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Barrette's Small Engines Inc. - FAQ's

What type of debris will my chipper/shredder or vacuum accept?

Chipping and shredding are two distinctly different functions and each respective portal on the machine is designed for the selective processing of differing types of organic matter.  

Chipping involves chipping blade(s) and is for the processing of dense woody organic material, such as medium size tree branches. Chipping tends to result in an actual increase in overall debris volume as the loose chipped pieces tend to take up more volume as air spaces increase the volumetric area.
Shredding is performed with rotational flails and is for the processing of loose or airy organic matter in a crushing fashion to reduce the overall volume of the debris.

Please note that items such as pinecones have various stages of development. These stages vary from very dense and hard immature cones, that are very hard, moist and fibrous,  to more fully mature cones that have open areas between the individual seed pods that are drier and more brittle, and as a result may be more easily fractured and processed by the machine.   

Fully mature pinecones can normally be processed through the hopper (shredder) side where the flails can crush them and break them down. Insertion of dense immature pinecones into the hopper may not result in the same flail crushing results and could result in jamming of the machine.

We don't recommend that small pieces of dense material, such as pinecones of any developmental stage or small wood chunks be inserted into the chipper chute as they tend not to feed and process as well between the chipper knife blades and anvils as longer sticks and branches will.

Make sure to chip or shred only normal organic debris found in a normal yard or lawn. This type of debris consists of branches, leaves, twigs, sticks, grass clippings, flower petals, etc...

Bear in mind that dried organic material is easier for the machine to efficiently chip/shred as compared with  moist green vegetation. Avoid overloading chipper shredders with large amounts of green vegetation. When processing green vegetation, it is a good practice to mix this green vegetation with ample amounts of dried vegetation to avoid overloading the machine. Always allow the motor to return to full rpm before adding additional material to avoid overloading and stalling the machine.

Chipper/Shredder Vacuum's* will also accept any light debris found in a normal lawn yard. For example leaves, pine needles, small acorns, grass clippings left behind from mowing and other tree, flower petals and smaller loose shrub and vegetation type debris.

Chipper discharged debris chips may vary in size from approximately 1/8"-1/2" in diameter.
Variables such as; the feed rate, material type, engine rpm etc...will ultimately determine the discharged debris chip size.

NOTE: The overall vacuuming efficiency and what types of material can be vacuumed is dependent on various factors. EXAMPLE: Heavy round smooth objects, such as large round acorns deeply imbedded in long lush grass, are much more difficult for the air flow to efficiently vacuum as compared with irregularly shaped acorns lying on top of shorter grass.

WARNING: Chipper Shredders are NOT intended for the processing of material such as: cattails, reeds, bamboo, vines, kitchen by-products, manufactured paper products (incl. baseball cards, newspapers etc..), plastic, metal, glass, rocks, stones, fish & fish by-products, and any other material organic or inorganic not found in a normal yard or lawn. Processing of inappropriate material and/or overloading may present a safety hazard and also to damage of the machine that would be sufficient reason to void the product warranty.

*Not all chipper/shredders are vacuum capable. Please consult the Operators Manual for features of a specific model or product type.

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