a stump grinder doing it's job

According to Industry Market Research, Reports, & Statistics, stump grinding is a $21 billion niche industry that has been growing very rapidly in recent years. It is expected to continue growing at about 6.7 % per year.

The best stump grinder is the one that will quickly remove a tree stump without breaking down or posing a threat to your health and safety. The best stump grinder is also one that will get your job done promptly and not charge you an arm and leg! We have reviewed dozens of stump grinders in the market, and we have come up with ten of the best stump grinders in 2022. But first,

Things to Consider when Buying a Stump Grinder

How do you choose the right one without blowing all your cash on something that will not be of much use or, worse still, will break down after just a few hours of using it?

Related: How To Use A Stump Grinder

First things first: don't just go out and buy the cheapest machine you can find. This is a significant investment to make, so do your research before taking the plunge!

We've listed below what we believe are some of the essential features that will help you decide which stump grinder best suits you or if it's worth investing in one at all.

Horse Power

Horsepower is the primary indicator of a stump grinder's performance. It gauges how efficiently the machine will grind away stumps, logs, and even roots underground. Most standard rotary stump grinders come with horsepower from as little as 2 HP (for small gardening purposes )to 15HP or more for yard and commercial use.

As a general rule, the higher the horsepower, the faster and more effortlessly the grinder will chew up the tree stump. However, with that increased power comes increased cost, so it is important to weigh up your needs before on the type of machine that best suits your needs.

Size of Cutter Disk

The size of the cutter disk is an important consideration. You'll want to think about the average size of stumps you are planning on removing and whether your machine is compatible with larger disks.

Most standard stump grinders are equipped with disks measuring between 5-10" in diameter, ideal for processing smaller stumps.

If you plan to tackle more giant stumps, it may be a good idea to invest in a large disk grinder that can accommodate disks of up to 16" or more in diameter and process more giant tree stumps.

Cutting Depth

How much of the stump do you want the grinder to remove? The average cutting depth for stump grinders is around 6". However, some machines can go as low as 2" while others can go as deep as 12".

It is important to decide what depth you are comfortable with and whether the stump grinder you are looking at has that option.

Side Discharge

This is another feature that is not necessary but worth considering. Side discharge allows the wood chips (see our wood chipper guide) to be disposed of away from the stump and your working area. Directing the wood chips away from the grinder prevents the grinder from jamming.

If you are working on commercial projects and wouldn't want to be bothered with cleaning up wood chips every 5 minutes, then this might be a feature worth looking out for.

Wheel Size

The size of the wheels on your stump grinder is also essential. You'll want to make sure that the machine you choose can easily navigate over uneven surfaces and around tight corners without getting caught or damaging your garden.

You can opt for large pneumatic tires as they provide good ground clearance and traction, even on uneven surfaces. The alternative is a tracked stump grinder which has the added advantage of going over soft surfaces without causing damage. Track stump grinders are also generally more durable and can handle rougher terrain.

Ease of Operation

The best stump grinder for home use is lightweight, has no exposed moving parts (for safety), and features easy access controls.

You want to make sure that the machine you choose is easy to operate and maintain. Check if it's easy to change the blades and ensure that you have a spare blade on hand just in case. Some models also come with hydraulic controls, making it easier to adjust the machine according to your specific requirements.

Remember that there are different types of rotary stump grinders, so be sure to check out our stump grinder reviews below to see which one would be the best fit for you.

Top 10 Best Stump Grinders In 2021

PowerKing Stump Grinder PK0803 (Best Compact Stump Grinder)

This stump grinder uses a Kohler Command Pro 14HP engine with a recoil starting system.

best compact stupm grinder

It has an all-season engine with a steel-forged crankshaft and cast iron cylinder bore. It also has a super-aggressive, powerful driving dual V-belt and a premium locking throttle cable. The large wheels make it easy to maneuver around any tree stumps of any shape or size.

Since safety is always a factor to consider, this stump grinder has a palm button and a pull latch ripcord for shut-off.

The Powerking Stump grinder has a 12-inch diameter cutting wheel, and it chips wood ten inches above ground level and nine inches below the ground. It also comes with double bolt cutting tools to keep the machine tight and robust. Its bow handles are made of large pipes which are adjustable.

PowerKing Stump Grinder (PK0803-EH) with an Electric Start and Hour Meter (best grinder for the money)

The PK0803-EH is a great alternative for the above powering compact stump grinder model. It comes with a fast electric start. It also includes an hour meter so you can keep track of how long you've been grinding. This helps track and record the total running time of the equipment to assure proper maintenance timelines.

Some of the extra features added in this electric package include:

  • A PowerKing 14HP Kohler Stump Grinder
  • A complete replacement teeth set
  • PowerKing tow bar
  • Weatherproof cover

Powerking PK0803 - EH Stump Grinder W/Electric Start.

Husqvarna SG13 Stump Grinder

Husqvarna is a leading brand in power tool production, focusing on high-end products. The Husqvarna trademark is well known for its chain saws. However, they also have a wide range of electric tools, outdoor power equipment, and lawn care products.

The SG13 stump grinder from Husqvarna is a top-quality machine perfect for grinding down stumps quickly and easily.

With a Honda GX390 11.7HP engine and a 14 Inch cutting head, this stump grinder can handle any job you throw at it. The SG13 also comes with several features that make it stand out from the competition, including:

  • An adjustable handlebar. You can easily reposition it for comfort while using the machine.
  • It comes with heavy-duty shields to minimize the number of wood chips that fly around.
  • Lift handles on either of its sides for easy lifting.
  • Robust design - Built strong for demanding professional applications
  • Permanently lubricated & self-adjusting bearings for extra durability.
  • Replaceable Tungsten carbide-tipped teeth.

The main disadvantage of the SG13 is that it is a bit on the heavy side and slightly more expensive than machines with similar specs like the PowerKing PK0803. But with its durable construction and top-quality features, this machine is well worth the extra weight. If you are looking for a stump grinder that will get the job done quickly and easily

Dk2 14" 12 Cutter Commercial Performance Stump Grinder

This stump grinder has a 14HP electric start Kohler CH440 Command Pro engine. Its cutter disk is made with 12 carbide high-speed drive teeth. This stump grinder makes your work easy as it comes with a removable flip bar for easy carting or pulling (using a tractor or an ATV) as well as brake wheels for pivoting grinding.  

This stumper has a comfort bow handle off the shutdown button for safety purposes.

It can chip a stump of up to 14 inches above the ground and 10 inches below the ground.

What makes this even a more ideal tool is that it has a 3-year commercial warranty, meaning you can always return it if it has a defect or breaks down within this period.

Read more about the commercial DK2 stump grinder here.

best dk2 stump grinder

Barreto Tracked Stump Grinder

The Barreto Stump Grinders are an excellent option for tree stump removal and stump grinding large-diameter trees in difficult-to-reach areas or anywhere you don't want to disturb the ground much. The unit rests on wide tracks, distributing the weight evenly across the surface, making it easy to operate without damaging lawns or breaking up sidewalks.

This track stump grinder is powered by a 31hp Air Cooled OHV Horizontal Shaft V-Twin Engine with a 14-gallon hydraulic reservoir that provides additional power when needed. The immensely powerful head has 12 carbide blade teeth that will chew through practically any unsightly stumps.

Weighing 1700lbs, the Barreto track stump grinder is one of the heaviest commercial grinders and requires nothing short of professional equipment for lifting. Fortunately, it's powerful enough to climb up a ramp for easy transportation.

The Barreto stump grinder is a good option if you are looking for something that can handle heavy commercial needs or if you have a large or rough farm/ranch.

Generac Pro Stump Grinder

This is a beginner-friendly, lightweight, and durable stump removal grinder. It features an intuitive control panel, a detachable tow bar and comes with carbide-tipped cutting teeth designed to chew through any tree stump.

Although not as large as most stump grinders, its powerful engine cuts cleanly with good fuel efficiency. However, the 12 gauge lightweight steel build is only suitable for prepared areas with less grass, weeds, or other items that can tangle around the cutting head. It is slightly hard to maneuver and use in hills and wilder areas.

If you're looking for something relatively simple to clear your property every now and then, this is a good choice.

Specs & Features:

  • A powerful 19.5 FPT Generac G-Force Engine with 2,800 rpm
  • Detachable tow bar for easy transportation
  • Eight mining-grade tungsten carbide-tipped steel

Dosko 200-6HC – best small stump grinder

Dosko stump grinders are incredibly popular for several reasons – they're durable, efficient, and easy to use. The Dosko 200-6HC is perfect for small stumps, especially for working in tight areas making it the ideal choice for homeowners or landscapers. It has a smaller cutting range of 10 inches above the ground and nine below

The Honda GX engine combined with the Greenteeth 500 series cutting blades guarantees outstanding stump grinding performance. It's the perfect, smallest walk behind stump grinder for light home use

Other important features include:

  • oil shutdown sensor
  • cyclone air cleaner
  • foldable handlebar for easy storage and transportation
  • self-propelled

Dk2 Kohler 14hp 3.5 X 12” Stump Grinder

The DK2 is a gas-powered, walk-behind stump grinder developed by Kohler. It's powered by a 14 HP engine and comes equipped with all the features you need. Some notable features include a 16 gauge steel plate, heavy-duty pneumatic tires, and an upgraded drum braking system to assist you while grinding tree stumps.

The DK2 is unique because it can grind tree stumps with diameters up to 12" above ground and 9" below ground. This is the perfect machine if you need to grind multiple medium-sized stumps.

  • An advanced recoil starting system
  • It comes with a reinforced steel HD carriage.
  • Equipped with dual ATV wheels and an extended tow bar kit.
  • Adjustable bow handle
  • high carbide speed of 3600 Rpm
  • Easy to operate even without extensive training

Read more about the DK2 Kohler 3.5" X 12" here.

NorthStar Stump Grinder - 160cc Honda GX160 Engine

The NorthStar GX160 has been tested and runs excellent for home and backyard projects.

Its small design allows it to go where large stump grinders can't get through, like narrow paths, garden gates, or walkways, without sacrificing power. It's also lightweight for easy lifting over walls or when loading it to a track –eliminate the need for a trailer.

One of the best features of this small stump grinder is the side wood chip discharge which allows smooth operations. You won't have to stop to clear out the cuttings away frequently.

The commercial-grade powerful honda engine and carbide-tipped teeth quickly remove entire tree stumps.

Other noteworthy specs and features include:

  • A small compact design for easy transportation and storage.
  • lightweight, it weighs just 135 pounds
  • It comes with a 9 2/3 inches diameter, and a 3/8 inches cutting wheel
  • Equipped with four carbide-tipped teeth for effective grinding
  • Works on stumps 10 inches above the ground and 9 inches below.

Bluebird Stump Grinder

The Bluebird is almost similar to the NorthStar stump grinder. It is perfect for small and medium stump removal jobs. It's equipped with all the critical features you need to get the job done efficiently.

  • Honda GX390 4-cycle engine with a heavy-duty recoil start
  • a cyclone air filter that boosts fuel efficiency
  • a centrifugal clutch to provide a continuous supply of power for removing tree remnants
  • carbide-tipped cutting teeth.
  • Pneumatic knobby tires for easy handling

Types of Stump Grinders

When it comes to stump removal, there are several different types of grinders available for purchase. Each type offers its benefits and drawbacks when compared to the others. The two main types of stump grinders include:

Gas-powered engine stump grinders

These are the most popular type of stump grinders. They're robust, durable, and easy to operate. However, they can be pretty noisy and require regular maintenance.

They use a gasoline or diesel engine to power a heavy, rotating metal disk. The cutter chops through roots as it spins around at very high speeds - usually between 8000rpm and 10000rpm for small grinders. They can be pretty heavy and difficult to use in tight spaces.

Electric powered stump grinders

Electric stump grinders are much lighter and smaller than gas-powered models, making them easier to transport and use in tight spaces. However, they are not as powerful and may take longer to remove giant stumps.

They are much quieter than gas-powered grinders. They don't have any fumes or exhaust, making them an excellent choice for anyone who wants to work in quieter spaces.

Stump grinders can also be categorized according to their mode of operation and movement.

They include:

Walk-behind Stump grinders

  – these are the most popular type of stump grinders. They're powered by a gasoline or diesel engine and require you to walk behind them as you grind the stump.

They're durable, powerful, and easy to operate but can be pretty heavy and difficult to use in tight spaces.

Tow-behind/Rear-hitch stump grinders

 -  these are similar to walk-behind models, but they're pulled behind a tractor or an ATV. They're easier to transport and use because they attach to the back of another vehicle. Just be sure to check that your tractor or ATV is strong enough to pull them before you buy one.

Bottom Line

There are plenty of options for every need, from compact residential cutters to commercial stump grinders.

The Power King and Kohler Grinders are probably the most popular machine models for residential, home, and semi-commercial use. Higher-priced alternatives are primarily used for large-scale purposes like clearing new grounds or forestry.

Buying vs. renting Stump grinder

While it can be expensive to buy a new Stump grinder, renting one can work out cheaper in some cases. If you only have one or two jobs that need doing, we would recommend checking with your local tool hire company and seeing what they charge, as this will probably be much more affordable than buying your machine.

There are many different types of stump grinders available on the market, each one offering its benefits and features that make it stand out from the crowd. You can buy stump grinders with petrol or electric motors (or even both) depending on what you feel is best for you and ultimately which type will save you time and effort.  

Renting an average quality machine will save money, but it could well end up costing more in the long run.  Buying a piece of new equipment can be expensive, but you will get many years of use out of it, and if something does go wrong, you'll have full support from the manufacturer to get your machine back up and running in no time at all!

Best Stump Grinders; FAQ's

Is a gas-powered stump grinder better than an electric one?

It depends on what kind of work you need to get done.

Gas-powered machines are very powerful and can work on any tree stump efficiently. They are also convenient as they can be used anywhere, even in remote places. However, they require more maintenance after every use, which can be a hassle. Electric models are easier to use, but they don't produce the same amount of power, thus less efficient for heavy jobs. They also can't be used where there is no electricity.

What is the grinding disk made of?

Grinding disks usually consist of six-inch carbide teeth that will chew through anything and quickly cut down roots and small stumps. The disk should be replaced every so often when it becomes dull and ineffective.

Is it worth buying a stump grinder?

If you have many stumps to grind and stump grinding is a large part of your work, it may be well worth investing in your machine. It will save you time, effort, and a lot of money compared to renting. However, if you need to take care of a few stumps, you should rent a stump grinder –it's a more affordable and convenient option.

How much does a stump grinder cost?

Prices can vary greatly depending on the size and type of machine you choose. You can expect to pay anywhere between $1000 and $5000 for good quality, medium-sized stump grinder. Some commercial grinders can cost as much as $10,000 or more.

Is it better to grind a stump or remove it?

It depends on the specific situation and what you need to achieve.

Removing the entire stump together with the roots is a lot more complex, time-consuming, and leaves an ugly site that you have to fill up. Grinding a stump may leave some roots behind, but it is much quicker, easier, and has minimal effect on the yard.

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