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Drill Blades: When to Replace and Why?

On JD and CIH P-500/NH P-2080/85 single disc drills (with 18″ blades), blades should be replaced at 17 3/8″ diameter or sooner. At Exapta, we encourage blade replacement sooner rather than later, because at this point over half the bevel is gone and very dull. The bevel is 3/4″ new. Once 5/8″ wears off, you are at the maximum dullness. Not only will you experience more trouble with hair-pinning, but the blades will struggle to cut the soil. Continuing to run worn out blades will escalate seed boot wear. Because the boot is wider than the furrow being cut, it is very difficult to push the boot into the soil. Generally, the lower edge of the boot should be approximately at the soil surface. It doesn’t take much figuring to determine whether blades or seed boots are more expensive to keep up to spec in the long run! 

Remember: the last acre planted is just as important as the first! Replace your blades often enough to stay well above 17 3/8″ throughout the entire season. You’ll find greater savings in the long run by replacing blades more often, taking into account better performance of the whole opener. A brand new 18″ blade will require less downforce on the opener, resulting in a clean cut furrow and less hair-pinning, all while keeping the seed boot at soil surface to prevent premature wear.

Quick TIP: To measure blades without removing the blade, measure from the edge of the hub to the blade edge. Replace if less than 5 7/8″. And, when installing new blades the bevel should be towards the seed boot.

In no-till, an up-to-par blade is essential for making efficient use of down-pressure and forming a clean furrow, so the seed can reach the bottom, for good seed-to-soil contact. Exapta carries excellent long-lasting blades with the Forges De Niaux. Our farmer testing has proven the Forges de Niaux gives the best life compared to OEM. Keep those blades up-to-spec and a lot of seeding problems are eliminated.

Chris Horton

Chris Horton brings 25 years of management with him. He grew up on his grandparents farm in Reno County Kansas where they mainly grew wheat and cattle feed. He worked on feed lots as a pen rider and cow-calf operations before moving to Southern California where Chris started a new career in the transportation and transport logistics, eventually managing the western region for a large commercial vehicle leasing company. Chris moved home to Kansas, to manage a local Farmers Coop and then eventually the service dept for a tractor dealership. The opportunity to join the Exapta team came up, and he knew he wanted to be a part of this team.

Bob Pagel

Sales & Service Representative

Prior to joining Exapta, Bob Pagel was an Agricultural Territory Sales Manager for Ritchie Brothers, serving parts of MN, WI and IA. He continues to support his family farm in SE Minnesota

Jon Zeller

Current Product Engineer

Jonathan Zeller joined Exapta excited to return to working with no-till planting equipment. He supported research of no-till planting and other ag related projects for 7 years with Kansas State University’s Agricultural Engineering Department after getting his engineering degree. He later worked 3 years for Landoll Company, LLC. where he gained experience in a design engineering role. Jonathan grew up on a small family farm in NE Kansas working with row crops, hay and cattle. Jonathan enjoys solving engineering problems and improving or creating products to be robust and easy to install and service.