5 Essential Hand Tools For Concrete Finishing

Construction worker concrete finishing the floorConcrete is a mixture of cement, aggregates, water and sometimes, admixtures. It is by far the most widely used construction material in the world. Other than having great compressive strength, concrete is favoured because its appearance can be easily altered using a variety of finishing techniques and hand tools.

Why Use Hand Tools?

In the construction industry, advanced tools, such as power trowels and blades, vibrators and screeds already exist. Still, you cannot deny how valuable hand tools are, whether you are working in a small area, levelling a residential floor slab or creating delicate finishes. Hand tools are essential for concrete works that require surface finishing.

Some of the most popular hand tools for sale today include rakes, bull floats, hand floats, edgers and trowels.

Concrete Rake

A concrete rake is used for spreading concrete uniformly. This tool comes with a long handle that enables workers to level freshly-poured concrete from a distance more effectively.

Bull Float

Bull floats feature a wide, rectangular blade, sometimes with extruded ribs for additional strength. They are ideal for use on the first pass of levelling concrete after screeding has been done. Magnesium bull floats work well with air-entrained concrete because they don't stick. On the other hand, wood bull floats do a better job of levelling high-slump and non-air-entrained concrete.

Hand Float

This is a smaller version of the bull float, and is often used on slab edges or small slabs. Hand floats are necessary to remove ridges caused by bull floating, embed gravel particles, and allow some of the mortar to come to the concrete surface.

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Concrete Edger

This L-shaped tool is used to finish the edges of a concrete work. Edgers come in different radii to suit the necessary curvature of the edges.


A trowel is used in the latter parts of concrete finishing. It always comes after floating. Troweling creates a smooth, dense concrete surface. Different types of trowels are available for different purposes. A pointed trowel is designed to reduce marking of blade end on the concrete. A finishing trowel is used for finishing touches to smoothen the concrete surface.

Concrete finishing is important to achieve the look you want for the surface. These tools make the job easier.