The Best Wood Chippers Tested in 2023

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

By Tom Scalisi and Timothy Dale and Mark Wolfe | Updated Apr 11, 2023 12:59 PM

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The Best Wood Chipper Options

Photo: Debbie Wolfe

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

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

We shopped around to identify electric and gas-powered wood chippers that our readers could count on for their outdoor cleanup projects. Then we spent more than 8 hours assembling and testing the following picks in a huge brush pile in order to compare wood chippers. Continue reading for insight on our shopping considerations and check out our wood chipper reviews to see how each of these models performed in our tests—and why one of them may be the best wood chipper for your project.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Sun Joe CJ603E Silent Electric Wood Chipper
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Sun Joe CJ601E Electric Wood Chipper
  3. UPGRADE PICK: DK2 OPC503 Chipper Shredder
  4. BEST FOR COMPOSTING: Earthwise Electric Corded Chipper Shredder
  5. BEST WITH LEAF VACUUM: Troy-Bilt 159cc Chipper Shredder Vacuum
  6. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Champion Power Equipment 3-Inch Chipper Shredder
The Best Wood Chipper Options

Photo: Debbie Wolfe

How We Tested the Best Wood Chippers

Our testing observations and comparison started with unpacking and assembling the chippers. All of the electric wood chippers came together in about 15 minutes because they are comparatively lightweight and compact. While basic, disposable tools were included in the packaging, using personally owned tools ought to make the job go faster and easier. All of the electric chippers require a heavy-duty 12-gauge extension cord to avoid tripping the circuit breaker during operation.

Assembling each of the gas-powered chippers took 45 minutes to 1 hour and required installation of the hopper, branch chute, safety guards, discharge chute, wheels, and standing brace. These machines all weigh more than 100 pounds, so it’s a good idea to have a helper. Again, the included tools will get the job done, but using ones from a personal tool kit makes the process more comfortable. The packages included engine oil and gasoline that must be added before operation.

After assembly, we transported each of the chippers across the lawn to the work site. In so doing, we noted that the small plastic wheels on the electric chippers provided the most stability on solid, flat ground. The larger hard wheels on the gas machines worked fine on average lawns but caused some struggles on sloped, uneven surfaces. The towable DK2 chipper, which includes a handle for moving by hand, was the easiest to move on rough ground.

In general, chippers with wheels on the same side of the machine as the handle—what we called a “hand-truck” configuration—were easier to maneuver than those with wheels and handles on opposite sides of the machine, like a wheelbarrow. The wheelbarrow configuration requires the user to lift the handle and bear more of the machine’s weight versus the hand-truck configuration that transfers more weight to the wheels.

Finally, we set up and operated each chipper for 30 minutes. During operational testing, we fed each model a combination of large and small branches, including green wood and dried wood, and dry leaves (when applicable) to observe the full range of functionality. In addition to the machine’s ability to chip, we observed chip consistency, working stability, operator comfort, and noise level from a purely subjective standpoint to help determine our preferences and recommendations.

The Best Wood Chipper Options

Photo: Debbie Wolfe

Our Top Picks

We tested some of the top-rated wood chippers in our test facility brush pile. Read on to learn how each of these machines performed in our tests and why we consider them to be among the best wood chippers for home use.

Best Overall

The Best Wood Chipper Option: Sun Joe CJ603E 15-Amp Electric Wood Chipper

Though Sun Joe’s 15-Amp Electric Wood Chipper only accommodates material up to 1.7 inches in diameter, it boasts an impressive reduction ratio of 21:1. The compact electric wood chipper, which weighs just 38.6 pounds, packs a punch via a 15-amp motor that supplies the able blades with the needed energy for chipping, mulching, and shredding. A built-in safety mechanism automatically stops the motor when the hopper is open to help reduce the risk of injury.

We found the Sun Joe CJ603E to be easy to unpack and assemble for testing—we were ready to work in about 15 minutes. Working range, however, is limited to the length of a heavy-duty extension cord (not included). We tested it on a mix of green wood and dried branches up to 1.7 inches thick.

The machine was relatively lightweight and extremely quiet compared to gas-powered chippers, and it easily handled most branches up to a little more than 1.7 inches in diameter. Although this machine does not feature a hopper-style intake for shredding leaves and fine debris, the branch feed chute worked well for coarse weed stems, sunflower stems, cornstalks, and tree branches. The motor offered plenty of power to grind up the hardest dried wood without bogging down.

We appreciated the compact size and lightweight build that made it easy to transport and store the chipper. The moderate price and convenience of low-maintenance electric operation make this a great choice for routine yard maintenance, especially for those who want to avoid the fumes of a gas model.

Product Specs

  • Engine: 15-amp corded electric
  • Branch capacity: 1.7 inches
  • Weight: 38.6 pounds


  • Grinds branches up to 1.7 inches in diameter; works well on green or dried wood
  • Reduces 21 bags of yard debris to the volume of 1 bag; great for large areas
  • Convenient plug-in electric operation; less noise or pollution compared to gas models


  • Teeth may wear down quickly with long use
  • Mulch bag seems somewhat flimsy for extended use

Get the Sun Joe 15-amp wood chipper at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Lowe’s.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Wood Chipper Option: Sun Joe 1.5-Inch 14-Amp Electric Chipper Shredder

For those who want to save money when cleaning up a small yard, Sun Joe’s 14-Amp Electric Chipper/Shredder could be considered the best budget wood chipper around. This affordable small wood chipper uses an electric motor that runs at speeds up to 4,300 revolutions per minute. A light-duty chipper, it won’t clear fallen trees or do heavy landscaping work, but it cuts sticks and limbs up to 1.5 inches thick and produces usable mulch for the garden or yard. When the job is done, its compact, upright design won’t take up a lot of room.

This electric chipper has the lowest average price of all the models we tested, making it a smart choice for budget shoppers with limited storage space. Setup and start-up took about 15 minutes, and all tools were included in the box. We also noticed right away that this chipper was even lighter than the other electric models, weighing in at just over 25 pounds. The stated reduction ratio is 16:1 (to reduce a volume equal to 16 bags of debris down to one).

After a half hour of grinding branches, we noted that this Sun Joe model operates somewhat slower than other electric chippers and produces larger particles. In 30 minutes of chipping a mix of green and woody branches, it produced approximately 15 gallons (three 5-gallon buckets full) of chips. The motor strained a few times, but never jammed, so we didn’t get to try out the jam-clearing function in a real-world scenario. The compact, upright build; strong performance; and maintenance-free design make this an easy choice for everyday use.

Product Specs

  • Engine: 14-amp corded electric
  • Branch capacity: 1.5 inches
  • Weight: 25.4 pounds


  • Shreds branches up to 1.5 inches thick; suitable for most yard debris
  • Strong 14-amp electric motor powers through hard, dry wood
  • Upright configuration saves space in storage


  • Not made for shredding leaves or soft, pliable stems; can clog the machine
  • Operates more slowly than other electric chippers

Get the Sun Joe 14-amp wood chipper at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Lowe’s.

Upgrade Pick

The Best Wood Chipper Option: DK2 7 HP 3-Inch Chipper Shredder

The towable DK2 chipper shredder features a 7 hp 208cc Kohler Command Pro engine and dual high-strength steel-carbide cutting blades for reliable performance in tough conditions. Pneumatic off-road tires, a removable ATV towing hitch, and drop stand make it easy to access work sites on difficult terrain. The wheels lock in place for added safety while chipping. An extra-large hopper and branch auto-feed chute placed at a comfortable height make it easier to load composting materials, yard waste, brush, and branches up to 3 inches in diameter.

After about a half hour of easy assembly, we fueled up the DK2 chipper shredder and moved it in place for testing. The large air-filled tires and hand-truck configuration made it the easiest gas-powered model to move manually; the added convenience of the removable tow bar was icing on the cake. Locking the wheels in place for operation required removal of the wheel pins from the end of the axle, sliding the wheels outward on the axle, and reinstalling the pins through the wheels and axle. In practice, this was only slightly awkward and less complicated than it may sound. The machine started on the first pull and ran smoothly throughout the test.

We operated the chipper for a half hour, feeding it a combination of dried leaves, sunflower stalks, cornstalks, brush, and green and dried branches. We really liked the wide mouth and comfortable height of the chute, which was about 12 inches lower than that of the tallest gas model we tested. It made it super easy to load leaves and other fine-textured materials. Even the largest, driest branches presented no problem. However, we did note that some of the fine material fed through the hopper accumulated at the base of the discharge chute. It did not clog the flow, but we recommend occasionally checking for excessive buildup during the course of a workday. Overall this was the most pleasurable chipper shredder we tested. It was very easy to maneuver, powerful, and relatively quiet compared to competitors.

Product Specs

  • Engine: 7 hp 208cc Kohler Command Pro gas engine
  • Branch capacity: 3 inches
  • Weight: 187 pounds


  • Professional-grade Kohler gasoline engine for durability
  • Large hopper capacity and lower height for easier loading
  • Air-filled off-road tires and removable ATV towing hitch for easy access to any work site
  • Drop stand and locking wheels for safer operation


  • Horizontal configuration takes up more storage space
  • Top discharge configuration can become clogged with fine debris

Get the DK2 wood chipper at The Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Tractor Supply Co.

Best for Composting

The Best Wood Chipper Option: Earthwise 15-Amp Electric Chipper

When processing organic waste for composting, a clean, quiet electric chipper makes sense. The Earthwise 15-amp electric chipper grinds sticks and branches up to 1.75 inches in diameter and other yard and garden waste into smaller, more uniform particles for fast, efficient composting. It requires no gas or oil, and virtually no maintenance. The included 1.2-bushel plastic collection bin makes it easy to capture chips, and the slim design with rear wheels makes for easy transport.

The Earthwise electric chipper was the easiest to assemble of all the models we tested, taking only about 10 minutes. We didn’t love the lightweight plastic snap-in-place hopper, however, since the tabs lined up with difficulty and the assembled hopper was too easy to knock off while working. On the other hand, we really liked the plastic collection bin that simply slides into place and back out like a drawer.

Feeding a wide range of such materials as plant stalks and woody branches was a breeze, and the included tamper tool helped us safely feed smaller items. The motor operated quietly, unfazed by even the largest, driest woody material, and the finished chips were quite uniform in appearance. We filled the collection bin within the half hour testing time frame. The strong electric motor, compact build, and generously sized collection bin make this an easy choice for composting enthusiasts.

Product Specs

  • Engine: 15-amp corded electric motor
  • Branch capacity: 1.75 inches
  • Weight: 30 pounds


  • The corded 15-amp motor delivers powerful exhaust-free operation
  • Includes a 1.2-bushel collection bin to collect and dispose of chips easily
  • Processes large branches up to 1.75 inches in diameter
  • Lightweight yet durable construction makes it easy to move and store


  • Working range is limited to the length of the extension cord (not included)
  • Shallow plastic hopper is somewhat flimsy

Get the Earthwise wood chipper at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Chippers Direct.

Best with Leaf Vacuum

The Best Wood Chipper Option: Troy-Bilt 159cc Chipper Shredder Vacuum

Anyone looking to win Tidiest Yard in the Neighborhood will want to look into Troy-Bilt’s chipper-shredder-vacuum combo. With its 24-inch vacuum opening, leaf removal is as simple as walking across the lawn. Need to collect a few leaves blown beneath the shrubs or a pile near the front-door vortex? Just detach the 8-foot-long, 7-inch-diameter vacuum hose and it will reach them. If a few sticks fell from the shade tree, simply insert them into the 1.5-inch chipper feed chute.

This machine operates somewhat like a push lawn mower. The deck height is adjustable for optimum leaf pickup. It rolls smoothly on 11-inch rear wheels and 8-inch front wheels. The cast-aluminum and hardened-steel impeller is powered by an easy-starting CARB-compliant 159cc Troy-Bilt engine. It turns eight bags worth of yard waste into a single bag of chips and collects them in the onboard 2-bushel felt bagger.

This Troy-Bilt model arrived mostly assembled, with the exception of the handle, bagger, and hose. Installing those took about 15 minutes. Then we added oil and gas, adjusted the deck height, and started testing.

We found that the Troy-Bilt exhibited good suction, easily picking up dry or damp leaves, small pine cones, and twigs from the lawn, and the hose feature sucked up matted debris from beneath shrubs. The 1.5-inch chipper feature operated smoothly and efficiently for the most part. We tested it with both green wood and dried hardwood branches, and strongly curved and crooked branches did need to be broken into short pieces or tossed aside in a few cases.

The weight of the engine and deck countered the weight of the debris bagger quite well until the bag was mostly full. Emptying the bagger onto the ground was easy enough, but transferring the chips to a disposal bag was awkward. This machine could really help those who live where summer storms regularly leave debris in the yard, or where autumn leaves fall over an extended period of time. It could also boost productivity during spring cleanup.

Product Specs

  • Engine: 159cc Troy-Bilt gasoline engine
  • Branch capacity: 1.5 inches
  • Weight: 116 pounds


  • Chips, vacuums, shreds, and bags yard debris
  • CARB-compliant 159cc Troy-Bilt 4-cycle gas engine
  • 24-inch vacuum width quickly cleans up open spaces
  • Onboard vacuum hose reaches into tight spots
  • Dedicated chipper chute accepts branches 1.5 inches in diameter


  • Requires more storage space than other chipper shredders
  • Does not work well in natural areas or tall grass

Get the Troy-Bilt wood chipper at The Home Depot or Troy-Bilt.

Best Heavy-Duty

The Best Wood Chipper Option: Champion Power Equipment 224cc Chipper Shredder

The ruggedly built Champion Power Equipment 3-inch portable chipper shredder proved to be the best heavy-duty wood chipper in our tests. A clean CARB-compliant 224cc Champion gas engine drives the chipper’s steel blades. This chipper grinds the equivalent of 20 bags of yard debris to fit into one bag. The large hopper is suitable for shredding fine debris like twigs, leaves, and other material smaller than 0.5-inch thick, while the branch feed chute accepts limbs up to 3 inches in diameter. The discharge chute features an adjustable angle top and comes with an easy-to-use 2-bushel drawstring collection bag for fast, easy cleanup.

As with the other models we tested, we set aside 30 minutes and a large pile of branches, brush, and leaves to test the Champion chipper shredder. After 45 minutes of easy assembly, we added gas and oil before going to work. The tall height of the hopper rim, which is where the transport handle is located, was a help and a hindrance. Because the wheels are on the same side of the machine as the handle, it easily maneuvers like a hand truck over all kinds of terrain, and the tall height provides welcome leverage. Later on, however, we realized that the 50-inch-tall hopper was less comfortable for loading debris compared to models with lower hoppers.

The engine started on the first pull of the recoil cord. We were impressed by the smooth operation and grinding power provided by the big gas engine. This was the largest gas engine in our test lineup. The automatic feed branch chute fed really fast, even with dry, large-diameter hardwood. The hopper, as noted earlier, was a bit too high for comfort but was wide enough to hold lots of material. The machine never clogged or showed signs of struggle with the workload. We also noted the machine’s small footprint, which makes it ideal for space saving in storage. This is a great choice for making fast work of occasional tough cleanup jobs.

Product Specs

  • Engine: 224cc Champion gasoline engine
  • Branch capacity: 3 inches
  • Weight: 135.6 pounds


  • Powerful 224cc engine powers through tough branches
  • Extra-large hopper grinds debris less than 0.5-inch thick
  • Branch feed chute accepts limbs up to 3 inches thick
  • Hand-truck style easy to maneuver over uneven terrain


  • Tall stance makes loading difficult, especially for shorter users
  • No padding or finger molding on transport handle

Get the Champion Power Equipment wood chipper at The Home Depot.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Wood Chipper

Before buyers choose a wood chipper for their yard cleanup needs, they’ll want to take a few minutes to educate themselves on the most important shopping considerations for these tools.

Types of Wood Chippers

Wood chippers fall into three main types based on their power source: electric, gas, and PTO.


Electric wood chippers often look a lot 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. They’re reasonably priced, lightweight, and easy to use. Plug them into a standard outlet, and they’re good to go.


The most common residential models, gas wood chippers are larger, louder, and produce gasoline exhaust. Gas-powered wood chippers generally employ four-cycle engines from 150 to 250 cubic centimeters (cc) and produce 7 to 10 horsepower (hp). To find the models with the lowest exhaust emissions, look for the California Air Resources Board, or CARB-compliant label. They adhere to the highest emission standards in the United States.

More powerful than electric options, gas chippers need not sit near an outlet and won’t tether the user to an extension cord. Situated in the middle of the price range for chippers, gas-powered options cost more than electric ones but are not quite as much as PTOs. Gas chippers can typically handle material of more than 3 inches in diameter.


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.

The best PTO wood chippers make an excellent choice for anyone who lives on a large plot of land. They cost more than either electric or gas chippers, and they require a compatible vehicle to work. These machines are much larger and less convenient for average home landscapes, so although professionals will want to find the best commercial wood chipper, we did not test PTO-driven models.

Bag Capacity

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

Keep in mind that the larger the bin, the heavier and more cumbersome it will be to empty. If weight is a concern, a model with a smaller bag or bin will require more frequent but easier emptying—a smart choice to avoid the risk of injury that comes with lifting a heavy bag.

Cutting Blades

Wood chippers use one or both of two cutting-blade types to grind up yard waste: fixed blades, also called knives, or hinged blades, sometimes called hammers. The most commonly used material for both blade types is hardened chromium-alloy steel. Steel tends to bend rather than chip and may be resharpened numerous times before it needs to be replaced.

A wood chipper’s ability to cut through material fed into the machine is a key factor. Shoppers will want to think about how they’ll use their wood chipper. An electric wood chipper will be fine for small branches and clippings. These devices usually shred branches up to 2 inches in diameter across the widest point. Those dealing with larger material should consider a gas or PTO chipper, which may be able to shred materials 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.


A wood chipper uses a powerful motor to turn a series of cutting and grinding blades with enough force (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. In wood chippers, torque forces 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

Many chippers include two different chutes for feeding material into the machine: a long, narrow branch chute for thick branches; and a wide shredding chute, also known as a hopper. Shaped like a broad funnel, the shredding chute compresses bundles of thin pliable twigs and branches so that they can contact the blades more efficiently. This separate chute shreds less rigid material, such as weeds, leaves, grass, and other soft plant waste, so it can come in handy for common yard work. It may be considered ​​best residential wood chipper by some.

While a leaf shredder would tackle this job, a wood chipper with a built-in shredding chute gets the same results in a more cost-effective and space-saving way. However, a wood chipper/leaf shredder combo will cost more than a model 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 into an eighth of its original size. Another way to think of it is that it can reduce eight bags of yard waste to fit into one bag. The reduction ratio of most wood chippers typically ranges from 8:1 to 20:1.

Chippers need more power and energy to cut materials into smaller pieces. As the engine size increases, so does the price of the chipper. If users don’t need to cut material into tiny pieces, they can save 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. The best small wood chipper for the extent of yard work is typically the ideal purchase. A wood chipper that’s too big or doesn’t have decent wheels can be very difficult to move around the yard, which reduces overall yard cleanup efficiency.

Look for wood chippers that come with sturdy stands and large wheels capable of moving over grass, 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. For larger properties with fewer trees, a lightweight wood chipper may be ideal because users can move it around the yard quickly and effectively without significant fatigue.

How to Use a Wood Chipper Safely

There’s a reason 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 standing 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.
  • Users will always want to disconnect the power and the spark plug before performing maintenance to ensure that the wood chipper does not start up while they’re vulnerable to the blades.

The Advantages of Owning a Wood Chipper

Yard-waste disposal is the greatest benefit of owning a wood chipper. Old trees may give out at any time, and yearly trimming is necessary, which can create a substantial pile of wood and yard material to remove. A wood chipper makes it easy to use or dispose of that debris.

Wood chippers are also a useful tool to reduce the potentially harmful emissions produced by burning chemically treated wood. Instead of releasing these toxic fumes and unpleasant odors into the air, wood can be mulched and used to protect plants.

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

To recap, a wood chipper:

  • Quickly process yard waste into small, easily managed chips.
  • Provides an environmentally friendly means of disposing of yard waste.
  • Produces useful materials like mulch, pressed wood, and biofuel.


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

Q. How big a wood chipper do I need?

Electric wood chippers are made for processing small and midsize twigs and branches. For this purpose, most users only require a wood chipper with a 1.5-inch cutting diameter. But if you have older trees on your property, or wish to grind up leaves and other finely textured material, you may want to have a larger gas-powered chipper. These models feature a hopper for processing fine materials and a larger branch chute to chip branches up to 3 inches in diameter.

Q. How do you use a wood chipper?

Choose a level location for the machine to sit. Once it is in position, set the parking brake on any equipment used to haul it, and then adjust the chip deflector and chip chute to direct 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 and either 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?

Wood chippers range in price from about $150 to well over $2,000, depending on the type, size, torque, and overall power. Typically, residential wood chippers cost about $200 to $800, though heavy-duty models can greatly exceed this amount.

Q. Can wood chippers shred leaves?

Some wood chippers can also shred leaves, but if you don’t need to chip any wood, it may be better to invest in a dedicated leaf shredder instead. 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 harder and causes more wear and tear on the chipper’s blades, so it’s best to do wood chipping when the wood is cool and moist.

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

Keep yourself safe and protect your equipment by only chipping branches within the size range your machine is built to process. Never place branches that may have nails or screws, lumber, excessively sappy wood, long vines, palm fronds, or other fibrous materials into the chipper.

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 or power cord 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, and then clean the chute and 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.

Why Trust Bob Vila

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Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.