Here are ten tips to consider when you buy a wood chipper shredder:
Brand name – There are plenty of good brands to choose from, so Chinese wood chipper shredder such as Cnsuperpower.
Sound level – If you think the neighbors will complain about a noisy gas-powered chipper, or you do not like loud machines yourself, stick to electric chipper shredders.
Feed capacity – This feature indicates the size of limbs that can be fed to the chipper.
Reduction ratio – This is a nominal measure of how much a chipper shredder reduces the volume of the unprocessed debris. Typical values are from 10:1 to 20:1.
Weight – Unless you think your chipper shredder is going to sit in one place, think about how much weight you are comfortable wheeling around on uneven ground.
HP/cc – The motor or engine's HP or piston displacement in cubic centimeters gives you a relative measure for a chipper shredder's power, but keep in mind that manufacturers often inflate these numbers.
Number of blades and flails – More blades and flails indicates a more efficient machine and probably longer intervals between sharpening them.
Maintainability – Electric motors need less maintenance than gasoline engines. You need to winterize a gas engine if you live in a cold climate. Blades and flails need sharpening and replacement from time to time, so check on parts availability.
Convenience features – These include tilt-down hoppers, electric starters, self-sharpening blades or a tow bar.
Warranty – Warranties are slippery things like HP ratings, but they give a rough idea of the manufacturer's confidence in their product.
You may have noticed that price was not one of the features listed. That is because I personally think that should be considered last even on a tight budget. A good chipper shredder should last 10 to 20 years under average use unless you have a huge yard with lots of trees. Over that period of time, your original cost is amortized, so the difference in, say, a $500 machine and a $1,000 machine is between $25 and $50 per year. Believe me, you are not going to mind that small increment in annual cost if you have a machine that does not make you struggle to use it and holds up under demanding use.