How To Use A Wood Chipper?

Using a wood chipper is a convenient way to turn tree branches and other yard debris into valuable wood chips, which can be used for various purposes like landscaping and mulching. Whether you’re a homeowner or a professional landscaper, operating a wood chipper requires following proper safety guidelines and understanding the equipment’s functionalities. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of how to use a wood chipper effectively and safely, ensuring efficient chipping and minimizing any potential risks.

Before starting the wood chipper, it’s crucial to inspect the machine for any damages or clogs and ensure that all safety features are in place. Next, prepare the work area by clearing any obstacles and establishing a safe distance from buildings and people. When feeding the wood chipper, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and insert smaller branches first, gradually moving on to larger ones.

While operating the wood chipper, it’s essential to wear appropriate safety gear, such as goggles, gloves, and ear protection. Maintain a steady feed rate and never force materials into the chipper. Additionally, periodically check the wood chipper’s discharge chute for any blockages and use a push stick or branch to clear them if necessary. Lastly, remember to turn off the wood chipper and disconnect it from the power source when you’re finished.

By following these instructions and practicing proper safety protocols, you can make the most out of your

how to use a wood chipper

Choosing the right wood chipper for your needs

When it comes to efficiently and safely disposing of tree branches, leaves, and other yard waste, a wood chipper is an essential tool. Whether you’re a homeowner with a small backyard or a professional landscaper, selecting the right wood chipper for your needs is crucial. With so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to make a decision. This section will guide you through the factors to consider when choosing a wood chipper.

Type of Wood Chipper

The first step in choosing the right wood chipper is determining the type that suits your needs. There are three main types:

1. Electric Wood Chipper:

Electric wood chippers are compact, lightweight, and easy to maneuver. They are ideal for small-scale projects and homeowners with limited storage space. These chippers run on electricity and are generally less powerful than gas-powered models. They are best suited for chipping small branches and leaves.

2. Gas-powered Wood Chipper:

Gas-powered wood chippers are more powerful and suitable for heavy-duty tasks. They are commonly used by professionals and homeowners with larger yards. These chippers run on gasoline engines and can handle larger branches and thicker wood materials. However, they are louder, heavier, and require more maintenance compared to electric models.

3. PTO Wood Chipper:

PTO (Power Take-Off) wood chippers are designed to be attached to tractors or other heavy-duty machinery. They are the most powerful and efficient option, making them perfect for commercial use and large-scale projects. PTO chippers are capable of handling large volumes of wood and can chip branches of significant diameters.

Capacity and Chipping Power

Consider the capacity and chipping power of a wood chipper before making your final choice. The capacity refers to the maximum branch diameter the chipper can handle. Determine the average size of branches and debris you will be chipping to select a chipper with an appropriate capacity.

The chipping power of a wood chipper is determined by its horsepower (HP) rating. Higher HP ratings indicate greater power and efficiency. If you plan to chip a large volume of wood frequently, opt for a chipper with a higher HP rating.

Safety Features

Wood chippers can be dangerous machines if not operated correctly. Therefore, prioritize safety features when choosing a wood chipper. Look for features such as a hopper safety lock, emergency stop button, and a self-feeding mechanism to prevent accidents and injuries.

Portability and Storage

Consider the portability and storage requirements of the wood chipper. If you need to move the chipper frequently or have limited storage space, opt for a compact and lightweight model. Electric wood chippers are usually more portable and easier to store compared to gas-powered or PTO chippers.

Additional Features

Some wood chippers come with additional features that can enhance their functionality and ease of use. Look for features like a shredder capability, adjustable discharge chute, and wheels for easy transportation. These features can make your chipping tasks more convenient and efficient.

Price and Budget

Lastly, consider your budget when selecting a wood chipper. Prices can vary significantly depending on the type, brand, and features of the chipper. Set a budget and choose a wood chipper that offers the best value for your investment, considering both the upfront cost and long-term durability.

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By considering these factors and evaluating your specific needs, you can confidently choose the right wood chipper that will meet your requirements and make yard waste disposal a breeze.

Steps to correctly operating a wood chipper

A wood chipper is a powerful machine that is used to turn branches, twigs, and other yard waste into smaller wood chips. When operated correctly, a wood chipper can make your yard cleanup much easier and more efficient. However, it is important to follow the proper steps to ensure your safety and the efficient operation of the machine. Below are the steps to correctly operating a wood chipper:

1. Read the manual

Before operating a wood chipper, it is crucial to read and understand the manufacturer’s manual. The manual will provide you with important safety information, maintenance instructions, and details on how to operate the specific wood chipper model you are using. Familiarize yourself with all the controls, safety features, and maintenance requirements before starting the machine.

2. Wear proper safety gear

When operating a wood chipper, it is essential to prioritize your safety. Wear appropriate safety gear, including safety glasses or goggles, a hard hat, hearing protection, gloves, and sturdy work boots. This will help protect you from flying debris, noise, and potential injuries.

3. Inspect the machine

Before starting the wood chipper, thoroughly inspect it for any signs of damage, such as loose or missing parts, worn blades, or leaks. Make sure all the components are in proper working condition and that there are no obstructions or foreign objects in the wood chipper’s chute.

4. Prepare the work area

Clear the work area of any obstacles or debris that could interfere with the operation of the wood chipper. Ensure that there is enough space around the machine for safe operation and that there are no bystanders nearby. It is also important to work on a stable and level surface to prevent accidents.

5. Start the engine

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to start the wood chipper’s engine. This may involve priming the fuel system, setting the choke, and pulling the starter cord. Allow the engine to warm up for a few minutes before proceeding.

6. Feed the branches

Carefully feed the branches, twigs, or other yard waste into the wood chipper’s hopper or chute, following the recommended maximum capacity. Use a long, sturdy stick or tool to push the material into the machine, keeping your hands and body a safe distance away from the hopper. Avoid overloading the wood chipper, as this can lead to clogs or other issues.

7. Monitor the operation

As you feed the branches into the wood chipper, pay close attention to the machine’s performance. Look for any signs of clogging, unusual noises, or vibrations. If you notice any problems, immediately turn off the engine and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for troubleshooting and resolving the issue.

8. Collect the wood chips

As the branches are being chipped, collect the wood chips in a designated area or container. This will help keep your work area clean and organized. Once you have finished chipping the branches, you can use the wood chips for mulching, landscaping, or other purposes.

9. Shut down and clean the machine

After you have finished operating the wood chipper, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to shut down the engine safely. Allow the machine to cool down before cleaning it. Use a brush or compressed air to remove any debris or wood chips stuck in the machine, and inspect the blades for any signs of wear or damage.

10. Perform regular maintenance

To ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your wood chipper, it is important to perform regular maintenance tasks. This may include sharpening or replacing blades, changing the oil, and inspecting the fuel and air filters. Refer to the manufacturer’s manual for the recommended maintenance schedule and procedures.

In summary, operating a wood chipper requires careful attention to safety and proper procedures. By following the steps outlined above and adhering to the manufacturer’s instructions, you can safely and efficiently use a wood chipper for your yard waste disposal needs.

4. Maintaining and Cleaning Your Wood Chipper for Optimal Performance

Wood chippers are essential tools for homeowners and professionals alike, allowing for efficient disposal of branches, twigs, and other yard waste. To ensure that your wood chipper operates at its best and has a long lifespan, regular maintenance and cleaning are crucial. In this section, we will discuss some essential tips to help you maintain and clean your wood chipper for optimal performance.

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1. Read the Manual

The first step in properly maintaining your wood chipper is to carefully read the manufacturer’s manual. This manual provides specific instructions and guidelines for maintenance and cleaning based on the model of your wood chipper. It also includes safety precautions that should be followed during maintenance procedures.

2. Regular Inspections

Performing regular inspections is vital to identify any potential issues or damage to your wood chipper. Inspect the blades, belts, and other moving parts for signs of wear, cracks, or damage. Check for loose screws, bolts, or nuts, and tighten them if necessary. Ensure that all safety guards are intact and in proper working condition.

3. Sharpening the Blades

The blades of your wood chipper can become dull over time, affecting its performance. Regularly inspect the blades and sharpen them as needed. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for sharpening techniques and use the recommended sharpening tools. Sharp blades will ensure efficient chipping and minimize strain on the engine.

4. Lubrication

Proper lubrication is essential for the smooth operation of your wood chipper. Refer to the manual for the recommended lubricants and lubrication points. Apply lubricants to the moving parts, such as the chipper disc, bearings, and belts, as specified in the manual. Regular lubrication will reduce friction, prevent wear, and prolong the lifespan of your wood chipper.

5. Cleaning the Chipper Housing

Over time, wood chips, debris, and resin can accumulate inside the chipper housing, affecting its performance. Regularly clean the chipper housing by removing any debris and residue. Use a brush or compressed air to remove stubborn debris. Be sure to follow safety precautions and disconnect the spark plug before cleaning the interior of the chipper housing.

6. Fuel and Oil Maintenance

Check the fuel and oil levels regularly and refill as needed. Use the recommended fuel and oil types as specified in the manual. Keep the fuel clean and free from contaminants to prevent engine damage. Replace the oil and oil filters according to the manufacturer’s recommended intervals to ensure optimal engine performance.

7. Store Properly

When not in use, it’s important to store your wood chipper properly. Clean the chipper thoroughly, removing any remaining wood chips or debris. Store the chipper in a dry and secure location, protected from the elements. Use the provided covers or tarps to shield the chipper from dust and moisture. Storing your wood chipper correctly will help prevent damage and ensure its readiness for future use.

In summary, regular maintenance and cleaning are critical for keeping your wood chipper in peak condition. By following the manufacturer’s guidelines and performing routine inspections, sharpening the blades, lubricating the moving parts, and keeping the chipper housing clean, you can ensure that your wood chipper operates at its best and has a long lifespan. Proper fuel and oil maintenance, as well as correct storage, also contribute to optimal performance. By dedicating time and effort to maintaining and cleaning your wood chipper, you can enjoy efficient chipping and hassle-free operation for years to come.

Creative uses for wood chips generated by a wood chipper

Wood chips are the byproduct of using a wood chipper to process wood into smaller, more manageable pieces. While these wood chips are often discarded as waste, they actually have a variety of creative uses that can benefit both homeowners and gardeners. In this section, we will explore some of the inventive ways you can put these wood chips to good use.

1. Mulching

One of the most common and practical uses for wood chips is as mulch in your garden or landscaping beds. Wood chips act as a natural barrier, helping to retain moisture in the soil, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Spread a layer of wood chips around your plants, shrubs, and trees, ensuring that they are a few inches deep. As the wood chips break down over time, they will also enrich the soil with organic matter.

2. Pathways and Walkways

Create charming and rustic pathways or walkways in your backyard or garden using wood chips. Lay down a thick layer of wood chips on top of a weed barrier or landscape fabric to create a soft and natural-looking pathway. Wood chips not only add visual appeal but also provide a cushioned surface for walking, making your outdoor space more enjoyable and accessible.

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3. Composting

If you have a compost pile or bin, wood chips can be a valuable addition. They help aerate the compost pile, allowing for better airflow and decomposition. Wood chips also balance the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio in the compost, preventing it from becoming too dense or compacted. When using wood chips for composting, it’s recommended to mix them in with other organic materials such as kitchen scraps, grass clippings, and leaves for optimal results.

4. Animal Bedding

Wood chips can be an excellent choice for animal bedding, particularly for larger animals like horses, chickens, or livestock. They provide a soft and comfortable surface for animals to rest on, while also absorbing moisture and controlling odors. Spread a thick layer of wood chips in animal stalls or pens, ensuring regular replacement and cleaning to maintain a healthy and hygienic environment for the animals.

5. Playground Surfaces

If you have a backyard playground, wood chips can be used as a safe and sustainable surface material. The cushioning effect of wood chips helps reduce the impact of falls, providing a safer play environment for children. Make sure to use wood chips that meet safety standards, such as those specifically designed for playgrounds, to ensure optimal safety.

6. Erosion Control

If you have areas in your yard that are prone to erosion, wood chips can help stabilize the soil and prevent further erosion. Simply spread a layer of wood chips on the vulnerable areas, such as sloping landscapes or areas affected by heavy rainfall. The wood chips will absorb water, slow down its movement, and reduce surface runoff, protecting your soil from erosion.

7. Biomass Energy

For those looking for a more sustainable and eco-friendly option, wood chips can be used as a biomass energy source. Wood chips can be burned in a biomass boiler or furnace to generate heat or electricity. This renewable energy source can be a viable alternative to fossil fuels and can contribute to reducing carbon emissions.

In summary, wood chips generated by a wood chipper can have diverse and creative uses. From mulching and composting to playground surfaces and erosion control, these wood chips can be repurposed in environmentally friendly ways that enhance your outdoor spaces. Consider these creative uses for wood chips and make the most out of this valuable resource instead of simply disposing of it as waste.


1. How do I use a wood chipper?

To use a wood chipper, start by wearing the necessary safety gear, such as goggles and gloves. Then, position the chipper on a level surface. Next, feed small branches or pieces of wood into the chipper’s hopper, taking care to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for size and type of wood. Finally, switch on the chipper and carefully feed the wood into the machine using a push paddle or feeder.

2. Can I use a wood chipper for green or wet wood?

No, it’s generally not recommended to use a wood chipper for green or wet wood. Green wood contains more moisture, which can clog or damage the chipper. It’s best to let the wood dry out or use a different method, such as a mulcher, for processing green or wet wood.

3. How do I maintain a wood chipper?

To maintain a wood chipper, regularly inspect and clean the machine after each use. Remove any debris or wood chips that may have accumulated inside the chipper. Check the blades for sharpness and replace or sharpen them as needed. Additionally, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for oiling and lubricating the chipper’s moving parts. Proper maintenance will ensure the longevity and efficient functioning of your wood chipper.


In conclusion, learning how to use a wood chipper can greatly benefit your landscaping and waste management efforts. By following the proper safety precautions and understanding the operating instructions, you can efficiently and safely process branches, leaves, and other yard debris. Whether you are a homeowner or a professional landscaper, utilizing a wood chipper can save you time and effort while also reducing waste volume. Enhancing the natural aesthetics of your outdoor space and contributing to sustainable practices are just some of the advantages of incorporating a wood chipper into your routine. So, gear up and start chipping away!

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