Threshing Machine: What is a Thresher, Types, and Their Uses

Updated on 09th February, 2024, By Neesha Rathod
Threshing Machine: What is a Thresher, Types, and Their Uses
Threshing is an important process after harvesting of crops like wheat and paddy. It involves beating the stem of the crops to take out grains. So, the process of separating grains from the chaff is called threshing and the implement used to thresh the crops is called a threshing machine or thresher.

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Today, threshing machines or threshers are commonly used farm equipment for threshing crops like wheat and paddy in India. It revolutionized the laborious process of separating grain from their Stalks was earlier done manually, with the help of animals or even by beating them with sticks. This helped save time and labour. It also helped increase the crop yield by lessening the crop damage involved in the manual process of threshing. In this blog article we will know about what is a thresher, its type and uses.

History of Threshing Machine

The invention of the threshing machine dates to the early 19th century. Andrew Meikle invented the first threshing machine in 1784 in Scotland. The credit for developing the modern version of the threshar is given to Hiram A. and John A. Pitts, who patented it in 1837 in the United States.

The first agricultural thresher in India was introduced during British rule in the 19th century. It was operated manually and could only process a limited amount of grain. With advancements in technology, modern threshing machines have become much more prominent, faster, and more efficient, capable of processing large quantities of grain quickly.

Thresher Meaning

The thresher meaning, as understood, is a tractor implement that helps separate grains from the straw. In this article we will not deal with manual threshing, which was the traditional method of threshing, wherein grains were separated by beating it with sticks or trampling it underfoot.  A thresher when attached to a tractor is sometimes also referred as tractor thresher.

So, in simple words, it is a mechanical device used for separating grains from their stalks. It consists of a drum (cylinder) that rotates at high speed, rubbing the grains against the concave board, which is mounted beneath it. This action results in the separation of grains from its straw. The grain is then collected through a conveyor belt, while the straw is thrown out through another opening.

The introduction agricultural thresher made the process quicker, more efficient, and less labour-intensive.

Components of a Thresher

An agricultural thresher is made of 15 components. These are drive pulley, fan or blower, feeding chute, cylinder, spikes, flywheel, concave, towing hook, steel frame, lower sieve, upper sieve, suspension wheel, transport wheel, shutter plate, and can pulley.

Types of Threshers

The thresher comes in different sizes and shapes depending on the type of crop it is designed to process. Some machines are designed specifically for rice, while others are meant for wheat, gram, barley, and other crops. A threshing machine can be divided based on following:

Crop-based Threshers

Based on type of crops being threshed, it can be either be single crop or multi-crop. Sometimes, it is also categorised according to specific crops being threshed. These include maize threshers, wheat threshers, and paddy threshers, among others.

Some of the thresher available in the market and on Tractorkarvan are Swan Agro Paddy Thresher, Lancer Maize Sheller LTH 1, Swaraj P-550, and Mahindra Wheat Thresher Haramba, among others.

Function-based Threshers

Based on the functional components, a threshing machine can be categorised as Drummy Thresher, Regular Threshers or Through-put Threshers, and Axial Flow Threshers.

Threshing Cylinder-based Threshers

Based on the type of threshing cylinders used in the threshers, it can be categorised as Syndicator Thresher, Hammer Mill or Beater Type Thresher, Spike Tooth Type Threshers, and Rasp Bar Type Threshers.

What is the Process of Threshing?

In this section, we will see the main steps involved in the process of threshing a crop using a threshing machine. The main steps involved are feeding, threshing, separating, and cleaning.

First, the harvested crop bundles or sheaves are fed into the threshing machine through feeding chute.

Second, the machine uses a rotating drum or cylinder with spikes or beaters to agitate and separate the grain from the straw.

Third, as the drum rotates, the spikes or beaters strike the crop, causing the grains to detach and fall through the openings or perforations in the drum.

Fourth, the separated grains, also known as threshed grain or threshed crop, are collected in a separate container, or conveyed to a grain storage system.

Fifth, the straw that remains after threshing is discharged from the machine as a by-product. The separated straw can be used for various purposes such as animal bedding, mulching, or as a source of biomass for energy generation.

Benefits of Threshing Machine

Before the invention of the threshing machine, farmers would use their hands or animals like horses to separate the grains from their stalks. Winnowing machines were also used for separating grains, but they were not efficient enough. Farmers had to invest a lot of time and manual labour into this process, which was not only tiring but also costly.

The introduction of the threshing machine transformed the entire farming process. It became a popular tool among farmers, and it became an essential part of agricultural machinery. Some of the benefits are listed below:

  • It allowed farmers to increase the amount of land they could farm, as it reduced the need for manual labour.
  • The machine was not only efficient but also faster, and it allowed farmers to reap more crops in less time.
  • It made it possible to harvest twice the amount of grain that could have been harvested manually.
  •  It also helped reduce the number of lost grains during the harvesting process.
  • Today, uses of threshing machine are not only limited to threshing wheat and barley but also for threshing other crops like oats, rye, and rice.

Challenges for Threshing Machines

Despite its many advantages, using threshing machines has also given rise to certain challenges. These are:

  • High Cost: One of the most significant issues is the high cost of these machines. Many small-scale farmers cannot afford to buy or maintain the machines, which puts them at a disadvantage compared to larger, more well-established farms. 
  • Environmental Impact: Another challenge is the environmental impact of using these machines. These farm implement consume a lot of energy and produce a significant emission, which contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.

Points to Consider while Buying a Thresher

Many thresher models of top brands are available in the market. They come with varying features and hence difference in thresher prices. If you want to buy a thresher implement, here are some points to keep in mind.

Capacity: The first thing to consider is the capacity of the thresher. It should be able to handle the amount of grain you need to thresh on a regular basis.

Price: Price is always an important thing to consider when buying any equipment. So, everyone should go for a thresher that fits your budget and meets your needs.

Compatibility: Tractor threshers require a significant amount of power to operate, and the power output of your tractor is a critical factor in determining the size and type of thresher that you can use. If your tractor does not have enough power to run the thresher, it may result in reduced efficiency, damage to the equipment, or even a breakdown.

Nearby Service Centre: It’s a very important point to keep in mind while buying a tractor thresher. Having a nearby service centre of the brand can make a big difference in terms of convenience and cost.

Size: The size of the thresher should be appropriate for the size of your farm and the amount of space you have available. You don't want to buy a thresher that is too big for your needs or too small to be efficient.

Maintenance: It is important to consider the maintenance requirements of the thresher. Look for a model that is easy to maintain and has readily available replacement parts.

Warranty: Finally, make sure the thresher comes with a warranty. This will give you peace of mind and protect you from any unexpected repairs or malfunctions.


In conclusion, the threshing machine is a game-changer in the agricultural industry. It brought about significant changes in the way crops were cultivated and harvested. The machine increased the efficiency of farming, reduced labour costs, and helped farmers reap more crops in less time. The threshing machine revolutionized the agricultural industry and set the stage for future developments in the field of agriculture.

Neesha Rathod
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Neesha Rathod
Neesha holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and a postgraduate degree in Rural Management. With over 10 years of experience in agriculture and the rural sector, she is a quick problem solver. She is inquisitive and has a deep analytics insight into any issues related to agriculture. She loves to travel and explore new places.
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