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How to Take Control of Yard Waste with the Right Yard Machines

There is little worse than coming home to find broken branches all over the back yard from the last big storm. Wood is hard to handle and often even harder to get rid of. However, with the right yard machines you can reduce branches to chips and deal with them that way.

What Do the Names Mean?

Chippers, shredders, and mulchers are all very similar yard machines, but there are differences. The more you know about the three machine types, the easier it is to make a choice between them:

  • Chippers: Starting at the top, chippers are the biggest and most powerful of the three. These yard machines feature powerful engines and multiple rotating knives that can chop through branches up to three inches thick, depending on the model. They work equally well with wet or dry wood.
  • Shredders: Shredders use flails, blunt bars that are sometimes perforated, to rip smaller branches into shreds. They are a good intermediate option for people who don't have cut through larger branches.
  • Mulchers: While not very useful for wood, mulchers are great for turning leaves and grass clippings into fertilizer. They work much like string trimmer except that the string is inside the unit.

What About Power?

Just like with lawn mowers, there are two options for powering a chipper shredder, gas and electric. Each has its own set of tradeoffs and benefits, and the choice you make depends on your needs and priorities:

  • Gas: Gas-powered chippers rely on internal combustion engines for power. The engine gives them the grunt they need to break down large branches without hanging up. On the flip side, they tend to be louder and smellier than electric options.
  • Electric: Electric chipper shredders are generally smaller models with electric motors instead of engines. You can only use these yard machines where you have power, but they are much quieter than gas models and easier on the environment.

Controlling Your Yard Waste

Picking between gas and electric for your chipper shredder is usually an easy decision. People who need bigger yard machines go with gas, while those with lesser needs go with the electric alternative. Electrics are easier to maintain and manage, so they are a good choice as long as you have enough outdoor power outlets and a long enough extension cord to reach your entire lawn. It can be worth it just to save on the engine work. No matter which kind you choose it's important to control what you put in the hopper as you don't want debris flying everywhere. Chipper shredder brands to consider include Tazz, MTD, and Brush Master; although any quality product will do.