Notched disc blades vs Smooth

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When it comes to choosing a new disc set, many people struggle to decide whether notched discs or smooth discs blades are best for their needs.

In this article, we’ll break down the differences between notched blades and smooth blades and examine their benefits and drawbacks so that you can make a more informed choice for your field.

Notched disc blades vs Smooth: The case for notched disks

If you have ever used smooth disks, you may have noticed how they make hard work of plowing through tougher soils.

Unfortunately, because of their construction (think of the plain flat center), they tend to generally struggle when the soil conditions get tough and in other challenging circumstances such as overgrown vegetation.

Notched blades are quite contrary- they tear through the soil with amazing precision and will cut deeper into hard soil, tilling and inverting it wonderfully.

You have their super aggressive cutting edge to thank for this brilliance- it penetrates even insanely stiff conditions excellently, cultivating and removing clumps that could stand in your way when planting.

Additionally, notched blades are advantageous for muddy garden soil- they turn the wet earth nicely breaking up clumps adeptly and aerating as they’re always spinning.

What’s more, these are the quickest and most efficient way to tackle new ground- they make short work of the very thick and difficult to remove vegetation and heavier residue.

Plus, because of the deeper penetration, they establish the best environment for enhanced root development and growth.


Sometimes you may not want extensive soil disturbance and you merely desire to smooth things out to plant sod, bed plants, or even vegetable seeds.

Which brings me to smooth disks…

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Notched mower blades vs smooth: The case for smooth disks

Essentially, you can look at these blades as made for situations where only slight soil disruption is required for planting.

For this reason, it’s best to go for non-notched (smooth) disc blades if you’re dealing with soil that has in the past been tilled.

That’s because they lean more towards applying appropriate finishing to tilled land to make planting less of a pain.

Of course, it’s important to ensure that the soil doesn’t contain common debris and obstacles like tree roots, twigs, boulders, etc. before deploying smooth blades.

In terms of the types of soils where these types of disc blades outshine their rivals, it’s mainly sandy soils and all kinds of dry soils.

In short, you’re better off with smooth disk blades if you’re working lighter soils.

However, how well it does the job will depend on variables such as size and the depth of the disc, concavity, speed, and more.

Smooth vs serrated disc blades: Which Type of disk is better for rocks?

Both types tackle smaller rocks fairly well, so it doesn’t really matter whether you use notched or smooth disks for this purpose.

That said, when it comes to a lot of rocks, they are occasions when the smooth disks may be more beneficial than the notched disks.

Shocking, eh?

Well, here is why:

You see, despite being more effective in digging up rocky land, notched disk blades are more likely to break after hitting buried rocks especially at speed.

What if I select thicker blades, you ask?

Short answer: You won’t get much respite since while they won’t bend/crack as easily, you could face another problem in that they won’t penetrate hard ground that well.

Plus, these blades seem to dull out faster.

Sadly, if you want thorough plowing through rocky soils, smooth blades will cause you grief because of their inherent inability to get deep.

Bottom line?

If your project requires that you thoroughly break up uncooperative, rock-laden soils, you’ll have to stick to cut out blades.

But there’s a catch:  You may end up spending more bucks because you’ll probably be replacing the disks more often.

The good news is that your smooth blades should get the job done where it’s not necessary to work the stony land more exhaustively.

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Smooth disc blades: Other benefits

In this section, we examine a couple of other benefits that you get from smooth disc blades.

·         Wear and tear

Notched blades dull out and generally wear down much more quickly since they’ve considerably less metal surface than smooth blades particularly on their outer edge.

And so if durability is your main worry, pick smooth blades.

·         Pricing

The other thing we love about smoother blades is that they’re way affordable compared to notched blades.

This, of course, makes them perfect for farmers after pocket-friendly replacement disks.

In any case, I can’t see a single reason why you would want to spend more on notched blades if you can get the same quality with a cheaper option.

Notched disc blades vs Smooth: A summarized way to make the decision

So far we have looked at the circumstances under which cutout (notched) blades and smooth (solid) blades may work best.

Here is a summarized table to help you settle on the blade type that is truly best for your needs.

Read on:

Condition Notched or smooth blades?
Sandy or sandy loam soil condition Smooth blades
Clay type soils such as black clay.   Notched blades
Light, small rocks (only finishing needed) Smooth blades
Extensively rocky land (rigorous plowing needed) Notched blades
Heavily compacted soil and new grounds Notched blades
Areas with larger vegetation Notched blades
Grounds requiring just evening out Smooth blades
High-residue conditions Notched blades

A compromise

Truth be told, most people will need the qualities of notched blades when handling certain jobs and smooth blades at other times.

Luckily, there’s a middle ground- mount notched blades on the front and their smooth peers in the rear.

That way, you’ll have no problem breaking through heavy soils where deep harrowing is essential.

Neither will you face any trouble handling ‘friendlier’ soils.

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Final thoughts

Overall, the type of disk blade you choose is really down to your personal needs.

If you’re always tackling dreadful territories such as soddy soils and overgrown vegetation, notched disk blades will make your job much easier.

On the other hand, smooth disk blades should easily help you achieve the results you want if you’re more into soils that had formerly been plowed.

Hope this helps.

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