Yardmax Concrete Mixers Line Review
YardMax recently announced the availability of its new line of YardMax Concrete Mixers, available in 1.6 cubic foot and 4.0 cubic foot varieties designed for small- to medium-sized jobs. The 1.6 cubic foot mixer has a weight capacity of 100 pounds and a 9-inch opening diameter. The contractor-grade YardMax 4.0 cubic foot mixer has a 275-pound weight capacity and 15-inch opening diameter. Both new YardMax Concrete Mixers feature a waterproof, fully assembled IP45 wash down-certified motor and gear box, low-profile design, and a safety guard enclosing the ring and pinion gear.
“Our customers range from homeowners to DIYers to contractors. The variety of our product line, including these new concrete mixers, allows each user to operate the equipment they need to help get the job done right at the right price.”
– Shad Shafer, YardMax vice president
The Problem and the Concrete Solution
With the Enforcement of the Crystalline Silica rule from OSHA going into affect in September (2017), tool manufacturers are covering the market with HEPA vacuums, dust extracting shrouds, new grinders, saws, hollow-core drill bits, and more. With this onslaught of new tools/accessories, we’re inindated with the request to review these. Being the awesome tool review company that we are, we oblige many of these requests. The problem now ensues…where do we test?
For more on this OSHA rule, check out our OSHA Silica Dust Permissible Exposure Limit article.
This testing could be done in one of our shops, but the “before” results end up covering all the contents in a thick layer of concrete dust. You know, that type of dust (crystalline silica) we’re not supposed to ingest. Why not pour a sacrificial concrete pad outside the shop, just for testing grinders, saws, blades, vacs, etc.? Wow, and it just so happens that we have one of these YardMax concrete mixers here at our disposal. In particular, the YardMax 4.0 cubic feet version, model# YM0115.
Using the YardMax Concrete Mixers
Assembling the YardMax 4.0cf mixer is fairly simple, and the instructions make it almost foolproof. After about 20 minutes, I had all the base finished, as the pic will show. The remainder of the assembly only takes about 10 more minutes.
We quickly formed up a rectangle measuring eight feet by six feet, directly adjacent to our shop’s existing slab. A few stakes and 2x4s and we’re ready to test the YardMax concrete mixer. We also rubbed down the 2×4 forms with some diesel fuel to aid with removal after curing.
You contractors and concrete masons out there are already figuring the amount of concrete, given the 8×6 area. We want a 4-inch slab, so this pour requires 27 – 80lb. bags of premix concrete. Of course, we buy 30 bags to make sure we have enough. Let’s mix some concrete!
Weight Capacity or Volume – 4.0 Cubic Feet or 275 Pounds
This YardMax has a 4.0 cubic feet drum capacity, but the content weight limit is only 275 lbs. In case you don’t know, an 80lb. bag of readymix equals about .6 cubic feet. This means that the drum volume will supports over 6 bags (480 lbs.), however this grossly surpasses the weight limit (275 lbs.). Not to disappoint, we pushed the weight limit of the YardMax by mixing a couple 4-bag batches. These
Not to disappoint, we pushed the weight limit of the YardMax by mixing a couple 4-bag batches. These 320 pound batches, without water, mix pretty well in the YardMax, but it is tough to keep the contents contained. The sweet spot definitely seems to be mixing 3-bag batches (240 lbs.). These smaller batches mix much quicker and easier, and they dump much better.
YardMax Concrete Mixers Performance
Power from the .68 horsepower motor is more than enough to mix a full batch, and we even mix the batches closer to the dry side. We have a lot of humidity and wet sand, so we didn’t want too much moisture. The mixer works much better by starting with a couple gallons of water in the drum first, then load the readymix. Once all the ready mix is in, turn the machine on. We added the readymix with the YardMax drum in the full vertical position. Once the mixer is turned on, it mixes much better, the closer it gets to horizontal. In fact, I found that tipping the drum to just before is starts ejecting the concrete was the best position. The indexing positions and the tabs on the handle make fine tuning the drum angle very easy.
As the mixer is running, we continue to add water until we reach the slump we’re looking for. After a couple minutes, the YardMax completes the mixing task and it’s ready for the dump. With a quick pull of the spring-loaded handle, I pitch the drum forward and nearly upside down. With the drum still spinning, the mixing paddles aid in removing almost all the concrete mix. We repeat the process over and over until we have eclipsed 28 bags, and now it’s ready for screeding.
Since 2015, YardMax has been busy making quick inroads into the consumer Outdoor Power Equipment (OPE) market. We usually refer to string trimmers, blowers, and such when we discuss OPE, but Yardmax’s take on the category is much bolder: the company’s product offering is full of big, muscular equipment like log splitters, power barrows, chipper shredders, plate compactors, and power sweepers. They’re finding a niche somewhere between property owner needs and contractor quality while keeping the price down.
To this lineup comes the two new YardMax Concrete Mixers, one with a 1.6 cubic foot capacity and the other one aimed at Pros with a 4.0 cubic foot capacity. At $139 for the small version and $199 for the large version. Both are powered by electric motors (some Pro-grade mixers are gas-powered) and have wheels on one end for transport. In short, their forms resemble most concrete mixers on the market.
But will their performances resemble other mixers? A quick search of the concrete mixer market shows that even the Pro-grade 4.0 cubic foot mixer is much less expensive than most mixers. Other 3.5 cubic foot to 6 cubic foot mixers range in price from about $300 to around $600, so the YardMax mixers represent a great value. The build quality is good and the performance is even better. We don’t necessarily see the professional mason using this day in and day out. However, for the DIYer or the occasional use from the Pro, this is a great mixer, with good capacity, and even better value.
Yardmax Concrete Mixers Features
- Easy to clean and use with solid steel drums and IP45 wash down certified motor and gear box.
- Factory assembled motor drive box for easy and mess-free installation.
- One-person assembly in under 30 minutes.
- Steel handle with an iron ring and safety lock for ease of use, adjusts to the user’s preference easily and safely.
- Low-profile height is ideal for pouring into forms, wheelbarrows and moving around a job site.
Yardmax Concrete Mixers Specifications
Yardmax 1.6 Cubic Foot Mixer
Model Number: Yardmax YM0046
Yardmax 4.0 Cubic Foot Mixer
- Model Number: Yardmax YM0115
- Capacity: 4 cubic feet
- Horsepower: 0.68
- IP45 Washdown: Yes
- Drum Type: Steel
- Weight Capacity: 275 pounds
- Number of Blades: 2
- Opening Diameter: 15 inches
- Warranty: 2-year residential; 90-day commercial