• Alec W

Green Teeth

Over the past 12 years, I have been hearing a lot about a new system of stump grinder teeth, called "GreenTeeth." The difference between GreenTeeth and traditional stump grinder teeth is that GreenTeeth are round, allowing them to be rotated, exposing a new cutting edge in seconds, as opposed to the time consuming sharpening of each tooth, as is the norm with traditional style stump grinder teeth.

A "traditional style" stump grinder tooth (Note the singular cutting edge on the far right).

I've always been hesitant to try GreenTeeth. The round profile of the cutting edge is vastly different from traditional teeth, which seems counterintuitive for providing the maximum cutting power. I've also heard horror stories from other stump removal contractors and tree service companies about GreenTeeth throwing chips in every direction due to their shape, constant tooth-snapping due to hitting rocks, and premature wear on the bearings of their machines due to the different balancing. Even so, I finally decided I'd try them, as the allure of rotating to a fresh cutting edge, and the cheaper purchasing cost per tooth, finally outweighed my better judgement. Boy, was I wrong.

The new "GreenTeeth" stump grinder tooth.

My first job after switching over to the GreenTeeth 700 series was the removal of 18 stumps, with no cleanup. I decided to make this my trial job, because (if what I had heard was correct) even if the new system caused a huge mess, there was no need to clean it up. I also figured that I wanted to get a good feel for how they cut, so that I wouldn't have a biased opinion after only one or two small-medium jobs if they underperformed. I finished all 18 hardwood stumps (24-36") in about 1 1/2 hours; a job I estimated to take over 4 hours with traditional teeth. The mess was minimal; if anything there was less debris than I would have created with traditional teeth. My machine also experienced significantly less vibration than it would have prior; a major factor in premature component wear.

It has been roughly 2 weeks since I switched to GreenTeeth; normally, I would have sharpened traditional teeth 2-3 times by now, an affair that takes no less than 2 1/2 hours. That's almost 8 hours (nearly a full work day) of time saved on an unproductive task. Those time savings are being passed on in the form of lower prices to my customers; it looks like everyone is happy with the new setup.

One of the primary drawbacks to the GreenTeeth system is that, initially, due to the cost of pockets (the steel "holder" for the teeth, that bolts to the wheel of the stump grinder), the GreenTeeth system is more expensive. However, after 2 weeks I have already recouped that initial investment. I would already need to purchase another $300 set (obviously this is model specific) of traditional stump grinder teeth, whereas I am just about to sharpen my GreenTeeth for the first time. I'd expect the GreenTeeth to last about 2-3x as long as traditional teeth. Plus, GreenTeeth themselves (pockets excluded) are about 1/3 less than traditional teeth, allowing those savings to be passed on to the customer.

The bottom line is, for any stump removal contractor or tree service, switching to GreenTeeth may seem daunting or unsafe, but the benefits show themselves almost immediately. No more late nights sharpening teeth, or carrying around an arsenal of tools and extra teeth so that broken teeth can be changed on the job. I would highly recommend this system to anyone contemplating it.

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