A backhoe is a piece of heavy machinery that is used to dig holes or otherwise move large amounts of material. Choosing a small backhoe for your purposes starts with determining how you are most likely to use the unit on a regular basis. The size of the boom arm and the bucket will determine how large of a job it can handle, though other factors can also influence how useful the machine will be for you. Try to do a bit of research on the different models and brands available for purchase to get an idea of the price and function of different machines.
The term "small backhoe" can refer to several sizes of backhoe, and some of them may not seem small at all. The largest backhoes are reserved for heavy-duty jobs and regular use and they can most often be found at construction sites. If you are looking for a small backhoe for use around the home or on the farm, you will need to determine what your needs are before finding the suitable size. Find out how deep each model you are considering can dig, and also how large of a bucket can be attached to the boom arm. This will dictate what size works best for your needs.
Once you have figured out the appropriate size, try to find a suitable model from a reputable manufacturer. This is important because well-known manufacturers are more likely to have replacement parts and accessories readily available for purchase should you need them for repairs or upgrades. When you buy the small backhoe from a dealer, be sure to ask about any manufacturer warranties that apply to the unit, as well as any return policies the dealer may offer. It is often a good idea to work out a parts agreement with the dealer as well; such an agreement will ensure you will be able to get parts for the machine for a set period of time after purchase.
If you already own a tractor, you may be able to purchase a small backhoe attachment that will mount directly to the tractor. It is best to contact the tractor manufacturer before considering this option to make sure you will not void any warranties. Buying an attachment may save you some money over buying an entire backhoe machine, and it may add convenience and versatility to your existing tractor.