A chipper shredder is used to cut up leaves, grass, twigs and other types of debris into tiny pieces or chips which can then be processed into compost. By making your own compost material, you can save on commercial fertilizer costs. This machine can also provide you with organic mulch material that you can use to protect the plants in your garden or yard. Here are five pointers you can use when choosing this type of equipment.
1 - Determine the Materials or Objects to be Shredded
Before you buy or rent a chipper shredder, you first need to know the types of objects that you will feed into it. If you will use the machine simply to deal with small twigs and leaves in your backyard, you can settle for a small electric shredder. However, if you plan to deal with tree branches and other large debris, you need to invest in a bigger gas-powered machine.
2 - Know the Workload Capacity of the Chipper Shredder
Apart from the type of materials that you will normally process in the chipper or shredder, you also need to consider the workload capacity of the machine. If you think that you will seldom use the equipment, you can pick small residential-type equipment. For large yards that need to be cleaned up frequently, a commercial-type chipper or shredder is more suitable.
3 - Choose between Gas or Electric Units
Chippers and shredders are powered either by gas engines or electricity. Gas-powered units are more powerful and, best of all, they can be operated anywhere. This is why they are practical for large areas that need to be regularly cleared of large twigs, leaves, and other debris. The only drawback is that a gas chipper shredder weighs heavier than an electric one. Meanwhile, electric units are easy to use and they do not give off harmful fumes. However, this type of equipment can only be used in areas that have electrical outlets and its range is limited by the length of the electrical cord.
4 - Determine the Equipment’s Reduction Ratio
When it comes to chippers and shredders, a unit’s level of performance can be determined by its reduction ratio. This describes the volume of chipped or shredded materials that can come out of the machine. A higher ratio is desirable because it would mean finer chips or shredded debris. Finely shredded materials can be easily processed into mulch or stored in neatly arranged stacks. The reduction ratio is determined by how many chipping blades and shredding knives are used in a machine. Having more blades and knives translates to a more efficient cutting action.
5 - Look for Added Features
When shopping for a chipper shredder, make sure to find out the added features of the machine you are considering. Some units have vacuum function that can suck debris into a collection bag. Others have a blower mechanism that makes it easier for the user to put the chipped or shredded debris into neat piles before loading into sacks or a disposal truck. If you think that you will frequently move your equipment to different locations, be sure to get one that has a tow bar or hitch.