If you want to buy a concrete mixer then you have certainly come to the right place. Here you can find out everything you need to know about mixers, as well as finding out how to mix concrete and what type of mixer you need for the job. Take a look below to continue with our concrete mixer guide.
Choosing the Right Concrete Mixer
Choosing the right mixer is crucial if you want to get the best result out of your project. If you do not choose the right mixer, then you may end up making things way more difficult for yourself and this is the last thing that you want.
Concrete Mixers Occasional Use
If you are not a professional and you are only going to be using your mixer for a single project, then opt for an electric mixer that has a capacity of 120 litres. You can buy a mixer at 60L and this will probably be more than enough for you to mix the cement you need, but the price difference is hardly noticeable and the bigger capacity will mean that you can carry out much bigger projects in the future, should you choose to.
Concrete Mixers Frequent Use
If you work across construction sites and you have access to an electrical supply, then there is a high chance that a 120L construction mixer will be enough. It will also be light enough if you want to transport it from one job to another. Depending on the scale of your project, it may be worth buying a mixer that has a drum capacity of either 160L or 190L. If you go too big, then you may find that the concrete dries before you are ready to use it, so do keep that in mind.
Concrete Mixers Intensive Use
If you are a professional and you mix cement 5 days a week, then you may want to consider a cement mixer that has a capacity of 250L at a minimum. A petrol-powered mixer will mean that you don’t have to rely on electricity too. Concrete mixers like this will come with an engine.
Components of a Concrete Mixer
Cement mixers are used to mix aggregates with water and cement, to make concrete. A standard mixer will have a powered motor, whether it is electric or petrol. It will also have a tilting drum, or a rotating drum. Alongside this, you will have a crank which will have notches. This gives you the chance to rotate the drum into various positions, and it also helps you to dump the contents into a wheelbarrow.
Of course, your choice of mixer will ultimately depend on the mixing volume that you plan on pouring and it will also depend on the power source that you have at the site. Some of the
less-important criteria when choosing your cement mixer is whether or not you want solid or pneumatic wheels.
Mixing Volume for your Concrete Mixer
It’s very important that you pay attention to terminology here. The terms that you will probably hear the most include drum volume, and of course, mixing volume. There is a big difference between the two. The mixing capacity of a mixer is around 80% of the volume of the drum. If you had a 150-litre drum then this would produce around 120L of cement, or the total amount of two wheelbarrows per load.
Bear in mind that if you mix too much cement at once, this will lower the homogeneity of the mix. If you underfill then this will cause the mixture to stick to the walls and it will also mean that you end up wasting a ton of time.
How many Cement Bags do you Need for your Concrete Mixer?
Cement powder is normally available in 35kg bags. If you look at things from a practical standpoint then you need to think about the number of 35kg bags you will need for each batch. Cement mixers that have a total volume of 110 litres will take half a bag of cement for every mix you make. If you have a cement mixer that has a total volume of 140-180L then this will take a single bag.
These numbers will vary depending on the total mix you are working with. The figures here are dependent on using screed concrete that has 350kg of cement, for every M3 of concrete.
Types of Concrete Mixer
Electric mixers have some advantages over petrol mixers. They are cheaper, and they don’t require as much maintenance and you won’t need oil or petrol either. The only thing that you will need is an electrical outlet. They start up right away regardless of how hot or cold it is outside, and you won’t need to worry about handling them.
A lot of electric mixers run on a 220V single-phase of electricity. It’s also possible for you to get miniature concrete mixers that are easy to transport. The drums for these are very small and they are best suited to smaller or even indoor jobs.
Petrol-Powered Concrete Mixers
In some instances, the advantages of having a petrol mixer can be incontestable. They can be used anywhere and they do not require any close power source. 1-7HP petrol mixers are able to produce much bigger batches and they are often used outdoors.
They are also used in residential construction too. They have pneumatic wheels and this means that they can be towed on the road with ease. You won’t have to have a trailer either. The performance makes up for the weight and the amount of atmospheric pollution.
There are so many features to a mixer. If you want to find out more about them, then take a look below to find out everything you could ever need to know about choosing a mixer and what each feature means.
Gear and Belt Drive
The engine will transmit movement to the drum by a ring gear. This is attached to the drum and it is connected to a pinion. Some concrete mixers have a belt drive and this tends to be much quieter. It also requires way less maintenance or greasing. These can be more expensive however, so try and keep this in mind as much as you can.
It’s important to take into account the mixing paddles for the drums. The more paddles you have, the more uniform the mix will be overall. If you can, try and keep this in consideration when you do shop for a cement mixer as it could make all the difference.
Concrete Mixer Frame
If you choose a concrete mixer that has a sturdy frame, then this will minimise the chances of the concrete mixer tipping over. This is especially the case if you are concerned about unstable or wet ground.
You can choose to have either round or square crank wheels. This choice won’t make a huge difference, but a lot of people prefer round ones. If you are not quite sure which wheels you need then try and opt for round ones. When you do, you will soon find that it is super easy for you to wheel your concrete mixer from one location to another without too much effort.
Cleaning your Concrete Mixer
Over time, you may find that you get hardened mixer residue on the walls of your drum. When the cement has hardened, you will need to use a hammer to try and dislodge it all.
Choosing the Right Concrete Mixer Wheelbarrow
A cement mixer and a wheelbarrow really will go hand in hand. Wheelbarrows tend to have a volume of between 90 and 100 litres. Unless you have a very good level of balance, you will only be able to transport 70 litres at a time. This means that you will need two wheelbarrows for
every batch of 150-litre cement you have. In any instance, you have to make sure that you are able to fit your wheelbarrow under the drum of your cement mixer when it is in the right position.
It’s far better to be safe than sorry in this instance, so take your time when choosing your wheelbarrow and also make sure that you make all the effort to really make the best decision. Of course, if you are having a hard time choosing the right mixer then you may want to talk to your building provider. When you do, they can then advise you on the types of mixers that they have available and the practicality of them.
If you are only doing a very small job around the house and you know that you don’t need to buy a mixer then renting one is also an option. The main issue with this is that it works out way more expensive and if you need to rent one again for another household project then you may need to buy one instead. This will really pay off and you may even find that you are able to save way more money in the future.