How does a wood chipper works

How does a wood chipper works with 5 maintain tips

How does a wood chipper works: A wood chipper is also known as a tree chipper, tree shredder, wood shredder, etc. is one of the most beneficial tools for lawn or garden or yard to get rid of broken trees or other unwanted woods or fallen leaves and branches. These machines provide many benefits to make a clean yard, work as an ax, and saw in most of its tasks.

This is one kind of machine that feeds large pieces of wood to chop them into small pieces of about ¾” wide and 1/16″ thick. It also works as a shredder to make organic compost, mulch, or other as a part of the recycling and manufacturing process by reducing wood into chips or sawdust. Usually, it is used to clean up your yard after a strong storm or other meteorological events.

wood chips
Wood chips

An industrial wood chipper has several distinct parts like a hopper, a collar, a chipper, and a collection container. These tools can make your yard tasks more convenient, make your life easier, and help to keep your lawn neat and tidy. It is a large power tool. Some super wood chippers are set on the top of trucks and powered by a separate external engine. It is very helpful for the area where it is illegal to pick up the waste and make garbage or restriction of open burn the waste.

Its working process is pretty difficult for beginners but if they follow the right procedure they can easily handle it. In this article, I am going to tell you some of the workings processes including its types, power sources, safety tips and so other essential things. If you do care, I hope this article makes your work very easy and comfortable.

Which type of materials have to feed

A wood chipper can feed various types of material based on its design, it feeds like woods, trunks, limbs, logs, small dead leaves and branches, and other yard debris. The size of the organic materials that a wood chipper can feed largely depends on the design capacity of the machine and the size of the chipped pieces is largely determined by its reduction ratio.

Types of wood chipper

You can find different types of wood chipper based on several different types of cutting mechanisms. You have to choose one first from them according to your working place and working materials. Mainly there are 3 types of wood chippers. These are-

1️⃣ Drum chippers

This is a commercial type of wood chipper. It offers a special feature that is a large motor run drum inside the machine. Drums pull the organic materials first and then direct it to make an appropriate chute. It works very quickly but you need to be careful when you operate it. You have to feed carefully to avoid blockages and jams. The drum is rotated at a high speed powered by a belt.

2️⃣ Disc chippers

This wood chipper is very common to lawn owners or small farms. It offers a high-speed disc or flywheel that designs with multiple knives and sharp blades to chop and grind the organic materials. The flywheel spins at high speeds that adjust with the motor’s shafts or attached with a drive belt. In some disc chippers, it offers several hammers for shredding purposes.

3️⃣ High torque roller

It is a common feature of electric chippers mainly used to grind up and shred small-diameter materials. It has a low speed and quieter than gas-powered chippers. The working system of rollers is grinding the materials rather than chopping.

Power source, Electric or Gas

Usually, you can find two types of engine or motor based on its power sources. One is electric-powered and another is gas-powered. The size of the engine largely depends on how powerful the tool is and which type of works you want to perform. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of both alternatives.

Gas-powered motor

This is more powerful than an electric-powered motor. If you want to perform heavy jobs you have to choose and purchase a gas-powered wood chipper. If you have a medium to large size yard and it has no access to electricity or there is no scope to cover all the area with the help of wall socket or external extension cords, the gas-powered chipper is the best options for you to solve this problem. This can handle a large area and large loads. If you are searching for a portable wood chipper a gas-powered will be your first choice.

Generally, most of the large wood chippers are designed with a gas-powered motor. But it has a noise problem that makes noise pollution and if you have a small yard it is not convenient for you. This machine is also expensive.

Electric-powered motor

Many of the lawn owners prefer electric-powered motor chippers because they have a small yard. For a small yard, you need a small wood chipper and most of the small wood chippers are designed with electric-powered motors. It is really good for smaller jobs and it is very easy and affordable to purchase because of its lower prices than a gas-powered. It has less noise and it is environment-friendly.

Electric-powered woodchipper is less powerful than a gas-powered motor and it needs to plug in an outlet that limits its mobility. It is not perfect for the large yard and heavy jobs.

wood chipper

From the above power sources, you have to choose one which is suited for you, your yard, and your job. But you are recommended to purchase a gas-powered machine if you have no space problem because gas-powered is more powerful and makes you work very quickly and save your time and effort.

Safety tips

You have to wear PPE (Personal protection equipment). First of all, you have to give priority to your safety when you are going to use a wood chipper. There are many ways to avoid serious injury or damage to keep yourself safe. Wear tight-fitting clothes to reduce the risk of catching up your clothes in the blades.

Eye protection is very important for you to save your eyes from flying debris or dust. So, you have to wear safety goggles to protect your eyes. You have to wear earmuffs to protect your ear from the extremely noisy sound. Hand gloves are also necessary safety equipment to avoid slip away woods from hands and to protect your hand from serious injury. Steel-toed boots protect your foot from severe injury.

How does a wood chipper works

Already you are familiar with a wood chipper and able to know that this is one kind of machine that feeds large pieces of wood to chop them into small pieces. Different sizes of wood and its purpose largely depend on your strategy of work to use them. It offers you different sizes of pieces of wood according to your requirement.

A wood chipper cut-down the woods through its one or more sharp blades which are attached to a rotating disc that spins and helps to push the wood into the machine. You must be careful when you are intending to put wood into the chipper. You have to push it with the help of another piece of wood rather than your hand or arms into the chute to avoid serious injury.

A wood chipper consists of a set of blades, humor, or cutting teeth to convert organic materials to feed through a chute into very small pieces.

Here is the different working process of different parts of a wood chipper.

Engine: The engine is powered by fuel (a mixture of gas and oil) or by electricity where cords are plugged into an outlet. This is the main part of a wood chipper.  Without an engine, it can not imagine and can not make the crankshaft turn.

Drive belt: When the crankshaft is started to turn and operate, it engages or disengages the chute. After a certain RPM (Rotations per minute) the clutch engages to move the drive belt.

Impeller: The impeller is also an important part that is termed as chipper knives or blades. When the drive belt moves, this helps to turn the impeller and keep the knives in motion.

Feeding materials: When the impeller starts to move and knives remain in motion, you have to start feeding your organic materials into the chipper. The woods and debris go into the hopper and it hits the impeller with the blades. Heating after heating it shreds the woods and debris and makes it tiny chips and mulch.

The chute: After chopping up automatically the chops come out on the ground through a chute. It is designed with an airflow which helps to push the flying chutes in the desired place where you have angled it.

How to maintain

The essential part of a wood chipper is proper maintenance of it without the risk of injury to you or others and avoid severe damage to your machine. Maintenance of the electric-powered machine is quite easier just sharpening the blades and cleaning the air filter from time to time. So, for gas-powered machines what maintenance is needed are stated below.

  1. Check the oil in time: Change the oil largely depends on the amount of use of your wood chipper. You have to change the oil at least twice a year if you use it all year-round otherwise you have to change once a year.
  2. Check the spark plugs: You have to check the spark plugs occasionally and if you have found any corrosion or damage on plugs, you should replace it as soon as possible. It is not so costly so don’t be late.
  3. Check the air filter: Check the air filter regularly because it is necessary to keep your air filter clean. You can clean it with a flash of water, you have to let it dry before using it for chipper purpose. It saves your money or you can buy and replace a new one.
  4. Check the blades: After every 10-12 hours of use of a wood chipper, you have to sharpen the blades or replace them with a new one. A wet grinder and some other ways are available to sharpen the blades.
  5. Final thought: If your above work is okay, you have to add new oil to make sure that the blades are lubricated.

Proper maintenance of your wood chipper increases the ability of its work, increases its lifetime and working time. So, you have to be careful about every part of your chipper, and if you find any fault fix it as soon as possible.


A wood chipped is a highly useful machine for a lawn owner or gardener. It makes your yard a clean look. It is very easy to use and operate for a lawn owner to clean his/her yard with a wood chipper. But if you are a beginner, it is tough for you to do your jobs with a wood chipper. It may be hard for you to maintain and proper care of it. So the knowledge of the different working systems of different parts makes it easy to maintain your wood chipper properly.

Firstly you have to know about how a wood chipper works. I hope already you have got a clear idea about the use and working system of a wood chipper that makes your work very easy and comfortable. So follow the instructions carefully and keep practicing and one day you will be an expert lawn owner.

Agriculturist Musa

Agriculturistmusa is a graduate student in agriculture. He is doing research on home improvement, indoor, and outdoor gardening! He loves to decorate the home, garden, and lawn care. Based on his experience about home, improvement, gardening, and lawn; he is sharing his thought and opinion, tips, and tools so that a beginner can get started right away. Find him on Twitter here. Happy reading!

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