A wood chipper is a powerful tool useful in landscape maintenance, and suitable for people with a woody hedge that requires constant trimming. Owning a wood chipper can make your life easy, and it is best to buy instead of renting. Most of these machines are portable, allowing you to mount them on a van or a truck if you want to take them to a different place.
Wood chippers are equipped with blades that help you to reduce the wood into mulch. However, the tool will perform great if it is well sharpened. Although you will continuously have a chance to sharpen the blades from time to time, you will have to replace them if they become too dull. These gadgets come with a manual that shows you how to safely remove the blades without harming yourself or damaging the machine.
How to Remove Wood Chipper Blades:
- Step 1: Turn of the engine
- Step 2: For a Gas Chipper, Remove the spark plug
- Step 3: Unscrew the inspection plate
- Step 4: Unscrew the blades anticlockwise
If you can remove, sharpen and return the wood chipper blades, it will keep the machine functioning for a long time. Therefore, read here to understand the best tactics to help you remove the blades safely.
Remove the Wood Chipper Blades
● Things Required:
Since you cannot remove the blades with your bare hands, you must have a couple of tools to protect yourself:
- Socket set
- Rubber mallet
- A wrench set
Ensure that all the above items are available before you start removing the chipper blades. These tools are also useful in installing the new blades if needed. Before you proceed, you should also protect yourself by taking the following measures:
- Tuck in your shirt and ensure your clothes are not dangling to prevent the blades or the chipper from pulling them away as you detach these parts. Also, ensure you are not wearing loose clothes to avoid injuring yourself.
- Tie your hair so that the wind does not blow it into the blades or other chipper parts.
- Have protective gear, including goggles, gloves, and ear protection, especially if you want to sharpen the blades after removing them.
Step 1: Turn of the engine
Ensure you have turned off your engine and put the key in a known location to ensure it does not get missing. Doing this also helps you keep the engine from running, so the blades do not spin. In case of an electric chipper make sure the plug is pulled from the mains.
Step 2: For a Gas Chipper Remove the spark plug
In case of a gas chipper, remove the spark plug using a spark plug remover.
Step 3: Unscrew the inspection plate
Using a socket wrench, turn the screws to remove the inspection plate. A lot of wood chippers have an inspection plate as it is an access path to the blades. The plate is located on the forward part of your machine and is around 18 inches from the surface. It helps you to remove the debris from the blades at ease.
Step 4: Unscrew the blades anticlockwise
It is easy to handle your machine when it is fully disconnected, and that is the only way you can start the blade removal procedure. Once the inspection plate is removed, the blades are quite accessible. The blades are attached with the help of bolts, so unscrew them in an anticlockwise direction. If these bolts seem to be a bit tight, tap the rubber mallet on them, making it easy to remove. You can sharpen or replace the blades afterward, depending on their condition.
● If You Are Replacing:
Compare the new and the old blades to ensure they are similar, then fix them following the manufacturer’s specification.
● If You Are Sharpening:
Use the right grinding wheel and ensure you follow the blade’s angle. Grind them until you see a new strip of metal on the cutting surface. The goal is to sharpen without removing too much metal.
The Different Types of Wood Chippers
The differences in chippers are determined by how they are created and not the work it does. Such variances include power, size, and strength. Finding out which model; best suits you will help with the purchasing process.
● PTO Chippers
These machines are available and draw power from large machines like a trailer or a vehicle. It means that the tool does not have to run on gas or electricity. Again, you can rely on these items to chip large materials pretty easily.
- The machine is sturdy and easily moved from one place to another.
- There is no engine, so you are not expected to maintain it.
- It is a perfect option for most homeowners.
- There has to be a vehicle or a trailer for the machine to run,
- If you do not mount it on a trailer, it is hard to move around.
● Screw Chippers
These conical-shaped wood chippers are the most common ones that you can quickly get in different stores. These machines have more than one chute, allowing people to shred wood into smaller pieces pretty quickly.
- It is portable, making it an excellent selection for most homeowners.
- It is a useful machine when dealing with all sorts of items.
- There is a limitation on the wood size you can put in the machine.
● Disk Chipper
The wood chipper has blades that move perpendicularly, hence cutting wood into small manageable sizes. With such a machine, you can handle large chunks of wood quickly.
- It is an efficient machine helping you deal with any wood no matter the size.
- It can be hard to transport the equipment since a lot of models are big.
● Drum Chippers
The machine has blades that are set at regular intervals and can work on porous materials. It makes your work easy since you do not have a huge workload.
- Can handle large loads at once.
- The wood chipper uses a lot of energy, which means that the chips produced are of different sizes.
Electric vs Gas Wood Chippers
Wood chippers are classified into gas and electric based on the type of engine used.
● Electric Engines
These chippers are a perfect deal since they are easy to move around. Since electric models do not use a rechargeable battery, it requires less maintenance since there are less moving parts.
- Since there are no emissions, you will conserve the environment and guarantee your safety, considering that you are not inhaling toxic fumes.
- The machines are cost-effective.
- These gadgets need an outlet for them to operate, and you cannot quickly move the machines even if they are light, without an outlet.
● Gas Engines
Such wood chippers run on oil or gas, hence require constant maintenance.
- Have more power, which allows you to work faster compared to electric models.
- Although the machines are heavy, it is easy to move them around since they do not need to be connected to a power source.
- Easy for you to feed large loads without harming the machine.
- These models are quite expensive compared to their electric counterparts.
- It requires constant maintenance for the unit to stay running.
- There are fumes produced which makes it less friendly to the surroundings.
● Summary: Gas-Powered Versus Electrical Wood Chippers
Electric chippers are quite and cleaner, whereas gas-powered models make too much noise and produce fumes.
Gas chippers are more powerful than electric chippers, allowing you to handle more workload in a short while.
Electric wood models must be plugged in for them to run, whereas gas chippers run on gas or oil.
Frequently Asked Questions
● How Do You Sharpen The Wood Chipper Blades?
You can decide to take it to a machinist or sharpen it yourself. Professionals have the tools and the skills, making it easy to sharpen the blades. However, if you decide to do it, invest in the right tools such as a professional grinder as it does the job correctly. Such a grinder regulates the temperature and ensures that the blades do not overheat.
● Should You Sharpen A Single Blade Or All At Once?
It is best to sharpen the blades at once since sharpening a single blade will impact your wood chipper’s performance. Sharpening all the blades provides the balance needed so that you can do the tasks as required.
● How Long Do Wood Chipper Blades Last?
That is dependent on how frequently the machine is used. Some manufacturers will recommend you sharpen the chipper after about twenty-five hours of use while others recommend after a year. Pay attention to how the blades are shredding the wood chips to know whether to sharpen or replace them.
Wood chippers are an asset, and you have to learn the right ways of taking care of them. The huge trick comes in when removing the chipper blades if you want to sharpen or replace them. That is why you should learn the right ways to do so safely, without damaging the machine or harming yourself. If the model you have seems to be complicated and hard to remove the blades following the procedure discussed above, get in touch with the manufacturer. Again, the differences in the models available will help you make the right choice if you decide to replace your current wood chipper.