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Turn That Wood into Mulch Using the Best Chipper Shredder

  1. DEK Tow-Behind Chipper Shredder
  2. Craftsman Leafwacker 3-Way Chipper Shredder
  3. Earthwise GS70014 14 Amp Electric Chipper Shredder
  4. Sun Joe Chipper Joe CJ601E 14-Amp Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder
  5. Buyer's Guide

Wood chippers are a specialty tool for turning wood stock into mulch, landscaping material, or organic waste. They’re designed around a rotating blade that slices and dices wood pieces, turning them into manageable chips. The most practical chipper will have a side feeder port for larger branches, and they will also have a large rectangular funnel feeder port for smaller branches covered in leaves and twigs.

This list will be tailored to a suburban home or a small farm setting, because about 90 percent of all chipper/shredders are purchased for this type of work. Granted, there are commercial style chippers available that will grind up logs, but they’re manufactured for a specific need and don't really apply to a homeowner who needs to get rid of tree branches, tree limbs, or large amounts of brush.

Safety features are standard with these gas chipper shredders, as well as being easy to feed, have enough chipping power so that they don't bog down under load, and are adequate for chipping chores in a suburban or a country home setting. Their price and ease of maneuvering was also considered and we’ll also feature a model giving you the best bang for the buck. We've compiled the best chipper shredders in 2022.

What is the best chipper shredder of 2022?

best DEK Tow-Behind Chipper Shredder

DEK Tow-Behind Chipper Shredder - Best Chipper Shredder Overall

With power to spare, the DEK (4") 15-HP 420CC Professional Duty Tow-Behind Chipper Shredder may be the best chipper/shredder you may not have heard of. It will chip 4 inch diameter branches and can reduce 12 bushels of yard waste down to one without breaking a sweat. At 270 pounds it’s a bit on the heavy side so you’ll need to tow it into place with either an ATV or a lawn tractor. It comes with two feeder ports, one for brush and one for branches. It also features an automatic low-oil shutdown and a centrifugal clutch to protect the engine.

This chipper will tackle the larger jobs when you need it to, yet it is versatile enough to easily take on smaller suburban jobs too. Its middle-of-the-road pricing keeps it reasonably affordable for what you get, and it is the most powerful chipper/shredder here. It comes covered by a 1 year warranty, and features a Chinese made DEK engine, one of the more reliable small engines currently on the market.

best Craftsman Leafwacker 3-Way Chipper Shredder

Craftsman Leafwacker 3-Way Chipper Shredder - Runner Up

If you want a good machine at an affordable price, look no further than the Craftsman LEAFWACKER™ 3-Way Chipper Shredder. It effectively chips, shreds and mulches with its 10 horsepower Briggs and Stratton engine. It features two feed hoppers, the top one at 14 inches wide and the side one, for branches, at 10 inches wide. A tamper is included to safely push brush and other wood or leaf debris into the upper feed hopper.

At 155 pounds, it’s a medium weight unit that will hook up to your lawn tractor or ATV for easy mobility. This chipper shredder will chop up 3 inch diameter branches and spit them out into the included 3 bushel catcher bag. It’s capable of mulching down 10 bags of debris into 1 bag. While this unit has no bells or whistles, you’re getting a solid machine covered by a one year warranty that will work for most suburban applications.

Earthwise GS70014 14 Amp Electric Chipper Shredder - Honorable Mention

If you want the lightest and most maneuverable chipper/shredder here, then the Earthwise 14-Amp Electric Chipper/Shredder will fit the bill. It has enough power to get the job done, and it will even mulch leaves from 6 bags down to 1 bag. Although it will chip branches that are 1.5 inches in diameter, it’s intended for light duty jobs.

It’s very maneuverable on the 6 inch wheels, and the pusher paddle makes it safe to feed, but the units light weight may make it a bit unstable for larger branches or feeding in a lot of brush at one time. It comes with a one year warranty, but you'll have to supply your own container to catch the wood chips, or else they'll discharge directly onto the ground.

Sun Joe Chipper Joe CJ601E 14-Amp Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder - Consider

For the least expensive chipper/shredder on this list, choose the Sun Joe Chipper Joe 14 AMP Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder. It will take on 1 1/2-inch thick branches and limbs, and will convert 6 bags of leaves into 1 bag. At 32 pounds, it’s definitely lightweight and it features 6 inch wheels for portability. The pusher will help send leaves down into the hopper, and it also comes protected by a two year warranty. There is really nothing fancy about this chipper/shredder, but it will do a capable job with lighter weight material. You'll have to provide a bucket or a bag to catch the chips, but for basic chipping and mulching duties, that aren't too heavy, it will certainly get the job done.

Buyer's Guide

The first powered wood chipper was invented in Germany during the late 1880's. These belt driven machines belt-driven could be powered by a variety of power sources beginning with steam and electricity to gasoline powered engines later on. A popular adaptation around the turn of the 20th century, was to power the chipper from the flywheel of a tractor. This made the wood chipper relatively portable, since wherever a tractor could go, the chipper could then always be powered.

Modern wood chippers/shredders are fairly basic in design, using a motor to spin chipping/shredding blades that pulverize the wooden branches, or other woody refuse, that is inserted. The resulting chips are propelled through a chute, where they can be caught by a bag or a bucket, or piled up in one place. Most modern units are portable and lightweight enough to be carried in a truck bed or come equipped with wheels so they can be towed from one location to the next.

Powered chipper/shredders use either gasoline or electricity as their motive force. For the type of power unit that suits your needs, please consult our lawn equipment power source buyer’s guide for a detailed description on gasoline and electric motors.

Chipper/Shredder Types

Flail Shredders

These are some of the lightest units available, and they generally use small blunt pieces of metal attached to chains on a rotating drum. The flailing metal pulverizes leaves, small twigs and thin branches, but they aren’t rated for heavy-duty work.

On the lightest models, these flails consist of weed whacker strings which are only capable of shredding leaves. On combination chipper/shredders, flail blades are an integral part of feeding leaves and other light woody refuse into the hopper where the flail shreds the debris before sending it to the chipping blades.

Drum Chippers

The first type of this machine-type ever designed and still in use to this day, a drum chipper features a rotating heavy drum embedded with many teeth along its circumference. The spinning action pulls in wood fed into the hopper or the branch chute where it is effectively chipped and shredded. These chippers can accommodate some of the largest and bulkiest loads, and for heavy duty chipping, they can't be beat.

Disk Chippers

These are the most common chippers and can handle a solid variety of branch thicknesses. They work by spinning a heavy flywheel up to speed, with the outside edges of the wheel having blades attached. The heavier the flywheel, the more effective the chipper will be on larger loads.

Screw Chippers

As the name implies, a screw chipper uses a giant rotating screw to grab, chop and turn branches into chips. These are the heaviest duty chipper/shredders types made, and most are powered from PTO shafts on tractors, ATV's, or riding lawn mowers.


Top Mounted Hopper

A top-mounted hopper allows you to drop small to large loads of leaves into the chipper/shredder from the top. Gravity feeds this load to the blades, and if you have a combination unit, the flail blades will make short work of this kind of woody chaff. The larger the hopper mouth, the easier it is to feed in leaves and other woody debris.

Side Mounted Branch Feeder Chute

The branch feeder chute is often side mounted and allows you to bypass the flailing blades while sending branches directly to the chipping blades. Generally, the width of the side chute is the maximum width of the branches that can be chipped by the blades.


The lightest electric shredders are light enough to carry to the place where you want to shred or chip wood. These will have no wheels at all, but they'll come equipped with a sturdy set of legs to stand on while you’re busy shredding or chipping.

Wheels come in different types, from smaller kinds that allow you to pull the chipper/shredder from place to place, to utility wheels so you can hook it up to a riding lawn mower or an ATV and pull it around on your property. The larger machines may be equipped with road-worthy wheels which enable it to be towed from place to place from the back of your truck or car, provided you have the proper towing hitch equipped.

What's Best for You

Owning a chipper/shredder gives you the versatility to turn yard waste into usable mulch. You can use this mulch to line gardens, create pathways, or even turn it into compost. Ultimately, what's best for you will rely on your location and what type of woody refuse you want to turn into chips.

City and Suburbanites

Most city and suburban settings may have an abundance of leaves and small branches that need to be converted into shreds or chips, and in this scenario, an electric chipper/shredder flail would be the best option. Any gas powered lightweight disk chipper/shredder is also an option, but in many cities there may be noise regulations. A chipper/shredder is one of the noisiest outdoor home and garden appliances made. If you live in a city, please check to see if you can legally use a chipper/shredder for your wood waste shredding tasks.

Country Living

For making mulch out of wood waste, a chipper/shredder is going to be the tool for you. You'll be able to convert fallen branches into a usable medium, and you'll be able to shred leaves and compact them for the local compost pile, or your own compost needs.

If you plan on just chipping branches that fall naturally from wind, rain, storms, snowfall, etc., then a light to medium weight disk unit will suffice. If you are surrounded by trees and want to make large quantities of chips to line gardens or create pathways, than a medium to heavy weight disk or drum machine would be the choice for you.

Farm Use

Unless you just plan on your chipper being used to clear debris, in which case a disk chipper will be adequate, plan on getting a heavy-duty unit such as a drum machine  which would be best for this purpose. If you opt for a unit that is going to be towed from place to place that is needed to chip larger branches from downed trees, then a heavy-duty PTO activated screw chipper would be your best option.

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