How to Use a Chipper Shredder?

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If you have a backyard, a lawn, or a front garden, then you are probably aware of the challenge to keep it clean and green. The challenge increases multifold during autumn and winter when all you can see around your lawn or yard is fallen branches, dried leaves, and all other sorts of debris.

It requires a lot of maintenance, space, and efforts to clean up the debris and ensure that the yard remains clean. But for most of us, with all our busy schedules, this can be a brutally challenging task.

To help you out and make this task a bit easier, we have the Chipper Shredder machines. These machines chip and shred the branches, twigs, leaves, and other material in your yard to finer pieces, helping to make your garden neat and clean.

But using these machines is a bit tricky, and many struggle with setting them up. There’s no shame in that as well, since most of us are not much familiar with using such complicated machines for the lawn. 

If you have a chipper shredder or are planning to get one soon, and are here wondering how to go on about it, you can just sit back and relax, as we guide you in detail on how you can easily use this machine.

Firstly, let us familiarize ourselves with these machines by understanding the –

Types of Chipper Shredders

To better understand how to use a chipper shredder, it is essential to know the various types of chippers and shredders that are available. Chipper shredders are based on multiple factors, such as:

Based on Motor Type

There are two types of shredder machines based on the type of motor they have. These are

Electric Chipper Shredders

These types of chipper shredders run on electricity. They come with an electric cord and a plug. The best thing about these is the ease with which you could start them. Just plug in the machine in an electric board, press “on” and it’s ready to chip and shred. However, the length of the wire is limited, so you can’t move the machine around much. As a result, these types are not advised for bigger yards and lawns.

Gas Chipper Shredder

As the name suggests, this type of shredder machine operates on gas. These are generally more powerful than the electric ones. Also, they can be carried anywhere, since they do not have any cord restrictions. This makes them an ideal choice for bigger lawns. On the downside, these are fairly difficult to start when compared to the electrical ones.

use a chipper shredder

Based on Motor Power

The chipper shredders come with different power types to deal with different materials and for smaller and bigger yards. The motor power rating ranges from 10 to 15 amperes and 5 to 7 horsepower depending on the requirements.

Based on Branch Size

The wood chippers come in different sizes based upon the size of the branches you need to chip. If you have a smaller size chipper and insert a large branch, that might cause the motor to jam.

The branch shredder machines come in either 2 inches thickness rating for smaller branches or 3 inches thickness rating which has more power to deal with bigger branches. You can choose the best one for yourself depending upon the size of branches in your yards.

Parts of Chipper Shredders

The Chipper Shredders, also known as wood chippers, have multiple connected parts, with each having different functions and purposes. All of these combine to help you in reducing the hundreds of branches, twigs, leaves, and other debris to mere mulch.
The small wood chipper has a chute where you put the branches for the process of shredding. Beyond the chute, we have the large rotating blades which are tasked with chopping the branches into wooden chips. A paddle is what you can use to push branches towards rotator blades.

On the other hand, the shredder deals with smaller items including the leaves, grass, and twigs. Within the shredder, there are separate sets of hinged blades. Some manufactures call them flails or even hammer. These hinged blades are smaller yet very sharp, effectively producing a much finer result than chippers.

Once the wooden branches are reduced to chips, and the leaves and twigs to debris, the processed stuff gets discharged by the chipper shredder into a collection bag which comes along the machines.

Using Chipper Shredders

So now that we know the types of Chipper Shredders and are more familiar with their parts, we can move ahead and learn how to use them efficiently. We can understand all their features and functionality.

 Segregate the waste

Before you start the chipping and shredding process, you should collect and divide the lawn waste into different segments. The larger tree branches should be kept separate since they will have to be chipped in the branch shredder. The leaves, twigs, grass, and other debris that are smaller in size should be collected separately to be pushed in the leaf shredder.

Power it on

If you have an electric garden shredder, then you can simply plug in the power cord and turn the switch on for the motor to start. Meanwhile, if you have the gas-powered yard machine chipper, then the steps are a bit more complicated.
To turn on a gas-powered chipper shredder, you have to adjust the choke first. It is suggested to have the choke on full, and then kick start by pulling the engine band with your arm. With high choke power, just a couple of pulls should be enough.


Pick up the larger branches and push them down the chute of the small wood chipper. The branches will get pushed down from the chute towards the large rotator blades. These rotate with high intensity and help to chip down the branches to a smaller amount of waste.

how to use chipper shredder


This is where the finer debris including grass, twigs, and dry leaves are processed. You can put the material into the shredder hopper, which carries it through to the hammer blades. These refine the materials into finer debris which are much easier to manage thereafter.


After the branches, twigs, and leaves are processed by the yard machine chipper shredder, the finer debris gets deposited and collected to a collection bag. This makes it much easier to manage the materials. You can use the material as compost for growing new grass or trees, or improving the fertilization of your yard soil, keeping off the weeds, and protecting plant roots.


While using a garden shredder, you need to be very careful. Always take precautions to ensure your safety. Since you are working with a machine which has blades with high risk, it’s important to safeguard yourself by taking the following measures –

  • Use Gloves – Since you are dealing with branches, twigs, and leaves amongst other tiny debris, you should always wear gloves to avoid any injury to your hands.
  • Wear Eyeglasses – There are lots of fragments and expelled shards when you work in a garden amongst branches and twigs. That makes it very important to wear protective eyewear to avoid any untoward incident and injury to the eye.
  • Use paddle – Paddles are provided with the chipper machines. Always use these to push the branches in the chipper or twigs in the shredder. Never try to insert your hands in the machine to push the material.
  • Unplug for safety – If anything gets stuck within the machine, or you are required to check something closely, always unplug the machine and turn it off. Never try to do anything in the working machine.

So, instead of unethically burning up the broken branches, twigs, and leaves to clear up your lawns at the expense of atmosphere and environment, we should just learn and use a chipper shredder and make use of nature’s waste by giving it back to nature itself through composting.

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