How many times have you created a pile of cuttings and wished you had a little chipper to chop it up small? Those long Buddleia offcuts that are so awkward to get in a bag, or those prickly Pyracantha branches that are so spiteful to handle, wouldn’t it be great to just run them through a chipper on site? So why haven’t you bought one? Not enough of that type of job to justify the outlay? Too big in the van maybe? Too difficult to get in a van by yourself? Too expensive? Nowhere to store it? So can all of these questions be answered by the little chipper from Forest Master. Here we find out.
First the price. Incredible value at just £430 on Amazon, delivered to your door for free!
Then there’s the size. It’s tiny! It’s footprint is smaller than a standard mower and it weighs just 38kg! My Weibang 56pro mower comes in at over 60kg for comparison! When it comes to loading in the van you can just pick it up and put it in, no ramps!
Sounds good so far but at the back of your mind is the obvious question, will it actually chip anything a decent size at a reasonable rate? Well, not how it comes out of the box. It comes with a restriction CE plate attached to the inside of the intake chute. This is basically a plate with two 55mm holes connected by a narrow slit that restrict the size of branches that you can put in the machine. With this in place you will spend many frustrating hours trying to get any branch that is not dead straight through that very annoying gap. The plate is not required in the USA and Canada. The plate is only held in place by two bolts and once removed this tiny machine is off the leash and turned into a beast!
With an unrestricted chute the machine will quickly devour anything with a diameter of up to 50mm. The general rule is if you can get your thumb and finger around the branch it goes in. It’s self feeding so once the blades get a grip on the branch it’s just pulled through by the engine. The resulting chippings are nice and small, none of those long strips of material that you sometimes get with chipper/shredders. Does it block? Only if you ram a lot of green stuff in there such as leaves. In general use it doesn’t block but you have to be sensible and let the machine clear itself rather than continually feeding in new material when it’s obviously dealing with denser cuttings. If it does block then it’s a matter of releasing the chute retaining bolts to access the blade, a two minute job.
The engine is a 208cc LCT Maxx engine delivering 6hp. It’s a direct drive to the blade drum so there are no belts or pullies to maintain. The blades are reversible so you get twice the time before you need to either sharpen the blades or buy a new set at around £30.
Overall a great little tool for the money and a welcome addition to any gardeners armoury for dealing with waste.