Choosing the Right Excavator Teeth

It is important not to overlook your choice of Ground Engaging Tools (GET) – or teeth – for your buckets. Depending on the application of your bucket and the material you are working with, the type of teeth you choose to use can affect your bucket’s efficiency and longevity.

Often you are limited to the GET systems that manufacturers run on their buckets, but most systems have teeth that are compatible on the same adaptors, for example, being able to change chisel teeth over to tiger teeth. At Hogan, you have the flexibility to choose from a range of GET systems to implement onto your buckets, which is an advantage of working directly with a manufacturer.

The teeth you choose for your bucket should not be an afterthought; it is key in maintaining the performance and endurance of your bucket and machine.

When it comes to selecting the teeth that best suit your application, it is important to keep the following factors in mind:


While the shape and design are important factors, the material with which the teeth and adaptors are cast from as well as the casting process play a big role in determining their wear life and strength.

Different GET systems can be manufactured in different ways, so do your research before selecting the system to run on your buckets to ensure that they will last or that they are easily replaceable.


The wear life of excavator teeth is affected by the material they are being used in. Some materials, such as sand, are extremely abrasive and may wear your teeth quicker than rock or dirt.

Chisel teeth are most suited to loading and material handling because of their larger wear surface. Tiger or twin tiger teeth are more suited for applications requiring high penetration and impact on compacted ground, but will wear faster because they are composed of less material.


Using the wrong kind of teeth to penetrate hard and compact ground can cause your machine to use more power than necessary, creating stress on different parts on the machine and using up more fuel.

Tiger teeth are ideal for digging and trenching because of their pointed shape, allowing for easy penetration of hard ground. It is important to remember, however, that they are made of less material than chisel teeth and will therefore wear faster and may need replacing more often.

If your application does not require penetration of compact ground, chisel or blade teeth might be the better option for you as they will wear longer and can deliver a smooth bottom to the hole or trench.

Not sure what teeth to run on your new buckets? With decades of experience in the earthmoving industry, Hogan Engineering are always happy to give you obligation-free advice when it comes to decisions that need to be made regarding your buckets. From choosing your teeth to adjusting bucket designs, we are always happy to help.

LAST UPDATED: July 16th, 2021

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