What is the Best Stump Grinder? (2022)
Commercial and Residential Units

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Cutting down trees doesn’t completely free up space. You need a stump grinder to level the land and to get rid of tree stumps. However, not all stump grinders can live up to your expectations and some are a match for the stump in question. Our experts picked out the most reliable ones that can get rid of stumps without any issue.

Premium Pick
DOSKO 200 Series
Editor’s Choice
Detail K2 OPG888E
Budget Option
DK2 Stump Grinder
DOSKO 200 Series
Detail K2 OPG888E
• Fast operation
• Honda GX200 OHV engine
• Heavy recoil starter
• Cyclone air cleaner
• Kohler 14 HP engine
• Dual direct V belt
• EZ belt tension
• ATV wheels
• Kohler 14 HP engine
• Direct belt drive
• 3600 RPM
• ATV tires
Premium Pick
DOSKO 200 Series
DOSKO 200 Series
• Fast operation
• Honda GX200 OHV engine
• Heavy recoil starter
• Cyclone air cleaner
Editor’s Choice
Detail K2 OPG888E
Detail K2 OPG888E
• Kohler 14 HP engine
• Dual direct V belt
• EZ belt tension
• ATV wheels
Budget Option
DK2 Stump Grinder
• Kohler 14 HP engine
• Direct belt drive
• 3600 RPM
• ATV tires

Reviews of the Top Stump Grinders

1. Detail K2 OPG888E

The Detail K2 OPG888E stump removing tool is powered by a Kohler 14 HP engine that comes with a commercial 3-year warranty. The tree stump will be no match for the 3600 RPM high-speed blades. The dual direct V-belt drive and the electric start make this walk-behind stump grinder one that is easy to start up and quick to maneuver.

The Detail K2 OPG888E rests on ATV wheels that can handle rough terrain for a wider cutting range and the EZ belt tension adjustment is as the name suggests – easy to use.

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

2. DOSKO 200 Series Stump Grinder

It’s expensive, but the DOSKO 200 stump grinder is a miniature but powerful model that can handle tree stump removal as well as the full-sized options. It’s one of the fastest and most portable models out there and is the one our experts recommend for offsite removing.

It takes only one person to operate and is powered by the GX200 4-cycle OHV Honda engine that makes it as good as some commercial grinders. Bid farewell to unwanted stumps as the grinder has a heavy-duty recoil starter that gets the unit up and moving quickly and efficiently.

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

3. DK2 Stump Grinder

If you want precise cutting performance, then the DK2 model is one of the best stump grinders. Not only is it accurate, but this unit is also highly efficient. The direct belt drive system eliminates any slipping so the stump grinder’s cutting wheel will obliterate the remaining stump in no time at all.

The gas-powered DK2 stump grinder unit operates with a 14 HP Kohler engine that provides a cutting speed of 3600 RPM. The DK2 unit includes appropriate safety gear with your purchase such as ear protection, safety glasses to prevent against wood chips, work gloves, and an oil bottle. 

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

4. TORO 22602

The Toro 22602 has a cutting wheel with replaceable grinder teeth, which prolongs the life and use of the stump grinder for removing stumps well into the future. 

The machine is well-balanced, meaning that there is less effort required to “muscle” or push the machine forward on your part to maneuver the cutting head. The grinder works well on all types of stumps and it has lift handles for on and off-loading.

There are also rubber gaskets positioned between the handle and the stump grinder frame to help with vibration absorption. The manufacturer boasts one of the smoothest cutting experiences you can get on the market with the 22602.

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

Stump Grinders Buyer’s Guide

The best stump grinder will depend on how many stumps you need the power tool to tackle, whether you need to transport the unit to a job site, and even the type of brakes and tires it has. Our woodworking team has narrowed down the most sought-after features of the best models. 

Size and Portability

Stump grinders are available in a few sizes. Smaller units can be operated with relative ease compared to other models that are larger, and they are very easy to transport. The smaller stump grinders resemble lawnmowers and our experts recommend more a more compact grinder for smaller stumps.

The small units are also the ones favored by many on our team for basic stump removal at home. For commercial use, our woodworkers would recommend medium to large stump grinders, especially if you’re working with thicker tree stumps. 

A compact stump grinder is also the better choice for portability. Some have lifting handles and hitch pins that help users transport the stump grinder to and from the worksite. 

Vertical or Horizontal Stump Grinder?

Users should also consider the type of stump grinder that works best for their purpose. After multiple stump grinder reviews, our experts feel they can usually be classified into 2 categories – vertical and horizontal stump grinders.

This doesn’t mean the stump grinders are positioned vertically or horizontally, but rather the blades are the ones that are directional. Most stump grinders available on the market are vertical, meaning they operate with a vertical blade configuration with the frame resting on two wheels.

The horizontal units operate from above, but they are less common because they can be less efficient than vertical models.

Aside from the blade, you may also consider if you want a walk-behind model, which is among the most common for the average person, or a track stump grinder.

The walk-behind units, also known as handlebar stump grinders, are operated by pushing the unit via built-in handles, much like a lawnmower. This type is excellent for unwanted tree stumps that most homeowners see in their yard. It’s a manually operated stump grinder, which means it doesn’t have all the features a more advanced model would have.

The track stump grinder is the one that can be controlled with a remote control or control panel. More features can be adjusted on this type of stump grinder including the speed. Much of the time, track stump grinders will adjust the sped automatically and can really help you avoid serious injury. 

Engine Power

The engine on the best stump grinder needs to be powerful and easy to start. You can find Honda and Kohler engines that are around 14 HP [1] with 3600 RPM on average. Some stubborn stumps are difficult to remove, which is why our team recommends going for a high-powered model.  Doing so is especially important if you have a walk-behind stump grinder because you won’t need to exert as much effort.

An underpowered stump grinder will take more time to grind down the stumps of unwanted trees and users may need to get creative and try a variety of techniques. A high-powered stump grinder is more hassle-free. 

Keep in mind that stump grinders need a lot of power, which is why they are gas-powered. Make sure you carry out proper maintenance on occasion to ensure the longevity of your engine.

Cutting Capacity

The cutting capacity is the cut the unit can carry out above and below ground. The range of the cutting head will determine the unit efficiency. Why is underground cutting depth important? Our woodworking team says stump removal is more than eliminating what we see on the surface. There are stumps that have their roots intact and try to regrow, which is why you need to go deeper for complete removal.

The above-ground capacity is the elimination of the actual stump, or what you see at ground level. Every person’s need for cutting capacity will be different, and the best options are the ones that can carry out the task well.

Our team members suggest a below-ground cutting level of nine to twenty inches in depth to tackle most tasks. As for the above-ground range, we suggest going within the ten to the twenty-four-inch range. Remember, a chainsaw can be used in tandem with a stump grinder to help the grinding process to cut the stump down to size. 

Wheel Brake

A wheel brake is a feature on your stump grinder that stops the wheel to avoid hurting the user or damaging its own integrity. This is an important feature in terms of safety, as is having a drum brake, which keeps the unit in the starting spot while you pivot and maneuver during operation. Keep in mind that an upgraded drum braking system may cost you more money, which brings us to the next section.

Price and Warranty

Unfortunately, even the budget stump grinders are costly units. Depending on your needs, you may not need the most expensive unit a brand has to offer. Our experts say a great way to save money is to buy the best for your needs.

For example, there are units with an easy power lever start and an adjustable handlebar that makes the grinder suitable for people of all heights. Pneumatic tires and knobby tires give a smoother operation that’s much more stable. There are plenty of features you can look for – if you’re willing to pay the price.

The warranty is something that users should never forgo. Our woodworking experts feel that a long warranty is needed for such an expensive investment. Yes, a stump grinder is meant to last, but you never know when you might run into some trouble. You want to make sure you’re covered just in case something goes wrong.

Check to see how long the warranty period is and whether or not replacement parts are easy to find. It will save you a lot of headaches if the individual components are easy to source. The standard warranty is 1 year, but our team suggests looking for a stump grinder that has a warranty period of at least 3 years.

Another tip our woodworking team has is to not buy a unit outright. Some can be financed, and sometimes it even makes sense to rent a unit instead. 

Advantages of Stump Grinders

Why do you need a stump grinder? As we said, it’s an expensive investment that may not make sense for everyone. The first benefit of stump grinders is they can get rid of the eyesore in the middle of your yard, and they can even preserve the rest of your yard if the tree was diseased. Removing the stump at its roots with a stump grinder will prevent the sickness from spreading.

Once the stump is removed, it also allows for easier yard maintenance and expansion. Not to mention, getting rid of the stump will do a lot for landscaping and enhancing the look of your yard. It makes everything look cleaner and neater.

A stump is a very obvious obstacle in the middle of the yard, but it can still be a tripping hazard. It will always be in the way of lawnmowing, and may even prevent your kids and pets from running free within your fenced property.

A stump can also double as a breeding ground and home to pests and diseases that could spread to other parts of your yard. If you have the stump removed, chances are you no longer want a tree to grow there, but if you do not fully remove the stump, then the tree could grow back. These are all potential issues that you could face, but having a stump grinder will rid you of these problems.

Stump grinding is also a much better way of removing a stump compared to chemical removal because it is much more efficient and safe. 

FAQ

Is it worth buying a stump grinder?

Yes, it is worth buying a stump grinder. You can preserve the integrity of your yard by ridding it of diseased trees, removing any unpleasant remaining stumps as well as what could potentially be a tripping hazard. Not to mention, stump grinders are built to last and the cost per use will end up being worth it. 

Why are stump grinders so expensive?

Stump grinders are expensive because they need to have engine capacity and durable blades preferably with carbide-tipped teeth, throttle cable, and an adjustable handle. For a quality unit that can handle even the toughest stumps, you are looking to pay a premium price.

Our Top Pick For a Stump Grinder:
Detail K2 OPG888E

After extensive trials and tests, our team hails the Detail K2 OPG888E as our top recommendation on our list of best stump grinders. This unit has a 14 HP Kohler engine that is covered by a 3-year commercial warranty. 

The dual direct V-belt drive with high speeds of up to 3600 RPM. The unit powers through the tree stumps and the tension is easy to adjust with the EZ belt tension adjustment for simple use. 

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson

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