Every concrete contractor needs a full collection of tools to finish the work. Since concrete moves and dries quickly, the appropriate equipment might mean the difference between a successful pour and a possible catastrophe. Most of the required concrete tools are simple and don’t cost much money.
By purchasing these, you can avoid paying rental costs and save time by picking up and dropping off the equipment on your own. Some specialized equipment is more expensive and is only worthwhile as an investment if it is used frequently. If not, renting it as needed might be more economical. The following are the essential concrete tools for every contractor.
Mixers are necessary when working with unfinished concrete, and a correctly mixed batch of concrete is stronger and more durable. You’ll need a mixer to properly mix your concrete on-site unless you intend to use ready-mix concrete.
Screeds are long, rigid, straight tubes or boards used to smooth and generally level wet concrete right after it has been poured. Screeds come in various sizes and can even be project-specific, like those used to construct concrete bridges. The screed should be longer than the width of the concrete form to ride over the top edges when the concrete is flattened during hand-screeding.
There may still be a few tiny voids or flaws on the surface of the screeded concrete. These gaps can be filled using floats, such as bull floats and mag floats, to produce a smoother finish. These tools are used to level and smooth the concrete’s surface and are often constructed of metal or wood.
Another item on our list of essential concrete tools is a saw. When the concrete is set, it is frequently necessary to cut joints, and a saw is a crucial instrument for this job. Contractors cut concrete using a variety of saws, including circular saws, reciprocating saws, and masonry saws. It is important to choose the best saw because each type has characteristics and advantages suited to different concrete jobs.
The usual (and preferred) instrument for levelling forms and determining their elevation is now a laser level. They are also helpful for determining or verifying the height of embedded objects, such as bolts and other anchors. A laser level sends a light beam to produce a straight level or plumb line. In contrast to a conventional string line, a laser line can stay true over a great distance.
Floating is a crucial component in concrete work. It entails lightly lifting wet cement to the surface to create a smooth finish by tooling the damp concrete’s surface with various smooth metal or wooden surfaces. Magnesium now constitutes the majority of metal floats. A bull float is a sizable float used to level and smooth the concrete’s surface after being screeded.
The evaporation of moisture from concrete surfaces weakens the concrete, so vapor barriers are used to control moisture evaporation. Before the concrete is poured, barriers can also be positioned beneath it to stop surface water from interacting with it or dry base materials from drawing moisture out of the concrete. They are particularly crucial in damp or humid situations because too much humidity can compromise the completed concrete’s strength and longevity.
Wheelbarrows are required to transport tools and small volumes of concrete around the job site, and they are also used for collecting concrete samples for slump tests and other evaluations. Concrete workers should use heavy-duty wheelbarrows with durable pneumatic tires that can withstand the regular use and heavy loads needed on job sites.
Shovels are necessary for distributing small volumes of concrete during a pour to reach difficult-to-reach regions and fill up holes or depressions. Additionally, shovels are required on hand to empty forms that have been overfilled with concrete. Concrete constructors more commonly use square-ended shovels than the rounder, garden-style models.
A plate compactor is a sizable motorized device used to compact granular surfaces, like a gravel or sand sub-base, to provide a dense, tightly packed surface on which a concrete slab can rest. They are beneficial on uneven or unstable soils when creating a solid foundation for pouring concrete.
Pail and bucket
A pail and bucket are also necessary for any concrete mixing activity. These tools, often built of sturdy materials like plastic or metal, are essential for mixing, transporting, and storing concrete. When necessary, a pail or bucket can be used to add water to the concrete mixture, which can help regulate the mixture’s consistency and workability.
Concrete work may be physically taxing and occasionally dangerous, so protective equipment is essential for good worksite safety procedures. Some of the essential protective wear includes the following:
You should always wear rubber gloves when working with concrete. Concrete is made with additives and chemicals that might irritate the skin. Concrete cement absorbs moisture from the skin and, over time, can seriously harm the skin. Even lifelong workers have experienced amputation needs due to years of unprotected skin contact with concrete.
Breathing protection is essential during demolition or when pouring gravel or sand to avoid dust and cement lime inhalation.
Anyone managing the mixing and pouring of concrete must wear eye protection. Concrete contains cement, which is quite corrosive and can cause eye burns.
It is always advisable to wear hearing protection when using power saws, plate compactors, mixers, or any other power equipment.
With rubber boots, you are always ready to tread concrete, and they protect your skin from abrasion while allowing you to operate while standing on concrete. Concrete workers should select footwear that is waterproof, chemically resistant, and comfortable to wear.
According to experts, construction rubber boots should feature steel toes for protection and drawstring tops that seal the boot around your calf muscles to keep out concrete.
As a concrete contractor, you can build your collection of essential concrete tools over time and even earn more by renting them out occasionally.