Next in our series of buyer’s guides for power tools, Makita provides some guidance on what to look for when buying a new paddle mixer for plaster and render.
A mixer is a valuable part of a professional’s kit, whether that is mixing plaster, render, mortar, floor levelling compound, tile adhesive or paint. However, not all mixers are suitable for all materials. For example, while battery powered handheld mixers provide the flexibility and convenience of cordless, often they are not designed for mixing more viscous materials and using these mixers in this way can shorten the lifespan of the tool.
Traditionally, it has only been corded paddle mixers that can offer the power required for heavy-duty tasks. However, advances in battery and tool technology means that there are now cordless options that deliver the performance and run-times required for even the most demanding tasks. For example, the Makita 40VMax UT001G XGT Brushless Mixer, delivers a power output that matches corded alternatives.
This level of performance is in part due to the inclusion of brushless motor technology – a key feature that professionals should look for when selecting a cordless mixer. Motors with brushes rely on contact between carbon brushes and a rotary electrical switch to drive the action of the tool. While this is effective, the continual contact causes friction that generates heat and wastes energy. In contrast, with a brushless motor, an on-board electronic circuit sends electric currents to convert the copper coils within the motor into electromagnets. This creates north and south magnetic poles that attract and repel the permanent magnets on the rotor shaft to rotate it continuously. By eliminating this wasted energy, a brushless motor can produce more torque, allowing the same results to be achieved with less power used. In fact, choosing a tool with a brushless motor can extend run times by up to 50% per battery charge for greater productivity and fewer recharges.
As the types of material being mixed can vary, it is valuable to select a machine that is adaptable to the task at hand, such as compatibility with different mixing blades. As an example, the Makita UT001G has an M12 fitting as standard and is also supplied with an M14 adaptor, allowing a wider range of commonly available mixing blades to be fitted. In addition, the uniquely designed 220mm diameter propeller blade supplied with the UT001G can be inverted and a second blade added to provide better performance when mixing larger volumes in deeper containers.
Control over the speed of the mixer is another factor that needs to be considered. Lower speeds are generally required when mixing materials with higher viscosities, such as concrete, while higher speeds are more suitable for materials such as plaster and paint. Also, better control of the mixer’s speed may be needed to prevent splashing and waste of the material being mixed. The Makita UT001G features a two-speed mechanical gearbox offering 0-500rpm in low-speed mode and 0-920rpm in high-speed mode. There is also a variable speed control dial that allows more precise adjustment of the blade speed when necessary.
Due to the nature of paddle mixers, they must be sufficiently resistant to dust and water to ensure they are not damaged by day-to-day use or when cleaning the machine. For example, the UT001G has a battery compartment and switch covers designed to protect these vital components from dust and water ingress.
However, it is also valuable to look for tools with battery systems that have been designed for durability and engineered to withstand tough environments. The XGT battery is IPX4 rated, which means that it is splash and shower proof. The batteries also have a heavy-duty outer casing and cell holder as well as shock absorbing housing to protect the battery if dropped.
User comfort and safety
It is also important to look carefully how easy and comfortable the machine will be to use. Simple features such as the shape and design of the handles can make the machine more controllable and comfortable operate. The double D-shaped ergonomic soft grip handles of the UT001G reduces user fatigue and the placement of the controls is designed to make operation as straightforward as possible. In addition, its Soft Start function, which ramps up the mixer speed when started, protects the user by minimising the immediate rotational load transferred to them.
To find out more about Makita’s range of XGT tools visit Cordless Tools XGT (40V / 40Vx2) (makitauk.com).
If you want to watch a video that demonstrates the Makita UT001G 40VMax XGT Brushless Cordless Mixer in action click here.