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These machines go under various names:
- chipper shredder vacuum
- chipper shredder vac
- lawn vacuum
- yard vacuum
- leaf vacuum shredder
- leaf vacuum mulcher
- shredder vac
- and so on.
I’ll use the term chipper shredder vacuum on this site because that best sums up what these things are all about.
Chipper shredders vacuums are terrific tools for quickly reducing the amount of debris in your yard. This is especially true if you have lots of deciduous trees around you, where leaves, twigs, and branches can accumulate quickly.
These machines are designed to be used in motion. They are gas powered and combine the qualities of walk behind mowers with the capabilities of chipper shredders.
They also include vacuums, designed to suck up the debris from your yard so that it can be processed and mulched for easy disposal.
If you are thinking about maybe investing in one of these types of machines, here is some information that can help you with how to buy the walk behind chipper shredder that will suit you best.
Size and power of chipper shredder vacuums
Most walk behind chipper shredders use gasoline engines to power their operations. The functions powered by the engine include chipping, shredding, and vacuuming, so the engine needs to be large and powerful enough to accomplish these tasks.
Most of these machines feature engines rated between four and eight horsepower (Hp).
In some case the manufacturers advertise the engine size in cubic centimeters instead of horsepower. Most models have engines between 170 and 210cc, with 173 and 185 cc models being the most common.
Walk behind chipper shredder machines are typically a bit wider than the average walk behind lawnmower. The most common width of these units is 24 inches, which is an ideal width for most yards. These units can weigh in excess of 100 pounds, but they are equipped with wheels so you do not have to lift the machine under most circumstances.
Even so, their size means that they are bulky and you do need to be reasonably fit and strong to work with most models.
How do walk behind chipper shredder vacuums compare to gas powered and electric chipper shredders?
Walk behind chipper shredders use gasoline powered engines, but they are set up quite differently to typical gas powered wood chipper shredders.
Traditional gas powered machines are meant to be set up in a particular location to operate. Once operations have ceased in one area, they can be moved to a different location to operate.
Walk behind units are meant to be used in motion. They are kind of like a hybrid of a vacuum cleaner and a lawnmower. The engine is responsible for powering the vacuum, which sucks your lawn debris into the shredding mechanism. Also, a feeder cone or chute is included so that you can push larger twigs and small branches into the machine for chipping.
Most walk behind chipper shredders use bags to collect the shredded debris. Some of them also include the capability to blow the debris off to the side of the machine. Other designs allow for the mulched material to be placed back into the yard for fertilization purposes.
Electric chipper shredder machines bear very little resemblance to walk behind units. Other than the fact that they contain blades designed to process yard debris, the operations of these machines are quite different. Like most gas powered chipper shredders, electric models are meant to be operated in a semi stationary location.
Features to look out for in walk behind chipper shredder vacuums
If you are thinking about buying a walk behind chipper shredder, there are some features you need to consider before you make a purchase.
First of all, your unit should have an engine capable of powering all aspects of the machine’s operation during your normal usage. Look for engines made by reputable brands like Honda or Briggs and Stratton.
Most of these machines have engines that are typically used in lawn mowers. However, chipper shredder vacuums are usually large and heavier than lawn mowers, so you need to make sure that your model has an engine powerful enough to shift the weight and do the job of processing leaves and other material. Look for a minimum of around 190cc or 6Hp.
Be sure that the machine you buy includes a chipper feeder cone. This part of the machine is used for feeding larger branches into the chipping mechanism. Debris that is too large to vacuum must be fed into this mechanism, so be sure that it is adequate for the work you want to do.
But bear in mind that chipping is not the main task that these machines are designed for.
Vacuum and blowing
The vacuuming mechanism of a walk behind chipper shredder is also very important. It needs to be able to pick up most debris in a single pass, otherwise you could spend more time doing your chores than you would prefer.
Some models have a detachable vacuum hose that lets you vacuum up leaves from flower beds and under hedges. Others have a blowing feature that allows you to blow material off to the side as you walk along vacuuming.
Make sure that the model you buy comes with a durable bag, strong enough not to be torn by the twigs that are sucked into and large enough so that you don’t have to keep stopping to empty it.
The bag should be easy to attach and remove, or you could be in for some headaches when it comes time to dispose of the debris.
The Best uses for walk behind chipper shredders vacuums
These machines can take the place of several other implements currently found in your garage or storage shed. With a walk behind chipper shredder, you can perform the work of a rake, lawn sweeper and stationary chipper or shredder all in one machine.
These units are great for clearing debris from moderate to large sized lawns and they make it easy for operators to take care of mulching and disposing of common yard debris.
If you have been thinking about purchasing a garden chipper shredder, you have probably taken a look at the popular electric and gas powered models. However, it may be possible that a walk behind model is ideal for you and your chores.
These machines are able to quickly process waste material from your yard and they allow you to complete the processes of collection and shredding in one step.
However, given the multi-task nature of these machines, you are unlikely to get the ability to carry out all functions reliably and adequately in cheaper models.
Since you are combining several tools in one, it really is advisable to go for the highest quality unit you can buy.
Amazon best sellers
The models below are current Amazon best sellers. So these are worth considering given that the best sellers are almost exclusively those that have received a high number of good customer reviews.
- 3IN1 DESIGN – Easily converts into a corded leaf blower, leaf vacuum, or mulcher for versatile use..Blower is ideal for clearing debris from hard surfaces and leaves from yard. Vacuum is ideal for mulching leaves and other lawn debris INCLUDES – (1) BEBL7000, (1) blow tube, (1) vac tube, (1) backpack bag.
- POWERFUL AIR SPEED AND AIRFLOW – Air speeds up to 250 mph and airflow up to 400 cfm deliver the power you need for quick, effective clearing.
- BACKPACK STYLE – Easy-to-wear backpack with up to 2x the bag capacity allows for hands-free operation.
- POWERBOOST – More power at the push of a button.
- FLEXI-TUBE – Allows for enhanced maneuverability when vacuuming leaves and debris.
- EFFORTLESS: GreenSweep quickly removes debris, such as leaves, twigs, stones and dirt to leave your artificial lawn looking lawn looking pristine. Simply plug in the power cord and with a flick of a switch, the self-propelled device is doing the hard work for you.
- PLUMPED UP: The 35,000RPM spinning brush roller, plumps up flattened and matted lawn fibres to restore volume and fullness. This not only looks great, but also feels incredible underfoot
- PURPOSEFULLY POWERFUL: With a 1800W motor, the GreenSweep is capable of clearing large areas quickly and efficiently. The spinning brush propels the GreenSweep forward to make light work of your lawn care.
- GARDEN GOALS: Create professional looking stripes in your lawn for enviable grass you and neighbours will love. Select from 5 adjustable height positions to suit your lawn with one simple lever.
- LARGE CAPACITY: The GreenSweep is equipped with a large 45L collection bag that can hold a significant amount of debris, reducing the need for frequent emptying.
- 80 MPH suction provides for enough power for everything.
- NEW 10.5’ hose for easier maneuverability
- Versatile design fits over 40 different tractor decks up to 54” wide (templates included).
- Large 26-bushel/32 cu. ft. capacity holds more for fewer stops
- Easily lift, attach or move using handle beside hitch.
- HEAVY DUTY ELECTRIC BLOWER AND MULCHER: High-powered 12 amp corded blower and mulcher blows through leaves and debris at speeds up to 250 mph.Applications : Blower ideal for clearing driveways, sidewalks, decks, and garages of debris and fall leaves from yard, Heavy-duty vacuum is ideal for vacuuming leaves, grass clippings, twigs, pine needles, and other lawn debrisIncludes : (1) BV6000, (2) Disposable Bags, (1) Diffuser for Use With Disposable Bags, (1) Detachable Shoulder, Strap, (1) Concentrator, (1) Blow Tube, (1) Vacuum Tube, (1) Reusable Bag Assembly
- 3 TOOLS IN 1: Blower, vacuum, and mulcher keeps the yard neat and tidy
- NO HASSLE LEAF DISPOSAL: Disposable leaf bag system for easy clean up
- HIGH POWER MULCHING: Grind up to 16 bags of mulch down to 1
- VERSATILE CLEANING: Ideal for clearing driveways, sidewalks, decks, garages, and lawns of leaves and vacuuming leaves, grass clippings, twigs, pine needles and more.
- 29 cu.ft. Capacity / 220 gallons
- 13” x 4” pneumatic tires
- Thick vinyl top with Ripstop nylon woven in to strengthen the top and prevent tears. Venting through back limits dust and debris
- Easy to dump with foot pedal dumping operation, and fold-up vinyl topUniversal deck adapter and 126” x 6” clear hose fits right hand discharge decks , hose length appropriate for zero turns
- 3 Year Limited Warranty
- POWERFUL MOTOR: 12 Amp motor of leaf blower & vacuum for clearing tough debris
- GET THROUGH TOUGH TASKS: Electric leaf blower has performance up to 450 CFM and 260 MPH
- TOOL-FREE CHANGE CONVENIENCE: Easily convert from electric blower to vacuum and mulcher with tool-free change
- COMFORT DURING USE: Backpack collection bag makes it easy to carry up to 55L of mulched debris, with an easy-to-empty wide-mouth opening
- Ultra lightweight and easy to use, 21" brush width yard sweeper, Leaf Sweeper with spinning rake-like action with 70% pick-up on the first pass; multiple passes required to pick up 100% of the leaves.
- Works best on flat surfaces, short or recently cut grass; good for dry leaves only. Does not collect any other yard debris.
- Do NOT use in wet or windy conditions. For best results: only use in dry non-windy conditions. Wet material is difficult to sweep up and wind increases material blown out before reaching the collection bin.
- Adjustable leaf sweeper rake height for easy and efficient collection of debris. Height adjustments needs to be set just below your grass height for the sweeper to sweep up your leaves
- Not ideal for collecting rocks, nuts, pinecones, or any other material besides dry leaves. Does not work well in wet or windy conditions.
- Large 5-blade impeller with serrated edges to maximize suction and debris reduction.
- Variable height adjustment for hard surface or turf work
- Breathable hard bottom mesh turf bag with an integral dust cover loads from the bottom
- Bag zippers have been eliminated in favor of simple to use marine style clasps that open and close easily when dumping debris
- 190 cc Briggs.Bag Volume (gal) 40
- 3IN1 DESIGN – Converts from an electric blower to a vacuum to a mulcher without any tools.
- 2 SPEEDS – 12 Amp motor with 2 speeds provides complete, convenient control over blowing power.
- POWERFUL AIR SPEED – Air speeds up to 230 mph deliver the power you need for quick, effective clearing on both grass and hard outdoor surfaces.
- ANTI-CLOG VORTEX IMPELLER – Mulches leaves and debris down from 10 bags to 1.
- CORDED – Corded design offers unlimited runtime for even the biggest jobs.
- CLEAR THE WAY: Effortlessly pickup and collect leaves, twigs and debris from your lawn with ease. No more back breaking raking or endless bending, let the PickUp Pro do the hard work for you.
- SIMPLE IS BEST: There’s no motor to worry about here, our Push & Go design means that the PickUp Pro is ready to go whenever you are. Simply push the device along and watch the brushes sweep the debris away.
- CATCH & COLLECT: The Pickup Pro has a large capacity, 3.5ft³ hopper to collect a high volume of waste to reduce emptying times. The non-woven bag material is hard wearing and tear resistant and is supported by an easy-to-handle metal frame to make emptying a breeze.
- HEIGHT ADJUSTABLE: Easily adjust the height of the brushes to suit the surface using the single point, tool free axle adjustment. Set to the lowest point for short lawns or the highest point for longer grass.
- COMFORT & CONVENIENCE: The adjustable height, foam padded handle is comfortable and ergonomic. At only 14lbs, the PickPro is easy to manoeuvre and can be wall hung by the handle for convenient storage.
Last update on 2024-02-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Great Chipper Shredders – but not walk behind models
These are static models from Patriot Products, but well worth investigating:
Last update on 2024-02-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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