Best Stump Grinders — Reviews of Top Products

Last Updated: by Peter Lynn

Stump grinders are arguably the best way to go about stump removal on your property.

Unlike using a pickaxe and a shovel, it’s not as cumbersome and removes stumps faster. Compared to burning the stump or using chemical additives, it’s faster and not toxic to the soil or pets.

Although stump grinders, like most power tools, pose safety issues, thet get the job done efficiently.  Stump grinders use carbide-teethed wheels to chop stumps into dust and chips that you can use as mulch afterward.

As stump grinders are expensive enough to be tagged as investments, it’s only normal that you get the best on the market that suits you.

In this light, I’ve put in several hours into research and gathering feedback from customers to compile a list of the 5 best stump grinders for homeowners and landscapers on the market. I’ve also included a buying guide at the end of the product review to help you make an informed decision.

The top pick for this review is the PowerKing PK0803 Stump Grinder, that’s also the best for the money. It offers features that you can’t fathom seeing in products within its price range. It has a solid frame, a reliable 15HP Kohler engine, and a drum brake system.

The Best Stump Grinders Are: 

ProductDetails
1.PowerKing PK0803 Stump Grinder

  • 14HP Kohler engine
  • 12” x 3.5” cutting wheel
  • Max speed of 3600RPM
  • Brake system
  • Weighs 286 pounds
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2.DK2 Power OPG77 Stump Grinder

  • 14HP CH440 Kohler engine
  • Max cutting speed of 3600RPM
  • 12” x 3.5” cutting wheels
  • Weighs 234 pounds
  • Includes tow bar kit, extra set of carbide teeth, and safety kit
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3.Samson Machinery S15HPSG 15HP Stump Grinder

  • Ducar 15HP four-stroke engine
  • Recoil starting system
  • Drum brake system
  • 12” X 3.5” cutting wheel
  • 3,600 max RPM
  • Weighs 220 pounds
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4.Bluebird SG1314B Stump Grinder

  • 13HP Honda GX390 gas engine
  • Max grinding speed of 4115RPM
  • Weighs 345 pounds
  • 14” x 3/8” cutting wheel
  • Disc brake system
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5.House of Contractor STG13 Stump Grinder

  • 13HP Honda GX390 engine
  • Drum brake
  • 12” x 3.5” cutting wheel
  • Weighs 115 pounds
  • 8 carbide teeth
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1. PowerKing PK0803 Stump Grinder — Best Stump Grinder For The Money

The PowerKing PK0803 stump grinder is a beast performer that’s great for occasional use at home and even for commercial use in tight locations. For its price, its sheer power and stability while pulverizing stumps that fall in its path makes it the best stump grinder for the money.

Specs

  • 14HP Kohler engine
  • 12” x 3.5” cutting wheel
  • Max speed of 3600RPM
  • Brake system
  • Weighs 286 pounds
  • Includes Extra Set of Teeth and Tow Bar

What I Like About This Product

The Kohler engine installed in the PK0803 is popular among landscapers and gives a feeling of assured performance. In reality, that’s exactly what you get. The 14HP Kohler engine channels power without bogging down to pulverize stumps as 11” and cut 9” into the root system.

For a grinder with such enormous power, it has a matching heavy-duty handle for stabilization while it voraciously eats through stumps. This may seem like a simple feature, but it’s hardly seen in most stump grinders, even more, powerful ones, making it easier to handle.

What I Don’t Like About This Product

Unless you purchase the PK0803 fully assembled, putting it together can be a tricky venture, especially if you don’t have any experience with machines. The inadequate instruction manual doesn’t make things any easier.

Furthermore, its design makes it quite difficult to push when commuting from the garage or between stumps on a large property. Instead, it has to be pulled to make it move faster, which can be unconventional to some folks.

Pros

  • Good bang for the buck
  • Powerful and reliable engine
  • Sturdy construction
  • Easy to handle
  • Popular among homeowners and landscapers
  • Easy to store

Cons

  • Needs to be pulled for a hassle-free commute
  • Cheap wiring
  • Hard to assemble
  • Bolts rattle off easily at first

Takeaway

The PowerKing PK0803 stump grinder is arguably the best affordable option for anyone looking to clear small and medium stumps effectively.

Overall Rating – 4.8/5

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2. DK2 Power OPG77 Stump Grinder

The DK2 is another popular stump grinder that is known for its power and durability. It has tried and tested Kohler engine that is sure to take a beating and also comes with extra accessories.

Specs

  • 14HP CH440 Kohler engine
  • Max cutting speed of 3600RPM
  • 12” x 3.5” cutting wheels
  • Weighs 234 pounds
  • Includes tow bar kit, extra set of carbide teeth, and safety kit

What I Like About This Product

The OPG777 features the same engine in the PowerKing PK0803. It makes the OPG777 a monster stump pulverizer, with an impressive 3600RPM cutting speed. As long as the height of the stump is within reach (12 inches), this machine would level it no matter the size – of course, expect to sweat it out for longer hours.

Unlike the seemingly identical PK0803, this stump grinder comes with even more accessories. It includes tools and safety gear like ear protection, work gloves, and safety glasses. That’s like a savior for anyone who might be tempted to work with this beast without PPA – so it’s worth the extra cost.

Finally, compared to the top pick, PK0803, the DK2 stump grinder is relatively easy to setup. The instruction manual is pretty straightforward, and you should get it up and running under two hours.

What I Don’t Like About This Product

Aside from the absence of a clutch, which is excusable given its price, it also doesn’t have a wheel brake. Instead, it uses a lock pin in the wheel axle that can frustrate users who aren’t familiar with the system.

In addition, the throttle lever is placed awkwardly between its cables and pull tether. This makes using the throttle and the pull tether inconvenient. Also, it’s support footer is dangerously positioned close to the cutting wheel, which makes me wonder who was in charge of its design.

Pros

  • Good value
  • Rugged chassis and engine
  • Adjustable bow handle for comfort
  • Easy to setup
  • Includes basic safety gear, lockout safety key and an extra set of carbide cutters

Cons

  • Awkward throttle lever position
  • Doesn’t have a brake system
  • Dangerous support lever position

Takeaway

The DK2 is another awesome stump grinder for the money and would help you get rid of tons of stumps without showing signs of wear anytime soon.

Overall Rating – 4.7/5

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3. Samson Machinery S15HPSG 15HP Stump Grinder —  Powerful Stump Grinder Choice

The Samson machinery S15HPSG stump grinder is a powerhouse with its 15HP engine. It also has a drum brake system and large bow handle that help control all that force on the stump without hassle.

Specs

  • Ducar 15HP four-stroke engine
  • Recoil starting system
  • Drum brake system
  • 12” X 3.5” cutting wheel
  • 3,600 max RPM
  • Weighs 220 pounds

What I Like About This Product

After cutting about half a dozen 16” wide stumps, I confirmed the beastly power of the Samson stump grinder. In fact, that’s its selling point, as most stump grinders in its price range never go past a 14HP engine.

Furthermore, it offers a top-of-the-line drum braking system, usually found in higher-priced grinders. This allows you to pivot on the wheels and chop off unsightly stumps without much of a show of muscle.

What really sets the Samson S15HPSG from the crowd is its ability to cut stumps that are 20” high. That’s an impressive feat, coming from a walk-behind stump grinder.

What I Don’t Like About This Product

The movable parts are somewhat flimsy. Many folks have had issues with the brake arm, throttle lever, and even the brake cables. Although you may get replacement parts while it’s still under warranty, it’s advisable to handle the levers with care.

Pros

  • Exceptional grinding power
  • Bow handle enhances grip
  • Eye and ear protection gear inclusive with package
  • White gas tank makes gas level visible

Cons

  • Tires aren’t well supportive of its size
  • Flimsy levers

Takeaway

The Samson Machinery 15HP stump grinder is the right piece of equipment for anyone looking to remove large stumps on a budget or in tight locations.

Overall Rating – 4.4/5

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4. Bluebird SG1314B Stump Grinder —  Premium Stump Grinder Option

The Bluebird STG1314B uses the latest technology to deliver remarkable cutting speeds with the lowest possible power. It also has an astounding cutting depth that can reach deep root systems.

Specs

  • 13HP Honda GX390 gas engine
  • Max grinding speed of 4115RPM
  • Weighs 345 pounds
  • 14” x 3/8” cutting wheel
  • Disc brake system

What I Like About This Product

The performance of this grinder is similar to what you’d see in only larger stump grinding machines. The secret is its M1 technology feature that delivers the highest performance with low power.

At first, you may think that a 13HP engine would wind up with the pressure of such performance. But its GX390 engine is built by Honda, and you can only hope that it’s going to be top-notch, which it is.

It’s 13HP Honda engine, helps to generate an astonishing cutting speed of over 4000RPM (highest in this review), and cuts as deep as 12” into the soil – the greatest depth in this review.

You might think its cutting prowess ends there. The cutting head of the Bluebird stump grinder can also cut stumps as high as 12” above the ground. This shows that it’s designed to pulverize large stumps.

You may think that a 13HP engine would wind up with this enormous power. But its GX390 engine is built by Honda, and you can only hope that it’s going to be top-notch, which it is.

What I Don’t Like About This Product

Agreed, it’s a monster performer that can make quick work of most stumps. But it’s a heavy one at that, even for someone with a huge frame. It weighs over 300 pounds, so you can clearly imagine how it would feel handling it without a self-propelling system.

So, just like most stump grinders, pulverizing any large stump would no doubt take a lot of energy. That threshold comes sooner with this machine, even though it gets the job done faster.

Pros

  • Superb performance with lower fuel consumption
  • Ergonomic handle gives better sight of stumping area
  • Hand brake for better pivoting
  • Cuts deeper than its closest competitors

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Large size fatigues users faster

Takeaway

If you’re willing to stretch your budget a little to acquire the best performer you can find, the Bluebird SG1314B you what you want to grab. It makes easy work of stumps, good enough to be used as a grinder. However, you should prepare to handle its large size.

Overall  Rating – 4.65/5

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5. House of Contractor STG13 Stump Grinder – Best Lightweight Stump Grinder

The House of Contractors STG13 is a lightweight stump grinder that provides optimal ease of handling and comfort without its performance suffering for it.

Specs

  • 13HP Honda GX390 engine
  • Drum brake
  • 12” x 3.5” cutting wheel
  • Weighs 115 pounds
  • 8 carbide teeth
  • 4-height adjustable handle

What I Like About This Product

Right out of the box, you can tell that the STG13 Stump Grinder is built to last when you sight its rugged, yet admirable construction. Aside from its tough and well-finished weld steel construction, all its movable parts, like handle adjustments and throttle lever, breathe quality.

Also, it uses a reliable Honda engine that lets it seamlessly cut as deep as 12 inches into the ground. Of course, this power would go to waste if it’s not channeled properly. Fortunately, it uses a unique cutting system that has four rows of a total of eight tungsten blades for turning stumps to dust.

Last but certainly not the least, the STG13 is easy to handle and lightweight (the only one you’ll find). It weighs only 115kg, which is impressive for a powerful stump grinder. This, coupled with its 4-height adjustable handle, makes working with it comfortable and unstressful, compared to most stump grinders.

What I Don’t Like About This Product

The biggest issue with the House of Contractors STG13 stump grinder is its lack of child safety lock or a key lock.

Pros

  • Lightweight design
  • Reliable and trusted engine
  • Useful brake system
  • Pre-installed with tough and long-lasting tungsten blades
  • Minimal noise operation
  • Uses emergency buttons for safety

Cons

  • No safety key lock or child lock
  • Warranty only covers engine for 1 year

Takeaway

The HOC STG13 stump grinder is your go-to machine if you are looking for a lightweight option or cutting blades that can survive tough soil formation.

Overall Rating – 4.2/5

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How to Choose the Best Stump Grinder for the Money

Work Complexity

If you are a homeowner who needs to remove just a couple of stumps, buying a stump grinder may be wasteful spending. In this case, what you can do is to rent a stump grinder around $100/day or hire a professional to get rid of them for around 50 bucks per stump.

However, if you own a large property with dozens of stumps waiting to be removed, getting a stump grinder would be the economical choice.

Soft Start

It’s no joke wrestling it out with a pull tether when the engine doesn’t start at once. It can be energy-draining, frustrating, and may even cause the rope to cut while pulling aggressively out of frustration.

Fortunately, all the stump grinders in this review will roar to life on the first try. That relieves you of a lot of stress that you may not appreciate unless you’ve used a hard-to-start grinder.

On the other hand, some more expensive models use an electric start that powers the grinder effortlessly.

Cutting Capacity

All things being equal, the productivity of a stump grinder depends mainly on its cutting capacity. The speed at which the blade cuts,  the diameter and width of the cutting blade, and its type of teeth determine how good a grinder would work.

For instance, a 14” blade can easily reach greater depths than a 12” or 11” grinder would, and most likely deliver wider cuts. Fortunately, manufacturers now state their cutting depth and height so that you can decide according to your needs.

A stump grinder with high cutting capacity can cut as deep as 12” and up to a 20” height. Whereas, the average stump grinder cuts at about 8” deep, which is enough for most stumps.

Now, stump grinders with higher cutting capacity usually cost more than their alternatives. So, it wouldn’t be a smart choice to buy a grinder with a high cutting capacity if you won’t be removing large stumps.

Brake System

Brakes are used in stump grinders to enhance maneuverability during transport or while running. Stump grinders with a brake can pivot better while grinding, so you’ll enjoy the extra comfort and ease of handling.

The only thing is, they are usually found in only top-of-the-line grinders so it comes at a price. However, I’ve included some cheaper models that feature a brake system in this review.

Ergonomics

Stump grinders are heavy-duty machines. To handle such large machines, they need to need to be designed with comfort and ease of use in mind.

Pay attention to how the handle is built, the position of levers, the size of tires, and so on. These would go a long way in helping you understand if you can work comfortably with the stump grinder.

Some walk-behind stump grinders are also designed to be self-propelled. Although they may come pricy, you save strength you could have drained while using one that isn’t self-propelled.

Size

Saving the best for the last, size makes a huge difference. For most homeowners or rental users, a portable walk-behind stump is enough to get any job done. They can cost an average of $1,500 to $6,000.They also fit through gates and walkways, which makes them better suited for homes.

However, if you desire a commercial-scale grinder to cut stumps more efficiently, the price range quickly escalates up to tens of thousands of dollars. That’s definitely not advisable unless you run a large landscaping company, or want to splurge.

Final Thoughts

Overall, many of the stump grinders we’ve gone over only have subtle features setting them apart. This way, it’s easy to go for the cheapest when you need that extra speed or brake in a more expensive model. So, you must make your choice carefully, to avoid regretting your investment.

However, if you are still left undecided, I’ll recommend our top pick, the PowerKing PK0803 stump grinder.

Its powerful 14HP engine is reliable and gets the job done. Also, for its price, it features a brake system you can’t go wrong with if you want to pulverize stumps easier and faster.

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