Starting a gardening or landscaping project can be exciting. Still, you need the right tools to get the end results you are hoping to achieve. Such projects may involve clearing off large branches, fallen trees, and other wood. For that, you need a wood chipper.
A wood chipper is used to clean the backyard, particularly if it is loaded with woody debris. However, buying one is a major investment and doesn’t make much sense if you won’t be using it much. A wiser option is to rent a wood chipper instead.
On average, renting out a small wood chipper would cost somewhere between $70-125 per day. However, this can go much higher for heavy-duty chippers. Read on for a further breakdown of the rental cost.
Factors Affecting the Cost
Here are the various factors that affect the rental cost of a wood chipper:
Type of Wood Chipper
There are three main types of wood chippers. Each has its own distinctive features, as well as a difference in price.
The drum chipper includes a parallel-sided drum with blades attached in a horizontal direction. The chip breaker arrangement is perpendicular to the blade, right after the rotating edges. This type of chipper tends to be larger and is often used by developers.
Estimated Price: Starting from $375/day upwards, depending on the model.
A disk chipper comprises of a flywheel, which includes a large steel disk mounted in a perpendicular direction. It also has chopping blades with slotted disks. The wood chunks are sliced on the blades as they are pushed into the chipper. The shape and size of the knives vary between models.
Estimated Price: Starting from $175/day depending on the model.
The blade in the screw chipper includes a screw-shaped, conical, and stretching blade. The rotation of the blade in this chipper is parallel to the direction of the opening.
Estimated Price: Starting from $100/day depending on the model. Many rental companies also rent out these chippers on an hourly basis.
Heavy-Duty Chipper vs. Wood Shredder
Heavy-duty wood chippers manage larger branches by chipping the wood into a mulch-like substance. This can either be disposed of or spread.
Shredders are for small twigs and branches, as well as other leafy materials. These small items often can’t be added into the chipper as they would clog it up.
Estimated Price: The rental cost of a heavy-duty chipper starts around $300/day, depending on the model. On the other hand, wood shredders start at under $100/day.
The cost of a wood chipper can also depend on the size you want. Larger chippers also include additional transport costs, which can increase the total amount. Smaller chippers can be easily towed by a small vehicle and don’t require a transport license.
Estimated Price: Rental cost for a 4” wood chipper could be $130 per day, $200 per day for 6” wood chipper, and $270 per day for 9” wood chipper. Heavy-duty chippers that can handle 12” or 18” branches can be found for around $500 to $700 per day.
The reduction ratio indicates the amount of chipping that would be produced. The ideal ratio is 10:1, meaning the chipper can reduce 10 bags of debris into 1.
The power source is another factor that plays a role in the rental cost. The three main power sources of a wood chipper are:
Electric wood chippers are lightweight, cheaper, and have less maintenance than gas- or diesel-powered ones. However, these can handle smaller pieces of wood, unlike the large, sturdier ones that the other chippers can handle.
Electric ones need to be plugged in, which makes them less portable. However, they are quieter and cheaper than diesel and gas ones.
Estimated Price: From $140 per day, depending on the model.
Gas or Diesel Powered
These machines are easier to work with and are not restricted by a cord, making them more portable. There are also a wide variety of models to choose from that can handle small to large materials.
Estimated Price: From $250 per day, depending on the model.
Towable vs. Trackable
Towable chippers are more mobile in comparison to trackable ones. It depends on the job you want the chipper for. The trackable ones are more suitable for clearing a larger area, particularly if there is rough terrain.
Estimated Price: Towable wood chippers rental cost start at $300 per day depending on the model, while the rental fee for trackable chippers starts from $750 per day.
The main two feed types of wood chippers include:
This type of wood chipper takes over the task from the operator by feeding in the materials to the blades. All you have to do is load the wood inside the chipper.
Estimated Price: $200 per day, depending on the model.
Hydraulic Feed System
This system is used mostly in heavy-duty wood chippers. It regulates the amount of material going in the blade to prevent clogging. As a result, these are a bit pricier.
Estimated Price: From $350 per day
The rental cost also varies among different brands. The rent cost can go as high as $1,000 plus per day and as low as $100 per day. For instance, Bandit makes high-end expensive chippers that are at the upper end of that range. Sun Joe makes smaller, more affordable ones, and Brush Master is in the mid-range.
Length of Rental
The duration of the rental also plays a role in the total cost. You’ll typically get discounts for longer durations.
For instance, you may be able to rent a chipper for $70 for four hours, $130 per day, $400 per week, and $1,100 per month. Keep in mind, large chippers also include costs for delivery and/or transport license.
Where to Rent a Wood Chipper
When it comes to renting out a wood chipper, you simply can’t go wrong with a few tried and tested places. Here are four places to consider;
- Your local hardware rental shop
- Home Depot
- United Rentals
Most of the time, local hardware stores rent out equipment too, offering an easy alternative to going to huge marts or online stores and renting one out. It’s quick, it’s clean, and it’s efficient. Plus, you might get a discount if you’re a frequent customer. Who knows, right?
These rental places aren’t just always stores. Sometimes, you can find hardware easily at your local chop shop or landfill as well. Going there means you’ll also end up saving up on rental costs.
Home Depot is a good option if you’re looking to rent a wood chipper. The benefit of renting from Home Depot is that you get to see the rental costs of a wood chipper online before heading out with your truck.
As an example, here is what it would cost you to rent a woodchipper in the Midwest from Home Depot:
- Hourly: $67
- Daily: $96
- Weekly: $384
- Monthly: $1,152
Keep in mind that these rates will differ from state to state and area to area, so check Home Depot’s website or call them to get an accurate quote. Online stores usually end up costing more than your local store, so if you’re pressed for cash, try searching your neighborhood for a renter.
Renting vs. Buying a Wood Chipper
Some would argue that owning a wood chipper is much better than renting one, while others argue against it. Well, we’re here to tell you that both these options serve their own purpose.
Buying a wood chipper might sound better on paper, but there are many maintenance and running costs involved. Not to mention the potential hazards it poses in houses with children. For that reason, renting one out could be a better idea.
If you need one just for the day or once in a blue moon, purchasing this beast would be counter-productive. You can rent it out for as low as $69 for a few hours.
If you live near a forest or in the countryside, you might need a chipper quite frequently. In that case, it is best to invest in a good quality wood chipper that can cost you about $700 to $3,000 depending on the model and make.
Frequently Asked Questions
How big is a wood chipper?
Wood chippers not just in size, but type, capacity, blades, and use as well. The small woodchipper we just mentioned above is usually rectangular in shape, measuring about 1.5 x 6 x 12 cubic inches, or 3.8 x 15 x 30 cm cubic cm.
Do I have to put down a deposit?
If you rent out a wood chipper from your local hardware shop, the owner might need a deposit from you. Alternatively, they might just ask for your driver’s license or let you take it without any collateral, depending on how well they know you. It’s entirely at their discretion.
On the other hand, large stores typically ask for either one to three hours of rent in advance. Home Depot asks for a deposit of around $19 to $29, depending on the size of the chipper you’re renting.
Can I operate a wood chipper myself?
Wood chippers are a dangerous piece of equipment, according to OSHA. We recommend hiring someone to operate it for you unless you really know what you’re doing.
Employees feeding wood or tree limbs/branches into chippers of any size are at significant risk of getting caught in the machine’s teeth. This means employers having workers feed the chippers must comply with all the safety measures set forth by OSHA. They typically also need to pay hazard pay to those workers.