The Best Mini Excavators: Top 5 Models for Your Construction Needs

All - 22 Min read

July 9, 2024

When it comes to construction equipment, mini excavators are indispensable for their versatility, power, and compact size. These machines are perfect for tasks in tight spaces where larger equipment cannot maneuver. Here, we delve into the top five mini excavator brands and their most popular models, highlighting why they are the best choices for your construction needs.

1. Caterpillar 305E2 CR

Overview: Caterpillar, a name synonymous with heavy equipment, offers the 305E2 CR as part of its mini excavator lineup. This model is known for its robust performance, advanced technology, and operator comfort.

Key Features:

  • Operating Weight: 11,443 lb

  • Engine Power: 40.2 hp

  • Maximum Dig Depth: 11 ft 3 in

  • Advanced Hydraulics: Delivers excellent digging performance and efficiency.

  • Operator Comfort: Spacious cab with ergonomic controls and adjustable seating.

Why It’s Popular: The Caterpillar 305E2 CR is popular due to its reliability and powerful performance in various applications, from residential construction to landscaping. Its advanced hydraulic system and operator-friendly design make it a favorite among contractors.

2. Kubota KX040-4

Overview: Kubota’s KX040-4 is a top choice for those seeking a balance of power and compactness. Known for its durability and ease of use, this mini excavator is ideal for a range of construction projects.

Key Features:

  • Operating Weight: 9,195 lb

  • Engine Power: 40.4 hp

  • Maximum Dig Depth: 11 ft 3 in

  • Versatility: Multiple attachment options for various tasks.

  • Ease of Maintenance: Simple access to engine components and service points.

Why It’s Popular: The KX040-4 is favored for its fuel efficiency and low operating costs. Its versatility and reliability make it a go-to machine for contractors who need a dependable mini excavator that can handle diverse tasks.

3. Bobcat E35

Overview: Bobcat is a leading name in compact equipment, and the E35 mini excavator is one of its most popular models. This machine is known for its performance, precision, and versatility.

Key Features:

  • Operating Weight: 7,659 lb

  • Engine Power: 24.8 hp

  • Maximum Dig Depth: 10 ft 2 in

  • Zero Tail Swing: Allows for excellent maneuverability in tight spaces.

  • Advanced Controls: Intuitive joystick controls for precise operation.

Why It’s Popular: The Bobcat E35 is highly regarded for its zero tail swing design, making it ideal for confined work areas. Its advanced control system and robust performance ensure high productivity and efficiency on the job site.

4. Yanmar ViO35-6A

Overview: Yanmar’s ViO35-6A mini excavator is known for its true zero tail swing, which enhances its maneuverability and versatility. This model is perfect for urban construction projects and other space-constrained sites.

Key Features:

  • Operating Weight: 8,214 lb

  • Engine Power: 24.4 hp

  • Maximum Dig Depth: 11 ft 3 in

  • True Zero Tail Swing: Ensures no part of the cab overhangs the tracks.

  • Efficient Hydraulics: Provides smooth and powerful operation.

Why It’s Popular: The ViO35-6A is popular for its compact design and powerful performance. Its true zero tail swing and efficient hydraulics make it a versatile machine suitable for various applications, from utility work to residential construction.

5. Deere 35G

Overview: John Deere’s 35G mini excavator combines performance and comfort in a compact package. Known for its durability and ease of use, the 35G is a reliable choice for contractors.

Key Features:

  • Operating Weight: 7,760 lb

  • Engine Power: 23.3 hp

  • Maximum Dig Depth: 10 ft

  • Compact Design: Ideal for working in confined spaces.

  • Operator Comfort: Spacious cab with excellent visibility and ergonomic controls.

Why It’s Popular: The Deere 35G is favored for its durability and operator comfort. Its compact design and reliable performance make it a top choice for contractors who need a versatile and efficient mini excavator for various job sites.


Choosing the right mini excavator can greatly enhance the efficiency and productivity of your construction projects. The Caterpillar 305E2 CR, Kubota KX040-4, Bobcat E35, Yanmar ViO35-6A, and Deere 35G represent the best in the industry, each offering unique features and advantages. By selecting one of these top models, you can ensure that your projects run smoothly, regardless of the challenges and constraints of the work environment.

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