In this article we give you a full-breakdown of the WoodMaxx WM-8H, definitely one of the best PTO Wood Chipper you can buy. And then we look at two other wood chippers to give you some options to consider, like the WoodMaxx WC-8N and the NorTrac PTO Chipper 296025.
If you’re looking for an industrial-quality PTO wood chipper you’ll be happy to know that the WoodMaxx WM-8H will be worth your money. No machine is perfect but this one is pretty close.
Farmers and small holding owners have very different needs to residential homeowners when it comes to buying a wood chipper. If you have a large property and are shredding or chipping copious amounts of wood and organic debris, a commercial grade PTO wood chipper is the right machine for the job.
Unlike smaller wood chippers that use a gas engine or electric motor, a PTO wood chipper uses an external power source which provides the power needed to chip large branches with greater speed and efficiency.
Compact Design : Powerful enough for commercial use | WoodMaxx WM-8H
A few basic facts you need to know about the WoodMaxx WM-8H:
The chipping capacity is directly dependent on horse power and torque. A 19 hp tractor will allow you to chip : 4” hard and 6” soft material.
With a 50 hp tractor you can chip any material up to 8” in diameter with no trouble. WoodMaxx tested a 30 hp. tractor which gave excellent results in relation to work-load compared to fuel consumption.
Tractors with more than 50 hp. will not over power or damage the wood chipper since it is shear bolt protected, but will simply consume more fuel to accomplish the same results.
Why would you want a PTO wood chipper?
In order to handle the workload, a commercial-grade wood chipper needs much more power than a small machine that will typically handle branches that are 3” in diameter or less, not to mention harder wood. To handle larger branches (some commercial-grade wood chippers can take branches of up to 8” in diameter), you’ll need a lot more horsepower.
This is where Power Takeoff (PTO) comes into play. This is a system that is used for a lot of agricultural equipment and it uses the power of a tractor to drive the machine through a PTO shaft that couples to the back of the tractor. This means that it uses the power of the tractor’s engine instead of using a small engine that doesn’t have the same power.
OVERVIEW VIDEO | WoodMaxx WM-8H PTO Wood Chipper
A PTO wood chipper is a large and very robust machine that drives a heavy flywheel – designed to handle the rigors of heavy-duty work. This means that it requires a good deal of power and you’ll need a tractor that pushes out at least 16HP for a smaller PTO wood chipper and up to 30HP or more for larger models. This means that a lawn tractor won’t be sufficient. There are some lawn tractors with a PTO attachment and a few of them may have a 16HP engine or slightly bigger, but this is close to the lower limit for smaller commercial-grade PTO wood chippers and is not really suitable for these machines. You also need to check if your tractor is fitted with the correct tow hitch, PTO wood chippers will need either a category 1 or 2 tow hitch.
PTO wood chippers usually use a roller feed system, rather than the gravity feed that’s used on smaller machines. Rollers, that can be mechanically or hydraulically powered, feed the branches into the blades. This makes them faster, easier and safer than gravity fed wood chippers. With gravity fed wood chippers, you may have to force the branches into the hopper at times, and this can be risky. When using a PTO wood chipper, the rollers will do the work for you.
Designed for High-Volume Wood Chipping | WoodMaxx WM-8H
When one looks at all these factors, it’s quite obvious why farmers and other people who need a heavy-duty commercial-grade wood chipper rely on PTO machines – they’re the only wood chippers that can handle this type of work.
If you’re going to be choosing the best PTO wood chipper, quality is of great importance – this is a machine that is going to work hard in very trying situations and therefore needs to be robust. A good quality PTO wood chipper is going to be a heavy piece of equipment. Then you also want to know if it’s going to meet your requirements. What is the maximum thickness of the branches that it will handle? Is it capable of chipping hardwood? There are some PTO wood chippers that also have shredders, while others are only chippers, this could also be important to you.
So let’s look at what you have to choose from. We’ll start by reviewing the WoodMaxx WM-8H, which is widely considered to be the ultimate PTO wood chipper. It is extremely powerful and utilizes the most durable heavy-duty components. We’ll also look at two cheaper options for people who aren’t looking for a machine that’s designed for such hard working conditions.
WoodMaxx WM-8H Wood Chipper
Best PTO Wood Chipper : Affordable Commercial-Grade, Hydraulic Auto-Feed Chipper
There are a lot of features for this impressive wood chipper. Read our indepth review after the feature list. This is a machine engineered to handle endless hours of usage, and it has the pedigree to do so.
- USA and International Patents Pending
- Shipped by motor freight
- Strength in design, CNC plasma cut structural plate steel
- 19 hp. min. required
- 3 pt. hitch mount – fits category 1 or category 2 (also cat-1 quick hitch)
- 8” x 8” Infeed opening
- 200 lb. 24” Diameter Flywheel (dynamically balanced)
- 2-Reversible Made in the USA fly wheel knives, 1 bed knife (anvil)
- 1120 RPM Flywheel speed
- NEW Tachometer/ Hour meter (to ensure proper flywheel speed)
- Hydraulic powered infeed system w/dual counter rotating motors
- Self-contained hydraulic system (no hydraulics required from tractor)
- Variable infeed speed 10-75 ft. /min.
- Nylon protected hydraulic hose wrap
- JIC standard hose fittings
- Hardened 6.25” dia. chisel type infeed roller
- Quick hitch compatible (category 1 quick hitch only)
- 360 Degree swivel discharge chute
- Adjustable base legs w/ skid shoe type base
- Automatic hydro pump belt tensioner
- High flow chamber ventilation
- 2” diameter main shaft
- 3-Heavy duty cast steel main shaft bearings
- Adjustable infeed roller down pressure
- Weight 990 lbs. (shipping) steel shipping crate L=46″ x W=36″ x H=48″
- 8mm thick steel fly wheel housing
- Easy access fly wheel knife panels
- Adjustable bed knife (to achieve proper knife gap)
- 5 Heavy duty cogged drive belts
- Safety stop bar w/reverse
- Horizontal “table height” infeed hopper for easy loading
- Baked on powder coat finish
- Clear vinyl chip baffle
- PTO shaft included (shear bolt protected) (optional made in USA shaft)
- Colors available; Yellow, Orange, or Green/Yellow combination.
- 3 yr. parts warranty
- 90% assembled upon delivery
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the WoodMaxx WC-8H commercial PTO wood chipper.
Overview | Review
If you want a machine of this caliber, you need to be prepared to pay for it. The WoodMaxx WM-8H is, arguably, the best commercial-grade PTO wood chipper available. The durability of this machine cannot be questioned – every aspect of its design shows an ability to handle anything that comes its way. All the materials, even down to the smallest detail are of the highest quality and this is what you’re paying for.
So, even though this might seem like a very expensive wood chipper, it puts many other commercial-grade wood chippers, that cost considerably more, to shame. In the end, you’re getting the best value for your money – a wood chipper of the best quality, that’s better than machines that cost much more.
Made from the strongest steel plate you can buy — American standard A-36
The WoodMaxx WM-8H weighs 990 LBS, this gives you an indication of the heavy-duty steel that’s gone into its construction. A large percentage of this weight is concentrated where it really matters – the 24” diameter flywheel weighs 200 LBS and is dynamically balanced for perfect performance. If you think that all the torque used to power the wood chipper is channeled through the flywheel, it’s comforting to know that it’s made from heavy-duty high-grade steel and simply cannot fail. This mighty flywheel is protected by an 8mm (0.31”) thick steel ventilated housing.
Transferring the power from the 2” diameter main shaft is done using five heavy-duty cogged drive belts. The shafts use 3 heavy duty cast steel bearings. You won’t find a better material for bearings, these will outlast standard cast iron bearings, no matter what the working conditions are like. The WooddMaxx WM-8-H is 90% assembled when you get it and includes a shear bolt protected PTO shaft. It’s designed to attach to both category 1 and 2 tow hitches and has a category-1 quick-hitch. The WoodMaxx WM-8H is designed as much for convenience as it is for durability.
Walk-around VIDEO | WoodMaxx WM-8H PTO Wood Chipper
When we take a look at the infeed system, it continues to impress. The infeed opening is 8” X 8”. To give the WoodMaxx WM-8H perfect wood-feeding, they’ve put a lot of work into designing the perfect hydraulic feeder system. Not only is it as tough as it gets but this system is the best in most aspects of its design. Firstly, it’s driven by a built-in hydraulic system, so you don’t need to connect it the tractor’s hydraulics. It uses dual counter-rotating hydraulic motors, driving 6.25” hardened steel rollers.
The hydraulic tank holds 7-gallons and the hoses are protected by nylon hydraulic hose wrap – protecting them from damage resulting from chafing and exposure to the elements. In addition to this, the hoses are configured in such a way that they cannot be damaged by snagging and it looks really cool too. These hoses use JIC (Joint Industrial Council) fittings. By using such widely used hydraulic fittings, you won’t have any hassles when it comes to replacing the hoses.
A pressure compensation valve allows you to adjust the speed of the hydraulic pump to match that of your tractor and it eliminates backpressure – all this will prolong the life of the pump. You can also adjust the hydraulic infeed rollers to match your working speed. A simple lever allows you to control the infeed speed from 10-75 FT/Min. The belt driving the hydraulic pump is also fitted with an automatic tensioner – ensuring perfect performance and eliminating the risk of damage to the bearing as result of over tensioning the belt.
VIDEO | Is the WoodMaxx WM-8H PTO Chipper Worth the Money?
The rollers themselves have been designed for the most effective gripping. By carefully calculating the teeth distance, the guys at WoodMaxx have developed infeed rollers that not only grip and pull the wood perfectly, but also prevents leaves, bark and wood chips from becoming jammed in the rollers. The use heavy duty springs also help to increase the effectiveness of these rollers. These springs are adjustable, with a tension of up to 165 LBS, giving perfect downward pressure for all types of wood. The intake has a vinyl protective sheet that prevents wood chips from flying back out of the hopper – just one more safety advantage of this wood chipper.
Once the wood has been fed effortlessly through the wide intake, the real work begins. The dual edge, reversible, chipper knives are made in the USA, as are the Holo-Krome class 12.9 knife bolts. The high-carbon, high-chromium A-8 tool steel knives have been heat treated and hardened to provide the toughest chipper knives that can be fitted to a wood chipper.
One of the remarkable, and unique, features on the WoodMaxx WM-8H is the pocket design of the flywheel. This helps secure the knives to the flywheel much better than just using bolts alone. Running at 1120 RPM, the perfectly balanced flywheel, with the best blades, effortlessly reduces branches up to 8” in diameter into perfect wood chips, ready for mulching or composting.
If all this isn’t already enough to convince anyone that the WoodMaxx WM-8H isn’t the best PTO wood chipper, there’s a whole more to come. So keep reading.
There’s a lot of state of the art engineering that’s gone into making this machine as user-friendly as it is tough and durable. It has a chute that rotates a full 360°, making it easy to discharge in any direction. The WoodMaxx WM-8H also has wide skid-type feet, which are angled upward to prevent sinking, this is the best way to hold up all that heavy steel in soft ground. The legs are adjustable to give you the perfect angle, no matter what tractor you’re using. As an upgrade on the previous models, this one includes a digital tachometer/hour meter. This means that you can adjust the rotation speed with perfect accuracy and keep track of service intervals.
Along with the many safety mechanisms already mentioned it also has a safety bar at the top of the infeed hopper. This allows you to instantly stop the hydraulic infeed rollers in an emergency and even reverse them if needed. The hopper allows for horizontal feeding and the control bar is wide enough to reach from any side. It has easy access to the chipping knives and the adjustable bed knife makes for simple and quick maintenance. Because the WoodMaxx team has placed durability high on the list of priorities when designing and building this wood chipper, they’ve not overlooked a single detail. This means that the heavy steel machine is powder coated and this coating has been baked at 450° to make sure that it remains rust-free for years.
8” x 8” Infeed opening
It’s clear that this is no ordinary machine and to provide the power needed to drive the heavy robust flywheel and powerful hydraulic pump, means that you won’t be using just any tractor. So, what size tractor do you need to run the WoodMaxx WM-8H? The minimum specified horsepower for this wood chipper is 19HP. Though this is going to leave you quite limited as to what you can do with it. Using a 19 HP tractor, you won’t be chipping branches much thicker than 3”. To make full use of the 8” capacity of this wood chipper, you’ll need at least 30HP. It can easily run off a tractor up to 50HP without harming the machine. With that kind of power, you can feed through hardwood branches up to 8” without a problem.
INSTALLATION VIDEO | WoodMaxx WM-8H PTO Wood Chipper
The WoodMaxx WM-8H isn’t just built from the most durable materials but is also engineered to the most exacting standards. To make sure that the hours of precision work that engineers have put into designing the ultimate PTO wood chipper, the most advanced practices are used on the factory floor. This means that CNC plasma cutting tools have been used to cut the structural plate steel to the strictest tolerances. This ensures that you get a machine that is faultless in its design and manufactured with absolutely no compromises made in the selection of the materials and construction methods used.
You also have a choice of colors, if that’s important to you, the WoodMaxx WM-8H is available in red, green or yellow. All the parts have a 3-year warranty and are readily available.
Visit the WoodMaxx site to learn more about the WoodMaxx WM-8H and their impressive range of power equipment.
Excellent Medium Duty PTO Wood Chipper. Best economy commercial wood chipper if you’re on a limited budget.
- 8x8 Opening
- Feed Rate Of 36 Feet Per Minute
- Total Weight Is 725lbs. / Flywheel Weighs 185lbs.
- Quick Hitch Ready
- Reversible Knives
- Adjustable Bed Blade
- Overall Assembly Size: 36” Wide X 84” Long X 68” High
- 360 Degree Swivel Discharge Chute
- Medium Duty Greasable Bearings
- Clear Vinyl Baffle In In-Feed Bin To Protect User From Chip Blow-Back
- Safety Bar – To Disengage Feed Roller
- PTO Shaft Included (Shear Bolt Protected)
Overview | Review WoodMaxx WC-8N Economy wood chipper
It’s very hard, in fact, it’s nearly impossible to compete with WoodMaxx WM-8H. The WoodMaxx WC-8N was not designed to compete with its more durable, hardworking cousin, the WM-8H, but rather to offer a more cost-effective alternative for people who don’t require a wood chipper that’s going to do such heavy-duty work. Coming from the same manufacturer, the WoodMaxx WC-8N (economy wood chipper) shares many of the same superior design features that you’ll find on WM-8H. It’s just built for medium-duty work and is, therefore, not quite as tough and a whole lot cheaper. In terms of value for money, this an excellent option, you’ll be getting a power-feed wood chipper at a price that competes with many gravity fed machines.
VIDEO | See the WoodMaxx WC-8N in Action!
The WoodMaxx WC-8N has the same 8” X 8” hopper for convenient and easy horizontal wood-feeding. The mechanical feed rollers aren’t as effective as the hydraulic system used on the more expensive model and this means you have a feed rate of 36 FT per minute (it doesn’t have an adjustable feed rate) – still, not bad for wood chipper that’s this cheap. Being a machine designed for lighter duty work, it weighs a bit less (725 LBS). This is not much lighter which means it’s also made from very durable steel.
The flywheel is not as tough, but a weight of 185 LBS means that it’s still a heavy and strong component. The bearings are also not the heavy-duty cast steel type used on the WoodMaxx WC-8H and are designed for medium-duty strength, the bearings are also externally mounted and this allows you to grease them when needed.
It has an adjustable bed blade, but all the assembly and maintenance procedures aren’t quite as easy as on the WM-8H. It is, however not too complicated. This machine gives you the advantage of reversible blades, just like the WM-8H, but not quite as tough. When saving on build costs, user safety was not compromised in any way. This model also has the clear vinyl baffle protection on the in-feed bin, to protect you from flying debris and it has a similar safety stop bar to disengage the in-feed rollers in an emergency.
The WoodMaxx WC-8Nincludes a 360° rotating chute and is also quick-hitch ready, I would assume this is for a category-1 hitch, though this not specified, I, therefore, can’t confirm if this is the case. The PTO shaft (with shear bolt protection) is included with the wood chipper. This machine is not designed for the same workload as the WoodMaxx WM-8H and with the exclusion of the hydraulic pump, it means that you don’t need the same power from the tractor that you’ll be using. You’ll need 18HP at the PTO to run this wood chipper.
While the WoodMaxx WC-8N is built to a very high quality standard, it’s not in the same class as the WM-8H. This means that the warranty isn’t quite as good, the WoodMaxx WC-series wood chippers have a 2-year limited warranty.
Requires a heavy-duty Category 1 tractor with at least 20 HP.
- Chips wood and branches up to 5 1/2in. thick
- Large vertically oriented hopper opening requires less pruning
- Hopper chute is angled so brush is self-fed into the chipping knife for easy chipping
- Elevated discharge chute is perfect for filling a wheelbarrow or other receptacle
- 75-lb. flywheel provides the inertia to power through all types of wood
The NorTrac PTO Chipper is in a similar class to the WoodMaxx WC-8N and comes at a very similar price. I’m not too sure that this machine quite matches up to WoodMaxx WC-8N though. You’ll need to decide for yourself if it’s worth buying.
If you want a lighter machine, that’s easier to transport, the NorTrack will appeal to you. The shipping weight for this wood chipper is 350 LBS, I haven’t been able to weigh it myself, nor does their website provide the actual weight of the machine. Even then, the shipping weight of this machine is lower than the item weight of the WoodMaxx equivalent. It has a much lighter flywheel (75 LBS) – I’m not really sure if this is a good thing but the flywheel is perfectly balanced and the machine works very smoothly. It has a reversible knife, like the others. The 6½” knife is made from hardened steel and is tough enough for all types of wood. It also has four flingers on the flywheel that helps to reduce clogging of debris inside the wood chipper.
The NorTrack wood chipper needs a 20HP tractor to power it and running at 540 RPM, it’s able to handle branches up to 5½” in diameter. The chute is positioned at a very good height for discharging the chipped debris into a trailer or wheelbarrow, but it’s in a fixed position and doesn’t rotate. The hopper feeds from a verticle position, the self-feeding system seems to rely on gravity and has no mechanical assistance.
This is a simpler machine than the WoodMaxx WC-8N and this means that there’s less to go wrong which should mean lower maintenance costs over time. Something worth considering. It looks like a really tough machine, made from heavy-duty steel and coated with electrostatically applied poly paint that should stand up to a lot of wear. So, it’s not a very sophisticated machine but has the advantage of being highly durable without much maintenance being required. It has a 2-year residential warranty and a 90-day commercial warranty.