Comparing the Best Mini Excavators on the Market
Mini excavators are becoming increasingly popular in the construction industry because of their compact size and versatility. These machines can be used for a variety of earthworks, from landscaping and gardening to ditching and grading. If you're in the market for a new mini digger, you'll have plenty to choose from.
The key to choosing the best micro excavator is to know which sizes and features are right for your project. But with so many models on the market weighing from under 1,000 pounds to more than 8,000 pounds, it's hard to know which one is the best.
To help you decide, we will introduce the top mini excavators on the market and describe their main advantages.
Best Overall: Yanmar ViO35-6A
Yanmar's VIo35-6A compact excavator is one of the most popular models on the market thanks to its zero-tail-swing capability and fuel-efficient Tier 4 engine. The ViO35-6A gets 20 percent less fuel consumption than the older model and has ECO and automatic deceleration modes. This, combined with its fast coupler system and easy access to the engine room, makes it a good choice for those looking to increase efficiency.
It has a maximum depth of 11.25 feet and produces 24.4 horsepower. With an operating weight of 8,214 pounds, it is small enough to navigate a compact site while still being able to undertake a variety of landscaping, utility and construction tasks.
Key Advantage: Tier 4 engines, more fuel efficient
Best Budget Option: Bobcat E26
While the Lynx E26 isn't the cheapest mini digger out there, it can help you get the most for your money. The mid-range model costs much less than the larger model (about $40,000), but still offers many of the same features and accessory options. It holds everything from screw and breaker grabs and graded blades, making it a versatile option that can save you paying for extra equipment you don't need.
Because the Lynx optimizes the control, weight and body of this model for the rental market, it is also a reliable choice for those looking to save money through leasing. Choosing a used phone can cut costs even further.
Key Advantage: includes cylinder - inner arm working group to increase protection against barrel collision
Best Mini Household Excavator: Kubota K0008-3
The Kubota K0008-3 is a popular choice for those who want a home excavator that is reliable and easy to transport and store. Its maximum width is less than 3 feet, and the track frame and blades are adjustable, allowing it to easily pass through doorways. Its compact size and 2,200 pounds of operating weight make it a useful tool for landscaping and interior tasks that require smaller machines.
Key Advantage: Adjustable blade and track width, making it suitable for passing through doorways
Best Electric Mini Excavator: Volvo ECR25
Electric construction equipment is rapidly gaining popularity as an environmentally friendly alternative to machines. To meet growing demand, many equipment manufacturers are developing electric mini excavators to add to their fleets of electric vehicles. The Volvo ECR25 is the first in a new series of miniature excavators powered by a 24-horsepower electric motor and a 48-volt battery.
The machine weighs 6,129 pounds and can run for four hours on a single charge. It's not yet available to buy, but you can pre-order it on the Volvo CE website.
Key Advantage: All electric
Best Mini Excavator for Small Projects: Komatsu PCO1-1
The Komatsu PCO1-1 weighs about 840 pounds and currently tops the list for the smallest miniature excavator in the world. The tiny machine provides 3.5 horsepower, has a maximum depth of 3.5 feet and is only 2 feet wide. Although it can only handle smaller jobs, it is ideal for yard work, pipework, and limited urban construction projects.
If you live in the United States and komatsu doesn't have PCO1-1 on its website, you may need to buy used ones from third-party retailers. Fortunately, Bobcat, Volvo and Yanmar also offer lightweight models for similar purposes.
Key Advantage: Very compact and lightweight
Best Customizable Option: Dig-Dog DG-25
Dig-Dog's DG Series mini Excavators offer a wide range of customisation options to ensure you get the perfect machine for your job. The DG series can accommodate multiple attachments, ranging in size from the 0.8 ton DG-08 to the 2.5 ton DG-25.
The DG-25 is an excellent choice for customization and ease of use. It can easily switch between excavator and backhoe controls and automatically decelerate when taking on heavier loads. The cab was also designed with larger Windows for better visibility, making it easier to switch between navigation and tasks.
Key Advantage: Multiple attachments and customizable elements
5 Factors To Consider When Choosing a Mini Excavator
It's encouraging to see so many new mini excavators coming to market, but more choice is followed by more choice. If you're not sure which model is right for you, consider the following factors before deciding.
In a perfect world, project owners wouldn't have to worry about cost when choosing the best equipment for their work. Unfortunately, price can be a determining and sometimes limiting factor and should be carefully considered before buying. Consider obtaining multiple quotes from equipment retailers to ensure that your mini excavator fits your project and budget. It may be tempting to choose the cheapest option, but choosing the model that suits all your needs will save you money in the long run.
Mini excavators are compact in design, but some are larger than others. If your project requires higher lifting capacity or additional attachments, you may need to consider a larger model. That said, larger machines require more storage space and a larger trailer, so if space is limited, you may need to opt for a smaller size.
Mini diggers can accommodate a variety of accessories, but some models have more options than others. If your work requires specific attachments, you need to make sure that the machine you choose is compatible. Smaller models tend to have more limited accessory options because of their lower operational capabilities. If your project requires multiple attachments, you may want to consider using a larger machine.
4. Type of Boom
Mini excavators are usually equipped with fixed, steering knuckles or swing arms, and it is important to know the difference between them before buying. The swing arm is the most common, using horizontal pins to connect the swing frame to the machine. These fences can move up and down and side to side independently of the main house.
Both the articulated and fixed arms are mounted directly on the frame. Both types of main arms can only move up and down, but the articulated arm has a second component that uses hydraulic pressure to move left and right. If you need a machine to work in a confined space, joints or rocker arms may be your best bet.
5. Site Layout and Terrain
The size and layout of your site can affect the type of micro excavator you need. If your workplace has multiple barriers or tight Spaces, you may need a more compact model or zero-tail swing. Certain types of terrain may also require special types of tracks. While most small excavators come with standard rubber tracks, you may want to opt for metal tracks if you're working on a very muddy or uneven surface.
The best mini excavator for your project ultimately depends on your preferred size and features. If you need help deciding which project is best for you, ask the retailer for a quote .