As a homeowner, you will inevitably need to work on several jobs to keep your yard looking tidy. Including clearing overgrown trees and shrubs.
But when all the work is done, you need an effective way of disposing of organic waste such as clippings, pruned branches, and any small tree clearance. A wood chipper is a perfect tool for turning leftover waste wood into a practical material for landscaping and many other functions.
But how much does a chipper cost? And is it worth renting or outright buying one?
- How Much Does a Wood Chipper Cost
- Types of Wood Chippers
- How Much Does It Cost To Rent a Gas Wood Chipper
- How Much Does It Cost To Buy a Wood Chipper
- Cost to Buy vs. Renting
- How Much Does It Cost To Run a Chipper?
- 10 Things to Consider Before Buying or Renting
- Verdict: Is It Best To Buy or Rent a Wood Chipper
- FAQs How Much Does a Wood Chipper Cost
How Much Does a Wood Chipper Cost
Investing in a wood chipper is a great tool to make this job not only easy, but it will also provide you with useful wood chipping to repurpose within your backyard or home. Within this blog post, we will explain the costs of a chipper for purchase and for rental, as well as the associated running costs.
Hopefully, this will help you decide how to use wood chippers in the most cost-effective way and help you decide if this high-ticket price tool is a suitable investment for you.
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Types of Wood Chippers
As anyone who has tried to clear a fallen tree from their property knows, chippers can be a huge help. But many people don’t realize that there are two types of wood chippers: electric and gas-powered. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to choose the right one for the job at hand.
Electric chippers are typically smaller and more lightweight than their gas-powered counterparts, making them much easier to move around.
They’re also quieter and produce zero emissions. However, they usually have a smaller capacity and aren’t as powerful, so they may not be able to handle large branches.
Gas-powered chippers are larger and more powerful to take on bigger jobs. However, they’re also heavier and more challenging to move, producing more noise and pollution.
So an electric one may be the better choice if you only need to use a wood chipper occasionally or for small jobs. But if you’re dealing with large branches regularly, a gas-powered wood chipper will probably be worth the investment.
Electric Wood Chipper Shredders
When it comes to electric wood chipper shredders, you should know a few things before purchasing.
You need to consider the size of the wood you are going to be chipping. Electric chippers have their limitations. Typically they will shred wood up to around 1.75 inches in diameter. Anything thicker and you will need to switch to a gas model.
Another feature is what’s called the Reduction Ratio. Ideally, you want a machine that has a reduction ratio of at least 10:1. This basically refers to the machine’s ability to chip into small pieces. A variable reduction ratio is even better, in some cases allowing you to achieve a 17:1 reduction ratio.
Finally, you need to look at the size, weight, portability, and whether the machine has a bag or container to collect the chips. Most gas models spew the wood chips out of a chute, whereas electric chippers designed for lightweight residential use usually come with bags to collect the chips and prevent as much mess and clear up afterward.
Are Electric Wood Chippers Worth It?
It depends…If you are looking to take on regular light chipping work then absolutely, electric wood chippers are great value for money to buy outright.
Generally, you can expect to pay around $150 for a good quality machine that will be well-suited for chipping branches up to 1.75 inches. Which in the long run represents great value.
First, electric chippers are much quieter and cleaner than gas-powered models.
Second, electric models are much easier to maintain. You don’t have to worry about changing the oil or tune-ups – keep the blades sharp, and you’re good to go. This can save you time and money in the long run.
Third, the lightweight nature of electric chippers allows you to move them around your yard with ease, get them through gates and pathways, and of course, it makes them easy to store in your garage or shed.
Finally, electric chippers are more environmentally friendly than gas-powered models. They produce zero emissions, so you can feel good about using them without harming the planet.
So there you have it – four good reasons to consider an electric wood chipper for your next landscaping project. Weigh the pros and cons carefully, and make the choice that’s right for you.
Gas or Petrol
Gasoline-powered wood chippers are a slightly different beast. They are heavy-duty machines that have significant size, weight, and power different from the electric chippers.
Depending on the size of the machine, logs of up to 6 inches or more are well within the scope of gas chippers. Most machines for domestic use range between 3, 4, or 6 inches. Commercial machines can chew up a full-size log and spit it out in pieces easily.
On the downside, all that power comes with noise, fuel emissions, and the logistics problem of moving and storing a large powerful machine like a gas chipper.
If you are limited to space, and unless you are using it regularly for large jobs, then a gas wood chipper is possibly better as a rental tool.
How Much Does It Cost To Rent a Gas Wood Chipper
The average price for a residential gas chipper is around $100 per day. However, the price can vary depending on the size and power of the chipper. As you may expect a small electric chipper will cost less than a larger industrial machine.
You can expect to pay around $100 daily for a standard gas wood chipper capable of handling 2-3 inch logs. For machines capable of handling 12-inch material then expect to pay $500 per day.
Additionally, the rental company may charge extra fees for delivery and pick-up.
Of course, these rates may vary depending on your location and the rental company’s policies. So, be sure to call around for quotes before making your decision.
Where To Rent a Chipper
There are a number of tool rental services across the country offering wood chippers for hire. Home Depot offers a good price gas chipper suited to chipping 2-inch branches, available nationwide.
How Much Does It Cost To Buy a Wood Chipper
The cost of a chipper depends on a few factors. Brand, size, power type, and other ancillary features that the machine offers.
Gas Wood Chipper
Expect to pay $600 or more for a gas chipper, with top-end models selling for around $9,000. Some designed on trailers can go up to $25,000, but these are really commercial chippers.
Electric Wood Chipper Shredder
How much does it cost to buy an electric chipper shredder? Well, that depends on a few factors. The first is the type of wood chipper you need. You can probably find something inexpensive if you need a small one for occasional use.
However, if you need a heavy-duty model for commercial use, you’ll have to spend a bit more.
The second factor is the brand. Some brands are more expensive than others. Finally, where you purchase your wood chipper also affects the cost. If you buy from a big box store, you’ll likely pay more than if you buy from a smaller, independent retailer.
So, when it comes to the cost of an electric wood chipper shredder, it depends on your specific needs and circumstances.
Where to Buy A Chipper
The best place to buy a chipper is from a specialty gardening shop near you. If you’re shopping online, read customer reviews to see what other people’s experiences with the product have been like.
It’s also a good idea to check to see if the tool comes with a warranty in case something goes wrong with it.
If you don’t already have a gas source in your yard for a gas-powered chipper, you can also buy an electric model. These also have a cord you will have to ensure you don’t trip on as you use the machine.
Cost to Buy vs. Renting
|Electric Chipper||Not Applicable||$120-200|
How Much Does It Cost To Run a Chipper?
The cost of running a wood chipper will vary depending on the size of the machine, the engine, and fuel consumption, as well as the rate at which wood is fed into the chipper.
But to give you a rough guide, consider the initial outlay for the machine. Depending on the model and size, wood chippers can cost anywhere from $600 to $25,000.
You’ll also need to factor in the fuel cost. Gasoline-powered chippers can consume up to 5l of gas per m3, so running a chipper for two m3 could use up to 10l of gas alone. Finally, you’ll need to factor in the cost of maintenance. Like any other machinery, chippers require regular tune-ups and repairs.
All told, the cost of running a wood chipper can range from $10 to $20 per hour.
10 Things to Consider Before Buying or Renting
Here are a few things that you should consider when you are looking to buy or rent a chipper for yourself.
1. Power Source
The power source is the first thing you should consider when buying or renting a wood chipper. If you have an outlet near where you need to use your chipper, and you are doing lightweight chipping or shredding then you can get an electric model. If you don’t have access to electricity or need to chip wood with a diameter greater than 2 inches, you will need to buy a gas-powered model.
2. Engine Power
The second thing to consider is the engine’s power. The engine power is measured in horsepower. A small wood chipper should have an engine of about 1 ½ to 2 horsepower. If you use a wood chipper often or have demanding loads or hardwood to chip, you might want to get a machine with a higher hp.
3. Chipping Reduction Ratio
The amount of chipping that the chipper will produce depends on this ratio. The ideal ratio for using wood chippers is 10:1, which indicates a reduction ratio of 10:1. The higher the ratio, the smaller the wood chips. With a higher reduction ratio, you typically need more power. More power often means a larger engine and a higher price tag.
4. Self-Feeding Chipper or Manual
The fourth thing to consider is whether you want a self-feeding or a manual chipper. A self-feeding chipper will push the wood into the machine, and the machine will do all of the work. You have to make sure you feed the wood at a steady pace. A manual wood chipper requires you to feed the wood into it yourself.
If you have a lot of wood to chip then self-feeding can be a great time-saving advantage allowing you to begin handling the next log as the machine draws in and chips the previous log.
5. Chipper Throat Size
The chipper throat size is the width of the opening that allows the wood to enter the machine. The larger this opening is, the more wood you can feed into it at once.
Consider renting equipment with a larger throat size if you will be cleaning thick hardwood debris.
6. Feed Capacity Limit
The feed capacity limit is the amount of wood you can put into the chipper. The larger this number is, the more wood you can chip in one session and thus the larger jobs that you can do.
The portability of a wood chipper is the ease of moving it from one location to another. A portable wood chipper is easier to move around than a stationary one.
Push or Tow Behind
A push-behind wood chipper requires that you push it around with you as you walk, so it will pivot on two wheels and be light enough to move by hand. A tow-behind chipper is a tool that you attach to the back of your truck or ATV or ride on a mower, and pull around with you.
Larger chippers would need additional transport licensing, increasing your costs. On the other hand, smaller tools can be pulled by a small car and don’t need a separate license for transportation.
8. Size and Accessibility To Your Property
The chipper’s size is the machine’s length, width, and height. The more accessible your property is to your wood chipper, the easier it will be for you to move it around. The last thing anyone needs is to hire a tool only to find you cannot get it through your backyard gate.
At the risk of stating the obvious, these machines are not small. Electric wood chippers are perfect for storing in your basement, or garage. Whereas gas machines will need to be stored in a shed or barn with wide-door access.
9. Safety: Personal Protective Equipment
Safety is everything when working with a wood chipper. There is an obvious risk of material, clothing, or other items being drawn into the chipper whilst in operation, so consider this before use. Wood chips can also get into your eyes, mouth, or lungs if you are not wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).
10. Noise and Mess
If you opt for a gas-powered chipper with a chute, then expect there to be a significant clean-up afterward. Wood chips will be everywhere. I use a leaf blower to clear the ground after using mine.
Also, consider your neighbors. These things are noisy. Electric machines are no problem at all, but gas chippers generate a large noise when running on idle and whilst chipping.
Verdict: Is It Best To Buy or Rent a Wood Chipper
Hopefully, the information within this post has given you food for thought. In summary:
If you have lightweight work of chipping branches of 1.75 inches or less and need to use it frequently, then I would go for an electric chipper. They offer great value for money and are very convenient.
For anything bigger then you will have to go for gas. The only remaining question is whether to rent or buy and this will depend on how often you intend to use the machine and whether you can store it.
If you expect to do more than 6 days of chipping over a machine’s lifetime then it is definitely worth buying a gas chipper for around $600. Something like the Champion 3-Inch Portable Chipper-Shredder with Collection Bag is an excellent option.
FAQs How Much Does a Wood Chipper Cost
Here are the most commonly asked questions about renting a chipper.