How to Mix Concrete in a Mixer

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A portable concrete mixer provides an economical solution for do-it-yourself concrete projects. A mixer eliminates the need for backbreaking manual labor to mix up small batches of concrete. Both electric and gasoline-fueled mixers may be rented out by the hour or day. The equipment can be rolled right on site to build the slab for a garden shed or walkway.

Things You'll Need

  • Cement mixer
  • Heavy-duty three-prong extension cord
  • Gasoline
  • Bagged cement
  • Sand
  • Water
  • Roll the cement mixer onto level ground near the place the finished concrete will be spread. Lock the wheel brakes. Extend and lock the stabilizing legs (if the mixer has them) into place.

  • Tip the barrel to the 45 degree up-angled position. Click the position lock into place.

  • Dump bagged cement mix into the mixer barrel. Use one bag at a time unless otherwise permitted by the specific mixer instruction sheet. Add sand to the mixer barrel in the proportion listed on the cement bag.

  • Plug the heavy-duty three-pronged electrical extension cord into the mixer plug receptacle. Plug the other end of the cord into a live electrical outlet. For gasoline-powered mixers, fill the mixer tank with gas and twist the gas cap tightly closed.

  • Turn the mixer on to the lowest setting. Allow it to run until the sand and cement are well combined. Turn the mixer speed up to a medium setting. Pour in the volume of water indicated on the cement bag label. Use a bucket to add the water in a steady stream as the mixer continues turning.

  • Switch the mixer off when all ingredients are completely combined. The mix should be slightly soupy without any dry clumps. Release the barrel lock and tip the concrete out into a wheelbarrow.

  • Clean the mixer immediately before concrete can harden on its surfaces. Unplug the equipment and then hose it off with a strong stream of water.

Tips & Warnings

  • Put on a dust mask before opening the bagged cement mix and keep it on throughout the mixing process to protect from inhaling particulates.

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  • Photo Credit David Silva
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