Your Excavator Attachments Buying Guide (Video, Audio, & Article)

Not sure which excavator attachments are most essential? Learn about which excavator attachments you need to get the job done.

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excavator attachments guide

Maximize Excavator Performance with the Right Attachments

An excavator without the right attachments is simply the world’s heaviest paperweight. To optimize the performance of your excavator, you’ll need the right attachments for the job. In this piece, we’re going to introduce you to the most popular excavator attachments as well as discuss their applications, costs, and how to acquire said equipment. 

Guide Contents


Ripper Attachments for Excavators

excavator ripper attachment

Ripper attachments for excavators are often used in demolition or construction applications. Using a tooth-like claw, rippers attachments are used to break up or “scarify” packed terrain or materials. They can be used to break up dirt, asphalt, ice, tree roots, or other terrains. In addition to excavators, ripper attachments may also be used with grader machines, crawlers, loaders, and other such pieces of equipment. 

How much do ripper attachments for excavators cost?

Ripper attachments for sale can cost anywhere from over $6,000 for new models to as low as $500-700 for used models. This price varies depending on coupling style, size, number of blades, application, and condition. 

Hammer Attachments for Excavators

excavator hammer attachment

Hammer attachments, also known as hydraulic breakers, are mounted jackhammer attachments used in demolition, construction, and quarry work. They are especially good for breaking up rock, concrete, asphalt, and many other harder materials in hard-to-reach locations. Using a hammer attachment on an excavator—whether on a mini-excavator or a full-sized excavator—makes handling such equipment quicker and easier for workers. 

How much do hammer attachments for excavators cost?

Hammer attachments for excavators for sale can vary widely in price—from $80,000 to $8,000—depending on the size, application, and condition of the hammer in question. 

Bucket Attachments for Excavators

excavator bucket attachment

Bucket attachments are likely the most common attachment for excavators. These scoop-like attachments use an edge or a series of teeth along the edge to remove large amounts of loose material from a worksite—including dirt, rocks, mined materials, sections of broken terrain, or demolition debris. Bucket attachments may be attached to an excavator's arm with a coupler or cables when used with a dragline excavator. Bucket attachments for excavators come in every size and shape to cover every imaginable need. 

How much do bucket attachments for excavators cost?

Due to their various sizes, shapes, features, and applications, bucket attachments for sale range in price. Basic used bucket attachments can cost $300 to advanced newer buckets priced at over $30,000 and beyond. The average bucket attachment for an excavator will likely run between $800 and $3,000. 

Thumb Attachments for Excavators

excavator thumb attachments

Sometimes called a clamp, a thumb attachment for an excavator can greatly increase machine functionality when paired with other attachments. As the name suggests, as the thumb is engaged, it allows excavator arms to grasp material for moving. Thumb attachments are especially useful in moving odd-shaped objects such as rocks, trees, roots, and loose debris that may normally fall out from the grasp or a bucket or grapple attachment. 

Thumb Attachment Combinations

Some thumbs are featured on other excavator attachments—such as a bucket and thumb combination. Other times, thumb attachments can be combined with a variety of other excavator attachments.

How much do thumb attachments for excavators cost?

Thumb attachments for sale come in both hydraulic and mechanical varieties. Though a hydraulic thumb greatly increases the functionality of the thumb, such functionality greatly increases the price—sometimes double in price in comparison to their mechanical thumb counterparts. For this reason, thumb attachments for excavators can run anywhere from the largest, high-end thumb attachments at $15,000 to smaller mechanical thumbs for $350 for smaller excavators or backhoes. 

Grapple Attachments for Excavators

excavator grapple attachment

Grapple attachments (also known as grapple buckets), much like thumb attachments, allow operators to grasp debris or materials for transportation to another location. Unlike thumb attachments, grapples employ two curved edges with interlocking tines that secure the material equally from either side. Grapples are well suited for landscaping and forestry—making it easy to move everything from brush to roots and logs. Larger material-handling grapple attachments may also be used in construction or demolition.

How much do grapple buckets for excavators cost?

Grapple attachments for excavators for sale vary in size and capability, making their prices vary as well. Large material grapples can cost as much as $75,000 while smaller grapple add-ons may only cost $800-$900.

Flail Mower Attachments for Excavators

flail mower attachment

Landscaping hard-to-reach areas are not only difficult to mow, but they may also be dangerous. For such areas, flail mower excavator attachments are ideal. Also known as brush cutter attachments, flail mower attachments are often used much like a hedge trimmer—easily trimming tall grasses, shrubs, and any vegetation on difficult terrain. Flails can also maneuver around solid objects such as rocks and hidden logs—all while allowing operators to remain at a safe distance from any debris.

How much do flail mower attachments cost? 

Depending on the size and capabilities of various flail mower attachments for sale for excavators, they can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $12,000. 

Grader Attachments for Excavators

grader attachment

Whether you’re digging or clearing brush, you will likely need to grade the terrain afterward. Rather than bring in a separate piece of equipment for the job, you can use a grading blade attachment. Also known as a grader attachment, a grading blade attachment for an excavator allows an operator to grade any disrupted, uneven, or sloping terrain. 

How much do grading blade attachments for excavators cost?

Because of the various sizes and mounting configurations, grader attachments for sale for excavators range in price from $700 to $3,000 or more.

Mulcher Attachments for Excavators

mulcher attachment

Mulchers or mulcher attachments for excavators are used to clear vegetation such as brush and undergrowth from a job site or yard. Mulcher attachments are comprised of a drum equipped with a series of teeth capable of processing vegetation into a mulch that is either easily removed or left in place. 

How much do mulcher attachments for excavators cost? 

Unlike many simple-function attachments, mulchers are fairly elaborate machines that function independently of the excavators to which they are attached. Because of their complex nature, mulcher attachments for sale for excavators can be quite expensive—ranging from $3,000 to $50,000 depending on size, function, and condition. 

Rake Attachments for Excavators

excavator rake attachment
A rake attachment for an excavator is really what it sounds like—a large powerful rake. Rake attachments allow excavator operators to rake away debris from job sites somewhat as a multi-tined ripper attachment would. High-quality rake attachments can rake away everything from brush to demolition debris or clear roots like a one-sided grapple.

How much do rake attachments for excavators cost?

Rake attachments are typically classified by what they specialize in moving—brush, rock, roots, or trash. Depending on these applications, the price for a rake attachment for sale can range from $35,000 to $850 depending on how large, robust, or complex the model is. 

Auger Attachments for Excavators

auger attachment

To combine the power of the excavator with the precision and efficiency of a drill, there’s no greater tool than an auger attachment for an excavator. Auger attachments are essentially mechanized drives equipped with auger spiral blades. Operating much like a drill bit, augers allow excavator operators to dig with a precise spinning motion. Auger attachments are great for jobs such as digging holes for pillar supports, fence posts, or planting trees.

How much do auger attachments for excavators cost?

When shopping for auger attachments for sale, it is important to differentiate the auger itself from the drive. Fortunately, a single drive system can frequently accommodate various augers sizes much like a drill can accommodate various sized bits. While the drive aspect of the auger system may cost upwards of $4,000 for a newer model, auger blades may only cost $400-500. 

Quick Coupler Attachments for Excavators

quick coupler attachments

To make life easier for excavator operators and crew, the use of quick couplers has become fairly common. Quick coupler excavator attachments are hydraulic devices that allow excavator operators to quickly and easily attach and detach various attachments as they need them—all from within the cab. This allows operators to move from various bucket sizes or other attachments without the need for outside help or slowing the pace of the job. 

Quick Coupler Attachment Safety

While quick coupler attachments for excavators are immensely helpful on the jobsite, they should be used with proper training and extreme caution. Making sure all attachments are secure and never released accidentally is essential for the safety of all crew members. Accidental attachment releases can be extremely dangerous. 

How much do quick coupler attachments cost?

While manual couplers are fairly inexpensive due to their basic design, quick couplers can range from between $2,000-$8,000 based on their size, condition, and features. 

Renting Excavator Attachments

If you’re only needing a specialized excavator attachment every once in a while, it may make more sense to simply rent them. Fortunately, online heavy equipment listings have made it easier than ever to find excavator attachments available for rent.

Where can I buy excavator attachments near me?

Excavator attachments can be purchased from heavy equipment dealerships all over the world. To help you find a reputable heavy equipment dealer near you, you’re invited use our Dealer Finder system to search by your US Postal Code. From there, you can take a look at their inventory listings and contact details.

What other excavator attachments are available? 

This guide only scratches the surface of the various styles of excavator attachments available for sale or rent—pardon the pun. For a full listing of excavator attachment styles for sale as well as where to buy them, you’re invited to view the My Little Salesman Heavy Equipment Attachments Page.

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About Ken Lane
Ken’s affinity for the heavy equipment industry was fostered as a curious youngster—becoming happily lost on his grandfather’s tractor sales and service lot (his favorite color is still Allis-Chalmers Orange). Since then, he’s perfected the art of turning black coffee into helpful buyer resources and marketing materials for My Little Salesman.
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