Mini diggers come in a variety of configurations, with any digger under the weight of 6T being classed as a mini digger.

Mini diggers are the go-to machine for most residential and small digging projects. They are often seen working by the roadside digging trenches for laying pipes or cables, digging up asphalt or clearing rubble.

When faced with residential projects such as digging foundations, landscaping or laying a new driveway, it takes little imagination to know that a mini digger will make light work of these otherwise arduous tasks and, let’s face it: who hasn’t thought at one time or another that having a go with a mini digger might make for a rather fun activity and a welcome change from spending your Sunday morning washing the car?

So, you’ve decided to hire a mini digger…

If you have decided to hire a mini digger and you’re not quite sure what machine specification you should look for, we invite you to have a look at Central Plant Hire’s April 2022 blog: “Types of digger: Choosing the right one for your project.”

Depending on the size of your project and your space you may opt for a larger, more powerful machine with the capacity to move larger volumes of material in one sweep. If you are restricted for space, need to manoeuvre the digger through a tight gate or narrow space or your project requires precision digging, a smaller machine will likely prove more practical.

Once you have decided on the right machine for your project, you can get down to the matter at hand: choosing the right mini digger bucket for your project.

Choosing the right size of bucket

There are many types of excavator bucket and, obvious as it may seem, the size of a mini digger bucket must be proportional to the size of your digger, so if you’ve chosen a bucket fit for an industrial mining project and your digger is dwarfed by a standard-sized wheelbarrow, you’re off to a bad start.

Joking aside, the available range of excavator buckets and attachments will usually be provided by your plant hire firm, narrowing down the possibilities and making the task considerably easier.

Central Plant Hire provides a range of mini digger buckets for each machine type and will happily advise you on the best bucket size based on your digger model and task.

An important consideration when choosing your bucket size is the type of material you are planning on excavating.

You should bear in mind that compacted soil is far heavier to dig and move than loose gravel, so a larger bucket size will require more machine power to move and may take longer to move with a larger bucket size. For excavating dense or compacted material, smaller bucket sizes improve the work speed and efficiency.

Another important consideration is where you are planning on placing the moved material. If you will be excavating and dumping soil into a tracked barrow or dumper as opposed to placing the dirt or rubble in a pile, you will need to make sure that the bucket you choose can neatly place the material in this container without burying it in one load.

Types of mini digger buckets

· General purpose or “digging” bucket

This is the most commonly used bucket and the one that most people would agree “springs to mind” when they think of an excavator.

These buckets incorporate teeth to help break up hard surfaces and penetrate compacted topsoil with ease. Digging buckets are great for breaking through and moving all manner of materials: clay, sand, gravel, etc. These buckets come in a variety of sizes: Central Plant Hire can help advise you on the best digging bucket for your machine and task.

· Heavy duty buckets / rock excavator bucket

For hard surfaces and dense materials such as rock or asphalt, heavy duty buckets provide a robust solution. Made from high-strength steel with sharper teeth than a digging bucket, these buckets provide more force on impact allowing them to break up the most challenging materials with ease.

· Grading buckets

Grading buckets are wide with a flat edge. Used for spreading soil and gravel and for levelling, these buckets are typically used in roadworks and for landscaping. These buckets can usually be customised with different types of teeth for digging functions.

These buckets can frequently be seen on excavators when in use for clearing a site, pushing materials around to leave an even surface for further work to continue.

· Trenching buckets

Trenching buckets are small and narrow and are also known as “V” buckets. These claw-shaped buckets are designed for precision digging at depth and are typically used for digging foundations or trenches for laying pipes or cables. 

· Skeleton excavator buckets

Skeleton buckets are an adapted form of digging buckets. The bucket is not entirely solid but is composed of rows of long teeth separated by a series of gaps, allowing it to act like a colander to allow finer materials such as soil and sand to filter out. This bucket is used for separating rocks from sand when larger material types are to be removed whilst leaving finer soil or sand in place.

We hope that you will find this brief guide to the different types of excavator buckets helpful when undertaking your domestic digging project. Please bear in mind that diggers can also be provided with any number of attachments for very specific tasks including augers, hydraulic breakers and fence post drivers, amongst others. If you’d like a more personalised assessment on the right type of digger and bucket for your job, give Central Plant Hire a call. Central Plant Hire stocks a wide range of diggers and attachments and our friendly staff are always on hand to walk you through the process and help you find the right machine to suit your needs.

We have a 33-year history in the industry, specialising in the self-drive hire of mini diggers, dumpers and plant equipment in the Sussex and Surrey area.

For more information on digger hire and the right type of mini digger bucket for your job, call Central Plant Hire on 01293 851 320 or email us at

Central Plant Hire can offer expert advice and the best machines for each job, so get in touch today!

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