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Looking for a wood chipper; model suggestions?  RSS feed

 
Will Holland
Posts: 300
Location: CT zone 5b
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Hey y'all just like the title says. I went and looked at what I thought was gonna be a slam dunk swish today but it didn't work out. Figured I'd ask around here. I'd like it to be able to do up to 3" and be built to last forever. Got suggestions?
 
John Wolfram
Posts: 655
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
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Well, my philosophy is to keep the number of engines you have as low as possible. So, if you already have the means to run it, a PTO chipper would be the way to go.
 
Will Holland
Posts: 300
Location: CT zone 5b
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Unfortunately, no. I don't have anything with a PTO, nor any plans to get one
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I reduce wood waste using my cordless hedge cutter and my cordless chainsaw.

Before I go to the wood dump, I usually fill the truck about six times, and then run the saw through it, to collapse the pile.

 The processing of each truck load consumes about 5 cents worth of electricity.

 The labor involved in this,  is far less than the labor of picking up all of the material and running it through anything less than a 10 horsepower chipper. I do this commercially.

My average load is over half a ton. This is made up of branches under 2 inches in diameter. Without processing, I might be able to haul 400 lb of material.

It gets compacted, using this long handled fork.

I hate everything about wood chippers.
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chip sanft
pollinator
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Location: 18 acres & heart in zone 4 (central MN). Current abode: Knoxville (zone 6 /7)
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Dale, could you explain a bit more about your process? I've been thinking about a chipper for a while now and would be interested to learn your alternative method.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I pile up tangled branches, which are mostly air. The hedge cutter is used on everything under 3/4 of an inch. Then, as I stand or kneel on the material, I slice it up with the chainsaw. A cut is made every 8 inches or so. Small chunks sift down and curved branches become relatively straight little segments.

The worst stuff is small dead branches, with side branches that come out at 90 degrees.

The material in the photos, has been reduced by more than 90%. This pile was done with the hedge cutter. For larger stuff, I use the chainsaw.

My cordless saw is perfect for this. Gas saws stall, smoke and make a tremendous racket. Low end torque is important. The electric saw can be used inside the truck canopy.
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Will Holland
Posts: 300
Location: CT zone 5b
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My main goal with a chipper is not necessarily to dispose of wood waste, but rather to create mulch and mushroom substrate. I also happen to have several large piles of stuff that could get chipped.
 
Rick English
pollinator
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Location: Central Pennsylvania, USA
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If you need mulch/chips, I endorse Dale's method. I had an electric chipper that I recently sold. It took forever to break down a pile into mulch, because my crooked hardwood branches had to be fed in one by one, and the safety features were always jamming, so I would have to take the chipper apart, clear any jam, reset the safety and try again.

Now I just throw the branches in a pile for wildlife habitat or use them to make hugelculture. If I had a rocket mass heater, the branches would become firewood. For me, chipping was unnecessary extra work...
 
Dale Hodgins
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I go down to about 1 1/2 inches or 3 cm with the firewood. This extra labor is saved at the clean up end.

When I drop a bushy hardwood, I go over it with the hedge cutter for a few minutes, before the chainsaw is employed. This gets rid of hundreds of little eye pokers and clears the view. The material falls like a mulch. Then the firewood is cut. It falls on top of the mulch.

In town, I give away the firewood, then clean up the small stuff. It goes on the truck and is further reduced by cutting and compacting.

Many rural customers gather the firewood and leave the mulch in place.

Evergreen waste tends to lay flatter. It is mostly processed aboard the truck.

This mess has just been cut. My free firewood adds bring people who gather everything above 2 inches in diameter. There is no good living to be earned with this wet firewood. Firewood hounds are the best way to get things cleaned up.

Mike, a Polish immigrant in his 70s, supplies firewood to himself and to his two children. He can lift any block under 2 1/2 feet in diameter. His 40 something daughter is good at slinging blocks under 40 lb.
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Todd Parr
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Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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I have the Stanley 15HP chipper and I love it. If you make a pile ahead of time, you can chip it into small, perfect wood chips in no time. I put a tarp at the bottom of the chute and when I get a pretty substantial pile, I drag the tarp to wherever I want it and flip the chips off the tarp. You can run your hand thru the chips like grains of rice. The material is an absolute joy to work with. After "discovering" the Back to Eden method of gardening, I'll never switch back. My chipper is nearly indispensable for making small chips that you can work with easily and move aside to plant in. It costs me a dollar or so for gas. The disadvantage is the noise. Pity the fool that tries to use this thing without hearing protection. I truly hate loud obnoxious noise on my otherwise peaceful property, but for me the trade off is fully worth it. I try to do all my trimming and gather a lot of material at one time so I only run the chipper once a month or so in the summer.
 
Will Holland
Posts: 300
Location: CT zone 5b
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I bought a machine from Craigslist today. It's a mackissic 12p and I love it so far! I only spent a few minutes with it. It chips up to 3.5" diameter and is a hammermill shredder.
 
Michael Newby
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Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
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I'd chime in here but I don't think talking about how much I love my 120 hp 20 inch chipper is really aplicable here unless you're starting a tree company or biomass operation
 
Adam Hoar
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Location: NH
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I am a huge fan of renting items like wood chippers, if I am thoughtful on how I an cutting wood I can pile it up then once a year I rent a large wood chipper from local companies at about 250 dollars a day, then myself and a couple of helpers can chip everything I have cut for the year in a day and return it.

I dont have to worry about any maintenance if it breaks I call them up and the company can fix it.

 
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