The Best Wood Chippers
Forest Master FM6DD 6hp Petrol Wood Chipper
Forest Master FM4DD Wood Chipper
T-Mech 15HP Petrol Wood Chipper
Hyundai 212cc Petrol Wood Chipper
Hyundai 420cc Petrol Wood Chipper
Wood Chipper Reviews
- Chips branches up to 5 cm in diameter
- Good value in terms of power to price
- Straightforward to build in around 2 hours
- Reliably starts on the first or second pull
- Compact size, fits well into garden sheds as well as vans, thanks to foldable hopper and chute
- There is no handle which makes wheeling the chipper awkward; iInstead, you need to hold onto the hopper or another part of the bodywork
- Putting the oil in is fiddly due to the location of the oil receptacle
- Slow at cutting smaller pruned twigs as they need to be fed in just a few at a time
- Value for Money
Given that most petrol-powered garden machinery can be very costly, the Forest Master FM6DD 6hp Petrol Wood Chipper is a great option for those looking for a petrol chipper at a more affordable price. With a 208 cc 4-stroke engine, this wood chipper is by no means lacking in performance; it can tackle branches up to 5 cm thick.
Performance wise, this chipper does an effective job tackling medium-size branches as well as some other debris like ivy and shrub prunings. It has twin reversible blades and creates evenly-sized chips. If you’re predominantly working with larger branches, and have just a few twigs etc. to dispose of as well, this machine will be a suitable choice. Smaller material has to be fed in slowly, a few pieces at a time, so jobs involving a lot of these items will take a long time to complete.
The chipper itself takes around 2 hours to build and assembly is relatively straightforward thanks to the clear instructions. It starts reliably on the first or second pull, but be aware that it’s shipped dry and requires 600 ml of oil (as well as a tank of fuel) which doesn’t come included.
Besides this chipper’s power and performance, there are other factors that work well. It’s clearly been designed with consideration to storage; the chipper is compact, with a hinged hopper and relatively small chute that minimises the amount of space it takes up. In fact, once in storage, it takes up less space than the average wheelbarrow. It’s also easy to fit in a van if necessary, thanks to its compact size.
Fitted with large wheels, these help when moving the chipper around; however, unfortunately there’s no integrated handle. This does make the chipper slightly more awkward to relocate, as you have to pull it by the hopper or another part of the bodywork.
Nevertheless, all things considered, this is one of the best wood chippers in terms of value for money. Although there are a few shortcomings in its design, overall it’s both extremely powerful and practical. There aren’t many chippers on the market that can compete with this model in terms of a price-to-power ratio.
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- A great option for gardeners with a smaller budget requiring less power
- Electric powered so there’s none of the maintenance of petrol machines
- Lightweight and easy to move around the garden thanks to the large wheels
- Hinged hopper and chute ensure it can be stored in tight spaces
- Runs much quieter than petrol-powered machines
- Struggles to tackle larger branches over 3 cm in diameter
- Electric cut-out switch can be too sensitive and kick in even when tackling manageable loads
- Cable is only 2.5 m long and the longest extension cable you can use is 10m
- Value for Money
For those who don’t want the fuss of a petrol-powered model, the Forest Master FM4DD Wood Chipper is a powerful, mains-powered option. Suitable for a range of situations, from people on tighter budgets, to those who require less power, to anyone who simply prefers an electric machine, this chipper is manageable, low-maintenance and easy to use.
Of course we should mention that this chipper doesn’t boast nearly the same power as a petrol powered model. However, provided it’s not overloaded, it’s still reliable and effective. The 2800 watt electric motor delivers 4 hp, and it’s direct drive so there are no belts to maintain.
It’s best suited to branches under 3 cm in diameter. Although Forest Master claim it can cope with branches up to 5 cm, in reality 3 cm is a more appropriate limit. The chipper prefers long, straight branches, and it will cope better with recently-cut softwood, as opposed to dry hardwood.
Weighing just 38 kg, the Forest Master FM4DD is lighter than any of the other models featured on this page. It’s been designed for easy storage and has a hinged hopper and chute. The large wheels ensure it can be pulled across your garden to the right spot.
There are a couple of downsides to this machine, many of which result from it being a mains-powered machine.. First, it comes with an electric cut-out switch which, although good for safety, can be a little too sensitive. This means that when the chipper is loaded near its limit, it cuts out sooner than seems necessary. This can make the chipping process less efficient.
Another slight flaw is that the cable is only 2.5 m long. Although not a huge issue, as an extension cable can be used, the extension cable can’t be longer than 10 m or the unit trips. For this reason, this chipper is best suited to smaller gardens – unless you are prepared to walk back and forth carrying wood to put into the chipper!
Overall, this electric chipper is a great option for those who don’t have the budget or desire to purchase a petrol powered machine. It’s one of the best wood chippers if you want a mains-powered model, and is still powerful enough for general domestic use – it just can’t cope with larger branches. Plus, thanks to the compact design, it fits easily in most garden sheds.
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- Powerful machine capable of handling branches up to 10 cm thick
- Two feeders helps with shredding smaller and larger branches
- Comes with PPE included
- Easy to manoeuvre thanks to the large wheels
- Rubber guards on the side feeder can be prone to breaking after a short time
- Drags the branches in very fast - care needs to be taken and gloves are required
- Smaller pieces of green waste can jam the exit chute and need unblocking
- Value for Money
The T-Mech 15HP Petrol Wood Chipper is a particularly powerful 420 cc petrol chipper that can handle branches up to 10 cm in diameter, easily helping to reduce the number of trips you’ll need to make to the recycling centre.
There are two feeders, one on the top and one at the side, intended for branches of different sizes. The side feeder is very effective at chopping up large branches. The top hopper can cope with smaller branches of around 1 cm in diameter and several can be fed in at a time.
Whilst the chipper will rarely jam when chopping large branches, small amounts of green waste can cause blockages inside the unit.
These need to be unblocked before continuing, which involves turning off the machine at the mains, and can therefore be a little time consuming.
It comes with PPE included, providing gloves, safety glasses and ear protectors. All of which should be worn when using the machine. Gloves are extremely necessary because the hopper can pull branches out of your hand very quickly.
Assembly is simple, with just a few parts needing to be put together. However, there are some aspects which may not be the highest quality – for example, several customers have found that the rubber guard over the large branch feeder breaks easily. This can mean there is less protection from flying wood chips.
Nevertheless, overall this certainly seems to be a very capable machine. The overarching consensus is that it deals well with large branches, making it one of the best wood chippers for bigger garden clearance jobs. It just doesn’t cope as well with smaller green waste.
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- Very easy to put together in under an hour thanks to the clear instructions
- Medium duty - suitable for branches up to 6 cm in diameter
- Soft grip handlebar and wheels make it easy to move around the garden
- Often starts on first pull, even when cold
- Unblocking this chipper is time consuming, as there are 4 nuts that need removing each time
- Does not cope well with green material
- Value for Money
Hyundai is a brand renowned for their quality machinery, and the Hyundai 212cc Petrol Wood Chipper strikes the right balance between usability, affordability and power. It has a 212 cc 4-stroke engine, and a 2-blade drum.
This chipper has been designed for portability and ease of use, which makes it a great option for those who are worried about lugging a heavy machine around. It’s easy to move around the garden, with puncture proof tyres and a front grip-soft handlebar. The handlebar certainly makes it better designed for manoeuvrability than some other chippers featured here, such as the Forest Master FM6DD. It weighs 45 kg, which is on the lighter end of the scale for a petrol chipper.
Starting the machine is straightforward, and the pull cord is fairly reliable – it generally starts on the first pull even when cold. Also, another benefit is that assembly only takes around one hour. The instructions are clear, and all parts are good quality.
The 2-blade drum mechanism can chip branches up to 6 cm in diameter. It can also chip twigs, trimmings and branches, although it’s better with hard branches rather than foliage.
This leads to one of the main downsides of this chipper: clearing blockages, often caused by green material, can be time consuming. There are four nuts that need to be removed individually to access the blockage. Avoiding leafy, green matter as much as possible will help keep this to a minimum.
Overall, this wood chipper strikes a good balance between power and user-friendliness. Provided you can put up with clearing the odd blockage, it’s a great option for domestic gardens. It’s also one of the best wood chippers if you want something that’s easy to move around the garden – the padded handle sets it apart from many other models in this respect.
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- Option to either create wood chips or shred branches to create a finer mulch
- Rarely blocks or jams, especially when used with thick, dry materials
- Copes with branches up to approximately 8 cm thick
- Easy to start using electric start
- Assembly is a long process and instructions could be more detailed
- Wheelbase is narrow which can make the chipper top heavy - needs to be monitored when towed on uneven terrain as can become unstable
- Value for Money
Coming from a reputable brand, the Hyundai 420cc Petrol Wood Chipper is a powerful petrol machine suitable for getting through large quantities of medium-thick branches, approximately 7 – 8 cm in diameter.
It creates uniform chips and ejects them either into a trailer or straight onto the ground – whichever you prefer. Unlike many machines, it also gives a choice between creating ‘wood chips’ or ‘shreds’. The shreds are relatively fine and are a good size to use as garden mulch, suitable to be placed around shrubs and plants to prevent weed growth and retain moisture.
This Hyundai Chipper can handle both hard, woody material and smaller prunings, which is why it’s a good choice for garden clearance and pruned branches. It very rarely jams, especially when used with large hardwood branches. However, it’s best used with longer, dry material. Smaller pieces may get thrown back out, and green, leafy matter will cause blockages.
Although the wood chipper is relatively easy to put together overall, you will certainly benefit from an extra pair of hands. The pictorial instructions are clear enough, but don’t go into much detail – it’s therefore necessary to plan each step carefully. Gloves should also be worn, as there are naturally a lot of sharp components.
Due to the amount this machine vibrates in use, the nuts and bolts will need to be checked frequently to ensure they haven’t come loose.
As a large machine, this chipper sits on two wide pneumatic tyres. It has a removable tow bar so it can be transported to more remote locations. The wheelbase is relatively narrow, which is useful for getting through smaller gaps but can lead to the chipper seeming a little top heavy – you may need to keep an eye on it if towing over uneven ground.
Out of the box, the battery for the electric start doesn’t necessarily come charged, so it’s best to take the time to charge it first before assembly, otherwise it can take a while to get it off again. Once sorted, it works efficiently to help start the petrol engine. The engine is also quite economical with its fuel usage.
All things considered, this is a very powerful and capable machine – it’s unlikely to fail you in a domestic setting. Just make sure that you have all the necessary safety equipment – such as a visor, gloves and ear protectors – before use, as this chipper doesn’t mess around.
It’s one of the best wood chippers overall, offering excellent power and working exactly as you would expect – turning 7/8 cm branches into neat wood chips whilst rarely jamming.
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How to Choose The Best Wood Chipper
The Benefits of Using a Wood Chipper
There are a lot of benefits to using a wood chipper.
First and foremost, as mentioned, wood chippers are useful for reducing the sheer mass of garden waste that is produced from pruning/cutting back in the garden. Without a chipper, you’re left trying to find a way to dispose of big branches and twigs – not easy!
Along the same lines, using a wood chipper saves time and energy. Instead of dealing with armfuls of branches, and having to make several trips, you’ll be able to carry more at a time with wood chips in a bag.
Furthermore, turning branches into wood chips offers a more environmentally friendly way of dealing with garden waste – often people choose to burn heaps of branches and garden cuttings, which isn’t the best for the environment or wildlife. Of course, using an electric chipper will be a better option than a petrol one if you’re very environmentally minded.
Finally, not only does a wood chipper make waste easier to dispose of, but you actually create a useful product when you make wood chippings. These chippings can be used as valuable mulch in your garden, or given to friends/family/neighbours for them to use in theirs.
Choosing Petrol or Electric
There are both electric chippers and petrol machines on the market. Naturally, each option has its pros and cons. You choice may eventually come down to personal preference, but here’s a little run down of each type:
Electric Wood Chippers
These chippers work well but won’t have the same power as large petrol models. However, some of the most powerful electric wood chippers sit on par with mid-range petrol models, so they can still compete.
As long as you buy a suitably powerful electric wood chipper, it should be able to deal with the majority of tasks that will crop up in a standard garden. Of course, the biggest downside of an electric chipper is the fact that it is tethered to the mains power outlet. You may need to use a power cord, which just requires a little more organisation.
They are quieter than petrol chippers and don’t emit fumes, which is perhaps one of the best things about them. Environmentally, they’re a better choice than petrol wood chippers.
Also, they’re easy to start; there’s with no messing around with filling the tank, priming the motor, or yanking the pull cord.
Petrol-Powered Wood Chippers
These wood chippers are generally intended for heavy-duty use. If you have a lot of larger branches to turn into wood chips, you might find that a petrol machine has more power and makes the job easier.
The biggest positive with a petrol-powered wood chipper is that it’s cordless. It can be used wherever required in the garden, without being limited by the position of the mains power outlet. This can make life a lot easier when carrying large, heavy branches.
The downside is that they can be extremely heavy – some of them weigh over 60 kg, which can make manoeuvring these machines a little more difficult. Of course, they have wheels, but if they need to be carried over uneven terrain or up garden steps, they can be quite hard to manage.
The engines can also be noisy, and by their nature, petrol engines give off fumes. They’ll also require refilling and regular maintenance.
Knowing Which Wood Chipper to Choose
With a market full of different wood chippers, all from different brands with varying specifications, it’s not always easy to know which model to choose.
The most obvious choice you’ll have to make is whether you want an electric or petrol wood chipper, which has been covered further in the ‘Choosing Petrol or Electric’ section above.
Aside from picking between electric and petrol, there are various other specifications to look for, depending on the type of job you’re hoping to do.
These are some of the main factors to consider, and some may be more or less important to you depending on your intention for the machine:
If you choose an electric wood chipper, likelihood is it won’t have quite as much power as a petrol model. But that’s certainly not to say that it won’t be useful in the garden.
Electric wood chippers with a motor of approximately 2500 W should be sufficiently powerful for the majority of standard garden tasks. However, they likely won’t be able to cope with such large branches as a large petrol wood chipper.
Petrol wood chippers can vary significantly in the size of their engines. Models with engines between 100 – 200 cc tend to be able to deal with branches of around 40 mm in diameter. You’ll need a larger engine of around 400 cc + to properly get through branches closer to 100 mm in diameter.
For the most part, wood chippers of 2500 W or 100 – 200 cc will be sufficient for most gardeners. These should be able to cope with most standard prunings and clippings – although they may get clogged by a lot of green material.
More powerful chippers will be needed if you are trying to dispose of bigger branches that have been pruned from a tree, for example.
Maximum Branch Diameter
Before buying a wood chipper, take a look at the type of things you’ll want to put in it.
Whilst it might be tempting to go for a machine that can cope with branches of 100 mm in diameter ‘just in case’, you might end up paying a lot for a machine that’s more powerful than you need.
Branches of 50 mm can actually be larger than you might expect, so it’s worth checking how large the branches in your garden are. If you only need a wood chipper that can cope with branches 50 mm in diameter, you could save a lot of money over a larger one.
However, on the flip side – there will be no point trying to force branches that are too big through a machine that can’t cope.
Tip: Although manufacturers often state the branch size that their wood chipper can cope with, it’s worth checking customer reviews online to get an honest opinion. Some wood chippers might state that they can manage branches of 100 mm in diameter when really that’s their absolutely limit. First-hand opinions can be invaluable for getting a proper feel for the chippers capabilities.
Ability to Handle Green Materials
Most wood chippers are better at dealing with hard wooden branches as opposed to green materials.
If you’ve got more green material to shred than hard branches, you might be better off with a garden shredder rather than a chipper. However, there are some machines that can manage both to a certain extent.
For example, Bosch’s AXT 25 TC Quiet Shredder is able to handle branches up to 5 cm as well as smaller, softer prunings from bushes. However, it doesn’t cut the soft prunings into ‘chips’, instead leaving them at a slightly longer length.
Most wood chippers will struggle and jam if fed too much green matter like leaves. Often, even when feeding in longer ‘green’ branches it’s a good idea to mix them in with some harder branches to encourage them through the hopper.
Buying or Renting a Wood Chipper
It’s always hard to know if it’s worth buying a machine when renting is also an option.
If you have a one-off job, then renting might be the best way to go. This could be the case if you have recently pruned back a tree in your garden, and won’t need to be doing so again for a while.
However, most gardens produce a regular amount of waste from general pruning and clipping. And, one way or another, this waste will always need to be dealt with. If this is your situation, it’s usually more cost effective in the long run to buy a wood chipper.
Plus, once you own a wood chipper, you’ll likely use it more than you think. They do save a lot of time and hassle by reducing waste and making it easier to get rid of. Plus, if you often purchase mulch, you’ll be able to create wood chips and save money there too.
Hiring a wood chipper can cost in the region of £100/day or around £150/week (depending on where you rent it from and which model you hire). It can therefore get a little expensive to rent one on several separate occasions.
Using a Wood Chipper Safely
Wood chippers are very powerful machines with extremely sharp blades – the utmost care should be taken when using them.
Set up the chipper on a stable surface and keep the area clear of tripping hazards. Make sure that the ejected wood will not hit anyone nearby when you begin shredding.
READ NEXT: How to Unblock a Garden Shredder Safely
You should wear safety glasses at all times, ensuring that any flying chips won’t damage your eyes. It is also essential to wear ear defenders as wood chippers are very noisy.
Wearing gloves is also recommended because wood chippers can drag branches out of your hands quickly. If you are caught off guard, you may find the branch being pulled though your hand which can be painful.
Some wood chippers draw the material in and some have a plunger to push the material through. You should never put your hands into the hopper. If the machine jams, make sure the power is off before you attempt to unclog it – always being very careful of the blades!