The Best Wood Chippers of 2022

Keep your yard tidy and free of debris with one of the best wood chippers.

By Tom Scalisi and Timothy Dale | Updated Dec 31, 2021 3:42 AM

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Best Wood Chippers

Photo: depositphotos.com

A wood chipper cuts twigs, limbs, branches, and other solid yard material into small chips. These chips may provide mulch for a garden, kindling for a firepit, or even pressed wood to make furniture or complete other carpentry projects.

The best wood chipper for your yard must accommodate the twigs and branches you feed into it and suit your power requirements. While an electric wood chipper is quieter and runs on a home power supply, gas and power take-off (PTO) wood chippers are much more powerful, which allows you to cut through more material at a faster pace.

Continue reading for insight on the top models based on wood chipper reviews from customers, product efficacy, and overall value.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Sun Joe CJ603E 15-Amp Electric Wood Chipper
  2. RUNNER UP: WEN 41121 15-Amp Rolling Electric Wood Chipper
  3. BEST BUDGET: Sun Joe 1.5 in. 14 Amp Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder
  4. UPGRADE PICK: SuperHandy Wood Chipper Ultra Duty 7 HP
  5. BEST GAS: Landworks Wood Chipper Shredder 7 HP
  6. BEST HIGH TORQUE: Patriot Products CSV-3100B 10 HP Wood Chipper
  7. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: GreatCircleUSA Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher
The Best Wood Chipper Options

Photo: depositphotos.com

Types of Wood Chippers

Wood chippers fall into three main types based on their power source: electric, gas, and power take-off (PTO).

Electric 

Electric wood chippers look like golf bags. These compact machines run quieter than either gas or PTO chippers, but they often lack the power and capacity needed to deal with material larger than 2 inches in diameter.

For small branches and yard trimmings, an electric wood chipper does the trick. Less expensive, lighter, and easier to use, they just plug into a household outlet and go.

Gas 

The most common residential wood chippers, larger, louder gas wood chippers give off a chemical odor due to the burning of gasoline. Gas-powered chippers may handle material of more than 3 inches in diameter.

More powerful than electric wood chippers, gas chippers need not sit near an outlet and won’t tether you to an extension cord. Situated in the middle of the price range for chippers, gas-powered wood chippers cost more than electric ones and not quite as much as the PTOs.

PTO 

Power take-off or PTO refers to the drive shaft on the wood chipper through which it attaches to a splined output shaft on a tractor, mower, or truck. Through this connection the PTO wood chipper draws energy from the engine of the vehicle. This method of energy supply makes PTO wood chippers more effective than their gas or electric counterparts. They can cut through more material at a faster rate.

PTO chippers make an excellent choice for anyone who lives on a large plot of land. But, the best PTO wood chippers cost more than either electric or gas chippers, and they require a compatible vehicle in order to work.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Wood Chipper

Before choosing a wood chipper for your yard cleanup needs, take a few minutes to educate yourself on the most important shopping considerations for these tools.

Bag Capacity

Not all wood chippers use bags or bins to gather the chipper refuse. If you are looking for one that comes with a bag or bin, consider the storage container’s capacity. Larger bags make a great choice if you plan to use the wood chipper for a big cleanup project.

But, keep in mind that the larger the bin, the heavier it will be to empty. If weight is a concern, then you may want a smaller bag or bin that will require more frequent emptying instead of risking injury to lift an overfilled bag.

Cutting Blades

A wood chipper’s ability to cut through material fed into the machine is a key factor. Think about how you will use your wood chipper. For small branches and clippings, then an electric wood chipper will be fine. These smaller wood chippers usually shred branches up to 2 inches in diameter across the widest point.

To handle larger material, consider a gas or PTO chipper. These machines shred contents up to 4 inches in diameter. Some commercial wood chipper models cut through branches up to 7 inches in diameter, though these cost significantly more than the average residential wood chipper.

Power

A wood chipper uses a powerful motor to turn a series of cutting and grinding blades with enough force (or torque) to cut through solid wood quickly. Torque describes the rotational force, typically measured in foot-pounds (ft-lbs), that a motor imparts on an object. This force enables the blades to cut through any appropriate material pushed into the hopper. Most residential wood chippers get a torque rating between 7 and 15 ft-lbs.

Shredding Chute

A shredding chute comes in handy if you clean up weeds, leaves, or other soft yard waste. This separate chute shreds less rigid material, such as tree branches, twigs, leaves, weeds, grass, or other plant-based yard waste.

While a separate leaf shredder would tackle this job on its own, a wood chipper with a built-in shredding chute gets the same results in a more cost-effective and space-saving way. However, keep in mind that a wood chipper/leaf shredder combo costs more than a similar wood chipper without the shredder.

Reduction Ratio

The reduction ratio of a wood chipper indicates how small the material will be after it has passed through the wood chipper. For example, if a wood chipper has a reduction ratio of 8:1, it will reduce the material down to an eighth of its original size. The reduction ratio of most wood chippers typically ranges from 8:1 to 20:1.

Chippers need more power and energy to cut materials smaller. As the engine size increases, so does the price of the chipper. If you don’t need one that cuts the material into tiny pieces, you can save some money by choosing a chipper with a lower reduction ratio.

Weight and Mobility

Weight and mobility rank as key considerations in the purchase of a wood chipper, but many shoppers overlook these factors. A wood chipper that’s too big or doesn’t have decent wheels can be very difficult to move around the yard, which reduces your overall yard cleanup efficiency.

Look for wood chippers that come with sturdy stands and large wheels capable of moving over grass, garden, paving stones, deck boards, sticks, and any other obstacles on the ground. Keep in mind that the heavier a wood chipper, the more difficult it will be to move across uneven ground or up steep inclines.

If you have a larger property, but few trees, a lightweight wood chipper will work great because you can move it around the yard quickly and effectively without significant fatigue.

Our Top Picks

We chose the top-rated wood chippers featured below based on the considerations discussed above and overall quality to help you find the most suitable one for your yard.

Best Overall

The Best Wood Chipper Option: Sun Joe CJ603E 15-Amp Electric Wood Chipper
Photo: amazon.com

Sun Joe’s 15-Amp Electric Chipper provides uninterrupted shredding power through an extension cord or nearby outlet. A 15-amp motor supplies the able blades with the needed energy for chipping, mulching, and shredding. Though it weighs just 38.6 pounds, this compact electric wood chipper packs a punch and boasts an impressive reduction ratio of 21:1.

A built-in safety mechanism automatically stops the motor when the hopper is open to help reduce the risk of injury. For those who want to avoid the harmful fumes of a gas model, Sun Joe’s chipper is one of the best. Keep in mind, the small unit only accommodates material up to 1.7 inches in diameter.

Product Specs 

  • Engine: Electric
  • Chipper Diameter: 1.7 inches
  • Weight: 38.6 pounds
  • Dimensions: 8 x 15 x 31 inches
  • Warranty: 90-day return period and full 2-year warranty

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Works well on dried wood
  • Highly efficient 21:1 reduction ratio
  • Won’t operate when the hopper lid is open

Cons

  • Teeth may wear down quickly with long use

Runner Up

The Best Wood Chipper Option: WEN 41121 15-Amp Rolling Electric Wood Chipper
Photo: amazon.com

Clear your yard of waste without clearing out your wallet with WEN’s affordable Rolling Electric Wood Chipper. A 15-amp motor chips, shreds, and mulches materials of up to 1.5 inches in diameter, including branches, sticks, leaves, and twigs, at a reduction ratio of 15:1.

At just 23.1 pounds, the compact chipper proves easy to maneuver without or without the help of the included pair of wheels. An auto-shutoff feature takes effect whenever the hopper is open to help prevent injury. The chipper also includes a bag that collects the chips and mulch.

Product Specs 

  • Engine: Electric
  • Chipper Diameter: 1.5 inches
  • Weight: 23.1 pounds
  • Dimensions: 21 x 16.5 x 36 inches
  • Warranty: Full 2-year warranty

Pros

  • Powerful motor makes up to 8,000 cuts per minute
  • Won’t operate when the hopper lid is open
  • Efficient 15:1 reduction ratio
  • Wheels enhance portability

Cons

  • No leaf hopper attachment
  • Small slot isn’t conducive to bent branches

Best Budget

The Best Wood Chipper Option: Sun Joe 1.5 in. 14 Amp Electric Wood Chipper Shredder
Photo: homedepot.com

For those who want to make the most of a fallen branch or limb in a small yard, Sun Joe’s 14-amp Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder will do the trick. This affordable small wood chipper uses an electric motor that runs at speeds up to 4300 RPMs. It doesn’t take up a lot of room in the garage, shed, or workshop. Simply stand it up in a corner and forget it.

The budget chipper cuts sticks and limbs up to 1½ inches thick and produces usable mulch for your garden or yard. This light-duty chipper, however, won’t clear fallen trees or do heavy landscaping work.

Product Specs 

  • Engine: Electric
  • Chipper Diameter: 1.5 inches
  • Weight: 25.4 pounds
  • Dimensions: 27 x 17 x 19 inches
  • Warranty: Full 2-year warranty

Pros

  • Lightweight design
  • Won’t operate when the hopper lid is open
  • Reset button for when chipper is overloaded

Cons

  • Limited capacity; suitable for smaller debris

Upgrade Pick

The Best Wood Chipper Option: SuperHandy Wood Chipper Ultra Duty 7 HP
Photo: amazon.com

Intradin’s SuperHandy Ultra Duty 7 HP Gas Wood Chipper cuts sticks and limbs up to 1½ inches thick and produces usable mulch for your garden or yard. The main feed chute accommodates larger material of up to 3 inches in diameter. An auto-feed function begins pulling material through so that users can stand at a safe distance in the event of flying wood chips.

SuperHandy features a 7 HP engine that produces up to 8.1 ft-lbs of torque for chipping and mulching at a reduction ratio of 15:1. An included shredding chute deals with leaves, twigs, and other vegetation. The gas-powered wood chipper weighs 120.7 pounds and includes wheels to facilitate transport.

Product Specs 

  • Engine: Gas
  • Chipper Diameter: 3 inches
  • Weight: 120.7 pounds
  • Dimensions: 29.5 x 25.7 x 40.6 inches
  • Warranty: 3-year limited warranty

Pros

  • Auto-feed system
  • Efficient 15:1 reduction ratio
  • Can attach to a compatible leaf blower for mulching
  • Choke and speed are easy to control
  • Wheels aid transport

Cons

  • Heavyweight
  • Not for green branches or palm fronds

Best Gas

The Best Wood Chipper Option: Landworks Wood Chipper Shredder 7 HP
Photo: amazon.com

Landworks’ Wood Chipper Shredder 7 HP makes a great residential wood chipper. Its extra-large capacity can handle most yard waste, including sticks, twigs, branches, and other vegetation of up to 3 inches in diameter. The 7 HP engine produces up to 8.1 ft-lbs of torque to shred, chip and mulch at a reduction ratio of 15:1.

Built-in wheels facilitate the transport of this 99.8-pound chipper. Users must simply ensure that they fire it up in an area with proper lighting and ventilation. Then, just guide the blunt end of the material into the hopper and allow the auto-feed function to safely pull the piece the rest of the way through.

Product Specs 

  • Engine: Gas
  • Chipper Diameter: 3 inches
  • Weight: 101 pounds
  • Dimensions: 30.3 x 28.75 x 18.1 inches
  • Warranty: 3-year limited warranty

Pros

  • Efficient 15:1 reduction ratio
  • Adjustable chute angle
  • Wheels improve portability

Cons

  • No mulching bag
  • Might struggle with some 3-inch branches

Best High Torque

The Best Wood Chipper Option: Patriot Products CSV-3100B 10 HP Wood Chipper
Photo: walmart.com

Patriot Products’ 10 HP Wood Chipper grinds through tough hardwoods with an impressive 14.6 ft-lbs of torque. The main feed chute accommodates branches and other yard waste of up to 3 inches in diameter.

This 139-pound chipper includes wheels to facilitate transport. An oil sensor light indicates when it’s time to change the oil. The machine runs quietly for a high-torque gas wood chipper, but hearing protection is still advised.

Product Specs 

  • Engine: Gas
  • Chipper Diameter: 3 inches
  • Weight: 139 pounds
  • Dimensions: 24 x 35 x 37 inches
  • Warranty: 90-day return period, separate engine warranty, and parts warranty

Pros

  • High-torque machine
  • Large hopper for soft debris
  • Wheels aid portability

Cons

  • Heavyweight

Best Heavy-Duty

The Best Wood Chipper Option: GreatCircleUSA Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher
Photo: amazon.com

Small wood chippers, like those that process materials of 2 inches or less, come in handy for small yards and minor yard debris. But large branches and full tree removal require a heavy-duty wood chipper. GreatCircleUSA’s Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher can get the job done.

The heavy-duty chipper accommodates branches and limbs of up to 3 inches in diameter. Its blades chop through any solid organic yard waste at a reduction ratio of 15:1. A built-in hopper shreds less rigid material. An included discharge bag helps collect all the output.

At 125.7 pounds, the chipper conveniently attaches to an ATV, a lawnmower, or a tractor with a tow bar. Two strong wheels allow for easy pushing and pulling.

Product Specs 

  • Engine: Gas
  • Chipper Diameter: 3 inches
  • Weight: 130 pounds
  • Dimensions: 30 x 24.1 x 41.6 inches
  • Warranty: Full manufacturer’s warranty

Pros

  • Chips, shreds, mulches all in one
  • EPA/CARB certified
  • Efficient 15:1 reduction ratio
  • Wheels provide easier transport

Cons

  • No dedicated kill switch

Our Verdict

While everyone’s size and power needs vary by the types of branches and limbs they need to clear, most users benefit from a midsize wood chipper that’s easy to load and use. We recommend the Sun Joe 15-Amp Wood Chipper for most users who need to trim and mulch small branches and debris in their yard. For heavy-duty use or large branches, consider the GreatCircleUSA Wood Chipper.

How We Chose the Best Wood Chippers

These recommendations for best wood chippers span a range of models that are built to chip, shred, or mulch branches and yard debris. We’ve included several electric models that work well for the average yard that typically includes small branches and some leaf debris. Several more powerful gas-fueled wood chippers on the list will handle larger branches of up to 3 inches in diameter. This variety offers buyers more options to meet their specific needs.

We included models with optional attachments that enhance the range of possible applications, such as vacuum attachments to collect leaves for mulching or tow bars to attach the chipper to a riding lawn mower. Several units come with mulching bags, while others feature a directional debris chute without a bag. These wood chippers also come in a range of weights (23 to 139 pounds), but wheels and handles make them fairly easy to maneuver.

How to Use a Wood Chipper Safely

Not for nothing, wood chippers make frequent appearances in horror films. This incredibly dangerous yard tool should only be operated by an experienced user who is sure to take the following safety precautions:

  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly before use.
  • Use hearing protection, eye protection, hand protection, and a hard hat.
  • When feeding branches into the wood chipper, do not force stubborn branches into the blades. Let the chipper pull them in while you stand to the side to avoid flying debris.
  • Keep hands and any other body part away from the wood chipper when it is connected to a power source. A simple accident could result in severe injury or death.
  • Always disconnect the power and the spark plug before performing maintenance on your wood chipper to ensure that it does not start up while you are vulnerable to the blades.

The Advantages of Owning a Wood Chipper

Having your own wood chipper comes with many advantages, but the most obvious benefit is the yard waste disposal it provides. Old trees may give out at any time, and yearly trimming is necessary. This can leave you with a substantial pile of wood and yard material to remove. With a wood chipper, you still need to take the time to feed the material into the chipper, but you can easily dispose of or use the wood chips that are produced.

Wood chippers are also a useful tool to reduce the potentially harmful emissions produced by burning chemical-treated wood. Instead of releasing these toxic fumes and unpleasant odors into the air, you can mulch the wood and use it to protect your plants.

Besides mulch, you may also create pressed wood for carpentry projects or biofuel for fuel certain cars or other machinery.

To recap, a wood chipper:

  • Quickly removes unwanted waste.
  • Provides an environmentally friendly means of disposing of yard waste.
  • Produces useful materials like mulch, pressed wood, and biofuel.

FAQs

Read on to find the answers to several of the most frequently asked questions about wood chippers.

Q: How big of a wood chipper do I need?

Wood chippers are made for processing leaves, twigs, branches, and grass clippings. For this purpose, most people only require a wood chipper with a 1.5-inch cutting diameter. Though, if you have older trees on your property, your wood chipper may need up to a 3-inch cutting diameter to handle the thicker branches.

Q: How do you use a wood chipper?

Choosing a level location for it to sit. Once it is in position, set the parking brake on any equipment used to haul it, then adjust the chip deflector and chip chute so that they direct the chips to your desired location.

Check the chipper for any debris before starting. If it is clear, start it up. If it isn’t, you will have to disconnect the spark plug and clean it out before turning it on. Never perform maintenance of any kind without disconnecting the power.

With the engine started, feed material into the wood chipper, blunt end first. The machine will begin chipping away allowing you to back off and move to the side of the chipper so you don’t get hit by pieces that may shoot out. Once you have finished chipping, clean up the wood chips with a leaf blower or leaf vacuum, dispose of them, or put them to good use.

Q: How do you feed a wood chipper?

To feed material into the wood chipper, begin with the blunt end and carefully guide it into the chipper. You may also want to include a mixture of dry and green limbs so that the moisture from the green branches can help to cool and lubricate the wood chipper’s knives.

Q: How loud is a wood chipper?

Wood chippers’ noise output generally falls between 85 and 110 decibels, which is more than enough to warrant hearing protection.

Q: How much does a wood chipper cost?

A wood chipper ranges in price from just $100 to over $2,000 depending on the size, torque, and overall power. Typically, residential wood chippers cost about $100 to $400, though heavy-duty models can greatly exceed this amount.

Q: Can wood chippers shred leaves?

Wood chippers can also shred leaves, but if you don’t need to chip any wood then it may be better to invest in a dedicated leaf shredder because these tools tend to take up less space and they are more affordable.

Q: Is it better to chip wood when it is dry or wet?

Dry wood is more likely to ignite when it’s exposed to the sparks that a wood chipper may create, so it’s best to do your wood chipping when the wood is cool and moist.

Q: What shouldn’t I put in a wood chipper?

There are many things that shouldn’t be put into a wood chipper, including manure, pet waste, meat, bamboo, pressure-treated lumber, coconut shells, golf balls, and more. Instead, focus on what should go into a wood chipper: organic materials from the yard, including leaves, twigs, branches, and grass clippings.

Q: How do you clean a wood chipper?

Start any maintenance process by stopping the engine (ensuring all moving parts have stopped before proceeding) and disconnecting the spark plug wire to prevent accidental start-up.

To clean the wood chipper, begin by removing the flail screen and any larger debris. Clean the flail screen separately, then clean the chute and clean around the muffler with water and a brush or dry cloth. Avoid using a high-pressure spray of water because it can contaminate the fuel system.