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How to Choose the Right Excavator Demolition Attachment

Choosing the right demolition attachment is crucial for completing the job successfully and efficiently. However, because there are so many different types of attachments and tools available, making the correct choice is not always obvious. There are several factors excavator owners should consider in order to make the right decision, including the type of task you're completing, your machine, serviceability, and more.

What job are you completing?

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing an attachment is the type of work you'll be doing with it. For example, a different tool is often needed for primary demolition jobs than for secondary demolition jobs. Similarly, you'll choose an attachment for destroying brick and wood residential structures is not the same one you would use for steel and rebar enforced concrete commercial structures.

The most commonly used excavator attachments for structure demolition are crushers, pulverizers, shears, grapples, and multi-quick processors. Although there is some overlap, there are certain types of jobs or stages of jobs that each type of tool is generally best for.

Crushers and pulverizers ? These types of demolition attachments are best suited for handling structures that are primarily concrete. A crusher works well for concrete that has little to no rebar and for jobs requiring the concrete to be broken up into chunks large enough for easy sorting before recycling. Similar to crushers, pulverizers handle concrete heavily reinforced with rebar better, because they break the concrete up into smaller pieces and cut through the embedded rebar. With a pulverizer the small pieces of concrete fall to the ground instead of hanging onto the rebar as larger chunks would.

Shears ? Shears are great for demolition applications that primarily deal with steel instead of concrete. Shears attachments or a demolition processor with shear jaws have blades that are designed to cut through steel beams and structures rather than crush.

Grapples ? These tools are perfect for lighter demolition tasks, such as those involving wood, brick, and other materials common particularly in residential structures. Grapples work well both for tearing apart materials during primary demolition and for sorting the materials afterwards during secondary demolition.

Multi-quick processors ? Also known as universal processors, these attachments are a combination of crushers, pulverizers, and shears. They feature interchangeable jaws, so owners and operators can adapt them to handle a wide variety of materials. While these tools are dynamic and versatile, they often won't perform as well as shears or pulverizers that are specifically designed to handle one type of material.

Ensure the tool fits your machine

Once you determine the type of attachment best suited to the task at hand, you have to ensure it works with your excavator or other carrier. One of the most important factors is weight. Heavier attachments need heavier, more powerful carriers in order to operate correctly. Using an attachment that is too heavy for your machine will lead to excessive wear and tear, damage your equipment, and lead to inefficient operation.

In addition to weight compatibility, you also need to consider your carrier's hydraulic capacity and the hydraulic circuit requirements of the attachment. Insufficient hydraulic flow or pressure slows cycle times, reduces torque, and hurts overall productivity. When it comes to circuits, you have to ensure your excavator has enough of them for the specific attachment. For instance, rotating shears and multi-quick processors require two double acting hydraulic circuits, one for each type of movement, while static pulverizers and shears that don't rotate only require one double acting circuit.


To avoid unnecessary downtime and more difficult repairs, look for a demolition attachment that is easy to service and durable. You want units that have very few extruding parts, like hydraulic hoses, as they can be easily damaged during operation, especially in the harsh environment of demolition jobs. Choose an attachment that has these components enclosed yet is easy to access.

You also have to consider wear parts for shears and crushers like cutting edges and teeth. Exchangeable cutting edges are an industry standard, but it's still smart to ensure they are available.

For help choosing the right excavator demolition attachment, contact our specialists at Bejac today.

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