If you have a yard or garden that you need to keep neat and clean, you’ll want the best chipper shredder you can get your hands on. These power tools are perfect for quickly tackling the thousands of leaves, twigs, and other debris that accumulates, turning it into bark chips or mulch for your garden and flowerbeds.
When debating the best chipper shredder to purchase, you need to consider a few things. This includes the power source, the size of the machine, how much noise they generate, and of course, the load each model can handle.
With so many choices available for purchase, educating yourself on the different features and what to look for will help you pick the best chipper shredder mulcher for your project.
After hours of research – comparing specs on different models and combing through user reviews – we’ve put together a list of the best chipper shredders on the market today.
View the Best Chipper Shredder, Below.
- SuperHandy Wood Chipper Shredder
- DK2 Power DK2 OPC506 Commercial Chipper Shredder
- Sun Joe CJ602E 15-Amp Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder
- Earthwise GS70015 Corded Electric Chipper
- Cub Cadet CS3310 Chipper Shredder
- Sun Joe SDJ616 Electric Leaf Mulcher/Shredder
- Brush Master CH8M20 Gas Powered Self Feed Chipper Shredder
- Sun Joe CJ603E Electric Silent Wood Chipper/Shredder
- EARTHQUAKE Heavy Duty 33968 Chipper Shredder
- Champion Power Equipment 200905 Chipper Shredder
1. SuperHandy Wood Chipper Shredder
The Best Overall Gasoline-Powered Chipper ShredderRead Customer Reviews →
The SuperHandy 7HP is an incredibly durable, heavy-duty gas-powered machine backed with glowing reviews from users. This 3-in-1 workhorse chips, shreds, and mulches with its 4-stroke OHV engine, powering through large branches up to 3" thick. A reduction ratio of 15:1 reduces brush piles to a fraction of their original size. The specially designed housing features a slanted back to minimize issues with jamming and clogging, increasing the overall efficiency when you’re chipping or shredding materials.
An optional tow bar kit is available for purchase, allowing you to hook the SuperHandy 7HP behind your lawn tractor or ATV, making moving the unit easier. Its 10-inch tires are made from durable polyurethane and solid rubber, increasing maneuverability and ease of towing. The solid tire design also means there's no worry about tires going flat. An optional vacuum kit is available for purchase to turn the chipper shredder into a useful leaf vacuum, increasing its functionality.
Why We Like It: With its powerful 4-stroke 7HP gas-powered engine, the SupeHandy Wood Chipper Shredder quickly and efficiently powers through lawn and garden debris, up to 3" in size.Check Price on Amazon ➞
2. DK2 Power DK2 OPC506 Commercial Chipper Shredder
The Best Commercial-Grade Chipper ShredderRead Customer Reviews →
The DK2 OPC506 is a commercial level, gas-powered chipper shredder mulcher available for residential use by homeowners. Built with a 429cc, 14HP Kohler Command professional gasoline engine, it operates at 3600rpm to pulverize brush and trees up to 6.25 inches thick. Dual 13-inch double-edge steel cuttings blades are reversible and replaceable, and they auto-adjust to handle material of various sizes.
This workhorse takes branches quickly, with its extra-large reinforced feed hopper and automatic blade branch feeding. The drum is easily accessible via dual tool-free swing open chutes. DOT-approved road-legal tires, a tow bar, and a 2-inch hitch make it easy to transport, and the 47-inch extended axle provides better towing and improved stability on uneven ground.
The OPC506’s chip chute pipe rotates 180 degrees and is located at truck bed height for easy loading. Included lockout keys keep the engine safely in the “off” position when performing maintenance or clearing jams for increased user safety.
Why We Like It: The professional-grade Kohler gas-powered engine and dual cutting blades on the DK2 OPC506 tackle brush and limbs up to 6.25 inches in diameter. It's commercial quality and available for residential use.Check Price on Amazon ➞
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3. Sun Joe CJ602E 15-Amp Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder
The Quietest Electric Motor Chipper ShredderRead Customer Reviews →
The Sun Joe CJ602E is an electric chipper shredder powered by a 15 amp motor, capable of generating 4300 rmp when running. Compared to a gasoline-powered engine, this model is extremely quiet when used, doesn’t emit toxic exhaust fumes, and doesn’t require the maintenance needed with a gas chipper shredder.
Its lightweight, compact design makes this chipper shredder perfect for handling smaller yard jobs, yard waste, and branches up to 1.5 inches in diameter. While it may be compact, it boasts an impressive reduction rate of 17:1, higher than many other electric models.
Operating the CJ601E is simple, and the unit is equipped with excellent safety features. A locking knob on the safety hopper prevents the engine from running if not correctly latched closed. Six-inch wheels allow you to move the CJ601E around your yard quickly.
Why We Like It: The CJ602E is one of the best electric wood chipper shredders on the market for smaller gardens. Great safety features and an electric power source make this one of the safest, quietest models available for purchase.Check Price on Amazon ➞
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4. Earthwise GS70015 Corded Electric Chipper
The Best Compost-Producing Electric Chipper ShredderRead Customer Reviews →
This powerful electric wood chipper shredder features a 15 amp motor, generating 4500 RPM when operating. The lightweight, easy-to-use model makes short work of any branches up to 1 and ¾ inches thick. Durable steel blades reduce yard debris, whether chipping or shredding. Six-inch plastic rear wheels allow the user to quickly move the GS70015 around the yard for maximum work efficiency.
The operation of the Earthwise GS70015 is safe and straightforward. This electric chipper shredder is equipped with excellent safety features, such as a leaf chute and a tamper tool to keep your hands safe when collecting and depositing debris into the shredder. The overload protection reset switch is another excellent safety feature, shutting the motor down if overloaded. The collection bin holds 1.2 bushels, making clean-up quick and easy.
Why We Like It: The powerful Earthwise GS70015 operates efficiently and safely with its electric motor, taking care of any branches or twigs up to 1.75 inches thick. Yard clean-up is quick and hassle-free with this electric chipper shredder.Check Price on Amazon ➞
5. Cub Cadet CS3310 Chipper Shredder
The Best 2-Way Feed System Chipper ShredderRead Customer Reviews →
Cub Cadet is a leader in outdoor power equipment, and the CS3310 Chipper Shredder lives up to the brand’s well-known reputation. Built with a 250cc Briggs & Stratton 4-cycle OHV engine, this gas-powered chipper shredder runs cooler and cleaner than similar gas-powered engine types. All of the internal parts are lubricated with a splash lubrication system.
With a 2-way feed system, branches up to 3 inches in diameter can be fed through the feed tube. Sticks, leaves, and brush debris can be fed through the large hopper on top. Material is chipped with two 12” hardened-chromium steel chipper blades; four sets of cast-steel flails shred material quickly and easily. A 10:1 reduction value allows you to work for a reasonable length of time before the 5-bushel capacity collection bag needs emptying.
A standard tow hitch and fully pneumatic wheels make towing the CS3310 behind your ATV or lawn tractor easy.
Why We Like It: The 250cc Briggs & Stratton gas-powered engine on the Cub Cadet CS3310 efficiently shreds yard debris and chips branches up to 3" in diameter via its 2-way feed system, making yard clean-up quick.VIEW ON CUB CADET ➞
6. Sun Joe SDJ616 Electric Leaf Mulcher/Shredder
The Best Leaf Reducing Chipper/ShredderRead Customer Reviews →
If you’re in the market for a lightweight, easy-to-use, electric-powered model to tackle piles of leaves in your yard, the Sun Joe SDJ616 is one of the best electric chipper shredders out there. Its 13 amp motor generates 8000 RPM to quickly shred through piles and piles of leaves, mulching a whopping 55 gallons of debris per minute. Equipped with easy-to-read dials, the SDJ616 has adjustable settings for wet and dry waste and even tackles grass clippings and pine needles.
Unlike other electric models, Sun Joe’s Smart Shred technology utilizes an advanced motor cooling system that diverts air from the 19-inch hopper. This significantly reduces how much dust is generated during use. The trash-can-compatible safety hopper allows you to attach a garbage can lined with a leaf bag for easy disposal.
When your cleanup project is complete, the legs remove and nest inside the motor housing for compact storage in the garage or shed.
Why We Like It: The Sun Joe SDJ616 is perfect for homeowners who only need a mulcher shredder. The 13 amp motor powers through 55 gallons of wet or dry leaves per minute, reducing them to 1/16th of their original size.Check Price on Amazon ➞
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7. Brush Master CH8M20 Gas Powered Self Feed Chipper Shredder
The Best Adjustable Discharge Chute Chipper ShredderRead Customer Reviews →
Equipped with a powerful Brush Master 11 HP, 270cc gas-powered engine, the CH8M20 powers through branches up to 3" in diameter. With a 12:1 reduction capacity, the material is reduced down to one-quarter inch chips. Two hardened chrome steel cutting blades and six cast-steel hammers improve operating efficiency. The CH8M20 is the only gas-powered chipper in its class, with an innovative 3-in-1 top adjustable discharge chute. Chips can be broadcast into the garden or flowerbeds, propelled directly into a trash can, or discharged to the ground.
With 2-way self-feeding, the material can be fed through the side chute or the oversized sloped top funnel. The sloped top-funnel helps prevent chipper overloading, and a built-in safety feature automatically kills the engine in the event of low oil levels. Constructed using heavy-gauge steel and plastic, the CH8M20 is rust-resistant, increasing its durability.
Why We Like It: The Brush Master CH8M20, with its 3-in-1 adjustable discharge chute, allows the user great flexibility, increasing efficiency to finish the job quicker.VIEW ON HOME DEPOT ➞
8. Sun Joe CJ603E Electric Silent Wood Chipper/Shredder
The Best Three-Way Feed System Chipper ShredderRead Customer Reviews →
The Sun Joe CJ603E is powered by a 15-amp motor, capable of producing 60 RPM and chipping or shredding twigs and branches up to 1.73 inches in diameter. V-type blades feed material into a rounded chute, making cleanup a breeze. Without a doubt, it's one of the best electric chipper shredders on the market.
The electric motor means this model is up and running with just a flick of the start switch and without a lot of noise or toxic exhaust fumes. The CJ603E’s triple-action mulch and cutting system process garden debris quickly and easily. It also features a three-way feed system for loading different materials and an impressive 21:1 reduction capacity - the best of both the electric models and gas-powered models on our list. This system ensures consistent, uniform results, regardless of the size of the material fed into the machine.
Designed with safety in mind, the hopper is equipped with a locking knob that prevents the motor from running when the hopper is open. An overload protection mechanism turns off the engine if the shredder jams, keeping the user safe. This is all backed by Sun Joe's 2-year warranty. Seven-inch wheels make it easy to maneuver the CJ603E around the yard.
Why We Like It: A highly-rated electric chipper shredder, the Sun Joe CJ603E can efficiently handle branches up to 1.73 inches in diameter with little negative environmental impact. The included safety features ensure a safe and smooth operation.Check Price on Amazon ➞
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9. EARTHQUAKE Heavy Duty 33968 Chipper Shredder
The Best Debris Bag System on a Chipper ShredderRead Customer Reviews →
The easy-to-use Heavy Duty 33968 Chipper Shredder by EARTHQUAKE makes quick work of lawn and garden debris with its 212cc 4-cycle gas engine. With a maximum rotation of 3600 RPM, it has an impressive reduction ratio of 20:1 and handles branches up to 3-inches thick.
An extra-large hopper measuring 16.75 by 13.25 inches stands at 34-inches off the ground for easy feeding of debris; you can feed larger branches into the limb chute on the side of the machine. Two steel knives work to chip material, while two J-hammers and two tri-hammers work to shred debris. Airless eleven-inch wheels track easily over ruts and bumps in the yard without the risk of ever going flat.
Earthquake’s Heavy Duty 33968 has a specially designed dock-and-lock bag connector to attach the debris bag to the discharge chute. When full, a bottom-out zipper opens up to dump and remove the chips efficiently. There's also an optional tow bar and vacuum kit available for purchase.
Why We Like It: The Earthquake Heavy Duty 33968 is the best gas-powered model for people using mulch to landscape around their property. A special connector allows for easy attachment of the debris bag, and the bag has a bottom zipper to empty it easier.Check Price on Amazon ➞
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10. Champion Power Equipment 200905 Chipper Shredder
The Most Economical Gas Chipper ShredderRead Customer Reviews →
Champion Power Equipment’s 200905 Chipper Shredder runs on a 244cc single-cylinder, 4-stroke OHV engine with a .92-gallon fuel tank. That much power, coupled with two hardened steel chipper blades, means this chipper shredder quickly chips its way through branches up to 3 inches in diameter. The engine also shreds material up to one-half inch in diameter with a 15.2” shredder blade and six shredder hammers.
With an impressive 20:1 reduction ratio, you can either discharge material directly onto the ground in your garden or into the tough 2-bushel collection bag. In case of blockages, an easily accessible clean-out port allows safe and quick removal of jammed material. An integrated handle and 12-inch never-flat tires make the 200905 extremely easy to move around your property.
Constructed with a durable steel frame and equipped with safety features (like a low-oil engine shut-off), this gas chipper shredder is built to last. If problems do arise, it’s backed by a 2-year warranty and free lifetime technical support.
Why We Like It: Champion makes well-built, affordable small engine equipment, and the 200905 Chipper Shredder stands up to the brand’s reputation. A 244cc gasoline engine powers through branches and debris, with an impressive 20:1 reduction ratio at a reasonable price, making it one of our picks for the best gas-powered chipper shredder.Check Price on Amazon ➞
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Chipper Shredder Buyer’s Guide
How a Chipper Shredder Works
As the name implies, a wood chipper leaf shredder combines the functions of both a wood chipper and a leaf shredder, offering the user the best of both worlds. While the words are often used interchangeably by consumers and sometimes poorly educated salespeople at the big box stores, there is a difference in the two functions.
- Wood chippers are machines used to reduce woody waste, generally tree limbs or trunks, into wood chips. These wood chips are great for landscaping.
- Shredders are machines designed to reduce softer, smaller yard waste – like leaves and young green branches – into usable pieces for mulch. The pieces are also perfect for going directly into a compost pile or bin.
There are two different systems found within your chipper shredder, each one completing a specific task.
The wood chipper part of your chipper shredder takes care of woody yard waste. Limbs or small trunks are fed into the machine through a long chute. Inside, the engine controls a large flywheel with steel blades attached to it. As the wheel spins at a high rate of speed (many of the above models list their RPM specifications), the blades cut the wood into smaller pieces and discharge the chips through a chute. This could be into a debris collection bag or directly onto the ground.
Material created from the wood chipper is equivalent to bark chips you can purchase and is often used to cover open soil around trees and flower beds.
The chipper part of your chipper shredder takes care of the smaller twigs or branches as well as fallen leaves. Inside the shredder portion of the machine are slightly blunt blades known as flails. These flails are attached to a flywheel, like chipper blades but are smaller, lighter, and not as sharp, so they handle the smaller, softer waste. When rotating inside the shredder, leaves, stalks, and twigs are quickly and efficiently broken down into smaller pieces. The reduced material is discharged through a chute – into a bin, collection bag, or onto the ground.
The mulch created by the shredder makes for a useful organic material in your garden. Alternatively, the shredded material can go directly into a compost pile to be broken down further. Shredding leaves not only saves you time compared to bagging them, but also money; you can supplement your garden soil with organic material, increasing the soil’s fertility.
What to Look for When Buying a Chipper Shredder
If you own your own home and want to keep your yard and garden in pristine condition, you need a high-quality chipper shredder to tackle yard work. You don’t want to spend all day cleaning up the leaves, twigs, and debris that collects and then hauling it all off to the dump. With a chipper shredder, you don’t have to. An excellent wood chipper shredder will allow you to quickly and efficiently take care of all of your yard debris, creating your own mulch.
There are several models of chippers shredders on the market from different manufacturers. Selecting the right unit for you depends on your garden’s size and what you will be using it for.
Like other power equipment tools, such as string trimmers and leaf vacuum mulchers, chipper shredders are available with electric motors or gasoline-powered engines. The power type determines the strength and output power of the model you purchase; the different types also come with specific advantages and disadvantages related to their engine type.
Electrical chipper shredders are perfect for small to medium yards or for users with only small branches and leaves needing to be chipped or shredded. Their lightweight, compact design makes them highly portable – although tethered to an extension cord-, and the electric motor does not require a lot of maintenance. Since electric chipper shredders do not produce a lot of noise or fumes, they are considerably more environmentally friendly than gasoline-power models. They will not disturb your neighbors, keeping you in good standings with them.
While electric chipper shredders are cheaper to purchase, they require the user to invest in a lengthy, heavy-duty extension cord, adding to the cost. This also means an increase in electric utilities as well. In general, electric motors are less powerful than their gasoline counterparts, so an electric chipper shredder will have a much smaller capacity, unable to handle larger branches and twigs.
Gas chipper shredders can work with larger branches. They’re great for larger yards and wooded areas, making quick work of big projects. They tend to have a larger footprint and are heavier because of the more powerful gas engine and a fuel tank’s added weight. This makes them difficult to move around. Some units weigh over two hundred pounds, but their mobility isn’t limited by the length of extension cord you own.
A gas-powered chipper shredder also requires more maintenance, including keeping enough oil in the machine and ensuring the correct gasoline is used depending upon the engine type. Gas chipper shredders are also very noisy and emit fumes during operation.
The size and resulting performance of an engine are depicted in measurements of horsepower (HP) or cubic centimeters (cc). Sometimes a model’s specifications will list both units, but not always. Understanding the difference between the two measurement units, coupled with what size engine you need for your job, will help you purchase one that fits your needs.
Horsepower (HP) describes the amount of power an engine produces when running, or the rate at which work is completed. Gas-powered engines are typically more powerful than electrical and have higher horsepower. Most residential chipper shredders have a horsepower rating between 4 and 10 HP. Electric motors can’t produce the same force as gas models and have a lower rating, ranging on average between 1 and 4 HP.
Another way to describe an engine’s power is its cubic centimeters (cc), measuring volume. Similar to HP, the bigger the cc, the more powerful the engine. This equates to more power and more work being done. Most chipper shredder engines range in size between 120 and 330cc.
When the engine’s power and the number of blades/flails come together, it determines how well the chipper shredder will chip or shred limbs, especially those that are still green.
A larger, more powerful engine with a higher number of blades will be better if you have a lot of green, wet wood to tackle. A mini wood chipper will suffice if you only have twigs from shrubs or bushes.
Chipper shredders have two different drive types on their engines: direct drives and clutch drives. With a direct drive, the blades engage and begin turning as soon as you start the engine. Models with direct drives are generally less expensive, but they jam more frequently. If you select a direct drive machine, it’s best to get one with a reversible feed to clear the jams.
Clutch drives only allow the blades to engage when the material is placed inside the machine. These models will stop if nothing is going into them, preventing jamming (which occurs more often on direct drive models). The clutch drive models are safer but also a lot more robust, handling heavier loads.
Number and Size of Blades or Flails
As mentioned above, wood chippers work by using steel blades or knives attached to a rotating flywheel. As the engine spins, the wheel and blades spin, and limbs or branches are chipped into smaller pieces. A shredder has blunt flails attached to the rotor assembly instead of sharp knives, pulling apart wood and lawn debris into shreds as the engine runs.
Knowing this, it makes sense that the more blades or flails a unit has, the better job it will do. A higher number of chipping/shredding parts will work through material more quickly. The same goes for larger blades or flails as well.
When looking to buy a chipper shredder, look for hardened steel parts, especially the chipper blades. Hardened steel is a particular type of steel used for making tools and heavy machine parts. In the hardening process, medium to hard plain carbon steel undergoes heat treatment, quenching, and reheating to create a hard exterior casing and internal, robust core. Blades constructed of hardened steel are more durable and chip or break less frequently.
Before you decide which chipper shredder is perfect for you, make sure you consider what size tree branches you need to chip. Most of the residential chipper shredders available for purchase can handle branches up to 3″ thick in diameter. For most homeowners, this meets their yard cleanup needs. Electric motor models often have a smaller capacity than gas models since the motor isn’t as powerful.
Keep in mind that the capacity listed on the model’s specifications is a maximum rating. The machine is designed to handle this diameter, but you may lose out on efficiency. In many cases, these larger diameter tree branches will bog down engines and significantly increase the occurrence of jams. You’re always better off buying a slightly larger capacity than you expect to need or use, giving yourself a little extra wiggle-room in performance.
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If you require a machine that chips branches larger than that, you may need a heavy-duty chipper dedicated solely to chipping – instead of a combination type. Or you may want to look at commercial or professional models.
The reduction ratio of a chipper shredder is a formula used to describe how much the machine reduces debris. Simply put, a chipper shredder with a reduction ratio of 8:1 reduces your yard debris down to 1/8th of its initial size.
Larger, more powerful chipper shredders will have a higher reduction ratio because of the engine size and performance. A higher reduction ratio also means the material is broken down more efficiently, so there is less waste to dispose of when the job is finished. Top residential shredder chippers have a reduction ratio of 15:1 or greater. Some of our top-rated models have an impressive 20:1 reduction ratio. Similar to engine power, gas-powered models will have a better reduction capacity than electric models.
Bin or Bag Capacity
Most residential chipper shredder models are equipped with either debris bags or bins to collect the chipped or shredded material for easy disposal. The size of the discharge bag or container makes a big difference in your yard work’s efficiency. A collection system with a higher capacity means you need to empty the chips or mulch less frequently.
It’s typical of your standard yard chipper shredders to have a maximum bag or bin capacity of 2 or 3 bushels of material. However, be aware that the larger the discharge bag or bin, the heavier the machine gets as it fills, making it more difficult to move. The bag or bin is also heavier too, making it more difficult to empty.
If weight is a concern due to back or shoulder problems, opt for a chipper shredder with a lesser bag capacity that you empty more frequently. Or opt for a unit that can be discharged directly onto the ground or into a utility trailer.
When working with chipper shredders, it’s important to have safety mechanisms on both the engine and the chipper/shredder functions. Accidents that occur using this type of equipment are hazardous and could result in losing fingers – or worse.
First and foremost, safety mechanisms should be in place to prevent operating your chipper shredder if the hopper is open. Known as a safety hopper, look for a chipper shredder with a locking knob that automatically shuts off or disengages the flywheel and rotor assembly when the hopper opens. This will prevent accidents.
Some models also come equipped with built-in overload protection. This automatically shuts the engine down if it becomes too full, minimizing danger to you and damage to the engine. Many also feature a low-oil sensor that kills the engine when oil levels drop below a critical threshold to prevent the engine from seizing.
A hard hat is a good idea to protect yourself from debris that might be thrown out by the chipper shredder. Plus, it’s standard practice to always wear safety glasses and hearing protection when using these power tools.
It’s advantageous to have a yard chipper shredder that offers a different shredding chute for shredding smaller debris, such as leaves. This chute typically offers a wider opening to accommodate a more significant volume of material. Some chutes are even angled to encourage self-feeding. A wider, angled chute is often less prone to clogging up and jamming the machine.
If you’ll be doing general yard and garden work, especially fall cleanup of leaves, you should keep in mind this feature when deciding which chipper shredder to purchase.
Make sure to check out the warranty offered on any chipper shredders you’re considering. The manufacturer’s warranty is typically a sign of how much confidence they have in their product. The industry average is one year, but many of the best chipper shredders on our list come with 2-year limited warranties.
Owning your own home is rewarding, but keeping your yard clean and neat can take a lot of energy and work. But with an electric or gasoline-powered wood chipper leaf shredder, clean-up does not have to be a problem. The best chipper shredders turn branches and twigs into wood chips for decorating pathways with or beautifying patches of bare soil. Softer yard and garden debris is transformed into mulch for your flower beds and garden.
A wood chipper shredder helps keep your yard looking neat all year and enables you to save time and money. Gone are the afternoons spent bagging piles and piles of leaves or hauling truckloads of branches to the dump. A chipper shredder is also a much more environmentally friendly way of maintaining your yard and garden than burning leaves or limbs.
With many different manufacturers offering chipper shredders for purchase, coupled with all the features available on units, our guide is designed to help you select the best chipper shredder for your task. For some homeowners, gas chipper shredders are better options; for others, they need electric models.
All you have to do is read through our reviews, decide which features you want or need, and then choose the best option! For wood chipper safety – read this helpful safety manual.