Thursday, January 16, 2014

Selecting the Correct Disc Blade

Ask any farmer worth his acreage, and he'll tell you what every good agriculturist knows: Without proper soil cultivation, you'll never have a rewarding harvest. A good beginning here is the only possible means to a successful end.

When tilling your soil, the success of your labor will depend entirely on the quality of your harrow's disc blades. Not all are alike.

What Makes a Good Harrow Disc Blade?

A disc blade's most important quality could be its curvature. Concavity affects the blade's soil-throwing action, and different blade concavities create different results.

During cultivation, a tiller's disc blades must simultaneously cut, lift and turn the soil. When working as designed, they will not only break up clods but also compact loose dirt in the process, thereby preventing it from settling unevenly and leaving water holes behind. In short, the concavity of a cultivator's disc blades can spell the difference between good and bad soil cultivation.

The material of the disc blades also plays a role in the effectiveness and life of the disc blade. Boron steel disc blades provide superior cutting ability and a longer wear life then a disc blade cut from conventional carbon steel.

Different Disc Concavities

Although any concave disc should contribute to a smooth cutting action in the hardest of soils, this is only true when the degree of concavity is correct for the purpose. The deeper soil penetration of the deep cone disc blades makes such discs particularly useful for aggressive waste management. However, insufficient curvature will cause the gangs to turn too quickly and the discs themselves to jump. Excessive concavity, on the other hand, will engender drag and improper rolling.

Disc Blade Edges

A beveled edge will aid in lengthening the life of any disc. This feature not only provides a blade with the greatest degree of muscle but also allows it to wear evenly on both sides and sharpen itself in the process.

Flat Disc Blades

There is no difference between the depth of cut provided by flat and concave disc blades. Both bite into the ground at an equal distance. However, use of the flat disc allows little control over the dirt. These blades permit the soil to slide past them. They also generate deep furrows beneath the loosened surface while doing nothing to dispose of trash.

In addition, variance in ground pressure can affect their performance. In hard soil, flat disc blades and those with a shallow concavity will tend to jump. In looser conditions, either will often dig in too deeply and pull too hard.

While preparation of the seedbed is one of the primary uses for flat disc blades, they are also useful in warming the soil and redistributing any residue. Although the depth to which the flat disc blade cuts will vary with weather and soil conditions, those subjected to heat treatment during their manufacture will exhibit the flexibility and hardness needed to cut through obstacles without losing their shape.

Flat disc blades vary in design. The most common are:

  • Plain flat - These do the preparation work of turning under the top layer of soil, cutting residue and bringing to the surface the fine, fertile soil that resides underneath.
  • Fluted flat - This design plows through the soil in a zigzag fashion, creating furrows that many believe to be more favorable for seed-sowing.
  • Wavy coulters and disc blades generate a trailing cut.
  • Notched flat blades used primarily for breaking up vegetation and dealing with heavy residue.

Buying Your Disc Blades from Wearparts LLC

It's your farm, they're your seeds, and you want to use the best equipment for soil preparation and planting. Whether you choose from among our wide selection of replacement disc blades and tillage tools, Wearparts LLC offers the parts you need for successful agricultural operations. Browse our online store or call us a 1-888-4-BLADES for more information.

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