I recently had the opportunity to put my grader blade into action and I thought I would comment on my experience with it.
I have a 500' long gravel driveway that I maintain with my JD 2305, 200 cx and 5' grader blade. Over the past year the driveway had developed a gentle hump in the center with a ridge on either side leaving the tire track marks depressed slightly. I used the grader blade with the blade turned all the way backward so that the blade tended to spread instead of cut into the ground. With the blade in the straight backward position it had no dificulty knocking down the center hump in the driveway and it tended to spread the gravel very evenly. I then angled the blade (still backwards facing) and moved an awfully large amount of ridge gravel into the tire tracks.
The driveway had been looking quite rough and I was considering getting about 30 more tons of gravel to lay down. But after the work with the grader blade it does not look necessary.
I have heard issues that grader blades are not heavy enough to do any real work, but even in the rearward position it had no difficulty moving and spreading packed down gravel. In the forward position it could actually cut quite deeply into the packed lime dust base of my driveway (and trust me, this stuff is really hard and packed in!) further, the angling ability of the grader blade gave it a flexibility no other tool could match. I am looking forward to a really good snowfall this winter so I can test the blade in snow removal--one of the main reasons I bought it inthe first place.
My Grader blade was not even a very expensive one--$150 from a local farm hardware store. For all the comments I have heard about the flexibility of a box blade, I can not reconcile these statements with my own experience. A box blade can not angle--a very useful feature. The grader blade dug and spread gravel just fine. If I were trying to excavate deep cuts in heavy clay, a box blade may be warrented, but this seems like a fairly specialized function. The grader blade works just great for me--it is economical, flexible and most importantly very functional and effective. Obviously I am sold on the grader blade, but I am curious as to what box blade devotees have to say about this. Just my two cents.
I have a 6' grader blade that I've used on my 2305 for leveling and snow removal and a 7' box blade that I use on my 3320. I'm not an 'expert' in either but have used them both. I used the 6' grader blade on the 2305 (Really too big a blade for it by the specs) and I used it to dig into dirt and the side of a hill where I was trying to enlarge a dirt road I had. The blade never had any issues and would dig up stuff and into the side of the hill to 'square it off'. The 2305 occassionally would spin and if I hit roots the blade was not very good but it was superb at moving and 'cutting' into material. I tried this same hill with my Box Blade and the 3320 and couldn't do as clean a job. The ability to angle the grader blade was key. you CAN angle the BB, but it's through the leveling link on the 3ph and it's limited.
What I have found the BB good at that the grader blade really won't touch is digging into 'rooty' ground that I want to level (small 1-2" stalks, etc. after brush cutting it). The scarifiers on the BB help to dig them up.
I guess I'm just trying to say they both have their uses.