Cal-West Rentals
Family Business Locally
Owned & Operated Since 1958
707 - 763 - 5665
415 - 884 - 0610
San Rafael
650 - 777 - 3535
San Mateo

Which is the right stump grinder for your job?

Stump grinding is a taxing job and often the least favorite part of the tree removal process. Ensuring that you have the correct stump grinder for your job sight is a critical decision to make. Choosing the correct stump grinder can make the difference between a job well done and a job that takes forever to get done.

How do stump grinders work?

Stump grinders work by spinning a disk with large cutting teeth at high speeds over-top of the stump. As the teeth strike the top of the stump small chips of wood are removed at high speed. The stump grinder operator moves the stump grinder left to right over-top of the stump until entire stump is completely ground down.

Key Considerations


Depth of Cut Below Grade

It’s important to remember that the trunk of the tree you see above ground often descends well below the surface before it starts to branch out with its roots. Larger trees will require a deeper cut down below ground level to fully remove the stump. Each of our rental units has a different cut depth capability. When is doubt, get the larger rental unit to ensure you entirely remove your stump down to the root level. 

Reach Above Grade

In addition to the depth below grade you need to consider the height the rental unit can cut above ground level. If your tree stump’s top, above the ground, is too high you may need to rent a chainsaw to cut it down lower so that your stump grinder rental can reach above the stump to start chipping it down.

Diameter of the Tree Trunk

Although a smaller stump grinder can technically handle a  larger stump you need to consider the extra time needed to slowly chip away at a large trunk. It’s much less labor and time intensive to use a larger unit if you have a larger tree trunk to remove. 

Each of our stump grinding rental units have different capabilities and features which determine the diameter tree trunk they can handle. Our 5.5HP Dosko rental unit can handle small tree trunks up to 14” in diameter. For stumps that are larger than 14” in diameter we recommend our 13hp stump grinder rental or our 27hp self propelled stump grinder rental.

Access to the Job Site and Transportation

For job sites that have narrower access (like narrow gates or paths) our 30” wide 13hp stump grinder and our 23” wide 5.5hp stump grinders are perfect for the job. The 5.5ph stump grinder is also collapsible and can fit in the back of a full size SUV. 

Time Allotted for Job Completion & Number of Stumps

When you have time restraints or a large number of stumps to remove you need more horsepower and a larger cutting disk. The horsepower of a unit determines how quickly and easily the stump grinder can cut through the stump and the size of the disk determines how much of the stump is removed with each pass. Our 27hp stump grinder is the best option for larger jobs or jobs that need to be done quickly. Not only does the 27hp stump grinder have more horsepower and a larger cutting disk but it is also self propelled and has auto sweep which monitors engine speed and automatically adjusts the cutter wheel speed rate.