What Is The Difference Between A Digger and An Excavator?

Diggers vs Excavators

When it comes to diggers and excavators, the terms are often used interchangeably, causing confusion for the uninformed. However, it’s important to note that there are some differences between the two machines. Let’s explore these distinctions and delve into the various types and applications of these versatile earthmoving vehicles.


Diggers, also known as excavators, are heavy equipment commonly used in construction, mining, and other industries for digging, trenching, and leveling land. They can be powered by an internal combustion engine or electric motor and are characterized by their smaller size, rotating bodies, and enhanced mobility. On the other hand, excavators are larger machines equipped with articulated arms, tracks for maneuverability, and hydraulic power from an external source [1]. These differences in size, power source, weight, and mobility contribute to variations in their applications.


Excavators are generally preferred for deep excavation, foundation work, demolition, and other heavy-duty tasks due to their size and power. They are capable of handling large-scale projects and are commonly used on construction sites for various purposes. In contrast, diggers, or smaller excavators, are well-suited for smaller-scale jobs, such as at-home projects, small garden jobs, and patio reworks. They offer greater maneuverability, and in some cases, they can even fit through doorways, making them more convenient for tight spaces.

Excavator Parts

Attachments for Diggers & Excavators

Both diggers and excavators can benefit from a range of attachments that can be fitted on the end of their digging arm, enhancing their versatility and expanding their capabilities. The standard bucket attachment is commonly used for simple digging and lifting tasks. However, depending on the specific job requirements, other attachments like drills, augers, breakers, clamps, and couplers can be utilized. These attachments allow excavators to perform a wider array of tasks, such as drilling holes, breaking concrete, and quickly changing between different tools for increased efficiency

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Types of Diggers Available

When considering the types of diggers available, it’s important to note that the digger family is vast and offers a range of options with different properties and features. Here are some of the most popular types:

  • Micro Digger

    The smallest type of digger available, ideal for small-scale jobs such as those found in residential settings. Micro diggers are highly maneuverable, making them easier to handle in tight spaces like gardens or areas with limited access

  • Mini Digger

    Slightly larger than micro diggers, mini diggers offer increased power while still maintaining suitability for sites with limited access. They are commonly used for domestic projects that require a firmer and more robust touch

  • Midi Digger

    Midi excavators strike a balance between digging depth, power, and mobility. They are capable of handling intense excavation jobs and are suitable for situations where site access is less of an issue. However, due to their increased power, navigating them may require a specialist operator

  • Crawler Excavator

    The largest type of digger available, crawler excavators are primarily used for large-scale civil jobs or when there is a need to move significant volumes of dirt quickly and powerfully. While they offer comfort and efficiency, their size can reduce their portability

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