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Tree Stump Grinder Buying Guide

Many landscape owners have trees in their landscapes, and sometimes they need to remove a tree or multiple trees. They need professional help to remove a tree as professionals have the skills and experience required to remove a tree from any place.

However, removing a tree is not enough as the process leaves the tree stump after removal. Landscape owners need to remove the stump as well to use the space for some other purpose.


Tree Stump Grinder Buying Guide

It is quite challenging to remove a tree stump as it has roots deeply embedded into the soil. There are a variety of tree stump grinder machines available to remove different types of stumps.

You cannot just buy or hire any stump grinding machine to remove a stump. You need to know the right kind of machine suitable for your job.  

Let us explore the types of stump grinders and things to consider while choosing one for your yard.

Tree Stump Grinder Buying Guide


Tree Stump Grinder Buying Checklist

Size and weight of the Machine

Some machines are small and light and made for the removal of small stumps. On the other hand, heavy-duty machines are heavy and large made for grinding large stumps.

As heavy grinders are not suitable for personal use, one should not use them to remove stumps from the home garden.

Most tree stump grinders have a weight between 816 and 2721 kilograms. However, some heavy-duty grinding machines like Carlton’s Hurricane TRX series can have weight up to 5670 kilograms.  

Therefore, it is best to choose a small and manageable tree stump grinder that is easy to carry and transfer to any place. With some care and caution, a landscape owner can use a small grinding machine to remove a stump from its landscape.

Power of the Machine

Most of the machines make use of similar cutting techniques; you can differentiate them in terms of horsepower. Stump grinding machines come in various power ranges.

The power of a machine determines how quickly it can cut or grind a hard stump. For an average thickness of stumps, you can use a low power grinder, but for heavy and thick stumps, you might need a high-power machine.

The horsepower of a machine is important to consider as it determines its capability to grind hard stumps. Even the size does not matter much as compared to the horsepower of the machine.

The horsepower of tree stump grinders ranges from 25 to 90 horsepower, and you can choose a machine depending on the type of wood to be cut or removed.

Number of teeth

The number of teeth on the cutter wheel determines the speed and time required for grinding the stump. The smallest models have as few as 12 teeth, while the heavy-duty models can have up to 132 teeth.

More the number of teeth more is the speed of the cutting or grinding, and machines with fewer teeth takes more time to grind a stump. Therefore, it is best to use a small and light grinder but with more teeth. More the teeth, faster you can get the work done that removes the stump from your yard.

However, in addition to the number of teeth, you need to consider other factors such as horsepower and RPM of the motor that contributes to the grinding speed. All these factors play a vital role in the speed of the machine and time required for stump removal. 

Types of Stump Grinders

Using a tree stump grinder

Source: Wikimedia

There are two basic types of stump grinders – track grinders and wheel grinders. However, there are a variety of configurations between these two categories. There are self-propelled, walk-behind, and tow-behind models. Self-propelled models have a motor that helps them move.

The walk-behind models require a person to push them to move while the motor is used to rotate the grinding blade. The tow-behind models are attached to a standard truck hitch to make them move and transfer from one place to another.

The walk-behind models are more suitable for occasional stump removals like in homes or backyards. Some walk behind models also come with the self-propelled option to make the operation more convenient.

The self-propelled and tow-behind models are much more powerful than the walk-behind models and are used for heavy-duty operations like cutting trees in forests or large landscapes.

Some grinders come with remote operation options to add an extra layer of safety while operating these machines. Out of the most common types of stump grinders, some portable models are often called stump planers or removers.

Another option is to buy a tree stump grinder accessory, which must be combined with agricultural or construction equipment for operation.

The vertical stump grinders comes with a rotary drill to drill and destroy the main stump and the roots that could continue to grow.

Gasoline vs Diesel Engine Stump Grinders

DK2 Power Gas Powered Certified Commercial Frame Stump Grinder

Source: Amazon

Another consideration is to choose between machines operated by gasoline and diesel engines. Gas-powered stump grinders usually have less power than diesel machines.

If you have a small operation where you only need to cut a few stumps at a time, a gas stump shredder may be right. However, for a larger operation where you need to go through dozens or even hundreds of stumps quickly, a larger, stump grinder powered by diesel may be a better option.

Cutting Wheel Size of the Machine

The size of the cutting wheel in a stump grinder can be misleading, for which you need to be extremely careful. The simple choice of the largest wheel does not guarantee the deepest cut. Many factors affect how far below grade a machine can cut.

  • Style and design of the safety guard
  • The angle of the machine on its axle
  • The distance of the axle and the point on which the wheel is mounted.

You need to check the cutting depths before buying or renting a grinder to determine whether it will provide the required cutting depth.

The below-grade cutting depths can vary between 9 " and 18", depending on the design and model. Most models cut 16 "to 17" below grade, with 9 "and 18" exceptions at every end.

On the other hand, it is also essential to consider the above grade cutting depth. The above-grade cutting depth tells an estimate of the height of a stump that can be crushed above ground level.

The above grade cutting depths are usually between 10" and 24", although most grinders have above grade depths more than 20". If your stump is too high for the machine, you will need to cut it with a chainsaw to bring it to a manageable height.

Other Features and Technologies to Look For

Types of Stump Grinders

Source: Wikimedia

Safety is essential while using these machines; that is why many of them come with safety features. Some features like automatic stop, LED lighting, remote start, and swing control and operator presence systems on the handlebars are given to enhance safety during operation.

Durability and stability are important too, and this is where robust remote-control systems, reinforced chassis, all-wheel drive, and dual front and rear wheels are required.

Other features may also include hydraulic fill blades on large machines and adjustable handle-bars and self-propelled features.

Tree Stump Grinder Condition and Price

As far as the condition is concerned, people need to pay more to buy a new machine, but they own the machine, and the manufacturer offers a warranty.

On the other hand, used machines are usually cheaper, and as long as you inspect it properly and ask for information on the ways to operate it precisely.

If you want to use the machine once in a while, it is better to buy a used grinder or hire it on rent. However, if you have a large landscape with several trees and need to remove them several times in a year, it is best to buy a new grinder.

Moreover, when you buy a new machine, you can select one according to your requirements and tree stumps that need removal.

Specialty of the Tree Stump Grinder

Grinders are also available with various specialties like the tree loppers Castle Hill that are designed for high-quality pruning of trees. The cutting blades and accessories on these machines are specially designed for grinding the specific type of stumps.

Likewise, they must have some other accessories for purposes such as tree extraction, cutters, and depending on the size of the stumps. Check the size of the plug and the specialty of the equipment before considering it better.

Equipment Affordability 

DK2 Power Stump Grinder 14HP HD Commercial Frame with Kohler Motor

Source: Amazon

So, affordability is an important factor; buying a new one can be expensive as the price can range from $200 to $800. Although renting may cost less for hours or days, hiring a contractor would be a totally different idea.

If you have a large landscape with a number of trees that you need to remove every year, buying a grinder is the best option. On the other hand, if you want to use it occasionally, renting is beneficial in terms of cost.

Professional Advice

Ask professional landscapers and arborists for better plans and advice, as they are experts in this field so that they can suggest the best, but essential, aspects when purchasing a robust grinder.

Find the best landscaping services in your city. Henshaw Tree Service offers tree removal, and stump removal services in Blacktown and its surroundings.

The company has been offering high-quality landscaping services for years and has thousands of satisfied customers. If you live in Blacktown or nearby areas, you can hire them for tree removal, tree pruning, and other landscaping services.

Visit their website to know more about their services.    

Type of Stumps

Age will come into play in terms of the stump's hardness. So, if you have a stump that is rotting, it tends to be softer.

 In that case, the rail grinder or handlebar tree stump grinder can break through and have a good time in these conditions. Therefore, it is a function of the size, hardness, and the number of stumps.

One consideration in buying the handle-bar option over a tracked tree stump grinder is that the handle will revolve on its wheels so that it cannot reach higher stumps.

If you have a larger tree with a stump that has been cut much taller, you would need the use of a mat tree stump grinder, because it can cut stumps up to 35 inches, because the cutting head is on a separate lance.

Residential applications are, in fact, another reason for the track design in log shredders, because the tracks distribute the weight of the machine better.

So, the pressure on the ground is much lower, and you don't have to worry about ruts or to create conversion marks in people's backyards.

Wrapping Up Tree Stump Grinder Buying Guide

Now, as you know, the things to consider while selecting a tree stump grinder, you can get one for you. Considering all these factors can help landscape owners to choose the right type and model and remove tree stumps safely from their place.

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