Chipper shredder worth it?

Help Support ArboristSite:

Okie294life

Okie294life

Small engine jackwagen.
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Messages
476
Location
Arkansas
I cut a lot of brush and small junk trees on my properties and my father in laws. Normally I cut them up and put them on my 16’ to haul off to recycle. I found a deal on a 6.5hp chipper shredder. Is using a chipper shredder a waste of time? I really don’t need or care about the mulch at all.
 
arathol

arathol

ArboristSite Guru
Joined
Jun 16, 2012
Messages
506
Location
ct
Probably a waste of time. Those things are too small to be of any real use. Most claim they will chip up to a 3" branch, but unless that branch is perfectly straight it won't feed well. You might get away with 2" branches but even then they need to be at least somewhat straight.
 
Hobby435ii

Hobby435ii

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Sep 24, 2020
Messages
23
Location
Home
I had a craftsman. I used it for about 15 years, off and on. It was great for disposing of smaller tree and bush branches. I had to put new cutters on it twice. I would spread the chips and leaves in my garden, rototill them under in the fall, and next year everything would grow great!

One day, half-way thru chopping up the limbs/trunks from the Mugo Mugo whose rootball is almost all removed from the ground, it threw the rod. Holy heck, did it throw the rod. I wondered if the backyard neighbor had poured sand in the crankcase, but many hours of disassembly later, I discovered that all the bolts holding a vertical crankcase cover (between the crankcase and the chipper box, so unseen) had loosened, and the oil had poured out. The connecting rod was in pieces no longer than ~1 inch!

If you have a use for the chips, I'd recommend getting one. Burning/landfill is a LOT easier...
 
gumneck

gumneck

ArboristSite Guru
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
961
Location
chesapeake,va
I cut a lot of brush and small junk trees on my properties and my father in laws. Normally I cut them up and put them on my 16’ to haul off to recycle. I found a deal on a 6.5hp chipper shredder. Is using a chipper shredder a waste of time? I really don’t need or care about the mulch at all.
Unless you just like making chips its a waste of time with small equipment considering you have no need or care for mulch. You are doing it right by hauling off to recycle IMO as far your time goes.
 
Bearcreek

Bearcreek

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Jun 14, 2008
Messages
421
Location
Idaho
I cut a lot of brush and small junk trees on my properties and my father in laws. Normally I cut them up and put them on my 16’ to haul off to recycle. I found a deal on a 6.5hp chipper shredder. Is using a chipper shredder a waste of time? I really don’t need or care about the mulch at all.
Using a chipper isn't a waste of time, but using one that size is.
 
PasoRoblesJimmy
Joined
Jan 10, 2009
Messages
15,620
Location
Telemetry Group, Range Commanders Council, JCS
You don't want to mess with light-duty chippers that are not self-feeding. DR Power Equipment makes some nice self-feeding chippers that handle 3" and bigger limbs. Just throw the limb into the self-feeding hopper and the machine does the rest. Any chipper costing less than $2K isn't worth owning.

 
Silent Matt

Silent Matt

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Mar 27, 2019
Messages
5
Location
PNW
Don't do it. I felled four red oaks in our yard and the wife wanted wood chips made out of the two giant limb piles. We ended up buying the 6.5hp Harbor Freight chipper and it was a huge pain in the butt. It could handle about a 1.5" straight limb, and it had to be under a couple feet in length because it would suck the limb in and stall the engine unless you held it back(which meant the wife couldn't use it). It would've probably handled a 3" piece of balsa. It got about an hour of use and sold... We burned the piles and had the local tree service dump chips when they did the neighbors trees.
 
Rudedog

Rudedog

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
3,315
Location
Spring Break Florida
You don't want to mess with light-duty chippers that are not self-feeding. DR Power Equipment makes some nice self-feeding chippers that handle 3" and bigger limbs. Just throw the limb into the self-feeding hopper and the machine does the rest. Any chipper costing less than $2K isn't worth owning.

I agree with this 100%. Unfortunately, I did not listen to advice given me and spent over 1k on a Chinese made 11hp several years ago. Horrendous experience. Don't do it. Go pro or go home.
 
Okie294life

Okie294life

Small engine jackwagen.
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Messages
476
Location
Arkansas
I had a craftsman. I used it for about 15 years, off and on. It was great for disposing of smaller tree and bush branches. I had to put new cutters on it twice. I would spread the chips and leaves in my garden, rototill them under in the fall, and next year everything would grow great!

One day, half-way thru chopping up the limbs/trunks from the Mugo Mugo whose rootball is almost all removed from the ground, it threw the rod. Holy heck, did it throw the rod. I wondered if the backyard neighbor had poured sand in the crankcase, but many hours of disassembly later, I discovered that all the bolts holding a vertical crankcase cover (between the crankcase and the chipper box, so unseen) had loosened, and the oil had poured out. The connecting rod was in pieces no longer than ~1 inch!

If you have a use for the chips, I'd recommend getting one. Burning/landfill is a LOT easier...
We have a yard waste facilty that sells chips. They charge 5$ a load to dump whatever. I’ve even hauled logs over there before. Sounds like money saved not using this thing is way better invested somewhere else. Thanks
 
mrhemihead

mrhemihead

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Nov 9, 2018
Messages
165
Location
VA
Since its for private use wasting time with a small machine is not an issue.

But even the 6" rental machines can be a PITA to operate...better than nothing, but not by much.

To help with your decision I would try a small rental chipper to see if its tolerable.
 
Bassmantweed

Bassmantweed

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Dec 11, 2021
Messages
43
Location
CT
New guy here.

I have a DR and love it. I have been clearing my lot slowly but surely. It handles anything up to 1” with ease. 2” sometimes requires finesse. 3” and over I usually keep for firewood.

The only issue I have is it took me a while to figure out how to dispose of the chips without making a mess. It’s also impossible to move without a lawn tractor.
 
Hiker9

Hiker9

New Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2017
Messages
3
Location
Upper California
It is significantly quicker to load, haul, and dump as opposed to using a small chipper/shredder. I do use a smaller one as well as an 8" chipper on my tractor. Both have their uses. One of the main reasons I use them is that hauling away or burning the debris robs the soil of the vegetative matter that replenishes it, taking it out of it's natural cycle, and retarding future growth.
The portable chipper / shredder works better for leaves, needles, and small branches. The PTO tractor chipper is much more efficient for larger branches, etc.
 
sonny580

sonny580

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Jan 12, 2018
Messages
299
Location
Illinois
I have 2 of the 8 hp models and they are the biggest joke to ever hit the market! LOL!!
Ya , I ended up with a Vermeer 1600 and never looked back! Its an old unit but it eats trees like no tomorrow!
I also would suggest that you try a rental unit and go from there before you buy something that is NOT going to do the job!
 
ericm979

ericm979

ArboristSite Guru
Joined
Apr 18, 2017
Messages
586
Location
Santa Cruz Mountains, California
We started out with a 10hp homeowner unit. Nearly useless. Then we got a 16hp diesel tractor and a 4.5" chipper/shredder. It worked for small stuff but we have 20 acres with a lot of trees and brush. Now we have an 8" power feed chipper on a 37hp tractor and I could use more power at times. Large enough hardwood goes in the stove but I prefer to not burn fir so I chip everything I can with that.

Your needs may vary of course.
 
Top