If you need a portable and powerful machine capable of processing leaves, twigs, branches, and other common yard debris, your best bet is to purchase a gas powered wood chipper shredder.
Chipper shredders that operate on gasoline rather than electricity can be moved throughout your yard or property and you do not need to worry about your proximity to an electrical outlet.
If you have a smaller yard without a great deal of material to process, an electric model might be ideal for you.
But there is no doubt that gas powered machines are better suited to larger areas and bigger jobs.
If you are thinking about buying a gas powered wood chipper shredder, read on for some tips on how to choose the best unit for your needs.
Size and power of gas powered wood chipper shredders
Gas powered chipper shredders use engines which are rated in terms of their power – horsepower (Hp) – or the size of their cylinder capacity – cubic centimeters (cc).
The engine is responsible for powering the blades that do the actual chipping and shredding, so a higher horsepower number indicates a more powerful machine. Engines that are measured in terms of cubic centimeters may not have a horsepower rating, but the bigger the number, the more powerful the machine.
Typically, gas powered chipper shredders feature engines ranging in size from about 4 to 10 Hp. If you are looking at units that come with engines rated in cubic centimeters, the engine sizes range from about 120 to 320cc.
The size of the machine’s engine will have an effect upon its ease of use, because of the weight factor. More powerful machines on the whole weigh more and are therefore less easy to move around.
Some machines can be pushed or pulled around your yard. Other units are designed to be towed with a lawn or garden tractor. If portability is important to you, you should choose a chipper shredder that is easily moved from place to place. You may sacrifice some horsepower in order to get more portability, so you will need to determine how the tradeoff will affect your usage of the machine.
Another variable factor that determines the capabilities of the wood chipper shredder is the maximum branch diameter that it can handle.
Most home owner units have a maximum capacity of between 1 and 3.5 inches, so if you are looking for anything larger than that you’ll need to look for something in the professional users market (e.g. this Merry Mac Commercial Chipper/Shredder from Northern Tool).
How do gas powered wood chipper shredders compare to electric models?
Chipper shredders powered by gasoline engines are significantly more powerful than electric models.
This means that on the whole they offer more versatility to process different types and sizes of material. This is an important factor because the waste material from your garden certainly does not come in uniform shapes and sizes.
Unlike electric models, gas powered models can be transported to different places throughout your yard or property and they do not need to be near an electrical outlet to run.
There are some important downsides to gas powered chipper shredders. First of all, they can be very noisy. If you live in a neighborhood that prides itself on its quiet nature, a gas chipper shredder will not increase your popularity in the community.
They are also heavier, larger and more difficult to store and move around than electric models.
A Patriot Products 10Hp wood chipper shredder in action
Features to look out for in gas powered wood chipper shredders
The major feature you should consider when shopping for a gas powered chipper shredder is the engine size.
Larger engines will be capable of processing larger debris in greater volumes, although smaller engines will make the machines lighter and easier to move from place to place.
The next most important feature is the machine’s reduction ratio. This number refers to the volume of debris prior to and after being processed. For instance, if a machine features a ten to one reduction ratio, that means that ten bags of debris can be reduced to one bag after undergoing the chipper shredder process.
Whether you plan to use the shredded and chipped debris as mulch or you intend to dispose of it, the reduction ratio is an important feature to consider.
You should also make sure that the machine you buy has an adequate number of strong blades to do the work you intend for it. Generally, more blades means more efficient and powerful operation. Some machines may look powerful, but the manufacturer has cut corners in the quality and number of blades.
This is why you should make sure the unit you buy has the blades you need for the work you plan to accomplish.
Best uses for gas powered wood chipper shredders
A gas powered wood chipper shredder will suit you if:
- You need to deal with fairly large amounts of prunings on a regular basis
- You need need the chipping capacity, not just the leaf/twig shredding capacity
- You need to chip material more than about 1.5 inches in diameter
- You need to move the machine around your property and out of reach of an electric outlet
- Like me, you get a kick out of creating your own woodchip mulch.
Gas powered chipper shredders are powerful machines that can make it much easier for you to accomplish your yard chores.
If electric units are not powerful or portable enough for your needs, gas powered units can offer you the power and portability you require.
I find it hard to look past the Patriot range of gas powered chipper shredders.
They’re expensive but they’re reliable, effective quality built products. The patriot range is as follows:
The Patriot Products CSV-2540B Gas Wood Chipper Leaf Shredder has a 4 Hp Briggs and Stratton engine. It will go through endless piles of leaves and chip branches up to 2.5 inches in diameter.
The Patriot Products CSV-2540H 4 HP OHV Honda GX Gas-Powered Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder has a similar capacity to the previous model (max 2.5 inc branches) but has a superior 4 Hp Honda GX OHV engine.
The Patriot Products CSV-3065B 6.5 HP Briggs & Stratton Gas Powered Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder has a 6.5Hp commercial grade Briggs and Stratton Vanguard engine. It has dual cutting knives and can chip branches up to 3 inches in diameter.
The Patriot Products CSV-3100B 10 HP Briggs & Stratton Gas-Powered Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder suits those with larger properties and features a 10 Hp Briggs and Stratton Vanguard engine. This unit also has dual knives and chips branches up to 3 inches in diameter.
Top of the range is the Patriot Products CSV-3090H 9 HP OHV Honda GX Gas-Powered Wood Chipper/Leaf Shredder. This machine is fitted with a 9 Hp Honda GX engine, features dual knives and chips branches up to 3 inches in diameter.
The Powerhorse Chipper/Shredder 208cc Powerhorse OHV Engine is an alternative to the Patriot models. This well built chipper/shredder has a 7Hp, 208cc Powerhorse engine and can process branches up to 3 inches in diameter. It is available from Northern Tool.
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