Wood Chipper Troubleshooting – Fixes and Tips

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Does your wood chipper have any defects? Are you afraid that it might not work again? Worry no more. This trouble shooting guide will help you solve the problems.

A wood chipper is a machine that cuts tree limbs, branches, and trunks into chips. It makes it easy for you to clean up after vegetation maintenance.

Wood Chipper Trouble Shooting

Wood chippers make it easy for you to get rid of big tree parts without towing them away. They also produce wood chips that you can sell or use for projects.

If you already have one, you know how effective and valuable it is. It’s an excellent investment. But what if it stopped working one day? Do you store it away?

No. Try to figure out a solution first. You might be surprised to find out that the issue you thought was a big deal is actually very easy to fix.

Wood Chipper Troubleshooting

Listed herein are the most common wood chipper problems and troubleshooting methods that might help you fix your machine.

1. Chip Quality is Unsatisfactory

If the quality of the wood chips is not up to the mark, it might be because the machine’s blades have become blunt. It might also be because you sharpen the blades too often, making them unsuitable for the task.

If the chipper’s anvil is worn out or the distance between it and the blades is wider, it can also bring about this problem.


If the blades are blunt, all you need to do is sharpen them. If they’re no longer suitable for the task, replace them with new and sharp blades. Rotate the anvil and adjust its distance between it and the blades for the best results.

2. The Chipper Doesn’t Turn

If your wood chipper doesn’t turn, there might be problems with;

  • Drive belt

The drive belt may be damaged or worn out. If the drive belt slipped out of place or is broken, the blades in the chipper won’t turn.


It’s normal for a chipper’s drive belt to get worn from regular use. If this is the case, replace it with a new one.

  • Idler Assembly

The chipper may also not turn if the idler assembly located under the belt cover needs adjusting. The idler keeps the belt in place so that it can run without wobbling. A broken belt in the idler can prevent it from rotating.


If the idler assembly has a broken bearing that prevents it from rotating, get a replacement. If it is loose, adjust it to ensure that it keeps the right amount of tension to prevent the drive belt from slipping.

  • Engagement Cable

The engagement cable enables the blade assembly to run after the engine has reached its minimum speed to drive the machine’s blades. If this cable breaks or is not adjusted correctly, the blades won’t turn.


It’s very common for engagement cables to wear out after a long period of use. Get a new one for replacement.

  • Drive Shaft

The drive shaft is responsible for spinning the chipper’s blades and is attached to the blade assembly. If the drive shaft is broken, it can slow the blade assembly or stop it from spinning altogether.


If the drive shaft slows down the blade assembly from rotating, you need to get a professional to repair it. If it stops the assembly from spinning altogether, get a replacement.

3. Engine Does Not Start

If your wood chipper’s engine doesn’t start, the problem could be with the;

  • Spark plug

The engine’s spark plug could be worn or damaged. To determine whether the sparkplug is defective, get a plug tester. If it has no problems, you should see a spark in the tester’s terminals as the engine cranks. If no spark appears, it means that the spark plug is defective.


If the spark plug is defective, get a replacement. Also, if there’s heavy carbon buildup at the spark plug’s electrode, replace the spark plug.

  • Ignition Coil

The ignition coil sends voltage to the chipper’s spark plug only when the engine is running. If it is defective, the engine may not start.


Check the spark plug first to ensure whether it’s working correctly or not. If it is, test the ignition coil with an ignition tester. If it is defective, replace it.

  • Carburetor

If the machine’s carburetor is clogged, the engine won’t start. This situation is mainly caused by sticky fuel in the engine. This sticky fuel clogs up the carburetor preventing the engine from starting.


Try cleaning the carburetor with a carburetor cleaner. I this process is ineffective, rebuild or replace the entire carburetor.

  • Fuel cap

Although you purchased the best gas-powered wood chipper, its engine might fail to start if the gas cap vent is clogged. If it is blocked, air won’t enter the gas tank, and pressure in the gas tank will rise. Should the pressure in the tank exceed that in the engine, the engine may be hard to start?


To determine whether the gas cup is clogged, try to loosen the fuel cap and start the engine. If loosening allows the engine to run, it means that the gas cup vent is clogged. Get a new gas cap vent for replacement.

  • The tank has no fuel

Yes, it could be as simple as that. Check the fuel tank to see whether it’s empty.


Fill the tank if it’s empty.

4. Engine leaks gas

If the wood chipper’s engine leaks gas, it could be because of a leaking fuel line. It might also be because the fuel tank has a crack.


Inspect all fuel lines for cracks. If any is cracked, replace it. Never try to repair a cracked fuel line; you must replace it.

If the fuel tank has a crack that causes the leak, replace it as well. You should also never try to repair the fuel tank.

5. Poor ejection from the spout

If there’s poor ejection of the wood chips from the spout, it might be that the drive belt is worn or requires adjusting. It could also be a result of ejector wings that require adjusting as well.

Slack v-belts can also lead to poor chips ejection as well as the incorrect positioning of the operation bow.


If the drive belt is badly worn, replace it. If it requires adjusting ahead and do the same. You also have to either replace the ejector wings if worn or adjust them if that’s what’s needed.

Tighten the v-belts and reposition the operation bow in the A position to solve this problem.


Before giving up on your wood chipper, try to figure out the problem that it might have. Ensure that the engine is okay and running, that it has enough fuel, and that it’s well maintained at all times.

From this guide, we hope that you’ve found a way to fix your wood chipper. If not, get a professional to look into it.