How to Select the Best Stump Grinder?

Stump grinders are used by both homeowners and professionals who are looking to make short work of yard maintenance. Generally, a stump grinder or stump cutter removes tree stumps with a rotating cutting disk which slowly chips away at wood.

The best stump grinder for the money is one that accurately and efficiently removes stumps of various sizes. To remove stumps in the most cost effective way, you could either use a walk-behind stump grinding machine, stump killer chemicals such as a dissolver liquid, or even a commercial grade or industrial machine.

When you’re looking to find the best stump grinder for the money, you should pay careful attention the features on offer in relation to the cost. Many stump killers and grinders are for sale at affordable prices both online on websites such as Amazon, and in store.


Work Type

In order to find the best stump grinder for the money, you should first establish the size and complexity of the stump you’re looking to remove. Often, stump killer chemicals can be used in the first instance. You can then follow up the removal process with a walk-behind tree stump grinding machine if you’re not satisfied.

There are several different kinds of stump removal products on the market, so in order to get the best deal, it pays to shop around. Consumers looking for the best stump grinder for the money should also pay careful attention to the power source of their chosen product.

Some stump grinders, such as handheld or portable grinders, are only suitable for small backyard tree stump removal, whilst others are more suitable for forestry blocks.



Stump grinders are no different from any other outdoor equipment in the respect that they still require the user to take care. As such, it is recommended that operators wear face and ear protection at all times. To reduce the risk factor, walk-behind stump grinding machines and commercial grade or industrial grinders have many safety features incorporated into their design.

This could include safety curtains for the prevention of flying debris and guarding around cutting wheels and moving parts. In the larger machines, users can also expect to benefit from emergency buttons to stop the machine quickly.



Operator error can easily be considered one of the main reasons for a lack of efficiency in any brand of stump grinding machine. Operators must always make sure they purchase a stump grinder which will suit their requirements to the tee.

Read user manuals and our buying guides to understand which stump removers, root cutters and grinders are the best for your individual situation. It also doesn’t hurt to purchase stump grinders which are top rated by others on the market.



Features of stump grinders and stump removal products vary from one product or machine to the next. A typical stump grinder has a cutter wheel with carbide teeth, controlled by hydraulic cylinders.

Vertical stump grinders, or PTO stump grinders, operate in a similar fashion but are run by the engine of a tractor or truck. These stump grinders are far more powerful and are predominantly used in agricultural and construction industries.

Stump killer chemicals, which can work hand-in-hand with a stump grinder or effectively on their own, feature many powerful ingredients. These ingredients kill the root structure of the stump in order to allow for easier removal.



Maintenance on a stump grinder, or any grinding equipment, is generally very simple. However, this all depends on the manufacturer, model and size of the machine. In general, the main component to worry about is the cutting wheel. If you notice the cutting action of the stump grinder is poor, it generally means the teeth are dull or broken.

You should check the cutter wheel before and after each use, as well as when you notice a problem. Check for broken or worn teeth and replace or sharpen accordingly. You should also keep the machine clean and clear from debris, as well as checking engine oil and coolant on a regular basis.



Within this buying guide we aim to show you several different options for removing tree stumps, all in varying price ranges. Your budget should ultimately reflect the level of work you’re looking to undertake. For general backyard tree stumps, you can be quite conservative with the cost.

However, if you’re looking to take on a large tree stump removal project, open your wallet a little further for a commercial grade or industrial brand.


Available Stump Grinder Types on the Market


Portable Stump Grinder

A portable stump grinder, also known as a walk-behind tree stump grinding machine, is suitable for a range of homeowners. It’s small, compact, easy to use and can be purchased with ease. Portable stump grinders use rotating cutting discs to chip away at wood, removing troublesome stumps. They are for sale on websites such as Amazon, as well as in stores.

If you are interested in this type of a stump grinder, you would love to read this full buying guide on how to select the best portable stump grinder for the money including reviews & comparison.

Pros & Cons


  • They are more affordable than commercial grade or industrial grinders.
  • They are easier to maintain than larger grinders.
  • They can often be more effective than chemicals.


  • They can be dangerous to operate.
  • They are manually operated whereas some are machine-operated.
  • They can be more expensive than other stump removal methods.


Portable stump grinders are best used in a home environment, or in an area with minimal stump grinding to undertake. Although many walk-behind stump grinding machines are powerful, they generally aren’t suitable for large operations.

When you decide to purchase a stump removal machine, read plenty of reviews on Amazon to ascertain whether the model you have in mind is suitable for the application.


Maintenance required by a walk-behind tree stump grinding machine is fairly straightforward. Before and after you use the machine, you should check the cutter disc for worn, blunt or broken teeth.

Replace or sharpen as required. You should also check the coolant and engine oil levels as well. The machine should always be clear of debris, with safety guards in place as well.



PTO Stump Grinder

In comparison to a standard portable stump removal machine, a PTO stump grinder has a lot to offer. PTO stump grinders draw their energy from the engine of the truck or tractor they are connected to.

Generally, the stump grinder is connected with an output shaft onto the input shaft of the tractor or truck. It is also largely used in the agricultural or construction industry.

If you are interested in this type of a stump grinder, you would love to read this full buying guide on how to select the best pto stump grinder for the money including reviews & comparison.

Pros & Cons


  • They are a lot more powerful than portable stump grinders.
  • They can be easily transported around the farm or on long distance travel.
  • They can be connected and disconnected easily.


  • They are large and therefore require a lot of maintenance.
  • They are expensive to purchase.


You will generally find a PTO stump grinder on a farm, or in a construction setting. These stump grinders are effective at clearing large areas to make way for either agricultural growth, or new property construction. They would not be suitable for general backyard use due to their size.


Users of PTO stump grinders must ensure they check all hydraulic lines and output/input shafts. It’s all too easy for debris to make its way into moving parts and cause havoc. Users should also ensure the truck or tractor which is powering the stump grinder is in good working order. This includes checking coolants, oil and fuel levels.



Tree Stump Removal Chemical/Liquid

If a stump grinder is not an option for you, you can always try a chemical to kill the stump first. Chemical stump removers are available to purchase in granules, liquid or powder and feature potassium nitrate. This speeds up the rotting process once put in contact with a tree stump.

If you are interested in this type of a stump killer chemical, you would love to read this full buying guide on how to select the best tree stump killer chemical for the money including reviews & comparison.

Pros & Cons


  • It’s far more cost effective than hiring or purchasing machinery.
  • It’s not as messy as using a stump grinder.
  • It takes less time to apply the chemical than it does to use a machine.


  • It can often be ineffective, depending on the brand.
  • It’s a slow process to kill the stump.
  • The chemicals are dangerous to have lying around your property.
  • Many aren’t safe for pets or children to be in contact with.


Instructions for the use of chemical stump removers vary from one brand to the next. In most cases, the chemical is in granule form, but it can also come in powder or liquid as well. In the case of granules, you simply drill holes into the stump and fill these with the granules. You then pour water over top and wait for them to take effect. You know it’s been a successful application when the tree stump starts to rot and die.


Minimal maintenance is required for chemical stump removers. However, you should make sure to clean the container of drips or granules before storing it and keep it out of reach of children. Many of these products also have best before dates, so keep that in mind.



Stump Pullers

Generally, a stump puller is a capstan-like device which can pull stumps out of the ground with ease. These can be purchased online and in stores, or some people choose to build their own as well. There are many things on the market which can be considered a stump puller. Essentially, anything that can pull out a stump can gain this label.

If you are interested in this type of a stump pullers, you would love to read this full buying guide on how to select the best tree stump puller for the money including reviews & comparison.

Pros & Cons


  • They are a tried and true method of stump removal.
  • It’s a quick and effective process.
  • It’s generally very affordable.


  • It’s very labor-intensive.
  • A lot can go wrong if vehicles are involved in the stump pulling process.
  • They can be hard to find online to purchase and many users opt to build them.


Stump pullers can be used in almost any situation where a stump is ready for removal. In most cases, a winding rope and cable is operated on a revolving cylinder with a vertical axis, powered by a motor or manually with levers.


Maintenance is minimal on a stump puller. Users must remember to make sure any cables, ropes or wires are free from imperfections, and chain links are free of rust. You should also have full confidence in the pole, vehicle or cylinder used to generate force.


Where to Buy Stump Grinders?

Stump grinders are often purchased in stores specializing in machinery and power tools. However, if you’re looking for a good deal and you wouldn’t mind reading what other customers have to say in their reviews, you can buy online on Amazon.


Leading Stump Grinder Brands and Manufacturers

    • North Star
    • Vermeer
    • Samson Machinery
    • Power King


Related Guides