Woodworking

Woodchippers: What are the Dangers?

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Woodchippers What are the Dangers

Are woodchippers extremely dangerous? One should be careful while operating this heavy-powered machine or they can have a serious injury.

Woodchippers are machines containing an engine and teeth also called razor blades. It is a perfect solution to clear up all the mess in your garden and safely disposing of it.

They can run both electric and gas-powered.

They can be dangerous to work with if you are easily distracted by your kids, people passing by, or any other stuff since it comes with sharp razors that can harm you. Just like it is dangerous to work around a chainsaw, and sometimes even the professionals get hurt.

You can easily stop any injury to come to you by carefully monitoring the usage of your chipper. You need to have all your focus on the chipper while using it, one little distraction is almost equal to a life-threatening event.

Wearing protective gear, cleaning the equipment, and focusing will help you carefully use the chipper and not cause any harm to yourself. if you are at the beginner stage, for your first trial have some professionals by your side so that you do not end up making any mistakes.

Let us have a detailed look at how woodchipper works, its types, and safety measures.

How to Use Woodchippers

First, place your woodchipper right into the ground. Avoid tilting it or moving it once placed as there is a chance of injury.

Most of the chippers have deflectors and the chutes are adjustable, make sure that both these things are set in the perfect position to control the speed and direction of the mulch and wood chips thrown.

If your engine is gas-powered, check that the fuel is full before starting, and for electric-powered, check the cord to make sure it is not torn or damaged from anywhere.

When starting the chipper, feed it a mixture of dry and green leaves, and use a long stick to push down anything large that is resisting to go down.

Types of Woodchippers

Types of Woodchippers

There are three main types of woodchippers too that are the best. 

  • Drum Chipper – This chipper’s blades are set at regular intervals and can perfectly chip down a huge load of lumber, but they are quite large and powerful.
  • Disk Chipper – This chipper has a vertical disk that cuts the wood pieces into a 45° angle. But a huge amount of lumber can slow down its process.
  • Screw Chipper – This chipper contains a rotating, large, moving screw to cut pieces, in a perfectly uniform size. But, if you want to have a different size, you will have to change the blade.

There also are two types of engines that you can use – Gas-powered, and Electric-powered. Both are equally best; it is your choice whichever you wish to buy.

Woodchipper Maintenance

Woodchipper Maintenance

It is essential to check the sharpness of your blade every 10 hours, and highly important to do it once under 20 hours.

Some who have gained experience on how to sharpen them can do it in just a few minutes, whereas some might take about an hour to do so.

Instead of sending your chippers to a professional for sharpening them, here is an easy way to sharpen them at home –

  • You need to first prep your blades for sharpening, by pitching off its sides using a knife or a chisel. After that, you can use a wet grinder for sharpening, making sure the specs on the chipper.
  • Set your table at a 45° angle, and your miter at 90°. While doing it, fill up the catch tray with water to dip in your blades to prevent overheating.
  • Check the rotation of your grinder, you must make sure that the blades are cut towards the edge and not far away for the best possible results.
  • Make sure to pass the blades slowly on the wheel, do not put too much pressure on it, and pull them in one go, you will see the water evaporating.
  • One thing that most people do is removing all the chips, that is something only a professional can pull through, so if you are not a professional do not try it.
  • Instead, focus on your chipper’s blade sharpening, once they are sharpened, they will be shiny and extremely sharp so be extremely careful with them.

Safety Measures

Safety Measures

To avoid any type of injury, follow these simple safety measures – Always keep the lumber you throw in the chipper lighter, and not all at once. In this way, there will be ample space for the chippers to go in slowly and have uniform pieces.

Make sure that the clothes you are wearing are not too loose, or baggy, and should be tucked in properly and not flowing out, as the chipper might grab it and cut like the lumber.

Tie your hair in a ponytail, especially if you have long hairs, as they might get caught while throwing in the woodblocks. Wearing protective gear is a must. This includes your safety goggles, gloves, and earmuffs for protection against loud noises.

Conclusion

Woodchippers are indeed best for cutting uniform, unique size pieces of wood, however, it is extremely dangerous to work with too.

You must take many precautions before starting your chipper, and chipper blade sharpening is one crucial step that should be followed for uniform cut pieces of wood, however, be careful to not cut yourself while at it.

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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