8 Best Wood Chippers of 2023 | Gas, Electric, Heavy-Duty

After spending the last two decades cleaning up my heavily wooded property after strong, windy storms, I know more than my fair share about wood chippers. 

Chipping dead falls, trees, logs, branches, and other debris has been nearly a full-time job that would be next to impossible without a high-quality chipper. 

Now I’m sharing what I’ve learned so that you can tap into my experience and find the best wood chipper for you and your backyard. 

2 Best Wood Chippers at a Glance

If you’re in a rush and don’t have time to read each review, I get it…so I have shortlisted the best gas wood chipper for residential to medium-duty work. As well as an out-and-out lightweight chipper shredder that a lot of you guys will find useful for clearing smaller branches and shredding leaves in your backyard.

If you’re looking for a commercial wood chipper, then I suggest you check that article out, as it has a few monster machines worth looking into.

champion large wood chipper_160pxl

Best Gas Wood Chipper

1. Champion 338cc 3-Inch Chipper

Lots of power from the 338cc engine to shred 3-inch logs. Easy to handle and has a collection bag, and robust wheels. 

Earthwise 15-Amp Electric Chipper 

Best Electric Wood Chipper

2. Earthwise 15-Amp Electric Chipper 

Impressive power for an electric chipper with a good collection basket for minimum mess and clear-up. 

Types of Wood Chippers

There are three basic types of wood chippers, divided by power source: power take-off (PTO), gasoline (petrol), or electric. 

Electric Wood Chipper Shredders

Electric chippers are relatively compact. They use household electricity, so that means extension cords are a must. While these units are relatively light, affordable, and simple to use, they lack the power and capacity for big jobs. 

So, electric chippers might be the way to go if you’re looking to chip small branches less than 2” in diameter. They’re perfect for garden trimmings, tree prunings, and the occasional storm clean-up. But if you have more giant logs, they won’t work for you. 

Gas or Petrol Wood Chippers

In residential applications, gas chippers are probably the most common. Their advantages include a few things that might appeal to you. They can handle large branches over 3” with ease. A gas-powered chipper needs not to remain tethered to an outlet. And they sit in the relative middle of the chipper price range.

These chippers are usually louder than electric units, and they also give off the tell-tale aroma of burning gasoline. Though they’re easy to set up and free of the need for household power, they also burn gasoline as fuel. There’s seemingly endless pressure to reduce our carbon footprint, so if this matters to you, the efficiency and affordability have to balance the use of a fossil fuel source. 

PTO Wood Chipper

Power take-off (PTO) is a term for describing a type of machine that connects to a tractor, truck, or mower. The engine on the vehicle has a splined output shaft that mates with the chipper’s drive shaft. So instead of having its own motor, the chipper runs on the power made by the vehicle’s engine. 

The result is a very powerful chipper that is ideal for large tracts of land where materials are larger, heavier, and more abundant. These machines are efficient and make quick work on large projects. But, they tend to be quite expensive and require a compatible energy source that can also carry a hefty price tag. 

Choosing the Best Wood Chipper

Choosing the best wood chipper for your application is pretty simple. Think about how you’re going to use it, and consider which machine suits your needs. For most homeowners, PTO chippers are a non-starter. 

So, the debate comes down to whether a gas or electric chipper is the best choice. 

Gas Vs. Electric Wood Chipper

Gas versus electric power is a big question when considering a wood chipper. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. For me, I almost always prefer having more power. But I have a relatively large property, and running extension cords half a mile to a fallen tree isn’t feasible. 

Gas Chippers

Gas chippers tend to be loud, smelly, and powerful. They have enough grunt to handle larger debris relatively quickly. The tradeoff comes when your neighbors are angry at the level of noise you’re making and you realize that you’re burning expensive gasoline. 

Even when they’re not actively chipping, the engine of a gas chipper can be dangerously loud. When you start chopping up debris, you’ll want to use hearing protection, and you may want to alert the neighbors if you live close by. 

Electric Chippers

When chipping, electric units make plenty of noise. But when they’re not chipping, they’re almost silent. Their smaller engines are less noticeable. For small plots with smaller debris, they may be ideal. 

I have used plenty of them, and I keep my favorite plugged in near my utility shed. I use it all the time for chipping plant cuttings, smaller branches, and anything less than about 2”. This saves me from pulling out my heavy, oily, and loud gas unit. But, if I need to cut up anything heavy or I have to chip wood away from an outlet, the gas unit is my preference. 

With the rising cost of energy, it’s hard to tell which is the better choice economically. 

Chipping Capacity

When I look at a wood chipper, I consider it more than just its power source. The overall chipping capacity is a big factor in determining what tasks each chipper can handle. 


The higher the chipping capacity, the more likely an individual machine is able to handle larger branches and debris. Smaller chipping capacity means less ability to deal with bigger branches, and some machines may also struggle to move the chips after the wood has passed through the blades.

Feed Capacity

Feed capacity comes down to two main factors: Throat size and branch diameter. 

Throat Size

Throat size refers to the opening in the machine where you insert your debris. Large, commercial wood chippers have cavernous throats, making it easy to insert very large branches and chunks of wood. 

Homeowner-sized wood chippers tend to have smaller throat sizes, restricting the size of things you can put in. If you’re cutting larger pieces of wood or even bulky tangles of branches, you’ll need a larger throat on your machine. Otherwise, even if your blades can handle the cutting, you’ll struggle to get things inside the machine. 

Branch Diameter

Branch diameter is a reference to the size of debris a chipper can handle. Trees can have massive trunks, so if you’re chipping full deadfalls like me, you’re going to want a fairly large branch diameter rating. 

Consider taking a walk around your property and looking for the biggest pieces of wood you’re likely to encounter. To measure the diameter, measure across the middle of the wood, from one side of the circle directly across the center to the other. 

Look for a wood chipper that can handle that size, plus a little bit of a margin for added wiggle room. 

Reduction Ratio

The reduction ratio refers to the size of the chipped material that comes out of your machine. For example, if your chipper has a reduction ratio of 9:1, the chips will be one-ninth the size of the material you put into it. 

The smaller you want your chips, the more powerful and expensive the machine will need to be. So, depending on your needs, you might be able to save a little bit of money by getting a machine that doesn’t break wood down into very tiny chips. 

In general, you should expect residential wood chippers to have a reduction ratio somewhere between 20:1 and 7:1. 

Size, Storage, and Access to Property

The bigger they are, the harder they fall. That age-old axiom applies to more than just tumbling timber but to the machinery we use to process it. 

I used to have a massive PTO wood chipper. When it broke down in a field, I needed to use my tractor to drag it across the property. Then, I had to use my pickup and a trailer to drive it to a repair shop that could weld the chute back together. It ended up being a massive pain. 

So, make sure you consider your machine’s size and how easy or hard it will be to move and operate it. 

Even if you’re big and strong, do you really want to use an overly large piece of machinery? Doing so will put extra wear and tear on your body and make every aspect of ownership more difficult. 

Think long and hard about where you’ll store your wood chipper. Will it fit in a garage, shed, or under a portico? Can you tarp it in a field and hope the critters don’t set up a nest inside? Or will you use it so much that it needs to be set up right on the edge of your yard at all times?

Be realistic, and consider how well you can move the machine to access all the areas of your property. Smaller, lighter machines are much easier with which to work. But, they may not be able to handle larger limbs and branches. 

Bag Capacity

Some wood chippers have a collection bag that traps the accumulating chips. These bags can be quite convenient, as they prevent you from developing large piles of chips next to your machine. But, you’ll need to empty the bag before it becomes too full.

If you’re chopping up a lot of material, that can end up being quite a chore. I prefer models without a bag, as I tend to shoot my chips out in piles and then spread them around or cart them away to use as mulch. But, for many residential applications, a bag is a very convenient feature. 

Just make sure that your bag’s capacity is up to your workload. The last thing you want to do is have to stop dozens of times to chop up a few branches in an afternoon. 

Portable Vs. Walk-Behind Vs Tow

Portability and weight are major factors for anyone buying a wood chipper. For example, if you have hilly or rocky terrain, you need a chipper with rugged wheels. In general, chippers come in three different configurations. 


Portable chippers are relatively easy to maneuver as their lighter than heavier-duty machines. But, they can be heavy enough that you might need an extra set of hands to wheel them across the property or pick it up and relocate it to the other side of the house.

Walk-behind wood chippers have handles and wheels that make them the easiest to maneuver. But, they tend to be the lightest-duty machines. At the other end of the spectrum, heavy-duty wood chippers are usually moved by towing them with another vehicle. They are the heaviest and most capable of the bunch but can be a bit unwieldy and expensive. 

Best Wood Chipper Reviews

Here’s my breakdown of the best wood chippers, each with a review highlighting their specifications. Plus, I’ll offer some alternatives that might also be up your alley. 

champion large wood chipper.
  • Type: Gas
  • Power: Gas 338cc Eng
  • Horsepower: 13hp
  • Reduction Ratio: 20:1
  • Max Branch Diameter: 3 inch
  • Weight: 191.8 pounds
  • Portability: Push  
  • Warranty: 2 year

Pros

  • Never-flat tires
  • Ability to chip or shred
  • Easy to maneuver 

Cons

  • No negatives, when used as a residential chipper

More expensive than the completion this Champion Chipper is, in my view, the best residential gas wood chipper. It’s portable but rugged, featuring large, never-flat tires and a steel frame. It also offers you the ability to chip or shred, depending on your preference. The shredder chute can handle anything up to ½” in diameter, while the 3” chipping chute is adequate for most residential applications. 

The demonstration video below shows this design of shredder with the 224cc engine, but its functionality is identical so check it out as you will be as impressed as I was when I took this chipper to task in my yard.

The price point is reasonable at $1,000, and the machine has the sort of easy maneuverability that appeals to weekend warriors. Sure, this machine costs more than some of the competition, but you’re getting a quality platform that can multitask. Shredding and chipping are easy, and clean-up is a breeze with a large, two-bushel collection bag. 

This Champion model chipper has a two-year warranty and carries an EPA certification. 

champion 3-Inch Portable Chipper-Shredder with Bag
  • Type: Gas
  • Power: Gas 224cc Eng
  • Horsepower: Approx. 10hp
  • Reduction Ratio: 20:1
  • Max Branch Diameter: 3 inch
  • Weight: 129.9 pounds
  • Portability: Push
  • Warranty: 2 year

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Two-year warranty and EPA certification

Cons

  • Less powerful than some other models

The Champion 224cc Chipper Shredder costs almost 30% less than its larger cousin. But, it is also significantly lighter, making it easier for the average person to move around. It also has 12” wheels and tires that will never go flat, just like the larger model.

Plus, it can still perform shredding duties on debris up to ½” in diameter and handle the same 3” branches when chipping. But, with a smaller engine and less power, bogging down is more likely. So, you’ll have to run your larger debris more slowly than you would with the bigger machine, giving the blade more time to work and reducing the stress on the motor. 

This more affordable Champion model carries the same two-year warranty and EPA certification. So, if you aren’t going to be chipping much larger debris, its lighter weight and less expensive price tag might be quite appealing. 

dr power 3 inch 208cc chipper.
  • Type: Gas
  • Power: Gas 208cc Eng
  • Horsepower: 6.5hp
  • Reduction Ratio: 10:1
  • Max Branch Diameter: 3 inch
  • Weight: 126 pounds
  • Portability: Push
  • Warranty: 2 year

Pros

  • Light and easy to maneuver
  • 2.5-bushel debris bag
  • A reduction rate of 10:1

Cons

  • Small engine

The machine is pretty similar to the smaller 224cc model from Champion. Its Briggs and Stratton engine is slightly smaller in terms of displacement and has less power but comes from a very reputable engine maker. Its chipping capacity is also quite similar, and it can handle branches up to 3”. 

I really like this model because I tend to prefer larger chips. While many other chippers work at a 20:1 ratio, the DR Power 208 chips with a reduction ratio of 10:1. These larger chips work better for some applications around my property. The 2.5-bushel capacity collection bag is easy to work with, and it is full before it’s too heavy to carry. 

This is a solid unit, and you should expect a price between the two models from Champion.

dr power 3 inch 208cc chipper. 1
  • Type: Gas
  • Power: Gas 429cc Eng
  • Horsepower: 14hp
  • Reduction Ratio: 20:1
  • Max Branch Diameter: 6.5 inch
  • Weight: 395 pounds
  • Portability: Tow
  • Warranty: 3-year motor, one year rest of machine

Pros

  • Big chipping capacity suitable for commercial work
  • The chute can swing 180º
  • Safety glasses, ear protection, and work gloves included

Cons

  • Harder to maneuver because you need to tow it to a vehicle

The DK2 6” Chipper is a bit of a beast. Whereas all the other chippers I talk about here are push or pull models, this is one that you tow with another vehicle. It weighs almost 400 pounds, so a tractor or pickup is necessary to move it from place to place, making it much less maneuverable. However, you can also take it right on the roadway, as it is DOT-legal and has a 48-inch axle. 

This isn’t the kind of machine you would use to chip up rose bush clippings, leaves, or twigs. Instead, its primary use is to quickly chip larger branches and annihilate debris. With its powerful engine and large chipping capacity, this unit makes quick work of everything except very large logs. The chute can also swing 180 degrees making it easier to use from either side. 

This unit is at the professional end of the use spectrum, but it’s probably not quite up to the demands of a commercial operation. However, it comes with an integrated toolbox containing a free set of safety glasses, ear protection, and work gloves. 

5.  Earthquake 3” K32 Chipper Shredder Viper 212cc
  • Type: Gas
  • Power: Gas 212 Eng, Electric Amps
  • Horsepower: Approx. 6.5hp
  • Reduction Ratio: 20:1
  • Max Branch Diameter: 3 inch
  • Weight: 131 pounds
  • Portability: Push
  • Warranty: 5 year

Pros

  • Compact size
  • Portable
  • Very easy to maneuver

Cons

  • Less powerful than other options

The Earthquake 3” K32 Shredder is ideal for people who don’t have much room but want to store their chipper in a shed or garage. Compared to some of the others on the market, this one is fairly compact, with a footprint that’s about 2×3 feet and a height of just over four feet to the top of the shredder shoot. 

The balance of this unit is outstanding, and maneuvering it with the handle is easy and relatively stable. It’s among the most portable chippers you can find. Plus, the 11-inch tires will never go flat. 

It can handle 3” branches pretty well, but you should feed this unit a bit slower than some of the more powerful options. However, with its outstanding portability and ergonomics, this is a solid pick for anyone with a smaller frame. 

6. XtremePowerUS 196cc Gas Wood Chipper with Kohler Engine
  • Type: Gas
  • Power: Gas 196cc Eng
  • Horsepower: 6.5hp
  • Reduction Ratio: 21:1
  • Max Branch Diameter: 1.73 inch
  • Weight: 115.08 pounds
  • Portability: Push
  • Warranty: 30-day limited; 60-day parts warranty

Pros

  • Extremely portable due to its design and large wheels
  • Ideal for residential gardeners

Cons

  • Not suitable for large branches of over 2.75 in

The XtremePowerUS Wood Chipper isn’t a monster of a powerhouse. But, for residential gardeners and those who need to clean up after storms, it’s got enough power to get the job done. 

It has a thoughtful design that makes it exceptionally portable. Take advantage of the large wheels and tires to bring this unit anywhere on your property. Then set the kickstand to stabilize the chipper and get started reducing your brush, branches, and debris into mulch.

7. Earthwise GS70015 15-Amp Garden Corded Electric Chipper
  • Type: Electric
  • Power: 15 Amps
  • Horsepower: 2.17hp
  • Reduction Ratio: 10:1
  • Max Branch Diameter: 1.75 inch
  • Weight: 31 pounds
  • Portability: Push
  • Warranty: 2 year

Pros

  • Runs on electric power, so it doesn’t smell and is quiet
  • Affordable
  • Light and simple design

Cons

  • Not suitable for anything more than shredding branches

The best electric chipper for homeowners is the Earthwise GS70015 15-Amp Garden Corded Electric Chipper. It’s light and simple, and the design makes it much more approachable than some of the gas models. 

Instead of filling the tank with fuel, checking the oil, and running a loud, smelly appliance, enjoy the relative peace and quiet of this electric chipper. It’s easy to bring where you need it, but you’ll have to make sure you have an electrical outlet and extension cord nearby. 

Despite requiring an electrical tether, weekend warriors and those who prefer to avoid using gasoline tools will get a lot of bang for their buck with this machine. Once you’re running, this unit can handle fairly large debris, up to 1.75”. While this unit is very affordable, it won’t be up to big jobs. 

8. Sun Joe CJ602E 15-Amp Electric Wood Chipper
  • Type: Electric
  • Power: 15 Amps
  • Horsepower: Approx 2hp
  • Reduction Ratio: 17:1
  • Max Branch Diameter: 1.57 inch
  • Weight: 38.6 pounds
  • Portability: Push
  • Warranty: 90 day

Pros

  • Cheaper than other options with similar power
  • Portable

Cons

  • The collection bag is not as handy as the solid basket on the Earthwise chipper

The Sun Joe CJ602E is another solid electric chipper option. It chips debris smaller than the other budget choice and has similar power. It was also less expensive. 

Its limitations are mostly in the size of debris it can handle. This machine won’t be able to deal with larger branches, despite being a bit heavier than the other budget option. However, it’s exceptionally portable, and anyone who has used an electric power washer or similar outdoor appliance will appreciate this chipper’s familiar design. 

Other Considerations When Buying a Wood Chipper

There are a few other things to keep in mind when shopping for your machine.

Safety: Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was in the news a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic. While you won’t need an N95 mask to use a chipper, you will need to think about using hand, eye, and hearing protection. 

I keep a set of heavy leather gloves, decibel-reducing earplugs, and goggles nearby my chipper, so they’re always ready when I need them. 

Noise and Mess

Wood chippers make a lot of noise when they’re actively reducing debris. That can’t be helped. But electric models are much quieter than gas ones, even when they’re running. When at idle, electric models are impressively quiet, whereas gas models have loud engines that are still noisy at idle. 

In addition to the noise, you’ll also need to consider how much mess your chipper can make. If you decide to skip a collection bag, you’ll spray chips out of the machine, making a big pile quickly. With a bag, the mess is perhaps more controllable, but you’ll still need someplace to deposit the mulch you generate. 

Sometimes, you might have a use for the mulch in gardens or elsewhere on your property. You can also consider giving them to a neighbor or burying them in the woods. Just be careful to limit the size of your piles, as they can create a risk of fire as the wood degrades over time. 

You should also make sure to keep your workspace clean as you’re progressing with your chipping. It’s dangerous to accumulate debris that could trip you or otherwise lead to an accident. Never wear droopy clothes or anything that could get sucked into the chipper. 

Chipping Mechanism

When looking at options, also consider the chipping mechanism.

Drum

Drum roller machines tend to be very loud but easy to feed. They can be very dangerous, and as the drum rotates, it directly feeds the engine. Clogs can easily happen as debris tumbles into the machine. That is a recipe for disaster if you try to clear a clog with the machine running or you’re careless near it. 

Disk

Disc cutting chippers use a flywheel to rotate cutting blades that attack your debris and wood. They are safer than drum machines, as a short conveyor feeds the cutting mechanism instead of a drum. But, the design of each chipper varies significantly, so these units can be a bit tough to work on if they need maintenance. 

Screw

A screw chipper has a conical blade at its core. As it spins, just like a screw, its long, spiral-shaped blades chop wood and debris into bits. The blades turn parallel to the feeding action and usually require steady pressure from the user as they insert items into the chipper. 

When To Use a Wood Chipper

You can use a wood chipper whenever you want to reduce the size of logs, branches, or other debris. With the right model, you can handle chipping.

If your machine is a little underpowered for the debris you’re working with, consider waiting until your pile of branches dries out. Green or damp wood is tougher on the blades and takes longer to chip. So drying the wood makes it easier for the machine to process. 

Verdict: Best Wood Chippers

Wood chippers are very useful for clearing debris. If you need to reduce the size of branches, wood, cuttings, or other yard waste, consider the scale of your project. For those with big jobs on their itinerary, gas models with powerful engines tend to be the best choice. 

champion large wood chipper_160pxl

Best Gas Wood Chipper

Champion 338cc 3-Inch Chipper

Lots of power from the 338cc engine to shred 3-inch logs. Easy to handle and has a collection bag, and robust wheels. 


On the other hand, if your jobs tend to be more modest and you prefer quiet, electricity-power appliances to those that burn gasoline, consider the top electric model from Earthwise.

Earthwise 15-Amp Electric Chipper 

Best Electric Wood Chipper

Earthwise 15-Amp Electric Chipper 

Impressive power for an electric chipper with a good collection basket for minimum mess and clear-up. 

FAQs Best Wood Chipper

Some questions about chippers are quite common.