When you think of concrete work, the tools that come to mind are things like mixers, wheelbarrows, trowels and shovels—all of which are essential, of course. However, there are a few other small tools that are easy to forget about when you’re planning a job. Because these tools are essential, that means trips back to your primary facility or to elsewhere to grab some of these items. Eliminate lost time and the frustration that comes with it by making sure you’ve got all the best small tools for concrete construction handy. Read below for a list and check out all Barnsco offers on our products page!
1. Lighting for the Jobsite
Concrete work is often done outdoors on sunny days—but not always! If you’re going to be working indoors, or if you anticipate finishing up a job later in the day, then jobsite lighting is a must-have, particularly if you’re working on new construction that may not have lighting systems yet installed. Make sure to have flashlights handy, and stand lighting that you can power via battery or a generator may also be necessary, too.
2. Bring Plenty of Spare Handles
Whether they’re long threaded handles for floats and other concrete tools you’d use when standing or handheld trowel handles, you’ll want to keep some spares around. For one thing, handles have been known to break at inopportune times, so a few spares keeps work going without trips to the store for new ones. It also helps to have some available in different sizes to fit different people’s needs. Shorter people might prefer a 60-inch handle for squeegees or trowels while taller workers may prefer 72 inches, for example.
3. More Hammers are Better than Less
You can never have too many hammers! All jokes aside, there are many different kinds of hammers, and all of them have a unique purpose. It’s a wise idea to have a variety of sledges in different weights, and bricklayer hammers are good to have for concrete work in case you find yourself needing to shape edges or break out old concrete.
4. Don’t Forget the Extension Cords
And for that matter, don’t forget any adapters or spare ends that you may need. Jobsites tend to evolve, and you don’t always know what you’re getting into ahead of time. Adapters will ensure that you can connect power no matter the situation. If you have a few spare extension cord ends, then that means if one of your cords becomes damaged, you’ll be able to fix it on the fly, which in turn means less time lost over waiting for new extension cords.
5. Testing Supplies May Be Required
And you don’t want to start a job without them if you need them! Concrete cylinders give you a way to test the strength of concrete before you do the pouring for a major job. Simply fill a few cylinders, and you’ll be able to test for strength once the concrete sets.
6. Keep a Caulk Gun Handy
Sometimes you need to seal joints between concrete slabs with caulk or another material, and sometimes at the end of a project, there are gaps that need to be filled. A caulk gun is needed for these jobs—and it’s a good idea to have both smaller and larger caulk guns handy to fit different tube sizes.
7. If You Have Heavy Equipment, You Need a Grease Gun
Keeping your equipment running smoothly means maintaining it—and regularly greasing it is one of the best ways to do that. If you notice gears grinding or something not running as efficiently as it should, then you may need to grease the piece of equipment to fix the issue. It’s also a wise idea to check all grease fittings on a piece of equipment and top them up with new grease after so many hours of usage. This can vary, so check with the equipment manufacturer to find out how many hours you can use a tool before needing to grease it again.
8. Brushes and Brooms
These top the list as some of the most easily forgettable—and most useful—tools you can have on hand. Need to quickly sweep a surface before pouring? You’ll need brooms! Wire brushes, too, are essential for cleaning up dried concrete on tools or elsewhere.
9. Invest in a Blower if You Don’t Have One
Leaf blowers are an invaluable tool—and not just for leaves. Any time you need to clean a surface—say, a driveway or road that needs to be cleaned before sealing or pouring fresh concrete—you can use a blower to remove dust, pebbles and debris. Handheld blowers work well for small jobs, and if you have large surfaces to clean, backpack blowers are ideal because they’re easier to use for longer stretches.
If you haven’t already, add these tools to your jobsite checklist. These are things that will come in handy on just about any concrete job, and if you’ve got them on your truck, then you won’t need to worry about making supply runs later on.