It’s not good to get mixed up on the job, that is, unless you’re grout, mortar, mud, or paint. In fact, in these cases, failure to get good and mixed up makes for some shoddy results. Getting a good mix is important, and there are a number of manufacturers that make tools to help us accomplish a good mix. I’ve used plenty of mixers that resemble drills, but have higher torque and an auxiliary handle. More recently, I’ve seen an influx of tools dedicated to heavy-duty mixing, like the new Festool Mixer MX 1200 E EF. Although I’ve been working with grout, mortar, cement, and paint for a long time, this is the first of the recent style updates to make its way into my shop.
Is there really any advantage to the Festool Mixer’s design?
Getting Up To Speed
Out of the box, the new Festool Mixer feels solid and well-constructed. Rubberized bumpers on the corners protect the tool from falls and wear from being set on the floor.
It features that dual-handle design that we’re beginning to see more often. Festool has includes a variable speed control dial on this model. You’ll find that dial on the right handle. Placed next to the trigger, I have easy access to the mixer’s six speed settings.
I’ve noticed that with some other mixers, you’ll have to do a bit of guesswork to find the right speed, and then you have to hold the trigger in that exact position to maintain consistency. With the Festool mixer, I can set the speed I need and just hold down the trigger.
This feature obviously helps with efficiency, but there’s another benefit that may not be obvious at first: if I have an apprentice with me, I can tell him to mix up a bucket on whatever speed is appropriate for the required material. I don’t really need to hover over him to make sure I’m getting the right consistency.
It might also be worth mentioning that the new Festool mixer has a soft-start feature. When I pull the trigger, the mixer won’t immediately launch into ludicrous speed, which keeps all my material in the bucket rather than spraying it everywhere. It’s a particularly attractive feature if you do any mixing inside a finished space.
Who Would Stoop So Low?
The Festool Mixer also showcases the brand’s ErgoFix adjustment feature. Traditional drill mixers require you to bend over to get to the bottom of the bucket. This won’t present a huge dilemma when you only need to mix up one bucket, but we often have large enough jobs that we need to set someone on mixing all day. Stooping over to mix mud all day is a huge pain in the neck… and back… and knees.
The ErgoFix feature corrects this problem. Basically, the threaded mixing paddles screw into the ErgoFix collet, which you then adjust to the best height. The detents in the ErgoFix rod allow for several inches’ worth of adjustment, which allows the user to stand up straight, even when trying to mix up material on the bottom of the bucket. I consider this a tremendous benefit of the Festool Mixer.
Keep On Paddlin’
Before I started mixing, I had one concern about the spiral mixing paddle. It has a ring around the bottom of the paddle. In my experience, something about this design always seems to leave some dry mix in the bottom of the bucket. This is not only inconvenient, but it also brings up questions about the integrity of the mix you’ve already used because you can’t see the problem at the bottom of the bucket.
Well, I’m happy to report that after mixing multiple batches of various material, I couldn’t find any dry mix left over, even with this paddle design. I used this spiral paddle to mix up tile cement, filling compounds, flooring mixtures, plasters, screed, and smoothing cement. Ultimately, I am pleased with this paddle’s performance. If you’re in need of a different style, Festool also makes whisk and disc paddles as well.
The Bottom Line
I really like the feel of the new Festool mixer. It has a solid build with some bumpers to keep it from getting banged up, and with the labyrinth seal, I don’t have to worry about water and mix getting into the gears or motor. The ErgoFix height adjustment means no more stooping over to mix all of the material in the bucket. And, the electronic speed control means that I won’t have to guess about mixing speeds anymore.
Ultimately, this 1200W adjustable Festool mixer does any job about twice as quickly, and far more efficiently than my regular drill mixer. The design feels much more ergonomic, but the adjustability, power, and speed control it affords are unlike anything I’ve used in all my years in the business. At $390, you’ll certainly pay a premium for the quality of the product, but the proof is in the mud, here. The new Festool mixer outperforms my drill mixer and improves the quality of my finished product.
1200W Adjustable Festool Mixer Features
- Protective cap with labyrinth seal prevents the penetration of spray water and dirt
- Powerful, high-torque 1200 W (1.6 HP) motor
- No material splash upon start-up thanks to soft start with variable speed trigger
- The right stirring speed for every material thanks to electronic speed control
- Less effort required for guiding the stirrer thanks to ergonomic handle design with large lever arm
- ErgoFix height adjustment with integrated quick-change function
- Stable rubber corners protect the machine against damage and, at the same time, enable secure set-down and non-slip leaning against the wall
Festool Mixer Specifications
- Model Number: Festool MX 1200 EEF
- Idling Speed, 1st Gear / 2nd Gear 360 – 630/- min⁻¹
- Mixing Capacity: 15.85 gallons
- Power Consumption: 1,200 Watts
- Weight: 9.9 pounds
- 36-Month Comprehensive Warranty
- Price: $390.00
Find a Festool Dealer here.