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Chipper Shredder Buying Guide

So You're Thinking of Getting a Chipper Shredder

If you spend a lot of time dealing with sticks, leaves, twigs, and branches, then a chipper shredder is an essential tool for your backyard.

Chipper shredders eliminate the need for hacking, stacking, burning and breaking. You just feed it all into the chute, then watch huge piles of branches and leaves quickly turn into small mounds of useful mulch. These awesome machines can turn twelve bags of garden waste into a single bag of chips!

Chipper shredders aren't just ace at dealing to waste. Essentially two machines in one, the wood chipper makes uniformly sized wood chips, and the leaf shredder makes nutrient rich green mulch. Both the mulch and the chips (contrary to popular belief) make excellent additions to your compost and increase the fertility of your soil.

If you regularly use a garden waste collection service, you'll save money in the long run by getting your own chipper shredder. You can keep your property tidy, save space in landfills, and use the mulch to make your garden thrive. Why hire one, when for not much more, you can have one of your very own.

Which Size is Right for You?

While there are electric chippers on the market, they won't do the trick when it comes to thicker sticks. Petrol and diesel chippers are far more effective for the kinds of debris that will inevitably come your way.

For smaller jobs around the house, a petrol model under 10HP is a good choice. They're easy to manoeuvre and relatively light. If your main focus is on shredding leaves and chipping branches less than 3” thick, these models will do the job nicely.

Bigger jobs need bigger chippers. If you need to chip branches that are thicker than 3” in diameter, or if you need to deal to tougher material like flax, palm fronds, and heavily pruned fruit tree branches, you should take a look at a petrol chipper over 10HP, or a diesel model. These pack a tonne of grunt, as seen on Trade Tested's world famous Will it Chip (watch it here). Larger chippers usually come with a handy ATV / trailer towing hitch, perfect for moving them around bigger properties.

All our chippers feature an oversize funnel, which makes them very speedy leaf shredders.

Features that Make All the Difference

  • Reliable Motor: To extend engine life and ensure smooth running, make sure the chipper has dual ball bearings, oil level centres, and an OHV design.
  • Self-feeding: Chippers are easier to use when you don't have to push your wood and leaves into the chute.
  • Easy starting: An electric ignition makes starting your chipper especially easy.
  • Multiple chipping blades: the more blades, the more effective the chipping action. All Trade Tested chippers feature either a single, double-edged blade, or multiple single-edge blades.
  • Accessories: A safety kit including goggles, earmuffs and gloves should come standard with all chippers. Tow hitches are also very useful for larger chippers.
  • Chip Safe

    There are a few simple things you can do to avoid any chipping mishaps. Always check the chutes to make sure nothing's fallen in between chips. Avoid wearing baggy clothing that could get caught, and use goggles and earmuffs to protect your eyes and ears. While chipping, keep your body, and especially your head, clear of openings incase the chipper kicks back some debris.

    Other Things to Think About

  • Deciduous trees drop more leaves. If you have a lot of these consider getting a bigger shredder.
  • While wood chips can make a fantastic addition to your compost, there's an art to getting the best out of them. Rather than putting them into your compost fresh from the chipper, you should leave them to decompose until they've turned dark brown. That way, they won't soak up precious nitrogen. Wood chips are one of the best things you can add to compost to improve your soil's texture.
  • Chipper shredders are useful year-round. They're good in autumn to deal with falling leaves, in winter and spring to deal with storm debris, and in summer to chew through weeds and finished crops.
  • Got a Question?

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