How to Use Concrete/Cement Mixers

Learn how to use the most common mixing tools, including manual and powered concrete mixers and paddle mixers.
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Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Heavy Duty Concrete Mixer

These large mixers are ideal for high production. It is important to clean the drum immediately after use. Removing hardened concrete from a drum causes dents. They are available with electric or gasoline engines — ventilation is vital as exhaust fumes can be lethal.

Power Stirrer

This shaped mixing paddle is designed for use with a power drill that has a standard chuck. Some materials need a less powerful drill than others. For instance, you can use an average-powered drill for mixing paint, but for mixing heavier materials such as plaster, use a high-powered drill. In either case, be careful not to burn out the drill's motor.

Step 1: Using a Power Stirrer

Insert the stirrer bit into the drill’s chuck. Tighten the chuck. Do not start the drill until the mixing spiral is totally submerged.

Step 2: Using a Power Stirrer

Slowly start the drill, and mix the paint. A slow speed is sufficient. Stop the drill before removing the mixing spiral from the paint.

Mixing Tray

For small-scale concrete mixing tasks, hand-mixing trays, buckets and wheelbarrows are ideal. You should always wear work gloves when mixing concrete and one of the best tools to use is a hoe. If you are using a wheelbarrow, make sure you are on level ground before you start mixing concrete. You will need to use a stiff brush and plenty of water to clean the tray or wheelbarrow after use.

Concrete Mixer

Concrete mixers are heavy but still fairly portable. "Tip-up" versions normally come apart so that they may be easily moved and stored when not in use. Never overload a mixer; check the owner's manual for maximum capacity. After using the mixer, immediately clean the drum with clean water and coarse gravel. Turn it on and allow this mixture to clean the inside of the drum. After a few minutes, empty the drum then wash the outside of the drum with water and a stiff brush.

Step 1: Using a Concrete Mixer

When assembling a new mixer, follow the manufacturer's guidelines carefully to ensure that the setup is correct. Position the main body of the mixer on a flat, level surface with the drum face-down.

Step 2: Using a Concrete Mixer

Assemble the stand and engage the stand-locking pin.

Step 3: Using a Concrete Mixer

Insert the support stand into the base of the body. On some models, you will also need to engage a stand-locking clip.

Step 4: Using a Concrete Mixer

Stand in front of the mixer and, after making sure that the ground is not slippery, tilt it into an upright position.

Step 5: Using a Concrete Mixer

Make absolutely certain that the mixer is on solid, level ground. Tilt the drum back. It is now ready to use. Switch on the mixer.

Step 6: Using a Concrete Mixer

Use a shovel or spade to load half of the ingredients into the mixer, in the correct ratios. Be sparing with water to start with. Do not allow the shovel to enter the drum.

Step 7: Using a Concrete Mixer

Allow it to mix for a minute or two and then add the rest of the ingredients to the drum. Let mixing continue for several minutes. When the mix is of the required consistency, pour it into a wheelbarrow. Keep other objects clear of the drum while it is still moving. Do not allow it to touch the wheelbarrow when spinning.

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