Ok so you’re on the hunt out for the best tool box and it has to meet your needs. Tool boxes can be all kinds of sizes, but for this write up we will try to address what we believe to be the best in each of 3 categories we have chosen. We’ve chosen categories that make the most sense for most people.
Our category choices are:
* Regular sized tool boxes you would typically carry with you
* Affordable tool chests that can be moved on wheels and finally
* Premium quality “best you can buy” for the money under £1000
Category 1: “best small tool box”
What makes a good small sized tool box then?
It needs to be one you can carry most of your tools in for a start but also:
* Easy to use
How we chose
We reviewed the current overall market and picked out 3 contenders for this category.
We have already discounted many that weren’t at the top of their games, so any of these 3 would be great
It’s a personal taste decision ultimately.
Price wise, most of these kinds of portable tool boxes are typically under the £50 mark.
Our top 3 small sized portable tool boxes are as follows:
The Stanley Fatmax – a waterproof toolbox that has one of the sexiest names on the planet.
Easy to use
Holds most common tools
Measures 71 x 30.8 x 28.5 cm
The Makita 821551 – handy to know, it is part of a small family of storage boxes that can all be latched together when stored.
Buy as many of these as you want and you can stack and lock them together(look)
Measures 39.6 x 29.6 x 21 cm
The Stanley STA194858– a tough toolbox with metal locking clamps. It also has top sections suitable for small items like screws etc.
Features padlock eye for additional security
Metal locking clamps
Measures 25.5 x 24 x 50.5 cm
Our winner for best small tool box is a joint effort, and not surprisingly it’s both of the Stanley toolboxes.
The two Stanley tool boxes get top recommendations in this category because:
* One offers a larger size and tough rugged waterproof features
* The second is ideal yet tough for most normal tools.
* The Stanley brand is synonymous with quality (almost 700,000 “likes” on their facebook page!)
The Stanley Fatmax is perfect for all your larger tools. Pop the bigger tools and and you’re good to go.
* The half sized tote tray inside is good for a few small bits.
* This tool box is not ideal for storing lots of smaller tools as it will get messy.
The Stanley STA194858 then fills the gap for the perfect tool box for your smaller items.
* It’s a more compact size, yet tough, with metal latches and has waterproof capabilities.
Category 2: “best tool chest on wheels”
Our thoughts we had when choosing which ones stood out
We wanted to look at and identify possible leaders in this area. Obviously on wheels, and must be easy to pull, move and offer good solid drawer action as well when fully loaded. Lockable drawers is also a must have feature.
Price wise, we found that most of these kinds of tool chest are typically under £300, some even under £100. For this money you get what you expect. A tool chest on wheels that does what it’s supposed to and does it fine. (If you really need the best you’ll have to look at the next category for the premium tool chests under £1000 as they are the “no holds barred” models).
How we chose:
* We were on the look out for as many features as possible, but all while retaining solid build quaility.
* We then identified these 3 and made our purchase.
* We filled each drawer and performed a series of opening and closing tests.
* We then looked at their overall appearance and the wheels.
Features 5 deep powder coated drawers with a smooth ball bearing movement that won’t stick when fully loaded (here is their 7 drawer model instead). Each drawer has an anti slip foam layer inside and can be locked.
A thick bar helps you to easily move the tool chest around your garage or home workshop.
A good solid tool chest at a low price
Ultra smooth drawer runners with smoothmove ball bearing technology
Comes with two keys for locking when not in use
Measures 68.5cm x 33cm x 79cm
Each drawer measures 51cm x 29cm x 9.5cm
NOTES: The overall dimensions do NOT include the handles. Handles and castors will need asembling when you receive your tool chest. You coould leave the handles off if you were putting these drawers under a worktop for example.
In this category the tool chests have to be far superior.
So, we found the ones with high end components and top notch build quality and below are our findings:
How we chose:
* They had to be heavy duty
* We then identified the ones with quality components
* We filled each drawer and performed a series of opening and closing tests.
* We then made an overall decision to find the best 3.
DJM Direct multi drawer combination unitsHere we have the brilliantly affordable totally versatile setup from DJM Direct. You can choose a number of different combinations of units. This combination is the 9 drawer small top section, plus the 3 drawer bigger mid section and the 7 drawer larger lower section. Put them all together for a great set up! You can mix and match different configurations too.
Smoother stronger ball bearings
Tough barrel locks for safer storage when not in use
Rear locking bars for extra security
Top Chest Overall Size (W x D x H): 600 x 260 x 380mm
Middle Add-On Overall Size (W x D x H): 604 x 262 x 252mm
Rollcab Overall Size (W x D x H): 618 x 330 x 830mm
Anti slip mat inside the drawers
Tough metal construction with hi-gloss triple baked enamel finish.
NOTES: There are no drawer liners with these tool boxes however you can buy your own liners and cut them to size. This is also not 100% “professional” as it is made using thin metal, but we included it because it is very low cost and offers great value for money for a lightweight unit.
Through and through this is a very high quality tool chest as used by race teams and professional garages.
Premium grade thick welded steel construction (solvent and rust resistant)
The two parts can be split if desired.
The drawers feature a “soft” shut lock mechanism so no trapped fingers.
Heavy duty castors and side bars
Gas struts make opening of the lid a nice and easy affair
Lock all drawers with a single turn of the key.
Comes supplied with two keys
Every drawer comes with anti slip matting liners
Rollcab Model No: MT6911RC-RD Specification (W x D x H): Overall Size with wheels: 1067 x 472 x 1007mm Top Drawer (x1): 937 x 410 x 122mm Small L/H Drawer (x3): 570 x 410 x 75mm Small R/H Drawer (x3): 313 x 410 x 75mm Large L/H Drawer (x2): 570 x 410 x 153mm Large R/H Drawer (x1): 313 x 410 x 153mm Net Weight: 99kg
Top Chest Model No: MT6908TC-RD Specification (W x D x H): Overall Size: 1051 x 412 x 553mm Small L/H Drawer (x3): 570 x 370 x 74mm Small R/H Drawer (x3): 313 x 370 x 74mm Large L/H Drawer (x1): 570 x 370 x 153mm Large R/H Drawer (x1): 313 x 370 x 153mm Net Weight: 56kg
NOTES: The heavy nature of this product means it will be delivered on a pallet. You will need to be able to move it yourself into position and will need to be available to accept delivery.
Look at your biggest tool you want to put in the tool box or chest and look at the tool box size. See if it will fit.
Do you need to move it around?
If so then be sure to get wheels. Locking wheels are a useful addition.
Are locks a MUST HAVE ?
For many businesses the ability to lock tools is a requirement of an insurance policy
Heavy duty or lightweight?
For spanners and sockets a lightweight model will be easier to move around. For anything heavier then a heavy duty chest will be needed.
Prioritise your “most used” tools.
There’s little point putting a tool in the box that only gets used once a year.
The best tool box for you might not be the same for others.
You need to look at your own personal needs and what tools will be used the most.
The majority of boxes and chests on this write up are actually inexpensive. Even the high end premium units can be classed as affordable (especially when you look further afield at units that cost £4000 and upwards).
Each unit on this page was very carefully selected for it’s strengths over competing products.
Quite simply they are ladders that can change length by extending outward or inward to make them larger or smaller. If you can find versatile muiltipurpose ladders then this makes them really good for lots of different things. This also makes them some of the best telescopic ladders on the market. Read our best telescopic ladder reviews to find the best.
No need for short step ladders to clean the windows and large ladders to reach the roof of your house.
With telescopic ladders you can take a small compact ladder and extend it out so it is able to reach high areas.
Almost any kind of ladder can be classed as a telescoping ladder. As long as some adjustment can be made then they can be called telescopic ladders.
Step ladders – provide you with a safe way to reach higher maybe 1 or 2 feet in height. perfect fopr reaching high shelves or painting ceilings. You can find step ladders that give different heights. With them being self supporting too, they don’t need to be leant against a wall
Multipurpose ladders – really these are specially designed advanced ladders that perform a wide range of duties. They can act as step ladders, extension ladders, and can fold up likle other single use loadder types. If a ladder can perform more than 2 or 3 duties of other ladders then you can say it is multipurpose.
Folding ladders – fold down when not in use making their storage far easier. Inside a van or car, or garden shed for example.
Telescoping extension ladders – two small ladders couple together. One of them slides upwards along the other ladder and hooks on to any one of it’s rungs, so that the ladders length can effectively double in length. Good for homes and travels well in a van.
Which ladders do you need?
For ladders that reach up to upper household windows then telescoping extension ladders would be the best answer for you. They can be a variety of lengths when not being used and can extend to a variety of lengths too.
If you need ladders but don’t want them stored outside in plain view then folding ladders would be a good fit. They can fold to fit inside a shed, car boot, van or pantry with ease.
If however you like the idea of ladders that can be used on stairways, reaching rooftops or other high places then multipurpose ladders are the way to go.
Stair ladders fall under the guise of multipurpose ladders or even folding ladders. Normal step ladders wouldn’t work as they would be off balance. The ladder steps on the upper step need to be shorter than the legs of the ladder at the bottom of the stairs.
Need more adjustment on each ladder leg? Brands such as little giant ladders allow each and every single ladder leg to be adjusted (great for uneven surfaces, as outdoor ladders or garden ladders for example).
If you are only ever going to need to reach up a little bit then normal step ladders will be good enough (to reach to change a lightbulb for example). They are self supporting and can be easily moved around anywhere without needing a wall or something else to lean against.
Note that most ladders nowadays are made from lightweight Aluminium (and some now from even lighter fibreglass) however ladders of yesteryear were generally made out of wood.
Some of the toughest ladders are light in weight and can outperform most other ladders(see the little giant revolution XE video below to see what I mean).
Which are the best ladders?
This really does come down to what is best for YOU, and of course what you think you will need them for the most. This buying guide is here to help.
My own personal preference (not those of my fellow workers here at 10 Warriors mind!) is for a multipurpose ladder that covers lot’s of different things.
Nowadays there are some amazing ladders on the market.
Some of them can reach as high as 5 metres or more and even come complete with a safety cage on top for when you are working.
Telescopic ladder reviews
So we come to the crunch. We had to think really hard about how to categorize and choose each of the ladders in question.
The truth is that it was very hard because there are a lot of really great ladders on the market at the moment.
We did find out favourite top 10 best ladders, and chose a favourite. At the same time however we wanted to let you know what we thought were the laders that made it as the best for multi use, best for small steps etc and so on, so let’s take a look at those.
Best Long Ladders
We looked at 4 sets of ladders in this category and found that one stood out. Strong, sturdy and reaches up to 8.6 metres. This is achieved by the Lewis 3-section Aluminium ladders.
Best multipurpose ladders
My own favourite here is the ergonomically designed Little Giant 5 Rung Revolution XE. Already mentioned this above, and the usual American promotional videos do help to showcase what it can do. Great for stairs.. working 90 degrees right up close to a wall, high up a house, as step ladders and so much more. There are also several optional extras for these ladders like a paint tray that clips on (*and its non stick so you can peel the dry paint out when done). Brilliant for home improvement and many other tasks around the home.
Best step ladders
We also wanted to mention that the ladders that fit this category best are also great safety ladders in so much as their is an upper safety rail included in this 4 step step ladders set. See this the heavy duty home discount 4 step step ladders built to tough safety standards!
Best telescopic compact ladders
We love these ladders as they can extend right up to 5 metres, yet fold down to almost nothing when stored away. How great are these with their superb compact design! Check out these finether 5 metre telescopic folding ladders.
Best garden ladders
With all the uneven surfaces in a garden it’s important that safety is taken care of more so than ever before. We chose these tripod ladders as you can adjust the legs to fit uneven surfaces. Take a look at thee huge 3.6 metre outdoor ladders (smaller sizes also available).
Best escape ladders
If you live in a 2nd floor (3 storey) floor flat or upstairs space it might be one of the best investments you could ever make. A simple 7.6 metre fire escape ladder that folds down and can be popped under a bed if ever needed. Take a look for yourself.
Our Best Telescopic Ladder Review
There are so many really good ladders around and we really wanted to pick about 6 of them as the best but we had to choose just one (well, two actually!)
These ladders are actually our favourite set of ladders out of the “many” we looked at and tested. Of course all of the 10 in this list are “fantastic” and all of them deserved the number 1 position. Not all of us picked this set to be our favourite but the majority of us did.
So, let’s take a good look at these ladders.
Little Giant ladders are a US based company who have dominated the late night “infomercial” slots usually reserved for the dark hours of the night (the kind of times when fitness equipment is sold on tv). Their promotional messages have showcased the benefits.
For 99% of jobs these ladders are perfect.
As you can see in the picture above, you can have each side of the ladder at different lengths / heights, so this makes them great for stairways while making the job far far safer at the same time.
The bad news
They aren’t the “very best” for outdoor garden use (although are pretty fantastic) as you cannot adjust each individual leg. However for most situations they are brilliant.
Value for money?
It depends on what you consider value for money. These are not cheap ladders but they are really really good. With them costing on average between £300 and £400 they do need to be something super special.
Thankfully they are REALLY good.
20% lighter than most ladders
Use them in many different environments and situations.
Adjust each side for stairways, or when working close to a wall (safely!)
Quick adjustment of the heights with their “Rock locks”
Legs that flare out at the sides to make the ladders incredibly stable during use (unmatched stability)
Aerospace grade Aluminium construction
Easy to move around with the tip and glide wheels at the base
The Revolution XE is made using the latest litewave aerospace technology So it’s ultra-strong while remaining light and portable.
Max Step height: 3.35m,
closed height: 2.01m
These are our most loved ladders despite the price tag. They are not 100% the perfect ladders for everything in so much as you cannot adjust each leg to a different height but for the rest, they are great.
Tall heights, stairways, outdoors, loft access and so much more.
Our favourite ladders
Adjust each side independently
Great for being upright on a safe platform on stairways
Adjust each side so you can work flat up against a wall if needed (other ladders inadvertently move you away from where you are working the higher you go up!)
Each foot can NOT be adjusted meaning they are not the best for uneven surfaces such as a garden.
This ladder set is a great and well priced multipurpose set of ladders from Abbey ladders.
New Platforms with improved under rung latches & new safety stopper to prevent platform movement.
Features stabilizers for added stability.
Enjoys an easy to use ‘click & lock’ hinge system.Take a look.
9 % thicker sides than most competitors models for added safety.
Collapsible (can fold down) making it easy to transport and store.
In the closed position it measures: 1.24m
The platform height is: 1.24m
The step ladder position has a height of : 2.3m
The extension ladder length is: 4.7m
The ladders weight is: 20.5kg
A great set of ladders that does a wide variety of things.
Superbly priced and many uses.
The platform heigh cannot be adjusted. It is a 1.24 metre height platform. It’s still fine for many things such as ceiling work but this limitation can be a problem if the height you need is different.
The reach on these ladders, combined with their safe features makes this set one of the BEST Telescopic ladder sets money can buy.
Reaching a full 7.11 metres, it’s a no frills, good solid safe set of telescoping extension ladders.
It can safely handle up to 23 stone in weight.
As one of the more popular models, it has an extra wide stabiliser bar at the foot that increases the stability of the ladders making you feel safer when scaling high areas. Also features sturdy nonslip end caps on either end.
It measures a touch over 3 metres in length (when closed) so will fit inside most mid sized vans such as Transit, Vivaro etc. or you can pop them onto a roof rack if you need to use them at various locations.
For the home they can simply stay at your property and be shackled to a chain and padlock on the wall when not in use. Perfect for clearing out your gutters, reaching upper windows and accessing the roof. Take a look.
Features of these ladders:
Super long extendable ladders – great for reaching high spaces without fancy extras thanks to the telescopic extension sections.
Has an integral stabiliser bar that gives a far greater footprint and therefore unparalleled stability when compared to others on the market – a superb safety feature which we feel every ladder should have.
With safety in mind, these are EN131 tested and certified (Trade & DIY use) for your safety and reassurance. Lightweight “alloy” construction for ease of use, but very strong – with a massive weight rating of 150kg (23.5 stone).
Unique auto-locking “wrap around” clamps fitted to lock ladder sections firmly in place for added safety and peace of mind when climbing. These same clamps secure the ladder closed for safe and easy transportation.
Heavy duty contoured non-slip feet fitted on all sections top and bottom to maximise grip on both the floor and the wall the ladder is resting against.
For the PERFECT quality hard working set of ladders you need. The ELT-330 3 section ladders are simply great extending ladders that extend to over 6.85 metres in length so plenty of room to reach all hard to reach areas.
Lyte Ladders have been producing ladders for more than 70 years. Their ladders have been used all over the world, in TV movies and even played a part iin the 1953 Mount Everest summit climb by Sir Edmund Hilary when they scaled across a crevass. It is believed that ladder is still there today!
When closed the ladder height is 2.92 metres.
Weight is 18.5 kg
Heavy duty and hard wearing telescopic extension ladders.
Light and strong, great for reaching all areas, gutters etc.
Can buy an option V stand off to fit around pipework on the side of your house
Compact and easy to store away when not in use
Ours did not come with any packaging when delivered
Some of us here believe that these are the best telescopic ladders money can buy. When not in use these Finether 3.8m ladders are small enough to go in the boot of a car and extend to a whopping height (close to 4 metres) making them great for indoor use to access the loft or for outdoor use to access high places!
MADE TO LAST: Built using tough aluminum alloy, it has a sturdy frame and slip-resistant rungs for supporting weight up to 330 lbs (150 kg) and is resistant to corrosion and rust
EXTENSION AND RETRACTION DESIGN: Specially designed rungs can be extended or retracted with ease
SAFE AND RELIABLE: double couplings on every rung guarantee your hands in right position to avoid pinching; bottom caps on the feet can avoid tipping over
PORTABLE AND CONVENIENT: lightweight and compact size, easy to transport and store; a heavy duty securing strap secures the ladder firmly and with the grip handle, you can easy to carry the ladder with one hand. Great to store and transport.
ECO-FRIENDLY: it’s qualified with the EN131 certificate for safe materials, environmentally-friendly and high performance
Tough, strong and portable. What’s not to love?
Extending the ladders is a doddle.
Easily fit’s in a car boot
Extends to almost 4 metres, great for loft access, reaching windows etc.
You MUST watch your fingers in between the rungs when closing as they snap shut and could pinch
Perfect for the professional outdoor user or for the home user who wants good quality strong and stable stuff. These ladders fit the bill brilliantly. It is a tripod shaped frame with a telescopic 3rd leg and makes for brilliant use outdoors where uneven ground surfaces no longer pose a problem.
FANTASTIC outdoor tripod ladders
Very sturdy, great build quality
Perfect for hedges, tree pruning and so much more
TIP! – Pop the 3rd leg inside a hedge and get really close to the work
They don’t really fold down as such so a little bit of space will be needed for storage (garage would be fine).
Absolutely awesome tripod ladders- evidently top quality BUILD once you use them plus they are perfectly safe and easy to handle and climb up. I have spent many hours already up my new tripod with my chainsaws cutting branches galore. I am still alive and feel safe at all times. You can alter the angle of tripod leg for all surfaces depending on degree of slope…. super!!!Stephen G Shaw's Amazon Review
Looking for the best money can buy? Starting from £450, Hecnhman ladders are completely adjustable in a multitude of ways, completely safe and won’t fall over. They support you on all 4 sides when you are atop the platform with bars you can really lean hard against and a safety rope behind you.
Super sturdy, super strong, incredibly robust.
Ideal for cutting hedges up to 14ft 6in (5.31m)
Lightweight aluminium platform
Work with confidence from a fully enclosed platform
Get more done in less time
These ladders are used by some of the largest authorities in the Uk, various Universities, the National Trust and many more. Trusted by professionals.
Here we have what appears to be an unusual anti slip system. A metal “hoop” so to speak with 4 rubber mats on it that you can fold over (like a keyring hoop on your house keys). When laid flat, you could have it with two mats on either side for a nice anti-slip surface, alternatively, for uneven surfacs simply fold another mat over to even things out.
If you are storing ladders in a garage, the best way is to secure them to a wall. For complete safety it is best advised to store ladders by ensuring there are support hooks spaced out every 2 metres along the length of the ladder. This is to prevent sagging of the ladders (and fatiguing the metal).
You can read more about ladder storage here at the Canadian centre for Occupational health and safety
The ladder association
Safety is key when using ladders. If you own a company you need to visit the ladder association website to see how to access various training courses to keep you compliant with legislation.
With the amount of research and testing that went into this writeup we feel that each and every one of the ladders shown here are amongst the safest ladders around. We work hard to immediately filter out the bad ones and then sift through the rest to make sure they all pass stringent safety tests, do not wobble, help to keep you safe and have plenty of safety features.
How do telescopic ladders work?
The main way they work is through sectional metal that fits tightly inside larger and larger metal tubular sections. A little like a pull out telescope that you would see pirates using on their ships when looking out for other pirate ships.
The materials used are incredibly strong and benefit from toughened joints and safety locking mechanisms unique to each manufacturer that prevent closure or collapse accidentally.
Usually you can pull the ladders up and stop where needed. Then they lock into position. Then repeat for the 2nd side of the ladder (if being used as a step ladder). To close you usually have to release locks. Sometimes a lift up lever, or two spring loaded locks have to be pushed outward. This releases the locks and allows the ladders to collapse or close. Just watch where your hands are placed so as to avoid pinching while closing.
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A wacker plate is usually petrol or diesel powered and allows layers of material to be compacted down until closely knitted and firm, to enable a good solid foundation for things such as patio’s, paths, driveways and even for turf laying.
The operator controls the plate by guiding it into the desired direction as it vibrates along the surface until all of the ground is firm and level.
Here, take a look at this quick video to see what it looks like when using a Wacker plate.
Depending on the engine power output (measured in horsepower (or hp)), the machine can compact the material down to various depths (for example typically 30cm deep).
If you are creating patios or paths around a property then you don’t necessarily need the biggest and best wacker plate there is out there (as generally it is just human traffic on them, and not too heavy), but for driveways and public highways, there is a need for better machinery than can compact quickly and down to decent depths.
These situations you will often see all manner of vehicles upon therm from cars and HGV vehicles, so they need to be absolutely built on solid foundations. You’ll also need something that will compact the ground reliably.
Problems with wacker plates
Wacker plates are by nature very heavy. They need to be. So often, two people are needed to move them in position (although some models do come with wheels that help manouvre the plate from your vehicle to the site).
They vibrate. It’s what they do. This means fixings and nuts can come loose so it is commonly advised to apply a nut lock / thread lock paste to the nuts to help stop them rattling loose.
Maintenance issues(things that need doing regularly) can be overlooked if the machine is not well cared for. Daily checks, daily cleaning, removal of dirt from your machine helps you to spot any issues such as nuts working loose, etc.
Incorrect use of the plate by the operator can cause problems if it is not used in the designed manner – in other words you would be shortening the life of your expensive machine.
So, that out of the way, I want to show what we have found.
The top 10 best wacker plates for sale.
How did we reach these findings?
Simple. We tested them, either by ourselves, or we enlisted the help of companies who use wackers on a regular basis. We sent out units for them to use for a month and then asked for their feedback.
Initially we sifted through many different plate compactor units and narrowed things down to what we scored as being the “very best whacker plate” of all of them, based on facts.
We tested on:
Depth of compaction
How easy it was to manouvre the machine
and created an overall score you can trust.
Our Best Wacker Plate Recommendation:
Best Plate Compactor For The Money:
Every wacker plate within this top 10 is “great” and you could easily pick any one of them however there is one that edged it for us. That one is the:
Deliver compaction depths down to 22cm with this monster 6.5 horse power 4 stroke petrol engine unit.
Constructed out of steel, it measures 73 x 38 x 56 cm.
This is the Varan BP-C60L wacker plate.
It comes with a carrying trolley to help move it from your vehicle to the site without injuring yourself.
It has a rubber carpet that can be used when tamping down fragile surfaces without damaging them.
The handlebars are adjustable.
The speed can be adjusted via the handlebar lever
The handlebars can be folded down when not in use.
“The unit ran well. We have used it daily for the past 3 weeks. In that time it has performed good and run reliably. For the price it is a fair investment of your money, even if it is a lesser known brand.“
Best wacker plate for getting into small tight areas
When only the best will do, choose a Belle machine. This PCX 12/36 plate compactor will work hard all year round.
This Belle is smaller, more compact and designed specifically to get into smaller areas.
Precision egineered, and extremely high quality give Belle machines the trust they have come to be accustomed to from consumers around the world.
The base plate is smaller. You get higher speeds.
A reinforced centrifugal clutch that helps extend the life of the belt as well as make the belt easier to adjust.
Foldable mounted guide handle offers superior manoeuvrability and can be lowered to operate under obstacles and close to form work.
4 HP Honda petrol engine (known for their superb reliability)
9.5 litre capacity water tank spray system. Angled holes help spray the full width preventing Asphalt pick up.
Easy lifting points – a front lift cage to make moving it around a breeze.
You can order an optional wheel kit
Easily fitted and removed Life lubricated vibration bearings – for peace of mind
“It’s got a larger water tank spray system that stops stuff sticking to the bottom (hot asphalt for example)”
It would be so easy to simply state “go out and buy a Belle and forget the rest”. We wouldn’t be wrong in that statement, however the downsides to owning a Belle compactor plate are the high price tags when purchasing. That’s why we went to these lengths to look at all wackers on the market.
It’s a little know fact, but we have it on good authority (and via testing of course) that the 3 most popular Belle compactor plates are this one the PCX 500 (a 500mm plate).. the PCX 450 (450mm plate) and the PCX 320 (a 320mm plate)… 3 of the best Belle wacker plates that money can buy. Being Belle, you get what you pay for.
Expect high 3 figures but for the money expect solid daily long term use without the drama.
So, this model is solid, robust and ultra reliable with a nice standfard plate size, oh and a reliable Honda engine too!
Faster travel speed both forward and reverse – for improved productivity (HONDA GX160)
Low hand-arm vibration – for operator health and safety and safer usage times
Engine protection frame – also provides a lifting point
Handle folds flat – compact size for transport and storage
This is a 300mm wacker plate (12 inches width). Coupling it to the generous 2.8 horse power engine gives you a machine that starts up well (although we did have to let our unit run a few minutes from cold before using it for compacting)
It hasn’t failed to start up during the time we used it (for a pathway sub base).
Hyundai have been in existence since 1947 as an engineering and construction company before branching out into motoring and machinery. For their wacker plates they use a sole Uk based importer (Genpower Ltd), who trade as “Hyundai Power Equipment”.
Will achieve 25 metres per minute coverage (so extremely useful)
A sturdy 8mm steel plate compacts down to 200mm.
The reliable Hyundai engine works hard and works well.
Ideal for compacting sand, soil, small aggregates it is the perfect, cost-effective plate compactor for DIY projects, patio & block paving preparation, small driveway work and tarmac repair.
The Neilsen C 60 petrol plate compactor packs a good solid punch thanks to it’s 5.5 horsepower engine.
It can run at between 20 and 25 metres each minute and has an impact force of 1030kg and can compact up to 150mm depth. Tackle your sub base woes easily.
It’s not the hardest hitting compactor, and won’t be good for heavby duty items but for the vast majority of applications it is just fine.
Just note that 150mm is pretty much the depth of compaction, so you’ll be compacting in slightly thinner layers which is fine for most things (especially for DIY projects and professional projects that you can take that bit longer on), but if you’re using it for business and time is of the essence you need to get a more powerful machine.
No harmful fumes emitted, ideal for use in enclosed spaces
Folding handle for convenient transportation
2 years warranty (only valid if purchased in the UK)
“The unit is pleasant and easy to operate. We used it to compact both the sub base and sand down for our block paving and I have to say it performed exceedingly well. The electric model is fine for any DIY’er but remember the cable is about 10 metres long so if you’re off up to the end of your drive you will need a decent extension cable.. and a dry day :)”
As with any smaller machine that has less power there are some obvious “operator issues” to get around. For example if you are used to using high end £1000 Belle machines, you’d be used to getting jobs done quicker, compacting thicker stuff and dealing with bumps, however it is clearly better to rake off large bumps then proceed with your wacker plate.
The Scheppach HP 1100 plate compactor. A beast of a machine.
Our secret favourite!
Look at the specifications: – Dimensions lxwxh: 700 x 400 x 480 mm – motor power 4 kW / 5.5 hp – Plate size: 530 x 350 mm – Compaction force: 11000 N – Weight: 63.0 kg – Compaction depth: 25 – 30 cm – Travel speed: 25 m/min
This is our favourite wacker plate here. Build quality and ability is brilliant. Nice and agile thanks to it’s plate size.
HUGE compaction depths, compaction force and ability to travel as fast as most other machines.
For those smaller areas, this hand held mini wacker plate is just perfect. Packs a punch, takes up little room and does what is needed. The Ruttli 250W plate compactor is just the ticket.
Powered by electric motor.
The base plate on this machine is made using stable lacquered sheet steel.
“Small but mighty. We trialled this for 2 weeks for a pathway going from our front door, down the side of the house and to mary up to our patio at the back. No problems reported. Did what was needed. Compacted our hardcore, sand and then was made ready for the pavers.“
Pressure washers vary a LOT in price and specifications. If you want to spend 8 hours trying to clean your patio then choose a super cheap, super low pressure washer and just smile when your neighbours keep looking at you (even when the sun starts to set and you’re wet and tired).
If you are looking for an electric OR petrol jet wash for sale at a good price then this review will effectively weed out the rubbish machines, saving you embarrassment and frustration.
Before you read on, if you’re in a rush, here is a quick sumamry of what we think are the VERY BEST.
How to pressure wash your whole house. This interesting article over at Bobvila.com gives handy hints on how to take the right care washing your whole house using a pressure washer. Some good pointers!
Before you continue… a few things to consider:
Do you need petrol, or is electric just fine? Do you need the ability to suck from any water source (ie a large water butt) or is it just fine to work on a standard home “outside tap” ?
Does this sound like you?
Imagine you’ve just told your partner you’ll get the patio cleaned ready for summer…
You venture out into your local B&Q or Wickes and with a smug smile you buy what appears to be a “superb” pressure washer.
“Nice… only £45 and it’s sure to impress the wife!”
Your partner looks and you and smiles as you say
“leave it to me Doris, I’ll have things cleaned up in no time”.
She smiles at you, happy to know the patio is going to be shipshape by the end of the day.
Back home you assemble your pressure washer, feeling confident and ready to blast dirt into oblivion.
Hosepipe connected check!
Power plugged in… check!
Lance connected (turbo nozzle of course)… check!
You look at your partner and shout out:
“Doris, please turn the tap!”
She turns on the tap and you begin to “do your thing”.
Adopting your tough and rugged pose… wellies on, and you fire up the start button.
A blast of water comes out and you point it towards your next victim (the dirtiest corner of your patio known to man).
10 minutes later you’ve managed to clean a size about the same as a baby’s arm, and you’re covered in moss and dirt.
Not so good.
£100 spent and you feel a bit disappointed.
You had hoped to have cleaned things up in a few hours but at this rate you’re looking at a full day. Forget about watching the football, as you now have a lengthy cleaning regime to contend with.
So what is a pressure washer?
Simple. A machine that forces water from your tap, through a machine and out through a small narrow pipe in a lance that you hold. The water comes out at such a high pressure that it literally blasts dirt and grime away from chairs, decking, walls, floors etc.
If you want to clean faster you need a more powerful machine.
If you are happy with occasional use and aren’t in any rush then value for money budget models would be your best option.
If you have a large area to clean, or are hoping to use the pressure washer for a business then you will need something that is very powerful, very reliable and can clean large areas day in day out with no hints of getting tired.
At the high end, for industrial pro machines anywhere from £1000 to £17,000 – clearly not the thing for once a year at home.
At the budget end of things, you can choose as little as about £60 to £150, most are from well known household names such as Karcher or Nilfisk
In the mid range there are a good number of very powerful machines in the £300 or so region, such as Karcher Nilfisk and then other names come in who usually cater to more professional pressure washers such as Kiam or Hyundai .
So, this write up has been extensively researched to find out the good from the bad, and where you should be putting your money.
This review is aimed at mainly the home user and smaller business user, so typically in the range of £80 to £500, although as a business user if you look at models around the £1000 mark (and up) you suddenly get greeted with a wide range of models like the Hyundai 14hp unit that can push as much as 15 litres a minute through the hose.
Draper are a long standing tool brand. They started out in life in 1919 when the founder Bert Draper sold surplus government goods in and around London (Kingston Upon Thames). Since they began over 9 decades ago, they have come a very long way and now import and brand some of the world’s finest home tools.
3 generations of investment and family values make Draper products “real genuine good value products”.
The 31562 pressure washer from Draper is super cheap at a touch under £70, and also very much a great machine.
While it’s never going to clear 3 car parks a day, for the price, you get a machine that will happily remove dirt and grime from your garden area – patio’s decking, pavers etc.
1x Pressure Washer
1x 3M of hose and gun
1x Turbo nozzle
1x Fixed jet nozzle
1x Detergent spray bottle
1x Instruction Manual
Draper trusted brand
Features an automatic total stop system when not being used.
We cannot find any faults with this machine. Super value for money
The K2 from Karcher is one of their entry level machines that provides plenty of thrust. Remember all the washers in this top 10 list are GOOD. We have already weeded out the poor ones to leave the top 10 best pressure washers so much of what you buy boils down to budget and needs.
So let’s look at the Karcher K2 compact.
Features the following:
Power, beauty and everything you need to sort out your outside spaces.
Protection for the motor from devris and dirt coming in.
It also features storage for the lance, cable etc so it can be stored nice and neat when not in use.
You get a detergent suction tube, so you can mix in your favourite cleanser.
2 year warranty comes as standard.
Dirtblaster lance cleans 50% better than standard lances!
Remember every single Karcher is individually tested before leaving the factory.
All Karcher K2 Pressure Washers can also be used from a gravity fed harvested water source such as a water butt tap
The pumps are their own design – a corrosion-free “N-COR” material which is a combination of polyamide and glass fibre.
This standalone unit measures 32.2 x 21.2 x 40 cm – compact is the name!
For a Solvakian company, we are mightily impressed. The Waspper brand is ticking all the right boxes. These petrol pressure washer reviews are based on testing and thorough research.
Petrol jet wash for sale:
Petrol power – oh yes!
Powerful – oh yes!
Great customer service!
Need we say more?
Our machine performed flawlessly. Was easy to start and use and blasted away muck from a patio table and chairs in under 10 minutes. Nice.
Here is the assembly video:
What’s good about ?
Wash and clean anywhere, no electrical supply is needed.
Light and portable. 4 feet keep it stable. A carry handle lends itself to easy movement.
Weighs just over 19kg
The High Pressure and Great Flow is Created By a Full Aluminium Axial Pump Which Has a Much Greater Lifespan Than Electric Pressure Washers (4-5 years longer).
PERFECT for domestic use and for smaller business use.
What we didn’t like:
No immediate offerings in the way of circular patio cleaners however I’m sure they will do this at some point. Although it is possible to use 3rd party rotary cleaners when you have the right 3/4 inch quick release couplings.
This is a commercial grade pressure washer so comes with plenty of punch, features and high end build quality. It’s a mid to high 3 figure priced unit but you certainly get what you pay for.
If you need a quality unit for your own home or for a business then this is definitely very highly rated.
If a Karcher can be likened to a Toyota (reliable and well bult) then a Kranzle can be likened to a Bentley. Premium, class, exemplorary build quality. The Kränzle Hochdruckreiniger K 1152 TS T is quality through and through.
Let’s see what’s included:
15 metre (HUGE!) hose length.
Dirtkiller spray wand
Turbo spray wand
10 year pump manufacturer guarantee
2 year jet washer guarantee
Long lifetime expectency
Blasts through 10 litres of water every minute so super powerful.
Comes with a German/European plug so will need a travel adaptor
This is probably fairly obvious, but if you’ve ever mixed together more than a few barrowloads of cement by hand on a board then you’ll quickly realize how slow, tiring and cumbersome it is.
As one of the most used construction tools it serves a very important role to help work flow easily and ensure cement is mixed properly.
It is far easier and more efficient to pop the materials into the mixer and leave it spinning. This lets you get on with the real work in hand.
Which concrete mixer is best?
There isn’t any REAL best mixer. Whichever cement mix you use, just make sure you follow the instructions and try to choose one that meets your budget and workload.
Concrete and cement mixers are the same thing. They can be petrol or electric powered to serve your needs whether close to a power supply or out on a bustling building site. You can buy obe abd it will pay for itself within next to no time, or you could always use a plant hire company if it’s a one off small job.
The Belle range of mixers are time served, well made and trusted by thousands of builders, but the downside is that they are more expensive than other brands. You get what you pay for though. Complete this with superb customer service and you’ll be glad you chose Belle.
For the rest of the bunch, consider build quality and how often you’ll be using the mixer. If you are a small business then of course get the best you can afford. The 10 in this list are all GREAT. We filtered out the stuff that is not worthy and fouind these to be the best of the bunch. We particularly liked the Foxchunter models.
See below our comparision table of the top 10 best cement mixers.
Featuring the renowned Belle brand, superb construction in a semi-professional setup, your own DIY projects will be complemented perfectly by this electric powered Belle mini mix concrete mixer 230V.
If you need a full barrow load of mortar or concrete then this cement mixer will handle it perfectly well and help keep you working constantly without having to wait for more mix to be made.
The Belle Minimix 140 230v tip up mixer features an extra thick mixers drum with quick mix paddles and a tough construction. It comes supplied with Barrow height swivel stand however the mixer can be used on or off its stand and is the ideal portable solution for mixing concrete and cement.
Unboxing video of a Belle Minimix (similar model):
How big is it?
121.5 x 60 x 85.2 cm
Pro’s and Con’s:
A little pricey but you get what you pay for.
Brilliant portable concrete mixer for home use or out on construction sites
Premium ultra reliable quality.
Belle offer some of the best cement mixers known so you can rest assured that a Belle purchase will leave you with a smile on your face.
Yellow seems to be the new Orange, and why not. This 120 litre electric powered cement mixer is powered by a 550 watt engine perfect for all your mixing needs. It’s made by “DIY essentials” and is typical of many similar generic products with lesser known brand names.
This however does not detract from it’s build quality and reliability. Remember that all 10 in this list had to fight their way out of the swamp of poor mixers to reign supreme.
Great for smaller building sites it features a 39cm opening to the drum and rotates at 33 rpm.
It can handle a 4 to 1 bucket mix just fine – just give it a little time to ensure the cement mix is right.
Pro’s and con’s of this concrete mixer
It works well and reliably
It pours out into a bucket just fine.
The only downside is thast the instruction manual is awful and probably for an older model – we wasn’t sure.
This is a nice looking machine that works and functions as good as most of the other 9 in this list. However there “MAY” be an annoying let down with customer service, in so much as it might be hard to get a response.
When we emailed, we actually got a response in under 10 minutes.
In our research we found several people who have had shocking customer service and some people have gone so far as to blog about their experiences. You can read that here.
I wanted to be clear and honest.
Nice machine (and that is why it is in this list) BUT you may not get the help you want if you buy from them, although we are left thinking it may have been a temporary blip in their business growth where their customer service was poor, because more recent testimonials have come in showing customer service to be just fine (and highly recommended in some instances).
So that out of the way, let’s explain why we included this:
Good build quality.
Spins at 33rpm
Big enough to make a complete barrow load at a time.
It’s Black (flying in the face of Orange traditionalists!)
Our verdict is that it is actually a cracking little mixer that is brilliant for the DIY’er.
Pro’s and con’s
Honestly, the pros of this machine definitely outweigh the con’s.
It really is a great cement mixer and works tirelessly.
There was at one point a momentary lapse in customer service skills (as far as we can tell) which doesn’t appear to be the case now though.
With it’s HUGE 180 litre capacity, the FoxHunter CM180L cement mixer boasts an uprated motor, a larger drum and a wider 40cm opening, so you can throw in large amounts of cement or plaster etc for mixing. It is one of our most popular products for a reason.
This is the bigger brother to our other featured Foxhunter on here with it’s 120l capacity.
Still with the same great strong construction and powder coating, it’s tough and reliable and half the price of more well known branded “Belle Cement Mixers” (although Belle cement mixers are some of the very very best).
It is certainly very well made and will easily make light work of many projects.
This is one of the recommended best cement mixers for sale.
Pro’s and con’s
Priced just about £30 more than the 120 litre model, and yet you get a larger capacity, larger opening and uprated motor!
Here is the Belle minimix 150 electric cement mixer (without the stand). Lower in price than the model with stand, yet offers the same superb premium grade quality that can only come with a Belle mixer. No fluff, no hype, just one of the best work horses there is on the market. Powered by a 230v electric motor it is one of the toughest out.
If the best is needed without any hesitation then choose a Belle cement mixer and you’ll enjoy incredible and lightning fast customer service, brilliant high end perfectly formed machinery, and total peace of mind that your cement mixer will probably outlive you.
A cement mixer that fits any budget! Priced around £100 it’s superb value and just perfect for pretty much any job, however for large scale jobs such as house builds you might wamnt a larger sized drum capacity. This one is 70 litres but you won’t be disappointed. Works well for laying patios, pathways and so much more!
Our best cheap cement mixer
It makes no sense whatsoever now to hire out a cement mixer at £50 a time. Buy one of these and you will have made your money back with just 2 days of use!
Can be easily transported in the back of most cars!
It’s funky tipping wheel makes it a doddle to pour out your mix where it’s needed or into a barrow.
Dimensions Model CM70 Voltage 230V ~ 50Hz Wheel size (in): 10 x 2.75 Motor: 250W, Dimensions: 1070mm x 510mm x 885mm Drum Speed 30/min Drum Dimensions: 420mm, Drum Height: 406mm, Drum diameter: 240mm Drum Capacity 70 litre
When looking for any kind of mixer you need to remember to choose the best cement mixer for your needs. Do you want something that is designed for heavy use 8 hours a day 6 days a week, or something more for occasional use – projects around the home?
All 10 of these are “great” cement mixers.
We have weeded out the poor performing ones to leave this list of what is in our opinion the ones that are the most reliable, and good value for money.
Finally… the top 3 cement mixer machines in our list as defined by us: