Two trucks equipped with snow plows that have red blades are parked outside on a snowy day, and nobody is nearby.

Snow Plow Steel Cutting Edges vs. Rubber Cutting Edges

Selecting the right cutting edge for your snow plow is crucial for the efficiency and longevity of your snow removal operations. Understanding the biggest differences between steel and rubber cutting edges can significantly impact your bottom line.

This guide aims to provide an in-depth comparison and help you make an informed decision. Take a comprehensive look at how to compare snow plow steel cutting edges vs. rubber cutting edges to find a reliable option now.

Assessing the Edges

First, let’s break down what these two types of cutting edges bring to the table when you add them to your snow plow. Luckily, they’re as straightforward as they are reliable for clearing roads and parking lots.

At Mill Supply, we carry both rubber cutting edges and steel cutting edges because, in the right conditions, they get the job done perfectly. Let’s take a closer look at how you can choose the right blade for your vehicle.

Pros and Cons of Steel Cutting Edges

Steel cutting edges have been staples in snow removal for many years. Thanks to their durability and strength, steel edges are ideal for intense snow removal tasks.

Steel cutting edges offer exceptional durability, making them long lasting and capable of withstanding heavy usage. This reduces the frequency of replacements. They’re highly efficient in breaking up compacted snow and ice, so they’re ideal for tough winter conditions. However, steel edges can cause damage to paved surfaces, leading to potential repair costs.

The heavier weight causes additional wear and tear on the plow and vehicle. They also tend to be noisier during operation, which can be a concern in residential areas. Though the noise may be a concern in residential areas, you can worry less about the loud blade in parking lots and other remote areas you plow through.

Pros and Cons of Rubber Cutting Edges

Rubber cutting edges are gentle on surfaces, significantly reducing the risk of damage to pavement, driveways, and other surfaces. They create less noise during snow removal, making them suitable for residential and commercial areas.

The flexibility of rubber allows it to contour to the surface, providing a cleaner sweep of snow. However, rubber edges wear out faster than steel, requiring more frequent replacements.

They may not be as effective in breaking up compacted snow and ice, making them less suitable for harsh conditions. Rubber cutting edges are a more recent innovation, offering a softer and more flexible alternative to steel. They’re also much gentler on surfaces, making them ideal for areas where surface damage is a concern.

A vehicle with a yellow snow plow attached to it is outside in bad weather pushing snow that is on the ground.

Factors To Consider

Now, you should have a firmer grasp of the key differences between steel cutting edges and rubber cutting edges on snow plows. That said, since both options are so useful, it can be difficult to know which details are most relevant to your needs. Check out our comprehensive breakdown of the key factors to consider before you order your snow plow edge.

Environmental Impact

When evaluating environmental impact, you should consider both material longevity and disposal practices. Steel cutting edges have a longer lifespan, requiring fewer replacements and reducing waste over time.

Their recyclability also contributes to a lower environmental footprint. Rubber edges, while protecting surfaces, may wear out faster, potentially contributing to more waste. You now know how your snow plow blades will impact the environment, so let’s see how they affect the plow’s performance.

Post-Installation Performance

The performance requirements of your snow removal operations are crucial in deciding between steel and rubber cutting edges. As we briefly touched on above, choosing the right edge material requires you to consider the type of material you’re plowing.

Of course, a snow plow is for moving snow to safer locations, but that material takes many forms on the pavement. For example, steel edges excel in heavy-duty scenarios where breaking up ice and compacted snow is necessary.

The strength and rigidity of steel cutting edges provide a reliable solution for clearing large commercial spaces or roads quickly and efficiently. In contrast, rubber edges perform better in environments where surface protection is paramount.

Their flexibility allows them to handle varied surfaces, ensuring a cleaner sweep without damaging the underlying material. Before committing to a cutting edge material, you still have one more critical factor to think about: your budget.


Cost analysis is essential for selecting the appropriate cutting edge. It’s important to consider the full financial picture, including purchase cost, maintenance, and replacement frequency.

When considering cost, you must look beyond the initial investment. Steel edges typically cost less upfront, and their durability often results in a high return on investment in the long run. Rubber edges, though initially more expensive, will help keep important surfaces, such as residential roads, intact with their softer composition.

Two clean red snow plows are parked in an area where the snow has been cleared out and the drivers are not present.

Selecting the Most Suitable Cutting Edge

Even if you check this guide long before winter weather arrives, you can start browsing snow plow parts. When selecting the most suitable cutting edge, assess your environment and consider the typical conditions in your area. For harsh winters with compacted snow and ice, steel edges are optimal. For residential areas with sensitive surfaces, rubber edges may be better.

Evaluate the longevity and calculate the long-term costs, including potential replacements and maintenance, to choose the cutting edge that offers the best balance between initial investment and durability. In areas with strict noise regulations, rubber edges provide quieter operation, making them more suitable. If protecting the surface is a priority, you should go with rubber cutting edges since they’re less likely to cause damage.

Make Your Choice Today

Choosing the right cutting edge for your snow plow can significantly impact your snow removal operations. It can affect efficiency, cost, and customer satisfaction. Steel and rubber cutting edges each have their advantages and disadvantages, making them suitable for different environments and operational needs. At Mill Supply, we carry a wide range of snow plow parts that include rubber cutting edges and steel cutting edges alike, so you can start getting ready for winter weather whenever you’re ready.

By understanding the various differences and considering factors like environmental impact, performance, and long-term costs, you can make an informed decision that enhances your service quality and operational efficiency. Empower your snow removal operations by making informed decisions that align with your unique needs and goals.

Remember—the right cutting edge isn’t just a tool; it’s a strategic investment in efficiency, sustainability, and satisfaction. Stay ahead of the winter challenges and lead your operations to success. Make every snowstorm an opportunity to shine.


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