Safe operation of your brush chipper, shredder or mulcher

Chippers and other lawn waste management machines are great at getting your debris picked up and reconstituted into something you can use in your garden. However, they can be very hazardous if not operated correctly. Like any powerful tool, brush chippers, shredders and mulchers must be operated with care and caution in mind.

First, don't wear loose clothing, jewelry or other accessories that might get caught up in the machine. A good pair of jeans and a tucked-in work shirt would be an appropriate outfit for working with a brush chipper/shredder/mulcher. If you have long hair, secure it into some type of hair tie, clip or wrap so that it does not blow into the machine either. Once you have your wardrobe secure, add on a few safety items. As with any powerful tool or machine, you need quality soundproof ear protection, shatterproof goggles, a hard hat, gloves and steel-toed boots. If it sounds like you are gearing up to use your chainsaw, it should; these safety precautions are fairly universal no matter what type of power tool you use.



Next, learn to operate your brush chipper safely. You should always read your owner's manual before firing up any machine, but most chippers operate in a similar fashion. You will want to stand to the side of the machine as you feed your tree or brush down the chute. This way, you are out of the direct path of the object as it enters the machine. Feed your tree with the trunk or thick end first, finishing with the smaller branches. It is best if you can do this operation with a partner or buddy. The buddy system works well in case the machine needs to be quickly turned off in the event of an emergency.

Finally, care must be taken when you purchase your machine. While you might be lured by a great deal when you see brush chippers for sale, take your time to read reviews and get to know the quality brands of chippers, shredders and mulchers. Likewise, always have used brush chippers examined by an independent mechanic before handing over your cash. A quick inspection can save you both money and injuries in the future. Once you have purchased your machine, always remember to do a quick manual inspection of your own before each use.

Chipping and composting machine safety is a breeze with Sears, where you can find everything from hard hats to the chippers themselves.

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