On my jobsite, one could say that I’m a little spoiled for choice when it comes to the various ways I can use a mixer. At any given point during any given day, I could find myself mixing or blending thinset, grout, concrete, paint, or drywall mud. The right tool for the right job is important, especially with this scenario in mind. If you’re anything like me, you’ve used the wrong tools for these jobs in the past. As a matter of fact, I’ve burnt up several expensive electric drills in my quest to quickly mix up a batch of material. As a contractor who predominately mixes thinset and grout, I need a dedicated tool designed to deliver consistent torque. Thankfully, I recently got my hands on the new Ridgid R7135 Mud Mixer, and I’ve been excited to take it for a spin.
Like other mud mixers on the market, it’s essentially a big drill with a two-hand design. It’s geared to produce enough torque for mixing without overtaxing the motor for sustained use – which is where trying to use a standard drill fails. The price is right, so let’s see how it performs on a professional job.
Setting Up The Ridgid R7135 Mud Mixer
When I initially unpacked the mixer, I could tell right away that this tool comes ready to work. It’s hard to describe when something feels right in your hands but I think Ridgid nailed it with this one. From the rubberized grips to the solid feeling of the mixer, Ridgid has thoughtfully and ergonomically laid out the entire machine.
The paddle comes in two pieces, with the paddle itself able to unscrew from the shaft. This avoids having to remove the shaft from the chuck should the paddle ever need to be changed on the fly. I should also note that the 5/8” chuck will accept any standard paddle attachment (although, obviously, this is not recommended by Ridgid and may possibly void the warranty). I found the assembly as simple as screwing the shaft and paddle together, installing the shaft in the chuck, and plugging the unit in.
In The Mix
I’m working on an ongoing shower installation, so the first task I had for the Ridgid R7135 Mud Mixer required mixing up some grout. That aforementioned ergonomic layout places a right-handed trigger in a really natural position. It requires a firm squeeze to operate the single paddle mixer.
Thankfully, this unit also features a trigger lock, located adjacent to the trigger on the inside of the right handle. Ridgid could have made this convenient feature more so had they left off the protective ring around the button. Depressing it feels just a little awkward, though the clear intent is to protect the safety switch. Hmm… safety for the safety. Moving on!
Ridgid’s Softstart technology allows the mixer to start slowly, gradually increasing the RPMs until you reach the speed you want to mix. This helps avoid splashes, reduces stress on the motor, and allows for more control during mixing. The operation is smooth and consistent, with the paddle effortlessly cutting through the grout mixture. During mixing, I never felt the need to remove the paddle from the grout due to the mixer getting bogged down.
An adjustment dial allows you to dial in the speed from a range of 0-800 RPMs. My only issue with this feature comes down to the fact that you can actually reduce the RPM all the way to zero. This causes the mixer to feel like it has stalled out when you pull the trigger. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t count this as a huge negative. However, at one point, we did accidentally roll the dial back once which caused a brief head-scratching session.
Clean up is a breeze. When you finish mixing, just hose off the paddle, wipe the machine down, and store it away.
Is It Worth It?
There’s something to be said about using the right tool for the job. At right around $140.00, this feels like a no-brainer for any contractor that mixes material. Not only will it mix a variety of materials quickly, but its ergonomic design will reduce stress on the operator, leading to more efficiency on the jobsite. To me, that fact alone makes the Ridgid R7135 Mud Mixer worth the money.
Researching around on the internet, the only comparable mixer I can find is the Rubi Thinset and Grout mixer. It shares nearly identical specs with Ridgid’s mixer, however, I’m not sure how it rates when mixing materials other than thinset and grout. Can it handle concrete or drywall mud?
You have a few cordless options running around and Festool also has a mixer if you want to go on the high end. When you look at the performance Ridgid offers in line with its price, it’s tough to justify spending more money for a single paddle mixer.
The bottom line is that I love this mixer. Its small size makes it portable enough to carry around to multiple job sites. Plus, Ridgid has made sure that it can stand up to the everyday abuse that most of us are likely to throw at it. By the time that this article is published, the Ridgid R7135 Mud Mixer should be available at a Home Depot near you.
Ridgid R7135 Mud Mixer Features
- Softstart technology starts up slowly to avoid splashes, save motor life and operate safely
- Variable speed dial easily adjusts the speed to the application during manual use
- Die-Cast gearbox increases the durability and professional quality
- 5/8 in. Keyed chuck accepts most common mixing paddles
- Lock-On button for continuous mixing and easy operation
- Ergonomic handles with Hex Grip Micro Texture
- Robust design limits vibration to the user when operating manually
- Includes: single-paddle mixer, paddle, chuck key and operator’s manual
Ridgid R7135 Mud Mixer Specs
- Height with Paddle: 34″
- Height without Paddle: 15″
- Depth: 9″
- Width: 14″
- Weight: 10 lbs
- Voltage: 120V
- Cord Length: 8 ft.
- Warranty: 3-year limited
- MSRP: $158.98