The Best Stump Grinders of 2023

Make quick work of those tree stumps in your yard with one of these top stump grinders.

Best Overall

The Best Stump Grinder Option: DK2 OPG777 12-Inch Commercial Stump Grinder

DK2 OPG777 12-Inch Commercial Stump Grinder

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Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Stump Grinder Option: Power King Commercial Gas-Powered Stump Grinder

Power King Commercial Gas-Powered Stump Grinder

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Best Residential

The Best Stump Grinders Option: Bluebird Honda Stump Grinder

Bluebird Honda Stump Grinder

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Investing in a tree stump grinder may not make sense for homeowners who just have a stump or two they need to remove after taking out a tree in the yard. But those with larger properties in wooded areas who may need to remove a few stumps a year can benefit from owning a grinder as opposed to paying for stump removal, which can cost as much as $500 per stump.

Most stump grinders use 14 horsepower (hp) engines to power a grinder that can grind live or dead stumps up to 20 inches high as deep as 12 inches into the ground. This guide will explore what factors one should consider when shopping for a machine that will remove those unsightly tree stumps from the yard while listing some of the best stump grinders on the market.

  1. BEST OVERALL: DK2 OPG777 12-Inch Commercial Stump Grinder
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Power King Commercial Gas-Powered Stump Grinder
  3. BEST RESIDENTIAL: Bluebird Honda Stump Grinder
  4. BEST TOWABLE: Power King Stump Grinder With Extra Teeth
  5. BEST COMPACT: Dosko Mini Silver Cyclone Stump Grinder
A person using the best stump grinder option to work on removing a stump

How We Chose the Best Stump Grinders

In reviewing more than a dozen stump grinders, we used a variety of criteria to narrow the field to produce our list of the top options. Grinding live or dead stumps requires a significant amount of torque, so we limited our search to those grinders with powerful engines of at least 14 horsepower. This engine size allows grinders to reach depths of at least 8 inches and as much as 16 inches, which is enough to handle small to medium-size tree stumps.

Stump grinders are heavy by nature, but they shouldn’t be so heavy that a single person can’t safely operate the machine. With that in mind, we stuck with stump grinders with manageable weights as well as models that feature hitch options that allow them to be towed to and from the jobsite. Finally, durability was a key factor in our selection process. Grinding out tree stumps puts tremendous strain on machinery, so we stuck with models made from heavy-gauge steel that can endure repeated use without falling apart.

A person using the best stump grinder option in a ranch yard

Our Top Picks

The list below narrows the field to some of the best stump grinders for mostly residential use and landscaping as well as one of the best professional stump grinders. These varying types of stump grinders have durable heavy-gauge steel construction, can grind stumps at least 6 inches below ground level, and have features that make them easier to use. Read on to find out the best stump grinder to buy regardless of your needs.

Best Overall

DK2 OPG777 12-Inch Commercial Stump Grinder

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A sturdy build coupled with a powerful engine make this model from DK2 one of the best walk-behind stump grinder options for removing small- to medium-size stumps. Its 14-hp engine drives a 12-inch cutting wheel that’s capable of cutting to depths of 9 inches and heights of 12 inches. A wheel brake locks the grinder into position, giving it a sturdy base from which to operate.

Durability is crucial when it comes to walk-behind stump grinders, and the DK2 is one of the sturdiest thanks to a 16-gauge steel frame that adds durability. Though this stump grinder is not self-propelled, its rugged 14-inch tires and relatively light weight make it manageable for moving around the yard. To cover larger distances, the DK2 is fitted with a 1 7/8 ball hitch that allows it to be towed behind a vehicle.

Product Specs

  • Engine: 14 horsepower
  • Cutting wheel: 12 inches
  • Type: Manual handlebar


  • Sturdy 16-gauge steel construction provides ample durability for long-term use
  • Tow-bar attachment included with purchase in case transporting is required
  • The powerful 14-hp engine is suitable for heavy-duty tasks


  • Not self-propelled; may require a lot of elbow grease when operating

Get the DK2 12-inch stump grinder at Lowe’s, Tractor Supply Co., or The Home Depot.

Best Bang For The Buck

Power King Commercial Gas-Powered Stump Grinder

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Despite being more affordable than other stump grinders, this Power King isn’t lacking in power, thanks to a 14-horsepower engine. That engine powers a 12-inch blade that can dig 9 inches below the surface or reach heights up to 20 inches, putting it on par with other higher-priced stump grinders.

The Power King stump grinder’s controls include a lockable throttle set close to the handlebar, making it easy to adjust blade speed. With its heavy-gauge steel construction, the Power King is built like a tank. It’s also as heavy as one at nearly 400 pounds, making the Power King a more difficult stump grinder to maneuver around the yard. With that in mind, it makes sense to spring for the tow-bar accessory that allows the Power King to be hitched to a truck.

Product Specs

  • Engine: 14 horsepower
  • Cutting wheel: 12 inches
  • Type: Manual handlebar


  • Capable of grinding tall stumps with a max height of 20 inches
  • Easy to operate the throttle; enhances both control and safety
  • The 12-inch blade can dig 9 inches below the surface or reach heights up to 20 inches


  • Heavier and harder to maneuver than other stump grinders; caution advised

Get the Power King commercial stump grinder at The Home Depot or Chippers Direct.

Best Residential

Bluebird Honda Stump Grinder

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Honda is well-known for its efficient, durable, and powerful small engines, which can be found on lawnmowers, snowblowers, generators, and also stump grinders. The Bluebird’s 13-horsepower Honda engine produces excellent torque while being easier to start and more fuel efficient than other stump grinders.

Whereas most stump grinders with handlebars have a 12-inch blade, the Bluebird boasts a 14-inch grinder, which is capable of chewing through stumps up to 12 inches deep. The Bluebird’s powerful engine sits atop a heavy-gauge steel frame and two sets of 12-inch knobby pneumatic tires. The Bluebird weighs just 250 pounds; despite its large engine, it’s markedly lighter than other handlebar grinders, which can weigh upward of 400 pounds. That light weight coupled with an adjustable handlebar makes maneuvering the Bluebird around the yard a more manageable task.

Product Specs

  • Engine: 13 horsepower
  • Cutting wheel: 14 inches
  • Type: Manual handlebar


  • Capable of grinding to depths of up to 12 inches
  • The lightweight design and adjustable handlebar make it easier to maneuver than other grinders
  • Powerful Honda engine can take on tough residential grinding tasks


  • Not meant for commercial use or applications; not as durable as some comparable options

Get the Bluebird stump grinder at Chippers Direct.

Best Towable

Power King Stump Grinder With Extra Teeth

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Towing a stump grinder can help when transporting to the jobsite as well as when covering large areas that have had tree removal or landscaping. The Power King stump grinder comes with a tow bar, an extra set of teeth, and plenty of power. Made with a 14-horsepower engine with V-belts that rotate the nine carbide-tipped cutting teeth, this grinder can take on big jobs. It also has an electric start for ease of use. Plus, there is an hour meter built in.

As for its bells and whistles, this Power King model has an adjustable handle, a drum brake, an easy-to-reach throttle, a centrifugal clutch, a front stand, debris guards, and a palm switch for emergency shutoff. Finally, this model has large wheels for taking on tough terrain.

Product Specs

  • Engine: 14 horsepower
  • Cutting wheel: 11 inches
  • Type: Manual handlebar


  • 14-horsepower engine has an excellent cutting capacity for taking on small to large jobs
  • Can be transported if necessary with the included tow bar
  • Comes with many built-in and additional accessories for ease of use
  • Large wheels assist lugging or towing the unit around


  • Some users have reported limited durability compared to similar options

Get the Power King stump grinder with extra teeth at The Home Depot.

Best Compact

Dosko Mini Silver Cyclone Stump Grinder

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Those who need the best small stump grinder for tackling tree stumps can rely on the Dosko Mini Silver Cyclone stump grinder. This model may be small, but it has a Honda GX engine with 9.1 torque for tackling jobs around the yard or jobsite. With a 1.5-gallon gas capacity, this little grinder can run for quite a while before requiring a refill.

This small stump grinder comes with an automatic oil shutdown, a direct belt drive, a side discharge frame, a 5-position handlebar, 500 series teeth that can be rotated 120 degrees, and a concave dish cutting edge that shears materials for ease of cleanup. Need more? This model also has a compact and portable handlebar that folds over the unit for storing.

Product Specs

  • Engine: 9.1 torque
  • Cutting wheel: N/A
  • Type: Manual handlebar


  • Honda GX engine is capable of cutting quite a few stumps effectively
  • Includes automatic oil shutdown, a direct belt drive, a side discharge frame, and a 5-position handlebar
  • Teeth can be rotated 120 degrees if required
  • Shears materials for ease of cleanup


  • Might be too small to handle big stump-grinding jobs

Get the Dosko stump grinder at Lowe’s.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing a Stump Grinder

The horsepower of a stump grinder’s engine, along with the height and depth it can grind, are key considerations when shopping for the best stump grinder. Ahead, learn more about these and other important attributes of stump grinders.

Types of Stump Grinders

There are three types of stump grinders: handlebar, track, and riding. Handlebar stump grinders, also called walk-behind stump grinders, consist of a large handlebar from which the operator controls the grinder, two wheels that support the motor, and a large spinning blade that grinds the stump. The operator tilts the grinder backward to maneuver it into place then lowers it to begin grinding. Handlebar stump grinders are best suited for smaller tree stumps.

A track stump grinder sits on two large tracks, not unlike a tank. The operator maneuvers the grinder via a wired remote control or controls mounted to the rear of the machine. Riding stump grinders have a cockpit in which the operator sits to control the grinder. Riding and track stump grinders can cost tens of thousands of dollars, making them more suitable for commercial use.


Most engines on a handlebar stump grinder range between 10 and 15 horsepower. Stump grinders with more horsepower can power larger cutting disks, giving them the ability to cut through larger stumps faster. Stump grinders that have more horsepower are typically large track stump grinders designed for commercial use.

Power Transmission System

When considering stump grinders, you’ll find self-propelled models as well as walk-behind grinders. Smaller handlebar stump grinders require the user to manually push the machine while larger track models are self-propelled, allowing the operator to drive the grinder into place via remote control or side-mounted controls.

Size and Cutting Capacity

The size of the grinder’s cutting wheel determines how quickly it can remove a stump as well as how deep it can cut. Grinders can generally have a cutting capacity that reaches depths of a few inches less than the size of the blade. For example, a 12-inch grinder can reach a maximum depth of 9 inches. There are some models with designs that allow them to cut to depths equal to the size of the blade.

Track stump grinders and riding stump grinders, the largest of the three types, can cut to depths ranging from 10 to 30 inches, heights of 20 to 50 inches, and widths of between 45 and 80 inches.

Walk-behind stump grinders have a smaller cutting capacity with cutting depths ranging from 5 to 16 inches and heights of 10 to 20 inches, making them suitable for smaller stumps.

Frame Durability

Stump grinders generate a significant amount of torque to power the cutting wheel that grinds out stumps. This force places a significant amount of stress on the machine. The best walk-behind stump grinders have heavy-gauge steel frames that can endure repeated use without falling apart.

Ease of Use

Stump grinders are considered heavy machinery, with most weighing well over 100 pounds. Weight is vital to consider as most stump grinders for residential use are not power-assisted and require the operator to push them into position. Weights for handlebar grinders range from as little as 125 pounds to more than 400 pounds. Stump grinders have features designed to make them easier to move, including large pneumatic tires and adjustable handlebars.

Additional Features

Stump grinders come with features that make them safer and easier to use, including auto-stop safety bars that operate similarly to safety bars on a walk-behind lawn mower, shutting off the engine to prevent injury when the operator removes pressure from the bar. Track stump grinders have swing-out control stations and remote controls that allow the user to operate the grinder from a safe distance.

Heavier or track stump grinders are equipped with tow bars and large wheels that allow the user to hitch the machine to a truck for transport to the jobsite.

Tips for Using a Stump Grinder

A stump grinder can make quick work of that ugly stump in the middle of the yard, but only if it’s operated correctly. Stump grinders are dangerous machines. First and foremost, take the necessary safety precautions by wearing safety goggles, ear protection, and clothing that covers exposed skin. While the machine has safeguards to protect the operator, such as guards that block debris and auto-shutoff bars, they won’t prevent harm to bystanders. Cordon off the area around the stump removal area to prevent people or pets from getting too close. Stump grinders are made to grind a few stumps, not rocks. Remove any stones, rocks, or debris from around the stump that may damage the grinder’s blades. A stump grinder may do the job of grinding up the stump, but you’ll need other tools to assist, including a rake, shovel, and chainsaw.

  • Wear the appropriate safety gear
  • Put boundaries around the area to keep people and pets at a safe distance
  • Remove rocks and debris from around the stump
  • Have a rake, shove, and chainsaw handy


If you’re wondering why stump grinders cost so much or just how deep into the earth you need to grind that dead stump, read on for answers to these and other questions about this heavy machinery.

Q. How far down do you grind a stump?

Generally speaking, you should grind a stump down 4 to 6 inches below ground level. This depth is deep enough to remove the stump from view while allowing for fill to be applied on top of it and, if desired, grass to grow.

Q. Why are stump grinders so expensive?

Stump grinders are heavy machinery that requires large blades and powerful engines to drive that blade. Larger engines and the hard metals required for stump grinder blades drive the price of the grinder up.

Q. Does stump grinding attract termites?

Not really. While stump grinding does create material termites like to feed on, grinding the stump doesn’t release any scents or create an environment that would necessarily attract termites.

Q. What can I do with shavings from stump grinding?

The best use for stump shavings is as mulch in surrounding landscaping. Stump shavings, like the mulch you buy at the store, help the soil retain moisture while serving as an excellent weed barrier.

Q. Can I use a stump grinder in the rain?

You can use a stump grinder in the rain—just keep in mind that the weight of the grinder can make it difficult to push in soft soil. The grinder can become stuck or may sink into the ground if it’s too wet.

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Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.

Tony Carrick Avatar

Tony Carrick

Contributing Writer

Tony Carrick is a freelance writer who has contributed to since 2020. He writes how-to articles and product reviews in the areas of lawn and garden, home maintenance, home improvement, auto maintenance, housewares, and technology.