When it comes to getting the job done right, you need the right equipment. Here at Ranch Rite, we know exactly the tools you need to keep things running smoothly. With a never-ending amount of work that needs to be done, sometimes it can be difficult to figure out which mower is the correct one. With both drum mowers and disc mowers having their advantages, we’ve decided to help you figure out which one is the one you need for your job specifically. As sellers of high-quality agriculture implements, our experts at Ranch Rite are experts in the field. Take a look below as we run you through the differences between a drum mower vs. a disc mower.


What is a Drum Mower?

The primary use of a drum mower is to cut hay, not to finish or brush the mowing. Most drum mowers have two drums that counter-rotate and several free-swinging blades that are attached to discs that are at their bottom. When they rotate, they create the momentum that helps the drum mower cut through large amounts of hay. As it moves through the field, the drums rotate toward each other and cause the cut crop to pass between the drums and be dropped behind the mower. After it is dropped behind, a tedder or rake must come back through to spread the hay out and allow it to dry properly. However, newer models have prevented this need.


Advantages of Drum Mowers

  • The biggest advantages of a drum mower is that there are no hydraulics needed for your tractor. They simply swing to the back of the tractor.

  • Drum mowers are much more rugged than other hay mower types. Durable even in extreme situations, they are perfect for cutting in fields that may contain large objects or fields you are not as familiar with.

  • If you have an older utility tractor that doesn’t contain much horsepower, a drum mower works great because it does not consume much power.

  • Drum mowers also run at higher speeds than disc mowers.


Disadvantages of Drum Mowers

  • Drum mowers are not ideal for mowing at an angle or slope, as the drums are very heavy and do not pivot very well.

  • Their weight also makes it difficult for tractors that have light front ends, making them difficult to maneuver and transport.

  • As previously mentioned, a tedder or rake must come back through to spread hay, as drum mowers windrow the cut crop.


What is a Disc Mower?

A disc mower is an updated take on the sickle bar design. Rather than the cutter bar having blades, there are small, high-speed discs placed on top of the cutter bar that contain discs. These discs are controlled either by gears or a shaft inside the cutter bar. Much like sickle bars, the height of the crop is controlled by the cutter bar gliding across the ground.


Advantages of Disc Mowers

  • Thick and moisture-ridden hay is no problem for disc mowers, as they are able to handle lodged hay and other problems with ease.

  • If you have a tractor with high horsepower, the cutting speeds on a disc mower are virtually limitless. No other mower can cut as quickly.

  • Disc mowers are huge time savers. They allow you to move seamlessly from working to transport without the need of a tedder or raker.


Disadvantages of Disc Mowers

  • Unlike drum mowers, disc mowers require hydraulics in order to lift the cutter bar vertically to get through narrow passages.

  • Disc mowers are not as rugged as drum mowers, which may lead to some expensive repairs.

  • While they can cut at high speeds, this leaves your tractor weighing very little. Because the cutter bar is so heavy, this can lead to potential safety concerns. Disc mowers tend to tip more easily.


Now that we’ve covered the basics of a drum mower vs. a disc mower, you have the knowledge and power you need to pick the right type of mower and get back out there. Check out our inventory today and go work the field.