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Caterpillar excavators and Komatsu excavators are no doubt at the top of almost every buyer’s list for new or used excavators. But unless you’ve worked with both brands before, it can be a gruelling task deciding which to choose.

That’s why we’ve done some of the research for you. We’re talking top-level, general information for Caterpillar and Komatsu excavators. We’re not going into the specifics of their models. So keep this in mind as we mention benefits, considerations and other points in this article. The right one all depends on your own needs.

The best way to know which brand is best for you is to head to your local dealerships and try them out for yourself.

Related: We pit the Komatsu PC200-8 against the Cat 320D L 

Benefits of Caterpillar Excavators

Caterpillar excavators

Source: Machines4U

There’s a reason Caterpillar dominate the construction industry. Most worksites are awash with the familiar yellow. Established in 1925, Caterpillar have decades of experience refining their machinery. Here are a few main benefits of Caterpillar excavators over Komatsu excavators.

  • Thanks to Cat’s long history, they are considered market leaders over Komatsu for excavators
  • Caterpillar excavators tend to have superior turning radiuses
  • Caterpillar mini excavators are almost half the size of Komatsu
  • For their larger excavators, Caterpillar provide better digging depth (up to 6.2 m) than Komatsu (up to 4.9 m)

Find Caterpillar excavators for sale.

Benefits of Komatsu Excavators

Komatsu Excavators

Source: Machines4U

Once not even on the same playing field, now Komatsu are nipping at Caterpillar’s heels as an industry leader in excavation and construction equipment. Founded in Japan in 1921, Komatsu have a few years on Caterpillar when it comes to manufacturing construction equipment. Let’s take a look at a few key benefits of Komatsu excavators.

  • Are generally cheaper to hire or buy
  • According to repair reports, Komatsu excavators require less repairs than Cat excavators
  • Komatsu’s ‘mini’ excavators provide more HP, however their mini excavators are more comparable to Cat’s ‘small’ excavators
  • Komatsu have a wider range of mining excavators

Find Komatsu excavators for sale.

Things To Consider For Caterpillar Excavators

Of course, no manufacturer is perfect and Caterpillar is always striving to improve their machinery, technology and service. In saying that, we’ve come across some things to consider:

  • Generally more pricey than Komatsu
  • Anecdotal evidence suggests Caterpillar machines require more repairs in recent years

Things to Consider for Komatsu Excavators

Similarly, Komatsu excavators (while greatly improved) still fall short in some aspects when compared to the beast that is Caterpillar. Here are a few things to note:

  • Some find replacing parts can be problematic
  • Mini excavators are much larger than Cat’s, which could be an issue if you’re looking for small, lightweight equipment
  • Komatsu only offer excavators in 3 categories: utility (1.8t – 10.3t), regular (13t – 90t) and mining (110t – 780t). Caterpillar provide excavators in 4 categories (mini, small, medium & large)

Related: We shine the spotlight on Komatsu’s PC200-8 excavator

Power & Performance

While both manufacturers offer over a dozen different excavator models, they do vary in power and performance. Especially around the smaller end of the excavator scale.

Excavator Operating Weight & HP Range Comparison


Caterpillar Komatsu
Mini Excavator Range Operating Weight: 985 – 5,185 kg

Net Horsepower: 13 – 40.2 hp

Operating Weight: 1,780 – 9,950 kg

Net Horsepower: 15 – 68hp

Small Excavator Range Operating Weight: 9000 – 19,200 kg

Net Horsepower: 75 – 200 hp

Operating Weight: 13,060  – 30,330 kg

Net Horsepower: 92 – 196 hp


Medium Excavator Range Operating Weight: 19,200 – 38,180 kg

Net Horsepower: 143 – 200 hp

Operating Weight: 14,700 – 36,490 kg

Net Horsepower: 250 – 257 hp

Large Excavator Range Operating Weight: 33,600 – 86,840 kg

Net Horsepower: 259 – 524  hp

Operating Weight: 46,090 – 79,900 kg

Net Horsepower: 345 – 487 hp

(Please note: Komatsu list their excavators in 3 categories. We have listed their excavator ranges based on HP to match Cat’s for comparison’s sake)

Hopefully this article has helped shed some light on the main benefits and differences between Caterpillar and Komatsu excavators.

Have we missed something? Let us know in the comments below!

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