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How to Pick the Right Wood Chipper for Your Needs

Are you looking to add a new wood chipper to your fleet? With so many choices, it can be a little overwhelming when deciding on which model to go with. Fortunately, there are a few criteria you can consider to help guide you on the right path and ensure you end up with the ideal model for your line of work.

Average Size of Material

Let’s start with the most obvious aspect. What is the average size of the material you plan on chipping? It’s important to ensure you have the properly-sized chipper for the job — you don’t want to tote around a huge chipper that’s way bigger than what you need, and you certainly don’t want to encounter material that is too big for your chipper when you’re in the middle of a job.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you plan on chipping material around 10-12 inches in diameter, go a size up. We actually recommend going several inches past your anticipated average because you never truly know what you’re going to encounter on the job site. It’s best to prioritize capability, just in case.

How to Pick the Right Wood Chipper

Gas or Diesel?

One of the most significant decisions you’ll have to make when selecting a chipper is the type of engine. As with most machinery, your choices are between gas-powered engines and diesel versions. Both have their own advantages and drawbacks, so it’s crucial to know what you’re signing up for.


Diesel used to be the standard with heavy equipment like wood chippers, but gas engines have really come a long way over the last decade.

Here are a few of the benefits of using a gas-powered Cal-Line chipper:

  • No aftertreatment system – Diesel engines on machinery like chippers include an aftertreatment system to help reduce harmful emissions during operation. This is an added component of a diesel engine that adds to your maintenance, not to mention the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) application you’ll have to undertake.
  • Fewer electronics – Diesel engines are a bit more complicated than standard gas engines and thus require more components — including electronics. Things are a little more simple with a gas engine, so you won’t have to worry about dealing with them.
  • Comparable performance – Although gas engines don’t offer as much raw torque as their diesel counterparts, they are still similar in terms of performance capability. Gas engines for our chippers also have a quicker recovery and are certified to run the same amount of hours as diesel engines. Plus, the warranty is the same.


Don’t get the wrong idea — diesel engines have long been a stalwart in the chipper industry for a reason. These engines are highly-proven and generally come with a longer lifespan than gas engines.

These engines typically provide more torque, but they come with some tradeoffs, including heavier weights and more maintenance.

In the end, it’s really a matter of preference. Would you rather have a lighter engine with less maintenance or a more powerful engine that weighs more and requires some extra attention?


How to Pick the Right Wood Chipper

Chipper weight is very relevant to the job you’re doing. The weight will affect everything from gas milage during towing to compliance with local laws or department of transportation regulations. Weight is also a factor if you are going to be towing the chipper onto a delicate surface like a golf course. Check your local laws and consider the terrain on which you’ll be using the chipper most frequently.


Cal-Line Equipment is the largest Bandit distributor in the world. We are proud to offer a wide selection of Bandit inventory, from hand-fed chippers to stump grinders and everything in between. We can also keep your machines running their best with our extensive parts & service department. Whether you’re looking for a new wood chipper product or simply need repairs and service, we can help. Come in and see us today at any of our locations, or contact our team to schedule a demo. We look forward to seeing you!

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