The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Wood Chipper for Your Garden Needs

Choosing the right wood chipper can transform your garden maintenance, turning piles of yard waste into usable mulch and simplifying the process of managing lawn debris. Whether you’re a homeowner with a small backyard or someone managing a larger landscape, understanding the different types of wood chippers—like gas wood chippers and electric chipper shredders—is essential to making an informed decision.

In this comprehensive guide, we look into the world of wood chippers, exploring the nuances between gas powered wood chippers, electric wood chippers, and their hybrid counterparts, the chipper shredders. From tackling thick branches with a heavy-duty gas powered chipper shredder to managing small twigs with a more compact electric chipper shredder, we’ve got you covered.

Our aim is to provide you with all the information you need, so you can choose the best wood chipper that suits your specific gardening needs and helps you efficiently handle branches, leaves, and other yard waste. Whether you’re looking for the raw power of gas models or the quieter, eco-friendlier operation of electric chippers, this guide will lead you to the right wood chipper for your garden.

Types of Wood Chippers: Gas Wood Chippers vs. Electric Chipper Shredders

When embarking on the journey to find the perfect wood chipper, it’s crucial to understand the differences not only between the main types—gas wood chippers and electric chipper shredders—but also to grasp the fundamental distinction between a chipper and a shredder.

Gas Wood Chippers: Power and Performance

Gas wood chippers are renowned for their robust power and ability to handle heavy-duty tasks. These machines are ideal for chipping branches, turning sizable yard debris into wood chips with ease. They’re typically equipped with larger engines, offering more power to effortlessly chip branches, up to three inches or more in diameter. Gas powered wood chippers are a go-to choice for larger properties or for those who need to clear a significant amount of yard waste regularly.

Electric Chipper Shredders: Efficiency and Environmentally Friendly

On the other end of the spectrum, electric chipper shredders offer a more environmentally friendly option. These electric models are quieter, emit no fumes, and are generally easier to maintain than their gas counterparts. While they may not match the raw power of gas wood chippers, electric chippers are perfectly suited for small gardens and residential use, efficiently shredding leaves and handling small branches, twigs, and pine cones. They’re also more portable, often lighter, and easier to maneuver around a smaller yard.

Understanding Chippers vs. Shredders

The core difference between a chipper and a shredder lies in their functionality. A chipper is designed to break down branches and larger pieces of wood into smaller chips, usually with the help of sharp cutting blades. These chips are ideal for creating garden mulch or for easy disposal.

Shredders, however, are geared towards shredding softer yard waste like leaves and small twigs. Shredders typically use semi-blunt blades or flails to cut down this softer material into fine pieces, perfect for composting or as a base for garden beds.

Chipper shredders combine the capabilities of both machines. They are equipped to both shred soft material and chip wood, making them versatile options for a variety of yard cleanup tasks. However, it’s important to note that while most chipper shredders can handle a range of materials, they may not be as powerful as a dedicated gas wood chipper when it comes to chipping larger branches.

In the next sections, we will explore these options in more detail, helping you understand which type of wood chipper aligns best with your gardening needs and preferences.

Exploring Chipper Shredders: Gas Powered Wood Chippers and Their Benefits

Gas powered wood chippers and chipper shredders stand out for their robust performance in yard maintenance. Here are their key benefits:

  • High Power Output: Ideal for chipping larger branches and heavy-duty yard work.
  • Versatility: Can handle a variety of yard waste, from thick branches to leafy debris.
  • Mobility: Not restricted by a power cord, offering greater flexibility in large yards.
  • Durability: Built to withstand rigorous use, making them a long-term investment for extensive garden maintenance.

These attributes make gas powered chippers and shredders a preferred choice for substantial gardening tasks. Gas powered chipper shredders are ideal for remote job sites, like a homestead or logging area.

Why Choose an Electric Wood Chipper?

Electric wood chippers offer distinct advantages for specific gardening needs. Here’s why they might be the right choice:

  • Eco-Friendly Operation: No emissions, making them better for the environment.
  • Quiet Performance: Ideal for residential areas where noise levels are a concern.
  • Ease of Use: Lighter and more maneuverable, perfect for small yards.
  • Low Maintenance: Electric models require less upkeep compared to gas chippers.

Electric wood chippers are an excellent option for gardeners focusing on light-duty tasks and looking to minimize their environmental impact.They are a great complement to a push lawn mower and can work like a leaf shredder to build up your compost pile.

Top Things to Consider When Choosing Your Chipper Shredder

Selecting the right chipper shredder for your garden can feel overwhelming, especially with the myriad of options available. Whether you’re dealing with thick branches after a storm, or simply maintaining a neat yard, finding a chipper shredder that meets your specific needs is crucial. To help make your decision easier, we’ve outlined the five most important factors to consider, ensuring you choose a chipper shredder that not only tackles your current garden challenges but also serves you well into the future.

Engine Power and Type

Wood chippers range from lightweight electric shredders right up to heavy duty gas powered beasts. Ultimately, you’ve got to balance your budget against the things you are most likely to be chipping and shredding.

  • Gas vs. Electric: Gas engines offer more power for heavy-duty tasks, while electric models are suited for lighter, quieter operations.
  • Horsepower and CCs: Higher horsepower or cubic centimeters (CCs) indicate more powerful chipping capabilities, especially important for chipping larger branches.

Reduction Ratio and Capacity

The best chipper shredder will break down your msot common type of wood, whether large branches or small brush, into a size you can use. Check out the size of the chipper chute and blade opening to find the maximum size to shred branches.

  • Reduction Ratio: This indicates how small the material will be after processing. A higher reduction ratio is better for finer mulch.
  • Capacity: The maximum branch diameter the machine can handle. Larger capacities are essential for handling thick branches.

Portability and Size

This is probably the most important consideration. A heavy duty wood chipper shredder will be portable, but not too much so. You coudl load it into the bed of your truck, but big gas machines are not tools you want to lug around too much.

  • Weight and Wheels: Consider how easily you can move the chipper shredder around your property.
  • Storage: Assess the space you have available for storing the chipper shredder when it’s not in use.

Safety Features

Most wood chippers come with features to keep you safe. No one wants to shred an arm or hand when they are just trying to shred leaves.

  • Automatic Shut-off: Vital for emergency situations.
  • Low-Kickback Design: Reduces the risk of injury while feeding material into the chipper shredder.

Durability and Maintenance

These are certianly tough tools that have to stand up to a lot of abuse. That doesn’t mean you won’t have to do some maintenance. You might end up changing or sharpening the chipper shredder blades. Gas chipper shredders need oil changes.

  • Construction Material: Look for sturdy, high-quality materials that withstand frequent use.
  • Ease of Maintenance: Gas models require more upkeep (like engine oil changes), while electric models are generally lower maintenance.

By carefully considering these aspects, you can confidently choose a chipper shredder that is tailored to your specific gardening needs, providing efficiency and effectiveness in your yard maintenance tasks.

Top Six Best Wood Chippers for 2024

I’m going to show you the six best models you can buy. Wood chippers range from small, lightweight electric models right up through massive gas powered choppers. Let’s go from smallest to largest to find the best model for your needs.

Sun Joe CJ602E 15-Amp Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder

For homeowners and homesteaders looking to keep their yards tidy and recycle garden waste efficiently, the Sun Joe CJ602E is an excellent choice. This electric wood chipper/shredder is not only eco-friendly but also powerful enough to handle branches up to 1.5 inches thick. It’s perfect for those who want to turn yard debris into mulch without the hassle of a gas-powered machine.

Engine Power and Type

The 15-amp motor of the Sun Joe CJ602E stands out for its quiet, yet effective performance. Ideal for residential use, it strikes a balance between being lightweight enough for easy handling and powerful enough to chip through small branches and twigs. Its electric nature means no dealing with gas fumes or complex start-ups, making it a user-friendly option for the everyday gardener.

Reduction Ratio and Capacity

This chipper/shredder boasts a reduction ratio that turns branches and twigs into useful, nutrient-rich mulch. Its 1.5-inch cutting capacity is perfect for small to medium-sized yard cleanups, allowing you to efficiently reduce garden waste. The consistency of the output is ideal for mulching, helping you nurture your garden beds or pathways.

Portability and Size

One of the biggest pluses of the Sun Joe CJ602E is its portability. Its compact design, complete with 6-inch wheels, makes it easy to move around your yard. Whether you’re clearing up after a storm or just doing regular garden maintenance, this chipper/shredder is up to the task. Remember to consider its storage size, as it might be slightly bulky for very limited spaces.

Safety Features

Safety is paramount with any yard tool, and the Sun Joe CJ602E doesn’t disappoint. Its safety hopper with locking knob ensures the motor doesn’t operate when opened, preventing accidents. This feature is particularly reassuring for those who are new to using such equipment.

Durability and Maintenance

With a robust construction that balances durability and weight, the Sun Joe CJ602E is built to last through regular use. Its electric design translates to less maintenance than gas models, so you can spend more time chipping and less time tinkering.

For homeowners and homesteaders, the Sun Joe CJ602E is a practical, eco-friendly choice for managing yard waste. It combines ease of use, safety, and efficiency, making it an excellent addition to your garden tool collection.

Price and Availability

The Sun Joe CJ602E is priced at $151.09, currently available at a 16% discount from the list price of $179.00 on This price point, combined with its features, makes it a valuable and accessible tool for those looking to enhance their garden maintenance routine. You can also find used options and additional accessories such as replacement blades on Amazon, offering flexibility according to your budget and needs.

Landworks Electric Light Duty Wood Chipper Shredder

For homeowners who need a simple and effective way to manage yard waste, the Landworks Wood Chipper Shredder presents an interesting option. This electric chipper is designed for light-duty tasks and offers a convenient way to convert branches and twigs into usable mulch or compost.

Specifications and Performance

The Landworks chipper features a 15-amp, 1800-watt motor that operates on 120V. It’s capable of chipping limbs up to 1.57 inches in diameter, boasting a reduction ratio of 17:1. Users can expect a machine speed of around 4,100 RPMs, providing efficient chipping power for small to medium yard clean-up tasks.

Eco-Friendly and User Experience

Electric chippers like this one are a boon for environmentally conscious users, as they produce no smog and operate more quietly than their gasoline counterparts. This model includes dual edge blades made from CR12MoV material, which ensures durability and longevity. A sturdy push paddle is also provided for safe feeding of material into the hopper.

Design and Capabilities

Landworks has designed this chipper with a durable polypropylene housing, which resists rust and denting. The machine’s rotor assembly includes two 2-7/8″ cutting blades, enhancing its chipping capabilities. For ease of use, it comes with an instant start switch, overload protection switch, and a 13.7-inch supply cable. The chipper’s portable design is complemented by two 6-inch wheels.

Safety and Suitability

This electric wood chipper is tested to meet industry standards, ensuring a safe experience for the user. It’s best suited for outdoor environments, particularly for residential gardens or small estates where light to medium yard debris management is needed.

Durability and Portability

This electric model comes with pretty standard construction for its price point. It’s plastic and has simple wheels. It will stand up to yard use, such as shredding leaves and brush, but is probably not the best choice for anything other than light duties.

Price and Availability

The Landworks Wood Chipper Shredder is currently available on for $159.99. While it is not eligible for Amazon Prime, free shipping is available from other sellers.

GARDENBEAUT S1 Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher

The GARDENBEAUT S1 Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher is a powerful and versatile tool for those needing to manage large amounts of yard waste. Equipped with a 7 HP 212cc engine, it offers a substantial 3-inch max wood diameter capacity and a 20:1 reduction ratio.

Specifications and Performance

This gas-powered chipper features a 7 HP horizontal 4-stroke single-cylinder OHV engine, capable of handling branches up to 3 inches in diameter without issue. The fuel tank has a max capacity of 0.7 gallons, recommended to be filled with 87+ unleaded gasoline (ethanol-free for optimal performance). It operates at a speed of 3600 RPMs, ensuring efficient chipping and shredding.

Design and Capabilities

The GARDENBEAUT S1 is designed to be robust yet compact, with a lighter build compared to other steel chippers. The vertical extended discharge chute with an adjustable discharge guide allows for accurate debris discharge within a range of 90°-145° degrees. The 11.8-inch cutting rotor with two blades and six hammers ensures smaller shreds and a high feeding speed.

Safety and Use

The powerful motor and feed tube mean extra safety is a good idea. Thankfully, there is a built-in inspection window to check out jams and blockages. It’s a little safer, strangely, having a gas motor. There is very little chance of the motor switching on accidentally when you are checking a jam.

Construction and Mobility

The construction of the GARDENBEAUT S1 is focused on durability and ease of use. The compact design includes heavy-duty wheels for easier transportation and maneuverability across various terrains. The extra-large hopper adds to its efficiency, and the inclusion of check windows allows for monitoring during operation.

Price and Availability

Priced at $499.99 on, the GARDENBEAUT S1 offers a reasonable balance between performance and cost. It’s available for free delivery, with options for additional protection plans at an extra cost.

SuperHandy Mini Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher

The SuperHandy Mini Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher is an ideal solution for efficient yard debris management. Designed for heavy-duty use, this 7HP gas-powered machine can handle branches up to 3 inches in diameter, making it a versatile tool for homeowners and garden enthusiasts.

Engine Power and Type

Equipped with a robust 7HP Horizontal 4-stroke Single Cylinder OHV Gas Powered Engine, the SuperHandy chipper offers powerful and consistent performance. Its gasoline-powered nature ensures it can handle tougher and larger yard waste compared to electric models. The machine is also EPA/CARB certified, emphasizing its environmentally friendly aspects.

Reduction Ratio and Capacity

With a 15:1 reduction ratio, this chipper efficiently converts branches, limbs, and garden debris into mulch. Its capacity to process up to 3-inch diameter wood makes it suitable for various garden and yard clean-up tasks. This capability ensures a high volume of chipping, shredding, and mulching, perfect for recycling garden waste effectively.

Portability and Size

The SuperHandy Mini Wood Chipper features a compact and lightweight design compared to other steel chippers. This, combined with its vertical extended discharge chute, makes it highly maneuverable and easy to use in different yard spaces. However, the compact size might be challenging for taller users who may find it low for moving around.

Safety Features

Adhering to safety standards, the chipper must be operated as per the guidelines in the user manual. Wearing appropriate hand and eye protection is recommended when using the machine. These safety measures are crucial, especially given the machine’s powerful engine and chipping capacity.

Durability and Maintenance

This chipper is built to last with its heat-treated powder-coated rust-resistant steel construction. It requires regular maintenance, like blade sharpening, to keep it in optimal condition. Some users have noted issues with blade accessibility and replacement, which could be a consideration for long-term maintenance.

Price and Availability

Priced at $569.99, the SuperHandy Mini Wood Chipper offers a balance between performance and cost. It is available for purchase on Amazon, where potential buyers can also find replacement blades and protection plans for extended warranty and maintenance support.

EARTHQUAKE Chipper Shredder K33

The EARTHQUAKE Chipper Shredder K33, stands as a robust and efficient solution for large-scale yard waste management. It’s powered by a hefty 301cc 4 Cycle Viper Engine, making it capable of chipping branches up to 3 inches in diameter. This heavy-duty chipper shredder is suitable for those with large properties or significant amounts of yard debris.

Engine Power and Type

This model boasts a 301cc 4 Cycle Viper Engine, delivering a total of 8 HP, providing ample power for chipping and shredding tasks. It’s gas-powered, ensuring high efficiency and the ability to handle larger, tougher yard waste. The engine’s design focuses on delivering dependable performance for intensive usage.

Reduction Ratio and Capacity

The EARTHQUAKE Chipper Shredder K33 effectively chips branches up to 3 inches in diameter, making it a powerhouse for handling substantial yard debris. It features a rotor with Tri-Hammers and J-hammers, ensuring efficient shredding and reduction of smaller twigs and leaves into useful mulch.

Portability and Size

Despite its powerful engine and heavy-duty capabilities, the chipper shredder maintains a convenient size for storage. Measuring 29.9 inches wide and long, it offers a compact footprint for storage in garages or sheds. Its 11-inch wheels, which never go flat, enhance mobility and ease of transport across various terrains.

Safety Features

As powerful as this unit is, there are not many added safety features. If you’ve got the budget and expertise needed to buy one of these, you are probably smart enough not to stick your hand in while it’s running. However, you should always use safety equipment like googles and gloves when it’s in use.

Durability and Maintenance

Constructed with durable materials and designed for heavy-duty tasks, this chipper shredder is built to withstand rigorous use. The inclusion of a 5-year warranty underscores its reliability and quality. Regular maintenance, especially for the gas engine, is essential for long-term performance and efficiency.

Price and Availability

Priced at $1,030.00, the EARTHQUAKE Chipper Shredder K33 is an investment for those requiring a high-capacity, powerful yard waste management tool.

Patriot Products CSV-3100B 10 HP Briggs & Stratton Gas-Powered Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder

The Patriot Products CSV-3100B Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder is a robust and versatile tool, ideal for all but the biggest jobs. Equipped with a powerful 10 HP Briggs & Stratton engine, it can efficiently handle branches up to 3 inches in diameter. If you need something bigger or more powerful than this model, you’re probably going to want something that connects to your tractor.

Engine Power and Type

Featuring a 10 HP Briggs & Stratton engine, this chipper/shredder offers high performance and reliability. The gas-powered engine ensures robust and consistent chipping and shredding capabilities, suitable for handling a variety of garden debris including thick branches and dense foliage.

Reduction Ratio and Capacity

With the ability to chip branches up to 3 inches in diameter, the CSV-3100B stands out for its high reduction ratio. It effectively turns large branches and leaves into mulch or compost material, assisting in garden maintenance and waste reduction.

Portability and Size

The design of the CSV-3100B prioritizes portability without compromising on power. Its large wheels facilitate easy movement around the yard, and its compact design ensures it doesn’t occupy excessive storage space. This makes it a convenient tool for personal use in sizable outdoor spaces.

Safety Features

Safety in operation is a key aspect of the CSV-3100B. It includes features like a locking mechanism for the hopper to prevent accidental operation. Users are advised to follow the safety instructions carefully and wear appropriate protective gear during use.

Durability and Maintenance

Constructed with high-quality materials, the CSV-3100B is built to last. The durability of its engine and chipping mechanism ensures prolonged use with minimal maintenance. Routine checks and basic care will keep it in optimal condition for years.

Price and Availability

Priced at $1,825.00, the Patriot CSV-3100B is a significant investment but offers value for money considering its power and capabilities.


My top picks start with the small electric chipper and end with a huge 10 HP beast. If you want something even smaller, a leaf vacuum attachment for your blower or lawn tractor is going to be the way to go. If you need something even bigger, you can find chippers that attach to a farm tractor via tow bar.

Whatever your needs, one of these models will take care of your garden and lumber waste.


What is better, a chipper or a shredder?

The choice between a chipper and a shredder depends on your specific yard needs. A chipper is better for handling larger, woodier debris like branches and can create coarser wood chips. A shredder is ideal for softer, smaller yard waste like leaves and twigs, producing finer material suitable for composting.

How much is a decent wood chipper?

The cost of a decent wood chipper varies based on type and capabilities. For a reliable electric wood chipper, prices start around $100 to $200. For more robust gas-powered chippers, expect to spend anywhere from $500 to over $1,000, depending on engine power and additional features.

What is the difference between a mulcher and a chipper?

The primary difference lies in their function. A mulcher is designed to break down soft yard waste like leaves and grass into a fine mulch, which is excellent for soil enrichment. A chipper, on the other hand, is more suited for chopping up harder, woody materials like branches into chips for disposal or as a coarse mulch.

About Russ Thompson

Hey I'm Russ and I have been a contractor for over 20 years. I know what the cost of having the right tools and materials for the job. My passion for woodworking and helping others by workshops in my wood shop. I have beginner classes all the way up expert trade classes. Check out my bio for more.

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