I did alot of research into mid-grade options for cut/fill programs a few years ago.
My non-negotiables were:
1) must be under $5000cnd
2) must be easy to use as I wanted to be able to teach a couple of our guys on it so they could take on some of the estimating.
3) must work in metric and imperial as we get jobs in both
4) must be able to input boring logs
5) must have an okay interface that makes sense
6) must make a good 3d model not simple a wireframe mess that didn't have enough detail. I wanted to be able to move the model all over the place so I could see where the slopes went and make sure no elevations were entered in incorrectly.
7) must break down the import or export volumes into different materials. Simply telling me I should bank on exporting 20000 m3 of ??? doesn't help me. I wanted to know 3000m3 of clay, 4000m3 of topsoil stockpiled onsite and reused, etc.
then I had some things I wanted but wasn't fully stuck up on:
8) preferably no annual subscriptions. I just wanted to pay once and be done with it
9) preferably allow for overlaying plans as sometimes we get info on the landscape drawings that should have been on the civil, etc
10) preferably the software would calculate the weights of the material as well based on the densities I input so that I didn't have to calculate that out manually
11) preferably the software wouldn't gobble up tonnes of computer resources so that I could use it on my microsoft surface for when I go by the site or don't want to walk in the office.
-Winex Master by Roctek (like using windows 3.0)
-Insite Sitework (didn't like the interface)
-Carlson Takeoff Suite (did an onscreen demo with a sales guy but didn't like it at all)
-HCSS Heavy Bid (also a demo copy but it seemed like over kill for what I wanted)
-I also tested a couple others in the low end like under $3k cnd and was really disappointed.
I did come across Bluebeam Revu which is the best thing since computers were invented. Its a super fast PDF reader that is extremely customizatable (you can create functions like excel so when you measure areas it will automatically calculate other variables like volume, weight, etc. We use BB for all of our pipe works because its so fast and easy.
But it doesn't do Cut and Fill
Then I stumbled across Mudshark from a company in Australia. Great guys actually because I talked to them for a while. Mudshark is INCREDIBLE.
-It's cheap (a new single licence is something like $3,000cnd)
-It runs on my surface 3 pro (albeit a little tiny when doing elevations but its fast!)
-The best 3d modelling out of any of the other ones I tried BY FAR
-You can overlay plans
-It does bore logs, separates cut and fill materials into the different types and actually does convert them to weights as well
-Its the easiest to use out of all of the ones we tried by a long shot because the user inteface makes sense and is very similar to windows in feeling.
-it also does trenching but I prefer to just use Bluebeam for that.
Anyhow its been great for us. I don't get commission but I do want to save you the 80+ hours I put into my search. Their website is below or you can google them.
I also have my copy of Mudshark which I'm willing to sell for $1500. We have pivotted out of excavation so we no longer need it.