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.
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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.
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.
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:
Another choice to make is the power source:
Typically rental companies indicate until which size of wood (chipping and shredding) the machine can be used.
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:
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.
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!
Woodchips have various uses:
Sometimes woodchips are also just burnt or dumped, however these options are not as environmentally friendly.
Guide written by Tomas Mertens (Master of Engineering at KU Leuven)