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Concrete is a messy business. In fact, even understanding what concrete is can be confusing. Concrete and cement are often confused for one another — what many people refer to as cement trucks are actually concrete mixer trucks. Cement is a powdery substance, and concrete is a liquid that sets into the hard surface that you walk on and see every day. Cement is one of the crucial ingredients in making concrete, but cement can also be used for making other building materials like mortar. Mixer trucks spin to mix the concrete and prevent it from setting, and it’s generally advised to get the concrete to its destination in the shortest time possible, ideally less than 90 minutes. Whatever confusion concrete may cause, it’s clear that dealing with concrete is a lot of work.
Another important aspect of dealing with concrete is ensuring that it has a good consistency once it sets. When it’s being poured there can be a lot of air bubbles. This can reduce the structural integrity and appearance of concrete, which is why it’s important to minimize the number of air bubbles. That’s where concrete vibrators come in. As the name suggests, they vigorously vibrate concrete to ensure a smooth and even finish. There are a few different kinds of concrete vibration, including form vibration, surface vibration, and internal vibration. Internal vibration is the focus of the options below because it can be done by a single operator. The way it works is by inserting a probe attached to a hose into the concrete. The end vibrates to deliver even consistency.
We’ve picked out some of the best concrete vibrators that you can get on Amazon. Many of them are handheld, so you can get professional results with minimal effort. These are the ones to get.
1. Makita Lithium-Ion Cordless Concrete Vibrator Kit, 8′
Japanese manufacturer Makita has been consistenly producing excellent tools for over a century, and this concrete vibrator combines Makita’s expertise with modern convenience. Not only is it lightweight, it’s cordless, allowing you to get power without the use of a generator. This kit includes a carrying box, a battery charger, and two batteries. The concrete vibrator delivers a modest 12,500 VPM (vibrations per minute).
Pros: Powerful, lightweight, and cordless. Tool only weighs 11 pounds. Comes with a carrying box, two batteries, and a battery charger. Dual trigger design allows you to hold it vertically or horizontally.
Cons: Somewhat expensive.
2. DEWALT 20V MAX Pencil Vibrator Kit
DeWalt makes durable and powerful tools, but that does come at a cost. This concrete vibrator is more expensive than all of the other options, but it has a variety of features to justify the cost. For one thing, it’s cordless, and it weighs less than 9 pounds. That makes it the most portable option on this list. The 4-foot long flexible shaft gives the user ample reach for different projects, and it delivers 14,000 VPM, which is more than any of the other handheld varieties.
Pros: Delivers powerful vibration in a very lightweight package — it weighs 8.75 pounds and vibrates at 14,000 VPM. Cordless for added convenience and portability.
3. Chicago Electric Concrete Vibrator
This option from Chicago Electric delivers 13,000 VPM and weighs a reasonable 16 pounds. Like most concrete vibrators (but unlike the Makita), this option is corded, so a nearby power source will be required. It does not come with additional accessories like a carrying case, but it will be ready to go out of the box. An added convenience is that it can run without requiring constant pressure on the trigger, thanks to the lock-on button.
Pros: Delivers solid power, operating at a maximum of 13,000 VPM. 16-pound weight is not unreasonably heavy.
Cons: May not be ideal for larger projects or long-term use.