In the construction industry, there are many types of jobs. In all of them, it is essential to have the correct machinery in order to achieve good results and to save money and time. One of these essential machines is the concrete trowel.
What is a concrete trowel?
«A concrete trowel is a machine used to achieve a smooth, dense and level surface on flat areas of concrete»
At the base of the machine, there are one or two rotating sets of adjustable steel blades and normally the machine rotates at about 150 rpm and its function is to smooth concrete which has almost set.
A concrete trowel incorporates propeller-shaped blades, with which, by the rotational movements of these propellers, polishes and smooths a concrete surface.
Power trowels incorporate an engine that is located in the center of gravity where the blades or propellers are located, thus providing more stability and balance.
Types of concrete trowels
Depending on how they can be guided, we can distinguish two types of trowels.
Ride-on concrete trowel
This type of trowel is guided by an operator who is seated on the machine. It allows covering larger surfaces, such as, for example, those of industrial buildings.
This machine has two sets of blades, one on each side in order to speed the process for larger surfaces.
Within the category of double-bladed trowels, there are also two types:
- Trowels whose blades work overlapping (their blades do not crossover).
- Trowels that do not overlap, that is, the blades cross each other.
Walk-behind concrete trowel
The trowel’s handle can be adjusted to be positioned in the most comfortable way for the operator. This machine is perfect for trowelling concrete in small areas, or close to pillars, doors, walls, columns, or walls because they are very light and manageable. Any area that a ride-on trowel would find very difficult to access.
In turn, within the simple trowels, we can distinguish two different types:
«Moskito» Power Trowel
They have a working diameter between 60 cm and 70 cm.
«Helicopter» Power Trowel
They have a working diameter between 90 cm and 120 cm.
Here we show you an example of a “Helicopter” concrete trowel that has a built-in broom.
Of course, whether it’s a walk-behind or a ride-on concrete trowel, special knowledge is required to operate it. If you need to trowel concrete, always turn to professional operators who have experience.
At BECOSAN® we can offer you advice on how to choose the trowel that can best fit your trowelling needs.
Factors to consider when buying a concrete trowel
In addition to the size of the surface to be treated, there are 2 aspects that we consider fundamental when choosing between concrete trowels.
“To determine which blade diameter is best, we need to know what kind of work we are going to do.”
For a small surface job, the optimal blade diameter size should be between 60 and 65 centimeters.
However, when trowelling large surfaces, the optimum diameter should be 90/95 cm or even 120/125 cm.
We are talking about ride-on power trowels from which we will gain a greater performance in this type of large surface jobs.
Type of motor
Depending on the needs of the project, we can also distinguish between electric and gasoline power trowels.
Electric trowels are mostly chosen when, due to certain requirements, combustion engines cannot be used.
For this reason, gasoline engines are the most frequent. They make trowelling concrete easier as they are more powerful and they don’t need a cable.
You can also find gas trowels and even automatic ones.
Weight, for two main reasons, is another fundamental factor when choosing trowels, although it mostly affects walk-behind trowels.
The first of these is when the machine is taken from our facilities to the workplace. When using a double ride-on trowel, it’s immediately assumed that transporting it to the job is going to be complicated (although there can be weight differences amongst them).
The second reason is that it affects maneuverability. In other words, the harder it is to move the trowel while we are working with it, the worse the trowelling will be. If the machine is heavy, it will be difficult to move it, while if it is light, the work will be carried out easily and quickly.
The greater the power of the machinery means the work can be done more efficiently and faster. If the power is insufficient, the quality of the trowelling will be affected.
Look at the speed and power at which this trowel and its blades move. Specifically, it is the WHITEMAN STX model.
If you’re still not sure, don’t worry. It’s completely normal. There are many trowels on the market and it is difficult to choose the most suitable for your needs.
However, below, we leave you with what, in our opinion, are the best brands and models of concrete trowels.
Best brands of concrete trowels
These are the best brands of concrete trowels in the sector.
WHITEMAN concrete trowel
The WHITEMAN brand from the U.S.A is considered to be one of the best on the market. They are subject to strict quality protocols and demonstrate a robustness and excellent performance.
In this video, they show us their WHITEMAN PRX with an electric motor, control panel, and great visibility.
Beton Trowel concrete trowel
If you buy a trowel from Belton Trowel (these are the ones we use at BECOSAN®), we guarantee that you will make an excellent long-term investment. They are designed to perform accurately for many years without having any problems.
“They are one of the best brands in Europe and the world. All their equipment is of the highest quality.”
Barikell concrete trowel
Barikell is a brand of high quality and prestige. The company has 40 years of history and has very reliable products, designed to exceed expectations.
They have an international presence and are committed to constant research to offer increasingly innovative trowelling solutions.
Other concrete trowel makes and models
Below, we show you other brands and models that we believe offer great features in their machinery and should be mentioned.
One of the most recognized brands is SIMA. It has many models of concrete trowels, capable of achieving concrete floors, both small and large surfaces, with a perfect finish and quickly.
Here we show you how its Halcón 65 model works, a trowel for small surfaces, which allows us to approach doors, columns, etc.
This Italian brand has two very good models: the trowels PT 600 and PT 1200. They have a folding steering handle, to facilitate their transport and, in addition, their handle is comfortable as it does not suffer from the machine’s vibration. They offer them with an electric or gasoline motor.
Risks of using a concrete trowel
Using a power trowel can have the following risks:
- Noise and vibrations from the machine.
- Physical pain or overexertion due to the driver’s position.
- Impacts or involuntary blows against parts of the machinery.
Preventive measures when using a concrete trowel
If we want to avoid the risks mentioned above, we will have to take a series of measures. These safety measures are mainly focused on wearing good personal protective equipment:
- Earmuffs to protect us from the noise.
- Footwear with non-slip soles.
- Safety glasses.
- Gloves, to prevent collision with objects that may be projected by the action of the propellers.
Maintenance and use rules
- Maintenance or cleaning tasks must be carried out with the machinery turned off.
- If a machine needs to be repaired, contact authorized and qualified personnel.
- Clean any stains or spills of oil or fuel from the machine before starting it up.
- Do not touch parts of the engine while it is running.
- Remove electrical cables from the work area.
- Never leave the machine on whilst it is alone.
- Refuel with the engine cold and off.
- Store the machinery in a covered area and away from transit.
Trowels must have a CE marking and be adapted to the Royal Decree-Law 1215/1997.
«As there are so many models, you just have to know the specific needs of the job that is to be carried out in order to choose between one model or another».
There are many factors and aspects that differentiate them, if you don’t know which one to choose, always ask an expert to advise you. In addition, with so many makes and models, the choice is even more complex.
Also, you must not forget that this is not an easy-to-use tool. Using it entails a series of risks to be taken into account. It’s essential to take precautions to avoid potential accidents.
We hope to have solved all your doubts! If you want to ask us about anything else, do not hesitate to contact us. We are at your disposal.