Tractor with pull-behind disc harrow

Disc Harrow Buyers Guide

Disc Harrow

Choosing the Right Disc Harrow

Before you can plant seed, an important step is to prep the soil.  In order to make sure that your crops will grow to their full potential, your soil has to be perfect.  Disc harrows are the best tools for the job – they break up the soil, destroy weeds, and cut your land into manageable rows.  If you’re not sure which type of disc harrow is best for your operation, we’ve put together a guide highlighting the features and options of most disc harrows available.

Attachment Options

When deciding on a disc harrow, you first have to decide which model is best for your operation.  When it comes to attaching your harrow to your tractor, there are two options – 3-point Hitch Mounted or Pull Behind.

3-Point Hitch Mounted

3-Point Mounted Harrows allow you to hook up the implement right up to your tractor’s 3-point hitch.  This makes for incredibly easy transportation and storage.   Because the harrow and disc gangs can easily be raised and lowered with your tractor’s 3-point hitch, you will save a great deal of time on assembly and ground variations.  These types of harrows are extremely adaptable, allowing you to easily operate in small spaces.

Pull-Behind Disc HarrowsIn Pull-Behind Harrow models, the discs are mounted on frames (disc gangs) that are hooked up to a draw-bar and pulled behind your tractor with transport wheels.  Most newer models of pull behind harrows also come with hydraulic controls.


Cutting Options:


Disc Harrows typically come in three different types of cutting options – single action, double action and offset models.

Single Action Disc Harrows:  Single action harrows cut the soil in one direction.

Double Action Disc Harrows: Double action (or Tandem) Harrows cut the soil in two different directions.  The front blade gang cuts the soil in one direction, while the rear blade gang cuts it in the opposite direction.

Offset Disc Harrows: In offset harrows, the hitch can be adjusted to the left or right so that the harrow is positioned in an offset position behind the tractor.  This is a popular type of cutting option, as it creates a very smooth cut in the soil.

Blade Type

Another important factor in choosing a harrow is the blade type.  Harrows usually come equipped with notched blades or smooth blades.  Depending on the intended use of the harrow, each blade type has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Notched Blades

Notched blades are a more aggressive type of blade.  They do a much better job of penetrating the soil, however they are usually more expensive.  When it comes to cutting high vegetation soils such as pastures, hay fields, cornfields, and cover crops, notched blades perform better than smooth blades.  However, notched blades have been known to be more prone to damage when cutting rocky soil.
Smooth BladesSmooth blades do a much better job of maneuvering through rocky soil without any damage.  However, when it comes to hard soil, they just don’t have the same amount of penetration power as notched blades.  Smooth blades have a tendency to ride over vegetation, rather than cutting through it.  In order to get better penetration out of smooth blades, it is usually a good idea to mount a weight box to the disc gang.

When it comes to disc harrow blades, a common practice is using a combination of notched and smooth blades.  Notched blades can be mounted on the front gangs for a powerful, aggressive cut, while smooth blades are mounted on the rear gangs for a smooth finish.

Blade Design

Once you decide which blade type is best for you (or perhaps a combination of the two), you must consider the blade design.  Harrow blades typically come in two different styles – flat or concave.


Flat Blades

Flat blades simply penetrate the soil.

Concave Blades
On the other hand, concave blades do a better job of tilling the soil.  They not only penetrate the soil, but they also lift and disperse the soil to one side.

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