A chipper shredder might not seem a necessary tool for your garden, but its multiple uses and ability to make light work out of work that could otherwise be backbreaking might make you look twice.
A chipper shredder is a heavy-duty piece of garden equipment designed to make light work of yard jobs like turning leaves, tree trimmings and garden refuse into raw material perfect for the garden compost pile or mulch for your garden or vegetable beds.
A small electric chipper shredder might cost you as little as $200, while a larger, gas-powered model might run $2,000. If you have a large yard, a larger, more expensive model might be useful since it will accept a variety of materials in a variety of sizes, including tree trunks up to 6 inches in diameter.
Actually two machines in one, a chipper shredder works like this: the chipper mechanism turns branches and tree limbs into chips you can use for mulch, while the shredder mechanism takes softer materials like leaves and plants, and turns them into a material perfect for the compost pile. When you shred your debris with a chipper shredder before composting it, you increase by tenfold its surface which means the compost debris will take just weeks rather than months to decompose.
One or two hardened steel blades that are three to four inches in length are featured on most chipper shredders. You feed the limbs or branches through the chipping chute or tube and the blades chip them into small pieces.
The shredding mechanism also features hardened steel blades, but instead of being fixed and unmoving like with the chipper mechanism, they swing freely. You simply load the materials into the hopper or chute and let the machine do the bulk of the work.
There are some basic safety precautions homeowners should take when using a chipper shredder. These include reading and following the instructions of your chipper shredder carefully; keeping kids and pets well away from your work area; and staying well clear of the discharge area when using the machine.
In addition, when using a chipper shredder don’t wear loose clothes which could become caught in the chipper shredder and always wear ear and eye protection and gloves. As with a garbage disposal, if the chipper shredder becomes clogged, turn it off, unplug it and wait for all moving parts to stop moving before attempting to unclog it.
See Also: How to Remove a Tree Trunk