13 Minute Read

The Top 6 Commercial Tree Chippers for Pros 

Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Investing in the right commercial tree chipper can put your landscaping or tree care service at the head of the pack. Here are 6 top options.

Beckie Dashiell

Staff Contributor

FacebookTwitterLinkedInCopy Link

You’ve worked hard to make your landscaping business a leading company in your neck of the woods. Whether adding an organic pathway through a backyard or giving an old oak tree a cut and trim, you are the team your community depends on to keep their yards looking stylish. 

Are you ready to take your business to the next level? As more people become aware of the importance of a sustainable environment, the demand for converting wood waste into valuable resources continues to grow. 

Investing in the right commercial tree chipper can put your landscaping business service at the head of the pack. 

Also called a wood chipper, or a brush chipper, a tree chipper drastically reduces the bulk of branches and brush you need to transport after you trim a tree or clear out a patch of saplings. Instead of the hassle of hauling off chunks of limbs and trunks, a good commercial tree chipper can slash your wood waste down to eco-friendly chips. 

And if you’re exclusively in the tree care business, you already know wood chippers are essential tools you need to do your job, and you might own more than one. Is it time to upgrade? 

A tree chipper is a sizable investment. In this article, we’ll break down what you should look for in a commercial tree chipper. We’ll highlight the most important factors you should consider. Then we’ll list six of the best models on the market and give you some tips on how to kick off your quest for the best commercial tree chippers for pros. 

Yellow commercial drum wood chipper

Choosing the Right Commercial Tree Chipper: Why It Matters 

The right tree chipper can streamline a cumbersome task. Efficiency is about more than just getting the job done. It’s about using time wisely with minimal waste. A good tree chipper reduces manual labor. You can maximize the time your team spends on actual landscaping or tree care. 

Productivity goes hand in hand with efficiency. A tree chipper can transform heaps of branches and foliage into neat, manageable chips in a fraction of the time. A well-chosen tree chipper boosts output. With improved productivity, your business can tackle more jobs. That translates to increased revenue and customer satisfaction. 

Different Types of Commercial Tree Chippers 

First, the basics. A wood chipper is like a food processor for wood. They are powerful machines with sharp blades that you should always use with vigilance. 

You feed a branch or piece of wood into a hopper, which acts like a funnel. The hopper is usually angled downwards. Gravity helps pull the wood down towards the blades. 

At the bottom of the hopper, there are usually rollers powered by the engine. These rollers grip the wood and pull it further into the chipper. Spinning blades chop the wood into chips. A high-powered fan pushes the chips out through a chute, where they land in a pile or a collection bin. 

The most common commercial tree chippers for professionals are drum wood chippers and disc wood chippers. The ongoing debate over whether a drum chipper or disc chipper does a better job depends on who you talk to. Although similar, the drum chipper and disc chipper have distinct differences. 

Here’s a breakdown of what different commercial tree chippers do: 

1. Drum wood chipper: Shreds wood using a spinning drum mounted with multiple blades. 

  • Strengths: Excellent at handling large volumes of material and different types of branches. From logs to twigs, drum chippers produce a wide range of chip sizes, depending on the angle and position of the wood as it hits the blades. They can process fibrous materials like bamboo found in warm climates better than disc chippers. 
  • Weaknesses: Drum chippers produce less uniform chips compared to disc chippers. They also generally need more power than disc chippers to do the same job. 

2. Disc wood chipper: Sharp stationary knives mounted on a disc cut and chop large blocks of wood into smaller wood chips and pellets. A disc wood chipper slices the wood perpendicular to its surface, leading to a more consistent chip size. 

  • Strengths: Disc chippers produce more uniform chips compared to drum chippers. They deliver excellent chip quality and use less vibration. Disc chippers usually need less power than drum chippers for similar capacities. 
  • Weaknesses: Disc chippers may struggle with high-volume processing compared to drum chippers. They are less effective at handling fibrous materials like woody vines and roots. 

3. Screw wood chipper: Conical screw blades rotate at a specific speed, cutting whatever is placed in front of them into chips. 

  • Strengths: A screw chipper is very efficient at processing small logs and branches. Chips produced are even-sized with minimal amounts of sawdust. The noise level of low-speed models is modest compared to other chippers and can be used close to residential areas. 
  • Weaknesses: Unlike the drum and disc chipper, screw chippers cut raw material at a slower, uniform speed. Screw chippers are not as widely available as disc or drum chippers. 
Two workers feed tree branches into commercial tree chipper

Key Considerations When Selecting a Commercial Tree Chipper 

Drum or disc? Gas or electric? Hand-fed or self-feeding? There are a variety of commercial tree chipper models with different features out there. Choosing the best wood chipper to fit your needs can be overwhelming. 

Let’s whittle it down to some key features to consider when choosing a commercial tree chipper. 

1. Power and Capacity 

  • Power: The power of a chipper is measured in horsepower (hp). The higher the horsepower, the more powerful the engine and the more wood the chipper can handle. The power needed to operate a chipper depends on the diameters of the branches to be shredded and how hard the wood is. Make sure the horsepower rating can handle your workload. It’s better to have a bit more power than you think you need to avoid overloading the engine and causing damage. 
  • Capacity: The capacity of a wood chipper is the maximum diameter of branches a wood chipper can handle and turn into chips. Capacity is usually measured in inches. A chipper with a 3-inch capacity can handle branches up to 3 inches thick. For chipping logs, you might need a chipper with a capacity of 10 inches or more. Figure out the maximum diameter of branches the chipper can process when determining if it’s right for you and your team.

2. Durability and Build Quality 

  • Frame construction: Look for a chipper built from durable materials such as heavy-duty steel. Solid construction can withstand heavy workloads and rough terrain. A well-built chipper lasts longer. Most chippers that are used daily should have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years, as long as the machines are maintained properly. This includes daily greasing, oil changes, and changing knives regularly. 
  • Blade quality: High-grade blades are essential. Replaceable knives made from durable steel result in clean, sharp chipping and have a longer lifespan. 
  • Feed system design: The feed system is the pathway that delivers the wood to the blades. Gravity is the simplest system, relying on the hopper angle to guide the wood down. 

More robust chippers often have hydraulically powered rollers, which provide more control and force. 

Some large industrial chippers have a conveyor belt at the beginning of the hopper. This belt helps to automatically feed wood into the chipper. It is ideal for high-volume processing. 

3. Safety Features 

  • Emergency stop button: All chippers should have a stop button that is easily accessible to stop the chipper immediately in case of emergencies. 
  • Interlocking safety switches: Safety interlocks prevent the operation of the chipper unless all safety shields and guards are properly in place. They prevent accidental operation when the hopper is open. Safety interlocks minimize the risk of operator injury. 
  • Feed system safety guards: These safety guards protect the operator from flying debris and accidental contact with moving parts. 

4. Maintenance and Serviceability 

  • Ease of access: Look for a design that allows easy access to key components for cleaning, maintenance, and knife replacement. 
  • Greasing points: Regularly lubricated components ensure smooth operation and extend the chipper’s lifespan. 
  • Spare parts availability: Make sure you can get replacement parts for timely repairs and maintenance. 
  • Low maintenance design: Consider models with features like sealed bearings and minimal lubrication requirements. Electric chippers typically require less maintenance compared to combustion engine models. 

5. Mobility and Transportability 

  • Portable design: Tow-behind chippers are more affordable but require a separate vehicle for transportation. Self-propelled chippers offer greater mobility but come at a higher cost. Electric chippers may have built-in handles or wheels for transportation without towing. 
  • Axle configuration: Consider a single-axle for easier maneuvering in tight spaces. Tandem axles provide increased stability on uneven terrain. 
  • Roadworthiness: Be sure the chipper complies with road safety regulations. The chipper should include features like lighting and brakes. 

Essential Features to Seek in Commercial Tree Chippers 

By now, you understand that commercial tree chippers are workhorses designed to reduce large volumes of wood into small, manageable chips. Let’s review some essentials: 

Chipping Mechanism 

  • Disc chippers: Disc chippers generally produce more uniform chips. The knives cut across the grain, resulting in cleaner breaks. When chip size is important, like in landscaping or animal bedding, a disc chipper is the better option. 
  • Drum chippers: Drum chippers excel at handling large volumes of material due to their design. The rotating drum pulls in material and cuts it with multiple blades along the grain. This results in faster processing. 
  • Disc chipper vs. drum chipper: If chip quality and consistency are paramount, a disc wood chipper might be better. If high-volume processing is your priority, a drum wood chipper is probably the best option. 

Feed Capacity 

The feed capacity refers to the maximum rate at which the chipper can ingest material for processing. Larger hoppers can hold more material, allowing for faster feeding. Self-feeding chippers typically have higher feed capacities than those fed by hand. 

The feed rate measures how quickly the chipper processes material. Higher feed rates mean faster processing but may need more powerful engines. Electric chippers would need higher amps to go faster. 

Engine Type 

While the most common way to categorize wood chipper engines is by fuel type (electric, gas, or diesel), there are three main types of engines based on how they connect to the power source: 

  • Gas-powered engine: This is the most common type of engine found in wood chippers. It features a self-contained gasoline engine that provides power directly to the chipper mechanism. Gas offers portability and independence. It doesn’t need an external power source. Gas engines need regular maintenance, such as oil changes. And they emit fumes. 
  • Power take-off (PTO) engine: This engine connects to the PTO shaft of a tractor. It uses the tractor’s engine power to operate the chipper. It eliminates the need for a separate engine and its maintenance. It’s good for heavy-duty chippers with larger capacities. 
  • Electric engine: Powered by an electric motor, it is typically plugged into a standard household outlet. Quieter and emission-free, an electric chipper is suitable for smaller branches and yard debris. Power is limited compared to gas or diesel chippers. They require minimal maintenance. Electric chippers are generally lighter and more compact than gas or diesel chippers. 

Noise Levels 

Noise levels are a crucial consideration when choosing a wood chipper, especially if you operate in residential areas. 

Decibel (dB) is the standard for measuring noise levels. Prolonged exposure to noise above 85 decibels can lead to hearing damage. This includes tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and even permanent hearing loss. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets the maximum permissible exposure level at 90 decibels for an eight-hour day. Wearing hearing protection is essential when operating any chipper. 

Typical Noise Levels by Engine Type: 

  • Gas chippers: 85-115 decibels (similar to a chainsaw) 
  • PTO chippers: 80-95 decibels (similar to a gas lawnmower) 
  • Electric chippers: 70-80 decibels (similar to a vacuum cleaner) 
Worker chipping branches with tree chipper

The Best 6 Commercial Tree Chippers Recommended for Professionals 

We considered the following when we put together our list of the best commercial tree chippers for professionals: 

  • Brand reputation 
  • Performance 
  • Portability 
  • Feed capacity 

Here’s our shortlist: 

1. Vermeer BC1800 Brush Chipper 

The Vermeer BC1800 Brush Chipper tackles the thickest branches with its 18-inch capacity and a hefty engine. 


  • Powerful John Deere Tier 4 Final engine with 173 horsepower 
  • The self-feeding system minimizes manual labor 
  • Vermeer’s reputation for quality guarantees long-term reliability 

Potential con: 

  • Larger size and higher price tag compared to some competitors. 

2. Morbark Eeger Beever™ 1922 Brush Chipper 

The Morbark Eeger Beever 1922 is ideal for residential tree services and vegetation management. 


  • Large-diameter chipping drum 
  • Variable Force™ hydraulic down pressure system 
  • Compact and easy to maneuver 

Potential con: 

  • The premium quality comes with a price tag 

3. Yardbeast 3514 3.5-Inch Self-Feeding Professional Wood Chipper 

The Yardbeast 3514 is compact and portable and can handle up to 3.5-inch branches. 


  • Powerful, professional-grade KOHLER Command Pro® CH440 14-horsepower engine 
  • Self-feeding 
  • Easy to maintain and change blades 

Potential con: 

  • Smaller chipper capacity compared to larger models 

Customer review: 

“The machine is very aptly named, this is a Yard Beast! The unit is very very well built with high-quality steel and bolts.” 

4. Woodland Mills WC88 PTO Wood Chipper 

The Woodland Mills WC88 8-inch (20 centimeters) PTO drive wood chipper was designed for tractors with 35 to 100-plus horsepower. 


  • Auto hydraulic infeed system 
  • Good for smaller-scale tree care jobs 
  • Affordable option 

Potential con: 

  • Limited chipper capacity 

Customer review: 

“This product is top-of-the-line and works great. I have sent many 6″ pieces through this baby and it destroys them all—oak, maple, elm, cherry, etc. No question this is one of the best tools in my arsenal against the Alabama woods.” 

5. All Power APWC210 Woodchipper 

All-Power is a wood chipper company with a focus on small engine design and excellence. 


  • Gas-powered JD Engine 7 horsepower 
  • Double edge blades 
  • Easy-to-find replacement parts 

Potential con: 

  • It does not have a towbar compared to larger models 

Customer review: 

“Great performance for the price; easy to use and multiple safety features.” 

6. Jansen USA GTS-1500e Wood Chipper 

The Jansen GTS-1500e is a gas-powered, self-feeding wood chipper with a powerful engine and user-friendly features. 


  • Powerful 14-horsepower gasoline motor 
  • Self-feeding 
  • Both pull and electric starters 

Potential con: 

  • Long vines can clog the exit chute 

Customer review: 

“It eats everything I feed it and begs for more. It’s incredibly well-built, and the quality is top-notch. I had a question for support and emailed them. They didn’t simply write back, they picked up the phone and called me and I got the answers I was looking for immediately. This is a great machine and I absolutely recommend it! You won’t be disappointed.” 

Large branch fed into wood chipper

Top Takeaway Tips for Choosing a Commercial Tree Chipper 

  • Visit professional tree care forums. Arborist is an excellent resource. Whether you’re just starting your landscaping business or an experienced pro, you’ll find a community of like-minded people happy to give you their opinions and advice.

  • Determine your needs. Write down the typical size and volume of branches you handle regularly. This will help you determine what chipping capacity you need.

  • Read user reviews. Pay close attention to user reviews and testimonials. You’ll gain real-world insights into the performance and potential drawbacks of specific chipper models you’re considering.

Beckie likes words! Whether she’s creating content or working on the shortest of short stories, she’s always thinking about craft. In her downtime, she contributes to her mission of filling up her camera roll with as many photos of her cats as possible. They hate it.

FacebookTwitterLinkedInCopy Link

Related Topics:

We think you’ll like these, too.