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Whether you’re hoping to add a natural touch to your backyard with some fresh mulch or you simply need a way to dispose of a few fallen branches after a storm, a chipper shredder is a must-have for homeowners who pride themselves on a pristine yard. But while most chipper shredders perform the same basic functions — as their name implies: chipping and shredding — there are quite a few things to keep in mind before making a final purchase.
First, be sure to consider your budget. Most chipper shredders will set you back a few hundred dollars —or a few thousand — depending on the model. So it’s also in your best interest to consider how often you’ll put the machine to use. Professional landscapers and those with larger yards and more greenery would benefit from a pricier, higher-end model that can handle tougher materials like bulky branches; however, a more affordable model will get the job done for most homeowners who’ll likely only use it for a few days out of the year.
With these considerations in mind, read on for the best chipper shredders to buy in 2017.
01 of 07
Best Overall: Tazz K32 Chipper Shredder 212cc 4-Cycle Engine
For an all-around balanced chipper shredder that combines some of the most important features of its competitors, look no further than the Tazz K32, a tough and affordable machine boasting a 212cc engine that brings unbeatable power to any clean-up job — specifically, enough to chow through three inches-worth of branches and twigs at a time.
Measuring 25.4 inches wide, 29.9 inches long, and 51 inches tall, the Tazz is a worthwhile investment for those with a mid-sized yard (and lots of trees and shrubbery). While it’s by no means “small,” this chipper shredder is surprisingly compact — though it is pretty hefty, weighing in at a whopping 121 lbs. Still, satisfied buyers report that it more than makes up for its weight by offering fast, heavy-duty performance and convenient debris bag attachment that deposits your newly-shredded chips into a zippered fabric bag for easy disposal — or for mulching!
With durable 11-inch wheels guaranteed to never go flat, a limb chute that’s specially designed for longer branches, and a steel hopper that feeds plant matter into a heavy-duty grinding chamber, the Tazz K32 is a worthy addition to your garage at nearly half the price of its competition.
02 of 07
Best Budget: GreenWorks 15 Amp Corded Shredder/Chipper
While larger homes with sprawling backyards may require a more expensive, feature-heavy chipper shredder, those with more modest spaces can make do with a basic model that does exactly what its name implies. The GreenWorks 15 Amp Corded Shredder/Chipper, which measures 33.7" x 19.9" x 15.8", is a must-have for homeowners looking to remove the clutter of twigs, branches, and leaves from their lawns without the need to dish out the dough for a high-end machine.
With a maximum cutting diameter of 1 3/8" and boasting 7-inch wheels, the GreenWorks 24052 Shredder/Chipper is a no-frills piece of equipment that gets the job done efficiently. Customers report that the 24052 is ideal for shredding smaller materials like narrow branches and twigs rather than leaves or pine needles that could potentially clog the exit chute.
As a bonus, homeowners concerned with reducing their carbon footprint will appreciate the fact that GreenWorks prides itself on its environmentally-friendly approach—after all, their entire line of products, including their 24052, releases exactly zero carbon emissions!
03 of 07
Best Electric: Patriot Products CSV-2515 Electric Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder
At under $1000, the Patriot CSV-2515 is an electric-powered shredder chipper that devours leaves and 2 1/2" wooden material like nobody’s business at a fraction of the price of competitive units. Because it’s powered by electricity (14 amps, specifically), all you need to get this machine up and going is an extension cord and an outlet — that means no more last-minute drives to the hardware store when you run out of oil or gasoline.
One flip of a switch is all it takes to start the CSV-2515’s quiet, smooth engine, and with oversized wheels, a convenient handle, and a (comparatively) lightweight frame at 95 lbs., transportation is a breeze. Happy buyers advise users to be weary around wet leaves as they may clog the machine’s funnel — but otherwise, Patriot’s excellent electric-powered chipper shredder, which comes with a collection bag and protective goggles, is the total package perfect for the professional landscaper or frustrated homeowner tormented by fallen tree branches and pesky leaves.
04 of 07
Best Gas-Powered: Cub Cadet 159cc Gas Chipper Shredder Vacuum
While some landscapers swear by electric-powered equipment, antsier folk who can’t seem to stay in one place for too long might benefit from a gas-powered machine like the Cub Cadet Gas Chipper Shredder Vacuum. While it resembles a lawn mower more than a traditional chipper shredder, this hybrid machine boasts a branch-shredding 1 1/2" chipper in addition to a 24" wide vacuum. It even includes a seven-foot-long suction hose, ideal for sucking up leaves, dead plant matter, and small twigs from flower beds, behind sheds, and from other tight spots, you wouldn’t be able to reach with a traditional leaf vacuum.
Satisfied customers love Cub Cadet’s combo chipper shredder/vacuum unit, which comes with a complimentary collection bag that stores up to 2 bushels — about 70 liters of material. Buyers are quick to note that, while it gets the job done, it does emit quite a bit of dust — so it’s best to wear safety goggles when putting this puppy to use.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Best Professional Use: Brush Master 420cc Commercial Duty Chipper Shredder
A seasoned landscaper knows that having the right tools for the job is the first step in building a reputation — that’s why it’s important to invest in a rugged, professional-quality chipper shredder like the Brush Master 420cc Commercial Duty Chipper Shredder. With a souped-up 15hp (or 420cc) engine that can chip branches up to 3" x 4" in diameter, this machine means business. The Brush Master CH4M17 even boasts a two-way self-feeder that turns your yard waste into 1/4" mulch —a side chute that grinds down larger branches and super-wide top funnel to tackle bundles of smaller materials like twigs and leaves.
At 29.5" x 34.5" x 44.5", and weighing in at 250 lbs, this bad boy is as heavy duty as it gets. Customers report being beyond impressed at this entry-level commercial-use powerhouse’s performance, sturdiness, and long lifespan — though they do note that its engine is relatively “thirsty,” meaning it requires refueling more frequently than other machines.
06 of 07
Best Compact: Sun Joe 14 Amp Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder
For homeowners without the luxury of a multi-level garage in which to store a ginormous chipper shredder, the Sun Joe 14 Amp Electric Wood Chipper Shredder is an excellent no-nonsense machine that’s super lightweight, easy to store, and mulches as well as a model twice its price and size. Money-savers and DIYers can’t get enough of this compact yet sturdy machine — a number of them were even shocked at how well it performed on branches up to 1 1/2" in diameter, especially considering its small size and affordable price tag.
At a mere 17 pounds, and measuring 36.75" x 20" x 26.23", this Sun Joe chipper shredder is the epitome of portability. While buyers note that it doesn’t come with a bag — rather, it deposits mulch straight from its funnel — crafty users have come up with an excellent solution: mounting their machine on top of a wheelbarrow for easy mulch collection!
07 of 07
Best Standing Mulcher: WORX 13 Amp Electric Leaf Mulcher
For the most part, chipper shredders are great for turning yard waste into nutrient-rich mulch — an ideal addition to your flowerbed come time to spruce up your garden in the spring. And while the WORX 13 Amp Electric Leaf Mulcher — which grinds up to 53 gallons of leaves a minute — offers similar capabilities, it boasts an impressive and practical feature that chipper shredders don’t: a universal bag holder.
We know: that doesn’t sound very exciting, but once summer rolls around — and it’s time to deal with the build-up of autumn leaves —the last thing on a homeowner’s mind is mulch. You’ll want to get those pesky leaves into a bag and onto the curb as quickly and easily as possible. The easy-to-assemble WORX Electric Leaf Mulcher, which grinds leaves and small twigs to 1/11th of their size, allows users to attach a trash bag to its base. In other words: it’s never been easier to eliminate the hassle of mulching — and reduce your carbon footprint by using recyclable paper bags instead of plastic. To top it all off, the WORX Electric Leaf Mulcher makes user safety a top priority, swapping out dangerous blades — the grinder of choice for most chipper shredders — for ultra-thick trimmer line.