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How to Find the Right Wood Chipper

Learn about the features to look for in a wood chipper with Blain’s Farm & Fleet.

If you have a lot of branches and leaves to clean up, you know it can be a pain to drag it all to the side of the road for pickup. With a wood chipper–also known as a chipper shredder–you can easily rid your lawn of debris and reuse it in your own garden or landscaping. Find the right wood chipper for your needs with the help of Blain’s Farm & Fleet.

How to Find the Right Wood Chipper
If you have a lot of branches and leaves to clean up, a wood chipper might be your best option. Learn how to find the right one with Blain’s Farm & Fleet.

Electric Wood Chipper

Electric wood chippers are great for breaking down smaller branches and shredding leaves. They run off an extension cord, plugged into a regular outlet at home. These lightweight machines start up quickly and require little maintenance. On the other hand, their abilities are limited. They’re not as powerful as gas wood chippers, and the extension cord limits mobility.

Gas Wood Chipper

With a gas wood chipper, you’ll have more power. This means you can tackle more debris and thicker branches. Plus, you won’t be limited by the length of the extension cord. Gas machines require more maintenance and are typically more expensive than their electric counterparts.

Features to Keep In Mind

There are a few features and terms to know about when you’re looking at wood chippers. The chipping capacity lists the maximum diameter of a branch that can be put in the wood chipper. The reduction ratio describes how efficiently the wood chipper can reduce waste. For example, a reduction ratio of 10:1 means that the chipper can reduce 10 bags of debris into one bag.

Wood Chipper Safety

As with any outdoor power equipment, safety should come first. Keep these five tips in mind when you’re using a wood chipper/shredder.

1. Wear Proper Protection – This goes for your eyes, head, ears and feet. Wood chippers can be dangerous machines, and keeping yourself protected is a must. Wear ear protection and safety goggles. Debris can fly out of the chipper. Whether you choose a gas or electric machine, it’s loud when it’s operating. Wear a hard hat and steel toe boots to protect your head and feet.

2. Tuck In Your Clothing – It’s important to tuck in all your clothing–loose clothing can get caught in the machine. Avoid wearing baggy clothing, jewelry or any items that dangle. You can get pulled into the machine, which can result in getting crushed, strangled or even death.

3. Feed Small Pieces of Debris – You’ll want to feed small pieces of debris into the chipper. The blades of the chipper move at a very high speed, and pieces of debris can fly at you with heavy impact. Also inspect debris and make sure it’s free of any hard objects–stones and metal, for example–that can clog the machine.

4. Feed the Chipper Carefully – Keep your hands at a safe distance from the chipper. Use a long pole or twig to feed branches and large twigs into the feed chute. Smaller leaves and twigs can be fed through the transport compartment.

5. Clean as You Use the Machine – Clean up debris around the machine as it works. Cleaning up around the chipper can help prevent slipping or falling on debris, which can lead to injury.


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