Tools for Concrete Work

The many tools required for concrete work include those for breaking up existing concrete, pouring new concrete, and polishing and smoothing the concrete. Some tools help prevent chipping in concrete slabs while others can be used to prepare surfaces for concrete. Always follow safety instructions carefully when operating concrete power tools and other heavy equipment.

  1. Power Tools

    • Types of power tools used in concrete work include combination hammers, which "bridge the gap between a rotary hammer and light demolition hammer," according to Concrete Network. Combination hammers can be used for chiseling, chipping as well as major concrete drilling projects. Demolition hammers are used for jobs such as breaking up sidewalks up to 6 inches thick, and often feature vibration-absorbing handles to make the work less strenuous. Hand-held concrete grinders are used to smooth bumps in vertical and horizontal concrete surfaces. They can also be used to remove paint and graffiti and for prepping floor surfaces for coating.

    Surface Preparation Equipment

    • Concrete shot blasters are utilized for cleaning, stripping and profiling surfaces to prepare surfaces for coatings and overlays. Shot blasters leave a dry, roughened surface texture for recoating and resurfacing jobs. Grinders are versatile pieces of equipment with numerous attachments for jobs such as paint removal, thinning of coatings, light texturing and polishing. Scarifiers are used to remove concrete more quickly and efficiently than grinders due to their multi-tipped flails (wheels) that pummel concrete.


    • Pumping is a method of placing concrete, and sometimes is the only method when placing concrete on high rise buildings. A boom pump is a type of truck used for pouring concrete slabs, high rises and large commercial and industrial jobs. Truck-mounted pumps range from single axle to six-axle rigs. Line pumps are portable units utilized in pouring structural concrete, foamed concrete, mortar, sludge, grout, wet screeds and shotcrete. Separate placing booms are used when boom trucks are not available or convenient.

    Finishing Tools

    • Concrete finishing tools include spreaders, which are typically short-handled shovels with square ends used for spreading fresh concrete. Straightedges are used for removing excess concrete and creating a grade for concrete surfaces. Tampers consolidate concrete by pushing coarse aggregate below the concrete surface. Edges create a radius along the concrete edge which help keep a piece of concrete chip-resistant once the job is complete. Trowels are used to form a hard, dense surface on concrete.

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