suggested chipper for home use

am shopping for a chipper to be able to feed small twigs, branches and create some mulch/compost in the deep south
previously I had a Snapper 5hp unit that lasted over a decade with well over 400 hours on the engine
can someone recommend a particular type and where to buy? my local small engine shop (chainsaw, lawn equipment) no longer stocks chippers and everything is a mail order item
harbor freight sells a 5.5hp chinese made unit for 385 but I have no idea how durable are the engine and chipper components
can you recommend a unit and where to buy?
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Well a few years ago I bought a big sears chipper for around 700 bucks and severly trimmed 8 large trees. Spent the summer trimming and chipping. Wore out the blades in the branch chipper part. Sears was unable to get me replacement parts so the ultimately gave me a brand new chipper for free. my returned one went to the crusher. sad it was only a few months old.
Now I wanted a chipper my entire life but am going to sell mine........
they are very loud, wear ear protection!, create a unreal amount of dust that irritates my allergies, had a bad experience after accidently chipping some poision ivy, the small wood chips generated rot in less than a year, dont pile up chips they generate alcohol and piles will catch on fire:( they are large and take up too much storage space, and parts are hard to find..... they are too safe to use, the fine chipping area has barely been used, its unreal hard to put even leaves in......
living with my nice big red chipper makes me wonder why I EVER wanted one.. if your around pittsburgh i will be happy to sell mine
by a older one, they arent as safe to use but appear to work better........
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-snip-

I had one for a season- many years ago. PITA. Now I compost leaves and anything up to about pencil size. Most of it breaks down in a year here in NY. The bigger-than-a-pencil stuff gets chopped with an axe to be tossed into the firepit when we want to play with fire.
I have a sharp axe and a 30" high chopping block. I reduce a pretty hefty brushpile to 20gallons or so of sticks in a couple hours. A lot less sweat than fighting with a clogging, screaming, dangerous chipper--- and I can still listen to my MP3 player while I work.
Jim
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On 10/10/2010 8:32 AM, Jim Elbrecht wrote:

Since I have allergies and don't trust my cheap prefab tin fireplace anyway (and no SWMBO around, so no reason to call in a pro to check it out), I don't burn wood. I used to burn a brush pile once a year, but gave it up when my neighbor quit burning his now-huge one. (Saw something in the paper that the township was now writing tickets for that.) So both our brushpiles are now slowly getting smaller on their own, while things live in them. New large branches go over the fence into the wooded section of the graveyard that will never get used by humans, and leaves and small stuff get dumped into the treeline along the back fence. 4 feet tall in November, but basically vanishes by spring. After 5 years, the walking back there is kind of spongy. It has totally spoiled me for ever living in a house with living neighbors on all sides- never wanna go back to bagging and hauling, or paying somebody to haul it away. I don't garden, but if the next owner of this dump does, they will have plenty of compost available.
-- aem sends...
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Not for the UK.
Deep down South means something very different over here.
Buy something local, maybe craigslist:
http://geo.craigslist.org/iso/gb
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