Best Commercial Wood Chipper Shredder Under $1000

Owning and using a wood chipper is like creating a free service for yourself. Each year, when you’re cleaning up the yard, you can toss discarded tree limbs and branches into the shredder, and boom, ready-to-use mulch.

For the last decade, since I bought my own wood chipper, I’ve saved money on post-storm clean-ups and springtime gardening. I’ve also been able to make a quick buck from neighbors willing to rent my wood chipper.

With that said, the initial investment can seem daunting. Finding commercial wood chippers under $1000 isn’t always easy, so I’ve organized a list of my favorite affordable wood chippers.

Best Commercial Wood Chipper At a Glance

There are plenty of solid professional wood chippers on the market, but when looking for a product under $1,000 some compromises need to be made. Namely, with regard to the size of logs, that you can chip. This outstanding little beast from Champion is a superb machine with the limitation of handling limbs up to 3-inch in diameter.

Champion 224cc 3-Inch Portable Chipper-Shredder with Bag

Best Commercial Chipper Under $1000

Champion 224cc 3-Inch Portable Chipper-Shredder

Compact and very well-made, lightweight, chips 3-inch logs, .92-gallon fuel tank, reduces 20:1 reduction ratio.

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Types of Commercial Wood Chippers

While there are many types of shredders, the most commonly used commercially are Gas and PTO chippers.

Heavy-Duty Gas Chipper Shredder

A heavy-duty gas chipper shredder is a free-standing wood chipper that runs on gasoline. It has a fuel tank and engine, like a car or chainsaw, that provides power for the flywheel and shredders. Gas chippers can generally handle 2” to 8” branches depending on the size and motor.

Gas chippers are the cheaper, more portable option but less robust than PTO chippers. You can hitch most of them and fit them in trunks or garages with no problem, and they usually come with collection bags.

Gas chippers are excellent for yard work and small commercial projects.

PTO Wood Chipper

PTO wood chippers connect to the PTO drive shaft of a tractor for power. They don’t have their own fuel or engine. Instead, the drive shaft of the tractor either rotates the flywheel directly or turns a series of gears connected to a cutting drum.

PTO chippers are five times stronger than gas shredders and can take much bigger branches. They’re often used in industrial settings or large areas such as farms.

PTO chippers have a base or stand instead of wheels, so they are much harder to transport. They are also quite large and difficult to store. They don’t use collection bags, so you either need a collection truck, or you’ll end up with a pile of mulch.

Choosing a Commercial Chipper Shredder under $1000

Here are the main things to consider before investing in a wood chipper. 

Gas Wood Chipper vs. Electric 

Choosing between a gas and electric chipper comes down to three things: where are you planning to use it, what will you use it for, and how much are you willing to spend?

Often, one of the biggest motivators in buying a gas chipper is that you can use it anywhere. Electric chippers have power cords that need to stay plugged into work. Gas chippers have no such constraints. Conversely, electric chippers are a must if you plan to work indoors, as gas chippers produce exhaust fumes that are harmful in closed spaces.

Unfortunately, electric chippers aren’t as powerful as gas ones. They can only handle small branches. Gas engines have more power behind them and work faster, but they’re also much louder. Electric machines are quiet and efficient.

Lastly, depending on what you’re willing to spend, you may only be able to afford the electric chipper. That’s right. Electric chippers are cheaper than gas ones.

Portable vs. Walk-Behind vs. Tow

Wood chipper shredders come in different styles: portable, walk-behind, and tow.

Portable wood chipper shredders are the smallest of wood chippers. They can usually handle 3” to 8” branches and can be moved by hand. They have large wheels and are usually gas-powered. Portable chippers are ideal for small to medium yards, personal and residential use, and small projects. They are lightweight and can be moved as needed.

Walk-behind shredders are the complete opposite. These are the most sizable industrial wood chippers that are usually part of a whole truck or unit. They are driven slowly as workers load in debris and branches. They can handle immense loads and are either PTO or gas-powered. They’re most often used in forestry and construction.

Two chippers are akin to portable chippers but hook up to a hitch or trailer. They can be PTO but are most often gas-powered. They’re about the same size as portable chippers or slightly bigger and can handle the same or larger objects. These chippers are ideal for medium to large properties, residential and commercial use, and medium projects.

Chipping Capacity

Chipping capacity has to do with the size of the branches a chipper can easily accept. Standard commercial chippers can usually take branches with up to a 3” diameter, but some small commercial models can handle branches as large as 8”.

Putting branches larger than the chipping capacity in the machine will result in jams, backfire, and damage to the machine, or at the very least, the strain on the machine. Depending on how large the branch is, you may not even be able to fit it down the chute.

The chipping capacity is the maximum diameter of the branch that will fit.

Feed Capacity

The feed capacity is the amount of material you can put through a chipper at a given time. While this is usually determined by chipping capacity, throat size is also a factor. If the throat size is proportionately large compared to the chipping capacity, you might be inclined to shove more in the chute at a time than you should.

Follow the direction of the machine to know how much you can feed in at once and how quickly.

Throat Size

Depending on the design of the model, there may be two different feed chutes. A large one on top for shredding and a smaller angled one for chipping. While the shredder chute is larger, most chipper shredders can only handle about ½” of debris at a time. Due to the softer, leafier nature, there’s a higher chance of stuff getting clogged up, hence the need to process less at a time.

A chipper, on the other hand, while a smaller chute can handle thicker material. Most portable chippers take around 3” diameter sticks. Realistically the throat size isn’t as important as the chipping and feed capacity.

Branch Diameter

The branch diameter is the thickest part of a given branch from one side to the other.

Reduction Ratio

The reduction ratio has to do with how finely the chipper cuts up pieces. The ratio is the starting size of a given amount of debris versus the yield size. Typical reduction ratios range from 8:1 to 20:1. This means that if you start with eight bags of stuff to be mulched, you end up with one bag of mulch. Conversely, if you have a finer shred and want to make one bag of mulch, you may need as many as 20 bags of debris to get it.

Typical commercial machines have a 10:1 ratio. For every ten bags you shred, you’ll get one bag of chipped mulch.

Size, Storage, and Access to Property

A vital factor that too many people disregard when buying wood chipper shredders is that you need a place to store them. If you have less than an acre of property and only a garage for storage, you’d be best off buying the smallest, most portable model possible.

On the other hand, if you have a 40-acre property, you don’t want to haul around a portable model.

Think honestly about how much you need a chipper and how often you plan to use it. If it’s something you’ll take out every day for work, then you can’t have a massive, immovable model, but you can’t have a tiny, frail model.

Additionally, think about how accessible the property you’ll be working on is. Can you get a truck through if you have to? Do you have to go on foot? How far is your storage space from where you’ll be working?

Another thing many people fail to consider is what they’ll attach it to. If you’re thinking about getting a PTO wood chipper and hooking it up to your tractor, take a second to think about how often you use the tractor, especially with other hook-ups. You don’t want to, and frankly, you simply won’t unhook and rehook the chipper every time you need the tractor for something else. It’s not practical.

Bag Capacity

The collection bag connects to the output nozzle. It contains all the mulched and chipped debris after processing.

A standard bag has a capacity of two bushels or 2.2 cubic ft.

There are many sizes of collection bags. Jumbo sizes are most often 4 bushels or around 4.7 cubic ft. There are also different styles of bags. Some have bottom zips to allow for easy transfer and disposal. Some have special attachments to make them clip more securely to the chipper. If you have a chipper that didn’t come with a bag, you can easily purchase a universal collection bag that should work.

Best Commercial Wood Chipper Reviews

Here are some reviews of the best commercial wood chippers available from major distributors. I have based my recommendation on the overall value for money, quality and durability of the chipper construction, overall performance, and how easy the chipper is to operate safely and effectively. 

1. Champion 224cc 3-Inch Portable Chipper-Shredder

Best Commercial Chipper under $1000

1. Champion 224cc 3-Inch Portable Chipper-Shredder with Bag
  • Type: Gas
  • Power: 224cc Single-Cylinder OHV Engine
  • Reduction Ratio: 20:1
  • Max Branch Diameter: 3”
  • Weight: 113.5 lbs
  • Portability: Portable
  • Warranty: 2 Year

At under $700, this is the most affordable chipper shredder you’ll find. Running a powerful 224cc Champion Single-Cylinder OHV Engine, this mighty machine can take down up to 3” debris with efficiency and grace.

The compact and lightweight design make transportation and mobility a cinch, while the hardened steel blades dice yard waste at a magnificent 20:1 ratio.

2. Earthquake 3” K32 Chipper Shredder Viper 212cc
  • Type: Gas
  • Power: 212cc 4 Cycle Viper Engine
  • Reduction Ratio: ~
  • Max Branch Diameter: 3”
  • Weight: 131 lbs
  • Portability: Portable
  • Warranty: ~

The wide chutes, 212cc 4 Cycle Viper Engine, and impressive waste-reducing shredding make this model perfect for clearing the underbrush. My favorite part is the 11” Always-ready wheels that will never go flat even in the backwoods or ruggedness of work sites.

It’s dependable and has the perfect customer-oriented design.

3. DR Power 3 in. D 208 cc Wood Chipper Shredder
  • Type: Gas
  • Power: 208cc
  • Reduction Ratio: 10:1
  • Max Branch Diameter: 3”
  • Weight: 126 lbs
  • Portability: Portable
  • Warranty: 30 Returns

This model is ideal for home and yard use. It’s light, efficient, and has the muscle to chew through hardwood and brush alike.

With a reduction ratio of 10:1 and 3” maximum diameter, this model is easy to maneuver, easy for anyone to use, and packs enough punch to clean up any yard.

The powerful free-swinging hammers can shred even green branches.

4. XtremePowerUS196cc Gas Wood Chipper with Kohler Engine
  • Type: Gas
  • Power: 196cc 4 Cycle Kohler Engine
  • Reduction Ratio: 
  • Max Branch Diameter: 2.75”
  • Weight: 115 lbs
  • Portability: Portable
  • Warranty: 30-Day Manufacturer, 60-Day Parts

With this auto-feeding, portable model, you can decimate branches up to 2.75” for forestry, landscaping, yard work, or recycling. The top-of-the-line 196cc 4 Cycle Kohler Engine can mince almost anything in a cost, and fuel-efficient manner.

Unique to this model, this chipper can idle down to save fuel and reduce noise.

4. XtremePowerUS196cc Gas Wood Chipper with Kohler Engine
  • Type: Gas
  • Power: 250cc 4 Cycle Horizontal OHV
  • Reduction Ratio: 10:1
  • Max Branch Diameter: 3”
  • Weight: 206 lbs
  • Portability: Portable
  • Warranty: 2 Year

The 10” semi-pneumatic wheels make this model easy to drive and move. It has 12 chromium steel chipper knife flails and a 10:1 reduction ratio.

This powerful 250cc 4 Cycle Horizontal OHV-driven machine can take down 3” branches in no time and comes fully assembled.

Verdict: Best Commercial Wood Chipper under $1000

There’s no beating objective quality when it comes to wood grinding tools. The Champion 224cc 3-Inch Portable Chipper-Shredder is a powerful, inexpensive wood chipper that can reduce 20 bags of yard waste to a single bag of mulch. It’s always going to be my pick for the best commercial wood chipper, but I’d probably be just as satisfied with any of the others.

If you’re looking for the best commercial wood chipper shredder for under $1000, then you need one of the ones on my list here. You won’t find a better deal, and come pruning season, you’ll be thanking me.

Other Considerations When Buying a Wood Chipper

Here are some other things to consider before purchasing a wood chipper.

Safety: Personal Protective Equipment

While you may think yard work doesn’t require PPE, it most certainly does. Not only is it crucial to dress the part, but you also need to invest in the proper eye and ear protection if you plan to work with wood chipper shredders. A stiff pair of gloves wouldn’t hurt either.

Avoid eye injuries, hearing loss, and splinters with proper safety equipment.

Noise and Mess

One of the reasons most people choose to use a chipper with a collection bag is to save on clean-up time. Even if you don’t plan to use the mulch, it’s easier to dump the bag a few times than rake up a whole yard.

Unfortunately, even with the bag, chipping can get messy. It’s also a noisy process that neighbors won’t appreciate. Use the proper ear protection and that you act considerate of others’ ears whenever possible.

Chipping System

There are three types of chippers: drum, disk, and screw. These names define the part of the machine that chews up the wood.


The drum chipping system looks a lot like a restaurant cheese grater. A central drum with blades spins and cuts the wood as it comes in.


Disk chippers rely on the flywheel. The flywheel is a dish with razors (usually two or four) inset. As it spins rapidly, it shaves the incoming wood into small chips.


Screw chippers look a lot more like drill bits. They are tapered and have spiraled cutting surfaces down the length that effectively shreds the wood as it comes in.

FAQs Commercial Wood Chippers

Here are some frequently asked questions about wood chippers.