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Middle Buster Vs Subsoiler: Dig Out The Subtle Differences!

by Jack Grover
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What is the major difference between middle buster and subsoiler? The significant difference between these two is their working depth. When the middle buster can dig up to 12-inch furrows, the subsoiler can crack hard soil and go deeper up to 16-inch.

Alongside that, both tools’ size, weight, tines, blades, and other features are distinctly different. Also, their price range varies based on different models. 

However, in this middle buster vs subsoiler content, we tried to describe all the key and subtle differences to help you understand which one to pick according to your preferences. So, let’s read on.

Middle Buster Vs Subsoiler: Let’s Figure Out How Distinct They Are From Each Other

Although both gardening tools are manufactured to break up hard soil and facilitate your gardening journey, they pose some severe differences in how they work and other functions. 

So, let’s explore all their differences through this content, but before plowing further, let’s have a quick look at the comparison table below. 

Key PointMiddle BusterSubsoiler
Size & WeightComparatively Smaller & LighterLarger & Heavier
Maximum Working Depth12-Inch18-30 Inches
Best ApplicationSmall Field & On Soft SoilLarge Field & On Hard Soil
PriceComparatively Less PriceyExpensive

Size & Weight

Middle busters are typically smaller and lighter than subsoilers, making them more maneuverable and easier to operate. On the other hand, subsoilers are designed for heavy-duty applications and are therefore larger and heavier.

For example purposes, we will talk about the size and weight of two specific models, including the john deere pm10 series middle buster and the countryline subsoiler. 

The john deere pm10 series middle buster’s dimension is 32” H x 32” W x 15” L, and its working depth is around 12-inch. On the other hand, the countryline subsoiler’s dimension is 49” H x 32.5” W x 16” L, and its working depth is 16-inch.

Speaking of the weight, john deere’s middle buster weighs only 79 lbs. while countryline’s subsoiler’s weight is about 95 lbs. 

Hence, you can see that the subsoiler tends to have a larger size with a bigger weight than the middle buster, no matter which brands you choose to compare each gardening tool. 

Best Application

Middle busters are best suited for breaking up hard-packed soil in small fields. On the other hand, subsoilers are better suited for loosening or breaking up large tracts of land or breaking through heavily compacted soil.

According to a user from the tractorbynet forum stated,

“I believe that the main difference is that the subsoiler will break up compacted soil deep without moving it much while the middle buster will move soil and create a shallow furrow.”


Based on the usability, the middle buster ripper stays ahead of the subsoiler because the middle buster is typically more effortless to use than the subsoiler. This gardening tool requires less force to operate.

Also Read: Hydro Gear 4400 Vs 3400: Which Transaxle is the Best Choice?

On the contrary, the subsoiler can be more challenging to use as it needs more force to break through hard soil. Plus, setting up the subsoiler isn’t hassle-free compared to the middle buster plow


Middle busters typically cost less than subsoilers. Depending on the brands, including motoalliance, john deere, countryline, and other renowned manufacturers, all middle busters’ prices range from $147 to $299 or even more. 

On the contrary, subsoilers’ prices start from $300, and one subsoiler can cost you up to $600 or more. They are expensive due to featuring heavy-duty and premium materials.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Can You Put A Middle Buster Blade On A Subsoiler?

You might be surprised to learn that you can actually put a middle buster blade on a subsoiler. While it might not be the most common combination, you can definitely do it, but you may notice a slight decrease in your tractor’s speed.

What Is The Purpose Of A Middle Buster?

A middle buster is an agricultural tool, and plowers connect it to a hitch located on their tractor’s back. Plowers utilize this tool to break up the soil in fields, and they use it to create furrows for planting seeds or loosening compacted soil.

How Deep Can You Dig With A Middle Buster?

You can dig pretty deep with a middle buster, especially if you have a powerful tractor. The working depth will depend on the buster’s size and how hard the ground is. You can go down a few feet if you’re busting through tough soil. But on softer ground, you can potentially dig a furrow up to 12-inch.

What Is The Difference Between A Subsoiler And A Ripper?

A subsoiler is a tool used to loosen and aerate the soil. It has a long, metal shank that penetrates the ground deeply. Rippers are similar to subsoilers, but they have teeth that loosen and break up the soil. The significant difference between ripper and subsoil is that rippers can dig deeper than subsoilers and disturb much soil.

How Do You Use A Subsoiler?

The answer depends on what kind of soil you have and what crops you’re trying to grow. In general, plowers run subsoils over the field and complete a series of passes, and one pass tends to be deeper than others. While passing, they ensure subsoilers’ tines reach all the way to the bottom of the soil. That’s how you should use a subsoiler.

What Is Your Farming Pick?

So, it’s time to reveal which one wins the battle between middle buster and subsoiler. In essence, we found both gardening tools are winners, considering how they work and their distinct functions. 

If you plan to dig a few inches deep in your garden’s soil, the middle buster is an ideal option. And if you wanna dig deeper and crack hard soil to harvest various crops, you should choose the subsoiler. 

Or you can use both tools as per your needs. That’s all for this content titled middle buster vs subsoiler. We hope you gained new knowledge today through our effort.

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