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male using chipper shredder in field

FAQ: Chippers & Chipper Shredders

What’s the difference between a chipper and a chipper shredder?

A common misconception is that chipping and shredding are continuous actions that allow chipped materials to be shredded and reduced even more. Chipping and shredding are actually different mechanical functions that require dedicated systems.

Chippers are designed for chipping materials at least an inch thick, so there is only one chute for branches. Chippers are the most efficient choice for constant wood chipping, as they feature bigger hoppers with heavier flywheels.

... Chippers are very powerful and use huge hoppers to handle large branches.

Chipper Shredders combine two separate machines into one with a dedicated chute for branches (to be chipped) and another chute for lighter yard debris (to be shredded). If you’re primarily dealing with lightweight material and you only occasionally have branches, a Chipper Shredder gives you added flexibility.

... Chipper Shredders have two different hoppers, one for branches and one for smaller materials.

What materials can be put through a chipper shredder?

Chippers can handle almost any type of wood or lawn debris including branches, twigs, shrubbery, vines, even bamboo! These machines will chip soft or hard woods within the chute’s size parameters.

Lighter materials like honeysuckle, palm leaves, straw, tree bark, grass clippings, flowers, and pinecones/needles should be put through the shredder rather than the chipper.

Very hard, small debris like acorns and nuts won’t be processed by either. A lawn vacuum is better suited for removing these materials.

Can I put dead wood through the chipper?

Chippers are sturdy and can handle fresh or dead wood within the machine’s chipping dimensions including hard, dried branches. Decomposing wood is a different story though – we don’t suggest putting anything rotting through it.

Should I feed leaves through the chipper or shredder?

Simply put, the chipper is designed to chip wood. Any leaves on the branches will be chipped along with the wood and minimal foliage won’t clog the chipper.

For handfuls of leaves, the shredder is your best bet as it can handle most soft debris. We recommend putting small twigs into the shredder to help pull the leaves through.

... Shred leaves, weeds, garden debris, and more!

What can I do with my chipper shredder waste?

The chipped wood is ideal for use as mulch around the bottoms of trees and other landscaped areas. Beyond the manicured look, mulch also reduces weed growth and helps moisture stay in the soil.

You can add the chipped wood or any material from the shredder into your compost bin. This will become stable soil organic matter that is rich in nutrients and perfect for adding to any garden.

If you collect enough throughout the growing seasons, you’ll have plenty of mulch and compost for the following year. A high-quality chipper/shredder pays for itself over enough seasons by majorly reducing gardening and landscaping costs.

Where can I find more tools to help with property cleanup?

Glad you asked! Check out our full assortment of logging tools and accessories including chainsaws, log splitters, wood racks and more! We will keep adding to our product offerings so check back with us or sign up for new product alerts and we will deliver them to your inbox!

Last updated: 7/20/2022


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