Working with concrete requires a certain level of skill and patience. However, finding the right tools are just as important.
Concrete forms the stable foundation of any structure. While it is essential to use the right concrete mix for different applications, the job is incomplete without appropriate tools.
As such, there are dozens of concreting tools in the market. However, knowing the right tools for specific jobs is imperative. In this guide, we will tell you all about the essential concreting tools and how they can help you complete a concreting job from start to finish.
So without further ado, let’s get straight to the deets!
Concreting Tools Guide
1. Magnesium Float
First and foremost, you need to know about the magnesium float tool. This is one of the most important tools as it helps level the wet concrete surface. It is the first tool you have to use after pouring wet concrete on your working surface.
That being said, there are other materials available in this category of tools. After magnesium, aluminium is the next best option to use for levelling wet concrete. However, because of the lightweight nature of magnesium, it is often preferred over aluminium floats.
Using a magnesium float has several other benefits. While it is an excellent and easy-to-use tool for smoothing wet concrete, it does not pull at its surface, stretch it, or damage it easily – unlike wood and resin tools. Furthermore, a magnesium float is essential to open up the surface of wet concrete and enable necessary evaporation.
2. Finishing Trowel
Once you have levelled wet concrete, the next step to achieve a smooth texture is to use a finishing trowel. Like the magnesium float, a finishing trowel is a vital tool that helps professionals smoothen concrete and other materials.
Although it looks similar to a magnesium float, a finishing trowel is thinner, angled, straight, and very lightweight. It is designed to fit perfectly into angles and corners, enabling you to achieve perfectly angled smoothness.
However, this tool isn’t advantageous only for creating a smooth finish. You can also use it to create textures on the surface of the concrete.
Another essential factor to know about it is that it helps add water to the surface of the concrete. That said, be careful while adding water, as excessive amounts can compromise the texture and final look of your structure or base.
3. Concrete Edger
The next tool you should be acquainted with is the concrete edger. As the name suggests, this tool has a tapered edge that enables you to create a space, gap, or border between two different types of ground.
Furthermore, the concrete edger has a prominent L-shaped design that is used to break the concrete surface away from its adjacent border. This tool helps you create a border for various reasons – from aesthetic to functional, or even landscaping.
The right time to use a concrete edger tool is just before your concrete surface begins to stiffen. You must be careful to choose the most appropriate time – too early, and the concrete may melt to fill into the gaps, too late, and you may not be able to create the gap at all.
Using the tool is straightforward and effortless. All you need to do is hold it firmly against the concrete surface and drag it straight across to create the gap.
4. Control Jointer
Those who have worked with concrete before know that it has a tendency to crack. Unfortunately, if you notice the cracks too late, it can be almost impossible to smooth it back. That’s why it is imperative to work at the right time to join or control the cracks that occur when concrete is naturally drying.
Using the concrete control jointer is easy once you know what to do and when to use it. Begin by placing a 2 x 4 board straight across the form board. Then, use the control jointer to draw a line across the middle of the concrete surface.
This control joint ensures that if any cracking has to occur, it occurs within the joint and not in any other area.
5. Concrete Finishing Broom
The final tool you require for the job is a concrete finishing broom.
As the name tells you, this broom is used to achieve a smooth, even finish on your concrete surface. Moreover, the thin overlay created by the finishing broom adds a certain anti-skid texture to it. This is extremely important for obvious reasons. Without a skid-resistant surface, accidents are likely to occur on the new concrete surface.
It is essential to use a finishing broom at the appropriate time for optimal results. As such, we recommend using it once you notice the top layer of the concrete to be completely dry. Using the concrete finishing broom on a wet or moist surface can damage it, so it is best to wait for a couple of hours before using it.
When working with raw concrete, you not only need the right measurements but you also need the right tools to ensure that the job is done well, whilst taking care of your safety. While we have mentioned some of the most important concreting tools that will see you through a job from start to finish, a few other essentials are worth mentioning. These are:
- Safety gloves and goggles
- A concrete mixer
- A wheelbarrow
- Digging bar
- Shovel and saw
- Groove cutters
Get Your Concrete Tools!
With that, we have finally reached the end of our guide. We hope it helped you understand the essential concreting tools you may require for any job. Of course, make sure that you always put on your safety gear before starting a concreting job.
It is best to get professional help when working with something as challenging as concrete. However, several DIY-ers attempt to work with concrete as well. This is fine, as long as you have the right tools to use and how to use them.
Let us know if we missed any other essentials. Leave a comment below, and stay tuned for more guides from us.