Top positive review
227 people found this helpful
Excellent low end chipper!
on June 8, 2012
Update 3/15/14 - Still using it. I am amazed what this thing can do for the price. No, it's not perfect and I have a feeling, based on some of the negative reviews, they may be trying to increase profits going with cheaper manufacturing, who knows... but you can't rent one for a weekend at this price. It's so cool to turn that pile of limbs that takes up so much space into a useful pile of colorful chips.
Update 6/24/13 First, excellent customer service that took care of my issues. Second, the blades are double edged so that they can be used twice before sharpening. They don't stay sharp long, especially with dry stuff. Even an hour or so can dull the blade. If the material starts turning more towards sawdust then 1/2 inch chips it's time to turn or sharpen the blades.
Update: 6/4/13 it happened to me this past weekend: a blade broke after two hours but that's still over 12 hours of actual use. It also damaged the aluminum housing (not exactly sure what it's called) that works with the chipping. It took a couple of calls but I did finally reach a customer service representitive. She is sending out a new housing under warranty but the blades are considered "normal wear and tear". I have put this through a lot of use and the blades have taken a beating so I feel this still makes this a great purchase for me. The warranty is two years so I have another year if anything else breaks.
Update: 3/17/13 I was out again today chipping up winter debris and a few limbs from trimming. It still works like a charm. This included Maple, Pine, and Fur. I have literally ran this thing at least 10 hours of running time on at least 5 different occasions, creating at least five 30 gallon containers full of mulch. Do the math, this thing has more than paid for itself.
Personally, I did not expect much from this knowing that any equipment in this price range is doom to failure. And I didn't expect much from the company to back it up just like the Lowes pressure washer I bought. But it has worked albeit with some patience and great care. To reiterate, it does not do leaves or green needles very well. But quarter to three quarter inch stock it does well and makes some great looking mulch.
Every year we have leftovers from pruning and raking up leaves. An old lawn mower has worked great for grinding up the leaves and small twigs but I've never resolved handling the larger limbs except having them hauled off with the yard waste. I was tempted to spend up to $1,000 but couldn't justify spending that much. So I searched out the lower end knowing you get what you pay for. But the Sun Joe Electric Wood Chipper/Shredder turned out to be a great buy!
It literally will chip away limbs up to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Limbs that are 3/4 inch or less go right through. Anything larger has to be worked or they can get wedged and stop the blade. When you open the chipper to clear a clogged piece (I say when because you will) you will see how it works and it will give you a good idea how to turn the bigger limbs as you work them through.
I also found it works great for cones up to an inch or so which is a bonus because they never really compost on their own and they add a nice red color to the mulch. I made a little chute out of an old detergent jug to make it easier to dump the cones in (duct taped it on for its first try...). For leaves a chute would be helpful too but I am going to continue to use my lawn mower for the leaves, you really have to work the leaves through. It does come with a plastic feed stick but mine broke along the seam after trying to push some clogged leaves. I will test the support/warranty on that but I found sticks work just as well if not better.
A few tips: Limbs, especially over a quarter inch or so should be trimmed. They don't need to be straight but any Y branches or leftover nubs can cause it to bind. Anything over 3/4 inches will bind if you try to run it through. I found pausing a bit and turning the larger limbs helps keep them from binding.
I did a pile of limbs about 4 x 2 x 2 feet in about half an hour from 1/4 inch to 1 1/2 . It is relatively loud; your neighbors will definitely know you are out doing something. But not as loud as a gas unit and doesn't smell. In fact, I love the smell of chipped fresh wood.
The steel blades are bolted to a steel plate and shouldn't break off. They do work against an aluminum housing which seems pretty sturdy. I guess time will tell how long it and the motor will last. As far as assembly you only need to attach the wheels and stand. Easy to do and doesn't take long at all.
This is a great unit if you prefer to make your own mulch and at a great price! Another toy for the garden.