Toolipedia: Paddle Mixer

Toolipedia: Everything you wanted to know about paddle/mud mixers 

A paddle mixer lying next to its bit | Construction Pro Tips

What is a paddle mixer? 

A paddle mixer is similar to a drill but used exclusively to mix thick liquids and pastes like mortar, thinset, and drywall mud. Paddle mixers run at about half the RPMs than most drills do (to prevent splashing mud everywhere), but they typically have much higher torque to help them power large paddles and mixing bits through thick mud. This tool is also known as a mud mixer. Here are the basic parts of a paddle mixer:

  1. Handles
  2. Trigger
  3. Motor housing
  4. Chuck
  5. Battery (Some are corded)
  6. Variable speed control (not shown)

 How is a paddle mixer used?

A paddle/mud mixer is used similar to a baking paddle mixer: water is added (usually in a bucket) to a powdered material like mortar. A paddle or mixing bit is installed in the paddle mixer and inserted into the mix and spun until the desired consistency is reached. Paddle mixers are used by tile and flooring installers, masons, and drywall tapers.

 What are the different type of paddle mixers?

  • Most mixers have two handles perpendicular to the chuck, and some have an additional “D” style handle opposite the chuck
  • Some are corded, and others battery powered
  • Some chucks can only receive a specific size threaded paddle shaft, but there are adjustable chucks that can handle multiple-sized smooth shafts, usually up to 1/2 inch.

What makes a good paddle mixer?

  • Two handles
  • Higher torque
  • Trigger lock
  • Variable speed
  • LED Light
  • Adjustable handles
  • Onboard chuck key

Milwaukee makes a great cordless paddle mixer.

Paddle mixer tip

Filling the mixer bucket with a hose | Construction Pro Tips

Fill the Mixer Bucket

Keep a bucket on hand to place the mixer in when you’re not using it. Fill the bucket 3/4 full of water. That way the paddle will stay clean and  and the bucket won’t tip over when you leave the heavy mixer in it.

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