Wood chipper recommendations?

I have a lot of garden waste that doesn’t compost well, which in turn creates habitat for varmints, which i don’t like having around! I’m thinking sunflower and zinnia stalks, vines, sticks from our messy silver maple.

I mulch everything in my garden with wood chips, but always end up bringing it all in from outside sources. Anyone have a reliable wood chipper that cost under 500? I am seeing some small ones on Amazon, does anyone here have a recommendation?

I bought one of those small ones, and it took so long to chip stuff that I got rid of it. So make sure you set aside a good amount of time if you are going to use one of the smaller ones. One standard size bag of mulch would take me about two hours to make. I mulched that one bag, and that’s all I ever did…


I had a smallish Craftsmen chipper, powerful enough and well built, but it walked around like crazy and also would get tangled up internally on things like squash vines. I wasn’t very impressed with it and traded it off for something or another -which is the same way I got it! Didn’t get much out of it except the experience.


I use an old Kemp chipper for the small stuff (up to 3") around my place. Works pretty good. It chips wood through the side chute with a knife and will shed leaves and garden plants through the top via a flail type shredder.

I don’t believe they are still making them so new parts may be a challenge. They are pretty simple, so if you are handy it shouldn’t be a problem keeping one going for years. It is built much better than most anything I have seen made today.

I see them on craigslist around here(eastern PA) going for $100 to $200 pretty regularly. .


Stuff I see today, seems like you can either chip wood or shred leaves but not both

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Small ones do not work at all, do not waste your money. I have one from Harbor Freight, https://www.harborfreight.com/65-hp-212cc-chipper-shredder-62323.html for several years. It does OK job on shredding leaves(i collect at least a cubic yard of shredded leaves every year), can shred occasional stick or two, but I doubt that it can handle massive production of wood chips. The thing is , to shred the leaves you need to remove protective rubber on top, otherwise they just do not get in. But without it hard chips will be flying out and it is not good for your face, even if you wear glasses. Also as with any smaller chippers you need to make sure your material are not wet, otherwise they stick to the walls when shredded and block the output. Fresh fallen leaves are fine, but fallen leaves after the rain - no.


Sounds like the small ones are a waste of money and time. I would rather go shovel some chips and transport them than sit around feeding stuff through a chipper for 2 hours. I didn’t realize it would be so time consuming.

Looks like a good idea to shop around for second hand bigger models.

I am not sure how it is in your area, but here, in fall/early winter we usually have a lot of threes removed. The way to get the chips is to approach when they work and offer a space to dump wood chips. They usually happy do dump it near by instead of hauling them away to empty their truck. They can even come back and offer you another load. I have one sitting on the said of our private road waiting for spring to be consumed.


I have an old Craftsman model with a Techumsa engine and after learning how to use it it actually works well. The key is to only chip freshly cut limbs and branches. If you try to send old dried sticks through it will spit them back at you. If you send long fresh cut limbs through that still have the leaves attached a chipper works wonderfully. It almost automatically pulls the limb through. Also important is to keep the cutter blades sharp. A sharp blade makes a world of difference.


i had the same issue and sold mine. i can get hardwood sawdust for free. try burying your smaller sticks in your wood chips mixed with manure or pour your urine on the pile regularly. i like lay all the sticks right on the ground then add some manure, then more chips and manure. i burn the bigger stuff and add the ash in small amounts to my soil.


I had a 5 HP Yard Machine from home Depot. It wasn’t powerful enough to do 1 to 2 inch branches efficiently. I bought an old 8 HP Sears chipper that works much better. The only problem with it is that it takes a strong arm to pull the starter cord.


I picked up a 10hp chipper/shredder off of Craigslist 5 years ago. The shredder functions nicely for leaves and green wood up to 2". I toss anything larger in the waste bin, chipping it on the side attachment takes too long. The machine sat for a couple years so the carburetor was gummed up from stale gas. Found a new carb on Amazon for $11, runs like a champ now.


I’m pretty happy with my DR Wood Chipper Shredder 9.5. While the shredder is lackluster, the chipper is very aggressive and will process a fair amount in a shorter period of time.

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I’ve owned two wood chippers. A cheap electric one, which really only had enough power to shred paper - one sheet at a time. :unamused: I threw it in the junk pile.

Then a neighbor gave me a Dosko 13hp shredder/chipper. It didn’t run when he gave it to me, but was a heavy built unit with a good Honda engine. I got it running, put new belts, filter, etc. on it. It cost about $2500 new. It would have worked really well to shred leaves. It would chip branches up to 3", but the problem was the throat was too small to allow for anything with side branches on it to fit through.

In other words, you had to prune the side branches off to fit the main branch in there. It took too much time pruning branches before being able to chip them. I ended up selling the chipper on Craigslist for $300.

In many cases, it might be more economical to rent a bigger chipper instead of spending money to buy an inadequate one


“which really only had enough power to shred paper - one sheet at a time.” :rofl: You should have warned me, there is now coffee on the keyboard! I understand where you are coming from, though.

C/S My brother and I rented a Diesel horsepower 8" chipper, and just stared in amazement as we shoved Mesquite and Huisache (mostly in the 6-8" range) in, and watched it EAT! It was AMAZING, and TOTALLY worth the money if you have a lot of brush you want to get rid of, and need mulch! For this reason alone, we will never buy one, no matter the cost, as it is cheaper to just rent the one that will DO THE JOB for a weekend and get after it rather than tinker around with the toys…


EastBexarWilcox, what was the rental rate on this machine?
What city or town?

Here in San Antonio, I can get one for a little under $200 for the weekend. I pick up Mid-day Saturday and return on Monday, due to them being closed on Sunday!


They were made in Pennsylvania. I bought ba chipper shredder made my MacKissic. The Briggs and Stratton Motor was a piece of crap so I had a Honda Motor put on in its place. Works great after the change in motors. It starts on the first or second pull. Chips and shreds great. I’ve had it for four years. The leaves have to be completely dry for the shredder to mulch them satisfactorily. The canes from my berries through fast. I never push anything through the chipper that is more than 2 inches. Nice people at the factory in Pennsylvania. I’ve looked at a lot of chippers. I’ve used it a lot as I make my own compost. BCS has a chipper attachment but never tried it. The rest of their equipment is great.


This weekend I’ve made my own wood chips for the first time, I have a lot of branches to use for making mulch, I bought an electric shredder for this job :slight_smile: - HECHT silent 626 -
I am very pleased , is a very handy tool to have , the cost was 150 Euros in my contry.
Thank you and Greetings from Romania!