For use around the house, an electric wood chipper is a great way to create usable ground cover or simply get rid of branches and trees without hauling them off to the dump. When choosing the best electric wood chipper for your purposes, be sure to think carefully about how often you will use the unit, the size of the trees or branches you will be chipping, and how you will transport the unit. Sometimes larger units can be towed behind a vehicle such as a truck or ATV, while smaller units are usually pulled by hand.
The size of the electric wood chipper will generally dictate how useful it will be for your purposes. The size is measured not only in how large the unit is, but also how powerful. The power is usually measured in horsepower, and a higher horsepower rating will mean a more powerful machine. If you will only be chipping small branches occasionally, an electric wood chipper with a lower horsepower rating may be sufficient, and it will probably end up saving you money on the initial purchase price. Make sure to read the manufacturer's ratings to find out how large of a branch or tree the machine is capable of safely chipping.
Look for an electric wood chipper that features an emergency shut-off switch as well as other safety features that will help protect you and others from injury while the machine is in use. The shut-off switch should be conveniently located, and the machine should feature a long hopper chute that will prevent fingers or limbs from getting too close to the chipper blades inside. The entire unit should be water-resistant or waterproof to prevent electrical shocks and other types of damage should the chipper be used in inclement weather.
It is also a good idea to consider an electric wood chipper that comes with additional components such as a tamper. The tamper can be used to push materials down into the chute, thereby eliminating the need for you to put your hands anywhere near the chipper blades. Some machines may even come with additional chipper blades that can replace the original ones once they wear out. Consider chippers with durable, sturdy wheels and a stable, strong base; this ensures the unit can be moved easily, and then it can be secured properly once it is in place and ready for use.