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Old 09-16-2019, 02:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Small cement mixers

Ok, I need some schooling on home cement mixers. I have a job coming up where I think I want to mix a bunch of quick Crete. I have mixed it before in a big tub with a hoe. That's alright if you're only doing a few bags. But this job will require at least 25-35 bags.

I was thinking I could dump a bag in a small harbor freight (or similar) mixer, pour in some water and let it go for five minutes. Then I could dump it and start it again. While the mixer is running, I could be finishing the stuff I just poured. Does this sound feasible?

What do I need to know about these mixers. I see them for less than a $100 to $300.

Let me say right up front, I have no intention of mixing sand, gravel and Portland cement. I know it saves money, but I'm not doing that. I may just get a cement truck in here, but then I need to come up with some more work. (I think there's a five yard minimum.
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Old 09-16-2019, 02:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Most of the reviews I have seen on the HF seem to be good for mixing a couple of bags at a time
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Old 09-16-2019, 02:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I forget the part number of the HF one I have but it works good for two 80lb bags at once.

I have it down to 'clockwork' steps:
fill bucket with needed water (put a hole in the home depot bucket to prevent overfill)
put bucket of water into HF mixer while running(after first batch, this 'cleans' it)
leave water bucket filling
cut bag one open
dump bag into mixer and start running
cut bag two open
dump bag into mixer
use 5 gallon HD bucket to pour mixed concrete where needed
when empty, repeat from start

The biggest thing I 'hate' about it is the fact that you are basically lifting bags to chest high.

I did ~72 bags in a bit over 4 hours.
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Last edited by Lil'John; 09-16-2019 at 02:23 PM. Reason: four hours not three hours
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Old 09-16-2019, 02:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've done 62 bags for a single pour of 30kg bags in the electric princess auto version of the mixer...no problem, couple minutes a bag. I did have 3 guys helping me (4 people total), one guy dumping bags, two guys doing water and operating mixer and dumping it close, one guy final placing/leveling. It took us a couple hours to do all of those bags. You'd probably want at least a couple guys so that you can stay ahead of the concrete setting.

Regardless, those little electric mixers do shockingly well, better than I expected and WAY easier than mixing in a wheelbarrow.
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Old 09-16-2019, 02:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You don’t have mini mix trucks down there?

No minimum, they mix as they pour.
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Old 09-16-2019, 02:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Call the local concrete yard and see if they can get you a "short load" (whats left over from another pour), or find a local landscape place that has transit trailers. You tell them how much you want and they put it in a hydraulic dump trailer. Just make sure you rinse it out before you take it back.
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Old 09-16-2019, 02:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think I am the village idiot when it comes to hf mixers and concrete


I've done 200+ bags a day in the large hf mixer and am at 1200+ bags in the last 3 years. It's still going strong. I could easy mix and poor a bag ever 90 seconds.

35 bags can be done in an hour easy
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Old 09-16-2019, 03:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i have one of the HF mixers, its loud as hell but works harder than a prom-date suck starting a Harley.
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Old 09-16-2019, 03:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think I am the village idiot when it comes to hf mixers and concrete


I've done 200+ bags a day in the large hf mixer and am at 1200+ bags in the last 3 years. It's still going strong. I could easy mix and poor a bag ever 90 seconds.

35 bags can be done in an hour easy


And then there’s this guy.


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Old 09-16-2019, 03:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You don’t have mini mix trucks down there?

No minimum, they mix as they pour.
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Call the local concrete yard and see if they can get you a "short load" (whats left over from another pour), or find a local landscape place that has transit trailers. You tell them how much you want and they put it in a hydraulic dump trailer. Just make sure you rinse it out before you take it back.
Out in the boonies where I am nearest batch plant is 60 miles of 2 lane and over the mountain
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Old 09-16-2019, 03:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Out in the boonies where I am nearest batch plant is 60 miles of 2 lane and over the mountain


I get charged $155/yard for distance from plant and they openly gouge


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Old 09-16-2019, 04:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I was thinking I could dump a bag in a small harbor freight (or similar) mixer, pour in some water and let it go for five minutes.
put the water in first, mixes way better that way

Last edited by rockyota83; 09-16-2019 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 09-16-2019, 04:26 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I get charged $155/yard for distance from plant and they openly gouge


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Old 09-16-2019, 04:35 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I have the orange harbor freight mixer. Not sure if that is the big one or small one. It has paid for itself. For a cheap mixer, it works pretty good. You have to dig a little hole for the wheelbarrow tire to dump it. Sure as hell beats mixing in a wheelbarrow. I bought 5000 psi mix and it set up faster than I could mix and finish. If you are gonna do a lot of bags. I’d plan on buying beer for x amount of helpers.
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Old 09-16-2019, 04:50 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I really figured everyone was going to tell me their all junk. (Or I need my head examined.) I'm glad I asked. I still might need my head examined, but at least the mixers are good.

Thanks all.
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Old 09-16-2019, 04:57 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I'm on the HF mixer band wagon also. got the bigger one and it'll do 2 80# bags at a time all day long. I've done several 10 bag sets for small projects, other than just being a lot of lifting, which, if you're doing a bunch, it may be worth rigging a little 'ramp' on one side to dump bags in if you're vertically challenged. I wouldn't hesitate in using it for 30 bags.
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Old 09-16-2019, 05:13 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Why not get one from the local tool rental place and see if that is the way you want to go?
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Old 09-16-2019, 05:41 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I bought the HF one to mix 10 bags to redo the floor where I put in new plumbing. Worked well enough. First batch I had too much water in it and was a bit runny.

Cringe video of me using it.

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Old 09-16-2019, 05:48 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I have one of these. Way more convenient than any "stand mixer" I have ever used.

I got mine from Craigslist for $240 in great shape

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Old 09-16-2019, 05:50 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Old 09-16-2019, 06:02 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Why not get one from the local tool rental place and see if that is the way you want to go?
Id bet the HF mixer is going to be similar price to a couple days of rental. I hate renting.
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Old 09-16-2019, 06:13 PM   #22 (permalink)
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We mixed by hand last summer,
4ft deep holes 8” across. Not sure on the amount of concrete/per bag but it wasn’t terrible.

I considered a mixer to rent but 35 bags really isn’t that much. I figure I made 24 bags mixing myself and yes it was cheap!

Used a yard and a half of a gravel and I think 4 bags of Portland
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Old 09-16-2019, 06:48 PM   #23 (permalink)
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We have loads and loads of mini concrete mixers in Texas.































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Old 09-16-2019, 09:48 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:56 PM   #25 (permalink)
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My last project (fence post holes), 3 yards was $40 more to call in a mix on demand truck then to buy the bags from Home Depot. Well worth it imo.
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