7 BEST Stump Grinders: Small, Compact, Large, Cheap, Professional, And Residential…

How deep can a stump grinder go?

If you are wondering how deep a stump grinder can actually grind down to then you have come to the right place. Stump grinders are a fantastic bit of kit for removing ugly or unwanted tree stumps but can be dangerous in the wrong hands.

Generally one of the first questions we ask our clients is, Why do you want this stump removed? This fundamental question helps us to advise on how deep the stump needs to be ground down and how the site needs to be left.

There are definitely some limitations with stump grinders including the type of machine, the access, obstacles or underground utilities. By calculating these factors into the stump removal, we can work out how deep the stump grinder can go. Let’s look at some reasons that stumps may need to be removed in the next section.

best, stump, grinders, small

How deep do you need the stump grinder to go?

Ok, so, say for instance the machine you hire can grind down to a depth of 45cm. That’s a great depth for a stump grinder, most probably a large machine, but do you actually need to grind down that deep?

Let’s give you an example. If you have a tree stump in the middle of a lawn and you would like to remove it to plant some grass seed then you only need to go so deep. According to Munns, 15 – 18cm of soil below a new patch of lawn is more than enough, hence you would only need to grind down say, 20cm to give a generous amount of room. There may also be some surface roots that you would like to grind at the same time but again they only need to go down to 20cm.

Another example might be you wish to plant a new tree in the same location as the existing stump. In this case, you will need as much depth as possible to ensure the tree can be planted correctly and have enough space to spread its roots. Before you do any grinding or hire anyone to do so, question why and how deep you need to go.

Different stump grinders can grind down to different depths

Stump grinders come in many different shapes and sizes. They may be handheld, have wheels like a lawnmower or be on rubber tracks like an army tank. Each machine will have different capabilities too. The obvious choice would be, the bigger the stump, the bigger the machine but this is not always possible due to access restrictions or obstacles.

A pedestrian stump grinder like the one pictured weighs around 160kg, is 73cm wide and can grind down to around 30cm. Pedestrian grinders require a fair amount of physical labour but can access most if not all tree stumps. The tracked stump grinder picture weighs around 800kg, is 90cm wide and can grind down to around 40cm. The tracked machine is bigger to maneuver but the machine does most of the work.

How deep are tree stumps in the ground?

Most tree stumps are surprisingly shallow in the ground as they rely on their roots to keep them standing too. Some tree stumps definitely flare out or are wider below the ground but it is very rare for a tree stump to be too deep to remove completely. A common misconception is that trees have a tap root that goes directly into the ground. Put it this way, we have been grinding stumps for over 20 years between us at Proleaf and there hasn’t been a tree stump that we couldn’t grind out completely with a machine similar to the tracked machine above.

Limitations of stump grinders

There are some things that may stop stump grinders grinding down to their maximum depth so we’ll name a few of the most common ones.

Obstacles around the tree stump. When stumps are up against retaining walls, fences or buildings, it is very hard to get the machine close enough to grind down completely. It can be done in some cases but there is always a risk of damage to the property or damage to the grinder.

Other trees. If you think about a group of trees standing together and there is a stump in the root zone of another tree, our advice would be to take great care in using a stump grinder to remove a stump in this situation. Not only could you cause harm to the other tree’s health, but you may also make the tree unsafe by cutting through its roots.

The last honourable mention we will make about a limitation that can affect stump grinding depth is underground utilities. Pipes and cables are commonly found underneath tree stumps and knowing how deep they are is always tricky. Assuming you know how deep the utilities run underneath the tree stump, this will limit how deep you grind with the machine. If you are unsure in any way what is below a tree stump before you grind it, we strongly recommend hiring a professional stump removal company to carry out these works for you. Most professional stump grinding companies will have several methods of locating the depth of pipes or cables to ensure no danger or damage is caused.

Well, folks, that’s a wrap. How deep does a stump grinder go? As deep as you need it too, as long as the access is good and there is nothing surrounding the stump!

BEST Stump Grinders: Small, Compact, Large, Cheap, Professional, And Residential

Stump grinders are among the fastest and most efficient tools for getting rid of stumps and certain other types of wood in yards. Whether you’re looking for a handheld stump grinder or the best stump grinder for commercial needs, these stump grinders are the best options currently on the market.

Before we get into the stump grinder reviews, there’s one thing to consider: You can buy or rent these tools, even if you’re a commercial user. We’ll discuss this in more detail later because each option has its benefits, but you don’t need to feel like you’re limited to just one option.

Tree Stump Grinder Reviews

DK2 Stump Grinder

  • A 14 horsepower unit that’s very portable
  • Great for home and farm use
  • 12-inch cutting head

Power King Stump Grinder

  • Also 14 HP but has 11 inch cutting teeth
  • Best seller on Home Depot
  • Another good choice for residential use

DOSKO Stump Grinder

  • A range of buying options
  • Mini stump grinder, self propelled, swivel grinder
  • Professional commercial stump grinding

If you’re looking for the best stump grinder for the money, these are the ones to look at.

For more information before buying, check out our stump grinding guide.

DK2 Power Adjustable Stump Grinder – Best For Residential Use

Detail K2’s 14 horsepower grinder is a heavy but powerful portable stump grinder.

The key feature is its direct belt drive system, which avoids the clutch and powers a 3600 RPM system for its 12-inch cutting head. The gas engine provides excellent performance in practically all environments, while the sturdy frame helps absorb shocks.

This is a great choice for most home and farm needs because it offers precision, reliability, and simplicity. It’s also beginner-friendly because Detail K2 ships it with ear, eye, and hand protection. Stump grinders come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, but the attention to user safety here is a major positive.

This grinder works well on fresh and old stumps alike and comes with a dual locking wheel system to make it safer and easier to use on rough terrain. In total, this grinder works for up to 12 inches above ground level and nine inches below, which is a comfortable range for any grinder.

Although not the absolute best model on the market, the Detail K2’s excellent balance of price, reliability, and performance make it a great option for regular home and farm owners looking for the best stump grinder for the money.

See our complete DK2 Stump Grinder review for much more information.

  • The best option for most personal needs
  • Excellent cutting range
  • Reasonably affordable

Generac Pro Walk Behind Stump Grinder – Cheap Option

Generac’s Pro Stump Grinder is a good runner-up when you’re looking for the best stump grinders.

Although not as large as some other residential stump grinders, its 12 gauge steel gives it a comparatively light and durable design. The detachable tow bar is a nice touch that can help you attach it to various other devices.

The engine is surprisingly powerful for this machine’s size, allowing it to cut cleanly and with good fuel efficiency. However, as a lighter machine, this works best in prepared areas that are free of grass, weeds, and other items that can tangle around the cutting head. It’s not as good in wilder areas.

Similarly, this stump grinder isn’t very good for hills. That’s a common concern among buyers, so it’s worth being aware of. None of this means that Generac’s stump grinder is a bad choice, but it is a little harder to use than our top choice.

This is a good machine if you’re looking for something relatively simple and affordable. It’s not strong enough for commercial purposes, but if you want to clear just one or two properties, it usually gets the job done.

Bear Cat SG340 Stump Grinder – Best Small

Bear Cat isn’t as well-known as some other brands, but this surprisingly powerful unit can still get the cost done.

Note that cheap, in this context, is entirely relative. This grinder is still almost 2500 because you’re not going to find a unit that’s both good and extremely cheap.

The SG340 uses a Honda engine to power a seven-inch cutting head.

While the head itself is smaller than you’ll see with some of the competition, its horizontal placement on a 23-inch wide unit means it’s easy to maneuver this grinder through almost any environment. Meanwhile, the single-wheel brake system makes it easy to turn and pivot once you’re in place.

For convenience, the front part of the unit has a screen-covered opening. This helps reduce the number of wood chips flying towards your face while still allowing a good look at the grinding so you can see what you’re doing.

The cutter head spins at an industry-respectable 3600 RPM, which is the same as some other models on this list. Oversized tires make transport rather easier, while the ending choice provides added reassurance. Overall, this is an outstanding choice for budget-conscious buyers.

  • affordable than other stump grinders
  • Easy to maneuver through almost any area
  • Pivots well
  • The smaller cutting head takes longer to grind through big stumps
  • The pneumatic tires are a little vulnerable to punctures

Power King Stump Grinder – Best Compact Stump Grinder

Electric start stump grinders have a noticeable advantage over traditional models. They are simple for anyone to use and don’t require yanking on a cord for several minutes.

The Power King Stump Grinder is also surprisingly affordable, beating out some of the other low-cost options on this list in price.

The main features of this unit are the 14 horsepower motor, 11-inch cutting teeth, and dual V-belts for rotating the cutting head.

Power King’s grinder is also beginner-friendly because it has an adjustable handle for control, a drum brake for rotating, and even a usage meter to help you know when it’s time to do maintenance.

That last feature is especially useful for both homeowners and commercial buyers, This isn’t a top-of-the-line grinder, but its accessibility makes it a good choice for mild to moderate use scenarios.

Power King delivers this grinder with a weatherproof cover, a full set of replacement cutting teeth, and a removable tow bar.

The cutting range here is twenty inches, eleven above the ground and nine below. The grinder itself has a one-year warranty, while the engine has a three-year warranty. For advanced buyers, this unit is compatible with Greenteeth. These are professional-grade cutting teeth with additional surfaces for longer cutting life.

  • Extremely affordable
  • Easier to start than traditional engines
  • Comes with a cover
  • Supports Greenteeth

Dosko 200-6HC – Best Mini Stump Grinder

Size matters for stump grinders, especially if you’re working in tight areas and need the most compact unit you can find.

That’s where Dosko’s 200-6HC model comes into the picture. This compact unit uses a Honda GX engine and Greenteeth 500 series cutting for outstanding performance.

The 200-6HC also comes with several other useful features, including an oil shutdown sensor that will automatically turn the unit off if it’s getting too low on its lubrication. A cyclone air cleaner and an unusual side discharge frame provided added help and protection. Even storage is simple, thanks to the handlebar folding over the front when it’s not in use.

best, stump, grinders, small

Size is the most important attribute here, so that’s the factor that determines if you should get this or not. However, even outside of its size, this grinder has a few interesting qualities.

The most notable is its use of a concave cutting area. This helps sheer wood off instead of completely shredding it, making for easier disposal later.

The 200-6HC has a slightly smaller cutting grade than most competitors, going about 10 inches above ground and 9 below it. It’s comparatively light for a stump grinder at roughly 134 pounds, but it’s still heavy enough that you should be careful around hills.

It is self-propelled, however, so it can help you get it up hills while the engine is on.

  • The best small stump grinder available
  • Particularly good as a portable stump grinder
  • Comes with Greenteeth
  • Comparatively small cutting range
  • Not a great choice unless you need the smallest walk behind stump grinder you can get

Husqvarna SG13 – Best Husqvarna Stump Grinder

Husqvarna is a solid brand with a FOCUS on high-performance products, most well known for their chainsaws.

That shows with the Husqvarna SG13, which you can immediately tell is larger and heavier than many competing products. That weight supports its quality, though, including the extra-large 14-inch cutting head.

This unit weighs about 252 pounds total, with a bright orange color scheme that makes it easy to spot in any environment. The most notable feature here is its adjustable handlebar, though. Plenty of other stump grinders let you fold the handlebar forward, but the SG13’s bar is adjustable so you can reposition it for comfort while using the machine.

Heavy-duty shields cover the front of this unit to minimize the number of wood chips that fly around, supported by permanently lubricated and self-adjusting bearings that provide an outstanding lifespan.

While this isn’t the absolute top of the market, it’s still a significant step up from most of the other products on this list.

Husqvarna’s gear is much closer to commercial than residential, so this is a great choice if you need to cut a lot of stumps or want to buy something for your business.

  • The best stump grinder to buy for serious use
  • Adjustable handle for a comfortable stance
  • Comes with lift handles on each side

Barreto Tracked Stump Grinder – Best Commercial

The word “premium” barely begins to do justice to this product.

All of the other options on this list are hand-pushed units, and this Barreto sit-down machine is no different. It is easily the best stump grinder in terms of power and performance.

The unit itself rests on wide tracks that can take you forward at almost three hundred feet per minute. That’s not particularly fast, but it gets the job done once you’re on-site. A 14-gallon hydraulic reservoir provides additional power for engaging the arm, while simple controls provide outstanding cutting precision in practically any environment.

At 1700 lbs, this unit is too heavy to pick up with anything short of professional equipment. Fortunately, its ability to drive itself up ramps largely eliminates that issue, while its immensely powerful head will chew through practically any stump.

If you want to buy stump grinder equipment for heavy commercial needs, this is the one to look at. It’s also a good choice for, especially large or rough farms. This is far too much for casual home use, though, and most people will do better renting one of these instead of buying them.

  • Better cutting power than anything else on this list
  • Comes with a comfortable seat
  • Capable of maneuvering itself up hills and over rough terrain
  • Unquestionably the best option on this list

Buying Vs Renting Stump Grinders

Stump grinders fall into a relatively common category for yard tools: they’re extremely important when you need them, but not everyone needs to buy them.

That’s where the rental market comes in, allowing you to get a machine and use it for as long as you need it before returning it.

There are a ton of places you can rent a stump grinder from, including here on Home Depot (Bluebird and Toro Stump Grinder).

The main consideration here is how many stumps you need to grind and how often.

If you find yourself removing dozens of stumps a year, or running a stump-removal business, then it’s usually better to buy your own and reduce costs that way. If you only need to remove a few stumps, renting a machine or hiring a crew makes more sense.

Best Stump Grinder Brands

Thankfully there are plenty of models to choose from, meaning we’re spoiled for choice.

Some of the best brands for stump grinders include:

Husqvarna is another good brand people will look at – see all the top brands here.

It’s right at the top of residential grinders, and anything better will probably be commercially focused and far more expensive.

Types Of Stump Grinders

There are several types of stump grinders on the market, but most of them follow a vertical blade configuration on two wheels.

Occasionally, you may see a horizontal cutting blade that lets you chew through things from above.

Commercial grinders usually have seats, treads, and movable arms that offer maximum precision.

best, stump, grinders, small

The main features to look for on a stump grinder are:

  • the engine’s horsepower
  • power transmission system
  • quality of the cutting teeth.

Professional-grade teeth are especially useful because they’ll cut through wood with less wear and tear on the systems.

Main Components Of A Stump Grinder

All stump grinders have three primary components.

The engine is the main power source.

This is usually a gas engine, with smaller units running on regular gas and bigger units occasionally using diesel motors instead. Any grinder that uses diesel is probably a commercial design with better quality than residential units, but they’re also more expensive in general.

Gas engines are significantly more common than electric engines, although you’ll occasionally see electric start systems for ease of use.

Most stump grinders have engines offering 10-15 horsepower, with 14 being a common choice. Anything above this range is either commercial or unusually good for the industry.

The Drive System

is what connects the engine to the cutting wheel. Most stump grinders use a drive belt system where strong rubber connects and turns the parts. These belts wear down over time, but they’re quite cheap and easy to replace.

Premium stump grinders will usually have a long hydraulic pump system instead. These drive a secondary hydraulic motor that turns the cutting wheel. Hydraulic motors are almost universally better than drive belts, both in lifespan and real performance.

The Cutting Wheel

The cutting wheel is the component most people truly care about.

These are usually tungsten teeth set on a steel disc, designed to cut through wood and rocks.

Higher-quality teeth like Greenteeth allow rotating, but they all need to be replaced regularly to maintain quality.

What Makes Stump Grinding Equipment Good?

The main things that separate stump grinders are their engine power and overall frame durability.

Replacing cutting teeth and heads is easy, but a weak engine will always be a weak engine. Similarly, a bad frame will shake apart under the force, often within just a few jobs.

Most stump grinders are easy to use, but they often require pushing and pulling them into position unless you’re using a hydraulic arm system. If you’re worried about this, look for self-propelled grinders that can help you get over the terrain.

Alternatives For Stump Removal

There are several ways to get rid of tree stumps if you don’t want to get a tree grinder:

  • Dig around the stump and its roots, then pulling it out piece by piece- however, this is time-consuming and difficult
  • Drill holes and pour in removal chemicals that rapidly accelerate rotting – once that’s done, a simple ax can pull it apart

In some cases, you might be able to wrap a chain around the trunk and use a truck to pull it directly out of the ground. This doesn’t work on every stump, though.

Best Stump Grinder

From massive commercial grinders to compact cutters, there are plenty of options for high-quality grinders.

Price matters here, with premium tools being far more durable and reliable than budget models.

The Power King Grinder from Home Depot is probably the most popular model for residential, home, and hobby farm use. The higher-priced alternatives on Acme Tools are better for commercial and residential use.

Stump grinders are an area where it’s better to get the best unit you can afford. If you want to save money, there are some cheap removal options, but a high-quality grinder can help you remove many tree stumps faster than any other method.

Lastly, check out the Dr Stump Grinder range for more options, or check out this MTD log splitter I’ve been trying out.

Back Portable Stump Grinder

Ideal for grinding away small to large tree stumps. A front mounted cutter wheel provides maximum operator safety at all times. 6hp Honda Engine 3 cutting teeth Cutting capacity above ground 25cm Cutting capacity below ground 23cm Folding design – fits into the boot of a regular car Operator presence shut down handle Adjustable handlebars ensure a comfortable working position Braked wheel for easy side to side grinding action.

Not available in N.Ireland.


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Of all Victory power tools, the trench cutters and root cutters are probably the most versatile tools in our product range. Our hand-held GSF-1500 root grinder and stump grinder is equipped with a very powerful motor. It can remove unwanted roots and tree stumps up to a depth of 25 cm.

The machine is extremely compact, because the root cutter can be used from a passage width of 80 cm. This makes it easy to avoid major damage to your garden or to paved areas.


The GSF-1500 is a powerful root grinder, canal grinder and stump grinder and cleanly peels out smaller and larger tree stumps. Even inappropriately positioned roots are removed quickly and efficiently without damaging the property. Thanks to its low weight, the stump grinder is ideal for flexible, independent work, even in rough terrain. The Victory stump grinder removes tree stumps and roots from 60 cm above ground level to about 25 cm below ground level.

The milling disc of the stump grinder has a diameter of 30 cm and a width of 9 cm. The hardened milling teeth of the Victory GSF-1500 root cutter enable excellent results.


The GGF-1500 is a trench milling machine and cable milling machine that can create trenches with a width of 10 cm and a depth of up to 60 cm quickly and efficiently. Instead of an expensive small excavator for laying electrical cables for garden lighting

To use gate control or the introduction of drainage pipes to drain areas, you can use the trencher as a powerful cable cutter without causing major damage to the garden. The trenches can be either 20 cm, 40 cm or 60 cm deep.

In addition, roots that are not in a good position can be milled out with the root cutter. The trench cutting machine and cable cutting machine can be used flexibly and independently because of their relatively low weight. It is a must when laying underground cables, installing drainage pipes and working in the irrigation industry.

Thanks to its compact design, the cable router can be used from a passage width of 80 cm. The grave chain has a width of 10 cm and a sword length of 60 cm, has 27 hardened, individually replaceable teeth so that the trench cutter achieves excellent results.

The excavation of the Victory sewer or trench cutter is moved to the side by a conveyor screw, so that you can work comfortably on the finished trench.

You can order spare and wear parts for the Victory root cutter, stump cutter, trench cutter and cable cutter directly in the spare parts area of ​​the online shop. If you order before 2 p.m., we can usually ship on the same day.

A stump grinder usually has a hydraulic drive for the milling arm and milling disc. They are usually remotely controlled by cable or radio so that the operator can monitor the use of the device more precisely or move further away from the danger area. Root cutters without their own drive are intended as attachments for tractors, wheel loaders or excavators.

Small devices are uniaxial, have a rigid milling arm and are guided manually by the operator. They are only suitable for removing small wood stumps, but due to their size and weight they can be used in cramped conditions.

The milling disc usually consists of a solid wear plate, provided with replaceable carbide-coated milling teeth. With the help of this device, the tree stumps are crushed into wood chips that can be left on site as mulch. It is no longer necessary to dig out the stumps.

Benefit now from unbeatable and outstanding performance. You will certainly not find a comparable product in any other online shop with these conditions.

What influences the cost of stump grinding?

Stump grinding is an aspect of tree removal that isn’t always considered, as ‘tree removal’ does sound all inclusive, although dealing with the remaining stump is a completely different situation and can even be more time consuming and costly than the removal itself. We at River City Trees have the equipment in-house to either stump grind or remove your stumps and save you the hassle of either hiring a stump grinder and learning as you go, or worse spending time and energy trying to personally pry it out of the ground. You can read more about our stump grinding brisbane services. or request a free stump grinding quote

We at River City Trees are often asked about the cost of stump grinding, and what is involved. Because of this, we thought we would illustrate a few factors that are taken into consideration when pricing our stump grinding or removal services.

Factors That Influence The Stump Grinding Costs:

End Result

The first thing you will need to consider is the reason you want that stump gone. Is it because you want to turf or concrete the area? Or is it because it’s a trip hazard, or simply unsightly in the yard? If this is the case, stump grinding will do the trick.

We grind the stumps to minimum 150mm below ground level, deeper if requested, removing all visibility of the stump and solving that problem. If you are in need of undertaking earthworks, or if you are want to plant a new tree in the place of a current stump, we also provide stump removal services, although advanced stump grinding services can normally do the trick.

Diameter of Stump

The next thing we will need to know is the diameter of the stump. As can be assumed, the larger the stump, the higher the price. This occurs due to larger stumps simply taking more time to grind.

Location of Stump

Following this is the location of the stump on the property. Is it in a nice open area? Or is it in a garden bed up against a fence? Either way, River City Trees can help you as we not only have a regular stump grinder, but we also have a hand-held stump grinder that will allow us to get into tight and tricky spaces to grind your stumps.

If our standard stump grinder is required, it will need access to the property of at least 850cm in width, and the stump will require a distance of at least 300mm from any structures for the grinder to do it’s thing.

If this isn’t possible, the hand held stump grinder will be used. Although smaller in size, the hand held stump grinder charge is generally higher due to the price of the blades required being quite high as the machine is only new to the market.

Root System

If your stump has a widespread visible root system that is required to be ground, depending on the extent of the root system this can result in a higher price. This is also due to it simply taking more time in labour.

Cleanup after stump grinding

Lastly, whether you are happy to keep the remaining stump grindings on site after the work is complete, or whether you want them removed completely from site will influence the price. If you do want the site clean after grinding a small charge for removal of the grindings will be quoted, otherwise if you are willing to keep the grindings they will be left in a neat pile in place of where the stump was.

Stumps come in all shapes and sizes and so we provide individually. We hope these points give you a bit of an insight into the stump grinding realm, and if you have any stumps that you need dealt with please don’t hesitate to contact us at (07) 3264 1200, or feel free to send us through an image of the stumps and their location to admin@rivercitytrees.com.au.

Our Stump Grinding Machine

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