Updated: November 2017
Concrete/Cement Mixer Reviews:
- What is a concrete mixer?
- Benefits of using a cement mixer
- How much do cement concrete mixers cost? Which should I buy?
I grew up watching my dad use a wheelbarrow to mix cement and pour concrete and never realized that you could rent or buy a quality cement mixer, also called a concrete mixer. A concrete mixer combines cement, sand, gravel and water to form concrete. A revolving drum inside the mixer is how the ingredients are mixed together to come up with concrete. When doing larger volumes of concrete, companies and homeowners often go with a cement mixer truck so that the work gets done faster.
For smaller projects around your house like patios, driveways, or fence posts, using a portable cement mixer is the best way to go. For a homeowner, renting a concrete mixer is the best solution unless you plan on doing multiple projects and want the mixer around for more than a few days. Contractors and landscapers should get plenty of use from their concrete/cement mixers that buying a quality, well-built model will ultimately save them lots of money and allow them to do concrete pouring jobs anytime.
The video below shows the basic functions of a concrete mixer from Home Depot:
What to look for in a concrete mixer?
When buying a cement mixer, keep in mind that although a manufacturer will say the total volume of their cement mixer or drum capacity is 9 cu. ft., it's more like 6 cubic feet. Cement mixers mix at an angle meaning the drum is not entirely used at once leaving only 2/3 of the cement mixer for actual mixing. A concrete vibrator can help with the mixing process - it settles the concrete properly.
When mixing something like concrete, start with about 2 1/2 gallons of water and 2 bags (80 lbs/each) of pre-mix concrete. Get the mixer in motion and then put in about 2 gallons of water before adding 1 bag of pre-mix concrete. Progressively add the 2nd bag of pre-mix concrete to the mixer and lastly continue to add the 1/2 gallon of water to the ingredients until you have your desired thickness.
Make sure that you get a complete rundown of any cement mixer that you rent at a store for home use. Although they are not that dangerous to operate we have heard some strange stories of people and items getting stuck inside cement mixers. You can browse the most popular cement mixers online here.
Best Concrete/Cement Mixer:
Southern-Tool.com carries some of the best commercial cement mixers we could find. The Stow Concrete mixers are some of the most popular available and come in 4, 6 and 9 cubic ft. capacities. They offer rugged 14-gauge steel engine covers with punched ventilation openings for increased strength and additional cooling. The drum is both wider and lower than other models allowing for easy loading.
The large tires provide smooth around town towing and the axle springs produce less bounce and sway. Contractors say the heavy-duty one piece cast iron ring gear will make this unit last a long time. The Stow cement mixers are available with 2-inch ball coupler, loop coupler, or pintype coupler. Prices range from $1500-$3000.
Another best selling brand are the Stone Concrete mixers and the 9 cubic feet capacity model is the most popular. The Stone 95CM ($2900) can handle large batches with no problems. This heavy duty side dump mixer has a chain drive, dump lock, and large 36" diameter steel drum.
To check out how to use a cement mixer for your home project - click the image below to go to video.
Value Cement Mixer:
The Kushlan The Enforcer model 2CF Wheelbarrow Portable Cement Mixer ($350) is an excellent value buy. It features 1/2 HP motor with capacity up to 225 lbs. It runs on electricity and is portable enough that landscapers like this model. The one drawback is that it can't be shipped to a residential address but from what we could find online, the majority of owners are construction or landscapers who probably have business addresses it can be forwarded to.
In landscaping and construction forums, we found several positive reviews on the Kushlan. You can research more on Kushlan mixers at Kushlanproducts.com. Kushlan mixers are lightweight, have easy assembly, provide quiet operation, fast mixing, high torque motors, and easy cleanup. See all the top rated Kushlan mixers here..
Portable Cement Mixer:
Portable concrete mixers usually come with wheels and a towing tongue so you can tow them from site to site or move them around a jobsite manually. The rotation drum is electric powered and the lever on the cement mixer will let you tip the unit and pour the concrete or mortar right into a wheelbarrow for transport.
Portable cement mixers are either electric or gas powered with the low end electric cement mixers costing around $400. The more expensive gas powered cement mixers can be priced as high as $2000. Some of the top brand names for portable cement mixers are Red Lion, Cleform, Belle, Imer, Canoga, Kushlan, Crown, and Stone.
The Imer Wheelman (POLY DRUM) Portable Electric Concrete Mixer ($590) is a top rated mixer that will handle all your needs with mortar, cement, stucco, grout, or wall mud. It has a 5 cubic feet capacity and a direct drive gearbox. The 1/2 HP 100V 6 Amp motor is fully enclosed and the 14 inch tires give you plenty of clearance. It will mix up to 250 lbs of concrete, grout, mortar, stucco, or wall mud. Toolfetch.com offers this model plus many others.
For a quality gas powered cement mixer consider the Cleform Gilson Mixer 300UT-3.5 ($1630). With a 3.5 horsepower motor and 5.5 cu. ft drum capacity this portable mixer will do a great job. Owners say the Briggs & Stratton engine and the all steel construction of the drum make this a very reliable unit. The Cleform cement mixer can do up to 250 lbs per batch.
More videos and resources are here on our Cement Mixer Resource Page.
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