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10 Garden Chipper Tips

Garden chipper in the garden
A garden chipper turns unavoidable waste in the garden into wood chips.

Garden Chipper: a Valuable Helper in the Garden

A garden chipper is always the perfect helper if organic material needs to be chipped. This is the case in particular for branches cut in the spring and autumn. The garden chipper literally creates chips that you can then use wonderfully in other places in the garden. This creates a natural cycle where no raw materials are wasted.

In this way, you can turn chipped branches into mulch for pathways or plant beds, for example. Fine twigs with plenty of leaves can be turned into a high-quality admixture for your composter. You can find out how to compost correctly here.

This makes a garden chipper a sensible acquisition. That’s why we have ten tips for you all about garden chippers.

A garden chipper in operation
You can make mulch for your garden from chipped branches. So no raw materials are lost.

Make Chippings for the Composter

If you set it up correctly, you can create an entirely natural cycle in your garden. This means no raw materials that you could sensibly use in your garden are destroyed or go to waste. However, this biological cycle is not only important for eco-gardeners.

You too can support these natural processes and thereby provide your garden with valuable nutrients. The chipped materials, for example twigs, branches and other garden debris, contain a lot of valuable nutrients. These are drawn out of the plants during growth phases. If you chip the wood cuttings or other debris in the garden chipper, you can return these substances to your garden.

For example, you can put the chippings in a composter. Chipped light cuttings decompose particularly quickly into high-quality humus. In addition to this, they ensure a good supply of oxygen in the composter. This is an additional stimulus for natural decomposition.

Compost created in this way can generally be used as a completely natural fertiliser in the following year. It provides the plants with nutrients and also stores carbon dioxide in the soil. So you are also doing something good for the climate footprint.

Chippings from the garden chipper
You can use chippings from the garden chipper on the composter. ©MSG/Martin Staffler

Rotating Blades, Drum, or Turbine-Cut System?

You have a choice between various cutting systems for garden chippers: Some equipment works with rotating blades, some equipment has a drum and some in turn have a turbine-cut system.

Equipment with a rotating cutting knife such as the AXT Rapid 2000 from Bosch chip garden debris with fast rotating blades. With 3,650 rotations per minute, the chipper processes branches with a diameter of up to 35 mm, for example.

Garden chippers with a drum are quieter. An example of such a device is the AXT 22 D from Bosch. It crushes garden debris with a diameter of up to 38 mm with a torque of 600 Nm. The wood fibres are broken up by this. This makes it highly suitable for composting.

Garden chippers with the turbine-cut system, such as the AXT 25 TC from Bosch are both powerful and at the same time pleasantly quiet. It has a torque of 650 Nm and with a motor output of 2,500 W easily turns branches up to 45 mm thick into wood chips. This chipper doesn’t only crush soft material, it cuts it as well. Debris with lots of leaves in particular is chipped better in this way.

Bosch garden chipper
Remove the chippings from the equipment and use them in your garden.

Find the Correct Chipper

In order to find the perfect garden chipper for you, you need to know what you mainly want to chip with it. If you have predominantly hard and woody materials to chip, for example, cuttings from fruit trees or flowering shrubs, a drum chipper is best suited for your needs. Medium thickness branches are effortlessly chopped in this equipment.

Softer plant material is better processed in a blade chipper. Even larger amounts of leaves or bushy greenery has no chance here. This equipment can process shrub cuttings or vegetable debris flawlessly.

If there are extremely thick branches in your garden, a garden chipper with a turbine-cut system is the best choice. You can feed it very hard and strong branches without causing the chipper any problems.

Extra tip: Make sure to use high-quality and reliable equipment when cutting trees and bushes. This ensures you safety and peace of mind when you work. You could shorten easily accessible branches with the battery pruning saw Keo from Bosch. Branches and twigs at great heights can be easily reached with a pole-mounted pruner, such as the Universal ChainPole 18 from Bosch.

Pole-mounted pruner from Bosch
You can easily reach branches at great heights with the Universal ChainPole 18 pole-mounted pruner from Bosch.

Prevent Injuries

High-quality garden chippers are conceived in such a way that they can be used safely and comfortably. However, it is important when working with garden chippers to proceed carefully and wear the appropriate protective clothing.

You should therefore wear work gloves and also protective glasses when working with a garden chipper. In certain circumstances ear protectors may also be a good idea.

Gloves protect you from thorns and wood splinters which can occur on sawn off branches. And infructescences on shrubs often have small barbs. You can protect yourself from these as well with gloves.

The protective glasses protect your eyes against chippings. Always hold longer branches securely when chipping. The movement of the equipment can cause them to start turning.

Even though high-quality garden chippers work quietly: cracking, extremely hard wood can create very loud noises during chipping. Therefore, you should also wear ear protectors in order to save your ears from loud noise.

Drum chippers only rarely experience blockages. However, should a blockage occur, you can generally free the cuttings from the equipment with the reverse function. If this is unsuccessful, you will have to remove the blockage by hand. It is essential to always remove the power cable beforehand in order to prevent injuries.

With blade chippers you can open the equipment in order to remove wood blockages. It is also essential to unplug the power to this equipment beforehand in order to be able to work safely.

Careful consultation of the safety instructions in the instructions for use will help you to work more quickly, safely and effectively with these tools.

A blockage in the garden chipper
Always unplug the power cable before you remove a blockage in a garden chipper. ©iStock/lucentius

Use Green Chippings as a Mulch Layer

If you are chipping fine branches with lots of leaves, you can easily turn the chippings into mulch. The plants in both kitchen and ornamental gardens benefit from such a layer of mulch. Spread it about 3 cm to 5 cm thick. Did you know? Bosch robotic lawnmowers mulch automatically and thereby supply the soil with important nutrients.

A mulch layer prevents the water from evaporating from the beds so quickly. This means less watering. The mulch also protects organisms in the soil against high temperatures and drought. So they can also push through to the upper layers of earth and do their work there.

The mulch also deposits nutrients in the soil as it slowly decomposes. Your plants will also benefit from this

Use Chipped Branches as a Mulch Layer in Beds

You can also mulch your plant beds with chippings resulting from debris without leaves. Blade chippers provide the perfect material here to mulch your plant beds. Blade chippers produce thin wooden chips. These don’t decompose as easily as broken up pieces of branches from the drum chipper.

Fertilise the soil before you mulch it with this material. The organisms that live in the soil need lots of nitrogen when they decompose wood. Without fertilising, there might not be enough of it available for the plants.

Mulch layer in the garden
Fertilise your soil before mulching. This provides your plants with a good supply of nutrients. ©MSG/Folkert Siemens

Lay Pathways with Chippings

You can either create garden pathways with bark mulch or just use chippings from the garden for free. The material is perfect for pathways. It generally smells fresher than bought bark mulch.

You can easily reach your plant beds using the pathways created. You have secure footing and can keep your shoes somewhat cleaner on paths created in this way, especially in heavy rainfall.

Place a layer of approx. 10 cm thick chippings for your path.

Caring for and Maintaining Your Garden Chipper

High-quality garden chippers last a particularly long time. However, you should give them some care and maintenance. Here’s how.

  • Let your chipper run freely and check whether there is any debris still stuck in the equipment.
  • Disconnect the equipment from the power supply and open the hopper for blade chippers.
  • Sweep out the inside with a brush and wipe it down with a cloth.
  • Remove remaining cuttings from the blades with a hand brush.
  • Treat the blades with an oil-based spray.
  • If you use the blade chipper frequently change the blades about once a year.

Drum chippers are practically maintenance-free. Simply adjust the counter-plate using the adjusting screw if the chipping performance diminishes.

Electric or Petrol Driven?

You can choose between a electricity operated garden chipper or one that runs on petrol. For an average garden, a chipper operated by an AC current is generally sufficient.

If you have a particularly large garden or lots of fruit trees, a powerful electric chipper or a petrol operated one may be sensible. Petrol operated equipment is not more powerful, but it is independent of a power connection. This can pay off for larger properties.

Do You Need a Chipper?

Bosch pruning saw
You can prune trees and bushes particularly easily with an electric pruning saw.

A pruning saw is extremely practical and saves you a lot of work. However, if you only have a small garden or very little organic waste, you can also chip this with a manual pruning saw in such a way that you can reuse the raw material in the garden.

Try asking your neighbours as well. It may be worth buying a high-quality garden chipper together that you can use alternately.

10 Garden Chipper Tips
A garden chipper is particularly worth having in the autumn. It shreds almost all organic waste and turns it into a raw material which you can use on more than just the compost.