Learn How to Safely Use a Wood Chipper for the First Time

If you want to clean up your lawn of fallen tree limbs, a wood chipper can be a great tool to use. You can often rent a wood chipper from a home improvement store, but it is important to make sure that you know how to use it safely. The following guide walks you through a few tips for using a wood chipper in the safest manner possible.

Do Not Use Your Hands or Feet to Clear a Jam

When operating a wood chipper, there are times when sticks can become jammed in the blades of the chipper. When a stick becomes jammed, you do not want to use your hand or feet to try to push or pull the stick free from the blades, even if you have turned the wood chipper off. The chipper could malfunction, causing the blades to turn and your foot or hands to be pulled into the chipper and become injured. Use another stick to unjam a stuck stick by poking at it repeatedly. If you cannot get it unstuck, call the company and ask if they can send a technician to your home to help you.

Check Where the Chips Will Shoot

Before you start to chip the wood in your yard, be sure to determine where the chips will shoot when they come out of the chipper. They will pile up rather quickly, so you want to be sure they do not land in an area that is commonly used as a smoking area. If someone were to throw a lit cigarette on the pile, it could cause a huge fire in a very short period of time.

Wear Protective Gear

When you are using the wood chipper, be sure that you wear protective gloves and protective eyewear. You want to be sure that you protect your eyes because small pieces of the wood could fly from the chipper and get into your eyes. You want to wear protective gloves to ensure that you do not get splinters or blisters on your hands as you load the branches into the chipper.

Trim Large Limbs into Manageable Sizes

Before you start trimming any limbs, trim them with a chainsaw into manageable sizes. You will need to pick up the limbs and feed them into the chipper. If the limbs are too large, it may be difficult for you to hold them while you are feeding them into the chipper, which could cause them to become stuck.

Once you chip all of the wood, you can use the chippings as mulch in your flowerbed or allow it to dry out to burn it in a large bonfire. You don't want to leave the chippings in a large pile for too long during the summer because the pile can generate a lot of heat that can catch on fire.