NorthStar Stump Grinder (390cc Honda GX390 Engine) Review

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The Northstar Stump Grinder is a portable and effective tool that will help you to get rid of the stump that has held what seems to have become a permanent place on your “honey-do” list. It will allow you to clear that large piece of land without costing you the cash it takes to hire a big crew to do it for you.

You don’t have to have used a stump grinder before to make use of the Northstar, you just have to take a few minutes, read your manual for safety and operational instructions and crank this little beast up! It is small and compact, easy to transport and simple to use. The Northstar Stump Grinder is a tool that can be used by any adult of, practically, any skill level.

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As small and compact as the Northstar Stump Grinder is, you will notice right away how heavy it is. This little monster tips the scales at a mind-blowing,300 pounds; yet it fits comfortably in a car, sport utility vehicle or in the bed of a truck. That being said, unless you possess super-human strength, you will need some help loading and/or unloading this machine. Once it is on the ground, however, it is very easy to move around by hand or by using the optional tow-attachment if you have to cover larger distances in your work area.

The Northstar Stump Grinder is easy to use once you have taken the time to read your manual and get the hang of the machine. It works a lot like a modern day computer… point and click! Aim the Northstar at the stump you want gone, fire up the blade and watch it grind away to dust. There are, of course, finer points to the operation of this apparatus and they can be found in your user manual. For the most part, though, this grinder is easy to figure out once you know the basics.

Let’s take a minute and talk about the pros and cons for the Northstar Stump Grinder.

Here are the Pros:

  • The machine is incredibly easy to get from one place to another, especially when you purchase the optional towing package, which is absolutely worth it for larger jobs.
  • You only need a partner or two to help you to load or unload the machine. Once it is off of or out of your vehicle, you can take care of the job on your own in relative peace (though not quiet).
  • Smaller stumps of 8 inches or less are very simple to be grinded down and most are obliterated in as little as 5 minutes for each one.
  • The Honda GX390 motor is extremely powerful and helps the blade make easy work of most stumps in your way.
  • The side discharge frame sends debris out and to the side which keeps the area you are grinding free of debris and saves you a ton of time.
  • The Dodge bearings make the Northstar easy to maneuver around your job site and throw much less wear and tear on your body as you push through your project allowing you to get much more done and finish less tired.
  • The teeth on this beast just look mean and they definitely do their job well! They chew through just about anything in their path and spit out tiny, manageable pieces.

Here are the Cons:

  • The most obvious con is the weight. Trying to lift the Northstar out of a vehicle without help is a herculean task. Two strong people can get it done, but more hands make it much easier.
  • Taking down anything larger than 24 inches is going to take a lot more time. The time you will spend on a large stump seems to increase exponentially with every increase in inch when the stump is over 24 inches, so be sure that you are only clearing small to medium stumps or you’re in for a few long, hard days.

Overall the Northstar Stump Grinder does not disappoint. It gets the job done quickly and effectively, it moves well by hand, it is portable enough to move from site to site and it is towable once you have arrived on the scene and it is durable. It is built to last. If it is important to you to save time and money and get the job done properly and when you want it done, this machine is the one to buy! Enjoy!

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Can’t make up your mind yet? Read our buying guide for stump grinders before you proceed with your purchase.

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