A wood chipper and a shredder are both outdoor power tools used to reduce the bulk of parks and garden waste for easy disposal. While they have similar functions, there are some key differences between the two.

Wood Chipper:

  • A wood chipper is designed to handle tree branches and larger limbs and debris, breaking them down into small wood chips .
  • Wood chippers come in different sizes and styles, but their basic function remains the same.
  • Wood is fed into a chute, and the blades inside the chipper break the solid pieces down into chips that can range from one to three inches long.
  • Some wood chippers are equipped with a bin to catch the wood chips.
  • Wood chippers can work equally well on both fresh and dried wood, and branches can be fed through with the leaves still attached.
  • The size of logs and branches that can be fed through the chipper depends on the size of the wood chipper and its components .
Drum Wood Chipper 203

Shredder:

  • A shredder is designed to process leaves, grass, and other organic material, shredding them into compost that can be used for lawn food .
  • Shredders have semi-blunt blades, called flails, which are used to break down small pieces of organic material.
  • Many shredders have the option to choose the size of the finished pieces.
  • Shredders are most useful for small open spaces, home gardeners, and people who have leaves and small branches to shred.
  • The smallest types of shredders may have nylon cutting string inside instead of a metal flail.
  • Shredders work similarly to a weed whacker, with vertical strings attached to a central drum, and they are primarily made for leaves and other soft materials .
wood shredder 01

Combination Chipper/Shredder:

  • Some machines, known as chipper/shredders, combine both chipping and shredding operations in one machine .
  • These machines can handle both tree branches and leaves/grass, providing a versatile solution for processing different types of garden waste.

In summary, the main difference between a wood chipper and a shredder is their primary function. A wood chipper is designed to handle larger tree branches and debris, breaking them down into wood chips, while a shredder is primarily used for processing leaves, grass, and other organic material into compost. However, there are also combination chipper/shredder machines available that can perform both functions.

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