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Discussion Starter #1
Review of a DEK CH-1:
With about 3 acres of woods I have plenty of opportunity for a chipper so I sprung for this DEK. Over the web for about $1150 (www.bjs.com). It was delivered to my work (they have a dock) and it was packaged very nicely. Easy assembly, add oil (with the incredibly weird supplied funnel), then one pull fired it right up. The only other chipper that was comparable was a DR and that cost double.

The Good: Eats through anything you can stuff into the chute - 3" branch will convert to 1/4" chips as fast as you can push it in. Runs a long time on one tank of gas. Reasonably quiet. Good price.

The Bad: The wheel mounting assembly cracked the first time out although I didn't notice it until parked back in the garage – see photo. I replaced the entire assembly with a Northern Tool $200 trailer that I cut down to 2' width. The original towing bar was terrible as the balance was way off. Now I can tow anywhere on my property. I suppose if you put the lights on you could tow on the road but this thing is top heavy and I would caution against any abrupt turns or rough road. I tow it with my Husqvarna lawn tractor with no effort.

So..for the money its good and once on my trailer its easy to get around. Three stars out of Five.
 

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Good work on the mounting !! I have an old x? brand chipper that my father-in-law gave me that I've been thinking of mounting on a trailer. Just lack of motivation on my part...Maybe you'll just inspire me !
 

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Disregarding the towing issue, how many stars out of five would you give it? Ive got 2.2 brushy acres and dont want a toy, this may be the brand Im looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
badbascom: So far 5 out of 5. It really does mow thru the branches. It says it will do a 3" x 4" but very seldom in the real world are branches perfectly straight so this size would probably not fit as it has to fit thru the funnel - not shown in my pics. Really nothing goes in the top (big) chute other than leaves.

I burned out a belt but that was my fault as I left a chunk in the chute and upon startup there is not enough rpm to get the chipper moving. A new belt through DEK is $25 but I'm sure you can find one cheaper. My warranty (for the broken support) I agreed upon with them was to replace the belt, which they did with no questions asked. Moral: make sure the chut is empty before starting the engine!

I think Northern Tool has them for $1299 + shipping so the BJ's was a good price even though I had to "join". The BJ price included shipping. You will need a dock or liftgate service as it is a very large box on a pallet.

I would buy it again.
JK
 

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DEK CH-1 arrived several days ago. Purchased through BJ's for 1099.00 plus Tax. Free shipping and I did not have to join the Club.
Semi truck delivered unit and had a lift. Driver was very helpful. He loaded unit onto my pickup and helped me unload at the house 150 yards away.
The unit arrived with a spare belt and blade. Also some safety equipment.
I will make up a "push stick" out of a 2X4. Probably four feet or so and a handle notched out on one end - just in case it is needed.
Photos show assembly in progress. Weather was best we have had in weeks. CH-1 seems very well made. Best choice for the $$$ I could find on the Net.
The CH-1 was purchased to chip about 700 Christmas trees ranging 5' to 7'.
If the CH-1 and I both survive that job, we will still have a chipper/shredder for around the property.
Plan to use a 20hp lawn tractor to tow with. Tow bar looks very sturdy.
Also looks as if the stand might drag the ground if not angled towards mower while towing. We'll see.
The caution on unit being top heavy is well noted.
The two foot wide trailer from Northern sure looks good. Hope I can get by OK the way it arrived though, at least for a while.
Very nice to hear it chips well.
Looking forward to using the CH-1 in coming weeks.
The large hopper says "Leaves Only"
I wonder if wood chips from the local tree service company would/could go through the hopper??
I have five truck loads of them and work OK, but it would be nice to make the chips smaller.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
DEK chipper review, follow up

Its been a couple of years so time for a follow up. Well, basically no news is good news. It probably only gets 15-20 hrs per years but you can go through tons of branches in that time. I originally started with one blade (the manual recommends one blade for larger items) but I put 2 on (the max) for this year. Can't say I notice any difference. One oil change so far, uneventful.

So... really chomps up the stuff, easy on gas. Starts right up. After the initial frame crack no problems.

Just don't leave anything in the chute upon shutdown - when you go to re-start the blade will bite and burn the belt if you don't remove it.

Thumbs up for this DEK :fing32:

JK
 

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Glad too here two years later it's still working good for You:thThumbsU
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Almost 10 yr review:

This thing has had tons of use - to bad it doesn't have an hour meter. Some changes - a new motor, not that there was anything wrong with the motor, but the pull start broke twice, the second time I threw in the towel and bought a replacement motor (420cc) from Northern Tool for $309 (on sale with a coupon) with electric start. The original motor ran perfect but it had a he!! of a kickback if you didn't get the pull just right, big leather gloves were mandatory, and I'm getting to old for that much fun! Other than sharpen the blades, it still mows thru anything you can shove down the chute.

Also, I see now that essentially the same chipper unit is about $300 less (at Northern Tool) than my cost back in '09. For most homeowners this thing is more than adequate, but if I had to do it again I would have bought a unit that runs off of the PTO of my tractor.

Jim
 

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just a bought a used one of these with no manual. Cannot figure out how to change the oil. Do I have to tip it on it's side to drain? After getting the blade sharpened it's working great. Brian
 

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Is there no drain plug along the bottom of the engine? Either what appears to be a bolt going into the side of it, or a plug (perhaps needing an Allen key to remove)?
 

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Thanks Dave, Saw a you-tube that finally made me realize where they were. Look too small to be drains and in a difficult spot!
 
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