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A woodchipper can be a great way to turn unwanted leaves, twigs, and branches into high-quality organic compost for the garden. A woodchipper, also known as shredder, is available in a variety of sizes and models. Small chippers, around 1 HP of engine horsepower, usually run on gasoline, while larger ones, up to 16HP, tend to be gas-powered. Another important factor in the quality of a woodchipper designed for residential use is the number of blades or flails it has. The more blades, the easier and faster the process becomes.
A woodchipper designed for residential use can usually handle a certain size and amount of material before clogging up. When making a purchase, it´s important to keep this in mind and choose a woodchipper that can handle the amount of work your yard will produce; smaller, cheaper models can handle branches up to 2 1/2 inches (6.35 cm), while more substantial models can easily chip branches of up to 4 inches (10.16 cm).
Woodchippers are available in a variety of combinations, such as sweeper/blower and woodchipper/vacuum, and with a series of accessories, including collection bags, blowback shields, and covers. Larger models normally include wheels, but they may be optional in smaller units.
You should keep in mind that additional woodchipper features also mean an increase in price, so if that´s a consideration, you should shop around for discounted merchandise and online outlets. A basic woodchipper model with the capacity of handling only small branches will set you back around $600. Larger models start at $1500 and can run up to $4000. This is one of the few cases when higher prices usually do mean better quality, so don´t settle for the cheapest unit. Also, look for solid construction. A woodchipper made of heavy-gauge steel, including steel blades, will provide you with a longer-lasting piece of equipment that requires less maintenance. Bosch AXT 2200 HP Silent Garden Shredder, which sells for about $300, is a clear example of a good woodchipper that delivers what it promises--fast shredding and chipping with very little clogging, all at a low noise level. Self-feeding machines such as this one are also perfect for one-man jobs. All you have to do is feed the wood pieces and the woodchipper will process them.