Mix Your Own Concrete and More With the 7 Best Cement Mixers

A cement mixer is a handy tool that can be used for a wide variety of residential home repair and remodeling projects. And it can mix more than concrete. If you will be doing jobs involving cement, mortar, or similar materials regularly, a cement mixer can save you a lot of time and energy.

Best Cement Mixers

    The Expert: I’ve been involved with construction, maintenance, and home renovation for more than 30 years from both a personal and professional standpoint. I owned a maintenance and construction business with my husband for nearly 20 years. I love my home—a fixer-upper built in the 1800s that’s located in a rural mountain region of Pennsylvania—but it involves a lot of maintenance and upkeep, so I am always on the lookout for tools or equipment that can make DIY projects easier. I’ve used numerous cement mixers of different types for a variety of projects including block walls, cement stairs, and plaster jobs.

    Finding the Right Cement Mixer

    Cement mixers vs. mortar mixers: Cement mixers are often used to make concrete, and it’s important to be sure you are actually getting a cement mixer for that purpose. These machines are designed to combine the typical “recipe” ingredients: portland cement, sand, stone (or gravel), and water. But there’s a different type of mixer that is sometimes mistakenly called a cement mixer even though it isn’t intended to be used for cement. These are mortar mixers (sometimes called mud mixers), and as the name implies, these can mix mortar, which combines cement, sand, and water, and also plaster. They shouldn’t be used to mix concrete because the gravel will quickly wear on the machines.

    Type: Cement mixers come in two main types:

    • Barrel mixers have a rotating round barrel that spins to keep mixing the cement mixture. This type of mixer is a better option if you plan to do a lot of larger jobs or will be using the mixer frequently.
    • Handheld mixers consist of a long handle with drill-like apparatus at the end, which you insert into a bucket or barrel of materials to blend them.

      Power source: Handheld mixers are typically electric-powered tools. Barrel mixers are available in either gas or electric models. If you will be using the mixer at your home where you can easily plug it in, an electric model is more convenient because you don’t need to worry about filling it up with gas repeatedly.

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      Capacity: A barrel mixer’s capacity tells you the volume of materials the barrel can hold. If you plan to do mostly smaller jobs, you don’t need to get a high-volume mixer because you will likely end up wasting materials and will also need more space to store the mixer. For common DIY projects, a barrel capacity of around 6 cubic feet or smaller should be sufficient.

      How We Evaluated These Cement Mixers

      The models below include both handheld and barrel mixers. In evaluating a range of cement mixers, I drew upon my own experience in using a variety of mixers. I also consulted manufacturer listings to get key specs such as power source, important features, and capacity (if applicable). Lastly, I studied hundreds of customer reviews on Amazon, Lowe’s, and Home Depot. After considering all that information, I recommend these seven models as the best cement mixers.

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Reliable Barrel Model

Kobalt 4-cf 0.5-hp Cement Mixer

Key Specs

  • Model: SGY-CM1
  • Type: Barrel
  • Power Source: Electric
  • Capacity: 4 cu ft

Kobalt is a popular brand among DIYers and trade professionals, and this mixer delivers the reliable performance you would expect from the Lowe’s-owned company. It’s easy to transport, because it weighs only 83 pounds and has sturdy 10-inch wheels that can navigate rough terrain. Some customers report that it might not line up easily with a high wheelbarrow, so be prepared to raise the mixer a bit or opt for a lower-profile wheelbarrow.

  • Easy-to-clean molded barrel
  • Quick assembly
  • Might not line up exactly with wheelbarrow

Best Large Barrel Mixer

Ryobi Portland Cement Mixer

Key Specs

  • Model: RMX001
  • Type: Barrel
  • Power Source: Electric
  • Capacity: 5 cu ft

Ryobi is another name you will likely recognize, and this mixer earned high marks from reviewers who praised its workhorse durability and dependable operation. Many users were also fans of the tilting, pivoting mechanism that allows you to easily adjust the barrel positioning to accommodate your project setup. Although it is designed to handle three 80-pound bags of cement mix, some users said it seemed to perform at its best when only two bags were mixed at a time.

  • Easy assembly
  • Dependable performance
  • Some users said it slowed down a bit when filled to capacity

Best Compact Barrel Mixer

Klutch Portable Electric Cement Mixer 2-cf Poly Drum

Key Specs

  • Model: 49417
  • Type: Barrel
  • Power Source: Electric
  • Capacity: 2 cu ft

With its small capacity barrel, this mixer is best for people who tend to do smaller jobs. The compact size makes it easy to store or move around. It’s low to the ground, so you need a shorter wheelbarrow or you can also pour directly into a trench or other location.

  • Lightweight
  • Doesn’t take up a lot of space
  • Not as versatile as larger mixers

Comfortable Handheld Mixer

Vivohome 110V 1600W Electric Handheld Cement Mixer

Key Specs

  • Model: ‎VH378
  • Type: Handheld
  • Power Source: Electric
  • Capacity: N/A

The lightweight yet durable design means this handheld mixer is easy to operate and gets the job done efficiently. The ergonomic steering wheel handle design makes it comfortable on your hands. The machine offers seven speed settings so you can adjust it according to the thickness of the materials you are mixing.

  • Auto shutoff prevents overheating
  • Ergonomic handle design
  • Users noted that it tends to move quickly even at the lowest speed, so be sure to have materials in a tall enough bucket or they might splatter

Most Affordable Handheld Mixer

BriSunshine 2100W Electric Handheld Cement Mixer

Key Specs

  • Model: CA043U
  • Type: Handheld
  • Power Source: Electric
  • Capacity: N/A

This budget-friendly handheld mixer is a great option for people who plan to do occasional small jobs and don’t want to invest in a pricey machine. At less than 11 pounds, it’s easy to handle without a lot of exertion. Plus, it offers six adjustable speed settings.

  • Might not be durable enough for heavy usage

Easy-to-Use Handheld Mixer

Kobalt 1.9-hp Cement Mixer

Key Specs

  • Model: GSKR6306
  • Type: Handheld
  • Power Source: Electric
  • Capacity: N/A

Here’s a Kobalt option for people who prefer a handheld mixer. The soft-start technology, which gradually increases the mixing speed after start-up, is a nice feature that helps avoid messy splashes and promotes longer motor life. It also has variable speed operation so you can adjust it depending on the materials you are using.

  • Variable speed options
  • Durable die-cast gear box
  • Some customers report the brush wears out fairly quickly

Strong and Sturdy Barrel Model

Kushlan 350 DD Concrete Mixer

Key Specs

  • Model: 350DD
  • Type: Barrel
  • Power Source: Electric
  • Capacity: 3.5 cu ft

This mixer’s durable construction makes it a dependable machine you can rely upon to hold up even with heavy use. It boasts a strong steel frame and polyurethane tires that won’t go flat. The polyethylene drum is built to withstand wear and resist damage from the elements.

  • Easy to clean
  • Sufficient volume capacity for most common DIY jobs
  • At 100 pounds, not as lightweight as compact models

Advice for Cement Mixing Newbies from Expert Bobbi Dempsey

PM: How are cement and concrete different?

B.D: The terms are commonly used interchangeably, but they are actually two different things. Cement (most commonly portland cement) is an ingredient used to make concrete. When mixed with sand and water, cement turns into mortar that can be used for a variety of masonry projects involving bricks, blocks, or stucco.

PM: Tell us about one recent cement project you’ve completed.

B.D: We discovered that raccoons were attempting to dig through/under the wooden wall underneath our deck that led to a crawl space. We removed the wood and replaced it with a footer and cinder block wall (pictured above).

PM: What advice do you have for first-timers who are new to cement mixing?

B.D: Be very diligent about safety! Barrel mixers, in particular, can be dangerous if you get hands or fingers too close while the machine is running. Keeps your hands away from the barrel while it is spinning. Also, be conscientious with cleanup. Remove leftover materials, and clean your mixer thoroughly after every use.

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