How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Stump Grinder?

Last Updated on May 14, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

After removing trees, the leftover stumps can be an eyesore, along with the structural issues their exposed roots can create. But mechanically grinding them out yourself rather than paying a tree service requires renting specialized equipment most homeowners lack. What are the typical hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly rental rates for stump grinders at equipment rental companies and big box hardware stores?

This detailed guide covers stump grinder rental cost ranges by capability, equipment sizing advice, cost variations by rental period, what influences pricing like model age and geography, estimating any additional fees, a cost comparison of big box retailers versus local rental firms, critical operational and safety training guidance, plus tips for maximizing value on your rental. Let’s begin by examining why renting a stump grinder proves essential for the occasional tree feller.

How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Stump Grinder?

On average, stump grinder rentals can range from a low of around $75 per day for a basic walk-behind landscape unit up to $250 per day for heavy-duty large tow-behind commercial stump grinders meant for tree services grinding massive stumps across dozens of job sites.

Hourly rates typically span $35 to $150 per hour, with smaller units for residential yards renting at $35-$65 per hour and heavy-duty commercial models running $100-$150 hourly.

Rental costs depend heavily on the size grinder required for your specific stumping job list, as available units cover a wide spectrum from small sub-25cc machines only able to pulverize stumps up to 12 inches in diameter for homeowners, to over 700cc monsters able to grind huge 4 foot wide hardwood stumps into submission on expansive rural properties or industrial land clearing sites.

Hourly Rentals

  • Typical Range: $35 to $150 per hour depending on grinder size
  • Best for single small stump removal jobs rather than daily rate.
  • Time not grinding still charged as active rental period.

Daily Rate

  • Range: $75 to $250 for 24 hour periods
  • Allows flexibility for larger projects with multiple stumps spread over a full day.
  • Daily rate remains same regardless if actively grinding the entire time or not.

Weekly Rental

  • Discounted roughly 15-30% compared to accumulating daily fees.
  • Better value for larger land clearing efforts with high stump counts spanning multiple days.

Monthly Rental

  • Discounted 40-60% versus daily rental pricing.
  • For commercial operators with continuous tree removal and grinding workloads.

Refundable Deposit

  • Typically ranges $50 to $150+ depending on grinder value and rental provider policies.
  • Fully refundable upon on-time and undamaged equipment return with normal wear and tear expected.

The ideal rental duration balances project timeline, cost savings, and convenience. Avoid overpaying daily for small quick grinds. Weigh deposit policies as bigger units mean bigger deposits required upfront.

The Lawn Love website states that the cost of DIY stump grinding, which includes renting a stump grinder, typically ranges from $445 to $585 for the tools and supplies needed to do the job. The article mentions that renting a stump grinder can cost anywhere from $85 to $330 for a full day. The website emphasizes that if you have a large number of stumps or if they are located in difficult-to-reach areas, it may be more cost-effective and safer to hire a professional stump grinding service.

Tree Removal‘s article provides a more detailed breakdown of stump grinder rental prices. It states that you can expect to pay between $75 and $150 to rent a stump grinder for half a day.

If you need it for a whole day, you’ll pay between $250 and $400. The article also mentions that rental stump grinders work best for old, very rotted stumps and stumps that are extremely small, and they don’t grind very far below grade.

Interstate Rentals offers a 13HP stump grinder for rent in Portland, Oregon. The rental prices are as follows:

  • 4 Hours: $85.00
  • Daily: $120.00
  • Weekly: $480.00
  • Monthly: $1,200.00

The article emphasizes that this stump grinder is suitable for small and tight area stump grinding.

Why Rent a Stump Grinder?

Mechanically grinding away stumps offers major advantages versus pure manual stump removal methods:

  • Much faster grinding action than using hand tools to hack and dig. Gasoline engines offer torque and speed needed for efficient material removal of even hard woods like oak. Can grind a 15 inch stump down 10+ inches below grade in an hour or less.
  • Concentrated directional teeth on rotating drums chew through wood fibers far easier than manual chopping or sawing. Teeth easily penetrate taproots and lateral root structures.
  • No ongoing need to sharpen tools or socket swapping. Carbide cutter tips last far longer than standard axes or saw blades before needing replacement. Reduces downtime.
  • Significantly less strenuous for the user. Walk-behind and tow-behind units minimize physical exertion requirements once positioned.
  • Vastly less excavation by hand needed to extract below grade pieces when stump material comes out as fine mulch.

Understandably, rental stump grinders provide the power, speed, and ease of use that make short work of demolishing unwanted stumps in all soil conditions. Having the right tool for the job makes the work effortlessly easy.

Size Classes of Stump Grinders

Stump grinders available from equipment rental firms fall into several general size categories based on grinding capacity and transportation method:

Compact Walk-Behind Stump Grinders

  • Designed for residential yards with just a few small stumps less than 12 inches thick.
  • Units are compact and wheeled so users manually roll over the stump and operate via hand controls.
  • Typically equipped with smaller 20-35cc two-stroke gasoline engines but very easy to maneuver into tight spaces or around obstacles.
  • Rents for $75 – $125 daily.

Mid-Size Tow-Behind Stump Grinders

  • Larger units with 35-55cc engines able to tackle typical residential tree stumps up to 20 inches in diameter.
  • Require an ATV, tractor, or truck hitch for towing between stumps. Increased mobility makes them ideal for larger yards.
  • Rents for $125 – $200 daily.

Heavy-Duty Commercial Tow-Behind Stump Grinders

  • Massive professional grade grinders from 85cc up to over 700cc intended for tree services grinding dozens of stumps per day.
  • Capable of pulverizing even giant 4 foot diameter hardwood stumps thanks to high power.
  • Call for a heavy-duty pickup truck to tow given substantial 680 lb to 1,500 lb+ weight.
  • Rents for $150 – $250+ per day.

Review job scope to choose optimal power needs while avoiding overkill. Evaluate costs against your particular stump sizes and project timeline to maximize value.

You might also like our articles about the cost of brush removal, tree transplanting, or trenching.

Factors Affecting Stump Grinder Rental Pricing

Small Stump GrinderSeveral variables influence quoted rental pricing:

Geographic Location

  • Urban and suburban rental centers pay higher overhead. Rates reflect this in major metro areas versus rural regions with more operating cost flexibility.

Fuel Charges

  • Most equipment picked up will have an empty tank. Fuel purchase of $15 to $30 should be expected before starting work.

Delivery and Pickup Fees

  • Lacking a vehicle to haul the grinder yourself? Expect delivery fees of $30 to $60 each way.

Age and Condition

  • Newer models with the latest safety features understandably rent slightly higher than older units. But functionality remains comparable.

Additional Services

  • Damage waiver insurance, tree removal permits, off-hours fees all bump costs marginally higher. Avoid unnecessary add-ons.

When requesting rate quotes, transparently ask about any other fees bundled into the rental to avoid budget shock later on. Plan for items like fuel, hauling or potential fines.

National Retailers vs Local Providers

Big Box Retailers Such as Home Depot

  • Offer unmatched nationwide convenience and consistency with outlets everywhere.
  • Standardized fleet of common rental equipment like small and medium grinders.
  • May lack larger commercial units some tree pros require.

Local Equipment Rental Companies

  • Often offer greater equipment selection including heavy-duty units.
  • Potentially more flexible terms on long-term rentals for frequent contractors.
  • Staff expertise to guide customers appropriately for each unique job.
  • May beat big box rental rates, but deposit policies could be higher.

Evaluate your specific needs, scope, and location options to determine if a national retailer or local shop makes most sense for your particular rental. Both can provide value.

Safety Practices and Regulation Tips

  • Thoroughly clarify equipment controls and ideal grinding techniques before leaving with a rented unit. Don’t learn on the fly. Ask questions.
  • Always wear steel toe boots, hearing and eye protection when running a stump grinder, even for quick jobs. Flying debris is dangerous.
  • Note any insurance requirements from rental companies that detail financial responsibility.
  • Carefully check for underground wiring or pipes near stump locations to avoid severing utilities accidentally.
  • Follow all local regulations and permit requirements impacting debris disposal, noise limits, or zoning rules related to stump removal on a residential property. Ignorance of laws is no defense.

Taking time upfront to learn safe operating practices, required permits, and proper environmental debris disposal prevents huge headaches down the road. Don’t cut corners.

Minimize Stump Grinder Rental Costs

Renters can reduce rental costs through moves like:

  • Size the grinder appropriately to the actual stumps being removed. Oversizing wastes money.
  • Take advantage of weekly rates instead of daily for large clearing jobs spanning multiple days.
  • Avoid damage fees by operating equipment carefully. Make the deposit refund easy.
  • Check for any pricematching or loyalty discounts at national chains for existing customers.
  • Come equipped with fuel, oil, hauling vehicle, and any other necessities to prevent add-on fees.
  • Ask about any first-time customer specials or occasional promotions if renting for the first time. It never hurts to ask!

Just a little bit of strategic planning and rate negotiation makes seemingly pricey stump grinder rentals fit most homeowners’ tree removal budgets quite affordably.

Final Words

While commercial tree removal services tout stump grinding service at $3 to $7 per inch diameter as part of overall packages, DIYers can avoid these markups through short term stump grinder rentals from their local hardware store or equipment rental outlet.

Matching the tool to your specific yard’s needs, budgeting any fuel/delivery expenses, and taking advantage of weekly rates provides fast, affordable stump elimination without the costs and hassles of long-term equipment ownership and maintenance. Just be sure to secure sufficient training and always operate grinders safely with proper personal protection.

If faced with removing dozens of large stumps or needing to grind regularly over months, consider purchasing a used grinder to control costs. But for most homeowners, occasional economical rentals keep yards smoothly stump-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it cheaper to grind or remove a stump?

For quick grinding of a couple minor residential stumps, DIY rental of an appropriately sized grinder for an hour or two can certainly prove more economical than paying a flat service fee to have a professional arborist complete the job.

But evaluate labor time and convenience as well. Tree services prove worth considering for large complicated stump extractions requiring root digging or climbing skills.

What can I use instead of a stump grinder?

For small 12 inch or less stumps, alternatives like using a stump digging bar on roots, or gradually burning out the stump with charcoal can be low-cost manual options, though very physically demanding.

Always exercise extreme fire caution when attempting to char stumps – monitoring continuously. Stump removal chemicals also slowly decompose roots over time.

Is it bad to leave tree stumps?

As long as the stump is ground adequately several inches below soil level to prevent regeneration of new shoots, leaving some pulverized wood chips from the stump decaying in the ground is normally fine in most lawn or garden situations.

But construction sites or future patios will still require fuller debris removal to stabilize foundations or surfaces, so evaluate your exact planned use for the area.

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