What is the Difference Between a Wood Chipper and a Wood Shredder?

Difference Between a Wood Chipper and a Wood Shredder

What is the Difference Between a Wood Chipper and a Wood Shredder?

What is the Difference Between a Wood Chipper and a Wood Shredder?

Are wood chippers and shredders actually different from each other? If they weren’t, we wouldn’t even be having this post regarding these important outdoor tools!

You might be wondering, what are the distinctive differences that everyone keeps referring to? It is really difficult to tell what distinguishes the two outdoor tools unless you work professionally in the mechanical engineering industry.

Many gardeners, whether experienced or not, find it difficult to use these outdoor tools. Thus, learning about each of these tools is one of the best ways to understand how they function. Ready to go? Let’s get started!

Difference Between a Wood Chipper and a Wood Shredder
About Wood Chippers

The term itself serves as the starting point for the explanation. A wood chipper is the best option if you want to reduce wood components in huge numbers.

In less than an hour, you can turn enormous pieces of bulky branches or wood into chips. This tool primarily handles wood trash rather than organic garbage.

How Does A Wood Chipper Work?

If you observe wood chippers in action, you’ll have the cutting-edge technology feeling which is not in any way behind a lawnmower or leaf blower.

It is actually much more advanced than others because of the general makeup and the practical output level. Here is a quick overview of its features:


Moving the equipment from one location to another is rather simple

with the use of a tow truck. Yet, these outdoor tools come in various sizes. Now think about the equipment’s primary components: a collar, collection bag, hopper, and chipper.

You feed the big hopper with wood chunks, and it then shoots out wood chips through the chute. The chunks formed undergo many steps before becoming chips.


An engine (often a combustive one) does the work here. Depending on the size of the unit, they have a ranging power capacity. The flywheel, which houses the blades, is what actually plays the most important role. The pulleys, the v-belts, and other components are managed by a gearbox.

Together with the associated speed and power settings, these are what enable the blade to move. Few models support solitary shaft operation or intermesh functionality.

Intermesh blades could be slower to some people than to others. Yet, they can pull the branches to themselves without any help, which is the reason they are usually referred to as self-feeding blades.

Moreover, this kind of blade action always maintains a constant chipping size. The fast-rotating blades on the independent or isolated shafts repeatedly cut the branches or pieces of wood that are fed into them. To keep these blades sharp after each usage, regular maintenance is necessary.

Collection Bag

The collection bag is placed next, and the chip remnants are subsequently collected into it. Some models have an additional function that directs the other debris to another chute in order to mulch them.

Usually, these items consist of leaves, little brunches, etc. No matter how big the machine is, a wood chipper that doesn’t have a mulching chute cannot handle small fragments or branches with a diameter of smaller than one inch.

About Wood Shredders

Although shredders and wood chippers may look similar, they operate quite differently. It disintegrates any unwanted objects left on the turf, including twigs, branches, garden debris, and leaves.

Whether they are green or wooden debris, the machine turns these materials into finer heaps. As a result, it is a wonderful non-commercial technique to maintain the lawn’s cleanliness while gathering mulch. In addition, the machine is reasonably cheap and simple to move around.

How Does A Wood Shredder Work?

A shredder is easy to use in a garden shed due to its compact size and easy towing.


The three main external components are the chute, two hoppers, and a discharge opening.

Small pieces of wood, bark, leaves or branches are fed into the hoppers. The function of the two hoppers could be questioned at this point. The type of waste the user collects from the ground will determine the answer.

The bark and small pieces of wood are often separated from the green branches by gardeners. You can follow the same procedure and put the small organic items in the smaller bin and the solid items in the larger bin.

Keep in mind that it cannot handle large branches like a wood chipper. In either case, the machine will discharge the compost output into the bottom or side chute after you have inserted the materials.


So how does it work inside? Of course, just like a wood chipper, there are blades inside. There is also a set of blades on the opposite side of the flywheel. These blade sets, sometimes called hammers or flails, are quite common.

The way these flails work to crush and shred the twigs and leaves you feed into the hoppers is not visible. This unit simply has a motor that can handle the trimmings. But it is powerful enough to shred the yard waste into useful pieces that are perfect for mulching.

Which Is Better, a Wood Chipper or a Shredder?

When comparing the wood chipper and shredder, the first thing should be considered is how similar they operate, although they serve quite distinct purposes.


Let’s talk about the overall structure. Unlike a wood chipper, a shredder does not have a long waste tube. While the chipper only has one hopper, some shredders have two.


With a shredder for composting, the blades are blunt, while in a chipper, they are sharp for fine cuts. As a result, the way that both tools break down the materials differs greatly.


Although it depends on the task to be performed at each site, both are ideal for commercial use. Some trees lose more bark and leaves than others. On the other hand, many sites require occasional removal of large, complete organic materials.

The use of a wood chipper is recommended for dealing with massive wood waste, such as huge branches over 4 inches in diameter. It can be swallowed by the machine to produce chips of similar size.

A shredder is best for you if your yard produces more soft organic materials such as leaves, broken twigs, and similar debris. If stone debris accidentally enters the chamber, it will work faster and be less likely to be damaged.

The machine can handle yard debris up to 6 inches in diameter. Many contractors and industry professionals choose a shredder to cost-effectively dispose of hedge trimmings, small branches, and other items.

Driving Force

Nevertheless, both machines need power to operate. Depending on the materials’ diameter, a wood chipper may require more power. Less power is required for materials with smaller diameters.

In other words, unless your property requires a chipper, a shredder appears more appropriate for private use. What kind of trash you intend to remove will have a significant impact on your choice.


Both machines are essential for reducing litter to prevent problems with lawns, streets, etc. They are portable and easy to use for both personal and professional purposes.

The type of equipment that works best for you will depend on the condition of your soil. Chipping wood is a good way to get rid of huge amounts of waste or even an entire tree. You may need to choose a shredder if you plan to compost green waste and small branches.