How to Use a Wood Chipper – Quick Guide

If you’ve never used a wood chipper before, it can seem like an intimidating piece of equipment. While a wood chipper can be dangerous, there are plenty of steps you can take to make sure you’re able to use it safely and before you know it, you’ll be an old pro. This article is going to go over the important steps of how to use a wood chipper so that you know what to do and what safety precautions to take.

how to use a wood chipper

Safety Equipment

It’s important to make sure you wear proper clothing and safety equipment. If you aren’t careful or don’t take the proper precautions, a wood chipper can be a highly dangerous machine. Firstly, make sure you wear clothing that is snug. Any clothing that dangles or fits very loosely runs the risk of catching on the blades in the machine while you are adding wood to the chipper, and that could lead to a very serious injury or worse. These are big, powerful machines so it’s always a good idea to make safety a priority.

You’ll also want to ear plugs to protect your hearing and safety glasses so that your eyes will be protected if anything flies from the chipper toward your face. You’ll also want to wear thick work gloves. The materials that you feed into the chipper as well as bits that can fly out can be rough, jagged or sharp so it’s a good idea to keep your skin protected as much as possible. Wearing steel-toed boots is also a great idea, just to add a little more safety.

Preparing the Area

You’ll want to start by cleaning up the area where you’ll be using the chipper. This includes making sure there’s no debris or any branches within any of the areas that you’ll need to walk through. This can help to eliminate any potential trips or falls while you work. You also want to make sure that your chipper is set up in a way that will allow the chips plenty of space to fall where they won’t be able to cause any damage. It’s also important to make sure that you don’t use the chipper on a slope, as it can be potentially dangerous.

It’s a good idea to make sure you go through all the materials that will need to go into the chipper prior to getting started so that you can make sure no foreign objects are mixed among the wood. This might include tools, rocks or other things that can either cause damage to your chipper or potentially be rejected and fly back out at you, which can be very dangerous. If at all possible, you’ll also want to make sure the chipper is set up so that the wind can blow any dust away from the engine, which can help keep it cleaner and running well.

Preparing the Chipper

Before you get started, you may want to make some adjustments in order to allow the chipper to work in the most beneficial way. This can include adjusting the blow chute as well as the directional deflector so that they are pointed in the directions that suit your needs. In most cases, you can set the blow chute by loosening the handle, adjusting it into the position you want and then fastening the handle again. You can do the same with the deflector by loosening the nut, making any adjustments and then fastening the nut again. Both are relatively easy processes that can keep you from getting some serious headaches while working.

Starting the Chipper

Before you start the machine, it’s a good idea to check and make sure it has plenty of oil and fuel for your current task. If it does, you can go ahead and look around to make sure that the shredding chamber and turbine are empty. If they aren’t, it can potentially cause an overload to the starter mechanism, which can be more hassle that you could have avoided by making sure those areas were empty.

You also want to make sure that all tools and other objects that you don’t want going in the shredder are away from the hopper and won’t fall in by accident. You’ll also want to check to make sure the safety grid and switch are set up as needed so that the machine can start. Then, start up your chipper.

chainsaw safety tips
Never stick your hands in the chipper. If you have to push branches through, use another branch to do so.

Using the Chipper

While you’re working, you’ll want to make sure to keep your limbs and hands well away from the feed chute so that you don’t run the risk of them getting caught and pulled in, which can cause very serious injury or worse. You can push materials into the chute with the help of a branch or long piece of wood. This is a good idea because if that object is caught and pulled in, you can simply let go. It’s much less convenient to lose a hand or arm than a piece of wood.

As you’re working, you’ll also want to make sure the walking area around the chipper stays clear so that you can get around easily and not have to worry too much about tripping or falling. If you need to open the hood for any reason, make sure to shut off the chipper and make sure that you listen for the knives to come to a complete stop before you do that.


Using a wood chipper can be a relatively simple process, but you still need to be very careful. Wood chippers are highly powerful, dangerous machines that can do a lot of damage very quickly, so while using one it’s imperative that you take all the necessary safety precautions to avoid getting hurt.

Once you’ve taken those precautions, you’ll be able to chip up any unwanted chunks of wood on your land with relative ease. A wood chipper is a highly useful machine that can offer you a lot of benefits when it comes to dealing with fallen trees or other wood on your land.