Concrete vibrators eliminate water and air bubbles by thoroughly shaking any recently poured concrete.
After every pour, thousands of debilitating air bubbles are trapped inside the concrete, which may cause later weaknesses.
Without effective consolidation from concrete vibrators, expect voids, honeycombing, poor rebar bonding and rock pockets from the concrete. This may affect the structural integrity of your foundation.
These tools are well suited for small tasks, such as filling insulated concrete forms and setting streetlight footers (Source).
To provide expert consolidation of concrete, the best concrete vibrator ought to be extra powerful, compact size and with a good frequency.
Best Concrete Vibrators 2018
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Concrete Vibrators 2018
- 2 1. Makita XRV02Z – Best Cordless Concrete Vibrator
- 3 2. Dewalt DC530B Cement Vibrator – Best Industrial and Residential Concrete Vibrator
- 4 3. GlobMarble Concrete Vibrator – Most Reliable Concrete Vibrator
- 5 4. Lightweight Chicago Pneumatic – Best Concrete Vibrator For Small Projects
- 6 5. USA Pro Concrete Vibrator – Best Handy and Practical Concrete Vibrator
- 7 What to Consider Before Buying a Concrete Vibrator
- 7.1 Understanding Vibration and Consolidation in depth
- 7.2 The Type of Concrete Vibrator
- 7.3 Rebar Shaker
- 7.4 Number of Vibrations and Strength
- 8 Our Final Review
|The Makita XRV02Z Concrete Vibrator|
|The Dewalt DC530B Cement Vibrator|
|The GlobMarble Concrete Vibrator|
|The Lightweight Chicago Pneumatic Concrete Vibrator|
|The USA Pro Concrete Vibrator|
1. Makita XRV02Z – Best Cordless Concrete VibratorThe Makita XRV02Z Concrete Vibrator is a well-balanced, innovative and high quality cordless concrete vibrator.
Besides being cordless, this vibrator is increasingly becoming popular due to its affordable nature.
It measures only 39” x 24” x 6, with a weight of 11.4lbs, making it among the lightest vibrators in the market. The Makita XRV02Z is also compact with an ergonomic design.
This concrete vibrator produces 12,500 vibrations per minute with a dual-direction switch that ascertains s consolidation ability.
Being cordless, it is powered by an 18-volt lithium ion batteries, with a star symbol, ascertaining its durability and long life.
The vibrator’s star protection computer controls enhance its performance and battery life by enabling users to monitor conditions during use. This protects the machine from overloading, overheating and over-discharging.
The Makita XRV02Z Concrete Vibrator works well for small-scale jobs that don’t require much powering. Despite being not powerful enough, this concrete vibrator is compact and easy to maneuver.
2. Dewalt DC530B Cement Vibrator – Best Industrial and Residential Concrete VibratorIf you are looking for a reliable residential and industrial vibrator, the Dewalt DC530B Cement Vibrator would be a perfect choice. It is a cordless concrete vibrator that offers great convenience.
This vibrator measures 8” x 46.5” x 3.8” with a weight of 8 pounds, perhaps the reason for its compact and ergonomic nature. It features a 1-1/8- inch head that delivers 14,000 vibrations per minute as well as a four feet long shaft and an isolated motor.
This is a clear proof of its effective consolidation, efficiency, and flexibility.
As mentioned, it is suitable for both residential and industrial operations, boasting of great functionality, efficiency, and performance. The Dewalt DC530B Cement Vibrator is a cordless concrete vibrator that uses batteries enhancing its convenience.
Experts attest that this is a perfect concrete vibrator to use in getting concrete in tight areas and small-scale jobs such as minor street repair. However, for full completion, have several charged batteries as backups.
With a completely isolated drive shaft and motor, the Dewalt DC530B Cement Vibrator provides exceptional durability as well as an easy maneuver.
3. GlobMarble Concrete Vibrator – Most Reliable Concrete VibratorThose looking for an effective and highly reliable concrete vibrator should consider the GlobMarble Concrete Vibrator. It comes with loads of functional features that promote its performance and overall reliability during concrete works.
Starting off is the IP65 protection feature that provides complete protection of the machine from external contaminants such as dust penetration, splash water, and other items that often get into a concrete builder when in use.
Due to this, 100% continuous operations is guaranteed. The vibrating motors are heat resistant and withstand temperatures of up to 180°C. This enables the machine to work all the time without downtimes or heat breaks.
Unlike other concrete vibrators of the same caliber, the GlobMarble Concrete Vibrator provides a long life service with minimal maintenance requirements. This cuts on costs yet ascertaining reliability.
The vibrators powerful motor produces both small and large volume vibrations with an option of adjusting its vibration force. It can also be used as a vibrating source for vibrating screens, concrete forms, vibrating dryer and vibrating fielders among others.
4. Lightweight Chicago Pneumatic – Best Concrete Vibrator For Small ProjectsThe Lightweight Chicago Pneumatic Concrete Vibrator is an ideal choice for construction, patching, and other small project repair jobs. It is feature packed with all you need to undertake light concrete duties. It is reliable, compact, efficient and affordable.
Measuring only 28” x 8” x 4” and a weight of 15lbs, users attest how easy it is to maneuver and use this concrete vibrator. It is overly compact and lightweight. It has a diameter of 1-3/8 inches and a maximum speed of 13,000 vibrations per minute.
The vibration head has a length of 15-1/8 inches for long and slightly deep concrete consolidation. The Lightweight Chicago Pneumatic Concrete Vibrator also has a lock-on button that allows extended use without worrying about its controls.
For ascertained durability, the Lightweight Chicago Pneumatic Concrete Vibrator is made of a durable cast aluminum body that doesn’t give in to tough working concrete consolidation. Besides, the vibrator is easy to handle with an easy to change shaft.
Apart from the lengthy head, the vibrating head gains speeds of up to 4,000 RPM providing an easy and quick consolidation. It is a perfect cheap concrete vibrator for patching, repair jobs, and light constructions.
5. USA Pro Concrete Vibrator – Best Handy and Practical Concrete VibratorThe USA Pro Concrete Vibrator is an electric, handy and practical concrete vibrator that works well for light and medium tasks. Despite the low price, this concrete vibrator may not provide much power as anticipated.
The 60-inches by 35mm shaft needle makes it a perfect concrete vibrator that will vibrate bubbles out of the cement and concrete effectively.
The 6.5ft power cord provides convenience, though not as much as it could be battery charged. It works with 110V power supply.
The 1-3/8 inch breadth head delivers vibrations of up to 12,000 vibrations per minute, a perfect choice for eliminating all air bubbles and water rapidly. Adding to this, there is a trigger lock feature making it easy to use.
What to Consider Before Buying a Concrete Vibrator
With the plenty of concrete vibrators present in the market, how do you get to know the best?
Well, there are several factors to look into before settling on one. The best should provide just enough vibrations to eliminate air bubbles and water presence.
Note that excessive vibrations can cause bulged walls or blowouts. Therefore, finding the perfect and most suitable vibrator for your intended tasks is of immense importance.
Outlined below are some of the factors to consider when searching for the best concrete vibrator on the market currently.
Understanding Vibration and Consolidation in depth
Before digging into other factors such as the type of vibrator—a key consideration during purchase—it is essential first to understand how consolidation works. That way, you will have enough knowledge to evaluate what will work best for you.
Why Do People Use Vibrators in Concrete?
People use vibrators to help consolidate the concrete. Consolidation is the process by which all the trapped air from freshly placed concrete is removed.
Note that although one cannot possibly remove all the trapped air, it is possible to eliminate most of the large air bubbles. When using an internal vibrator, for instance, you can drive it down quickly then lift it slowly. That way, air bubbles escape.
What Kind of Planning Is Required for Proper Consolidation?
Proper consolidation requires careful and deliberate planning. It is not just about purchasing the concrete vibrator but instead ensuring that all the other aspects are also in place.
The following are some items you must plan for
- Ensure you have sufficient workforce to cover the pour
- Check to guarantee correct truck spacing
- A reliable power source
- The mix design, aggregate size, and slump
- Determine how many vibrators you will need for proper consolidation
- Determine the amount of form release
- Check to see if the vibrator’s length is adequate
- Ensure you have enough timing for vibration
- Backup equipment
What Affects Proper Consolidation?
Three things might affect your consolidation irrespective of the quality of your concrete vibrator.
The Mix Design
When it comes to mixing design, it is essential first to consider plasticizer vs. non-plasticizer. Whenever the mix contains a plasticizer, then the vibration effort is considerably less.
Second, one must also consider stiffness. Stiff concrete has a higher risk of a honeycomb. Also, when consolidating, you will need to work stiff concrete more than fluid concrete.
Third, is the wetness factor. Whenever a mix is too wet, it tends to become unstable increasing the risk of segregation which will in turn cause honeycombing, sand streaking and excessive bleeding. Note that SCC does not require vibration.
With this in mind, you are now in a position to ensure your mix design is right which will, in turn, facilitate proper consolidation as soon as you start using your concrete vibrator.
The Slump or The Spread
Regarding the slump, the critical thing to look out for is workability. Workability is the factor that determines how the mix will react when you pull the vibrator out. Will the vibrator leave holes or will the concrete seal up?
The mix ought to be workable such that when you pull your vibrator out, it will not leave a big hole behind. Mainly, the blend should be creamy, and neither stiff nor wet.
The three types of form release include Barrier, Reactive and a combination of Barrier and Reactive. The barrier is no longer in use, but when it comes to the other two, the only way to determine what is right for you is to start with the specifications.
The Type of Concrete Vibrator
There are several types of concrete vibrators out on the market. They include:
Perhaps the most common concrete vibrator in use currently, immersion vibrators have a steel closed and rounded tip that encloses the vibrating element. The vibrator’s tip is connected by a flexible hose to an electric motor.
For best results, the diameter of the flexible hose ought to be small enough to fit between the reinforcing bars. For effective consolidation, it is recommended that it is inserted at intervals of 24 inches or alternatively, 8 times the tube diameter.
Insertion time when in use should vary between 30 seconds to 2 minutes as concrete is poured in layers at least thicker than 24 inches high. For beginners, the vibrator should be vertically inserted into the mix and slowly withdrawn.
Immersion vibrators work by allowing air bubbles to float up as they exit the concrete. To facilitate this, the tip should be withdrawn slowly to facilitate upward air movement, perhaps about 3-inches per second.
For cases where the wall is poured in multiple lifts, ensure that the immersion tip inserts deep enough, extending up to 3 to 6 inches of the previous layer. Buyers can always choose the radius of the tip depending on the intended use.
Unlike immersion vibrators, external vibrators are attached to the concrete’s formwork at certain points. Determining the location of these points involves considering the thickness of the concrete and the concrete’s mass.
When attached, external vibrators exert direct vibration effect on the formwork and concrete. This is probably the reason why they consume more power compared to other vibrators.
Besides, they consolidate concrete to a radius of 18 inches away from the attached formwork.
External concrete vibrators are preferred in activities where heavy or column concentration of rebar may result in tangling of the internal head.
Such activities include casting yards and precasting facilities where other vibrators such as immersion vibrators cannot be used.
As the name suggests, surface vibrators are placed at the top of concrete being poured. They work well in shallow structures and slabs as well as concrete with a low water to cement ratio.
They produce relatively low vibration rates. Thus, they are not suitable for heavy or thick concrete layers.
Rebar shakers are a good alternative to traditional vibration techniques. The working technology of rebar shakers is similar to regular vibrators, but are slipped over the top of reinforcing bars.
They shake, producing vibrations that are transmitted to the concrete.
Rebar shakers are available in various diameters, which often save a lot of working hours as well as reduces clean-up activities.
Overall, they shorten the time taken to pour concrete into a cell or a tight space.
Number of Vibrations and Strength
Besides the type, this is the other crucial factor to consider before settling on one concrete vibrator. Vibrator models are different with different vibration speed, often marked as Vibrations Per Minute.
This indirectly determines the effectiveness of the machine as well as the time taken to complete the task.
Whereas some vibrators are designed to shake a certain area, others have the power to shake almost the entire piece. Always make a choice based on your intended application.
Other essential factors to consider before buying the concrete vibrator include;
- The number of reviews – it is imperative if you consider advice concerning the best and worst concrete vibrators on the market to avoid. This will aid you to narrow your choices.
- Quality – going for a premium quality concrete vibrator can be quite expensive but worthy. Such machines are reliable and durable.
- The cost – there are various concrete vibrators coming in a wide range of prices. Go for one that suits your budget. Note that not all expensive vibrators are the best.
- Concrete vibrator’s weight – always find a lightweight and easy to handle concrete vibrator.
Our Final Review
Known for their power and versatility, concrete vibrators are increasingly becoming popular.
They are widely used by both residential and industrial contractors to provide guaranteed concrete consolidation.
Despite the daunting selection process, always remember that the best concrete vibrator ought to be powerful, sufficient speed and vibrations, lightweight, and of course, suits your budget.
With our concrete vibrator review above, which one is your preferred model? Please share with us below!