Whatever brand or model of concrete power trowel you have, you’re going to need high quality blades for a smooth and consistent finish for optimum results. Choose between walk-behind power trowels or ride-ons.
Combination blades are designed for operators who wish to use one blade for both floating and finishing applications. During the initial stage of power trowelling the blade is set flat and is used for floating. As the slab firms up the blade pitch is increased to produce a smooth finish. Some power trowel operators opt to use a combination blade after pan floating, to get rid of any small drag marks that may be left over from the floating process. Combination blades come in different dimensions, depending on the size of your power trowel.
Finishing blades are designed to produce a smooth and polished finish to the concrete surface. After the slab has firmed up, blade pitch is increased to a greater angle resulting in a smooth and polished finish. One advantage of a finishing blade is that when one side wears out, the blade can be turned around for a fresh new edge. Finishing blades come in different dimensions, depending on the size of your power trowel.
One of the most important things you can do to keep your trowel blades working well for longer is to clean them after each use to prevent build-up of concrete. And remember, good quality trowel machine blades will always last longer, but not forever! If one blade becomes worn, all blades should be replaced at the same time to ensure consistency in the final concrete finish.
Whatever kind of concrete power trowel you have, a top-quality pan float will make the job quicker and easier. In the hands of an experienced concrete finisher, a pan float can produce a flatter floor as they are more efficient in removing imperfections, bumps and voids. The larger surface helps to distribute the weight of the machine more evenly over a large area — it appears to ‘float’ on top of the concrete instead sinking in, and the lighter pressure causes less dishing or troughing. Once the surface has been 'floated', the concrete pan float is simply removed to free up the finishing blades to do their thing. Here’s what else you need to know before you purchase a concrete pan float.
Pan floats are circular discs made of high-grade steel. They have an upturned edge and clip onto finishing or combination blades on a walk-behind or non-overlapping ride-on power trowels. They have universal fittings so can me attached to different trowel brands. Pan float diameters range from 600mm (24 inch) to 1525mm (60 inch) to fit all walk-behind and ride-on power trowel machines. Note that if you have an overlapping ride-on power trowel machine, you won’t be able to install float pans.
Pan floats are available in flat or curved options. Curved (convex) pan floats are best suited for use on walk-behind trowels and mechanical drive riders, whereas flat pan floats are ideal for use with high-powered hydrostatic drive ride-on machines as the extra friction between pan and surface can put more strain on the gearbox.
Flextool has a selection of concrete trowel machine pan floats across Flextool and MQ Whiteman. Whatever the demands of your business, Flextool has the right concrete finishing accessories for the job.