Best Wood Chipper for Turning Yard Debris into Mulch

Buh-bye, unsightly debris! Tackle piles of sticks, branches and logs with the best wood chipper for the job

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Best Wood Chipper For Turning Debris Into MulchVIA MERCHANT

Finding the best wood chipper is probably on your radar if you tire of dragging, bundling and breaking down branches as you go about your yard work. A wood chipper is also invaluable when dealing with storm damage, fire mitigation and tree health, making cleanup easy and compostable.

Wondering how a wood chipper works? Sharp blades chop tree debris into manageable piles of chips that can then be bagged up or used as mulch in a landscaping project. Once they’re in place, a wood chipper does most of the work for you, making the process a breeze.

Best Wood Chippers

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Landworks Mini Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher Heavy Duty 7hp Compact Design 3 Inch Max Capacity
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Best Overall Wood Chipper

Landworks Mini Wood Chipper

A real workhorse, our top pick Landworks Mini Wood Chipper has a 7-horsepower, horizontal 4-stroke engine to devour branches and limbs up to 3 inches thick. This chipper  It also earns marks for portability, as far as power equipment goes—thought it weighs 101 pounds, the two large handles and 10-inch tires make it easy to move around. The adjustable discharge chute so you can precisely direct the chips.

A three-year limited warranty should have you covered if issues arise.


  • Best overall wood chipper
  • Mulches branches up to 3 inches thick
  • Directional discharge chute
  • Easy to assemble
  • Three-year warranty


  • Difficult to clear clogs
  • Slow to feed

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Sun Joe Steel Electric Wood Chipper
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Best Budget Wood Chipper

Sun Joe Steel Electric Wood Chipper

For occasional or small jobs, the electric Sun Joe Chipper/Shredder offers a great value and is our budget buy. At 33 pounds, it’s the lightest option on our list. Still, it gnaws through sticks up to 1-5/8 inches in diameter. An included tamper tool lets you push material through the hopper while keeping your fingers at a safe distance.

This backyard wood chipper is easy to maneuver wherever you need it with a large handle and 6-inch rear wheels.  This is one of the best small wood chippers for quick cleanup. It comes with a two-year warranty.


  • Good value for mulching sticks up to 1-5/8 inches thick
  • Portable and lightweight at 33 pounds
  • Electric—Nn gas, oil or fumes
  • Easy to use with included tamper for safety
  • Two-year warranty


  • Narrow feed chute
  • Not for bigger jobs

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Detail K2 429 Cc Kohler 6 In Steel Gas Wood Chipper
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Best Wood Chipper for Large Jobs

Detail K2 Gas Wood Chipper

If you work with especially large logs, the Detail K2 Gas Wood Chipper gets our vote. Powered by a 14-horsepower, 429CC Kohler engine, this chipper can handle tree debris up to 6 inches in diameter. The blades are double-edge reversible to get the job done. The 180-degree rotating discharge chute directs your chips where you need it, sitting at 59-inch pickup bed height.

Got multiple properties to clear? Take it on the road with D.O.T.-approved tires and a 48-inch extended axle. The removable tow bar has a 2-inch hitch. The Detail DK is a heavy-duty, commercial-rated chipper insuring long-lasting performance. It come with a three-year warranty.


  • Heavy duty, with a 6-1/4 inch cutting capacity
  • Adjustable 180-degree discharge chute
  • Built-in toolbox
  • Reverse control
  • D.O.T.-spproved tires
  • Three-year engine warranty


  • Small twigs and green leaves tend to jam

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Powersmart 15 Amp Electric Chipper Shredder
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Best Wood Chipper for Small Jobs

PowerSmart 15-Amp Electric Chipper/Shredder

For light-duty yard cleanup, look to this electric PowerSmart 15-amp model. The narrow feed slot and safety stop—which automatically shuts off when the hopper opens—makes the a great option for beginners and anyone especially concerned with safety. It chews up branches measuring 1.77 inches or less—a larger size than our budget model.

The straightforward control panel makes it a breeze to operate, and the included 40-liter collection bin locks in place and conveniently gather the mulch. With the 6.5-inch wheels wheels and a large handle, this 33-pound machine maneuvers easily from place to place. The compact design and portability of this chipper makes it easy to store, too. It comes with a two-year warranty.


  • Capable mulcher for small jobs
  • Electric—no gas, oil or fumes
  • Efficient at light tasks
  • Useful safety features
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Easy to use 
  • Two-year warranty


  • Tethered by a cord

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Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher Heavy Duty Gas Powered
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Best Residential Chipper Shredder

GreatCircleUSA Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher

If you plan on chipping large branches as well as lawn debris, the GreatCircle model ticks the boxes of being a chipper, mulcher and shredder in one, as well as a vacuum, if you buy the extra kit. Two steel cutting blades and four hammers transform branches up to 3 inches thick into 1/2-inch mulch. The two-way feeder lets you feed branches into the top chute or dump of leaves into the side chute. Add a vacuum attachment to it for quick cleanup.

This  EPA/CARB-certified machine is a favorite for fire-prone areas and aids in creating a firebreak. It even includes a discharge bag. All told, we think it’s the best home chipper/shredders for residential use.


  • Chipper, shredder and vacuum in one for residential cleanup
  •  3-inch cutting capacity
  • High-velocity output
  • Wide top chute
  • Mulches dry leaves
  • Discharge bag included
  • EPA/CARB-certified


  • Tow bar and vacuum kits sold separately

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Powerking Pk0915 5 In. 14hp Kohler Chipper Shredder
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Best Splurge Wood Chipper

Power King Gas-Powered Chipper Shredder

If money is no object and maximum productivity is your priority, go with the Power King 14HP Kohler Chipper Shredder. Its powerful 14-horsepower, gas-powered engine and sharp blades pulverize logs up to 5-3/4 inches in diameter. Direct the mulch whenever you want it to go with the adjustable chip chute. This chipper weighs a ton—actually 452 pounds—so you’ll need a separate vehicle and included tow bar to move it into position.

One happy reviewer praised the efficient self-feed mechanism, allowing them to “start a 15-foot branch with 3-inch butt and walk away to get another.”


  • Self-feeding
  • Removable tow hitch
  • Large rotational feed chute
  • Hinged chip chute
  • Long-lasting blades
  • Easy start


  • Expensive

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What to Consider When Buying A Wood Chipper

“Choosing the right wood chipper can significantly enhance your mulching process and make your yard debris management more efficient,” says The Plant Bible chief editor and expert Zahid Adnan.

Determine your needs: Assess the volume and type of yard debris you’ll be chipping. Consider the size of your property, the density of vegetation, and the frequency of chipping. This will help you determine the power and capacity requirements of the wood chipper you need.

Consider the chipper type: Wood chippers come in various types, such as disk-style chippers, drum chippers, and shredders. Disk-style chippers are ideal for handling branches and larger wood pieces, while shredders are better suited for smaller yard debris like leaves and twigs. Choose a chipper that aligns with the type of material you’ll be processing.”

Power Options

  • Electric wood chippers are the least powerful and better suited for thinner branches, from 1/2-inch to two inches in diameter. And because they need to be plugged in, their portability is limited.
  • Gas-powered chippers are more powerful and more expensive, typically handling branches up to 3-in.-dia. But their engines are noisier, produce harmful fumes and require messy fuel mixes.
  • PTO chippers are the most powerful and much larger than electric or gas. They hook up to your existing tractor and draw energy from the engine. PTO chippers would only be practical for clearing large amounts of land with lots of thick branches and logs.

Size and Weight

Dimensions vary depending on the type. Measure carefully and note the weight. It needs to fit in your garage or tool shed, and transport easily to where you need it. Electric chippers typically weigh from 25 to 100 pounds, whereas gas models weigh more than 100 pounds and PTO chippers up to 1,000 pounds.


Some chippers process leaves and soft debris better than others. If you plan on using your chipper for sticks and leaves, go with a wider chute that can hold more debris.


Essentially, the more expensive the wood chipper, the larger the diameter of wood it can handle. Consider type and size chipper carefully so you don’t waste money on a model that’s too powerful, or buy one that’s not powerful enough. If you’ll only use your chipper occasionally, it might be cheaper to rent one from your local hardware store.

How We Found the Best Wood Chippers

As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject-matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.


Is a wood chipper a good investment?

Nothing makes storm clean up and tree trimming easier than having a wood chipper. Renting a wood chipper is an option, although it might make sense for you to invest in the best wood chipper for your property.

What size wood chipper do I need?

The most important detail to consider is the machines cutting capacity for the diameter of the branches you need to mulch. Large branches or logs may need to be cut into smaller sizes with a chain saw or log splitter before chipping or shredding.

For light-duty, backyard brush trimming, an electric chipper with a large hopper would work well. For a large wooded property that requires major clearing, a power takeoff shaft (PTO) wood chipper connected to a tractor could be the right tool for you.

Can you put vines in a wood chipper?

Vines and wet materials have a tendency to tangle and clog wood chippers. A great workaround: Use hedge trimmers and lopers to break down vines before adding them to a chipper or shredder.

How do I sharpen wood chipper blades?

Depending on the conditions that your wood chipper is used, a rule of thumb is that blades should be sharpened every 25 to 50 hours. However, it is best to consult the manufacturers’ specifications. The general guidelines:

  1. Turn the chipper off.
  2. Unplug it if it’s electric, or disconnect the spark plug if it’s gas-powered.
  3. Remove the hopper feed chute.
  4. Check the user guide and remove the inspection plate.
  5. Remove the blades to be sharpened.

A machinist can sharpen the dull blades. For DIY blade sharpening, you’ll need a little bit of skill and a wet grinder, belt sander or hand sander. The blades need to be sharpened at the angle recommended by the factory.

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Sheri Kaz
As Associate Shopping Editor, Sheri helps Family Handyman readers find well-designed products to enjoy their time spent at home. Her expertise lies in interior design and gardening. When she’s not searching for the next inspired home or garden solution, she enjoys dancing, painting and the great outdoors.