If you're a skid steer operator, then you know that there are all sorts of attachments you can use with your machine. Among the most exciting is the stump grinder.
Ensuring you have the best skid steer stump grinder can be a difficult task given how many options are on the market today. But that's why we are here to help.
Not only will we make specific recommendations for you, but we will shed some light on what to look for when diving into the nitty gritty of stump grinder attachments.
So if you are looking to impress your clients with your next stump grinder, keep reading below!
Overview of the Best Skid Steer Stump Grinders
There are a handful of manufacturers in America and overseas that make several models of stump grinder attachments. Although they often share some similarities, the difference in the details is what makes for the "best" skid steer stump grinder or mini skid steer stump grinder
Many of these differences may not necessarily be immediately obvious to the eye, but when you are out grinding larger stumps all day long, the value of high quality skid steer stump grinder attachments becomes quickly obvious.
So what are these details we should be looking for?
Extreme Duty Stump Grinder by Blue Diamond
Best Swing Arm Stump Grinder
Swing Arm Stump Grinder by Blue Diamond
Best Mini Skid Steer Stump Grinder
Mini Skid Steer Stump Grinder by Blue Diamond
The Motor: The Heart Of The Stump Grinder Attachment
Just like we all need a strong and efficient heart to pump blood, our stump grinding attachments need a strong and efficient motor turn a heavy flywheel though tree stumps.
But what in particular makes one stump grinder motor better than another? It comes down to torque and efficiency.
Torque: The Best Friend Of Stump Removal
What is torque and why do stump grinders love it?
As most of us know, torque is a measure of rotational force. Because a stump grinder attachment uses a rotating flywheel to grind stumps, a high torque motor is going to produce the best results.
In fact, a low speed high torque (LSHT) motor is the most ideal because it will apply more force per rotation of the flywheel and have less of a tendency to slow down. On the contrary, a high speed low torque motor will be prone to loosing power when it contacts a stump.
Efficiency: Getting It Done
Modern skid steers are capable of pumping high gallons per minute of hydraulic flow at high PSI. The best stump grinder attachment should be able to make the most of this.
The effectiveness of many vane/gear hydraulic motors is only around 70%. The inability to efficiently use all of your skid steers hydraulic power robs your stump grinder of power.
For maximum productivity, the best skid steer stump grinders will be closer to 90 -97% efficient. This is possible with radial piston motors.
Radial Piston Motor: The Best Stump Grinding Motor
When comparing skid steer stump grinding attachments, you should give preference to one with a radial piston motor over vane motor. Here is a few points on why this is a no brainer:
A radial piston motor is 97% efficient while most other motors are 70% efficient.
A Radial piston motor is a low speed high torque motor, while a vane driven motor is high speed with low torque.
Radial piston motors are smoother operating with low flow skid steers
Right about now you would be right to ask, but whats the down side to the radial piston motor? Well there are a few draw backs:
Higher up front cost. Tighter clearances inside the motor make for higher manufacturing costs.
Tighter clearances inside the motor mean radial pistons have less tolerance for contamination.
Over all, many of our customers who are seeking out the best stump grinder attachments are willing to pay more attention to proper maintenance, and are therefore happy with this trade off.
The Flywheel: Where The Magic Begins
The flywheel is the muscle of the whole stump removal system and deserves particular attention.
The flywheel houses the carbide teeth and acts like a large grinding wheel in the tree removal process. When searching for the best skid steer stump grinder attachments, the flywheel deserves a close look.
Bigger is ALWAYS Better
Don't let anyone convince you that size doesn't matter, it does. This is especially true for your stump grinders flywheel.
Why should I make such a claim? It comes down to inertia. Remember, your stump grinder is using torque to spin a flywheel. Therefore, the heavier the flywheel, the more inertia it will have once it's up to speed. This inertia packs power when it hits a stump, and keep you cutting with less effort.
The drawback of course is that a larger flywheel may take longer to get up to speed when you first spin it up. In reality though, we don't find this to be an issue when you are using a powerful piston motor.
Teeth: Where The Grinding Comes To Life
As you know by now, the flywheel houses your skid steer stump grinders teeth. And the last thing you want is for your flywheel to have the smile of a retired hockey player.
In general more teeth on the flywheel the better. Unfortunately, as with many skid steer attachments, there are manufacturers that skimp out on the most important details.
Remember, at the end of the day, your flywheel is just a big heavy cutting wheel. High quality skid steer stump grinder attachments will have teeth on both side of the flywheel, as well as the outside edge.
But Why Teeth On Both Sides?
We recommend having teeth on both sides so that you can grind stumps while moving the attachment either forwards or backwards. This set up will also help you obtain the maximum cutting depth.
Although only having teeth on the outside edge may somewhat accomplish the same task, it is certainly less effectiveness, wears your teeth out faster and over all performs poorly.
What About The Actual Teeth?
Most stump grinder teeth are about the same from our experience. However, you should ensure that they are easily replaceable, and preferably reversible to double the life and reduce the amount of sharpening needed.
Are Swing Arm Stump Grinders Better?
As with all skid steer attachments, you have to consider if the extra investment is going to pay a return or not.
Swing arm stump grinders are more expensive and add hydraulic and electrical components that are otherwise not needed.
We often recommend swing arm stump grinders to customers who are concerned about trample on customers lawns. After all, a skid steer is a heavy machine and will quickly dig ruts when moved back and forth around a stump all afternoon.
So unless this is a major concern for you, I will humbly recommend stick with a traditional stump grinder that doesn't require a swing arm.
So What Is The Best Skid Steer Stump Grinder?
If you've made it this far, you now have the proper information and context to make an informed decision on the best stump grinder attachment. Luckily we have done the research for you and are prepared to show off our findings!
Blue Diamond Extreme Duty Stump Grinder
Whether you have a high flow or standard flow skid steer, Blue Diamond's Extreme Duty Stump Grinder checks all of our boxes.
Each model from the 16-20GPM to the 39-45GPM (and everything in between) uses one of the most impressive radial piston motors on the market. No corners are cut with quality when it comes these hydraulic powerhouses. They are even imported from Italy.
This gives the Extreme Duty grinder more torque than nearly all of its competitors.
All that torque isn't just for the sake of being the best. It's also needed to spin one of the biggest flywheels in the industry.
The Extreme Duty Stump Grinder comes with either a 24" or 26" flywheel. The flywheel is up to 1.25" thick and weighs over 1,600 pounds. This is not only a half inch thicker than most other models, but weighs 600 pounds more than many competitors. That's some serious punch.
We counted up to 32 teeth on blue Diamond's Extreme Duty stump grinder, where some if it's top competitors are lucky to have 12 to 14.
Not only does it have twice the cutting teeth, all teeth are reversible and replaceable.
Dual Linkage Pivot Points
It should be mentioned as well that you can expect your cutting wheel to stay perfectly perpendicular to your stump with Blue Diamond's dual linkage pivot points.
Regardless of which compact track loader you have, you will be able to cut level with the ground. It's this attention to detail that makes the Blue Diamond Extreme Duty Stump Grinder stand out above all others.
Wrapping It Up
You don't need a high flow skid steer to impress your clients at your next job. Blue Diamond's Extreme Duty stump grinder checks all the boxes regardless of your make and model of skid steer.
To check out our collection of Skid Steer Stump Grinders - Click Here
If you would like to see our collection of Mini Skid Steer Stump Grinders - Click Here