Ordinary drum mixer or forced action mixer? Is one better than the other? Or are both good at mixing different things?

Ordinary drum mixer or forced action mixer? Is one better than the other? Or are both good at mixing different things?

The cement mixer, also known as the ordinary drum mixer, is the preferred mixer in most parts of the world. The reason being, that in most parts of the world, they just don't know that there's an alternative.   

The cement mixer used to be a very durable machine, but today most cement mixers last less than a couple of years. Manufacturers seem to care more about making them as cheap as can be, than making them last.


The ordinary drum mixer doesn't have gears, and often very little copper in the windings of the motor. The shaft only drives the V-belt in a cement mixer, so there's no need for it to be as strong as the shaft and gearmotor of a forced action mixer. On a forced action mixer, the shaft drives a number of gears, and the force needs to be able to reach the shovels/blades – and they need to be able to mix a potentially tough product. This is why the motor and gear have to be powerful in a forced action mixer.

Because of the forced action mixers superior force – and because of its construction – the mixing time is cut short. And it is much easier to estimate the mixing time. Most mixes only take around 3 to 5 minutes in a forced action mixer!


But this doesn’t mean that you should always choose a forced action mixer over the regular cement mixer. They each have their qualities and attributes.

For instance: it is not preferable to mix earth-moist concrete (EMC) in a cement mixer. The mixture often gets too wet, so that when you screed or plaster, water will keep surfacing – or some of the product will turn into small snowball-like, compact balls.

BUT a quality tumble mixer is sometimes better at mixing concrete with aggregate than a forced action mixer is. This mix is often easier to get out of a tumble mixer’s drum than out of the chute of a forced action mixer, and this kind of concrete is often laid in a thick layer, where all the molecules don’t have to be activated, and so there is no need for the efficient forced action mixer.

If you do mix concrete with aggregate in a forced action mixer, make sure to use mixing arms with rubber blades! Read when mixing blades with rubber is the right option.