A Helpful guide to buying a Plastering Trowel

buying a plastering trowel

8 square end bucket trowel1semi flexible polishing trowel rounded edge 2 1marshalltown permaflex with duracork20221300 gipserspachtel pft9inch plastic trowel with flexible blade


A helpful guide to buying a plastering trowel will list a range of trowels that we have available here at PFT Wales and identify the uses of each trowel to help you make the correct choice. There is a wide variety of trowels that are needed for everyday plastering, rendering, tiling and flooring. We have listed a great many in this helpful guide to buying a plastering trowel to help you choose the most suitable trowel for your requirements.

The Plastering or Rendering trowel

finatex premium plaster trowel 1 400When buying a plastering trowel at PFT Wales we have available from many manufacturers including Marshalltown, Refina, Kraft Tools, Ragni, BeroXpert, OX & PFT the plastering trowel will be available from 11″ to 24″ long and 4″ to 5″ wide. The trowel can be used to apply cement renders and plasters. A good quality plastering trowel can be “broken in” after many uses and used to finish skim plasters.

Blades can be carbon steel, spring steel, stainless steel & golden stainless steel. Handles are available in wood, rubber, cork and leather.  All plastering and rendering trowels will perform the same if properly looked after and cared for by the end user.


228276 Superflex3 trowel

Flexible trowels are relatively new to the market. Based on the plastering and rendering trowel, manufacturers have designed a trowel with a more flexible blade. The technology behind the flexible blade being that more of the blade surface touches the wall being skimmed flat. Originally designed for use with Airless plasters the flexible trowel was tried with great success in the UK with setting skim type gypsum plasters. The trowelling up with a superflex allowed for less hard work to be applied to the later stages of a  “set” and for some a superior finish.

The Flexible trowels are available in a range of blade sizes and thicknesses with various handles available to choose from.


9inch plastic trowel with flexible blade

Plastic rendering trowels are used for the finishing of coloured thin coat or top coat  renders made from Acrylic, mineral and silicone.  The coloured renders are applied with a traditional trowel and flattened off before the plastic trowel is floated over the top to create a uniform finish. The trowels are available in different shapes and sizes and different thickness blades. The topcoat renders are supplied with different sized grains in them. The smaller the grain the thinner and finer the topcoat texture will appear.

The blade thickness chosen will be determined by the grain size being applied. i.e the larger the grain the thicker the blade.

.5 to 1.5mm grain a 1mm blade thickness is suitable

1.5mm to 2.5mm a 2 mm blade thickness is suitable


Marshalltown golden pool trowel

Pool trowels are used in rounded swimming pools for applying and smoothing the render without leaving trowel lines.

The shorter shank in the centre of the pool trowel allows the blade to behave more flexible whilst the rounded edges ensure that no trowel corners can dig in to the freshly applied render.

The flooring trowels are designed with a more sturdy blade to allow the floor layer to trowel the screeded or flattened new floor to be troweled with greater accuracy. The pointed toe of the flooring trowel will allow the floor layer to work in more difficult areas for e.g behind pipework


mini trapezoid trowel 280mm

Venetian trowels are often short and suited to heavy trowelling. Available in flexible, semi flexible and stiff blades they can be many shapes to suit the marble effect and micro cement applications. The trowels are highly polished to avoid leaving any staining on the pre coloured marmarino and venetian finishing plasters.

Notched trowels 

The notched trowels are shaped like normal plastering trowels and will normally be used for applying adhesive coats in a uniform thickness for tiling or reinforced render systems., the tiling trowels will have 2 flat edges and 2 edges with a consistent run of notches or grooves. When the adhesive is applied to the wall or floor the notched side can be run over to form parallel notches in the adhesive coat and help identify low spots whilst removing high spots. The notches can be all sizes depending on the desired thickness the adhesive is required.


When looking to buying a plastering trowel The bucket or dabbing plastering trowel will be shaped like a brick layers trowel with the handle at the heel of the tool. The bucket trowel usually has a square toe allowing the user to scoop the plaster from a bucket to load a hawk or trowel. The dabbing trowel is also the same and can be used to scoop adhesive from a bucket and slapped on the wall to for a dab for sticking plasterboard to. Bucket trowels are available in a number of sizes and can be made in stainless rust free trowels or steel .


The corner trowel or twitching trowel is used for smoothing corners in plasters and renders. The internal corner trowel with a angle ranging from 90 – 103 degrees can fit snugly in the corner during the plaster application process and leave a perfect internal corner.  The material is applied firstly and the area as close to the internal angle is trowelled flat before finally twitching the corner. The internal corner plastering trowels are available in steel or stainless steel and in a range of sizes.

The external angle trowel is used for external wall insulation systems to smooth the angles to the window reveals.


Considering buying a plastering trowel the taping and jointing trowel has a concave curve on the blade to assist the application of plasterboard joints on a taping and jointing system. The concave curve will form a slight crown to the center of the joint that can be feathered out on the 2nd and 3rd coats. Ideal for butt joints. The blades can be carbon steel or stainless steel and golden stainless.

GAUGING TROWELS, margin trowels and pointing trowels

The gauging trowel is a useful trowel when buying a plastering trowel for mixing small amounts of material and smoothing small tricky areas of plastering and rendering. Margin trowels are used for plastering in tight difficult areas and for finishing of plastering and rendering by cleaning off drops and spills. The margin trowels have a square toe making them useful to square reveals and returns. Pointing trowels are generally used to point up brickwork and stonework. Small tools are small narrow tools with usable blades either end. Small tools are perfect for decorative cornice work.

Thanks for taking the time to read this helpful guide to buying a trowel

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