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Thread: Concrete Mixer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Cincinnati Ohio
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    4,458

    Concrete Mixer

    Have a few small concrete projects for next spring. Want to start keeping an eye out for a deal on a mixer till then. Renting is not an option as it will take me a few weekends to complete what I want to get done.
    So far I have my eye on two.

    Of course the Harbor Freight.
    Close to home and they have always been good about returns if it does not hold up.
    https://www.harborfreight.com/3-1-2-...RoC__gQAvD_BwE

    67536_W3.jpg

    This one from Rural King. About 45 min drive so not near as close as HF, but not an issue if I want it.
    How are they about returns????
    Like the idea of the enclosed control box.
    https://www.ruralking.com/concrete-m...xoCJHkQAvD_BwE

    60048014-60048014-image-60048014.jpg

    Each can be had for close the same price so that is not an issue.
    I plan to use bagged concrete

    Any other brand I should keep an eye out for?
    Last edited by Dave Lehnert; 08-23-2019 at 9:00 PM.
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
    - Rick Dale

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lehnert View Post
    Have a few small concrete projects for next spring. Want to start keeping an eye out for a deal on a mixer till then. Renting is not an option as it will take me a few weekends to complete what I want to get done.
    So far I have my eye on two.

    Of course the Harbor Freight.
    Close to home and they have always been good about returns if it does not hold up.
    https://www.harborfreight.com/3-1-2-...RoC__gQAvD_BwE

    I plan to use bagged concrete
    In our market, Home Depot sells the bag mix in both 60# and 80# bags. To me it seems the 60's weigh less than half of what the 80's do. Of course it could just be me.

  3. #3
    I've had the harbor freight mixer for years and have mixed hundreds of bags of cement with it and it still works like new. It will mix two 80lb bags at a time. The only thing I have against it and it might be true with most mixers it's H to lift an 80lb bag high enough to pour it in. I usually put bags of cement into a front loader on a tractor where I can get into the bucket off a ladder to pour the bag mix.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    3,979
    I watch CL all the time, and see those types of cheap mixers on there often. I expect people buy them for one job, and then don't want to store them. Might be worth a look, and then sell it if you don't expect more use for it.

    I have an ancient one that my Dad used when he went in the well business after he came home from WWII. The motor had long since been disposed of, and it was sitting back in the woods at the old home place. I converted the drive to accept a PTO shaft, move it around with the loader on the tractor, and drive it off the PTO when I get it where I want it. It probably weighs 500 pounds because the drive gear that goes around the tub is cast iron. With the tractor idling, it still mixes concrete REALLY FAST.

    I did buy one of those Harbor Freight ones for a good sized Lime Plaster job because I needed a clean one, and it did that job just fine. I use a mortar mixer to start with for that work, but a cement mixer works better for getting the hair in the base coat because it doesn't get hung on the mortar mixer paddles.

  5. #5
    I would go with the Harbor Freight one. I used one of those for years, until I got a tractor and now use one that goes on the three point hitch and has hydraulic raise and lower. I bet I poured seriously over 50 yards with that little thing. One thing I did different, I never used bags. I bought Portland cement and concrete sand/gravel mix by the truck load. I was pouring a lot of cement and had no way to get a concrete truck to the area. Rather than count shovels full I used to take one 5 gallon drywall bucket of Portland to either 4 or 5 buckets of the sand gravel mix. It was a lot faster doing it that way if you have a decent sized pour and a lot more cost effective. Good luck however you do it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    If your pour is not large enough to buy aggregate by the truckload, like Martin's job, the easiest way I've found to deal with bags is to buy a pallet from Lowes, or Home Depot because returns are so easy there. Sometimes you can find a partial pallet sitting somewhere that will work even-I did that with thinset mortar once, but even a whole pallet doesn't cost a whole lot.

    They will load it on your truck, or trailer with a forklift. Use what you need, and return the rest for them to, once again, unload it with their forklift. This saves a Lot of handling.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Medina Ohio
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    3,760
    I would do the Harbor Freight with a 20% discount. It will mix twice the size as the one from Rural King.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    1,135
    I used to have a plastic small-job mixing barrel called OdJob for small projects. Roll it down a hill to mix up one bag at a time. I didn't want to buy and store a real mixer. Worked fine: looks like its still available: https://www.gardenersedge.com/leonar...mixer/p/ODJOB/
    Last edited by Stan Calow; 08-24-2019 at 9:28 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Western Nebraska
    Posts
    3,642
    I use the Harbor freight one periodically, it works ok for mixing. My issue with it is the clumsy-ness of the thing. They really put zero effort into designing it to be moveable. Might as well have left the wheels off. The handle is is in a completely incorrect location for mobility. Everytime I use it I swear it will be the last time. Probably use it this next week again though.

  10. I bought an old mixer at a farm auction for $15.00. Added an electric motor and was in business. I ran a great many bags of mix through it. Even used it with grit to make fake "sea glass"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    E TN, near Knoxville
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    8,235
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lehnert View Post
    Have a few small concrete projects for next spring. ...
    The question I'd have is how "small" are these projects? I've used a lot of bagged concrete mix and always used a wheelbarrow, usually mixing two bags at once. One project took over 40 bags. I mix in a large plastic 2-wheel wheelbarrow with a short-handled shovel. I figured out exactly how much water is needed per bag so measuring for each mix saves time and mistakes.

    If the small projects are slabs that can't be subdivided the wheelbarrow method might be too slow to float the surface easily, especially if it's hot.

    I highly recommend one modification when using bagged concrete mix. (As a former concrete inspector I'm real picky about my concrete.) There is never enough portland cement in the mix to suit me. I buy enough bags of portland and add one shovel full to each bag of mix. I sometimes throw in a shovel full of coarser gravel too, depending on the project and how strong I want the concrete to be. The aggregates in the bags are too fine for me.

    Check the cost of the bags carefully. Sometimes the 80 lb bags cost more per pound than the lighter weight bags!

    JKJ

  12. #12
    I've always figured the reason the openings of mixers are so high is because 'good' cement wheelbarrows are fairly tall...

    And I've had a small HF mixer for years. All I've used it for is to tumble brass and aluminum plates and various parts. My BIL borrowed it to pour a patio, said it worked great. He still has it now that I think about it...
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cache Valley, Utah
    Posts
    1,482
    I got one of the HF mixers about 20 years ago to pour reinforcements for tractor shed pole supports. Then my neighbor borrowed it, then a friend, then another friend, and then when I moved the second friend got it and is still using it. It's not great, but it's plenty good enough.

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