If you have had trouble disposing off leaf and branch piles after mowing your lawn, trimming your trees, or tending to your garden, you most probably have heard about or sought for the best chipper shredders in response to this challenge. In this article, we’ll define what makes a great chipper shredder, and we’ll provide the best chipper shredder reviews of 2016.
There are times when piling such debris by the road for collection is not a viable option and neither is piling it on your neatly mowed grass.
This is when a chipper shredder comes in handy. Because we are ever being faced with the need to trim grass, branches, leaves, or twigs, we are also constantly faced with the challenge of disposing such waste.
This article is divided into 3 parts. For navigational purposes, please use these links:
A typical chipper shredder has a chute, blade, shredder hopper and flails or hammers, handle, and wheels for easy maneuvering.
This unit works by, as its name suggests, shredding leaves, twigs, and branches into mulch for decomposition to be used elsewhere. This way, your lawn remains neat with no ugly yellowed grass patches where plant waste has been heaped.
There is a whole world of chipper shredders out there to choose from. These mechanical devices range from the electric types that handle lighter shredding tasks like leaves, small twigs and grass to the gas powered heavy duty ones meant for heavier shredding tasks like branches.
They vary greatly in design, size, power, portability. The best chipper shredders mostly are the combo types which are designed to handle tasks beyond mere shredding.
Others still come with convenient add-ons like the paddle for collecting shreds and chips as you shred.
In the chart below, we have summarized our reviews for your quick perusal. Of course, at a glance, the electric garden shredder reviews seem to be taking precedence because of their wide availability.
Compare the Best Chipper Shredders
|Chipper Shredder Name||Type||Engine||Chipping diameter||Brand|
|CJ601E Chipper Shredder||Electric||14-AMP Motor||1.5Inches||Sun Joe|
|24052 Corded Shredder/Chipper||Electric||15AMP motor||1 3/8Inches||Green Works|
|ES1600 Chipper/Shredder/ Mulcher||Electric||14AMMP||1 3/8Inches||Eco-Shredder|
|K32 Chipper Shredder||Gas||212cc Viper Engine||3Inches||Tazz|
|FD1501 Chipper Shredder||Electric||15-AMP||1.5Inches||LawnMaster|
|SCS2052 Chipper Shredder||Gas||Briggs&Stratton OHV 205cc||2.5Inches||Southland|
Best Chipper Shredder Reviews in 2017
Best Electric Chipper Shredders
Sun Joe CJ601E 14-Amp Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder
The CJ601E electric wood chipper by Snow Joe starts us off in this review. Considering the offerings by electric chipper shredders that we have already seen, this one offers all that and much more. It is designed for light weight tasks but you can expect that it is a great performer with 14AMPs.
- Built for shredding 1.5-inch branches and twigs into mulch
- 14 AMP power motor
- Compact design
- 6-inch wheels for portability
- Safety hopper with a locking knob
- ETL approved
GreenWorks 24052 15 Amp Corded Shredder/Chipper
This electric chipper/ shredder by Greenworks is a powerful equipment worth having as it has been designed with power, performance, and utmost safety in mind.
- 15AMP motor
- 7-inch wheels
- Push paddles for utmost safety when feeding the hopper
- Comes with a roomy collection bag
- An extra set of reversible blades
- Cutting diameter of up to 1 3/8-inches
- Plastic construction
Eco-Shredder ES1600 14-Amp Electric Chipper / Shredder / Mulcher
This ES1600 unit by Eco-Shredder certainly takes versatility to the next level. With its three-fold chipper, shredder, and mulching abilities, you will not be in search of extra garden tools. This one has certainly made it to several reliable garden shredder reviews for its eco-friendliness and functionality.
- Electric powered by 14-AMP motor
- Extra cutting blades
- 3-in-1 chipper, mulcher and shredder
- 3-way feed
- 2.5 horsepower motor
- Rounded discharge chute
- Shreds brush, leaves, chips, and limbs up to 1.375 inches
- Compact design
- 7-inch wheels for mobility
- Overload protection switch
- V-type blade
- 10:1 reduction ration
- Extra blades
LawnMaster FD1501 Electric Chipper Shredder
Here’s another electric light weight chipper/shredder which will amaze you with its quick mulch results in a 1:10 reduction ratio. It features a powerful motor, wide wheels and reasonable cutting diameter for chipping off branches in your yard, even though you may use it for lighter duties like shredding leaves.
- 15-AMP motor
- Noiseless, fumeless
- 10:1 reduction ratio
- 8-inch diameter wheels
- Collection bag
- 1 ½-inch cutting diameter
- Comes with an overload switch and push stick
Patriot Products CSV-2515 14 Amp Electric Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder
The CSV-2515 chipper and shredder by Patriot Products stands out for one unique feature, its ability to shred wet leaves just as if they were dry. On the whole it is a great light weight electric performer that has managed some top wood chipper shredder reviews.
- Large hopper
- Chips limbs of up to 2 ½ inches in diameter
- Comes with a collection bag
- 14AMP Electric motor
- Large wheels
- 95lbs unit weight
Best Gas Chipper Shredders
Tazz Chipper Shredders K32 Chipper Shredder
The K32 chipper/ shredders features phenomenal performance with its powerful blades and hammer alongside its powerful 212cc Viper engine. If you are considering a shredder that will chop your huge branches into fine mulch in a matter of minutes, then here is your most suitable option.
- 212cc Viper engine
- Vacuum kit (optional) with unique air gate and large rotor
- Compact design at 25.4-inch width and 29.9-inch length
- Flat-free 11-inch wheels
- Debris bag with bottom zipper and dock-and-lock bag connector
- Comes with wheels for mobility
Southland SCS2052 Chipper Shredder
If you won’t consider buying this unit for any other reason, consider the powerful, top-performing Briggs and Stratton motor which will certainly exceed your expectations. This engine resonates as a top performance quality in most wood chipper reviews, this one included because people today are more concerned with versatility and performance.
Otherwise, on the overall it is built with quality to tackle a wide range of tasks from the smaller scale leaves shredding to the larger scale limbs chipping, and to your liking.
- Briggs & Stratton 205cc over-head valve engine
- 2 steel blades
- 10:1 reduction ratio
- 5-inch chipping capacity
- 2-way feed
- Large funnel
- 5-bushel collection bag
- Tow-hitch (optional)
- 10-inch pneumatic wheels
- EPA and CARB certified
Brush Master 15 HP Commercial Duty Chipper Shredder
The 15HP commercial duty chipper shredder is one of the few heavy-duty chipper shredders that are in the market. It is an ideal for wider landscapes and for the frequent professional yard cleaner. It features a belt-driven motor and 16 hammers for commercial use.
- Chips branches of up to 4-inch width
- 2-way feed: oversized funnel for leaves and a side chute for branches
- One steel cutting blade and an extra blade
- 16 hammers
- Belt-driven with a centrifugal clutch for engine protection
- Automatic low oil engine level shut down
- Comes with a trailer hitch, chip bag and a spare belt
DEK 15 HP 420cc Commercial Duty Chipper Shredder
Here’s another commercial chipper shredder by DEK that’s powered by a420cc commercial engine and is an option to consider among the best chipper shredders if you are in the business of chipping and shredding. It can comfortably accommodate long-hour tasks without breaking down.
- 420cc commercial engine
- 2-way feed including an oversized funnel for leaves
- Chips up to 4-inch diameter branches
- Comes with trailer hitch and chip collection bag
Chipper shredders are much needed to ease the daunting and often unsafe task of having to chip or shred waste when mowing or trimming yards. Aside from versatility, the other important offering that the garden chipper shredder units have is their ability to mulch waste and allow for recycling.
For a long time disposal of such waste has been a challenge given the stringent regulations that surround these activities. On the other hand, mulch is important to the soil, plants and to the environment as a whole.
Acquiring one of these tools is beneficial if not necessary.
Our best chipper shredder reviews pick for today goes to the SCS2052 Chipper Shredder by Southland. It is, among other advantages, an extraordinary performer, given its Briggs & Stratton OHV engine. Its design is to the advantage of its functionality, and this is perhaps why it has garnered some good ratings from users.
Choosing The Best Chipper Shredder: The Ultimate Buying Guide
A wood chipper/shredder is a machine used to reduce the size of tree trunks or wood into smaller pieces, sawdust or trunks.
Its importance is seen in organic recycling industries in processing wood, agricultural wastes, mulch, yard trimmings etc. Available in many forms, chipper shredders have evolved to be extremely efficient, both for small scale or heavy duty use.
Several companies have since its invention, come up to improve this technology and make operations even more efficient. One such company is the Vermeer Manufacturing Company, which invented a wagon hoist and a stump grinder.
The hoist harnessed the power of gravity to unload contents while the stump grinder removed stumps from the field, a process that was formerly labor intensive.
In 1990s, Doppstadt US, another company, further made improvements and ushered in a new era of tough, high speed grinders, tolerant to tramp metal and capable of producing up to 250HP. In 1996, the company introduced a low-speed high torque grinder which was more efficient and couldn’t wear down as fast as the high speed grinder.
It was also during this period that Duratech Company started developing heavier and more durable grinders specifically meant for handling waste products. In effect, the 90s gave birth to industrial grinders targeting to solve the growing need for composting and recyclable products.
Today, wood chippers come in many shapes and sizes, each tailor made to serve a specific niche in the market. Large modern chippers produce up to 1000 HP, are energy efficient, produce less noise and are technologically advanced; which makes them less prone to jamming.
Why Do You Need a Chipper Shredder?
If you have ever done your yard tasks, even the simple light duty tasks, you will agree with me that the benefit of working with a machine far outweighs manual work.
The olden manual handling is time consuming, risky and requires more effort making it downrightly too difficult a task for today’s busy bodies. As we best know, time and safety are factors in life that can’t be traded.
Secondly, these handy tools will handle heavier shredding tasks that you cannot possibly tackle with your bare hands. This includes chipping off tall, wide-diameter tree branches.
A noteworthy advantage is that they help you reuse debris that you would otherwise find it challenging to dispose.
Today, it is not uncommon that regulations exist against burning such waste or disposing them in landfills. However, if you have a way of disposing, shredding makes disposing waste much easier.
Finally, in comparing its maintenance cost to the savings you make on not buying fertilizer, you may prefer having this unit ten times better than not having it at all.
For Your Information
The main purpose of a chipper shredder is to turn your branches, twigs, leaves, grass, and shrubs into reusable mulch. Using mulch in your yard had several advantages:
- Natural weed control – Mulch prevents weed from growing among your precious plants or flowers.
- Easily available – with equipment like chipper shredders, you will actually be producing your own mulch and very easily. It takes some trimming of your yard for mulch raw material to be available and this is at no cost.
- Soil erosion remedy – by covering the ground around your plants, mulch acts as a wind and water soil erosion repellent.
- Growth of organisms for rich soil – mulch creates an environment in which growth of organisms thrives. These organisms are good enhancers of soil nutrient and quality.
- Regulation of soil temperature – unregulated soil temperature can be harmful to your plants. Mulch keeps soil temperature cool when it is hot and warm when it is cold.
Some Top Chipper Shredder Brands
Eco Shredder comes out as a perfect shredder for most home users and some commercial users. Its shredders are commonly designed with three-way feed in ports; the top hopper for shredding light materials like twigs leaves and branches while the side ports is for branches.
Other than enabling users to take the noble role of environmental management, these units enable them to make their own mulch. Most come equipped with wheels for easy mobility and a compact design for easy storage. Since they are not gas-powered, they are quieter and cleaner whereas the rounded discharge chutes simplifies cleanup and maintenance.
With guaranteed zero carbon emission and an above average warranty attached to them, GreenWorks shredders sit top of the pack with true value for money. These units are reliable and are known for their powerful motors, capable of chipping and shredding away literally every yard debris in a breeze. Like most others, they also come with wheels for mobility.
When it comes to safety, GreenWorks has incorporated push paddles in their units to protect you from accidentally harming yourself, while a large collection bag is conveniently positioned on their underside to ease disposal.
Types of Chipper Shredders
Impact or Crushing chipper shredders
Impact shredders come integrated with cutting blades for fine chopping of leaves or twigs. An advantage with their blades is that once one side wears out, you can turn on the other, and use before you can replace it. Although these blades wear out rather fast, replacement is easy and inexpensive. The downside of these shredders is that they tend to be loud.
Crushing shredders on the other hand have a plate in place of a blade. They have ridged rollers that suck waste against the plate for shredding. On the pro, crushing shredders handle larger capacity work like chipping branches, they need less maintenance and are often less noisy and this makes them some of the best chipper shredders one can find. Their downside is that they are not very good with green sappy waste as these clog their plates.
Petrol, Electric, or Gas Chipper Shredder
- Electric shredders are typically smaller and handle smaller lighter tasks compared to the others. They are relatively cheaper than their counterparts and easy to use. Also, check that its cord is long enough to reach to where you’re shredding because by no means can you operate them without a code, as they need a power source. Electric models are less noisy and are widespread in the market therefore to make an informed choice, you might have to consider going through some genuine electric chipper shredder reviews.
- Petrol shredders are more powerful, handle heavier tasks, and are easy to move around with. However, be prepared to refill whenever fuel runs out. They are also more costly and have some substantial maintenance cost.
- Gas shredders on the other hand are also powerful enough for heavy duty tasks. They have an advantage of portability even though they are noisy so you’ll need ear defenders.
What should I consider before Buying a Chipper Shredder?
When deciding to buy a chipper/shredder, the top factors that users are keen on are the size of yard and the type of waste on which this equipment will be used. Here are some details on what to consider before buying one.
- Engine horsepower
For large capacity or heavy duty jobs, the best wood chipper shredder would be one with a higher horsepower and greater capabilities.
- Waste to be shredded/ chipper capacity
There is a difference in shredding leaves and grass and shredding branches. A larger chipper capacity means that you will be able to chip larger diameter braches. Therefore, depending on the waste you are dealing with, select the best garden chipper shredder for the job.
- Noise level
Electric shredders are less noisy compared to the others. Nevertheless, when selecting a shredder you should not base not base your decision solely on noise level.
In addition to chipping and shredding, some units double up as mulchers and this is more beneficial than having separate tools for different tasks.
- Freedom of movement
If you are either handling frequent chipping and shredding tasks, or your tasks require movement, the electric chipper shredder may limit your movement. Hence, you need to go for the gas or petrol shredder that will let you move freely.
Our review today explores top rated chipper shredders not only by customers but also by experts in this space. These have been tried, tested, and proven to deliver great performance for the tasks they were built for.
Some Operation and maintenance tips
- Blades should be replaced just when they begin to wear out or sharpened occasionally to keep them efficient.
- Do not overload the chipper with debris as this might result in blunt force trauma. Make sure the debris is free from hard objects which can either jam the machine or throw back at you and inflict injury.
- To minimize disasters, tuck away loose clothing and use a long pole to feed the shredder.
- The shredder usually works at a very high speed and chunks of debris sometimes fly about. Wear protective clothing, goggles and safety boots when working. Ear plugs are to protect your ears from the noise.
- Keep a clean working environment to avoid slip ups as debris gather around the ground.
- Check bolts and tighten nuts before you start working to make sure your shredder is in a safe working condition.
- Clean your shredder after every use and keep all moving parts well lubricated.
Vital chipper shredder accessories
- Fuel filter : This is an important accessory used to filter out dust and particles from the fuel that powers petrol engines.
- Spark plugs : this device ignites the compressed fuel/air mixture of a spark-ignition engine by delivering an electric spark which in turn generates current to the combustion chamber of the engine. At the same time, it contains combustion pressure within the engine.
- Maintenance kit: Comes in handy to make sure you keep your shredder in a top notch form all year round.
- Chipper blade: Is a spare knife that will be on standby, to replace the chipping knife when it becomes blunt or when damaged by hard debris.
- Collection bag: If you’re shredding large amounts of leaves, then you need a collection bag. It is durable and 70% larger than the ordinary bags that come with most shredders.
- Chipper buddy: Chipper buddy is a safe, easy to use tool ideal for clearing chipper clogs/jams as well as pushing leaves and branches into the shredder.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I change the chipping knife?
When the chipper takes more time to shred the same quantity of debris as before, or when you have to push the material down a lot, it’s time you changed the knife. Change it also if it’s been damaged by hard objects.
Which safety gear, if any, should I wear when operating a chipper shredder?
Wear protective clothing and safety goggles to insulate yourself from flying debris, and earplugs to protect your eardrums from excessive noise. Safety must is a must have too.
How often do the chipper knives require sharpening?
Even though knives are made of high-carbon alloy steel and can go for longer periods without sharpening, what you chip (material), how often you do it and its quantity will determine sharpening intervals. Sharpen them when the chipper slows down.
The machine has excessive vibration?
The machine probably has a dull knife or the knife could be wrongly seated. Sharpen the knife or reset the knife.
The chipping action seems too slow
The engine speed is probably too slow, so run it at full throttle. Also check out for damaged knives or drive belt.