How to choose the right excavator teeth for your application

In order to get the most out of your excavator machine and bucket, it is very important that you choose the right Ground Engaging Tools (GET) to suit the application. Here are the top 4 key factors you need to keep in mind when choosing the right excavator teeth for your application.

Unfortunately, when you purchase your excavator buckets, you are generally limited to the tooth and adapter systems supplied by the particular bucket manufacturer. Some of these manufacturers fit the cheapest teeth to the buckets in order to get to the cheapest price or make the most profit, rather than tooth systems that work efficiently.

Maintaining sharp excavator bucket teeth will help increase productivity and reduce the stress on your machine, protecting your machine and bucket and resulting in longer machine life and reducing maintenance costs.

Both the design and fitment of the bucket teeth is very important to their lifespan, performance and application.

With the greater emphasis from a number of GET wholesalers being on price, some manufacturers have to reduce the quality of their products in order to meet these price demands. These reductions result in poorer quality of the cast steel, the fitment of the moulds and shorter heat treatment processes so they are not as hard or abrasion resistant.

All manufacturing short-cuts result in the teeth and adapters being of poor fitment, break easily and wear prematurely. When selecting the best excavator teeth for your application, you should keep in mind these 4 factors. The right teeth could make all the difference!

choose the right excavator teeth for your application

choose the right excavator teeth for your application

4 key factors when choosing the right excavator teeth:

1. Manufacture
The construction and material of the teeth and adaptor is a major criteria, as this will directly determine its wear life and strength, but so is the shape and design.

Teeth are cast in foundries, mostly in third world countries these days, for both cost and pollution reasons. The materials used in the casting process and the types of moulds used, will determine the time the teeth will last, breakage and fitment. Also, the heat treatment process will effect the hardness which in turn affects wear life.

2. Wear life
Wear life of teeth are impacted differently by various materials. Sand is extremely abrasive, rock, dirt and other materials being excavated or loaded will impact on its wear life depending on their quartz content. The greater the wear surface, the longer the teeth will last before replacement.

These teeth are most suited to loading and material handling applications and not for excavating or trenching as this requires high penetration and impact. Large wear surface areas tend to be less efficient when penetrating hard compacted ground.

3. Penetration
The amount of surface area that comes into contact with the ground during penetration, determines the efficiency of the tooth. If the tooth has a large width, blunt or “balled” surface area, extra power from the excavator is needed to penetrate the material, so more fuel is used and more stress is created on all parts of the machine.

An ideal design is for the tooth to be self-sharpening, that is designed to continue to sharpen itself as it wears.

To penetrate tight compacted, rocky or frozen ground, you may need sharp, pointed “V” teeth called ‘Twin Tiger Teeth’. These are ideal for digging and trenching, as they enable the bucket to power through the material easily, however because they have less material in them, their service life is short and they cannot deliver a smooth bottom to the hole or trench.

4. Impact
Bucket teeth with high impact resistance will withstand penetrating shocks and high breakout forces. These are best suited for digging and trenching applications when using an excavator, backhoe or other machine with high breakout force particularly in a rocky environment or rock quarry.

The fitment of the teeth to the adapter is very important as improper fitment puts the pressure back onto the pin which can create a weak point or the pin may even just drop out under pressure.