Wood chipper hire

Wood chipper

A wood chipper (or wood shredder) is a gardening machine used to reduce wood (branches and trunks) into smaller woodchips or even smaller pieces in the case of a wood shredder.

The price for hiring a wood chipper depends on its size, power and quality.

Wood chipper hire guide

What is a wood chipper?

A wood chipper is used to reduce wood (both tree branches and trunks) into smaller woodchips, e.g. after pruning trees or bushes. A wood chipper consists of 4 main parts: a hopper where the wood goes in, a disc or drum to chip the wood, a chute which ejects the chips, and a bin for collecting the wood chips. Wood chippers vary in size, mainly determined by the size of the wood they can handle.

What is a wood shredder?

A wood shredder is also used to reduce wood, but into smaller pieces compared to the woodchips that come out of a wood chipper. Often, it is even possible to select the size of the finished pieces. Wood shredders use flails (semi-blunt blades) to transform the organic material such as leaves and twigs into smaller sized organic material.

Which type of wood chipper or wood shredder do I need?

Depending on what you need to shred and what you want as outcome of the process either a wood chipper or a wood shredder is more appropriate. You basically have the following three options:

  • Wood chipper: Most appropriate if you want to reduce large branches or trunks and want larger size outcome. Best choice in case of commercial use.
  • Wood shredder: Most appropriate if you want to reduce small branches, leaves, twigs
  • Combination of wood chipper and shredder: Most appropriate if you want the combination of the two, typically chosen by homeowners as they can produce both chips and mulch.

Another choice to make is the power source:

  • Electrical engine: Typically used for smaller machines which handle smaller sized wood. An electrical engine makes less noise vs a combustion engine
  • Combustion engine (either internally or externally): Typically used for larger size wood and when a lot of wood needs to be reduced

Typically rental companies indicate until which size of wood (chipping and shredding) the machine can be used.

What are the safety requirements to use a wood chipper / shredder?

Using a wood chipper or wood shredder is not without risk, and as such requires to wear the appropriate safety clothing, which can typically be hired from the same company where the wood chipper or wood shredder is hired:

  • Safety goggles
  • Safety helmet
  • Safety shoes
  • An overall without pockets, so branches cannot get stuck onto the clothing

Additionally to the safety clothing, make sure to carefully read the manual of the machine and if it is the first time you use a wood chipper, consider doing it in the presence of someone who is more experienced. The environment in which you are using the wood chipper must be cleared of any debris that can cause you to slip and it must be on a levelled ground.

Who invented the wood chipper?

The wood chipper was invented in Germany by Peter Jensen in 1884. The company he established called Jensen Service GmbH is still one of the main manufacturers of wood chippers to date!

What to do with woodchips from a wood chipper?

Woodchips have various uses:

  • Bio-fuel: Woodchips can be used as bio-fuel to produce renewable energy, typically using logging residues
  • Wood pulp: Woodchips can be used to produce wood pulp (paper), typically requires uniform sized woodchips
  • Compost: Woodchips can be used together with other organic material as compost, where they can speed up the composting process
  • Mulch: Woodchips can be used as landscape and garden mulch as they help conserve water and serve as natural way to control weed and prevent soil erosion, typically requires woodchips of at least 3 inches
  • Surfacing of paths and playgrounds: Woodchips can be used as to reduce impact, and as such are used as playground surfacing material or for running tracks.

Sometimes woodchips are also just burnt or dumped, however these options are not as environmentally friendly.

Well-known wood chipper brands