.

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2. DK2 Power 14HP Gas Chipper Shredder

Detail K2 6inch 14HP Gas Powered Kohler Engine Commercial Chipper with Tow Hitch
  • COMMERICAL CHIPPER: Commercial gas-powered chipper...
  • KOHLER ENGINE: Kohler 429 cc CH440 engine
  • DUAL BELT: Dual belt drive drum transmission...

Powered by a Kohler engine, the DK2 Power is a real workhorse. This model is one of the best professional wood chipper/garden shredders that occasionally sees residential or farming use as well. Smaller than most pro models, it’s still fully towable at 25mph, so those who have large properties can get it where it needs to be. If you have a small orchard to prune, this is the tool for you. Branches and twigs have no chance against this monster of a machine.

  • Horsepower: 14HP Kohler commercial engine
  • Weight: 395 lbs
  • Capacity: 6.25″ diameter branches
  • Warranty: 1 year for the machine, 3 year limited from Kohler for the commercial engine
  • Features: 180-degree rotational spout for output, extra large hopper, tow hitch with tires rated to 25mph, extended axle, built-in steel toolbox.

Verdict: Extremely high-powered machine meant for very heavy residential or light-medium commercial use. Worth every penny you pay for it, but it might be more muscle than the average homeowner needs.

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3. Merry Mac Walk-Behind Chipper Shredder Vacuum

The Merry Mac walk behind is feature-packed. Although it’s expensive, it can handle just about anything you’d throw at it with its 10hp engine and huge, top-loading bag. The top-loading allows for the bag to be as full as possible before changing it out, meaning less time wrangling with debris and more time chipping it.

It comes with 3 forward speeds and propels itself forward, so you barely have to do anything besides stand behind this thing to get the job done.

  • Horsepower: 10hp (Briggs & Stratton engine)
  • Weight: 220lb
  • Capacity: 2 7/8″ diameter branches
  • Reduction Ratio: 8:1
  • Warranty: 2 year
  • Features: 3 forward speeds, reverse option, solid-state ignition, self-propelled, 25″ vacuum width.

Verdict: If you’re looking for serious power and flexibility, this is your choice. With good care, it’ll last a lifetime.

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4. Earthquake TAZZ 30520 Gas Chipper Shredder

Tazz 30520 Heavy Duty 212cc, 4 Cycle Viper Engine, 5-Year Warranty, 3" max Wood Diameter Capacity,...
  • DEPENDABLE - 212 cc Viper engine with a 5-year ;...
  • Accessories - Optional vacuum kit featuring a...
  • Convenient - 25. 4" Wide by 29. 9" Long, It takes...

The Viper engine on this device will make quick work of branches up to 3 inches in diameter. Its heavy-duty hammers and knives gnaw through your garden waste with ease. Make sure to buy the optional vacuum kit if you want to use this to suck up leaves from the yard too! This is a high-quality gas garden mulcher and has a phenomenal warranty to boot.

  • Horsepower: 6.5hp 212cc 4-stroke Viper engine
  • Weight: 121 lbs
  • Capacity: 3″ diameter branches
  • Reduction Ratio: 20:1
  • Warranty: 5 year limited
  • Features: Optional vacuum kit available (not included), includes debris bag with quick connector, limb chute, large hopper.

Verdict: Just the 5-year warranty alone makes this one of the best products on our list. If you’re looking for a garden wood chipper that’ll handle most standard waste, you can’t go wrong with this one.

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5. Sun Joe CJ603E Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder

Sun Joe CJ603E 15-Amp 1.7-Inch Cutting Diameter Electric Silent Wood Chipper/Shredder, green
  • VERSATILE: Ideal for turning leaves, twigs, brush,...
  • POWERFUL: 15-amp motor effectively chips and...
  • SAFETY: Safety hopper with locking knob prevents...

If you’re hoping for an electric wood chipper, Sun Joe has one that’ll work for you. This model handles dry branches and twigs up to 1.73″ inches in diameter. It can choke a little bit on lots of green leaves, so alternate between wood and fresher leafy greens. For dry leaves, it performs admirably. Attach a collection bag to its base or position it where you want the mulch to fall. Requires a power source.

  • Horsepower: 15 amp, 120 volt electric motor
  • Weight: 38.6 lbs
  • Capacity: 1.73″ inches in diameter – meant for branches and twigs or leaves
  • Reduction Ratio: 21:1
  • Warranty: 2 year
  • Features: Safety hopper with locking knob, 7″ wheels, instant start.

Verdict: This is best for people who’re looking for a basic garden shredder. Pruning waste, plant trimmings, and twigs or small branches are your best bet for this Sun Joe machine.

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6. Champion Portable Chipper-Shredder

Champion 3-Inch Portable Chipper-Shredder with Collection Bag
  • Powerful – 338cc Champion single-cylinder OHV...
  • Heavy-Duty – The chipper chute is equipped with...
  • Versatile – The shredder chute makes fast work...

Another model that can handle branches up to 3 inches, this chipper shredder is a sturdy contender. It’s a no-frills gas model that many consider to be the best chipper for their money. Four shredder hammers will make wood chips out of your garden waste in no time at all. Its 13″ shredder blade turns leaves into mulch easily.

  • Horsepower: 338cc Champion single-cylinder OHV engine
  • Weight: 190 lbs
  • Capacity: 3″ in diameter
  • Reduction Ratio: 20:1
  • Warranty: 2 year limited
  • Features: Steel construction, separate branch/leaf chutes, 12″ never-flat tires, collection bag

Verdict: This is not a fancy model, but its all-steel frame and construction make it a very long-lasting one. With regular maintenance, this is one of the best chipper models we recommend.

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7. GreatCircleUSA Wood Chipper Shredder

GreatCircleUSA Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher Heavy Duty 212cc Gas Powered 3 in 1 Multi-Function 3"...
  • MULTI-FUNCTION CAPABILITY; This 3-in-1 Wood...
  • POWERFUL; This Chippers powerful recoil starting...
  • EFFICIENT DESIGN; Hookup your favorite: ATV, lawn...

Five Y-hammers and 2 knives give this chipper a great leg up on its competition. It sucks your yard trimmings into its branch port or leaf hopper with ease. Make sure to empty its bag once it’s full or it may get backed up!

  • Horsepower: 7HP 212cc 4-stroke OHV gas engine
  • Weight: 130 lbs
  • Capacity: 3″ in diameter
  • Reduction Ratio: 15:1
  • Warranty: 3 year limited
  • Features: Optional vacuum kit (not included) or tow bar kit (not included) available. Comes with side-loading debris bag.

Verdict: Very few complaints about this model out there, and it’s priced competitively. While it has a little lower reduction ratio than others we’ve covered, it’s still more than enough to do the job well.

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8. Earthwise GS70015 Electric Chipper Shredder

Earthwise GS70015 15-Amp Garden Corded Electric Chipper, Collection Bin
  • Powerful mulcher chipper with a 15-amp electric...
  • Chute and tamper tool to keep your hands free and...
  • Electric mulcher that is easy to clean with a huge...

Another one of the garden mulchers we like, this is the last of our choices for best electric models. While it only handles branches and twigs of 1.75″ diameter or smaller, this electric chipper shredder does well with them. Leaves turn to mulch quickly and easily with this residential-use device. Don’t forget, you do need a power source.

  • Horsepower: 15 amp , 120 volt electric motor
  • Weight: 31 lbs
  • Capacity: 1.75″ diameter branches
  • Reduction Ratio: 10:1
  • Warranty: 2 year limited
  • Features: Includes tamper tool & 1.2 bushel collection bin.

Verdict: For light residential use mulching up your garden waste and leaves, this definitely can be categorized among the best electric shredders. The collection bin is a step up from a standard debris bag, too! But it does require a nearby power source or a good-rated extension cord.

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9. Landworks Wood Chipper Shredder

Sale
Landworks Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher Super Heavy Duty 7HP 212cc 3 in 1 Multi-Function 3" Inch Max...
  • MULTI-FUNCTION CAPABILITY; This 3-in-1 Wood...
  • UNIQUE DESIGN; The Slanted Housing design reduces...
  • POWERFUL; This Chippers powerful recoil starting...

Comparable in make and design to the GreatCircleUSA model we showed above, this one is almost its twin brother. It also features five Y-hammers and 2 blades, but the horsepower on its engine is very slightly lower. It’s still a very sturdy machine for the money. Assembly is required when it arrives.

  • Horsepower: 7HP 208cc 4-stroke OHV engine
  • Weight: 130 lbs
  • Capacity: 3″ diameter branches
  • Reduction Ratio: 15:1
  • Warranty: 3 year limited
  • Features: Optional debris kit (not included) or tow bar kit (not included) are available for purchase. Comes with debris bag.

Verdict: The reduction rate’s comparable to the GreatCircleUSA model as well, and better than most electric models. This is a solid offering from Landworks.

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10. EFCUT C30 Mini Wood Chipper Shredder

Sale
EFCUT C30 Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher 7 HP 212cc Heavy Duty Engine Gas Powered 3 inch Max Wood...
  • POWERFUL - Our wood chipper shredder has a...

  • CONVENIENT - The handle of our wood chipper...

  • CAPABLE DESIGN - This wood chipper...

Finally, we come to the last entry on our list of the best chipper shredders. EFCUT’s C30 is a very functional device. This chipper and shredder has a slightly narrower but longer hopper than a few of the other entries on our list. It handles branches up to 3″ easily, as well as leaves or whatever else you toss at it. And its check windows allow you to see if there’s anything clogging up the works.

  • Horsepower: 7HP 212cc RATO 4-stroke OHV engine
  • Weight: 116 lbs
  • Capacity: 3″ diameter branches
  • Reduction Ratio: 20:1
  • Warranty: 3 year
  • Features: Adjustable discharge guide, front & back check windows. Comes with collection bag, extra blade & protective gear.

Verdict: This device definitely has enough power to qualify it for our list of the best chipper shredders, but more than that, it’s worth its weight in gold. The longer hopper is slightly harder to feed leaves into, but it handles twigs and branches effortlessly.

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What Is a Chipper Shredder?

Yard Waste
Yard waste being…wasted. These people need a chipper shredder! source

Well, the purpose of a chipper shredder is kind of built into the name, isn’t it? To get into the details, the purpose of a wood chipper shredder is to grind, shred, and cut larger organic matter into smaller pieces.

The reasons people use these tools usually fall into three camps: composting, mulching, and disposing.

When composting, if you can break down some of the larger ‘browns’ like tree branches, you’ll create compost much faster due to the increased surface area of the material you’re composting. For many people, using a chipper shredder is the only way they can break down enough “browns” to make high-quality compost. And it also makes Back to Eden garden methods a lot simpler, too.

Chipper shredders are great for mulching simply because they reduce large, cumbersome pieces of material into smaller material that’s perfect as a mulch layer in the garden. By using your own yard waste to mulch your garden or landscape, you’re saving yourself a little bit of money every time.

If you don’t compost or mulch, a chipper shredder can still be useful as a way to break down large pieces of yard waste for disposal.​ Although I would encourage you to give composting or mulching a try, if you just want to get rid of your waste that’s fine too and a chipper shredder will be a big help.

​There are a few different types of chipper shredders on the market, and which one you choose will depend on your specific needs in the garden. The simplest ones have sharp blades to cut larger pieces of wood, and hard flails that break up smaller things like leaves or sticks.

There are many different types though, and we’ll get into the details in a bit.

Why You Need a Chipper Shredder

After using a chipper shredder
After shredding.

Chipper shredders are one of the most productive garden tools in your arsenal. Not only will you be making better use of your yard debris by turning it into compost or using it as a mulch layer, but you’ll be saving a lot of time in the process.

Before I picked one up myself, I was breaking down branches and food debris by hand for my compost, which was taking me far too much time. That was time that I could spend doing more important things. So save your time for the more important stuff, and put those leaves and branches to use as beneficial mulch!

Types of Chipper Shredders – Power

There are two main types of chipper shredders to choose from when it comes to the power source ​— electric or gas. Electric shredders are pretty simple, and they don’t vary much in design. However, gas-powered shredders have distinct design differences that we will cover below.

Electric

Eco-Shredder 1600

While electric-powered chipper shredders aren’t as powerful as gas ones, they still have their place in your toolshed. Most electric chipper shredders range from 1-2 horsepower and can process looser debris like leaves, sticks, food scraps, and light shrubbery. Some of the larger, more expensive models can handle ​tree limbs as well.

As far as weight is concerned, they are relatively light. The lightest ones clock in at around 12lbs, with the larger models coming in at above 100lbs. That range is huge, we know — but we’ll get into how to narrow down your options later in this article.​

Advantages of Electric Chipper Shredders

  • Less expensive
  • Smaller
  • No gas, smoke, or fumes
  • Much less noisy than gas shredders
  • Easier to transport from place to place
  • Higher weight-to-power ratio

Disadvantages of Electric Chipper Shredders

  • Need an outlet nearby
  • Need a heavy-duty extension cord
  • Less powerful
  • Most models do not chip large tree limbs

Gasoline

Earthquake Gas Chipper Shredder

Gasoline chipper shredders are the standard choice for most gardeners. They start out at around four horsepower and can range all the way up to ten horsepower, so they pack a serious punch and can tackle some tricky yard debris. Their minimum weight clocks in about the max weight of electric shredders, at 100lb, and they can range up to 200lb for the largest models.

Gas chipper shredders follow a similar pattern power-wise. The lowest gas models match the chipping power of the highest electric models.

Advantages of Gas Chipper Shredders

  • Much more powerful than electric models
  • Can chip branches greater than 1-2″ in diameter
  • Does not require an extension cord
  • Chips faster and more efficiently

Disadvantages of Gas Chipper Shredders

  • Much noisier than electric models
  • More parts to maintain and must winterize in cold weather
  • More powerful models can be quite heavy

If you think a gas-powered chipper shredder is a better choice for you, my recommendation is to buy one with the highest horsepower that you can afford. Yes, it’ll be a little noisier, but you’ll get the job done much quicker. I recommend buying one with at least 8 horsepower, though you can get away with less if you want to save some cash.

Gasoline Walk Behind Vacuum​

Merry Mac Gas Vacuum Chipper Shredder

Gas-powered, walk-behind vacuum chipper shredders are on a new level. I don’t own one myself, but I have used them in the past and they make cleaning up your backyard an absolute breeze. They combine raking and mulching into one tool that only requires you to push it around to get the job done.

They work by sucking up yard debris via the vacuum into blades that chop the debris into mulch or composting material. Like a lawnmower, it’s captured by a large bag on the back of the machine for easy transport after the job is done.

Power-wise, these typically range between 5-10hp and come with some cool features like a detachable vacuum tube for harder to reach areas. Some models also have a side-loaded branch chute, so you can use it as you would a standalone gas-powered chipper shredder as well.

Overall, these types of chipper shredders are a luxury item as they’re much more expensive than regular ones. But if you have the money, these will save you a LOT of time.

Types of Chipper Shredders – Design

You should also take into consideration the design of your chipper shredder. There are a few common ways that chipper shredders are designed and each has a unique twist on the way that they go about breaking down yard debris.

Disk

Disk Shredder
Disk shredder example from the official patent filing. Source

Disk chippers are by far the most common design. They’re versatile and can handle almost anything that you throw at it. The way they work is simple: a flywheel with blades attached to the end is spun up to very high speeds. The shredder power is determined by how heavy the flywheel is. A heavier flywheel = more chipping and shredding power.​

Screw

Screw Shredder
An industrial screw shredder, not for home use! Source

Screw chippers are some of the most powerful and intense on the market. They have huge screws that rotate slowly, pulling branches in and obliterating them. Most people will not require a screw chipper, mainly because they’re too powerful and tend to be quite expensive. You commonly see these types of chippers attached to trucks.​

Drum

Drum Shredder
Example of a handmade drum shredder for fruit. Source

When chipper shredders first came on the market, the drum design was used. It’s still being used today and to great effect. They work by rotating a drum​ or drums with many sharp metal teeth on the outside. These are spun in opposite directions and pull in any debris, making short work of it by grinding it with intense pressure. If you are chipping a lot of material at once, go with a drum chipper. So keep an open mind when making your buying decision.

Flail

Flail Shredder
A flail shredder attachment. Source

Flail chipper shredders are lightweight and are accordingly designed for lighter yard debris. They work by attaching plastic string, or metal chains or blades to a drum and spinning the drum fast. The lowest-end models are only rated to deal with soft food waste and leaves, while the higher-end models can handle sticks, shrubbery, and small branches. These are great if you want a cheaper model and don’t have a lot of heavy debris.

Features to Consider

We’ve gone over the types of chipper shredders that exists both in power source and in design. But there are many other features that manufacturers build into their chipper shredders that can either make your life a whole lot easier or a whole lot harder.​

A Note on Brands:

Although chipper shredders can be one of the more expensive purchases for your home, try to resist buying cheap models. There are plenty of reputable brands to choose from, and while you’ll pay a bit more, you get what you pay for.

Top-Mounted Hopper

Chipper shredders with a top-mounted hopper allow you to simply drop food waste or yard debris straight into your machine from the top down. Gravity does the rest of the work, which makes your job easy.

Side-Mounted Branch Chute

Some chipper shredders have a chute for inserting larger tree branches. This design allows the large branches to skip past the flails and go straight to the chipping blades, which are the blades that have the most effect on tree branches. The larger the chute, the larger the branches you can send through.

Wheels

If you decide on a light, electric shredder, wheels won’t be necessary. However, larger electric shredders and gas shredders usually come with wheels. They range from small wheels that allow for light transport, to medium-sized utility wheels, all the way to road-ready wheels for the largest models.

Reduction Rate

The reduction rate or ratio of your shredder is a rough guide to the volume reduction that your chipper shredder can achieve. These range from 10:1 to 20:1, meaning they can cut the volume of your debris down to 5-10% of its original volume!

Weight

The weight of your shredder will determine how often you want to move it around your property. Heavier models are more powerful, but less transportable, and visa versa.

Feed Capacity

The feed capacity will determine exactly how much yard debris or leaves you can fit into your chipper shredder at one time. Models with multiple chutes may have different values for each chute or entry point.

Number of Blades / Flails

The more blades or flails that your chipper shredder has, the longer each individual blade will last. This means you’ll have to sharpen and/or replace your blades far less often.

Maintenance

This one is simple — electric chipper shredders are easier to maintain than gas ones. Gas engines must be prepared for winter and have more moving parts. Aside from that, you may need to replace or sharpen the blades in your chipper from time to time.

Noisiness

Again, gas-powered chipper shredders are much noisier than electric ones, although they are more powerful. If noise is a big concern, you should purchase a higher-powered electric model.

Convenience

Some chipper shredders come with features that make life a lot easier, like blades that sharpen themselves, tow bars, electric starters instead of pull starters, or hoppers that are tiltable.

Warranty

Although warranties can sometimes be hard to enforce or make use of, the strength of a chipper shredder’s warranty speaks to the quality of the manufacturer. A stronger, longer warranty should increase your confidence in your purchase.

Your Living Situation

Another factor to consider is where you live. Your living situation may determine the size of your lot, the plants growing on your property, or simply noise and size concerns for your chipper shredder.

City or Suburbs

Suburbs

Most people that live in cities and suburbs will want to go with an electric chipper shredder. This is for two reasons:

  1. Most of the yard debris you will need to chip and shred will be leaves, shrubbery, and smaller branches.
  2. Large, gas-powered chipper shredders are some of the noisiest garden tools and may annoy both you and your neighbors.​

Depending on your local city ordinances, you may not even be permitted to operate large gas chipper shredders, so do your research.

Rural Areas

Country House

Out in the country, chances are you’ve got more space and larger plants growing on your property. You may have large branches that have fallen down due to wind, age, or storm that you’d like to mulch.

If you’re just going to chip down debris that falls on your property, you can get away with a simple disk chipper shredder that is gas-powered with a light disk. If you want to cut down trees on your property and process then, you should choose a ​much heavier disk, or even go for a drum chipper shredder.

Farm​s

Similar to rural areas, you can get away with a medium-heavy disk chipper shredder if you only need it for maintenance and cleanup of your property. However, most farms need a larger drum model that can be towed around from place to place on the property.​

Chipper Shredder Maintenance Tips

Buy a Powerful Machine

The purpose of a chipper shredder is right in the name — to literally destroy large pieces of wood and yard debris. This means that the blades and motor are under a lot of stress when they’re in use, and most owners will push them beyond their limits. If you can afford a higher power machine, I recommend you go ahead and buy it. You may never max out the ability of the chipper shredder, but you know for a fact that you won’t over-stress it, which is the #1 cause of death of chipper shredders nationwide.

Shred The Right Materials

Whatever you do, try to avoid shredding wet clumps of small debris like grass or leaves. Although manufacturers will say that their machines can handle this type of debris, just think of how a chipper shredder works. It performs best when the debris is hit multiple times by the blades and flails, allowing it to break up the debris as much as possible.

Wet and clumped together material acts like one large, amorphous piece of debris that can get stuck or make it through your machine relatively unscathed — the opposite of what we want! Dry leaves are fine, and you’ll want to reduce the size of those for developing leaf mold or for use in a vermicomposting system.

Maintenance Checklist

No matter what type of chipper shredder you have, there are a couple of universal rules to caring for them. First, always keep your blades sharp. The duller the blade, the more your motor has to work, which means the shorter the lifespan of the motor. Most chipper shredders come with blade sharpening tools or extra blades, so don’t be afraid to sharpen or replace!

Additionally, don’t leave your machine out in the elements. It’ll degrade the parts much quicker and shorten the lifespan.

Here are a few motor-specific tips for maintaining your chipper shredder:

Gas-Powered

  • Monitor your oil levels. Using your machine when the oil is low can degrade the parts significantly and shorten the lifespan of your engine. Keep a few bottles of extra oil on hand for this reason.
  • After the first 10-20 hours of use, replace your oil completely. Then schedule your oil changes for every 100 hours.
  • Watch for oil leaks or parts that aren’t functioning properly and take care of them immediately.
  • Keep extra air filters on hand, and replace them liberally.

Electric

  • Get the right type of extension cord. You don’t want a voltage drop to happen, so using a large gauge cord will help prevent that. If you need to calculate it out, use a voltage drop calculator.

The Green Thumbs Behind This Article:

Kevin Espiritu
Founder

Lorin Nielsen
Lifetime Gardener

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Last update on 2020-10-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API