How to select the best grader blade

Matching your grader blade with your operating conditions and desired grading outcomes will have a significant impact on productivity, grade quality, and the stresses placed on your machine.

When selecting your grader blade, ensure you consider its length, width, thickness, hardness, whether it should be curved or flat, and whether it should be serrated.

Grader Blade Length

The length of your grader blade should be determined by the size and configuration of the machine it is being fitted to. Most graders require two grader blades, with six, seven or eight-foot blades being the most common.

Grader Blade Width

The width of your grader blade is a key determinant of how well it wears. The standard width is six inches, however eight inches is also a popular width for those seeking increased wear life. There are also less common 10-inch grader blades, as well as the option to produce custom widths for those with unique requirements.

Grader Blade Thickness

Like width, the thickness of your grader blade is a key wear property. The standard grader blade thickness is 5/8-inch, while 3/4-inch and 1-inch thicknesses are also available if your operating conditions require extra wear material.

However, consider that increased blade thickness will also increase blade weight, make ground penetration more difficult and place unnecessary stresses on your machine’s drivetrain and frame components, so it is important not to choose a thicker blade that an application requires.

Lastly, thinner, curved blades are best suited for a final trim.

Curved or Flat Grader Blades

  • Curved grader blades are best used for applications requiring a penetration and rolling action and are best suited for fine grading and finishing work where a high degree of accuracy and quality are required.
  • Flat grader blades are best suited to heavy road maintenance where the shaping of the road surface is not critical. Their strength and extra wear material make them the preferred option for applications where abrasion and impact resistance are required.

Serrated Grader Blades

Designed to penetrate packed gravel, serrated grader blades deliver better penetration than a continuous edge thanks to increased pressure-per-inch of edge contact. Serrated blades are available in both curved and flat edge styles.

Grader Blade Hardness

A harder grader blade will generally offer better wear protection properties. However, consider that harder grader blades may be more brittle and susceptible to cracking if you hit a large rock during grading. If this occurs the grader blade must be replaced, so it is important to strike a balance between hardness and impact resistance, and choose a supplier who can deliver a grader blade with both.

The two most common methods of hardening grader blades are:

  • Heat treated grader blades which offer through-hardness of 420-512 Brinell
  • Black, high carbon steel grader blades which offer through-hardness up to 320 Brinell

For those seeking extreme wear protection, hardness and impact resistance, Swedish-made Sharq Grader Blades offer through-hardness of 550 – 600 Brinell and excellent impact resistance, as well as a number of other features and benefits, discussed below.

Sharq Grader Blades

Swedish-made Sharq grader blades are thinner and harder than conventional grader blades which means they require less downwards pressure. The result is an increased lifespan of up to 200 per cent, improved operator comfort and reduced wear on all parts of the machine. This means more kilometres of grading per day, reduced maintenance costs and up to 20 per cent fuel savings.

Sharq grader blades are fitted to an adaptor plate attached to (and protecting) the moldboard. They are easy to adjust to help prevent blades from crowning, and they maintain a straight edge so throwaway is very low – less than 20 per cent compared to conventional blades.

Benefits of Using the Right Grader Blade

By correctly matching the features of your grader blade to your machine and operating conditions, you will realise significant productivity benefits in numerous areas.

  • Blade lifespan and reduced maintenance: With the right grader blade installed, you can expect to see increased service life of your blades. This translates to savings in replacement parts, reduced machinery downtime and associated labour and maintenance costs.
  • Productivity and running costs: A fit-for-purpose grader blade will perform more efficiently, enabling you to run in higher gear with lower RPMs. This results in reduced wear on your machine – from the drivetrain to the tyres, reduced fuel consumption and emissions, and an improved operator environment with less cabin vibration.

The Cost of Inferior or Incorrect Grader Blades

Conversely, the cost of choosing an inferior or incorrect grader blade sees the loss of all the above benefits, plus potentially incorrect tolerances creating issues with grader blade fit and damage to the moldboard which can be costly to repair.

Cutting Edges’ Grader Blades

Cutting Edges stock a large range of curved, serrated, and straight edge grader blades with a range of features for various applications. Get in touch to discuss what is the right grader blade for you.

Our product specialists will work with you to ensure your grader blade is tailored to your machine and operating conditions to deliver the best possible performance and value for money.

Get in touch today for a free consultation.