Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Looking for recomondations on a budget concrete mixer.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    1,112
    Blog Entries
    1

    Looking for recomondations on a budget concrete mixer.

    Hi folks.
    I decided to put in a 20' channel drain along the front of my new shop. Both Menards figured 18 bags for 4" wide by 4" deep section on either side and, although there will be no vehicular travel over it I want to set it on top of about another 4" deep section.
    I don't think mixing 18 60lb bags by hand in a wheelbarrow would give me time to properly dress it. so I got to looking at their 3.5 cu.ft direct drive mixer for $320.
    Anyone have that unit or is there a less expensive model that would do the job.
    3.5 cu ft seems almost perfect for the 8 cu ft totall without breaking the bank.
    Anyone wish to advise me? Harbor Freight mixer any good? Any other models you'd recommend I look at?
    At the moment something in that price range seems ideal as well for me. I have no other plans for it now, but there are some areas where I'd like concrete....a slab in front of a smaller shed, a new sidewalk and so forth.
    Besides, my 2 daughters live very close by and both they and their spouses could probably need one from time to time. Beats renting for $60 + and having nothing when I'M
    done.
    Or would a bit more money buy me something much better.

    Thamks for reading this.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cache Valley, Utah
    Posts
    1,288
    I had the Harbor Freight for some time. One of my friends has it now. It's a simple pretty reliable mixer and myself and two or three friends couldn't kill it. It'll mix two 60 pound bags pretty well but if you put three in it usually won't get it all wet and mix it unless you feed it in slowly. I usually put in one bag, got it mixing, added some water then added the second bag a little at a time until it was all well mixed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,713
    I have seen the little HF mixer at the store. I think the opening is too small for a shovel. I would buy a older one with a ring gear. As long as the three bearings are working it should last for you.
    I do not like the ones where the motor sticks out. Make sure the dumping height is high enough to get a wheelbarrow under. My top quality USA made one has to be up on 4X beams to clear a barrow because the inside motor has clearance issues.
    Use 60 pound sacks not too hard for a good size man to handle the 80# ones are really too heavy for easy lifting all day long. The Harbor Freight concrete tool set is okay for one job.
    Bil lD.
    PS: the motor rotates backwards but it still works well enough.
    Any one know how to reverse a cast iron motor which might be a GE or Westinghouse with no numbers on the wires?
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 09-12-2018 at 12:19 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Cedar Park, TX (NW Austin)
    Posts
    152
    I bought a Harbor Freight one on Craigslist for 80 bucks, thinking I would do the job and sell it again for what I paid for it. That was ten years ago and it has been loaned out quite a bit and still going strong. It looks awful but runs like a champ.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Cedar Park, TX (NW Austin)
    Posts
    152
    Just remembered another option... a buddy builds decks and uses a spade handle mixing drill and a five gallon bucket. He puts 2.5 inches of water in the bucket and half a 80 lb bag, then mixes. Pours in rest of bag and mixes again. He helped me pour five piers for a deck, about 25 bags. It was a manageable weight and everything could be mixed within inches of where it needed to go. A drill is easier to store and more versatile than a mixer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    1,112
    Blog Entries
    1

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    I have seen the little HF mixer at the store. I think the opening is too small for a shovel. I would buy a older one with a ring gear. As long as the three bearings are working it should last for you.
    I do not like the ones where the motor sticks out. Make sure the dumping height is high enough to get a wheelbarrow under. My top quality USA made one has to be up on 4X beams to clear a barrow because the inside motor has clearance issues.
    Use 60 pound sacks not too hard for a good size man to handle the 80# ones are really too heavy for easy lifting all day long. The Harbor Freight concrete tool set is okay for one job.
    Bil lD.
    PS: the motor rotates backwards but it still works well enough.
    Any one know how to reverse a cast iron motor which might be a GE or Westinghouse with no numbers on the wires?
    That sounds impossible if you live the northern hemisphere. I'd be concerned about a new pour using that reverting back to its original raw resources.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Las Cruces, NM
    Posts
    1,537
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Jobe View Post
    Any other models you'd recommend I look at?
    .
    I recommend not buying any of the tripod design- like the ProForce and Kushlan from Home Depot. There's too much suspense about tipping them over.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    2,694
    Check craigslist for used mixers in your area.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    46,155
    In addition to considering buying a unit, new or used...you can also rent them, AFAIK. The advantage to the rental is that it will likely be a "professional" level machine and have more power and capacity, allowing you to get your job done faster. Unless you plan on doing a lot more of this kind of work, renting may be a better solution than owning.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    6,224
    Don't forget your local rental stores or even Home Depot. You could rent a good quality mixer for this job and several more for less than buying one. To rent vs buy on your projected use over the years, how much storage space you have, and your level of tool lust.

    But depending on the total you need, I'd probably form up the sidewalk, slab, and prep for the drain, then order a truck and do all the projects at once, especially for a sloped drain that needs to be shaped by hand. (If the drain will be a shallow exposed trough that you have to look at it every day I'd probably make a wooden "screed" to shape as I worked my way down the slope.) Concrete for the drain may need to be mixed a bit drier than that for a sidewalk. The operator can bring it a bit dry then mix in water as needed.

    I've mixed over 40 #80 bags concrete a wheelbarrow (2 bags at a time) for small projects and you can indeed mix them one at a time and still make a continuous run for something like a small slab or your drain. (You will have to mix it right and do this anyway even if you use a mixer.) If mixed correctly the concrete will take long enough to set up to let you pour and finish as you work your way down the drain, especially if done in cooler weather. (But it's a lot of work and you have to hustle!) It really helps to have a second person and a second wheelbarrow. If you had two people mixing they would have the mix ready far quicker than you could put it down and shape the drain - you might not be able to keep up with one mixing!

    Several things: First, unless you have experience with concrete get some help - I've seen so many people mix too wet or too dry. 2nd, I always use rebar in concrete, even when the guys I hire to pour and surface laugh at me (former concrete inspector here). If and when the concrete cracks, the rebar will hold everything in place. 3rd, in my experience the quality of concrete mix in bags has gone down over the years. It doesn't have enough larger aggregate (stone) to suit me and NEVER enough portland cement. For each bag of mix I always add 1/2 shovel of portland cement, a little more if I'm mixing in some gravel.

    JKJ

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •