How a Wood Chipper Works

You have most likely driven past municipal workers cleaning up a fallen tree or landscapers clearing some brush as the seasons change. This also means that you have probably seen a wood chipper in action. From regular use in landscaping to more notable and nefarious uses in the movie “Fargo,” we are all familiar with the idea of a wood chipper, but have you ever wondered how it actually works? How does one machine reduce an entire sturdy tree to sawdust?

Wood ChipperThere are many different types of wood chippers, but they all operate on the same basic principles. When a branch is placed into the chipper through the hopper and enters the machine, it is carved up by a series of blades, powered by the gearbox and driven and sped up through a series of pulleys and V-belts attached to the engine. This carves up the wood into finer chunks, resulting in an outflow of wood chips and sawdust that are hurled out the exit chute or into a collection bin.

Wood chippers have two chutes. The first one is smaller and is meant to process smaller debris such as sticks and branches. The second chute is larger and is meant to process more heavy duty objects such as lumber. Additionally, wood chippers come in a variety of sizes and, as expected, the larger the unit, the larger branch material can typically be handled.

There are also three primary styles of wood chipper, according to ThomasNet. First there is drum chippers, which draw material into a central drum connected directly to the engine where materials are chipped and shredded. A second style – the disk chipper – these are more commonly seen in industrial applications, with disk blades as large as 160 inches. Finally, high-torque rollers are low speed, but highly efficient for residential use. Many are electric-powered and also offer safety features like anti-jamming and self-feeding technologies.

L.J. Elter & Son specializes in stocking about any landscaping equipment you might need for every season of the year. With spring and summer just around the corner, many homeowners are getting ready to clean up their properties from fallen trees or other winter wear to get ready for the warm season ahead. If you want to make your lawn or garden look its best this year, let us help with our full selection of spring and summer lawn equipment. Stop in and shop our full inventory at any one of our four convenient Maryland locations or give us a call today to learn more.

Written by Len Elters

Len Elters

Len Elters has assisted his father in building L.J. Elter and Son from the ground up. Today the business has grown to over 50 products lines and 3 stores across Maryland.

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