Wood chippers feature motor-driven blades that turn tree branches and leaves into fine, uniform chips suitable for mulch or easy removal from your yard. But not all chippers have the same features or benefits. If you use a wood chipper often, durability is likely a key concern. The chippers that hold up best will need less-frequent maintenance and replacement, costing less over the long run.
The wood chippers that hold up best include heavy-duty residential models. These are usually gas-powered chippers, as electric models are convenient but offer only light-duty performance. A heavy-duty gas wood chipper with more horsepower will not necessarily hold up better than one with a lower HP rating. Instead, features such as full metal construction indicate a chipper that will last for many years.
The blades of a wood chipper are one key element in how well the chipper holds up. In general, hardened steel blades are the strongest and most likely to remain sharp even after extensive use. Some chippers feature blades that you can remove easily for sharpening, cleaning or replacement. This extends the life of a chipper and allows you to perform basic maintenance on your own without paying a professional.
Commercial wood chippers are designed for and sold to landscape professionals. These chippers hold up very well, just as heavy-duty residential chippers do. They are often much larger than residential chippers, making them the only option of you have large branches or whole trees to dispose of. While they feature high-quality construction, commercial chippers also have more complex parts, which increases the number of components that may be subject to mechanical failure.
Warranties and Usage
A wood chipper that is used properly will be able to hold up longer than a similar chipper that suffers abuse. Always read the owner's manual. Pay particular attention to maintenance schedules for the motor and the maximum diameter of branches that the chipper can accept. Wood chippers also come with manufacturer warranties, which may allow you to take a chance on a chipper without durable characteristics, such as an electric model or one that has some plastic construction, knowing that you can receive free repair or replacement if the chipper fails within a given amount of time.