For homeowners who need to clear away fallen tree branches – or better yet, use those branches to sprinkle your garden with fresh mulch – there is no tool better suited to the purpose than a chipper shredder

This handy piece of yard equipment is not just for commercial landscapers, but also for any homeowner who likes to tidy up their yard from wooden debris after a storm. Although all chippers and shredders perform the same basic functions, you’ll want to make sure that you’re investing in the best chipper shredder for your needs.

In order to help you find the chipper shredder that will work best for your yard, we looked at a number of important features that define chipper shredders. These included the power source and engine power, which determine whether you’ll need to keep gas around the garage and how well your chipper shredder will deal with massive tree limbs. We also looked at features like the hopper and maximum feed sizes, which affect the size of limbs you can chip and shred without preprocessing.
Top 8 Chipper Shredders Review 2019
We spent tens of hours researching the best chipper shredders on the market today, poring through technical specifications and customer reviews to come up with our eight favorite models – highlighted in the table below. Continue reading for detailed reviews of each chipper shredder, complete with pros and cons. Our buying guide covers everything you need to know about how to choose a chipper shredder, including explanations of the important features that differentiate these tools from one another. Finally, we announce our three favorite overall chipper shredders for your yard.

Name and Features Image Rating Price 1. Tazz 22752 K33 (Editor’s Choice)
A compact chipper shredder with a 20:1 reduction ratio and a 5-year warranty Check Price Read Our Review 2. Patriot Products CSV-3100B (Upgrade Pick)
This chipper shredder has a powerful 10 hp motor and a 14"x16" hopper size Check Price Read Our Review 3. Patriot Products CSV-2515 (Best Electric Chipper/Shredder)
An elecrtic chipper shredder with 13.5A engine power and 7 blades Check Price Read Our Review 4. GreatCircleUSA (Budget Pick)
Modestly prised chipper shredder uses gas fuel and can produce mulch redused to 15:1 size Check Price Read Our Review 5. Tazz 30520 (Most Compact Chipper Shredder)
A lightweight and compact chipper shredder with a 3" feed size and an impressive 20:1 reduction ratio Check Price Read Our Review 6. Earthquake 9060300 (Best for Generating Compost)
A helpful chipper shredder with six blades and 3" feed size Check Price Read Our Review 7. YARDMAX YW7565 (Best for Rural Areas)
A simple yet powerful chipper shredder with a big 14"x21" hopper size Check Price Read Our Review 8. Sun Joe CJ602E-GRY (Best for Urban Yards)
A portable electric chipper shredder with an impressive reduction ratio of 17:1 Check Price Read Our Review

1 Tazz 22752 K33 – Best All Around Chipper/Shredder Features Weight: 140 lbs Power source: gas Engine power: 8 hp Hopper size: 13 x 16 inches feed size: 3 inches Fuel capacity: 1.72 gal Reduction ratio: 20:1 Blades: 2 knives, 2 j-hammers, 2 tri-hammers Warranty: 5 years limited
More features: 30x25x51 inches, 11 inch wheels, dock-and-lock bag connector

OVERALL RATING: 10 out of 10
This versatile chipper shredder from Tazz is an ideal choice for a wide variety of homeowners who have a lot of yard debris to clean up. The chipper shredder is relatively compact for a gas-powered model, measuring just 30 x 25 inches around its base and weighing only 140 pounds – an advantage for storing it in your garage and moving it around. The eight horsepower motor is extremely powerful as well, although it can guzzle fuel – the chipper shredder is equipped with a 1.72-gallon fuel tank. But users loved that the chipper is able to handily slice through tree limbs up to three inches around. Even better, the chipper feed is voracious so that you barely have to push at all to feed limbs into the blades. The guts of the chipper shredder feature a combination of two slicing blades, two j-hammers, and two tri-hammers to achieve a 20:1 reduction ratio when shredding.

One of the major advantages of this chipper for people with large yards and lots of fallen leaves every autumn is the availability of an optional vacuum kit from Tazz. This hose vacuum allows you to suck leaves into the shredder while simply wheeling it around behind you across the yard, saving you time raking and piling leaves into the hopper. Users also loved the discharge port on this chipper shredder, which features a locking mechanism so that your bag is not accidentally ejected in the middle of chipping a branch.

On top of all these features, Tazz offers a five-year limited warranty.
PROS: Compact and powerful Optional vacuum kit 20:1 reduction ratio Five-year limited warranty Bag locking mechanism

CONS: Uses a lot of gas, which adds expense

2 Patriot Products CSV-3100B – Upgrade Pick Features Weight: 139 lbs Power source: gas Engine power: 10 hp Hopper size: 14 x 16 inches feed size: 3 inches Fuel capacity: not specified Reduction ratio: 20:1 Blades: 2 knives, 6 hardened steel y-hammers Warranty: 3 years residential; 90 days commercial
More features: 35x 24x 37 inches, lo-tone muffler, low oil run sensor, side discharge

OVERALL RATING: 9.8 out of 10
If this isn’t your first chipper shredder and you want to make an upgrade to a burly model that can handle the largest tree limbs in your yard, be sure to consider this reliable and powerful chipper shredder from Patriot Products. The gas-powered 10-horsepower engine is by far the most powerful among non-commercial chipper shredders that we reviewed and allows you to cut through thick hardwoods without thinking twice. The three-inch throat size also ensures that you won’t be limited in the diameter of limbs that you can feed into the chipper shredder. Plus, the two knives and six y-hammers allow the shredder to reduce branches, wood chips, and leaves down to 1/20th of their original volume – which is great if you want to make compost with this chipper shredder.

The hopper size is 14 x 16 inches at the opening to allow you to load branch-laden limbs, but narrows down to seven x two inches wide at the blade opening – which users found can lead to a bit of a bottleneck. However, even overstuffing is easily fixed by unscrewing the hopper and removing the clog – users reported this process takes about 30 minutes but happens only rarely. Users appreciated the side discharge port on this chipper, which throws wood chips away from your work area and can be easily fitted with a bag if you want to minimize the mess in your yard.

Users found that the instructions that come with this chipper shredder are extremely clear and that the assembly process is fast and easy. Patriot Products also offers a three-year warranty on this chipper shredder for residential users.
PROS: Reliable 10-horsepower motor and three-inch throat 20:1 reduction ratio Side discharge port

CONS: Narrow hopper base can cause bottlenecking Expensive

3 Patriot Products CSV-2515 - Best Electric Chipper/Shredder Features Weight: 95 lbs Power source: electric Engine power: 13.5 A Hopper size: 14 x 16 inches feed size: 2.5 inches Reduction ratio: not specifies Blades: 1 knife, 6 y-hammers Warranty: 2 years full
More features: 35x24x37 inches, can be used indoors

OVERALL RATING: 9.5 out of 10
For users who don’t want to deal with the noise or maintenance of a traditional gas-powered chipper shredder, there is no better electric unit than this one produced by Patriot Products. The unit is comparable in size to many of the gas-powered chipper shredders that we reviewed, but weighs just 95 pounds – which makes it significantly easier to move around the yard. However, note that you will need an extended electric cord from Patriot Products that is designed to handle the consistent energy requirement of this chipper sealer.

Users note that despite the electric motor and limited 2.5-inch diameter throat on this chipper sealer, it can compete with much burlier gas-powered models when it comes to devouring medium-sized tree limbs and branches. Users were impressed with how well this unit performs, even when feeding in green hardwood branches, but note that feeding too quickly can blow the safety fuse in the electric motor. Typically the sound the motor makes as you are feeding is a good indicator of whether you are feeding too quickly. In addition, users note that wet leaves are fully outside the limits of this shredder since it will blow the electrical circuitry in the motor.

Users appreciated how easy it is to fit a bag around the discharge port so that it does not fly off in the middle of chipping. They also noted that, as is true in general for electric chipper shredders, this unit is much quieter than comparable gas-powered models.

Although Patriot Products offers a two-year warranty, some users found their customer service team extremely difficult to deal with.
PROS: Powerful electric motor Relatively quiet and lightweight Easy to fit bag over discharge port

CONS: Not as powerful as gas-powered models Requires electrical cord Poor customer service

4 GreatCircleUSA – Budget Pick Features Weight: 130 lbs Power source: Gas Engine power: 6.5 hp Hopper size: 15 x 16 inches feed size: 3 inches Fuel capacity: 0.7 gal Reduction ratio: 15:1 Blades: 2 knives, 5 y-hammers Warranty: 3 years limited
More features: 30x24x41 inches, EPA3 and CARB certified engine, low oil sensor

OVERALL RATING: 9.2 out of 10
This gas-powered chipper shredder from GreatCircleUSA is a great option for homeowners on a budget. The unit is relatively large, which can make storage a challenge for people with tight garages or without a shed. On the other hand, the size provides plenty of hopper capacity with a gentle narrowing to the blade opening that minimizes difficulty in feeding. Users were impressed with the ability of this chipper shredder to take in large tree limbs without clogging, especially given the budget price.

One of the major value additions to this chipper shredder is the inclusion of a vacuum attachment – a similar component to which you have to purchase separately on the more expensive Tazz chipper shredder. This vacuum allows you to effortlessly suck up leaves from across your yard without having to feed them directly into the shredder. Plus, since the tool is only 130 pounds, it is relatively easy to move across the yard as you vacuum up leaves. Although the 15:1 reduction ratio is a significant difference from the 20:1 ratio found on more expensive shredders, this is still good for generating mulch that you can use in your garden.

Users warn that although GreatCircleUSA has excellent customer service and does provide the three-year warranty provided with this chipper shredder, the company also has serious manufacturing and shipping issues. Many users report receiving damaged units, which they then need to work with GreatCircleUSA to replace or to get replacement parts.
PROS: Inexpensive Comes with vacuum attachment Three-year warranty

CONS: Large size makes storage difficult

5 Tazz 30520 - Most Compact Chipper Shredder Features Weight: 121 lbs Power source: gas Engine power: 6.5 hp Hopper size: 13 x 16 inches feed size: 3 inches Fuel capacity: 0.95 gal Reduction ratio: 20:1 Blades: 2 knives, 2 j-hammers, 2 tri-hammers Warranty: 5 years limited
More features: 25x30x52 inches, dock-and-lock bag connector

OVERALL RATING: 8.9 out of 10
This compact chipper shredder from Tazz is a great choice for homeowners who are tight on space but don’t want to sacrifice the power of a gas-powered motor. At just 25 x 30 inches and a weight of 121 pounds, it is easy to fit this chipper shredder in your garage or shed and to move it around. The smaller size hasn’t affected the hopper opening, though, which is on par with much larger units.

Users loved the 6.5-horsepower Viper engine on this chipper shredder, which offers enough power to reliably cut through even green hardwood branches up to three inches in diameter. Users are consistently impressed by the lack of clogging experienced with this unit and love that it starts on the first pull ever time. The discharge port comes with a bag for easy collection of your wood waste, which can be fastened on using Tazz’s lock-and-dock connection port. In addition, users wanting to turn their wood into mulch or compost will appreciate the thorough 20:1 reduction ratio of the shredder.

Users note that initial assembly of this chipper shredder is somewhat difficult – not because the instructions are poor, but rather because it comes in many pieces that can be awkward to fit together. However, customers consistently express their satisfaction with Tazz’s customer service team and appreciate the five-year warranty to protect this chipper shredder over the course of its long life.
PROS: Compact design for easy storage 5-horsepower gasoline motor Dock-and-lock bag on discharge port

CONS: Assembly may be difficult Expensive

6 Earthquake 9060300 - Best for Generating Compost Features Weight: 107 lbs Power source: gas Engine power: 6.5 hp Hopper size: 13 x 17 inches feed size: 3 inches Fuel capacity: not specified Reduction ratio: 20:1 Blades: 2 knives, 2 j-hammers, 2 tri-hammers Warranty: 1 year limited
More features: 27x23.5x34 inches, CARB approved

OVERALL RATING: 8.8 out of 10
This gas-powered chipper shredder from Earthquake is a great all-around piece of equipment that can handle anything you need to clean up from your yard. The unit is moderate in size, but provides plenty of hopper capacity and the ability to feed in three-inch diameter tree limbs. Moreover, at just over 100 pounds is easy to move around the yard. Users found that the motor starts on a single pull, which can make a huge difference for older and less strong users.

The 6.5-horsepower motor drives two slicing blades, two J-hammers, and two tri-hammers, which together provide a 20:1 reduction ratio – perfect if you want to mulch your garden or make compost with the discharge. However, users found that the chipping function struggled with green or wet wood and would occasionally clog when feeding limbs that had a lot of branches attached. That said, users loved the way the blades suck in dry wood so that you have very little pushing to do. In addition, the chipper shredder comes with a two-bushel bag to collect wood waste coming from the discharge pipe.

The chipper shredder is equipped with a low oil sensor to help you keep track of maintenance and the engine is CARB certified to ensure it will not smog up your backyard. One of the main drawbacks to this chipper shredder is that Earthquake only offers a one-year warranty, which is surprisingly short given the high price of this unit.
PROS: Lightweight and portable 20:1 reduction ratio CARB certified

CONS: Only one-year warranty Clogs on green and wet wood

7 YARDMAX YW7565 - Best for Rural Areas Features Weight: 200 lbs Power source: gas Engine power: 6.5 hp Hopper size: 14 x 21 inches feed size: 3 inches Fuel capacity: 0.8 gal Reduction ratio: 10:1 Blades: 2 blades Warranty: 2 years residential; 90 days commercial
More features: 47x34x59 inches, adjustable discharge chute

OVERALL RATING: 8.6 out of 10
This modestly priced chipper shredder from Yardmax is designed for easy loading to make fast work for yards with small and medium-sized trees. The gas-powered, 6.5-horsepower motor powers two blades to chop through tree limbs up to three inches in diameter. Users found that the engine is plenty powerful for dried wood, but can jam when dealing with wet or green wood. In addition, many users found that they needed to remove the safety flap inside the hopper since this was a cause of frequent clogging when working with messy branches.

Users loved the large, steel feeding chute on this chipper shredder, which is funnel-shaped to make it easy to load branch-laden limbs into the hopper without risking a clog when the wood reaches the blade opening. The length of the hopper is also advantageous from a safety perspective, although you will want to keep a long, sturdy limb in reserve for pushing branches into the blade opening. The length of the hopper also increases the amount of space that this chipper shredder takes up, which can be problematic for people with limited storage.

Note that without a set of hammers, the shredder function on this model is limited to a 10:1 reduction ratio. As a result, this chipper shredder is not ideal for people who are looking to recycle their wood as mulch for a garden or for landscaping.

Yardmax offers a two-year warranty on their tool for residential users to give you peace of mind in your purchase.
PROS: Large, steel hopper Inexpensive Durable with two-year warranty

CONS: Only 10:1 reduction ratio Can clog frequently on green wood and with safety flap

8 Sun Joe CJ602E-GRY - Best for Urban Yards Features Weight: 36.2 lbs Power source: electric Engine power: 15 A Hopper size: 2 x 5 inches feed size: 1.5 inches Reduction ratio: 17:1 Blades: 2 reversible knives Warranty: 2 years full
More features: 20x17x38 inches, ETL approved, safety hopper with locking knob

OVERALL RATING: 8.5 out of 10
This shockingly small and inexpensive chipper shredder from Sun Joe is perfect for urban homeowners who want to turn the small branches and leaves littering their yard into usable mulch. The chipper shredder is just 26 pounds and has a tiny 20 x 17-inch footprint, making it easy enough to store in an indoor closet if needed. Plus, the electric motor means that you don’t need to keep a can of gasoline or oil around the house and the unit requires very little maintenance over its lifetime. At only 113 dB, it’s also one of the quietest chipper shredders on the market.

The engine is as small and low-powered as you would expect in this tiny chipper shredder, so be reasonable in what you plan to put down the hopper. Users note that it does fine for small, dry branches, but green wood or any hardwood branch approaching 1.5-inch diameter will surely stall the blades. That said, the most prominent use of this tool is for shredding leaves, which it does extremely well with a 17:1 reduction ratio. Another nice feature is that the hopper is designed with safety in mind and features a locking knob so that you can’t accidentally get your hand caught in the hopper.

Users do note that despite the two-year warranty that this chipper shredder comes with, Sun Joe’s customer service is extremely unhelpful in the event that problems arise. Users also complained of being unable to remove the blades in order to sharpen or reverse them and found that the blades become dulled after only a few hours of use.
PROS: Inexpensive Extremely compact and quiet 17:1 reduction ratio Locking knob for safety

CONS: Small feeding tube Motor is relatively weak and clogs easily Poor customer service Blades not easily removed

Buying Guide
Now that you’ve learned more about our eight favorite chipper shredders on the market today, how do you choose among them to find the chipper shredder that is right for your yard and your budget? In our Buying Guide, we’ll introduce you to the types of chipper shredders and the most important features that distinguish the best chipper shredders from the rest of the pack. We’ll also share some important safety and maintenance tips, as well as ideas about what to do with the mulch leftover from your wood, so that you can get the most out of your chipper shredder.
Types of a chipper shredders
Chipper shredders are essentially a combination of standalone wood chippers, wood shredders, and mulchers.

Standalone wood chippers are the biggest and most powerful yard tools out there, and the chipping function of the chipper shredder is similarly the most powerful setting on this combination piece of equipment. The chipper is designed to take large, relatively thick tree branches and limbs and rapidly cut them down into smaller, more manageable pieces. The amount of preprocessing – that is, chainsawing – you’ll need to do to your wood before chipping largely depends on the throat size of your wood chipper or chipper shredder since the diameter of the tree limb needs to be smaller than that throat size. Another advantage of the chipper function on your chipper shredder is that you typically don’t need to worry about cutting off small branches coming off the main limb as long as they fit inside the hopper.

Wood shredders are designed to take much smaller pieces of wood than a wood chipper and turn them into wooden mulch. Instead of the sharp blades that a wood chipper uses to chop through thick branches, the shredder portion of your chipper shredder is equipped with blunt blades – called flails – that have metal holes in them that the wood is shredded through. The shredding portion of your chipper shredder will typically handle the small leaf-bearing branches that get blown around your yard, as well as the chips produced from chipping a larger tree limb.

When it comes to a chipper shredder, the mulching feature is essentially the same as the shredding feature. However, mulching specifically refers to shredding leaves and other non-woody debris to make organic mulch or compost.
Safety tips
Although it is easy to operate a chipper shredder safety with a bit of precaution, it is important to note that these are industrial pieces of yard equipment designed to spin blades at high speed.
The biggest danger that people face when operating a chipper shredder is being pulled into the hopper, whether it is just a finger that is pulled or your entire body. The best way to prevent this is simply to make sure that you have no loose clothing, hair, wristbands, or other loose items attached to your body that could get caught on a piece of wood or on the blade itself. In addition, you can protect your hands from being cut by the wood and from being yanked into the hopper by donning a pair of protective saw gloves.
Another safety concern with chipper shredders is that, even when they have a bag attached, they can throw wood debris into the air. This means that you’ll want to wear protective clothing as well as a helmet and safety glasses. The motor on these tools is also typically quite loud, so to protect your ears you will need a set of earmuffs. Although donning all of these separately is fine, consider investing in a protective helmet system that combines a full face mask and helmet with hearing protection.
Maintenance of a chipper shredder
A chipper shredder is a significant investment in your set of yard equipment, so you want to maintain it to make sure that it will run smoothly for years to come. In addition, maintenance can be a safety issue if you are not keeping ahead of any dangerous problems that could develop with your chipper shredder.

The most important maintenance you can perform is to keep your blades – especially the chipper blades – sharp. As these blades dull, your motor has to do more work to chop through the same piece of wood, which will ultimately decrease the lifespan of your chipper shredder’s motor. In addition, extremely dull blades can cause your chipper shredder to stall on a thick limb. Most chipper shredders are shipped with a set of extra blades or a sharpening tool, so don’t be hesitant to replace the blades or sharpen the set you have.
Good practice, not just for your chipper shredder but for all your tools, is to house it inside your garage or shed rather than leave it exposed to the elements. Leaving your chipper shredder outside in the rain or snow is a sure way to develop rust and severely limit the life of your equipment.
Gas-powered chipper shredders have a set of additional maintenance needs beyond those of electric chipper shredders because they use engine oil. It is important to monitor your oil levels whenever using your chipper shredder and to add oil whenever you find the levels are low – running your motor with too little oil is the fastest way to destroy your chipper shredder. A good practice is to change your oil after the first 10-20 hours of use of your chipper shredder and then every 100 hours for the rest of its life. Of course, keep an eye out for oil leaks whenever you use the chipper shredder – if you suspect a leak, stop working immediately and address the problem before continuing to operate the machine. Finally, you’ll want to replace the air filters liberally over the life of your chipper shredder. Remember that the filter will clog more quickly if you are operating the chipper shredder during periods when there is a lot of pollen in the air, like the springtime.

For electric chipper shredders, maintenance is simpler. Simply remember to check the power cord before each use for any tears, and be sure to use a high-quality extension cord that won’t shock your engine with unexpected voltage drops.
Find a use for the leftover mulch
While you could simply throw out the wood chips or mulch that your chipper shredder produces, save yourself money on landscaping by putting them to use around your yard. You can use the mulch you make with your chipper shredder for basically anything that you would use commercial mulch for, including covering your landscaping with woody mulch to prevent mold and mildew from forming and mixing leaf-rich mulch into your garden to promote your vegatables’ growth. If your chipper shredder has a high reduction ratio, like the 20:1 ratio found on the Patriot Products, Tazz, and Earthquake chipper shredders, you can also use the wooden mulch for compost.

More creative uses of your chipper shredder waste include using the chipped wood for smoking or barbecuing. If you plan to use the wood chips for smoking, keep them in the dark until right before you soak them for smoking to help them keep their flavor. Be sure to check whether the type of wood you made the chips from is suitable for barbecuing and smoking, though, since some types of woods will yield a weird flavor. You can also use the chips as tinder if you heat your house with a wood stove or like to have a fire going in the hearth over the winter months.

Large wood chips can also be used for controlling erosion around your landscaping or for creating a walkway through your yard or garden. While neither of these are permanent as the wood chips will ultimately scatter with the wind and rain, if you find yourself chipping frequently you can replenish the wood chips as needed. Similarly, if you have a sunken or low-lying part of your yard that frequently pools water when it rains, you can try using the wood chips to soak up some of this water or to create a raised platform for walking around on.
Features to consider while choosing a chipper shredder
Although all chipper shredders perform the same basic functions of chipping and shredding wood, they can differ widely in their capacities to handle large tree limbs, their ease of use, and the wood chips and mulch they expel. Here, we’ll cover some of the most important features you need to know about when choosing a chipper shredder.
Size is a double-edged sword when it comes to chipper shredders. On the one hand, a larger chipper shredder will typically allow you to handle larger volumes of small branches or larger tree limbs without having to spend hours chainsawing them into smaller pieces. On the other hand, the unfortunate reality is that even if your yard has a lot of trees, your chipper shredder will spend the majority of the year in your garage or shed – where a larger piece of equipment takes up more space. Thus, you need to balance your available storage space with the size of tree limbs you expect to chip when looking at chipper shredder sizes.
The weight of the chipper shredder typically increases with motor power and size, which is why the large, 6.5-horsepower gas-powered chipper shredders we reviewed also tend to be the heaviest. While weight is not an extreme concern since all of these chipper shredders are mounted on wheels for transport, a heavy unit can be somewhat more difficult to manage by yourself.
Power source
One of the most important decisions you’ll need to make when choosing a chipper shredder is whether to opt for a gas-powered or electric unit. All other things being equal, an electric motor will never be able to sport the same power as a gas-powered motor – which means a gas-powered chipper shredder is an obvious choice if you need to cut through massive limbs from hardwood trees. Gas-powered motors also have no power cords to tether them to the house, which is helpful if you have a large yard.

On the other hand, gas is more expensive than electricity and gas-powered engines are often significantly louder than electric engines. Gas-powered chipper shredders also tend to have larger engines, which means a larger and heavier overall piece of equipment. For many people who only need a small chipper shredder, the maintenance required by a gas-powered motor – changing the oil and air filter frequently – and the extra price compared to most electric models is enough to dissuade them from opting for a gas-powered model.
The size of the engine on a chipper shredder is typically a good measure of the tool’s power capacity – a bigger engine, like the massive 10-horsepower engine found on the Patriot Products CSV-3100B chipper shredder, means you’ll be able to chip larger, more difficult pieces of wood. Larger engines will draw more gas and electricity, however, as well as increase the overall size and weight of your chipper shredder. Therefore, it is typically best to opt for the smallest engine that can handle the largest tree limbs on your property.
Hopper opening
The opening size of the hopper is important if you plan on chipping relatively large limbs that have a number of smaller limbs branching off from them – these branching limbs will also need to fit into the hopper to reach the blades. Opting for a small hopper, like the 2 x 5-inch hopper found on the Sun Joe CJ602E-GRY chipper shredder, can be important if you don’t have a lot of storage space for your yard equipment. However, plan on stripping any limbs of their branches before feeding them into the chipper shredder if you go this route.
Chipping capacity
The chipping capacity of your chipper shredder – that is, the largest diameter of a tree limb that it can handle - will be controlled in large part by the throat diameter of the chip feed system. When choosing a chipper shredder, it is a good idea to measure the larger tree limbs around your yard that you could envision chipping and to select a chipper feeder that has a throat opening large enough to handle these limbs. Note that even the largest chipper shredders we reviewed, including the Patriot Products CSV-3100B, Yardmax YW7565, GreatCircleUSA, and Earthquake 9060300 models, are limited to three-inch diameter limbs since they are not designed as commercial-scale chipper shredders.
Shredding Chute
The shredding chute is the same as the chipping chute on all of the chipper shredders that we reviewed, meaning that you can place wood chips in the same chute to be shredded as you placed the original tree limb for chipping – simply switch modes using a lever on the side of the machine. The shredding chute typically narrows from its wide opening into the blade, although some models – like the Sun Joe and Patriot Products chipper shredders – save space by keeping the opening of the chute relatively narrow.
Fuel capacity of gasoline-powered items
The fuel capacity for gas-powered chipper shredders varies from less than a gallon to a whopping 1.7 gallons on the Tazz 22752 K33 chipper shredder. Having a larger fuel tank means that you may be able to use your chipper shredder without carrying a gas tank out into the field with you. However, note that the fuel tank size often also reflects the size of the engine since a larger engine will burn through fuel more quickly.
Reduction Ratio
The reduction ratio describes the relative volume reduction that the shredder will achieve. For example, the Tazz 22752 K33 chipper shredder boasts a 20:1 reduction ratio, meaning that it can reduce 20 bags of wood chips or leaves down to a single bag of mulch. If you plan to use your wood mulch for composting, it is important to seek a chipper shredder with a high reduction ratio.
Chipper shredders often feature three types of blades – knives for slicing through wood, J-hammers for chopping and cutting it into smaller pieces, and tri-hammers for crushing it into the smallest possible pieces. You’ll find this configuration of blades on the Tazz 22752 K33 and Earthquake 9060300 models. However, other chipper shredders like those from Patriot Products CSV-2515 and GreatCircleUSA use a set of Y-hammers, which combine chopping and crushing to combine the action of J-hammers and tri-hammers. Smaller chipper shredders may use a set of reversible blades to save space in the guts of the unit.
The hammers in a chipper shredder are designed to chop and cut the wood into the smallest possible pieces. The effectiveness of these hammers is usually what contributes to the high 20:1 reduction ratios found on the Tazz 22752 K33, Patriot Products CSV-3100B, and Earthquake 9060300 models. Note that smaller chipper shredders like the Sun Joe forgo hammers in order to reduce the overall size of the tool.
What materials are used to make a chipper shredder
Chipper shredders are typically made mostly or entirely of steel since they need to be able to safely house the wood as it is being sliced, chopped, and shredded as well as take a beating as you are feeding wood into the hopper. The wheels on many chipper shredders are made of plastic, although these too are designed for durability.
Most chipper shredders arrive in several pieces that require assembly. Typically, this is straightforward and require only a few standard household tools, but be sure to check user reviews to spot complaints about poorly enunciated instruction manuals.
With the exception of the Yardmax YW7565 and GreatCircleUSA chipper shredders, all of the models that we reviewed use plastic wheels without inflatable tires so that you never have to worry about getting a flat. However, these wheels are more prone to damage and are harder to replace than the tired wheels found on the Yardmax YW7565 and GreatCircleUSA chipper shredders, which have to be inflated as part of your maintenance routine.
Chipper shredders are loud and require hearing protection. However, in general, the noise of gas-powered chipper shredders is significantly greater than the noise of electric chipper shredders.
User’s territory
Whether you live in an urban or rural setting can make a big difference in what type of chipper shredder – gas-powered or electric – will be better for you. People who live in cities and tightly packed suburbs will typically prefer an electric shredder since they tend to have fewer large trees on their property and can save money by opting for a less powerful electric chipper shredder. Electric units are also much quieter, which is important for keeping your neighbors happy with you since a chipper shredder is one of the noisiest pieces of yard equipment you can operate.

People who live in rural areas are much more likely to have larger properties with more trees – which means more downed branches when a storm blows through. In this setting, the noise of a gas-powered chipper shredder is not as much of an issue and you are more likely to want the extra power provided by a gasoline engine. Chances are, people with rural yards also have many other gas-powered yard tools that will make maintaining the chipper shredder with oil and air filters somewhat easier. In addition, large rural yards can make it difficult to use an electric chipper shredder without also carrying a generator along.
Warranties on chipper shredders range from a one-year limited warranty on the Earthquake 9060300 model to five-year warranties on either Tazz 22752 K33 or Tazz 30520  chipper shredder. Since a chipper shredder is a significant investment, a longer warranty is typically desirable – but not so important as to outweigh performance-related features.
FAQ How long do the blades last before needing to be replaced/sharpened?
How long the blades on your chipper shredder last before needing to be replaced or sharpened depends on the type and thickness of wood you are chipping, but a good rule of thumb is to address the blades after every 80-100 hours of use. If you are using a gas-powered chipper shredder, you can replace the blades on the same cycle that you replace the oil.
How do I properly store my chipper shredder? Can it be kept outside?
To extend the lifespan of your chipper shredder, it is best to store it inside and out of the elements. If you are extremely tight on storage space in your garage or shed, you can store the chipper shredder outside – but be sure to protect it from the elements by covering it with a tarp and installing it under the eaves of your house if possible.
How does the chipper handle side branches? Do they need to be trimmed off?
As long as your chipper shredder’s hopper is large enough to accept the side branches on a tree limb, you don’t have to worry about stripping them off the limb before feeding it into the chute. The blades will not be affected by the side branches and will slice through them just as they will the primary limb.
Our Verdict
Our overall three favorite chipper shredders on the market today are the Tazz 22752 K33, the Patriot Products CSV-3100B, and the Patriot Products CSV-2515.

The CSV-2515 stands apart as the best electric chipper shredder, perfect for those who want to forego the noise and maintenance of traditional gas-powered chipper shredders. However, the electric motor is powerful enough that it doesn’t compromise on slicing through thick tree limbs.

The CSV-3100B stands out for its massive 10-horsepower motor – the most powerful that we reviewed – that makes it an ideal candidate for upgrading your existing chipper shredder to something that can handle your largest and most difficult tree limbs.

However, we feel that the overall best chipper shredder is the model made by Tazz 22752 K33, which is extremely versatile and has an optional vacuum attachment to make quick work of turning the leaves littering your lawn into mulch or compost thanks to the 20:1 reduction ratio.

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