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Mini excavators are a great choice for many types of construction jobs because of their compact size. Unlike standard excavators, these mini machines are smaller, easier to transport, and can fit into tight spaces. That being said, the weight of a mini excavator varies from brand to brand. It is vital for you to know the specs of a mini excavator before your job gets started. This will tell you everything you need to know about what it will take to transport it and how you’ll be able to use it on the job site! 

How Much Does a Mini Excavator Weigh?  

Most mini excavators weigh between 5,000 and 10,000 lbs, though a few models go up to 14,000 lbs. While this might seem like a lot, bear in mind that a standard excavator may weigh between 7 and 45 metric tons, or 15,432 to 99,208 lbs.   

With this comparison in mind, it should be easy to see why mini excavators are an easier and more affordable alternative to standard excavators.  

Unsurprisingly, because mini excavators are smaller than standard excavators, they also handle smaller loads. They are well-suited to job sites that are small or confined and for work such as digging sewer lines and pools.  

Operating Weight Vs. Gross Weight  

Most of the time, you will not see mini excavators listed by their gross weight. Instead, you will see descriptions of operating weight. So what is the difference between these two specs and what do they actually mean?  

Gross weight refers to the machine on its own. In other words, it is how much it would weigh if you could, in theory, pick it up in a packing box.  

Operating weight, on the other hand, refers to the weight of the machine when it is in use. This includes the weight of any arm attachments as well as the operator themselves.  

What is Tipping Weight?  

When you review mini excavators, you may also see something called “tipping weight” described. Tipping weight refers to the amount of weight that would be required to tip the machine over while it is in use. In other words, operators won’t want to exceed this weight, as it could lead to the machine tipping and injuring workers or destroying the work site.  

As a general rule of thumb, tipping weight can be calculated as 50 percent of the operating capacity. However, this can change depending on whether your mini excavator is on wheels or tracks.  

Mini Excavators  

Mini excavators, as the name implies, are an alternative to standard excavators. They are suited for smaller projects or tight worksites where traditional machines can’t navigate. Because most mini excavators have a zero-point turn, they can make their way around confined spaces.  

Because they are smaller than standard excavators, mini excavators also have a shorter reach and lower weight capacity. Nevertheless, they are an excellent alternative for many projects, especially DIY projects.  

Mini excavators are ideal for jobs such as: 

  • Digging trenches and holes 
  • Repairing sewer lines 
  • Installing in-ground pools and hot tubs 
  • Plowing snow 
  • Demolishing small constructions 
  • Clearing debris  

 Most construction companies that manufacture regular excavators also have a line of mini excavators. You can find these machines from companies such as Takeuchi, John Deere, Kubota, Bobcat, and many more.  

Compact Excavators 

You might also hear mini excavators referred to as compact excavators. These are the same machine and the terms are interchangeable. Some people classify “mini” excavators as excavators between 5,000 and 10,000 lbs and put machines between 10,000 and 14,000 lbs down as compact excavators. Generally, however, they are considered one and the same.  

 Some brands may also differentiate between excavators with a “mini” or “compact” specification. Make sure to do careful research before you choose a machine for your project, comparing the dimensions and capacity so you choose the right excavator for your needs.  

Compact Excavators Comparison 

Although there are general guidelines for how much a mini or compact excavator will weigh, these machines can vary significantly between brands. Below are some of the top mini excavator models and how each of them compares in specs, including weight, height, and reach.  


Kato produces a line of mini excavators. These have different specs, making them suited to a variety of projects and worksites. Kato’s offerings range from the tiny IHI 17 to the heavy-duty HD 55V4.  

  Kato IHI 17  Kato IHI 25  Kato IHI 30V4  Kato IHI 35  Kato HD 55V4 
Transportation Weight  3,924 lbs  5,911 lbs  6,680 lbs  7,439 lbs  11,800 lbs 
Operating Weight  3,850 lbs  6,175 lbs  7,450 lbs  7,979 lbs  12,150 lbs 
Machine Width  3 ft 2 in  5 ft 1 in  5 ft 1 in  5 ft 1 in  6 ft 6 in 
Machine Height  7 ft 6 in  13 ft 1 in  8 ft 1 in  8 ft 1 in  8 ft 5 in 
Bucket Breakout Force  5,447 lbs  5,698 lbs  7,180 lbs  7,662 lbs  10,850 lbs 

John Deere 

John Deere is one of the most widely-known manufacturers of construction equipment in the world. The company’s line of mini excavators ranges in operating weight from under 4,000 lbs to nearly 11,000 lbs.  

  John Deere 17G  John Deere 26G  John Deere 35G  John Deere 50G 
Transportation Weight  Not listed  Not listed  Not listed  Not listed 
Operating Weight  3,790 lbs  6,110 lbs  8,135 lbs  10,847 lbs 
Machine Width  4 ft 2 in  4 ft 11 in  5 ft 9 in  6 ft 7 in 
Machine Height  10 ft 2 in   8 ft   8 ft 2 in   8 ft 4 in 
Bucket Breakout Force  3,597 lbs  4,994 lbs  6,085 lbs  8,267 lbs 


Bobcat is another extremely well-known construction company, whose machines are used on projects all over the world. The company offers three mini excavator models with varying capacities for all your small-scale construction jobs.  

  Bobcat E26  Bobcat E35i  Bobcat E50 
Transportation Weight  6,269 lbs  Not listed  Not listed 
Operating Weight  6,489 lbs  7,659 lbs  11,876 lbs 
Machine Width  5 ft 8 in  5 ft 8 in   6 ft 4 in  
Machine Height  8 ft  8 ft  8 ft 3 in 
Bucket Breakout Force  5,652 lbs  7,284 lbs  9,511 lbs 


Takeuchi has only one mini excavator offering, but this machine is a beast. Significantly stronger and larger than most compact excavators, the Takeuchi TB290 straddles the line between “mini” machines and standard models.  

  Takeuchi TB290 
Transportation Weight  Not listed 
Operating Weight  18,780 lbs 
Machine Width  7 ft 3 in 
Machine Height  8 ft 5 in 
Bucket Breakout Force  16,565 lbs 

Choosing The Right Mini Excavator For Your Needs 

Your choice of mini excavator largely comes down to your work site and the project you are doing. Carefully compare the specs and capacities of the mini excavators on the market, ensuring that you know how much it will cost to transport and whether it can handle the job you need.