What Is a Power Trowel and Why to Use One

A power trowel, also known as a power float, is a piece of construction equipment used to apply a smooth finish to concrete slabs. There are two types power trowels, ride on power trowels and walk-behind power trowels.

A ride on power trowel is used with an operator sitting on a seat and controlling the power trowel. Although they are operated differently, they still have the same purpose. With every concrete pour troweling is important, because it allows the concrete to continue the process of finishing the concrete and squeezing residual water out of the concrete. Removing any excess water out of the concrete decreases the chances of the concrete cracking.

Going beyond what a power trowel does, every brand has similarities and differences starting with the blades. On a Tomahawk power trowel, you will see that included every trowel there are four combination blades. Combination blades can be used for both floating and finishing operations. The combination blade has three edges which allows it to be used flat in the floating position and tiled in the finish position. These blades are also stainless steel which are high-quality and non- blades.  Power trowels sometimes come with a pan that sits under the blades. The pan is a large metal disc that attaches to the bottom of the unit by clipping onto the trowel blades. Pans are used in the early stages of troweling and used to get started on the concrete slab early to start the troweling process.

Now that you know the main components of a power trowel, lets discuss some of the key features to look for in a power trowel. When using a power trowel make sure the engine works. Investing in a power trowel that has a name brand, reliable engine such as Kohler or Honda will help you achieve the best results on the job site. Other engines may work for a few jobs but will certainly fail you and bring your job site to a halt, while your concrete hardens in an unfinished state.

Additionally, use a power trowel that has safety features. Make sure your power trowel has either a cut-off switch or dead-man’s switch so that if you lose control the power trowel doesn’t hit you or go on a spinning rampage. Also, look for a power trowel that has simplicity, something with quick pitch, and electronic has the risk of breaking easily; remember this common acronym – K.I.S.S. OR “Keep It Simple, Stupid!” Lastly, look for a lifting hook or lifting handles. When you need to bring a trowel out of your truck to the concrete slab they can be heavy and awkward. Make the job easier by getting a power trowel with a lifting hook.

Power Trowels are a key component in the finishing process and is a step that should not be missed. Using one will make your job easier and your work more professional.

Concrete finishing

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