Buying used excavator buckets can save you money over new models, but it is important to choose carefully to ensure you get the bucket you need and one that will last a long time. Before you consider purchasing any used excavator buckets, you must determine what size buckets you will need for the machine you will be using. Many machines have capacity limits, and you will need to choose a bucket that will stay within that capacity. Using a unit that is too large can cause the excavator to become unstable and potentially even tip over.
Make sure the used excavator buckets you are considering purchasing will work with the coupling design your boom arm features. Some boom arms feature quick coupling designs that make swapping out attachments simple and fast, but you will need to ensure the used excavator buckets you are considering will work with your coupling design. Otherwise, you will be left with a very nice but very unusable piece of equipment. Be sure to research the specifications of your boom arm and coupling design to ensure they can support the weight of the size of bucket you are considering purchasing.
Do a visual inspection of the used excavator buckets before purchasing as well. Rust will usually be present on used buckets, but if the entire bucket is rusted, you may want to consider passing on that particular model. Rust may simply be superficial, but at joints and welds on the bucket, it can significantly weaken the structural integrity of the unit. Be sure to look carefully and take note of holes, cracks, or other damage that will compromise the integrity of the bucket. If the rust is only superficial, you won't have too much of a problem with the unit. Inspect the teeth of the bucket as well; if they are excessively worn or rounded, the bucket has probably seen a fair amount of use already and may not stand up to the most rigorous conditions.
Like new buckets, used excavator buckets are likely to come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The shape of the bucket will have a significant impact on how useful it is for your project. A trenching bucket, for example, is usually quite narrow and useful for digging trenches, but it may not be the best choice if you will be using large amounts of material or digging deep holes. Think carefully about how you are most likely to use the bucket on a regular basis before purchasing.