Yardmax Chipper Shredder (YW7565): Product Review

Yardmax lately introduced a brand new chipper-shredder (version YW7565). While it’s not quite commercial-grade, it does have a 90 day warranty for commercial use and should be enough for pretty much any home owner.

Here is what I discovered…

FeatureDetails
Weight226 lbs.
EngineBriggs & Stratton® – 4 cycle engine (no gas + oil mixture required)
Displacement208cc
Chipping capacity3 inches
Chipper blades2 steel chipper blades
Shredder bladesN/A (the chipper blades also serve as the shredding blades)
Reduction ratio10:1
Impeller speedUnknown
Collection bagNone
Fuel tank3.25 qt capacity
Oil18 oz SAE 30 (included)
Hopper/Chute21″ x 14″ combined chipped and shredder hopper
WheelsTwo 10″ x 4″ pneumatic tires
Other featuresAdjustable discharge chute
Warranty2-year residential; 90-day commercial

Assembly Can Be a 2-Person Job

The delivery company called me to schedule delivery around my advantage. Since the device is quite heavy (226 pounds ), they had a truck with a lift gate to get it off the truck. At the appointed hour, the truck rolled upward, and the driver brought the device into my garage onto a pallet.

I cut the straps that fastened the box to the pallet and then eliminated the steel framework from around the box using a socket wrench and Phillips head screwdriver. That framework did a nice job of keeping the contents safe and ding-free during transport.

Inside the box, the materials were snug and secure because of the Styrofoam padding and extra straps holding the components together. You are going to want kitchen shears, pruners or any other cutting tool to remove the straps.

Since my wife was out of town, I had no option but to sit down and read the assembly instructions.

The very first step is to attach the discharge chute to the framework, which requires you to remove the bolts, nuts and washers from either side of the framework.

Attaching the release chute would be easily handled with two people: one to hold the chute, one to insert the bolt. This won’t be the only time I will write that the assembly process is really a job for two.

I managed to do it by myself, but it wasn’t simple. And yes, I know in the photograph the nut is on backwards. I did that on purpose to ensure that you’re still paying attention. And after taking the photo, I place it on the ideal way!

I didn’t have an easy time tightening the nuts and bolts. They were very near the framework. Rather than a socket wrench, I used a couple of channel pliers. Eventually, I got them tight and the discharge chute was in place.

Once the chute is attached, loosen the screw-bolt across the opposite side of the unit that attaches the release chute under the clamp into the frame. Lift the metal clamp up and above the front of the chute while trimming the screw-bolt back into place. This secures the discharge chute from close to the impeller blades to the where chips will release once chipped up.

Now it’s time to build the hopper, which is done before the hopper is connected to the frame. Place the broad region of the hopper (that will become the top) on a good surface. Then raise the reduced half over the top half, and slip it to the slots. You will find 3 screw holes on two of those sides, and 2 screw holes on the other two sides. Line them up and hold in position when sliding a bolt through each hole.

After I obtained one bolt each side, I chose to push all bolts through and finger-tighten the nuts prior to securing with a wrench. To get the bolts through the hopper requires that you stick your arm into the hopper to hold down the head of each bolt whilst tightening the nuts (around the outside) with a socket wrench.

Now you are ready to attach the hopper to the framework. Forgive me if that sounds redundant, but this part REALLY could work with two people. I lifted the hopper into place, aligning the holes onto the hopper into the holes on the frame. Balancing the hopper ON MY HEAD, I added the bolts and tightened them down while taking this photo.

After having an aspirin for my headache, I knew that I had been at the home stretch.

The last step was to unscrew the final bolt that secured the whole framework to the pallet. Once I unscrewed that bolt, then I rolled the Yardmax off the pallet and into better lighting.

Before running the unit, I stuffed it with the supplied oil. Unscrewing the dipstick, I emptied the entire contents to the crank case with a funnel (not included). Then I removed the temporary rubber gasket from the fuel tank and screwed in the gas cap (supplied ).

Safety First

What I am about to say goes for almost any chipper/shredder you might utilize. Debris strikes everywhere, and goggles protect your eyes from the negative better than glasses. Also, wear a few hearing protection. While the Briggs & Stratton 208cc engine isn’t as loud as other engines I have used, save your hearing so you can enjoy some music when you’re done. Wear close-toed shoes, also. Leather gloves are a must to keep your hands from becoming stained along with the branches.

And think about wearing long pants and a blouse top. Occasionally, debris moves airborne, either while chipping or once the chips ricochet off the floor. By the time I fired up the motor, I seemed like I was sporting a HazMat suit. The outdoor temperatures were in the high 90s and it felt as though I was wearing a sauna for one. However, the parts that I did not sweat off remained safe during the testing.

Starting The Chipper/Shredder

For cold starting, be sure that the throttle and choke levers are equally moved to their left position. You do not need the choke for cold starting.

Once you feel it withstand, pull straight back quickly and gradually return the cord to the original position.

Let the motor run for a few minutes before participating the impeller blade. When the engine throttles at a smooth rate, participate the impeller blades by slipping the impeller blade lever upwards toward the engine compartment.To halt the device, then first disengage the impeller blade by sliding the lever away from the engine at the shut position. Allow the blade come to a complete stop before moving or servicing the unit.

Next, turn the power switch to the OFF position.

When the motor ceases, slide the gas line toggle into the closed position.

Here’s one last thing you should know before operating the Yardmax chipper/shedder. It’s a twist lock onto the chute to guide where you need to shoot the debris. As the machine vibrates, the chute loosens and enhances over time. Check out time to time to be certain the angle still works for you.

The device doesn’t come equipped with a set bag.

Chipping & Shredding Performance

The Yardmax claims to chip branches up to a diameter of 3 inches and to shred branches, leaves, pine cones, etc.. The instructions state clearly to avoid fibrous plants like flax, pine needles or cabbage which can wrap around the rotor shaft and posture.

I enjoy the concept of having one big hopper for everything instead of one for chipping and one for shredding. Having seen the dimensions and depth of the blades while assembling the device, I imagined this sort of equipment could shred a lot more than divisions (for additional information, see the film Fargo).

Easy to Transfer

I wheeled the unit to where I intended to use it to the day. At 226 pounds, the device is far from lightweight. Nevertheless, the oversize wheels helped me transfer it the space (with just a few rest breaks).

Starting the Engine

As soon as I started the engine for the first time, I pulled the beginning cord slowly until it struggled a bit, and then I put some muscle into it.

The round disk that holds the blades is thick, as it begins to spin, the motor sounds like it needs to cut out. When the engine labors, back off a bit onto the impeller lever. Be patient. As it spins faster, you can continue to lift the amount to the engine. Within 30 seconds, I’d the impeller blade engaged and spinning completely.

Chipping Performance

For the chipping part of the test, I piled up branches which range from exceptionally soft to hard. A number of my branches have been as long as 10′ in length and, since they were very directly, I wished to see how the Yardmax would live up to its own”self-feeding” claim.

Some of my branches have been more crooked and comprised more spurs than others. I advise you to plan ahead to bring a fantastic bow saw (such as the FATMAX 24″ Bow Saw) or some solid pruner or lopper, such as the Corona ComfortGEL+ Extendable Bypass Lopper, to the job site so that you have it on hand to cut branches that are stubborn into shape.

I fed the hopper a few inch-thick branches (thickest end ) coated in leaves to see how it functioned. Turns out, the Yardmax really does have a self-feeding feature, and it functioned well. As soon as the blade touched the branch, then the timber fed itself down the hopper and chips spit from the deflector chute.

I began feeding it more and thicker branches. The unit never hesitated.

I began loading the hopper using a continuous diet of clean, soft timber (Eastern Redbud and Birch). I noticed after about 10 minutes that the release chute had ceased discharging. I looked to the end of the chute. The door stood open about an inchand that I could see debris trapped in the chute.

I fought the urge to stick my hand at the end of the chute to find out if I could clean the debris. Instead, I followed the instructions. I disengaged the impeller blade (pulled the lever down and away from the engine compartment) and changed the unit to the off position. Once the blade stopped whirling, I pulled out all the debris that I could reach from the discharge chute. Then I started the unit again. It started right up.

The device should be able to clear itself if the rotor and posture is not obstructed to the point of not having the ability to spin. For now, the problem was solved, and I continued to get the job done.

With more practice, I fed it longer and thicker branches. It was my version of a test-to-break review.

Shredding Performance

Bear in mind this unit includes one hopper that functions as both a chipper and shredder. After I analyzed the chipping function for a couple of hours, I changed to feeding the unit a daily diet of softer and smaller branches.

The operator’s manual cautions against”feeding pine needles, flax, and cabbage tree leaves” to the hopper since they can”wrap around the rotor shaft and operate their way to the position.” I wouldn’t know flax and cabbage tree leaves out of seaweed and kelp. But whatever the stringy substances were that I fed to the Yardmax, they quickly choked the engine.

I then loosed the clamp which secures the discharge chute into the frame and swung it open to check in the blade.

With a pair of extended pliers (and while wearing leather gloves), I pulled out all of the debris wrapped in the Cable. It took about 10 minutes to clean it out so the cutting disk could rotate freely.

After reattaching the release chute clamp, I chased the motor with no problem. I fed the unit more stringy branches, and over 10 minutes, I had to clean another jam.

After cleaning out the rotor , I tried something different. The density of the timber helped push and clear out the lighter debris. Whereas a continuous diet of soft, leafyvegetables, and stringy materials jammed the rotor, I experienced no more jams by shifting between soft and hard.

Pros
  • Great chipper. As a chipper, the Yardmax is superior. It chews through all kinds of wood with ease. I had neighbors dragging over branches from their yard to see firsthand what it could do. It didn’t disappoint.

    The single, long hopper. While the size of the hopper made it challenging to install by myself, I loved the convenience of not having to presort branches by size. The long funnel-shaped hopper allowed me to feed in branches with more curves and forks than other units. And while you should never stick your hand or arm into the hopper, the extra-long size offers peace of mind should you forget and let your arm reach too far. All but the fingers of a professional basketball player should be far out of reach from the spinning cutting disk.

    Powerful. While the 208cc motor might seem undersized for a tool meant to chew through 3” branches, the heavy cutting disk and thick, sharp blades make the most of the relatively small engine.

    Self-feeding. The instructions warn against forcing branches into the blade. The self-feeding feature does the work for you. Once the branch reaches the blade, the cutting disk takes over and keeps pulling the branch inside until it’s reduced to chips.

    Transportable. The Yardmax is heavy. Fortunately, the balance of the unit puts the weight over the large wheels, making rolling it to your worksite manageable.

    90-Day commercial warranty. I’ve not seen other chipper/shredders in this size category that offer a commercial warranty. I tested this unit for 6 hours at a time. I imagine a landscaping crew might have this unit running 4 or 5 hours each day. Yardmax must believe in their quality and workmanship if they would offer any sort of commercial warranty.

    Price. The Yardmax is competitively priced under $800, and it performs as well (and in some ways better) than units costing $200-300 more.

Cons
  • Offer a collection bag option. Depending on your situation, you might not have a place where you can direct wood debris where it won’t be unsightly. Also, you might want to collect the mulch for use in your yard. A collection bag would help address those two issues.

    Better shredding. While the shredder worked well enough (particularly when fed a combination of soft material and harder branches), I’d like to see the shredder on par with the excellent performance of the chipper. I’m not sure how to accomplish that from an engineering standpoint. My Vitamix can make hot soup, smoothies, ice cream, and salsa. I don’t know how it does all of that, but it does. While the thick blades on the cutting disk do serious damage to branches, it’s possible that the disk needs a different blade or a higher speed to shred soft materials more effectively.

Warranty

The Yardmax comes with a 2-year residential and also a 90-day commercial warranty against defects in workmanship and materials.

Recommendation

For the price, I like the Yardmax. It’s a better chipper than any unit I’ve used, and it is nearly like others when it comes to shredding. The self-feeding feature makes it much easier to feed material to the large hopper, along with the mix of a potent engine and thick cutting blades makes quick work of branches up to 3 inches in diameter. It’s a well-built, heavy-duty unit that should stand up to use over the long term. And while it is heavy, it’s also well-balanced and simple enough to maneuver on the big, all-terrain tires.

Below is a movie from Yardmax, showing the chipper/shedder in action.

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