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Masonry: how to use a concrete mixer

As its name indicates, this machine ensures the preparation of the concrete in large quantities, which makes its use particularly appreciable when one has big works of masonry to undertake, during the renovation of a house for example. (Non-contractual photo, does not necessarily reflect the drawing)

There are different types of mixers, which are distinguished both in the drive of the tank (electric motor or heat engine) than in the capacity (140 to 180 liters). Preferably choose a machine with a large capacity.

Characteristics of concrete mixers

A concrete mixer consists of a cylindrical tank, spinning top 0.75 m to 1 m in diameter, mounted on a mobile frame (two wheels allow the machine to move). Preferably use the concrete mixer at the work site, to avoid painful transportation.
The preparation of the concrete is done by rotation of the top; this movement is obtained by taking a gear on a ring gear located on the circumference of the router, system itself driven by a motor. Finally, the tank can be tilted by means of an arm or a steering wheel so as to pour the concrete or mortar ready for use.

Anatomy of a concrete mixer

Anatomy of a concrete mixer


Two types of engines equip concrete mixers: electric and thermal.
The low rotation speed of the tank and the presence of belts and reduction pulleys make it possible to use a low power engine. The four-stroke heat engine is mainly found on high-capacity mixers or on machines that are to be used on sites that are not supplied with electricity. Amateur machines are, most of the time, equipped with a electric motor whose power does not exceed 1/2 ch.
Large cement mixers, which can be hitched behind a car, are equipped with tire wheels, small wheels with solid rubber tires.
When towing behind a car, attention must be paid to the quality of the coupling, and ensure that the trailer does not obscure the traffic lights of the car. In any case, do not forget to inform your insurer.


If it is a thermal engine machine, start by refueling. Before starting the mixer, check the oil level and add as necessary. The start is a little like that of a lawn mower: open the manual choke and then look for the shortest compression of the launcher; then, pull the hand-held rocker vigorously; the engine must leave. Then cut the choke to avoid drowning the engine.
If the engine does not start after a few tries, turn off the starter before acting on the thrower again, otherwise you risk to drown the engine too.
Starting a electric concrete mixer is, it is very simple since it suffices to actuate a switch on / off double insulation. Since there is no power outlet near the workplace, as is most often the case, be sure to use only waterproof extensions in order to guarantee against any risk (unless you have an eletrogenic group).


Fill the concrete mixer with the elements necessary for the concrete or mortar production, in the following order: sand and gravel, cement and water, and in the proportions adapted to the type of realization envisaged.
The mixing time is of the order of 2 minutes for about twenty laps, counted from the end of the filling to the beginning of the spill. During mixing, the bowl is struck with a rubber mallet so that the concrete does not stick to the inner wall of the tank.
When the mortar or concrete is ready, tip the router with the steering wheel or lever. Empty the router by the filler hole, slightly tapered to facilitate the evacuation of concrete.


In order to keep your material in good condition and especially to get concrete or mortar of good quality, clean the mixer immediately after use. If you wait, the concrete will dry and then be much harder to remove. Wash the inside of the tank then turn the top up so that all the water drips.

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Video Instruction: Concrete & Masonry: How to Use a Concrete Mixer