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Wood Chippers

 
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Recently I decided to Google wood chippers for the heck of it & discovered there are a lot of options out there for people who may want/need to make their own mulch from the woody plants on their own property.
While a large number of the chippers were out of my budget range, there were many small ones that had a more reasonable price tag (mainly electric, with a few gas-powered ones). Unfortunately, though, most of those only chip smaller sticks, with around an inch diameter (or less); which is limiting when you have several mature trees that frequently drop sticks with a larger diameter. It seems like it would also use an awfully high amount of power/fuel for a small amount of yield.

So, my question is: does anyone own their own chipper, and can share their experience with the pros/cons, and how they relate to your property?
So far, I've been fortunate enough to get free chips from the local tree trimmers; but I also realize that may not always be an option; plus there's been times I've gotten beautiful loads of fluffy chips with plenty of leaves mixed in, and other times I've gotten loads of, almost, pure Eastern Red Cedar/Ashe Juniper, or loads of coarse/chunky "slivers" that take forever to break down (both of these are still useful; but are best used for certain projects when I need chips for a different area).
While I'm not necessarily looking for reviews I'd still welcome any details about the actual model you own/recommend, and if you think it's "worth it" to invest in a home/personal chipper.
 
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I have a somewhat standard homeowner sized chipper and I wouldn't suggest getting one to make wood chips with.  They are good at chipping things up into chips, but their primary function is to consolidate big things into chips.  If you want to make a pickup truck load of wood chips with my chipper, you'd be at it for a day or two.

Now if you have a car sized pile of small branches, it can chip them in a few hours.

Whatever size branch they say it can take is usually suspect.  I'm guessing they found the softest wood in the world to "prove" their statement.  Put some dry hardwood branches through it and you'll find the actual size capacity.  The throat of the chipper may take 2" but the real limiter is the power and the blades

My buddy gave me a bigger chipper so we'll see how that works.  I likely won't consider using it to make chips for the purpose of making chips.  It's function is to reduce bulky stuff down into chips.

I use mine rarely.  One recent use was to chip up fall leaves before putting on the garden (and now I have a riding mower with a bagger that works much better).  Another was to chip up corn stalks and sunflower stalks to mulch a small patch of bare dirt.

I had a buddy who'd rent a pull behind municipal style chipper every year or two to "clean up their woods".  I think they gathered all the down wood around their cabin and chipped it.  I think they did generate a fair bit of chips with that machine.  But it's not really that permaculturalish in my opinion to turn your woods into a park...
 
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KC,

I agree with Mike.  I have found that typical homeowner chippers are really only good for fairly small diameter branches.  My rule of thumb is that you want the chipper capacity to be rated about twice the diameter of the majority of the wood you plan to chip.  For instance, if you want to chip up a bunch of branches that are about 1.5 inches in diameter then a homeowner model with a 3 inch capacity might work fine.  But if you have a lot of 2.5-3 inch diameter branches, I doubt that particular model will work.  The reason is twofold.  First, maybe it will chip up the branches, but I suspect it will take quite a while to do so.  Secondly, I have found that chippers like to break.

Some features to look for in a chipper though

1). A self-feeding mechanism that consists of heavy rollers that will drag the branches in at the appropriate rate, and back them out if things get hairy.

2). A chute that throws the chips up and out so as to Direct the chips in the desired direction.  A lot of homeowner models simply dump the chips directly on the ground.  This makes collecting the chips in a wheelbarrow or trailer much more difficult.

Unfortunately, given these two restrictions, the price for a new chipper skyrockets well beyond the range of most homeowners.

My suggestion is to collect the branches and occasionally rent a chipper.  It is likely cheaper and if the chipper breaks, it is not your problem.

I used to rent a 7” chipper and while it would chip up my branches, it did so very slowly.  Also, it always stopped working before the chipping was done.  Now I rent a 12” model and it is an absolute beast, quickly chipping through my piles and it does not break.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I really do hope this information helps.  

Eric
 
Mike Haasl
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Eric Hanson wrote:A lot of homeowner models simply dump the chips directly on the ground.  This makes collecting the chips in a wheelbarrow or trailer much more difficult.


Mine does this but it also came with a porous collection bag.  So you can shoot the chips on the ground or collect them in a bag.  So that is actually a feature I'd recommend.
 
Eric Hanson
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Mike,

I suppose if you are planning on chipping up something like a bushel or two of chips then the bag would work just fine.

When I do my chipping I typically get trailer loads of chips.  The last time I did a chipping project I got a row of chips that was about 12 feet long, had a 6’ wide base and it stood almost 6’ tall!  It would take a lot of bags to collect all those chips.

But then we may be engaged in different projects.  If one is simply cleaning up a few sticks and branches then the bag is probably just about right.  My chipping project starts with me trimming my living fence about 1-2’ back.  The living fence is on average about 10-15’ wide and will aggressively get wider if I don’t actively stop it.  The hedge consists of autumn olive, an aggressive invasive around here.  When I first purchased the land, I mowed a trail around the border.  That original trail is almost completely overtaken by the autumn olive growing out.  I am trying to make a happy balance where I still have my perimeter trail, but also have a nice living hedge for wildlife.  And I get a whole bunch of woodchips for the effort.

But Mike, if your chipping bag works for you, then by all means, that is the right way to go.  For my part, I find the roller feeder and upward discharging chute to be an absolute necessity.  I usually pick a bed I want to host the chip pile for some decomposition, I park the chipper at one end and then blow all the chips into a long row.  In the end I get a pretty large volume of chips, but I only do that every 1-2 years.

Just my thoughts,

Eric
 
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I'd agree with everyone else on the homeowner sized chippers.  I have one of the electric ones that chips 1 inch or smaller sized branches (it claims to chip 1.5 inch, but 1 inch is pushing it) and find it adequate for my needs.  I only own a quarter acre though, and mainly use it for chipping up my prunings, laurel trimmings, etc, and also my neighbor's trimmings.  I live in a county where all yard waste gets burned if you take it to the transfer center, so I feel better that I can chip it all up and recycle it into the ground.  I've used mine pretty heavily, but like Mike said, it still hasn't produced anywhere near what you'd get from a tree service even with many days of use, maybe 2-3 small pickup loads worth of chips.  It does chip up branches a bit finer than what you'd generally get from a gas powered or tree service chipper, which is great for me because they decompose so quickly, but some people actually want those chips sticking around longer.

All the 100-200 dollar electric chippers seem to be almost the same in design, I think the main thing is finding a company with a good return policy.  Mine's broken twice now in 9 months of use, but they've replaced it free of charge both times.  The third one I got stopped working after an hour of use, but I was able to fix it myself pretty quickly (power wire rattled loose inside the unit.)  The returns are kind of a hassle because it generally takes 3 weeks to a month for a new one.  Reading the reviews on other company's models (mine is a Sunjoe) I saw the same issues were pretty universal throughout the electric chipper world, but some companies are real arses about taking defective models back.
 
Eric Hanson
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Johnathan,

I think you hit the nail right on the head!  A lot of these discussions really revolve around the scale of operations.  For your 1/4 acre yard, I am sure that the electric chipper is basically up to the task.  I have about 9 acres with about 30-40% wooded.  I don’t go and cut down trees to make woodchips.  I just could not bring myself to cut down a beautiful oak or hickory in order to reduce it to woodchips.  That would be terribly painful for me.  I do occasionally have a branch or two that fall in my yard and those I consider fair game.  I also have a beautiful red oak that lost a significant amount of its center and is hanging stuck in the tree.  That one really needs to be trimmed and I will chip that one.

But the overwhelming majority of my chipping stock is the autumn olive that will take over my grassland if given even just a few years.  I have a plan to trim back 1-2 feet of growth along an 800’ long stretch of living fence.  This will be a LOT of cutting/trimming!  But the overall impact will be barely noticeable.  However, it will yield up an enormous amount of woodchips.

In my case the 12” model is really a must.  The 7” model I used to use was marginal.  Even if it didn’t break (and it will), it was slow going and laborious.  I spent a long time trying to get the chipper to accept a bunch of branches and frequently it would stop and reverse.  I would be exhausted just from loading.  The 12” model chews through my brush like it is barely even there.

But again, we are really talking about two different projects and in the end, to each his own.

Eric
 
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I had a 10 HP TomaHawk Chipper/Shredder given to me, and it was a good thing it was given to me.

As others have said, better grab a tent, and some flashlights if you want to chip a small pile of branches because you will be camped out for days doing it.

I actually used mine to chip corn stalks into feed for my sheep, and used the shredder part to mix feed rations for my lambs. At that it was pretty good, more of a mixer then a chipper/shredder. As Eric says, if you need to chips some brush, the rental agency will be your friend. It takes a pretty big boy to get much done.
 
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Agreed about rentals. And renting for a week or a month gets you the best price break. We used to have a daily rental for $100 20 miles away, now it's $200 and 35 miles, so it makes more sense to stack up your branches beforehand and blast through them all at once. As far as I've seen, if a chipper isn't mounted on a trailer or attached to a PTO, it's not worth your time.

I used a  neighbor's Vermeer 6" woodchipper to fill my truck twice a couple years ago, loved it, until I found out it was $26000.  I'll be making ramial mulch in the spring for at least a few years, so I've been looking at used chippers in the area (or vehicles that are cheap b/c the PTO is the only thing running on them). That might shake out cheaper unless there are a lot of repair headaches. Units of that capacity usually list around $5-7000, but I have no idea what to look for in assessing the condition of the machine. I'm hoping to hire a diesel mechanic to join me for any particularly attractive prospects, but the closest one I know is in Seattle.
 
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I have 4 chippers. Two electric ones, one 5,5 hp and one 6,5 hp. One of the electric model has a small disk with blades (classic design), the other one slowly compresses sticks on to the blades.
Firstly, none of them are jokes. Those are dangerous equipments. It doesn't matter whether they are powerful or not. Any one of them can easily pull your fingers in.
Secondly, they are not feasible. They just don't make much of an economical sense. There are many alternatives then chipping. I have four chippers and use them regularly. If you count your dedicated time and energy spent on operating them (also initial purchase and maintenance), they are net-negative. So if you can get woodchips delivered, I would go for it and use sticks and branches elsewhere. If you have a chance to rent, that is the second best alternative.
If you are going to buy one, by either the smallest one or the biggest. You can carry small electric chipper with you and use it in your gardens (cleaning zone 1, general maintenance, shredding leaves etc). There are always alternatives for larger branches. But the biggest, most powerful one, because it will be the quickest. My 6,5 chipper can get 1m3 product in less than an hour compared to 1,5 hours for 5,5hp and 2-3 days for any electric models. I usually quit after 45 mins, they are very loud and it is not fun getting beaten up while feeding the machine. I live in a city, metropolitan area so I don't have any alternatives than to turn them into mulch.
 
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I'm looking at the DR brush mower attachment wood chipper
https://www.drpower.com/Power-Equipment/Field-%26-Brush-Mowers/Walk-Behind/Walk-Behind-Field-%26-Brush-Mower-Accessories/Attachments/3-5%22-Chipper-Attachment/p/A0000266435



is it perfect, nope. But with an aspen groove and lots of dead branches on doug firs, it will do. Especially not being the only tool used. I already have the brush mower and snow thrower attachment. So just need the chipper attachment.
 
Kc Simmons
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Based on the feedback, it seems my thoughts are pretty much in line with all of your experiences. I figured it would be a lot of time/effort/money, for very little yield.

For now, I'll probably just continue to ask the tree-trimming company to bring me chips, but also begin saving & piling up any sticks/branches that I have an immediate need. Then I can just rent one when the pile is big enough to justify the expense, transport & fuel.
 
Travis Johnson
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Kc Simmons wrote:Based on the feedback, it seems my thoughts are pretty much in line with all of your experiences. I figured it would be a lot of time/effort/money, for very little yield.

For now, I'll probably just continue to ask the tree-trimming company to bring me chips, but also begin saving & piling up any sticks/branches that I have an immediate need. Then I can just rent one when the pile is big enough to justify the expense, transport & fuel.



Another question on here about animal feed made me remember this...

If you want a low cost chipper, you can always modify a hand lawn mower. What you do is take a 3 inch hole saw, or a angle grinder with a thin blade, and cut the top part of the deck out, where the outside of the blade circles around. It can be a square, circle or triangle...whatever. Then you run the lawnmower at full throttle and just drop your sticks down into the hole. The blade spinning below will do the same thing as a chipper/shredder.

It is nothing fancy, and a chipper/shredder does not accomplish a lot, but then again it would be cheap. A person can pick a used hand lawn mower up very cheap on the side of the road.
 
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> lawn mower chipper

That has to win the Reddest Red Neck award!  Better wear 8 gauge steel boots, flak vest and riot helmet. <g>


Rufus
 
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Kc Simmons wrote:Based on the feedback, it seems my thoughts are pretty much in line with all of your experiences. I figured it would be a lot of time/effort/money, for very little yield.

For now, I'll probably just continue to ask the tree-trimming company to bring me chips, but also begin saving & piling up any sticks/branches that I have an immediate need. Then I can just rent one when the pile is big enough to justify the expense, transport & fuel.



For most people, that's the way to go. The small machines are a total waste of time. With that being said, I picked-up a PTO Woodmaxx WM8800 8" chipper this past summer and love it, but my property can produce a tremendous amount of branches in short order. For me, the best feature is the maneuverability the PTO chipper provides, I can back it right up to the work area, even between trees, and it saves a lot of dragging. Before I bought the chipper, I would drag and stack the branches to create 'habitat' and let them decompose in place, but that mostly made habitat for bull briars, rabbits and mice ...good for the owls and fox, me not so much. Next best method was to use the branches in a controlled burn to clear unwanted weeds. This worked great but it can be time-consuming and burning conditions need to be just right. So I finally opted for the PTO chipper, ends up being a time saver for me. It also affords me the ability to make wood chips on demand specifically for growing mushrooms (ie: oysters in buckets).

For those in northern climates, one downside to the chipper is it's not good to use them when below freezing (tough on the blades).
 
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Decades ago in our early marriage, hubby & I trimmed other people's trees in order to get some cash in, plus reap the wood for heating the house. We charged extra to haul away the debris. So we invested in an Amerind-MacKissic hammermill chipper...now simply called MacKissic. It was the 12p Mighty Mac that is still being sold.  I recall it being rated for 3-4 inch branches, but anything over 2" slowed the engine down too much. That really didn't matter because we salvaged everything over an inch or so for firewood. The contraption was noisy, could suck your hand  in if you weren't careful (there were no inconvenient safety guards back in those days), and would jar your hands and arms when you used it. It did a good job, but it was high maintenance for tree branch shredding. The side blade would dull out after one or two trees. The hammers would need turning on a regular basis. The wood being chipped took its toll on the blades.

We also used it for shredding corn stalks and shredding material for compost. It did fine, but as with all shredders, it could clog up with very wet material.

We later tried a couple of other shredders. In my opinion, the Mightly Mac was the best of the ones we tried. It was portable. It was fairly easy to unjam compared to the others. It jammed less frequently. The hammers were fairly easy to remove and turn, as compared with the others. My only complaint with it was that it didn't have a discharge screen with larger holes. We ended up getting a welder to make us a barred discharge screen so that compost wouldn't cause a jam. I'd also run it without screens when chopping finished compost for resale.

Travis, lawn mowers work great for lightweight shredding! In fact, that's what I use right now!!! My neighbor says that I'm the most abusive lawnmower owner he has ever known. I don't bother cutting a hole in the deck. I simply run over the debris while using a bagger type lawnmower. Bam! Bang! Makes my neighbor wince. I buy a used lawnmower then proceed to beat the hell out if it. Since I'm making a couple yards of compost weekly, the poor lawnmower gets a real workout. A used lawnmower lasts me on average a year. That's a whole lot cheaper than buying and maintaining a decent chipper/shredder.

As for bulk wood chips, I wouldn't even consider using a home type chipper. I'd arrange to have a truckload delivered instead.
 
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Like Jonathan, I decided to start with a SunJoe.  The only commercial tree trimmer in my area  is not reliable.  You might catch someone in his yard if you want a load, but probably not.  Rental of a gas model requires a trailer, which I don't have.

I use larger trees to begin building contours on my downslope, but there is A LOT of small material that needs processed, rather than allowing it to build and harbor copperheads in busy zones.  

It recently decided to not start, after two seasons.  I need to take it apart to try to diagnose it.  I wish there was something a bit bigger in electric, but I'd be willing to buy another, just because it's so useful.
 
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Our five acres is half wooded and has a lot of trees. Many are old pines that fall on their own and we've done a lot of clearing too. We used to rent an industrial chipper once a year, but at $300 per day we were always wishing for our own because we could certainly use it. We bought a little yard machine but it was only good for leaves and twigs, IOW, pretty useless for our needs (my husband later converted it to a wheat thresher). We saved up and eventually bought a Woodmaxx WM-8M, a PTO-driven chipper. http://www.woodmaxx.com/WM_8M_Mechanical_PTO_Wood_Chipper_p/wm-8m.htm



It was very expensive, about $2500 including shipping. But now, we don't know how we got along without it. It requires a minimum of about 20 HP to operate and we've run up to 6" diameter branches through it easily.

My favorite use for woodchips is to first put them in the goat yard. They keep down dust when it's hot and dry and keep the goats off mud when it's rainy. After the chips become soiled with manure and urine, I shovel them out and put them in the compost bins in the chicken yard. We add garden waste plus kitchen and canning scraps to the bins and the chickens love it. When the chips are at least 50% decomposed, I use them as mulch in the garden. Mycorrhizae fungi love woodchips! I like partially composted woodchips as mulch better than fresh, because fresh woodchips take so long to decompose on their own. I think fresh woodchips are better for mulching perennials.

I use fresh woodchips in my hugelkulture swale beds when I first make them, layering with rotted logs, compost, and soil. I also like them for garden aisles, with a thick layer of cardboard put down first, which is then deeply covered with woodchips. That seems to keep down the wiregrass better than anything else I've tried.

The bottom line is we love our chipper. :)


 
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I’m surprised at the positive reviews for the woodmax. Honestly. I thought people liked them because they are never on Craigslist but this confirms my suspicion.

I am not in any need of chips but as a way of getting from crappy regrown cutover it might be worth it. We are hoping to get an additional 20 acres and the cost of clearing is high. The upside of a chipper is the resale value appears to be fantastic in the 8” range. I’m with Travis on the smaller ones, my 10 hp gift tomahawk is a cruel joke. It’s old and really heavy though so I could use it for beater tasks like he is. Fact is no one around me wants it! I’m the last sucker. Maybe Craigslist... people buy silly stuff on there!
 
Leigh Tate
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Tj Jefferson wrote:I’m surprised at the positive reviews for the woodmax. Honestly. I thought people liked them because they are never on Craigslist but this confirms my suspicion.


The WoodMaxx is well built, but I think the key is the weight of the flywheel. For the model we have, flywheel weight is 200 pounds. One of those little 6.5 HP backyard chippers has a total weight of 120 pounds for the whole machine. The NorTrack 5.5" capacity PTO chipper has a flywheel weighing 75 pounds. At $2000, it makes the WoodMaxx look like a real bargain.

My husband also points out that the chipping knives on the WoodMaxx are very easy to get to. That's a major plus when it's time to sharpen them. He's also learned that RPMs are key to keeping it from getting clogged. Running it at higher RPMs means it never or rarely gets clogged. Wet stuff tends to clogging as do vines (of which we have many).
 
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I`ve got one of the smaller chippers and I think it`s easier to think of it as a BRUSH/yard waste shredder than a wood chipper. I only rarely have things over 1" diameter, mostly sugarcane stalks or vines, dried up yard waste. It's a fabulous tool and I love it, but I don't do lots of "real wood". If I did, I would rent a big boy.
 
Eric Hanson
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Leigh,

Interesting observation about vines clogging up the chipper.  The very first time I rented a chipper (6” model), I was feeding it branches when it suddenly slowed down and quit.  I was befuddled, and I partially disassembled the housing.  The fix was fairly easy but surprising.  Somehow, green bark from one of the larger branches got stripped off in roughly 1” strips that missed the cutter knives.  Somehow the strips wound themselves around the flywheel and bound it up.  I ended up hand-reversing the flywheel and pulled out long strips of bark.  After that the chipper worked fine again.

Eric
 
Eric Hanson
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Tereza,

I think your particular application is perfect for one of these home units and I think your characterization of them as garden shredders is dead-on!  I am not surprised to hear that they perform well as a shredder of green or dried materials and they probably do just fine on small, twiggy woody materials.  I can imagine that your unit does well on Sugar cane, and I would imagine that it would work equally well on corn stalks.  I can also see it working well on things like wild raspberry and blackberry canes along with other weedy/woody brush.

At times I have wished I had a shredder just for these purposes.  Since I have learned about mushrooms, I no longer worry so much about shredding green waste, but I imagine that one would work very well for creating a compost heap.

Great post Tereza,

Eric  
 
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Eric Hanson wrote:Interesting observation about vines clogging up the chipper.  The very first time I rented a chipper (6” model), I was feeding it branches when it suddenly slowed down and quit.  I was befuddled, and I partially disassembled the housing.  The fix was fairly easy but surprising.  Somehow, green bark from one of the larger branches got stripped off in roughly 1” strips that missed the cutter knives.  Somehow the strips wound themselves around the flywheel and bound it up.  I ended up hand-reversing the flywheel and pulled out long strips of bark.  After that the chipper worked fine again.


Eric, good job on problem solving! There's a learning curve to everything, isn't there? That's one advantage to owning equipment; one has enough time and practice to learn the ins and outs, and to fine-tune one's skills and technique. On the other hand, it often makes more sense to rent, especially expensive stuff.
 
Eric Hanson
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Thanks Leigh,

It certainly is tempting for me to own a “real” chipper.  The model that looks most appealing is the Woodmaxx 8 inch PTO chipper.  It costs about $3k which I could afford, but I think is not quite economical for my purposes.  I can rent a 12” model with a whopping 85hp Diesel engine for $300 once per year.  So at that rate I am looking at a 10 year period for a return on investment.  It actually gets worse.  While I have heard good things about the Woodmaxx model, I only have about 31hp at the PTO compared to 85hp for the 12 inch model.  Further, I would have to store and maintain the PTO chipper. Given how prone to breakdown wood chippers are (just based on my experience) I have to wonder if owning a chipper is more trouble than it’s worth.

My approach to chipping is to cut brush and stack in (surprisingly large) piles.  I live in the country so there is no penalty for having a brush pile.  Also I only chip once per year.  Also I like to be able to use my tractor’s loader to help loading branches (and I can’t do that if the chipper is attached to tractors).  Finally, when I rent I get a really big, extremely powerful chipper that I don’t have to store or maintain.  And that 12” chipper just blazes through all the brush I get.  I am not certain how well the 8” version works.  Reports say that it works well and I don’t doubt this.  I just have to imagine that a 12” 85hp chipper will do a better, faster job of chipping than a 8”, 31 hp chipper.

Leigh, I have really rambled.  Obviously my preference is to rent even though it would be nice to own.  But I have the option of storing my brush and not everyone does.  Some may well have a need for a chipper that I don’t.  And if that is their need, then that is their choice and respect that choice.

Anyhow, these are just my thoughts.

Eric
 
Tereza Okava
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Eric, I think you've got a really good point- people say wood chipper, but these things have a lot of functions. I use mine for two real purposes: 1) to make mulch and 2) to destroy really aggressive weeds that I can't just throw in a pile (because they'll take root and get even more aggressive. I have about 3 kinds of these in my yard, the rabbits won't eat them, and I'll be a monkey's uncle if I have to bag them up and put them out for the trash. I want them to fulfill some sort of purpose in my yard.). I suppose there is the other reason that if you can't have a brush pile (space, snakes, vermin, etc) it's nice to be able to take care of your mess more quickly too.

PS- clogs are no joke. Most vines are fine but passionfruit ones are pretty fibrous and sometimes get tangled. I shred the bean vines after the rabbits strip the leaves (they won`t go for the stalks) and i need to make triple sure that any strings I used for trellising are gone. This year I'm trying a very fine cotton/raw silk string I had laying around from fiber art, to see if that will come apart, but so far it's best to just avoid string or line like the plague.
 
Eric Hanson
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Tereza,

Yep, I think that shredder and chipper should be in two separate categories.  Too often they are conceptualized as different aspects of the same thing.  This is only complicated by the existence of chipper-shredders.  Personally, there is only one model of chipper-shredder that I would take seriously and that is made by Wallenstein.  But it is not in my future.

Regarding those troublesome weeds, do you ever burn them?  I have some terribly invasive vines by me and I often burn them after pulling them up.

Eric
 
Tereza Okava
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I am right in an urban area, in a place where everyone hangs their laundry out to dry, so burning things is a great way to make the neighbors mad (or even incensed?). Some people do it anyway, but I just can't. Maybe someday when (if) we move out to the sticks.  
 
Eric Hanson
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That is a perfect example demonstrating how some people simply have different needs than others.

Prior to about 2 years ago I was very interested in both a chipper and a shredder.  There is a chipper/shredder model made by Wallenstein that looked perfect for my needs.  True, it is PTO powered and it was only a 3” chipper, but it did not look like a toy by any means.  The chipping and shredding operations are completely separate.  It is about $3k so it is not exactly cheap and I could not just jump on one.  

Today I don’t regret not getting that model.  It was a bit expensive for my usage and was limited to only 3” branches (but I think it would actually handle a 3” branch unlike other models).  Since discovering wine cap mushrooms I don’t worry so much about shredding and now that I grow comfrey, I kinda get my green compost for free.

But in your situation I can totally see where a small garden shredder would be extremely useful as your model clearly is to you.

Eric
 
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Eric Hanson wrote:That is a perfect example demonstrating how some people simply have different needs than others.


I agree. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions to the various problems people face. That's why a discussion like this is so interesting. I know it helps me appreciate the challenges others are encountering, plus always makes for informative reading.
 
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