There are two types of portable cement mixer that can be found on the majority of building sites across the UK. The most common are known as drum mixers or even just cement mixers. They are almost always orange in colour and likely to be made by Belle. The other type, which is becoming more well-known, is pan mixers.
The quintessential cement mixer which most people would recognise is the Minimix, made by Belle. The key component is the central drum, that rotates continually. A set of fins fixed to the inside of the drum slices through the cement mixture and then it cascades down as it approaches the top of the drum. These iconic cement mixers come in electric and petrol* versions.
Altrad Belle also produce the Premier XT, which is powered by diesel* or electric and uses a tipping wheel to dispense the mixture. This has a larger (5:3) drum capacity than the Minimix, so is suited to mid-large sized projects. Alongside a Belle Warrior wheelbarrow, this is a tried and trusted option for concreting.
If you are using a resin adhesive rather than cement, you need a pan mixer, otherwise known as a forced action mixer. The mixing is done by a set of paddles driven by a powerful motor, which mixes more thoroughly. Instead of a rotating drum it remains in an upright position, hence its other name; upright mixer. Rather than tipping the whole drum forward to dispense the mix, it’s just a case of sliding a hatch underneath to release the amount you need.
The disadvantage to forced action mixers used to be the arduous cleaning process. At the end of a day’s surfacing or construction, the prospect of removing hardened resin and cement was not a welcome one. However, leading manufacturer Baron have now developed the Easy Clean which is a set of covers that can just be removed after use. Residual mixture can then be removed from the Easy Clean components, leaving your pan mixer ready for the next job.
*We would not recommend using a diesel-powered or petrol-powered mixer indoors because of the lack of ventilation. If you need advice on which mixer is right for you, please call Red Band Sales and Support on 0116 260 2601.