NorthStar Compact Stump Grinder Review – 160cc Honda GX160 Engine

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If you’re planning on clearing up some space in your garden, cutting down trees is just half the work done!

Unsightly tree stumps that accumulate in the yard not only destroy its aesthetics but are a significant safety hazard as well. You’ll also not be able to use the area you planning on using unless you rid your garden of these tree stumps.

A few decades back, removing tree stumps wouldn’t have been considered an easy task to perform. However, thanks to the magnificent creations of the 21st century – getting rid of annoying tree stumps is a fairly simple thing to do, given you have an efficient stump grinder!

So, if you’re planning on getting yourself a powerful, efficient and reliable stump grinder to get rid of all those annoying little stumps, we recommend you take a look at the NorthStar Stump Grinder featuring the Honda GX160 engine.

This is one of the best portable models out there in the market, and we’ve done a thorough review of the product to help you make your decision.

So let’s get started!

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Features of the NorthStar Stump Grinder

Before we get started with the review, let’s take a brief look at the features of the product:

  • Packed with the powerful Honda GX160 engine
  • Can grind stumps from 10 inches above grade to 9 inches below grade
  • Portable design allows the grinder to fit through narrow doorways, paths, and gates. Also small enough to be transported in cars, trucks, and vans
  • 9 2/3 inch x 3/8 inch cutting wheels with 4 long life carbide tipped teeth
  • Has a side discharge which directs the debris away from the wheels and frame ensuring smooth advancement

What did we like about it?

After thoroughly testing out this stump grinder and pushing it to the limits, we can definitely vouch for the quality and performance of the product. It did a tremendous job at removing some pretty large tree stumps and performed the task with outstanding efficiency.

Below are a few things about this stump grinder which we were especially impressed with.

Very portable

Compared to a lot of other stump grinders we’ve tested out before, the design of this model by NorthStar offers outstanding portability and allows you to go where other stump grinders can’t.

This feature is especially important if you happen to have narrow pathways and gates in your garden through which you need to fit in the grinder. The compact size of the product will allow you to grind stumps which are located in very narrow spaces.

This model is also very lightweight and will easily allow you to lift them over retaining walls or placed in planter boxes. Transporting the grinder is like a walk in the park as it can easily fit inside cars, pickup trucks and vans!

Easy to maneuver and well-balanced

If your garden has rough terrain, you’re going to love this stump grinder!

The design of this product features a special frame with a handle that is built to reduce operator fatigue. Unlike most of the bulky grinders that dominate the market, we were able to move this one without feeling worn out.

The movement is made smoother thanks to the big 12 inch-diameter wheels that can easily maneuver through rough and uneven terrain. The side debris discharger also ensures the cuttings don’t clash with the wheels which makes movement a hell lot easier!

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Powerful and fuel efficient engine

While this model might look smaller than a lot of the others in the market, it definitely isn’t any less powerful. Featuring a Honda GX160 engine, this grinder is designed to rip through stubborn stumps with ease.

The engine is highly fuel-efficient and is considerably less noisy than most other stump grinders. It is also designed to last with minimal maintenance.

Extremely efficient grinding

While testing out the NorthStar Stump Grinder, we were simply amazed at how easily it was able to rip apart thick stumps with minimal effort from our side.

This grinder can grind stumps from 10 inches above grade to 9 inches below grade. It is also extremely durable thanks to the Tri-Power molded GATES belt which is made with exclusive EPDM Construction. The EPDM Construction ensures a higher heat resistance, smoother operation, and elongated service life.

The GATES belt moves a 9 2/3 inch x 3/8 inch diameter cutting wheel which features 4 durable carbide tipped teeth.

Highly durable

Stump grinders are machines that are put through a lot of wear and tear every time they are used. Durability is thus a priority in these machines, and the NorthStar Stump Grinder does an outstanding job when it comes to the build quality and durability.

Right when we pulled the grinder out of the box, we could easily tell how well-built this machine was!

Moreover, NorthStar is well known for putting their products through extensive, real-world testing before they are released into the market. We were thus fairly assured about the quality of this stump grinder even before we placed the order!

Comes with a warranty

While the build quality of this stump grinder is designed to last you a long time, NorthStar adds further to your peace of mind with a limited two-year warranty.

The company also has a highly supportive and helpful customer service staff that you can call in case you ever face any issues with the product.


  • Well suited for gardens and yards with narrow pathways and gates
  • Weighs much lower than most stump grinders in the market. Can be easily transported in small pickup trucks and vans
  • The design of the grinder reduces fatigue and is especially great for uneven/rough terrain
  • No tree stump stands a chance against the powerful Honda GX160 Engine


  • There have been complaints regarding the blades on the grinder becoming dull after a few rough sessions
  • The engine can be extremely loud when grinding through thick stumps

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to clean up your yard and rid it of annoying tree stumps that clutter space, this is one of the most efficient and powerful stump grinders for the job.

Priced with a moderately affordable tag, the features, durability, and efficiency the NorthStar Stump Grinder offers you are surprisingly good!

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

You should also check out our reviews of other models: