Cleaning up yard waste often requires the use of a wood chipper, which is a device used to break down branches into small chips that can in turn be used for landscaping or disposal. Instead of buying a new chipper, you also have the option of either buying a used wood chipper or renting one. It is best to buy a used wood chipper if you will use the device frequently but do not have the budget for a new unit. When choosing a used chipper, start by determining what your needs are and how you will use the machine.
Think carefully about how much shredding you will do and how large the branches that you will shred will be. A used wood chipper will often feature a rating or limit as to how large of a branch you can feed into it. Try to find a used wood chipper that is large enough to chip the largest branch you will feed into it. It is also a good idea to choose a unit with a higher number of blades, sometimes known as flails. A chipper with more blades will be able to chip branches more quickly and easily, thereby avoiding jamming and slower progress.
Look for a used wood chipper with a steel body, but make sure to inspect the steel carefully for signs of excess rust or holes. Avoid units that feature steel panels which have rusted through entirely, as these may be unsafe. Make sure all body panels are secure and do not shake or loosen during operation. It is also a good idea to start up the used wood chipper; take note of how easy or difficult it is to get started, as well as how the engine sounds as it runs. While there's no real way to tell whether a used unit will fail once you get it home, you can avoid some problems by looking and listening carefully during a test run.
One of the other measurements you will need to take note of is the horsepower, or HP. This denotes how much power the unit can produce; a higher HP rating generally means the unit can handle larger jobs more quickly, while a smaller HP rating will usually only be suitable for smaller jobs around the house. A unit with a higher HP rating is also likely to be more expensive, so it is a good idea to consider your budget before beginning your search.