Snowplow Cutting Edges Polyurethane Versus Rubber

Finding that perfect combination of truck and blade wasn’t easy, but you managed.  Now, you’ve got to put some teeth on that plow. Since you’ll be doing a lot of work in residential areas, steel and carbide edges are out of the question. They’re rough on roads and too loud for regular use. So, you’re down to two options: rubber and polyurethane.

Rubber Is Best Where Budget is Concerned


Before polyurethane edges came along, rubber was the only viable alternative. Well-suited to dealing with slush and fluffy snow, these cutting edges are more popular in temperate climates. They’re also praised for their durability. But, rubber’s ability to contour to its plowing surface is its real claim to fame.

Unfortunately, this lack of rigidity is also its biggest drawback. Even when equipped with a deicing system, rubber edges often fail to deliver the results homeowners expect.  Available in a wide range of durabilities, rubber cutting edges can be purchased as “blanks” or pre-punched for easy retrofitting.

Advantages Disadvantages
·         Cheaper than polyurethane

·         Better at dealing with heat and swelling

·         Quieter than steel

·         Well-suited for obstacle-ridden areas

·         Can be retrofitted

·         Ineffective against ice or particularly heavy snow

·         Has a shorter lifespan than polyurethane

·         Some brands are lower quality and crumble easily under pressure

·         Does not scrape as well as steel or polyurethane



When to Use Rubber Cutting Edges:


  • In small municipalities with low speed limits
  • When plowing decorative or brick roads
  • In areas that receive light or slushy snow
  • When plowing areas known for breaking blades


Polyurethane Gets the Job Done

Discovered in 1937, polyurethane is the new cutting edge on the block. Rugged as steel and flexible as rubber, it’s quickly becoming the material of choice in many municipalities.  The only thing preventing poly edges from dominating the market is the dent they leave in a contractor’s wallet. But, for most, the added expense is easily justified.

Poly edges offer three main advantages over rubber ones. First, they’re more durable. When used in similar conditions, polyurethane edges last about 30-percent longer than rubber ones. Second, using poly edges increase your marketability. As mentioned earlier, many residential areas have added a clause requiring polyurethane cutting edges on city plows. Lastly, unlike rubber, polyurethane edges are rigid enough to get right down to the pavement.

Much like rubber edges, poly ones can be purchased both blank and pre-punched.

Advantages Disadvantages
·         Some locales require polyurethane cutting edges

·         Best cutting edge for gravel roads

·         Last a third longer than rubber blades

·         Can outperform steel on some surfaces

·         Less resistant to heat changes

·         Increased vibration over rubber

·         Costs approximately 33-percent more than rubber

·         Not ideal for use on rough surfaces


When to Use Poly Snowplow Cutting Edges:


  • When the municipality requires it
  • In areas with low to moderate amounts of ice
  • When rubber cutting edges aren’t strong enough
  • In areas where ice is common


Whether you decide on a poly or rubber snowplow cutting edge, Poly-Tek has you covered. We’ve been injection molding for over 50 years and have the expertise you need to get the job done. Contact Poly-Tek at [email protected] or 1(510)895-6001 to discuss your cutting edge needs.