Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wood Chipper vs. Chipper Shredder - What's the Difference?

If you have been shopping around for a new wood chipper, you have undoubtedly came across wood chippers and chipper shredders. They are very similar in appearance and purpose, and could easily be confused if not careful. The style that you choose will be dependent on the type of work you are planning on getting accomplished. In this article I will highlight the major differences between the two and the specific functions of each.

 Wood Chipper (No Shredder)

A wood chipper is a style of outdoor power equipment that is used to reduce wood, usually in the form of stumps, branches, and sticks into smaller manageable wood chips. They have a large hopper where the wood is fed into, a long chute that looks like a giraffes neck that ejects the chips, and are typically powered by a gas engine.

Internally the chipper typically consists of a large fly wheel with a blade or blades attached to one side (top image on the left). It spins at a high rate of speed and cuts the wood into smaller pieces. Those pieces are then ejected from the machine through the chute.

Wood chippers come in many different sizes that can handle larger or smaller diameter branches. They are typically used by industrial and municipal workers that need to reduce a large amount of debris into manageable chips for transport, storage, or disposal. Stand alone wood chippers will not shred the debris into mulch or compost.

Chipper Shredder

A chipper shredder looks similar to a stand alone wood chipper only smaller with a few cosmetic differences. One of the first things you will notice is that a chipper shredder has two hoppers instead of one and does not have the long ejection chute the wood chipper has.

The insides of a chipper shredder are not much different than that of the stand alone wood chipper. There is still a fly wheel with blades attached for chipping purposes. However, on the opposite side there are sets of dull blades or hammers called flails that are used to pulverize soft material such as leaves, twigs, and other organic debris (top image on the right). The wood chips or mulch is then ejected either out of the bottom or side of the machine.

Chipper shredders are typically smaller and used more often by homeowners. They can be rolled around on the property and easily stored when not in use. The shredding capability allows the user to transform yard debris into valuable mulch that can be used in garden beds or compost piles.

Which is right for you?

The style you're going to want to go with depends on the work that needs to be done. If gardening and composting aren't your thing, and you constantly have a lot of large branches that need to be cleaned up then you will want to go with a wood chipper. If you have less property and could use the mulch for gardening, then you are going to want to go with the chipper shredder.

For more information on wood chippers, chipper shredders, and stump grinders, or to shop around for the right product, please visit

No comments:

Post a Comment