Agristore USA Blogs

Choosing the Right Hydraulic Hoses

Agristore USA offers two different hydraulic hose kits for our hydraulic top links. There's a hose kit with valve type couplers and one with ball type couplers.  How can you tell which one you need? Glad you asked! 

A good way to check is by looking at the hydraulic ports on the back of your tractor.

If they look something like this,



then you need the hose kit with valve type couplers.

If they look more like this,



then you need the hose kit with ball type couplers.

I hope this blog was able to give you some more information about how to determine which hose kit you need. As always, feel free to give us a call if you need additional assistance. We can be reached at 317-329-5080 from 8 - 5 EST.

C Shape or L Shape Tiller Tines

Finding replacement tiller tines can be a pain.  Hopefully this blog post can solve one of the mysteries of tiller tines. First, I'll talk about the differences between C shape and L shape tiller tines.  Further down, I'll give you some information on which you should choose for your soil.

You may have heard of C shape and L shape tiller tines and now you're not sure which ones to buy.  In many cases, Agristore USA stocks both C and L shape tines for the same tiller models.  

In general, L shape tines form a 90° angle.


C shape tines come in a broad variety of obtuse angles and will have a more gradual curve between the mounting end and the cutting end.


The two tiller tines above have the exact same mounting holes and fit the exact same tiller models.  However, when I put them together you can see the differences in soil depth and cutting angle.


These two tiller tines serve different purposes in the field.  The C shape tine on the left is better suited for medium-to-heavy clay, rocky soil, and densely packed soil.  The less aggressive angle allow the blade to penetrate the soil  more easily while getting a little deeper to mix tough soil.  The L shape tine on the right is better suited for sandy soil, loam, and loosely packed soil.  The 90° angle forces the entire cutting side of the blade to enter the soil at the same time.

For more information about different soil types and tiller tines, please see the United States Soil blog post.

For more information about right hand and left hand tiller tines, please see the Left Hand or Right Hand blog post.

Choosing the Right Trimmer Line

I recently added a lot of information to the trimmer line product pages about when to use the different kinds of trimmer line Agristore USA has available. I wasn't able to find this information all in one place, so I decided to make an easy-to-use blog post about the topic.  Hopefully you find this useful when deciding what kind of trimmer line to use.  You can find square, round, pentagon, hexagon, star, twisted, triangle, and many other shapes of trimmer line.  On top of that, many of these shapes come in different thicknesses.  The thickness is the most important feature to consider when deciding what kind of line to buy.  When it comes to choosing a shape, it's all about personal preferences.

There are two factors to consider when choosing the thickness of your trimmer lines.  First is the size of your electric motor or gas engine.  Second is the type of foliage you want to clear.  Use the chart below to see what line thickness you should buy for your trimmer.

.080"   |   Electric motors and engines small than 25cc |   Residential |   Good for light trimming
.095"   |   Roughly 25cc engines |   Residential |   Good for trimming and light edging
.105"   |   Engines between 25 and 33cc |   Residential |   Good for trimming and moderate edging
.112"   |   Engines between 25 and 33cc |   Large Area |   Great for moderate edging and heavy trimming
.118"   |   Engines between 25 and 33cc |   Professional |   Great for light brush clearing
.130"   |   Engines larger than 33cc |   Professional    |   Great for moderate brush clearing
.155"   |   Engines larger than 33cc |   Professional |   Good for heavy brush clearing


This isn't a comprehensive list nor is it a list of hard and fast rules.  The lines between thicknesses can be blurred and you may even find a contradictory opinion somewhere.  The chart is meant to be a ballpark reference for people looking for more information.

The next factor you should consider is the shape of the trimmer line.  Here again there are many opinions on what works best for each application but I will do my best to summarize.

Round and Square cut trimmer line are the most common types on the market.  They are standard choices, cheap to manufacture, and all-around good cuts of line.  The square line offers more volume and will last a little longer than round line of the same thickness.

Hexagon cut trimmer line offers more edges.  The common opinion on star, pentagon, hexagon, etc shaped trimmer line is that more edges give the line more opportunities to cut.  If you are working with dense foliage with many individual pieces, multi-edged line might be a good choice for you.

Twisted trimmer line's main feature is that it reduces wind noise.  The downside to this type of line is that it is less dense for the thickness and won't last as long as other line of the same thickness.  It's a great choice for people looking for a quieter cut.

Be sure to see our master chart for more information on choosing a new trimmer head.

Testing the Weedshark Pro

I got the opportunity to test one of Agristore USA's new products today: the Weedshark Pro.  The Weedshark Pro is a medium duty brush cutter with stainless steel teeth and .130" trimmer line.  Overall, I would rate the product as excellent.

For my test, I went aggressive to test the limits of the product.  I used a relatively thick patch of brush with some bushes and saplings (figure 1).  The bushes were live but a little on the dry side (figure 2).  The saplings ranged from 1/2" diameter to 1 1/2" diameter (figures 3 and 4).

Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4

As you can see from the pictures, the Weedshark Pro was able to get through the bushes and saplings.  I was really impressed because the line didn't give out until I was through the 1 1/2" sapling.  Before I lost it, the wear on the line was normal.  For the small area, I lost about an inch of line and 1 of the strands was split and frayed.  For heavy duty brush cutting, I would not recommend the Weedshark Pro but it handled the medium growth extremely well (figures 5 and 6).

Figure 5 Figure 6

The Weedshark Pro would spin off of tough foliage unless a great deal of force was applied, just like any other trimmer head.  The video advertising describes a pulling action on tougher foliage but I did not see the action.  Nevertheless, the Weedshark Pro worked like a charm.

This Brush Cutter is Perfect for Medium Duty Work

I was able to clear the area in the above pictures in about 10 minutes.  I imagine I could have done it in 5, but I stopped periodically to check the status of the line and teeth.  I also spent a bit of time taking down the saplings.  Like I said before, the Weedshark Pro held up very well under pressure and only performed poorly against a 1 1/2" sapling.  Everything else was cut and trimmed easily.  After use, the stainless steel teeth had not lost any of their sharpness, although a small amount of damage was visible on one tooth (figure 7).  A piece of plastic broke off of the top side of the trimmer head but I imagine that it happened at the same time as the line ripping out (figure 8).

If you are planning on treating this powerful product with respect, it will do wonders for your brush cutting and clearing.  Of course, the head can be used for light trimming but it also has the ability to till small gardens (video 1).


Figure 7  Figure 8


Video 1


I give the Weedshark Pro 5 stars for medium duty brush cutting.  It has a good clear time and an excellent range of foliage that it can handle.  It will also handle some of the heavy duty brush, but it is not intended for that application and it will become damaged.  Stick with the medium brush and you'll be as satisfied as I am with your purchase.

Click here for the product page.

Universal Trimmer Head Video

This video has step-by-step instructions on how to install a universal trimmer head as well as replace the trimmer line.

Start from the beginning to view installation.

Skip ahead to 2:58 to view line replacement instructions.

The universal trimmer head fits many brands of trimmers including Ariens, Astron, Brush King, Bunton, Dolmar, Echo, Red Max, Robin, Ryan, Ryobi, Shindaiwa, Snapper, Stihl, and Subaru.  Check out our master chart to find out which kit your trimmer needs.
This trimmer head is universal for straight shaft, gas powered trimmers. The universal head includes 17 feet of trimmer line. Additional trimmer line can be found hereGearboxes are sold separately.

United States Soil Survey Information

The United States of America is the 3rd largest country in the world. The contiguous states span from 25°N to 49°N and from 67°W to 125°W allowing for a huge amount of soil diversity throughout the country.  When you choosing the correct ground engaging implements, like tiller tines, it is important to keep your soil type in mind.

To help you, Agristore USA has gathered some soil survey maps of the United States from the National Soil Survey Center of the USDA.

Soil moisture is a crucial component of growing crops.  It is also important when working the land.  If you are working with soil that is very low in moisture, you will need different equipment than if you are working with moisture-heavy soil.  

Here is a map showing average soil moisture throughout the United States.

Click any of the maps to expand them.  The original files and more information can be found at the NRCS website.

This map shows the regions of the United States which are more vulnerable to drought.  This does not mean the red areas are more likely to have drought but rather that they experience droughts more severely.

The next map shows soil density.  It was created by attempting to penetrate the ground throughout the United States with radar and measuring how deep the waves traveled.  I think this is the most useful map for determining the kinds of implements you'll need, specifically tiller blades.

If you live in a region with low soil density (green, light green, light tan, and some tan areas), you will want to use L shaped tiller tines.  The L shape is more aggressive and works well with looser soil.  However, if you live in a region with high soil density (purple, brown, and some tan areas), you should use C shaped tiller tines.  The C shape is less aggressive and will work better than the L shape tines in dense or rocky soil.  You can browse Agristore USA's tiller tines by clicking here.

This is a map showing average soil temperature in different regions of the United States.

Finally, this map shows the different soil types or "textures" which naturally occur throughout the country.  It is useful for determining what kinds of crops will thrive in each region.

Hydraulic Components Informational Series - Dust Covers

Part eight of the information series on hydraulic systems. This is the last installment in the series and will cover some miscellaneous protective parts.

One of the best ways to prevent excessive buildup of dirt and sediment in the hydraulic fluid is to use protective coverings for the various parts of the system that aren’t in use. 

Agristore USA carries:

1/2” male plug
1/2” female covers
3/8” female threaded caps  

All of these products are offered at incredibly low prices for the potential savings you’ll get from keeping dirt out of the system. Keep your hydraulic system clean and safe!

Part 7 Blog Roll           

Hydraulic System Informational Series - Filters

Part seven of the information series on hydraulic systems. Today’s topic is hydraulic filters.

Hydraulic fluid gets dirty. It can’t be avoided, but it can be fixed with a filter. Hydraulic filters are sold based on the thickness of the oil you are using and the type of threads on the mounting. Thicker oil will need a higher micron count.

How often should you change your filter? This is not a simple question to answer. It depends on usage, local weather, and how much sediment is actually getting into the system. These variables all contribute to the answer, but the only way to know for sure is to monitor the pressure in front of the filter. As the filter collects more particles, it becomes more difficult for the oil to pass through. Eventually, the capacity of the filter will fill up and a built-in pressure relief valve will open. You should get familiar with the pressure changes and change the filter when it is no longer useful to maximize the value and your time.

Hydraulic System Informational Series - Directional Control Valves

Part five of the information series on hydraulic systems. Today's topic is directional control valves.

This topic is going to be a shorter one because I made this handy diagram of the different parts of one of our spool valves. You can see all of the ports labelled and I believe the only one I need to explain is the power beyond port. The power beyond allows for an additional valve to be set up in sequence so that two valves can be used in different places. For example, you could set up two of our three-spool valves in sequence to operate a total of 6 different hydraulic cylinders by using the power beyond adaptor.

Agristore USA's directional control valves are open center, which means that hydraulic fluid can move freely when the levers are in the zero (no action) position. They are spring centered which means the levers will snap back to the zero position when the operator lets go. Detente kits allow the lever to stay in the one or two position after the operator lets go. 

Leave a comment if you would like for me to explain any more of the features. You can find these products for sale at market-low prices by clicking here.

Hydraulic System Informational Series - Fittings

Part three of the information series on hydraulic systems. Today’s topic is fittings.

Hydraulic fittings are arguably the more important parts of hydraulic systems.  I could about this topic at any point during the series, but I think it will help explain some of the future topics if I get the major fittings out of the way first.

Hose Connections

I’ll talk about hose connections first. The most basic fittings connect a piece of hose to inflow or outflow port.  These fittings are crimped on to the hose and there are many different kinds.  The important features to look for in these fittings are the hose size, thread type, and thread diameter.  Agristore USA carries banjo crimp fittings for SAE 100 1/4” 3/8” and 1/2” hose.  You can also find 90 degree swivel fittings. Link in the comments section below.

Quick Connectors

There are many other types of fittings that Agristore USA doesn’t currently offer, and they serve different purposes based on their design. Some minimize space while others maximize flexibility. The fittings I’d like to cover next are all about saving time. Quick connectors are an excellent option for operators who swap implements in and out on a daily basis. A quick connection consists of a male and a female end. To establish a connection between any two pieces of the hydraulic system, place the female end directly on one piece and attach the male end to a hose. Push them together until they lock into place and the connection is ready to move hydraulic fluid.  To disconnect, pull the sleeve down on the female end and the male end will pop out of place.  It’s a quick and easy process that eliminates the need for constant tightening and loosening of hose ends. Check out the link for quick couplers in the comments section below.


The last fittings I’d like to cover are adaptors. Adaptors allow for connections between various parts. For example, a valve with a 3/8” female port would need a 3/8” male to male adaptor to install a female quick connector. Agristore USA’s adaptors can convert from BSP to NPT, link other components, and in the near future will be able to adjust the size of a port’s connection.

You can find a list with pictures of all the current fittings on hand by clicking here.

Please leave a comment if you can't find a part you're looking for. We are currently expanding our product offering for this category and I would love to fulfill your request.

Part 3 Blog Roll Part 5
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