What Is a Wood Shredder?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 January 2020
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Also known as a wood chipper or a pulp shredder, a wood shredder is a device that is designed to reduce different types of wood into fine chips or pieces that can easily be used in the creation of pressed wood products. Shredders of this type are sometimes used for landscape cleanup, making it possible to dispose of tree limbs and other debris without the need to burn those materials. There are also types of wood shredders that are used to recycle older wood products into base materials that can then be utilized in the creation of new products, including shipping crates and even some types of furniture. A wood shredder may be powered with electricity or constructed to make use of a gasoline engine to power the shredding action.

The basic function of a wood shredder is to reduce varying types of wood into small chips or pieces. Shredders are often helpful when it comes to clearing the landscape of a private residence or even the building site for a commercial enterprise. With both applications, wood that cannot be salvaged for use in other types of projects can be cut and fed into the shredder. Using a series of sharp blades and rotors, the wood segments are pulverized and converted into fine chips. Those chips can then be discarded with ease or even sold for use in the creation of pressboard or other pressed wood products.


Homeowners can rent a wood shredder at a number of home and garden shops as well as from some nurseries. These smaller shredders can often be transported to the home using a small flatbed truck or possibly even with the aid of a standard pickup truck. Depending on the type of shredder used, the shredded wood fragments may be collected into a bin attached to the unit, where the chips can be bagged and saved for later use. It is not unusual for homeowners to retain the shredded wood and use it for mulching and as a decorative element in flower beds.

When buying this type of equipment, the price of a wood shredder will vary based on capacity and the range of features that come with the unit. Industrial models will typically include a wider range of features, including a baling feature that can be especially helpful if the goal is to sell the chips for use in the creation of new products. The simpler and smaller units designed for residential use will usually include fewer features and have a price tag that is much mor affordable than the industrial models.


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