Springtime is a busy time for gardeners. Between planting new flowers and trees, and getting rid of the dead ones from winter, there’s always a lot to do.
If you need to get rid of a large pile of branches or leaves, renting a wood chipper might be the best option for you.
What to Expect? Renting a woodchipper can cost anywhere from $70 a day, up to over $400 a day, depending on where you live, what type of wood chipper you want to rent, and delivery fees.
These costs might sway you into purchasing one to use at home, but they also come with a pretty big price tag.
What Do You Need a Wood Chipper For
Wood chippers are machines that can cut up logs and other pieces of wood into smaller, more manageable pieces.
The machine consists of a large cylinder with sharp blades in it.
The larger logs are fed through the top while the operator feeds branches or twigs into it from the side.
When everything is done being fed in, there’s a safety switch that needs to be turned off before the wood chips can be ejected from the bottom.
If you have a lot of wood to get rid of, a wood chipper can be a great investment.
They can quickly turn large branches into small pieces that can easily be burned or disposed of.
They’re also helpful for getting rid of branches and other bits of wood that are too large to burn in a fireplace or woodstove.
If you live in an area where there are a lot of trees, a wood chipper can be a lifesaver.
Factors that Affect Cost
There’s a pretty big difference between $70 a day and over $400 a day, so why is that?
Many factors affect the cost of renting a wood chipper.
This is the size of the woodchipper.
The smallest wood chippers have a 2″ capacity, and they go up to a 12” capacity.
The capacity determines the diameter of the branches you can put through the chipper. a 2″ diameter capacity can handle twigs and small sticks that have a maximum diameter of 2 inches.
But if you’ve seen sticks and branches, you know that they aren’t always straight.
The bends and angles of sticks will get stuck in the machine if you don’t cut them in advance.
If you think you need a larger capacity machine, you’ll pay more.
This chart shows an estimated daily price based on 5 similar models across the U.S.
|Wood Chipper Size||Daily Rental Price|
If you have branches that are larger than 12″ in diameter, you will need to search for tree chipper rentals instead.
Length of Rental Time
The amount of time you rent a wood chipper for will also determine the final cost and affect the cost per day.
Some places will rent for a day, a week, or a month, and the longer you rent a wood chipper the cheaper it becomes per day.
Let’s take a look at the rental price for the 6″ wood chipper again. A standard rental price per day is $205.
|Per Day Cost||Per Week Cost||Per Month Cost|
|Rental Cost||Cost per day||Rental Cost||Cost per day||Rental Cost||Cost per day|
This table breaks down the cost to rent a wood chipper for a day, a week, or a month.
The overall cost increases, but the longer you rent a wood chipper, the cheaper the cost is per day.
You can use this knowledge to try and get yourself a better deal.
If you needed to rent the 6″ woodchipper for 3 days, it would be $615.
In this example, it would be cheaper to rent it for the entire week and take your time.
These numbers will vary depending on where you rent a wood chipper from.
Where You Rent From
This is meant in two ways.
The first means your geographic location; where do you live in the States?
This table will show you the average cost to rent a 3” capacity wood chipper and a 6” capacity wood chipper in six different states.
|State||3” Capacity||6” Capacity|
This also means what store you are interested in renting from.
Renting from box stores will have similar costs no matter what store you go to whether you’re in New York or Texas.
Smaller businesses are going to have many different prices, even within the same city.
Two neighboring rental locations could have a difference of over $100 to rent a wood chipper for a day!
Insurance and Deposits
Wood chippers are expensive pieces of equipment, and to protect these pieces from being stolen or damaged, rental places will ask you to put down a deposit or pay for insurance on the wood chipper.
Even though this is an additional expense, paying for insurance is beneficial for you.
Rental companies thoroughly check the equipment over before and after it is checked out to be used, which means they can charge you for every scratch or missing part.
If significant damage is done, by user error, or by machine malfunction, you could end up paying to replace the wood chipper.
Pick-Up vs. Delivery
There are also costs associated with getting the food chipper to your house.
If you have a truck or trailer, you can pick up the woodchipper yourself to bring it home.
If you don’t have a truck or trailer to bring the wood chipper home, chances are you’re going to have an extra fee.
There are a couple of options:
- The first option is to rent a trailer to grab the wood chipper yourself and bring it back to the rental place.
- The second option is to pay to have the wood chipper delivered and picked up. You might be able to get a discount on delivery if you rent for long periods of time.
The delivery costs range from $0 to a few hundred dollars, but they vary by each individual rental location.
For the Best Price: Call around to your local equipment rental stores and combine the rental fees and delivery fees to see what the best offer is.
What to Consider When Renting a Wood Chipper
If you’re looking at wood chipper rentals, you might be overwhelmed by all the choices.
Some rentals are going to be cheaper and some rentals are going to be more expensive. how should you decide?
These factors will help you make sense of the price differences so you can make the best decision for the work you need to do.
The capacity is one of the biggest factors to consider when choosing which wood chipper to rent.
If you have large branches in your backyard to get rid of, a 2″ capacity wood chipper is not going to be any use to you.
If you know that a 2″ wood chipper is going to be big enough for what you have in your backyard, then there isn’t much point in renting a larger, more expensive wood chipper.
Some wood chippers may run on electricity and some run on gas, and there are pros and cons to both.
Electrical wood chippers are going to be cheaper to run, but you will need to have a long extension cord or a portable generator to run them.
If you don’t already have the extension cord or generator, those could be extra expenses.
Gas-powered wood chippers are going to need gas. The longer you use the wood chipper, the more gas you are going to need, and gas isn’t exactly cheap.
Gas-powered wood chippers won’t have an extension cord lying around to trip on.
When you’re busy doing work, you might not be paying attention to everything on the ground, and you could easily trip on an extension cord.
If you happen to trip towards the wood chipper, you could be in for a nasty fall.
Take a look at what you have in your backyard that you need to get rid of.
Is it only twigs, sticks, and branches?
Or do you have leaves you need to be gone as well?
If you only have twigs, sticks, and branches, then you only need a wood chipper.
If you have piles of leaves you’d like to go too, then you should opt for a machine that also has the shredding feature.
The shredding feature will add to the cost of the wood chipper, so if you don’t need it, there’s no point in paying for it.
Ways to Save Money
You can spend hundreds of dollars unnecessarily on a wood chipper by renting it longer than you really need to.
Here are a few tips to save you quite a bit.
Before you sign a contract to rent a wood chipper, call around and see if there are any better offers.
The charts from above show different averages by state, so try calling your neighboring states to see if the distance is worth the savings.
Make sure you consider all of these charges so you know the final cost to rent each wood chipper:
- rental price
- insurance or deposits
- delivery fees
- fuel costs
Get Things Ready in Advance
The longest job isn’t actually chipping the wood.
The part that takes the longest is getting the pile of wood together so you don’t have to carry it from all corners of your property.
A huge stack of wood (15 feet long by 15 feet wide by 6 feet high) will only take you a couple of hours to chip but can take days to get the pile together.
In this case, you can rent for 4 hours, or even a day, instead of having to pay for a few days.
Have Extra Gas
This only applies if you rent a gas-powered wood chipper, and mostly applies to only renting for a day.
Time is money, so by having extra gas on hand, you won’t have to run out to pick up more.
If you aren’t stopping your work to run out to get more gas, you can get through the job faster and won’t need to spend more money to rent the wood chipper for any additional time.
Is Buying Better Than Renting
This brings up a very valid question; is it worth the money to buy a wood chipper rather than rent one?
There are a lot of things it will depend on, and all of which are going to be based on you and your needs.
Here are some questions before we look at the cost difference.
- How long do you plan on renting a wood chipper for this time?
- Will you need to rent a wood chipper at the end of the season? What about next year?
- Do you have family or friends near you that might need a wood chipper?
- Do you have room to store a wood chipper?
The cost of buying a wood chipper varies from around $700 to $5000 depending on size, quality, and features.
You can find a good quality, 6″ capacity, gas-fueled wood chipper for $2000, so we’ll use that as the standard.
From the Example Above – Renting a 6″ wood chipper for a month was approximately $1360, but that could change where you live and where you rent it from.
This means if you plan on renting the wood chipper for one more month, either later in the season, or the following year, it would make sense to buy one outright the first time instead of renting twice.
If you have family or friends that live nearby, you could also split the cost and share the wood chipper.
If you split the cost of the 6″, good-quality wood chipper, you would each spend less to have a woodchipper for a lifetime than the cost to rent it for one month.
This will also depend on whether or not you have the place to store it.
For Winter Storage – The wood chipper should be covered at the very least to keep water out of it, but it is best to keep it inside a shed or a garage.
Renting or buying is a choice that is completely yours, but hopefully, this helps make that choice a little easier.
If you’re in the market for a woodchipper and are thinking about renting one, be sure to weigh all of your options first.
Consider how long you’ll need it, what size you need, and whether or not you’ll have to pay extra for delivery and pick-up.
If you’re going to be using it regularly, or you know someone who also needs to use a wood chipper, buying your own might be the better option in the long run!