How to choose a construction mixer: professional recommendations

Recommendation points



In our previous articles, we have already discussed some power tools. Now let’s talk about construction mixers, find out why they are so in demand, how they are used by practicing builders, what is the secret of the popularity of some models, what are the criteria for choosing this tool.

It is difficult to imagine modern construction without the use of technological mixtures of various substances and materials: concrete for foundations and monoliths; lime and cement mortars for masonry and screeds; for finishing works – adhesives, varnishes, paints, putties, grouting, mastics, gypsum plasters. The list goes on. They contain many components that must be mixed until smooth to obtain the expected result. This is done either during the preparation of complex solutions, or in order to “revive” the ready-made factory mixture in the process. All manufacturers of ready-made formulations recommend mixing them thoroughly before use, since the mass separates during storage, heavy substances sink to the bottom of the container, and light substances rise up. By the way, during work, many materials require periodic mixing, for example, decorative plasters.

How to choose a construction mixer

Recently, dry building mixtures for various purposes have become widespread at domestic construction sites, which must be prepared according to the principle of “just add water”. The complex composition is assembled at the factory, our task is to seal the dry mixture with water (usually pour it into water) and mix “until a homogeneous mass is formed without lumps and air bubbles.” Here you can’t do with a “clean wooden spatula”, and a good old trough with a hoe won’t help. It is not even theoretically possible to dissolve some building powders in water without the aid of a whisk with a motor (for example, greasy floor leveling compound or moisture-resistant tile grout from Ceresit). Something can of course be kneaded by hand, but it takes a lot of time and takes a lot of effort. How the European renovators of the first five-year plan suffered after the USSR – beyond words! And how many seemingly unkillable grandfather’s drills were burned! Do not count the number of perforators transferred to the category “nepotrebu” (there is such an exact Ukrainian word) because the broken cartridge stopped holding the SDS-drill shank, or, as always unexpectedly, the worn out brushes ruined the anchor of the electric motor.

How to choose a construction mixer

Salvation came from the same place as the problem – from abroad. Construction mixers have appeared on the markets of the post-Soviet states. Now every more or less well-known company that produces the instrument offers several models of mixers for solving a wide variety of tasks. The domestic manufacturer also pulled up.

How to choose a construction mixer

Each master went his own way, someone performs highly specialized operations (tiles, paint brushes …) and chose a tool just for their needs, someone purchased a unit with a claim to versatility. Our team is engaged in complex repairs and low-rise construction, so we were equipped with several copies for specific work. For mixing large volumes (in our understanding, preparation of 20–30 liters of solution – a whole bag of tile glue, leveling compound, gypsum plaster) of dry mix and viscous compositions, Fiolent MD1-11E was purchased. For easier work (stirring ready-made compounds, paints, varnishes, as well as preparing a portion of putty, tile grout), we got a Makita 6013 BR mixer and another drill from Simferopol “Fiolent MSU9-16-2RE”.

Fiolent MD1-11E

It has been noticed more than once that the drills from manufacturers from the former Soviet republics are quite reliable, their functionality is also at a fairly high level. Interskol, Rebir, Ritm and even Sparki can be referred to here – they make a worthy competitive instrument, but we just have a successful tradition of working with Fiolent. MD1-11E is a full-fledged mixer with a high-torque 1100 watt motor, although if you have a cartridge at hand (it is not included in the kit), you can drill with it. Everything is sound and solid: the plastic is good, the gear case is made of metal (aluminum alloy), so it cools well. He copes with all the work for which he was taken without problems. I know for sure that some of my colleagues use such a mixer to prepare concrete, pour hectares of sand mortar screeds, although we are not so extravagant and do not forget about concrete mixers. Moreover, while the loaded concrete mixer is doing its job by itself, you can do something else.

Fiolent MD1-11E Fiolent MD1-11E

The device cannot be called a fluff, its weight is 4.7 kg. However, MD1-11E is controlled quite easily, partly because its dimensions are rather modest (30 cm in length). Personally, it is very convenient for me to work with the trigger handle, the monumental metal handle-bracket is also, as they say, in its place. By the way, it comes in the kit and forms such a protective frame for itself – no matter how you put the tool, it will always rest on its metal. As an option, you can also purchase a special stand for this device in order to relieve your hands with large volumes. The start button is small – but it works responsively, allows you to “accelerate”, of course, it locks in the pressed state.

Fiolent MD1-11E

The agitator is attached directly to the spindle, which has the most common M14 female thread for mixers. The whisk must be purchased separately, but you can take exactly the one you need. The manufacturer recommends limiting yourself to a diameter of 140 mm.

As befits a professional mixer, in “Fiolent MD1-11E” the rotational speed under load is electronically controlled and can be preset by a wheel-shaped regulator. The maximum possible spindle revolutions are few – 600 per minute at idle, but more is not needed.

Fiolent MD1-11E

A good machine for everyday work on the construction site. There are no serious bells and whistles in it – everything you need, but everything is on business. He has nothing to surprise an experienced builder with (but experienced builders do not like surprises), except perhaps with an adequate price for their characteristics. Spare parts are also inexpensive and affordable, although I have not needed them yet. For a home craftsman, the 1050-watt model “Fiolent MSU9-16-2RE” is more suitable, we use this drill for light finishing work. It is lighter (2.4 kg), faster (two speeds: up to 800 and up to 2000 rpm), has a cartridge and a long swivel handle. It’s an all-rounder with reverse and kick function available.

Fiolent MSU9-16-2RE Fiolent MSU9-16-2RE

Makita 6013BR

Such a drill mixer performs in our light class. Its weight is only 2.9 kg, which is fully explained by the presence of a not very powerful economical motor, which consumes only 620 watts. However, do not think that this is not enough. The gearbox, enclosed in a metal case, significantly reduces the speed and transfers all the energy to the spindle in the form of a solid torque (70 Nm). At idle speed, 550 rpm is available to us – what is needed for mixing building mixtures.

Makita 6013 BR Makita 6013 BR

True, the spindle speed is not regulated by switches, it all depends on the operation of the “start” button and the skill of the operator. Fortunately, this key is very responsive and functional. The Japanese developers did not waste time on trifles and made it impressive in size; it is not necessary to take off the mittens to prepare a portion of the solution. Surely many builders would also like to have the latter in the on position. For me personally, this is not so important – I rarely stop buttons, I prefer to have maximum control over the tool.

The Makita 6013BR drill is quite compact (34 cm long with the rear handle), but despite its good drilling inclinations (powerful chuck for cylindrical shanks, reverse with rocker switch), its T-shaped layout is more focused on mixing. The main handle is shifted to the gearbox, which does not make it possible to rest against the drilling axis, if you need to make additional efforts, you have to connect the second hand. At the back of the body there is a D-shaped handle that rotates 360 °, another, straight one, screwed in from above. In short, finding a comfortable grip for the mixer is not difficult, which is very important. As we all know: “Convenience at work is the second productivity”.

Makita 6013 BR

This is a great mixer for moderately difficult jobs. The unit rightfully belongs to the class of professional tools, besides, it has good versatility – it can be easily used for complex drilling with heavy loads, for screwing / unscrewing persistent self-tapping screws. At one time we paid $ 350 for this mixer. If there is an opportunity to spend such funds for a home workshop, it will fit perfectly. On the construction site Makita 6013BR will definitely work out its price.

Frequently asked questions about choosing a construction mixer

What to choose: mixer or drill mixer?

This classification is rather arbitrary, but it exists. Manufacturers produce highly specialized models of clean mixers that will not be able to perform any operations other than mixing. They are too powerful for simple work, heavy, not equipped with chucks, have a highly specialized ring or bail-shaped handle, such as Sparky BM 1060CE plus or Protool MXP 1602E. There are models with a frame with a container (AGP AM5000), there are two-spindle mixers with two agitators moving towards each other (Perles ME 220). Mix large volumes and “viscosities” – this is their direct and only purpose.

Sparky BM 1060CE plus Sparky BM 1060CE plus

The drill mixer can also be used for drilling and working with fasteners. They have a multi-speed gearbox, a pistol grip, a chuck (or the ability to install it), sometimes a reverse. Their capacity is often not inferior to many mixers, while they are usually lighter – about 3 kg. In fact, a drill mixer is a powerful low-speed drill (Makita 6013 BR, “Fiolent MSU9-16-2RE”) or a mixer with advanced capabilities (“Fiolent MD1-11 E”).

AGP AM5000 AGP AM5000

Most professionals are equipped with both mixers and drill-mixers. Some heavy duty machines even cover the position of the concrete mixer. For fans, it would be more logical to purchase the second option – a light drill mixer with the ability to drill.

What should be the characteristics of the motor?

So, as we already said, mixers should be divided according to the type of expected load. The characteristics of the engine are very important here. For relatively light work related to finishing, an apparatus with a power of 500-1000 W is suitable; for viscous solutions and large volumes, you should pay attention to machines with a motor that consumes 1000 W or more. Some specimens (Interskol KMD-170 / 1600E, Elmos EMX-16 or Felisatti MKF 1600 / VE2) exceed the 1.5 kW mark and allow the preparation of concrete, mixing of highly viscous materials, such as bituminous mastics. If there is no need for high power, then you should not overpay for extra watts, and the weight of the tool and dimensions directly depend on the engine power.

Felisatti MKF 1600 / VE2 Felisatti MKF 1600 / VE2

Large torque – what is it for?

This indicator is largely determined by the features of the motor, but the design of the gearbox is not the least important. At lower speeds, the torque increases, respectively, the tool heats up less, becomes more powerful and provides the user with greater opportunities. High spindle speeds are more suitable for mixing varnishes and paints. Torque parameters are not indicated by all manufacturers, but its significance does not decrease from this. Powerful drill-mixers produce an average of 50-70 Nm, powerful specialized mixers – well over a hundred (Protool MXP 1602 EQ SET).

Protool MXP 1602 EQ SET Protool MXP 1602 EQ SET

What electronic systems are equipped with construction mixers?

Built-in electronics significantly increases safety and comfort in working with the mixer, as well as significantly extends its service life. The more powerful the apparatus, the more difficult it is to operate, the more requirements are imposed on the instrument.

For working with different materials, it is very important to have the ability to manipulate turnovers. The speed of the spindle can be set using the speed selector, wheels or slide control. The speed control system (constant electronics), with the help of sensors, monitors the change in load and does not allow them to fall, or vice versa – slows them down at idle. In some models (Makita 6013BR) everything is tied to a sensitive button, the degree of pressing on which changes the speed. Such buttons in light models allow for a “soft start”, in powerful devices a separate electronic unit is responsible for this..

Electronic systems protect the tool from short-term overloads when the agitator is jammed; in some models, the motor can be turned off automatically in case of overheating (PROTOOL MXP 1602E).

My mixer does not come with an attachment. How to choose the right?

First of all, the mixer must be suitable for the particular mixer. Most mixers have a thread on the spindle for attaching attachments (M14). This connection is very reliable and allows you to transfer all the energy of the tool to the working area. This is a standard already accepted by many manufacturers, so nozzles are in most cases interchangeable..

Construction mixer attachment

Some models have movable clutch locks similar to hex bit latches, with Morse taper keyless chucks (DeWALT DW 152), QuickFix (Freud FMT 1600/2 VCE) and FastFix systems that do not require a key.

Construction mixer attachment

The maximum mixer size available for installation on a particular mixer is limited by the manufacturer. This indicator depends on the technical characteristics of the tool and ranges from 120-180 mm (diameter of the working part). The standard length of the nozzle is about 60 cm, but you can also use special extensions.

How to choose a construction mixer

The choice of mixer configuration is determined by the type of material to be handled. Frame nozzles are excellent for formulations, the ingress of air into which is undesirable, for example, all kinds of adhesives, leveling materials. The frame shuffles in one horizon. Auger mixers mix the upper and lower layers with each other, raising or settling the mixture (right-handed spirals raise heavy components, left-handed ones push the light solution to the bottom, preventing splashing). All kinds of screws at the end of the stem are designed for liquid and light solutions (varnishes, paints …).

Auger nozzle for construction mixer

Which mixer layout is better?

Many craftsmen prefer to work with mixers with pistol grips, which provide tool maneuverability and the ability to perform drilling operations (Bosch GRW 11 E, Kress 1055 HTC). The ring handles with the start button located on them are inherent in clean mixers, they need to get used to them. Probably the most convenient are the combined options with a trigger handle and an additional D or U-shaped bracket (“Fiolent MD1-11E”, Metabo RWE 1100). These brackets often function as a frame to protect the instrument. Many mixer drills have straight accessory arms of various lengths.

Metabo RWE 1100 Metabo RWE 1100

In any case, the layout of the mixer should be chosen only for personal feelings, since there are a lot of options offered. The mixer will become a reliable assistant in both repair and construction, the main thing is, depending on the tasks set, to choose the right set of necessary characteristics. Undoubtedly, in our time, this tool is simply irreplaceable..

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