Woodworking

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Woodchipper

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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Woodchipper

We do so much to maintain the beauty of our little courtyard. We water them, fertilize the soil periodically, and regularly spend hours grooming and trim all the plants.

But there is one tedious, cumbersome activity that truly invites groans from most garden-owners: raking and clean-up of leaves, twigs, and branches.

Homeowners with a special liking towards their garden often struggle with the disposal of garden mulch. Many turn to fire. However, areas with a dense population call for creative alternatives to burning mulch.

The garden enthusiasts out of the lot prefer to convert the mulch into something useable, like compost. Woodchipper is a good purchase if you are looking to do the same.

Why Woodchipper?

Why Woodchipper

Look at a woodchipper as a nice, green investment. Woodchippers or garden shredders are machines that primarily reduce waste. These machines have a simple mechanical body and are quite easy to use. Using woodchippers, you can turn the waste from your garden into valuable resources such as leaf molds and composts. This brings your garden one step closer to becoming a self-sustained one.

What Are the Various Types of Woodchippers?

Woodchippers are available in three main types as follows:

  • Woodchippers Powered by Electricity – Most outdoor equipment is large and bulky. Electric chippers, however, are compact and lightweight. Equipped with a motor that ranges between 1 and 2 horsepower, their small body makes them extremely convenient to use and store. The compactness of the machine makes it suitable for chipping lean wood. Therefore, if your garden produces wood mulch that is not too wide in diameter, electric chippers will serve you best. A clear plus point of electric-powered woodchippers is low maintenance. They do not need regular oil changes. You do not need to replace spark plugs either. All you need an extension board with a long wire, and you are good to go. Electric chippers do not produce exhaust fumes. Hence, you can use your electric chipper inside the garage as well.
  • Woodchippers Powered by Gas – For larger chunks of wood, gas-powered woodchippers are a good alternative. They have a motor between the range of 4 and 10 horsepower. These chippers have a higher capacity and are larger than their electricity-powered counterparts. They can deal with pieces of wood that are up to seven inches in diameter. Gas-powered chippers are also available as a combination of chipper and shredder. Such machines are quite popular as they not only allow you to chip wood but also put leaves through the shredder. Thus, one machine takes care of two aspects of garden maintenance. As gas-powered chippers help clear larger chunks of wood, they are available in varied sizes. Some chippers are small enough to be moved around manually, while others require a towing vehicle.
  • Commercial Woodchippers – These are best suited for farmers and professionals. Commercial-grade chippers are quite large. They can chip chunks of wood that are about ten inches in diameter with ease. A compatible towing vehicle is a must for using these chippers. Commercial chippers are further categorized into three types as per their power requirements. They are equipped with an automatic feed system. This system pulls in the debris automatically, thus saving you significant time and effort.

Important Pointers for Selecting a Woodchipper

Important Pointers for Selecting a Woodchipper

Woodchippers turn out to be one of the most valuable investments for a garden. Here are some things to consider while deciding which chipper to buy-

  • Power– The power of a woodchipper is measured in terms of horsepower (HP). The higher the HP, the greater the power. If petite plants do not produce larger chunks of wooden mulch, 1-2 HP chippers will work just fine. You must go for a higher strength if wood pieces are chunkier.
  • Feed Capacity– This is a crucial component of woodchippers. Feed capacity refers to the quantity of wood that you can feed into the machine without compromising its functioning. Overfeeding affects the chipper’s performance. Therefore, knowing the exact feed capacity of the chipper is vital to its effectiveness. It would be best if you considered the average diameter of branches in your yard. A chipper of around 80mm capacity is suitable for dealing with wood 3 inches long in diameter. For a typical domestic garden, you can go for chippers that have a capacity of 100mm.
  • Storage Space– Wood chippers come in a variety of sizes. Their size depends upon factors such as power source, feed capacity, etc. As mentioned earlier, electric chippers are small and compact, while chippers with higher power and capacity are bulky. You will need suitable storage space for your woodchipper when it is not in use. Therefore, before deciding on which chipper to buy, consider whether you have enough safe space for its storage.
  • Mobility– Pay attention to the design and form of the chipper. For domestic use, you are better off with a compact machine that has high mobility and maneuverability. If you are going for a heavier piece of equipment, remember that bulky chippers need towing vehicles. You must consider the compatibility issues of the chipper. Your towing vehicle should be compatible with the chipper you buy. Otherwise, you will have to purchase a new machine to run the chipper.
  • Warranty and Service– You must always check for the warranty period of any piece of equipment that you purchase. New machines might not always cause problems immediately. But if they do, it helps to have a source of repair without incurring additional costs. It would be best to consider whether you can conveniently access the service center for the chipper you are about to purchase. Many stores that sell the actual product do not employ skilled technicians to help you with technical matters. Therefore, you should consider going for a brand or product that offers easy servicing and repair work access.
  • Access to Spare Parts– Wood chippers are durable machines. You might not need major repair services for your chipper. But in case you do, your service provider better has their inventory full of the spare parts you need. Often, equipment showrooms or shops do not stock up on spare parts. Consequently, customers who need the parts must face a long waiting period. To avoid such a situation, make sure that you pick a brand that offers a good customer experience with easy access to spare parts and expert advice.

Buying a new piece of equipment can be quite daunting. There is a lot to consider before you decide which woodchipper to buy. If “how much does it cost to rent a wood chipper” is running through your mind right, you are not alone.

Several homeowners rent a chipper at the rate of about $100 per day. But many woodchipper brands sell durable chippers even under that price. Whether to purchase or rent a chipper entirely depends on the frequency of usage you intend to maintain.

If you have your own yard and wish to maintain it in a self-sufficient manner, buying a woodchipper is the way to go. As said before, it is a green investment. A durable, flexible chipper will take you a step closer to developing a sustainable property.

Sandy Jensen
Sandy Jensen is the founder of OrganizeWithSandy and Works with Champalimaud Design where she curates and creates fresh ideas for designing and styling your life.

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