How to care for your chipper blades so you get the perfect shred every time

For your chipper/shredder blades, a day's work can be brutal. Whether you use your chipper to cut up large logs or light brush, every cut or piece of debris can make a difference in the operation of your machine. Such a vital piece of machinery might seem hard to maintain, but it is actually fairly easy to keep your chipper blade mechanism in tip-top shape.

Regular cleaning goes a long way to keep your shredder blades in working order. After each use, wipe the blades and machine with a clean, dry cloth or brush. You want to make sure everything is cleared out at the end of each use so you don't have any surprises waiting for you at the beginning of your next use. Make sure to keep your chipper protected and dry between uses; moisture can cause the machine to rust and wear more quickly.

Before each use, perform a visual inspection to ensure all parts are in a good working order. Look for loose screws or bolts, and check to make sure that each wood chipper blade is fully secure and moving smoothly. You will also need to check your fluids, just like you would check them in your generator. Refill oil and gas as necessary, and never run the machine on empty.

Replacements

You will have to periodically check and replace items like filters and spark plugs, and the frequency of these checks will depend on how frequently you use your chipper or shredder. Consult your owner's manual to determine how many hours you can run your machine before replacement is necessary. You will also want to check your blades to see if chipper blade sharpening is necessary. Of course, you will probably be able to tell if you are due for a sharpening simply by looking at the finished product. While sharp blades will reduce whole trees to small bits of mulch, dull blades will produce large chips or chunks that will be pretty irregular.

If your shredder blades need sharpening, you can sharpen them yourself with a chipper blade sharpener. This is usually some type of grinder or whetstone, though not all are created equal. As you are grinding your blades down, you want to make sure that it doesn't produce too much heat. For a regular grinder, this means you will have to stop frequently as you are re-shaping your blade. An easier option is to use a wet wheel in order to sharpen your blades quickly without a risk of overheating them.

Lawn and garden maintenance can be fun and easy with tools like chippers, shredders and mulchers. Sears can make the job even easier with service plans and replacement parts for many models and styles so you can get back to enjoying your yard in no time.

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