A small disc harrow is an essential tool for farmers and gardeners alike, designed to break up and smooth out the soil in preparation for planting. Whether you’re managing a large farm or a small garden plot, selecting the right disc harrow can significantly impact the efficiency and effectiveness of your soil preparation. This comprehensive guide will help you understand the key factors to consider when choosing the best small disc harrow for your needs.

Understanding Small Disc Harrows

small disc harrow

What is a Small Disc Harrow?

A small disc harrow is a piece of agricultural equipment used to till the soil, break up clods, and create a smooth seedbed. It consists of a series of sharp, concave metal discs mounted on one or more axles. The discs are typically arranged in two to four gangs (rows), and they cut into the soil as the harrow is pulled across the field by a tractor or ATV.

Key Features of Small Disc Harrows

  • Disc Size: The diameter of the discs, usually ranging from 12 to 20 inches.
  • Number of Discs: The total number of discs on the harrow, affecting its width and tilling capacity.
  • Disc Spacing: The distance between each disc, influencing the aggressiveness of the tilling.
  • Weight: Heavier harrows penetrate the soil more effectively.
  • Adjustability: Features that allow you to adjust the angle and depth of the discs.

Benefits of Using a Small Disc Harrow

Enhanced Soil Preparation

A small disc harrow effectively breaks up soil clods, incorporates crop residues, and levels the soil surface. This creates an ideal seedbed, promoting better seed germination and plant growth.

Improved Soil Aeration

By tilling the soil, disc harrows help improve soil aeration, allowing air, water, and nutrients to penetrate deeper into the soil. This is crucial for root development and overall plant health.

Weed Control

Disc harrows can help control weeds by cutting through and burying weed seedlings, reducing competition for nutrients and water.


Small disc harrows are versatile tools that can be used for various tasks, including primary tillage, seedbed preparation, and incorporating fertilizers or organic matter into the soil.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Small Disc Harrow

Farm Size and Soil Type

The size of your farm and the type of soil you are working with will significantly influence your choice of disc harrow. Larger farms may require wider harrows with more discs, while smaller plots can be managed with narrower models.

Soil Type Considerations

  • Clay Soils: Require heavier and more robust disc harrows to break up compacted soil.
  • Sandy Soils: Lighter harrows with closer disc spacing work well.
  • Loamy Soils: Versatile and can be worked with a range of harrow types.

Tractor Compatibility

Ensure that the disc harrow you choose is compatible with your tractor in terms of horsepower and hitch type. Most small disc harrows are designed to be used with compact tractors or ATVs.

Tractor Power Requirements

  • 12 to 20 hp: Suitable for very small harrows.
  • 20 to 50 hp: Can handle most small disc harrows.
  • 50 hp and above: Suitable for larger or more robust small disc harrows.

Disc Size and Number

The size and number of discs determine the working width and depth of the harrow. Larger discs penetrate deeper, while more discs increase the working width.

Disc Size and Configuration

  • 12 to 14 inches: Suitable for light to moderate tilling tasks.
  • 16 to 18 inches: Ideal for deeper tilling and tougher soil conditions.
  • 20 inches and above: Used for heavy-duty tilling and breaking up hardpan layers.

Adjustability and Customization

Look for disc harrows that offer adjustable disc angles and depths. This allows you to customize the tilling action to suit different soil conditions and farming tasks.

Adjustable Features

  • Disc Angle: Adjustable angles allow for more aggressive or gentle tilling.
  • Depth Control: Ability to adjust the working depth for different soil conditions.

Durability and Build Quality

The durability and build quality of the disc harrow are crucial for ensuring long-term performance and reliability. Look for models made from high-quality materials with robust construction.

Key Durability Features

  • Frame Construction: Heavy-duty steel frames provide strength and durability.
  • Disc Material: Hardened or tempered steel discs resist wear and damage.
  • Bearings and Bushings: Sealed and lubricated components for reduced maintenance.
ModelDisc Size (inches)Number of DiscsWeight (lbs)AdjustabilityTractor Compatibility (hp)
Harrow King HK2001416300Adjustable angle20-35
Assemble 1BQX-1.31814485Adjustable depth15-18
GreenField GF1501212250Fixed12-20
AgroMax AM4001824550Adjustable angle/depth40-60
FarmTech FT2502016450Adjustable angle30-45

How to Use a Small Disc Harrow Effectively

small disc harrow

Preparing the Soil

Before using a disc harrow, it’s important to prepare the soil properly. Remove any large rocks, debris, or plant material that could obstruct the discs.

Steps for Soil Preparation

Clear the Area: Remove large stones, sticks, and plant residue.

Moisten the Soil: Slightly moist soil is easier to till than dry or overly wet soil.

Initial Plowing: If necessary, use a plow to break up very compacted soil before harrowing.

    Setting Up the Disc Harrow

    Adjust the disc angles and depth according to the soil conditions and desired tilling intensity. Ensure the harrow is securely attached to the tractor or ATV.

    Setup Tips

    • Check Connections: Ensure all connections and bolts are tight and secure.
    • Adjust Angles: Set the disc angles for the appropriate level of aggressiveness.
    • Depth Control: Adjust the working depth for optimal soil penetration.

    Operating the Disc Harrow

    Operate the disc harrow at a consistent speed to ensure even tilling. Overlapping passes slightly will help achieve a uniform soil texture.

    Operating Techniques

    • Consistent Speed: Maintain a steady speed for uniform results.
    • Overlap Passes: Slightly overlap each pass to avoid missed spots.
    • Monitor Progress: Periodically check the soil to ensure desired tilling depth and consistency.

    Maintenance and Care

    Regular maintenance of your disc harrow is essential to keep it in good working condition. Clean the discs and frame after each use and inspect for any signs of wear or damage.

    Maintenance Checklist

    • Clean After Use: Remove soil and debris from the discs and frame.
    • Inspect for Wear: Check discs, bearings, and connections for signs of wear or damage.
    • Lubricate Moving Parts: Ensure all moving parts are properly lubricated.
    • Store Properly: Store the harrow in a dry, sheltered location to prevent rust and corrosion.


    Choosing the best small disc harrow for your farm involves considering various factors, including farm size, soil type, tractor compatibility, disc size, adjustability, and build quality. By understanding these factors and comparing popular models, you can select a disc harrow that meets your needs and enhances your soil preparation efficiency. Proper use and maintenance of your disc harrow will ensure its longevity and optimal performance, contributing to successful farming operations.


    What is a small disc harrow used for?

    A small disc harrow is used for tilling the soil, breaking up clods, and creating a smooth seedbed. It is also used for incorporating crop residues and controlling weeds.

    How do I choose the right disc size for my small disc harrow?

    Choose a disc size based on your soil type and tilling needs. Smaller discs (12-14 inches) are suitable for light to moderate tasks, while larger discs (16-20 inches) are ideal for deeper tilling and tougher soil conditions.

    What should I consider when selecting a small disc harrow?

    Consider factors such as farm size, soil type, tractor compatibility, disc size, adjustability, and build quality. Ensure the harrow meets your specific needs and is compatible with your equipment.

    How do I maintain my small disc harrow?

    Maintain your small disc harrow by cleaning it after each use, inspecting for wear, lubricating moving parts, and storing it in a dry, sheltered location. Regular maintenance ensures optimal performance and longevity.

    Can I use a small disc harrow with an ATV?

    Yes, many small disc harrows are designed to be compatible with ATVs. Ensure the harrow’s specifications match your ATV’s towing capacity and hitch type.