Five of the hottest mini excavators

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  • Earthmovers & Exacavators

Mini excavators have become a true ‘must-have’ machine for a lot of building and construction contractors due to the sheer number of tasks they can tackle.

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We absolutely love our mini excavators here at and just can’t get enough of them! The versatility of these machines is second to none and each would make a fine addition to any equipment fleet.

We’ve gathered together five models that have grabbed our attention over the last 12 months, and we’re sure there’s a machine to suit everyone on this list.

5 of the hottest mini excavators 

Takeuchi TB215r mini excavator

Takeuchi TB215r Mini Excavator

The Takeuchi TB215r is a no-nonsense machine that gets the job done without the need for complicated (and expensive) bells and whistles.

Reviewer Evarn Covich says the TB215r delivers solid breakout force for a machine of its size and the little digger’s 10.9kW Yanmar diesel provides enough grunt for most jobs.

"Overall, I feel the TB215r is an operator’s machine," Evarn says.

"By that I mean it doesn't have any of the computer-assisted tricks some machines do to help the operator make a better job. The skill of the operators themselves will determine the outcome of the job."


Kubota KX040-4 mini excavator

Kubota KX040-4 Mini Excavator

Kubota’s KX040-4 mini excavator is one of the bigger names on our list. Powered by a 29kW/1826cc Kubota diesel and weighing just 4.2-tonnes, the KX040-4 is the ultimate landscaping machine.

The ideal design of the operators’ cab provides excellent vision to all areas around the machine, while keeping all controls and monitors in easy reach.

"Kubota has hit the nail on the head with the cab layout being simple yet effective, waterproof and hardy. But what I like most is that there is ample room for a bigger-framed operator – and that is very important," reviewer Ron Horner says.


Sunward SWE18UB mini excavator

Sunward SWE18UB Mini Excavator

One of the more unknown quantities on our list is the Chinese-made Sunward SWE18UB. Costing a fraction of its competitors, the SWE18UB matches the big boys in quality and performance.

The 1.8-tonne digger has a 14.7kW 3-cylinder Perkins diesel that reviewer Lyndsay Whittle says is whisper-quiet.

" I finally decided to park the digger for the night, and it wasn’t until I turned the key off and went to remove my earmuffs that I realised I’d neglected to put them on in the first place," Lyndsay says.

"Suffice to say, the Sunward’s Perkins 403-D11 engine ran quietly!"


Agrison ME850 mini excavator

Agrison ME850 Mini Excavator

Although the Agrison ME850 mini excavator is a solid and capable machine, there’s no getting around the fact its most attractive feature is its price.

But you certainly get a lot of bang for your buck. The 850kg ME850 is light enough to be towed by a conventional one-tonne ute and its compact dimensions mean it can be driven through most garden gates.

"Powered by a single-cylinder air-cooled diesel rated at 8.6kW, the ME850 actually has more hydraulic oil on board than diesel fuel – 20 litres of hydraulics and 15 litres of fuel – yet that will see the machine running for most of a week," reviewer Steave Kealy says.


Case CX26c mini excavator

Case CX26C Mini Excavator

The Case name is probably not as well known in the excavator world as it is in the tractor scene, but that doesn’t stop them putting out a quality machine like the Case CX26c.

The CX26c has a modern Tier 4 Kubota D1305 engine under the hood with a fully ROPS/FOPS/TOPS-compliant canopy with easy-to-use controls.

"I was impressed with the strength and breakout force when it came to excavating the concrete pad," Reviewer Evarn Covich says.

"I have operated larger machines in the past that would have struggled with breaking up and moving this particular concrete pad."

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