|Progen 63L Electric|
|Progen 120L 550W drum|
|T-Mech 70L Electric|
|FoxHunter 250W 70L Portable|
|Dirty Pro Tools Large Professional Mixer|
Let’s say you want to put up a summer house, shed or other garden construction: you need a strong and sturdy base. What better than cemented-in blocks supporting wooden joists? It’s a sensible way to do things and, with a cement mixer to hand, you don’t have the problem of mixing your cement by hand – a tiresome and time-consuming effort that is best done without! Now, you have two options: you can rent a cement mixer for the few days you need one. This can be a cheap option but, when you compare rental prices to the cost of the mixers on our list, you’ll see that having your own can be a money-saver, especially if you have several jobs planned.
Cement mixers are surprisingly easy to use, and you can choose between those that are electrically powered, or some that use diesel or petrol engines. They make mixing your cement to perfection very simple, and also quick, so you can race through a job that would otherwise take you an age. Before we go on to tell you about the top ten, then, let’s talk a little more about what they do, how they work, and why you really need a cement mixer in your life.
The Top 10
Table of Contents
- 1 The Top 10
- 1.1 1: Progen 63L Electric
- 1.2 2: Progen 120L 550W drum
- 1.3 3: T-Mech 70L Electric
- 1.4 4: FoxHunter 250W 70L Portable
- 1.5 5: Dirty Pro Tools Large Professional Mixer
- 1.6 6: 63L Portable Cement Mixer
- 1.7 7: Costway 63L 220W
- 1.8 8: Belle Mini Mix 150
- 1.9 9: Scheppach Mix 125
- 1.10 10: Nordstrand 1800W Mixer Tool
- 2 How It Works
- 3 Important Features to Consider
1: Progen 63L Electric
So, we begin our review with a typical model, suitable for home or site use. It’s from Progen, who have a great range of such machines, and it is finished – as, curiously, are many of these – in a lovely bright orange. It comes with everything you need: you will find that mixers are equipped with a motor, drum and stand – the latter useful for when the machine is in use – plus a set of wheels for ease of movement. It is compact and suitable for smaller jobs, and has a capacity of 63 litres.
This one is electric, so you don’t have the problem of buying expensive fuel – just plug in, switch on and go. It has a nice tipping movement, too, so you can empty it easily into a barrow or onto the spot where you want your concrete. The motor is a suitably powerful 220W model that is perfectly sufficient for a mixer of this size, and it operates straight from the UK mains electricity supply. All in all, a good mixer for home or smaller site use, and at around £300, pretty good value, too.
Pros: good price, durable steel construction, easy to use, electric
Cons: not the biggest
2: Progen 120L 550W drum
Staying with Progen – a name brand in mixers and other such machinery – we thought it would be wise to show you this model. It’s a bigger proposition than the one above, and has a 120Litre drum – more than big enough for any application – and comes with full stand and also wheels for moving around. It is named as ‘portable’ but we are dubious as to how portable a mixer can be, but then it is easy to move around when not on the stand, so we guess that’s what the makers mean.
This model comes with a very powerful 550W, 50Hz motor, and the drum speed of around 28rpm is easily enough for mixing bigger loads for more robust construction projects. It’s orange, too, which seems to be a popular colour for mixers, and it is made from durable and robust stainless steel for longer life. Beware that, at 43kg, it is a heavy beast, but it is also one that will allow you to tackle any job you wish. At around £400 it is great value for a machine of this size, so if you have plenty of work to be done, is highly recommended.
Pros: sturdy, 120L, powerful motor, runs from the mains, great tipping action
Cons: might be too big for some
3: T-Mech 70L Electric
When writing reviews such as this, it is often the case that you reveal information and innovations that you may never have thought of. For example, we had never thought that cement mixers would be used in an agricultural setting, for mixing seed or animal feeds, yet they are on a widespread basis! This one, from T-Mech, is something of a budget model, but don’t write it off on that basis. Perhaps not as sturdy as the two above, it is nevertheless an interesting choice if you need a mixer for occasional use at home or on smaller sites.
It’s orange – no surprise there – and has a 70L drum which is perfectly adequate for home use. It comes with a 250W electric motor for ease of use – again, plug it into the mains and away you go – and it’s 30rpm drum speed is more than effective. It is portable and easy to move – this one weighs just 30kg – and has a useful stand for when in use, and it does the job very well indeed. Also, at only £120 it is very cheap, so well worth considering all-round.
Pros: cheap, portable, electric, powerful
Cons: not as durable as the above?
4: FoxHunter 250W 70L Portable
With products such as this, that is those that are designed for a very specific purpose, it becomes difficult to find differences between the different models. This one, for example, has a specification that is pretty much identical to that above, and that should come as no surprise: a 70L drum is, as it happens, very much the norm for a ‘portable’ mixer, and the design has been the same for many decades, so why change something that works for no reason?
Once more, this one is an electric model with a 250W motor, and simply plugs into the mains and goes. It has a stand and wheels for moving around, is equipped with the usual tipping motion, and is perfectly adequate for home or small site use. It is made from durable steel and is finished in powder-coated orange paint for protection from the elements, and a 28rpm drum speed is more than adequate. If you want one to hand for small projects, there is nothing to say this is not the one, and at around £130 it is perfectly good value.
Pros: great value, well-made, adequate power, 70L
Cons: if 70l is enough for you, no cons at all
5: Dirty Pro Tools Large Professional Mixer
From the portable models above, we move onto this quite exceptional big brother, a model from Dirty Pro Tools. This is a cut above the rest in some ways, but we are dubious as to how such a big machine can be available for under £200! It appears to be a quality model, made from the usual steel construction and with the stand and wheels that you would expect, and it weighs around 50kg, so is considerably heavier than those above, but that price remains baffling!
It comes with a 140L drum – that’s plenty for any job – and a 550W motor, which is a surprisingly powerful electric motor for one of these, and it simply plugs in and gets going, and will tackle even the biggest jobs. It can be moved around – although takes some grunt given the weight – and it is black, not orange! A drum speed of 30rpm is perfect for the job, and it has cast-iron fittings for longer use. Back to that price – this is a great value model for bigger jobs.
Pros: great value, strong build, large and capable, powerful
Cons: very big
6: 63L Portable Cement Mixer
Although otherwise branded, this is identical to the first one on the list it is finished –in a lovely bright orange. It comes with everything you need: you will find that mixers are equipped with a motor, drum and stand – the latter useful for when the machine is in use – plus a set of wheels for ease of movement. It is compact and suitable for smaller jobs, and has a capacity of 63 litres.
This one is electric, so you don’t have the problem of buying expensive fuel – just plug in, switch on and go. It has a nice tipping movement, too, so you can empty it easily into a barrow or onto the spot where you want your concrete. The motor is a suitably powerful 220W model that is perfectly sufficient for a mixer of this size, and it operates straight from the UK mains electricity supply. All in all, a good mixer for home or smaller site use, and at around £125, very good value, too.
Pros: good price, durable steel construction, easy to use, electric
Cons: only 63L
7: Costway 63L 220W
The pattern emerging here is as follows: portable mixers tend to feature drums of between 63 to 70L capacity; professional models are of the 120l plus capacity. This is one of the former and, as such, is intended for smaller around the home jobs, or less demanding construction projects. It follows the usual design – with the tipper stand and wheels, and the orange finish – and is perfectly adequate if you want one handy for when it may be needed.
Finished in the usual durable steel, with a 220W motor – not the most powerful but adequate given the load capacity – it runs as 28rpm which is perfectly acceptable, and its portable size and 25kg lightweight make it easy to move from place to place to tackle those jobs you need to do. This is a great model for use around the home or yard, and at around £140, is also very good value for a model of this size.
Pros: portable, great value, nicely made, easy to move
Cons: only 63L, so if you need bigger, not for you
8: Belle Mini Mix 150
One of the leading names in the concrete mixer world – an accolade not many can claim – is Belle, and this model is rather curiously named Mini Mix. We say curiously as it is one of the biggest capacity models here – at 150L – and is designed for professional and home use. Make no mistake, the quality is evident in this very impressive machine, with its powerful electric motor and sensible design with detachable stand – and you will be able to tackle any job with this mixer.
It’s orange – no surprise there – and at 60kg is also one of the heavier models, so if you are looking for a super-portable one then this may not be the best choice. 30rpm drum speed is perfectly adequate for large loads of concrete, and it is easy to use with a great tipping action. If you want to tackle bigger jobs, and need a robustly made and well-engineered yet simple to use mixer, this is probably a fine choice, although at around £400 it is somewhat more expensive than many of those on this list.
Pros: large capacity, robust build, leading brand, simple to use
Cons: expensive in comparison
9: Scheppach Mix 125
Approaching the end of this review, it is becoming more difficult to find interesting things to say about cement mixers. After all, they are all designed to standard format, as that is the tried and tested one that works. This one at least gives us something a little different to mention: it’s not orange, it’s blue! OK, that’s not important, but what is important is that you get a 125litre drum capacity and a well-made and very durable mixer from a known brand, with a powerful motor that is more than capable of driving it with full loads.
The 550W motor is on a par with the more powerful models on this list, and it runs straight from the mains so you can simply plug in and get on with the job. 26rpm drum speed is perfectly effective for keeping your concrete fluid and ready, the tipping action is easy to use, and it weighs 50kg, which is not bad for a model of this size. All said and done, a very decent bigger mixer which, at around £280, is good value.
Pros: big capacity, well-made, powerful motor, decent price
Cons: big and heavy
10: Nordstrand 1800W Mixer Tool
If you don’t want a traditional cement mixer, and don’t want to hand mix your concrete, there is an alternative, and it comes in the form of our final choice, the Nordstrand hand mixer. Think of this as a much larger version of the electric mixer you use for baking in your kitchen, and you get the idea. It has a powerful motor and one mixing head, and is designed to be suitable for mixing smaller amounts of cement, concrete, mortar and plaster, and it offers a cost-saving on a mixer.
However, for us the jury is still out on this one: we can see the point – and no doubt it does a good job – but it is nowhere near as impressive in terms of labour-saving as a cement mixer, and given you can get a smaller capacity model for not much more than £100 – and this hand mixer will cost you around £80 – we’re not sure there is much point to it. Nevertheless, a clever idea, even if it is not the answer to your problem!
Pros: cheap, hand-held, great for small mixes
Cons: not very efficient, not much cheaper than a small mixer
That’s your list of the top 10 cement mixers on the market right now, so before we give you our summary, let’s recap what these are all about, and what you need to consider when you are buying one.
How It Works
Let’s get something sorted before we go on: there is a distinct difference between cement and concrete. For the uninitiated, this may come as a surprise, but cement is the fine powder you mix with sand or gravel – and water – to create concrete or mortar, which is then used to set bricks and for other purposes. Thus, you may ask: is it a cement mixer, or a concrete mixer? We say – don’t be silly, it doesn’t matter, but what it is is a brilliant machine that you will be happy you bought if you need to mix concrete on a regular basis!
Who first used cement is lost in history: it is known that ancient Rome used concrete to build some of its magnificent structures, and there are many scholars who believe the Egyptians used a form of concrete on the pyramids. What we do know is that it is a substance we really cannot do without, and one that is universally used across the world. Look around you, wherever you are, and you will doubtless see examples of it everywhere.
A cement mixer, then, what does it do, and how does it do it? Well, by its very nature, when mixed with sand and water, cement begins to set into concrete; your mixer keeps the mixture fluid by way of a constantly turning drum with vanes on the inside that mix the aggregate and cement together, and you tip it forward when ready for an instant load of lovely cement! You must be convinced you need one by now – or you are a builder who simply wants to read about the top ten – so here we go with no further fuss, the top 10 cement mixers on the market today.
Important Features to Consider
As we said at the beginning of this review, choosing one of these is not the work of a moment. Perhaps the first question you need to ask is this: do I need a cement mixer? If the answer is just for a one-off job, you may be better hiring one, but what about all those jobs you could do if you had one handy? Building walls, laying decking, creating a pond and other features – all are so much easier with a mixer on site, so here’s the things you need to consider:
Capacity – perhaps the most important consideration; the mix capacity of those on our list ranges from 63L to 150L – quite a considerable gap – and we reckon that, for small garden jobs, one of the smaller models will suffice. If, however, you are embarking on a bigger project, you might be wise opting for a large capacity model so you can mix more at once.
Budget – consider what you want to spend carefully, as the price range runs from not much more than £100 to around £400, and with these, you get what you pay for. You want a mixer with the longest life, so look for the quality brands.
Power – the bigger the drum and capacity, the more powerful a motor you need, so make sure you choose the one that will drive your drum effortlessly. Power levels range from around 220W to 550W, depending on the size.
That’s a few of the important features to look for, so all that remains now is to wrap things up.
Let’s Wrap It Up!
10 cement mixers to choose from – well, nine, as we reckon we should dismiss the hand-held model thanks to it not being as effective as the rest – and which should you choose? In all honesty, that comes down to your individual needs and budget. The Belle model, with 150L capacity, us undoubtedly the best in terms of ability and quality, but if you don’t need one that big, any of the 63 or 70L models will do the trick for you and at lesser prices.
Have another look and get yourself a cement mixer – you will be surprised how often you use it once you do!