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Chipper Shredders – 13 Critical Things You Must Know When Using One

Owning a home with a backyard with grass and plants where your children can play and be a little closer to nature is everybody’s dream now. However, once you get it all, it’s quite hard to maintain, especially keeping your yards neat.

Chipper shredder is one of those pieces of equipment that can make tidying a garden or a back yard super easy. Here is a guide on everything you need to know about chipper shredder and how to use a chipper shredder safely.

What Is a Chipper Shredder?

This is a powerful tool that breaks down larger garbage into really small parts. It is specially used by gardeners because after you have chipped those branches off the trees, cut the brushes to shape them, or mow the lawn, there is a huge amount of insanely large debris that can be very difficult or time-consuming to dispose of.

What Is a Chipper Shredder

In some cities, disposing of such garbage is illegal as well. And in that case, you need a chipper. The chippers break down the grasses, branches, bushes, etc. into smaller particles so that it can be used in another way. You can do anything you want with the leftovers.

Also, you can make a walkway, make compost for the plants, and build a flowerbed and so many other things.

The machine has razor-sharp blades that cut off the debris so neatly that it is easier to bag them up for disposal or pickup for donation. Given the nature of the machine, it is quite a simple device and requires minimal maintenance, unlike other power tools used around the house.

Chipper vs. Shredder 

Chipper vs Shredder

They may look similar, but there is a slight difference between a chipper and a shredder. Like there looks, their purpose is similar too. Shredders are usually smaller in size with a smaller engine. Hence they don’t have the power or the space to break down big branches or pieces of wood.

Chipper who are way bigger with a lot more power can do that. Shredders are used for smaller gardens and yards, whereas chippers are industrially used. In some shredders, you can even choose the size of the debris you want, so that it is convenient.

Despite the differences, both works identically as the purpose is the same.

How to Use It?

Chipper shredder is a very simple machine compared to other power tools used in households. However, using them is not a piece of cake. It is not as simple as shoving the garbage into the machine and debris coming out the other end.

You have to follow some instructions carefully to make sure you are not putting yourself, anybody else, or your house at risk here.

Instructions may vary from models to models, but the overall basics are the same, and you are good to go if you follow the rules mentioned below.

  1. Clearing the work area should be the first step. Before you start working with the machine, you have to make sure the waste is collected in one place, and the rest of the garden or yard is clean. This is to make sure you can walk around without tripping onto anything.
  2. Also, make sure you have selected an area where the chipper shoots the debris out, or else you might get hurt.
  3. It is wise to place the machine downwind so that the dust doesn’t go flying around everywhere.
  4. Ensure that the machine is horizontal and placed firmly on the ground. You don’t want your chipper to topple over for being misplaced.
  5. Usually, there is a deflector in chippers, and the chutes attached to them are adjustable, and these two control the size and the direction of the chips coming out of the chippers. Ensure that the chips are landing a safe distance away from the machine so that it doesn’t create a perilous mess.
  6. To haul around a large chipper, make sure that the piece of equipment has a braking system.
  7. Make sure the chipper has enough fuel in it and check the chords and the wires to prevent malfunctioning.
  8. Do not let your hands go anywhere near the blades. Use a long stick to push the debris into the machine.
  9. Do not feed your chipper larger garbage then mentioned in the manual. There is a chance the machine will throw the garbage back at you if you do that.
  10. Always start with the small ones, like twigs or grasses, then work your way up to the larger materials.
  11. Put a mixture of dry and new grass into the chipper. Doing this ensures that the machine is lubricated. Also, putting all green grass could be too much moisture for the chips and could result in clogging.
  12. Do not stand in front of the hopper, stand on the side.
  13. If the machine has a safety grid or switches, make sure it is on.

Safety Tips

Here are some additional tips to make sure you are safe when using a Chipper Shredder. Chipper Shredders can be very dangerous if used incorrectly, so be sure to follow these very closely. If you are interested in learning more about safety guidelines to follow when using your chipper shredder, check out this PDF posted by OSHA. This pdf covers the guidelines for Horticulture and Landscaping services workers, but they are still very much applicable to the average DIY Homeowner who is trying to use a Chipper Shredder safely.

  • Do not wear baggy or loose clothes as it can get caught by the machine and pull you in.
  • Wear protective gear like goggles, helmets, earmuffs, etc.
  • Keep on cleaning the area surrounding the chipper at all times so that it reduces your chances of tripping.
  • Do not stop paying attention once you have put the debris in. Anything can happen anytime, so be on your guard.


A word of advice would have a regular maintenance routine for your chipper shredder so that not only it has a long life, but so that it can perform at a hundred percent efficiency. At least change the oil inside the machine once a year and make sure the wiring of the machine is kept intact.

And most importantly, check if the blades are clean and sharp, if not you might have to get them sharpened.

With all of these warnings and rules, I hope you have learned everything that is there to learn about how to use your chipper shredder in your garden or small farm. Now may you make use of your leisure and creativity and create an outdoor space just the way you want it, which may become your Zen place.

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Menem Elkatan

Thanks a lot, that’s really great and rich content

[…] chipper shredder is an incredibly useful tool for clearing your yard of unnecessary pieces of wood and debris. […]

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