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We have terrible luck with macdon guards and sickles broke the knife in oats swathed 800 acres and the sickles where all wore out the guards break so easy its a joke we have gone through around 3-400 sickles and around 70-80 guards I love macdon products but this is insane every day we change dozens of sickles they wear out tip up and break the guards will break as soon as you hit anything and wear fast too they are junk. we run lots of float on our headers (hay and draper) and run angle tilted right back on centre link anyone else have problems???
 

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Bought a used M150, new Sulberg, made in Germany guards, and new big tooth knife sections, 5000 acres and only 10 sections need to be changed for 2015. Broke one guard on a rock so far. Had an older Mac Don, OEM guards and sections were poor.
 

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I've been using the cheap version as replacements. Around $10/guard compared to over $20. The Macdon guards are a much harder steel. They wear a lot better but they break and don't bend when you hit something solid. The cheap ones you can often bend straight if needed.
I rebuilt the entire knife on my M150 with the cheap guards this summer. So far I'm happy with them. Although everything I cut was nice and high this year so not too much worry about rocks anyway.
I use the Austrian made, large tooth (shark tooth) knife sections.
 

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Have about 8000 acres on the sections and guards on my FD75. I've replaced about 5 knife sections and 3 guards this year. The wear is still okay on the sections. I wouldn't be surprised to get next year out of them as well.
 
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