Which type of forestry mulcher is the best for your operation?

October 31, 2022

Forestry Mulchers: Disc vs Drum Differences

There are some key basic differences between a disc and a drum forestry mulcher. There are both installments and key components to cutting brush and trees, but they do so in separate ways. Don’t forget to see our other blog if you’re unfamiliar with what a forestry mulcher is and how it works.

Disc vs Drum Forestry Mulchers - Side by Side Comparison

Disc Mulcher

  • Speed: Highly efficient at clearing ground and mulching trees. 
  • Stump Grinding: Poor. Limited to levelling off stump.
  • Finish: Inconsistent. Takes multiple passes. Not an issue if resale isn’t important to you. 
  • Cost: Lower.
  • Safety: Use caution. Disc mulching throws bits erratically. \

Drum Mulcher

  • Speed: Moderately effective
  • Stump Grinding: Great. Can grind stumps several inches below grade level. Kicks up topsoil for planting.
  • Finish: Better. Produces finder wood chips, great for resale value 
  • Cost: Higher. 
  • Safety: Higher. Drum mulching is more controlled. 

Drum Mulchers

These are cylindrical, drum-shaped attachments with heat-treated mulching teeth. Drum mulchers can be attached to already versatile skid steers

Drum mulchers are not as fast as their disc counterparts, but they tend to have better mulching capabilities. For instance, a tough stump resting on the ground can be mulched more effectively, making the mulch incredibly refined and therefore, easier to sell. The drum attachment has a wide sweeping range so it can mulch a fair volume of trees and brush. 

One drawback of the drum mulcher is maintenance costs. Since the teeth in the drum are under high amounts of strain, they’ll wear out faster. You may end up spending more than expected on a higher-quality drum to avoid costly downtime and repairs. Different types of forestry mulching teeth are available depending on the type of work you’re doing as well. 

Disc Mulchers

The second type of forestry mulcher is a rotary or disc mulcher. Disc mulchers are known to be very fast while sacrificing a finer finished mulch. If you have a larger number of trees to clear on the job site, a disc mulcher will make it a snap. Disc mulchers tend to be less complex attachments, making them more affordable for most businesses to purchase or finance. 

There are some notable drawbacks to consider. If you sell mulch and your clients desire finer mulch, you’ll need a drum mulcher on site. This is because disc mulchers are superior at a cut and feed method, pulling trees and foliage in and processing it rapidly. 

Safety can also be a concern. Disc mulchers have erratic mulch distribution and larger wood chunks tend to fly from them more frequently. Work injuries are more likely if you or your crew are less experienced with these machines. 

Which forestry mulcher is better for your operation?

After reading, do you have an idea which attachment is better for you? At Blue Capital Equipment Finance, we can help you obtain the equipment your operation demands. If you need help financing for your next forestry mulcher or attachment, don’t hesitate to reach out to be approved