Box Blade Vs Rear Blade

You have just started shopping for a box blade and suddenly you realize that maybe a rear angle blade is a better option. You need advice on which will be a better attachment.

See Related: How To Use Box Scraper

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Back Blade

image of blue tractor rear blade

A rear-angle blade is best for moving loose stuff and lighter material, while a box blade can also break up tough soil.

With a rear-angle blade, you can rotate the blade to discharge from one side or the other. You can also pitch the blade angle to dig in lower on the left or the right for crowning roads.

A scraper blade is commonly used for grading roads and driveways, as well as for snow removal.

A back blade is much cheaper as you can pick up a used one for as little as $200. If you already have an implement that breaks up hard ground such as a disc or tiller, then all you need is a rear blade to smooth the loose soil.

Advantages

  • Cheap: Pick one up for a few hundred dollars
  • Side Discharge: Move material to the side with ease.
  • Less Horsepower: Because it isn’t digging into the ground, you can move more loose material with a much smaller tractor.
  • Angle Work: Allows for more left to right pitch to dig our ditches alongside driveways or gravel roads.
  • Light Material: Great for removing snow.

Disadvantages

  • Light Material: Does not do well with heavy work or tough ground. Will not dig into the ground.
  • Limited Use: Must be paired with a disc or tiller for aggressive groundwork.

Box Blade

Box blades are pulled by a tractor with a three-point hitch and are designed to both grade and smooth. They also have scarifier teeth on the front that makes them better suited to break up tough ground. While they don’t discharge left to right as a grader blade does, they do have the pitch adjustment like rear angle blades have.

The scarifier teeth are a massive help when trying to restore a badly rutted gravel drive or when clearing land for concrete work. You can also add weight to them — either on a weight tray or with wheel weights. This weight helps you to drag more deeply, even when using a small tractor or ATV.

Those teeth can even be used to drag a garden out of the soil each summer, so they double as a light plow.

Since box scrapers have both a front and rear cutting edge, they can be used to push dirt in either direction. They are heavier and made for heavy work.

The top link can be adjusted to change the pitch at which the two blades dig in. For example, the top link can be lengthened so that the backside of the rear blade skims across the dirt for a more smooth finish.

If you are clearing virgin land, leveling, or want the ability to push dirt in reverse, the box blade is going to win. Additionally, because of the side wings, the box blade is better for moving dirt over longer distances.

Advantages

  • Moving Material: The wings of the box make it better for dragging dirt and gravel over longer distances.
  • Ripping: The scarifier teeth let you dig up rough ground in a way that standard grading blades cannot touch.
  • Backfilling: Since the back of the box has a double sided blade, you can push material in reverse.
  • Leveling : The undisputed champ at leveling.
  • Available in Small Sizes: Can be pulled with a lawn mower or ATV for light work.

Disadvantages

  • Requires More Horsepower. Since a box blade digs so deeply into the ground, you will need to purchase a narrower one than you could with a scraper blade.
  • Road Grading Is More Difficult. Since a rear grader blade can be angled and turned, it make it easier to get that finish crowning to the driveway. With a box grader, this might take more adjustments.
  • Learning Curve: This is a small thing, as all tools have a little learning curve. Just plan to spend some time adjust and tweaking to get it right.

Conclusion

A box blade is going to be your best bet. However, if you do not need the digging attachments, a plain rear blade will get the job done.

Note: Always consult equipment operator’s manual for safety instructions before using any heavy equipment or implements.

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