Chipper Shredder Vacuum Buyer's Guide
How to Pick the Perfect Chipper Vac
You could use a lawn vacuum to clean the leaves and lightweight litter off your property and then drag out a chipper shredder to break down the branches and sticks.
But there's a way to get all the work done quickly and easily at the same time. How?
By picking everything up in one fell swoop with a chipper shredder vacuum!
Unlike nut gatherers, chipper shredder vacuums aren't made to pick up nuts or acorns, which have smooth surfaces. However, they are excellent for vacuuming other kinds of clutter commonly found on lawns:
- Pine cones
- Grass clippings
- Small pieces of trash
These units then turn that yard debris (with the exception of the trash) into valuable mulch that you can put into your compost bin or onto your landscaping. With so many features available, it's easy to find a chipper shredder vacuum suited to any yard.
Types of Chipper Shredder Vacuums
When you have a lot of debris to clean off your lawn, you don't want to use equipment that's stuck in one spot. Gas-powered chipper vacuums come in two styles that can be transported across your lawn in different ways:
Walk-Behind Chipper Shredder Vacuums
If you imagine that using a chipper vacuum in your yard is like using a vacuum on the carpet in your living room, a walk-behind model might be your best choice. These are the models that you guide ahead of you as you walk across a lawn.
You'll find two kinds of walk-behind chipper shredder vacuums available:
- Push models
- Self-propelled models
Push models require you to use some force to push the chipper shredder vac across your lawn, but what you spend in energy, you save with a lower price tag. Self-propelled chipper shredder vacuums might cost more, but their self-propelled drive will make removing leaves and sticks easier than ever.
Tow-Behind Chipper Shredder Vacuums
If you have a larger property that you use a riding mower to mow, consider a tow-behind chipper shredder vacuum to clean up your yard waste.
These vacuums are designed to be hitched to a riding mower or ATV and towed across a yard or field to the spot where it's needed most. (Note: always check your mower or vehicle's weight limit in the product manual before attempting to tow any kind of equipment.)
Although pull-behind chipper shredder vacuums attach to another vehicle, they have their own gas engines to serve as the power source that fuels the chipper, shredder, and vacuum. This provides you with plenty of power to tackle all kinds of yard waste.
Features of Chipper Shredder Vacuums
Once you've determined how you want to move your chipper shredder vacuum across your lawn, you get to consider the features that help with the actual clean-up!
The most important features to look at are the features that help you pick debris up (such as a vacuum hose) and the ones that help you break it down (such as the types of chipper feeds).
Detachable Vacuum Hose
Getting leaves out of your landscaping areas can turn into a frustrating game of hide-and-seek.
A unit with a hose attachment makes it easy to vacuum up leaves around flower beds and shrubs.
The hose attachment also lets you quickly convert large piles of leaves into compact mounds of mulch.
Chute Feeds for Branches
Some lawns will accumulate lots of twigs and small branches throughout the year. A chipper shredder vacuum with a feed chute can handle sticks up to two inches in diameter, turning them into useful mulch.
As with other parts of a chipper shredder vac, you'll have options in chipper chute feeds available:
- Automatic feed actively pulls the branches into the chipper chute
- Gravity feed lets the force of gravity take branches down into the chute
Once the machine has processed your branches, you won't have to worry about raking up the chips. They'll be neatly collected in the attached bag along with whatever else the vacuum has shredded.