2019.06.03

Power King 7hp wood chipper

Review time. Well, review + how-to. Written like I might copy and paste it as a product review.
Research

Great Circle wood chipper shredder product image

Source.

I bought a wood chipper because I have lots of long, 0.5"-5" thick branches with leaves to dispose of - enough that taking them to yard waste recycling is not an attractive proposition. A lot of chipper/shredders seemed to have a separate feed for chipping (pictured above), one that is small enough that they appear to require thinning the branches out to pass them through. I don't know how true this is, but it's why I went for the single, conical feed where I could theoretically feed a bushy tree branch. Importantly, having usable mulch wasn't a goal of mine, so I was willing to risk chunkier output that might come with a single chipping function.

Power King 7hp wood chipper shredder crated

So I bought the Power King 7hp for about $1000.


Assembly was a reasonably-straightforward hour or so. The machine is basically a Kohler engine strapped to a chipping chassis that's of different build quality. On a positive note, no welds or fittings appeared unsound, but the thing is covered with the absolute minimum-effort paint process. Breathing on it wrong will scratch the orange paint right off. While it's not particularly concerning for my low-mobility purposes, the wheels are held on to the axle with just a cotter pin, so they slide left and right as you pull the thing.

Power King 7hp wood chipper shredder OSHA curtain

As many others did, I immediately removed the 'OSHA curtain', as it looked like it would inhibit the feeding process. I later found that it does indeed have the purpose of blocking much of what the PK throws back out of the hopper - so eye protection is critical, curtain or no.
Usage

Power King 7hp branch size guide hopper

Using the PK is a matter of learning curve. I jammed it a half-dozen times in my first few hours of use and have since gotten considerably better at it.
Power King 7hp wood chipper shredder leaf jam

Problem solving requires removing two nuts for the hopper, exhaust, and/or the shaft cover. A quick release mechanism for these would significantly improve user experience, but after getting used to the limitations of the PK, it's not too bad. Manually turning the shaft to expel branches caught between the chipper drum and chamber works most times, but if it's really bad you'll just strip the shaft.

Power King 7hp wood chipper shredder stuck branch blade

At one point I was using a drill and sawzall to unstick the chipper. Another design flaw - there are bolts sticking out where you have to manually turn the shaft, so your wench can only hit it from certain positions and for a very small rotation.