How Does a Wood Chipper Work

A wood chipper can be an incredibly beneficial tool when it comes to getting rid of fallen trees or other unwanted wood on your land. There are a number of benefits that these machines can provide, but what if you don’t know how it actually works? Luckily, there are articles like this one made to give you a good idea of how a wood chipper works, and what you should keep in mind if you’re looking to use one. That way when it comes time to use your own chipper, you’ll be well prepared.


How It Works

If you aren’t familiar with a wood chipper already, then it’s important to know that a wood chipper is a machine that is able to take larger pieces of wood and chop them up into small pieces that are typically around 3/4ā€ wide and 1/16ā€ thick, but you may also be able to get a wood chipper that can also shred wood for the purposes of compost, mulch and more. It all depends on your personal preference and what you intend to break down the wood for. A wood chipper can offer a lot of benefits by breaking down unwanted wood into pieces that you can use in a number of different ways.

A wood chipper is able to cut up the wood pieces through the use of one or more highly sharpened blades that are attached to a rotating disc which spins as wood is pushed into it, thereby cutting up the wood into the desired pieces. It’s important to note that while you are putting wood into the chipper, you should refrain from putting your hands or arms into the chute. It’s better to use another piece of wood to help push the wood you’re cutting up down so that you don’t risk serious injury.

Once the wood has been chopped up, the chips come out through a chute onto the ground. Because of the high speeds that the chunks can fly out of that chute, it’s important to make sure it’s directed in a way where those chips won’t be able to hit anything or anyone and potentially damage them. It’s also helpful to know that chipping up fresh, green chips can be a lot easier to chip up than wood that has had time to dry out.

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Safety Tips

Safety should be the number one priority when it comes to using a wood chipper. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to help keep yourself safe and avoid any serious injury while using the machine. These things include wearing clothing that is snug-fitting, so that you have a minimal risk of getting your clothing caught up in the blades and potentially pulling a limb or other body part in. It’s also a good idea to wear eye protection, because there can be a lot of flying debris involved with using a wood chipper and at a minimum that debris can be irritating if it gets into your eyes.

It’s also wise to use ear plugs or other hearing protection for the sake of not allowing any damage to your hearing. Thick work gloves can also be helpful to keep your hands from getting scraped by any of the wood you handle or potentially cut by wood chips that are sharp or jagged. Steel-toed boots can often be very useful during any kind of heavy duty work like this. Keeping the area around the chipper clear is also a good idea, because it can be easy to get tripped up by branches and have a fall.

If you need to stop to check something out inside the chipper, then it’s important to make sure that the knives have fully stopped before you open the hood. Otherwise you can risk being injured by the blades or any debris that might fly out while the blades are in motion.


Setting It Up

Before you get started using your wood chipper, it’s important to make sure it’s in the ideal area where chips flying out won’t be able to damage anything or anyone. Using the chipper on a slope is also not a particularly great idea. Once you’ve gotten the wood chipper into the ideal spot then it’s important to make sure you check both the fuel and oil levels to make sure you have plenty available. If you don’t, then make sure to add those things to the chipper before you start it up. That way, you won’t have to worry about stopping in the middle of a job to add those things or potentially strain the machine by trying to start it without fuel or oil.

You’ll also want to make sure that there are no foreign objects such as tools, rocks and other debris are at risk of falling into the entry chute or other areas of the chipper. These items can risk damaging the machine, or can also be rejected by the blades and fly back out towards the user, which can potentially be very dangerous. This means checking around the machine itself as well as sorting through the materials that you plan on chipping up.



A wood chipper is a highly useful machine that can offer a multitude of benefits, allowing you an easier clean-up of fallen trees and other undesired wood on your land. Essentially, it’s a relatively simple machine that works through the use of sharp blades that spin around to chop up the wood you push into the machine and break it down into small chips that you can use in a number of different ways or sell to put a little more money in your pocket.

If you’re not sure this machine will be helpful to you, rent one first to try it.

It’s highly important to keep safety in mind when using a wood chipper, but if you take all the proper precautions and remember to be careful, a wood chipper is relatively easy to use. All it takes are a few simple steps that can keep you safe as you work, and before you know it those steps will be second nature.