Although most homeowners are glad to have plenty of trees in their yard, there are times when a tree has become an annoyance, is diseased or for other reasons just needs removal. For the do-it-yourself homeowner, renting a stump grinder will be essential to this process.
If you only have one stump to grind, experts recommend hiring a tree service, but if you have more than one stump or a neighbor who wants to split the rental cost with you, then renting a stump grinder makes perfect sense.
After you cut down the tree (and depending on the size, experts generally recommend a chainsaw for this job), you can rent a stump grinder from just about any home improvement warehouse or tool rental store. These are walk-behind stump grinders, not the large, trailer-carried grinders brought in by professional tree service workers.
The stump grinder has an engine near the center, a cutting wheel at one end and a handle for you at the other. The cutting wheel will likely be mounted in a vertical direction; the cutting wheel does not saw the stump, but grinds it, reducing your tree stump to chips. It goes without saying that protective eyewear is a must.
As you go through the stump grinder rental process at the store, you should be instructed in its use as well as how to use it safely. Be careful to move all rocks, buried pipes, electric wires, concrete, bricks, or any other matter that might be in your yard. Those items can become airborne and dangerous if kicked up by the stump grinder. Rocks and other hard products will also dull the teeth of the stump grinder. Keep children far away when doing this job as well.
As you begin using the stump grinder, experts recommend not trying to force the machine to take a cut or do grinding. Your job is to not force the machine, but let it lead and feed itself. If the teeth on the cutting wheel are kept sharp, the machine will effortlessly feed itself, while dull teeth are more likely to grab and make the stump grinder jump.
If used carefully, operating a stump grinder can be a rewarding yard improvement task for any homeowner.