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Comparison Universal vs Symmetric standard

gripper casette excavation bucket

The universal type quick couplers were created with the goal to be able to pick up the original bucket with a quick coupler instead of having the bucket fixed mounted on the arm. Since the pin diameter, pin distance (C-C) and arm width varies between different excavator brandsand excavator models the universal quick couplers can handle different pin distances, c-c and widths within certain limits. This type of coupler is common in Anglosaxon influenced countries like the UK, the US and Australia. Lately Symetrical couplers have started to gain market share also on these markets. Symmetrical Quick Couplers are sometime called S-type couplers.


Universal couplers - advantages and disadvantages


  • Entry level quick coupler that can reuse the original excavator buckets without change.
  • Will allow to pick up buckets with different c-c and pin diameter (within certain limitations)


  • Very heavy (very often more than double the weight of the equivalent S-type) which leads to higher fuel consumption and higher price.
  • Very high building height,( which is a must since the bottom of the quick coupler must be tha same size as the dipper arm) with the result that the break out force is reduced.
  • Allowing the coupler to pick up buckets with different dimensions also have a safety drawback as “wrong” buckets can be picked up. In some cases this increases the risk of dropping buckets.
  • Not suitable for a sandwich tiltrotator
  • No firm standard for angles between different bucket manufacturers.
Picture quickcoupler S70 with Symmetricla standard

Symmetrical standard - advantages and disadvantages


  • Growing international standard that is increasing its market share in many countries. It is also the only standard that is not “owned” by an excavator manufacturer or a quick coupler manufacturer.
  • Safe solution with Steelwrist Front PinLock technology, that does not require sensor technology in order to protect the the operator and ground personnel against dropped buckets.
  • Low fuel consumption, low weight and low building height.
  • Maintained break out force thanks to low building height. Useful to know is that the symmetrical sandwich solution (quick coupler + sandwich tiltrotator) has a lower building hight in total that a directmounted tiltrotator with Verachtert.
  • The tiltrotatorn is optimized to be able to use the gripper cassette on the tiltrotator as option.
  • Often cheaper to buy than universal type because of the lower weight.
  • Easy to convert buckets to a Symmetrical bucket y welding on a simple attachment bracket on the old bucket


  • The original bucket can not be used without a changing the top bracket (a couple of hours job once per bucket)