chipper that really takes 1.5 - 2 inch brush?

measure_twice(z5 MA)February 13, 2010

What type of chipper or chipper-mulcher really can handle 1 1/2 inch or 2 inch diameter branches, green and dry? I will consider new and old models. $400-500 is about right, $1200 is too much, although DR makes nice machines.

We have about 2 acres with lots of small trees and brush piles, and quite a bit of fallen leaves. It would be nice to get a chipper vac and expect it to suck up the leaves, but I have read those cannot truly manage anything besides twigs in the side feeder chutes.

I will also be taking down several pine trees. The trunks I can saw into lengths, but the limbs are rarely over 2 inches, no matter how tall the tree.

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Sorry but this is how your post comes across.

"I want to buy a car with all the features of a Cadillac but I don't want to pay more than what a Chev Malibu costs."

In order for a chipper to handle larger material, the manufacturer has to build it with heavier guage materials, larger shafts, larger bearings and motors with more horsepower. All of these things cost MONEY.

Now you can buy an el-cheapo chipper and run it until it falls apart (shortly after the warranty runs out) or you can spend the kind of money needed to buy something that is high quality. Of course, in the long run, the high quality unit eventually becomes the cheapest route because it will outlast the el-cheapo chipper many times over and STILL have value when you decide you want to sell it.

If investing in such a piece of equipment is not for you, then consult with the local rental stores and see what their daily fee is for a suitable unit. I know that it won't be cheap either because chipper/shredders are considered to be "high maintenance" items and rental stores are in business to recover those costs and still make a hefty profit.

The link below will take you to the best chipper/shredders on the market today.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mac

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 8:49PM
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He did day he was willing to consider older models. A good used name-brand may be the perfect chipper for him.

Try ebay, craigslist, or the classifieds in your local paper. You may luck up and find something good for a fair price.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2010 at 11:02PM
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tom_nwnj(z6 NJ)

I'm with Kompressor pretty much on this. If you are looking to shred more than a few twigs for your wife's garden, the little shredders are a waste of money.

I used to have a Kemp chipper/shredder (5hp). It was useless. I gave it to my neighbor. He set it up to run off a 15HP toro GT, and added a clutch. Works better now, but I still couln't be bothered.

I bought a Wallenstein BXM 32 this past fall. Runs off my old Ford 601 (33 HP, 14qt radiator). Works great.

Here's the Wallenstein, (similar to a MacKissic)
BTW, this chipper weighs 450 lbs, no motor.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 5:22PM
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Hi Ya Measure twice,

With your price range, you're firmly in the "used" market for a decent machine. Machines with a chipper blade and a drum of flails is the best bet. You can chip the branches until you're holding a handful of sticks, then toss them into the flail shredder.

Here's some options -

BCS BIO-100 chipper. This is my machine. It can be bought as a stand-alone machine with its own 8 horse engine or as an attachment for a walk-behind tractor. It is actually built by Caravaggi - an Italian company. I've seen a couple on eBay that went unsold with a starting bid of $600. They aren't as well known as some other brands but are the best on the market *wink at Kompressor*. You SHOULD pay over a grand even for a used one, but might be able to sneak one off eBay or Craigslist for under $500

Troy Bilt Super Tomahawk with 8 hp Briggs. The Troy Bilt's of the 80's and 90's are super machines. I had one before my BCS BIO100. Forget about today's machines. Parts are no longer available through MTD, so you need to have a little sense when it comes to shopping for parts. For example - scam artists sell the $12 bearings on eBay for $40 or $50. A good, used Super Tomahawk will set you back $200 to $600.

MacKissic is a brand that has been highly lauded on here, but I have no experience with them. The look like a well built machine. Bearcat is another brand that is talked about alot on here and looks like a good machine. There are several other brands out there - Kemp, WW grinder, Lindig, Roto-Hoe. As long as it has the chipper and separate flail shredder, it SHOULD be a decent machine.

Good luck

Here is a link that might be useful: BCS BIO100 that didn't sell on ebay

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 7:10PM
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measure_twice(z5 MA)

Thanks for the replies, it helps me narrow the choices and gives me a check on my expectations.

"I want to buy a car with all the features of a Cadillac but I don't want to pay more than what a Chev Malibu costs."

True, it could sound like that. I did not mean it that way. I recently searched for and found a 1970'a garden tractor and after some time, belts, and paint, I have a unit with several attachments that out-works any new unit of twice the rated horsepower and several times the price. So, yeah, an older unit is fine. Fixing stuff - NAPA has lots of standard bearings if they need replacing.

As long as it has the chipper and separate flail shredder, it SHOULD be a decent machine.

Ah, I understand. The flail shredder is the thing for scrub. I will look for those features. Certainly that removes the vacuum-chippers from my consideration. Those are very common. It may take a while to find the right unit. I recently learned of the BCS 100 - sweet. I did not know the Tomahawk had flails - I'll consider it, Hmm- think I'll take a typical branch with me when I look at craiglist items.

And I could go up, but let's not make it too easy for the seller.

In the next town there is a used DR for about $800. I know DR is nice, but in your opinions, would these specs be able to manage almost 2 inch branches? And can the DR series manage scrub, or is it a straight chipper? A chipper is fine at this point.

DR Chipper (Portable)
305cc Briggs&Stratton Intek Series Engine
Chips brush up to 3.5 inches in diameter.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2010 at 9:13PM
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dmullen(Southern CA)

My McKissic will easily handle 3 inch material through the chipper. The shredder part says to limit size to 1 inch. It is the best shredder I have ever owned.

I have seen several of these on craigslist over the last couple of years and the priced ranged from about $300 to $700. I bought mine new but after using it, realized that this is a machine that will outlast me. Knowing this, if I had to do it over again, I would find a good used one for less money.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 2:24PM
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measure_twice(z5 MA)

Another forum also tried to talk sense into me. Generally, they suggested I pull together all the brush and rent a large unit for a day or two. That made sense.

I have 5 large pines to take down and an equal mass of scrub trees and brush. If I gather that all together, a 6 inch or 9 inch rental chipper can manage that in a weekend. I can give the pine trunks to the neighbors who heat with wood.

I will probably later get a chipper like your suggested for managing ongoing jobs, but I think I will start taking down big stuff and gathering it for a chipper party weekend.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2010 at 6:28PM
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Just what I heard from the fireman who occasionally cleans my chimney: steer clear of pine for heat, it has a lot of creosote. Stick to hard woods.

I bought a pick up and found it's a lot easier to cut down trunks and trees, keep what I need for firewood, and bring the rest over to the land fill. There I get free mulch in return.

Good luck whatever u end up doin'

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 7:44AM
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When we were getting ready to buy a few years ago, I went around asking who had them, the brand, and how they liked them. I went to a home where a Troy-Built was sitting along side the house. When I asked about it, he offered to sell it to me cheap!! He bought it a Lowe's, and for the 4-5 months he owned it, over a month it was out for repairs. After all this, I went and bought the has handled everything I threw at it - and never a breakdown. Buy once, buy quality, and it will be there when you need it - for a long, long time.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 8:59PM
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'steer clear of pine for heat, it has a lot of creosote. Stick to hard woods. '

If you use an epa approved wood stove for your wood heat, it is certainly possible to generate creosote if you seriously damp down the fire. However, pine burns hot and is usually a nice way to keep a chimney clean. I burned lots of pine and hardwood. I never had any buildup although my last several years were with an epa wood stove.

I used to use a small chipper but I always saved all branches over one inch for the fireplace/woodstove. I now have a big expensive machine. Rarely, I have seen a used unit, but they don't show up when you need it.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 7:11AM
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I think the the best solution is to rent the large chipper shredder. The cost of a small unit like you are talking about will be over a $1000, more for a new unit. In our area you can rent a 6" unit for a weekend for less than 200. If you save up the the stuff and then rent ever couple of years you would bread even in about 10 years. NOT county the cost of maintenance.

I agree the convenience of your own unit would be nice, and would probably be used frequently, but so far in my mind the cost out ways the convenience.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 9:32AM
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FWIW, I recently seen where DR is advertising a machine that definitely multi-tasks - lawn vac, snow blower, chipper, and other things. DR is a great product, but I always question things that keep "making my life easier." Ron

    Bookmark   September 10, 2013 at 9:22AM
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