Initially I was sceptical about the power, performance and battery life of a cordless mixer knowing the stress and torque a Plasterers 110v or 240v mixer goes through on a daily basis mixing countless bags of backing coat, drywall adhesive, finishes and renders.
1st impressions are great as it comes with a decent M14 160mm positive paddle. The mixer feels as heavy and durable as my 110v leading German mixer, is of a similar design and shape and comes with 5 speed settings on an easy to use thumb dial on the right handle along with the trigger below.
When using the brushless mixer it changes through the 5 speed settings smoothly and feels well balanced and sturdy with very little vibration.
The enclosed batter docking is a great design idea as it protects both the battery and the docking station connections from splashes, dirt & dust.
The mixer comes with a 3 year warranty when you register your purchase online.
There is an attachable security appliance (purchased separately) that fixes to the mixer that enables the owner to download an App on their phone and trace the tool in the event of it getting stolen, which is a fantastic idea as tool theft from sheds, vans and building sites has been on the increase in recent years.
The fast charger is wall mountable anywhere by fixing 2 drywall screws, it’s fan cooled when charging and will fully charge the 54v 9ah battery in approximately 85 minutes. The light flashes red when charging and remains lit when fully charged. The 54v Li-on batteries are really impressive as they come with a 3 green light fuel gauge and are backwards compatible with any 18v XR DeWalt cordless power tools. So the 54v battery will fit any 18v XR Bare units and run as an 18v.
I’ve since bought a DeWalt DAB radio and used the 54v Flexvolt battery to run it while the mains power was isolated by the electrician on a job I was working on recently.
I’ve been using the mixer every day for a week and found and can confirm (exactly as it says in the book) it takes 85 minutes to fully charge a flat battery and does mix through up to 12 bags of finish on 1 fully charged battery. The jobs I’ve been working on during that week determined the size of my mix and the material used but I’ve mixed 2.5 bags of finish, 2 bags of bonding and 2 bags of drywall adhesive at a time and had no problems getting through any of it. On larger jobs and areas I’d have no concerns with it mixing through much bigger buckets of plaster.
Come Spring time I’ll be using the DeWalt 54v mixer on my external render jobs and I’m confident it’ll go through 5 bags of Monocouche Render as easily as my current 110v mixer but with the DeWalt cordless mixer I’ll have the added benefit of being able to mix wherever I work and on any lift of the scaffold without having to carry the transformer or worry about extension leads and cables running through and around obstacles and scaffold poles and creating a trip hazard on site.
Having looked at the specification of the other cordless mixers on the market I can say based on the performance and equivalent power to 2000w corded mixer and having backwards compatibility with 18v tools in the DeWalt XR range the DeWalt 54v Flexvolt is the best of the bunch and I would highly recommend it.
& GS Plastering, Liverpool
Firstly the DeWalt battery mixer is a big lump, but god it looks the part. The batteries in it are 9.0 Ah 54v XR FLEXVOLT Li-Ion batteries, and they are heavy, but then they need to be to be able to put up with the abuse that a plasterer will throw at it, and not just once but repeatedly throughout the day.
I usually work off a board and stand so I mix up in tall buckets and the DeWalt mixer rips through 1 or 2 bag mixes at a time with no problems at all, and the speed the paddle spun at was pretty good. However, the paddle did slow down a little if the mix was a bit too stiff but not an issue just an observation.
One thing I did notice was that when your mixer stopped the bucket would burp and spit gear at you so as soon as I realised this happens, it was easily avoidable.
Wear goggles when using the tall buckets is my advice. In fact, you should be wearing eye protection anyway.
Before the cordless DeWalt plaster mixer and others were released, there was a lot of speculation as to how good a battery mixer will be and a lot of people thought that you would only be able to mix up a few bags before the batteries were killed and would need recharging.
With this in mind, I bought my corded plaster mixer with me to my first few jobs as well, to serve as a backup. So at that point, the DeWalt battery plaster mixer seemed very much pointless, and my heart sank a little bit when I realised what this could potentially mean.
How Many Mixes Will It Do On One Charge?
I was mixing up between 20 and 30 bags per charge which is not bad to be honest. I soon started leaving my corded mixer at home in the garage along with the other outdated pieces of equipment like corded hammer drills and corded jigsaws.
The average domestic plasterer on their own would do 3 to 5 bags a set and would do 2 sets a day. So every couple of days you would need to recharge the battery which I think is not too much of an issue. Mine came with two batteries so just try and remember to keep one charged at all times.
Quickly it became quite apparent that the DeWalt mixer was great for domestic jobs where you often have other trades working around each other and so moving about to mix up or keep out the way becomes a lot easier. I know on a couple of the jobs I was on the electrician had to kill the electric, and with a conventional mixer this would cause a problem, but not for me I was able to carry on as usual. Although when the radio stopped, I struggled but we got through those 10 minutes ok.
Is It Worth The Price Tag?
After the first full week of using I was still a bit unsure as to whether I would actually spend £600 on the DeWalt battery plaster mixer. However, as the weeks rolled by I did more and more jobs and used it more and more. The real proof in the pudding was when one day I had forgotten to charge both batteries…well actually I had put one on charge but forgot to turn the power on so I had to go and find my old corded mixer, and you know what I genuinely did miss the Dewalt cordless mixerthat day. I can’t remember how many times I tripped over and cursed the lead.
I Mixed Up Sand and Cement With It…
One day I was doing some brickwork, and because I did not have any electric where I was working it meant that I could not run my cement mixer, so I decided to put the DeWalt cordless mixerthrough its paces. I was only mixing up gorilla tubs of sand and cement up at a time, and in all honesty, it was not a problem for the mixer, you could tell that it was struggling but not struggling enough to make you think that it was burning out the mixer. Don’t get me wrong this was not ideal…
4 Bag Mix Was a Little Bit Of a Struggle
I had to mix up 4 bags the other day and to be fair it was a little stiffer than I would typically mix it and although the Dewalt XR mixer did it ok you can tell that it was a bit of a struggle. It became apparent when you have the whisk mixing, and you take it out of the bucket, and the speed dramatically increases. However, I have to be critical as that is my job and I don’t think the average plasterer is going to worry or probably even notice things like that as it still managed to mix it nicely.
What don’t I like about the DEWALT Mixer
Ok, the sudden stop…. Yup, I like my mixers to run on a little after I have let go of the trigger and slowly come to a stop, so when I pull it out of the gear it flicks off the excess, and it makes it easier to clean as there is less wastage. However with electric, it is pretty much on or off, and when I stop, it stops, and you have to tap the whisk on the top of the bucket which is no biggy, but in time I ended up cracking and splitting my bucket.
You also have to be aware of keeping batteries charged and make sure you don’t forget when you use one.
I have numbered my two batteries now as that makes it easier to know which one you are using.
The Price Of The DeWalt Cordless Mixer
The price is significant, and it is a lot of money, and for a corded mixer, it may be okay to spend that sort of money on it. However, you have to understand that batteries deteriorate and in a few years with regular use, you will need some more batteries, and we all know when it’s time to change the batteries on your other power tools that it usually is cheaper to rebuy the whole lot. That is a big concern for me and to be honest, it would be a big sticking point.
However modern day batteries are getting better, and I think that by the time you have killed these batteries you would have had your money’s worth out of the mixer anyway. Also, A corded mixerhas problems like cord damage and I think we all have snapped the cable on our mixers at one time or another.
Would I Buy a DeWalt Cordless Mixer?
The answer is yes, I think I would, and as you look at both the positives and negatives about it, I think the positives far outweigh the negatives. There is no need to lug about leads, and when the idiot of an electrician kills the power, you can carry on as usual. Likewise when you are skimming round walls with sockets on you won’t need to leave one on so you can plug your mixer in.
Last week I had to plaster my shed, and I did not have any power on site so I would have needed a generator which is not really an option but the DeWalt mixer was perfect in this situation.
If you have a spare £650 and do a lot of domestic work, then I would give it a go. If you don’t like it, there is always eBay! Don’t forget that £650 can be offset against your end of the year tax bill as well so not all bad news.
My other bit of advice is don’t mention it to the wife, or mention how much it costs, as I can guarantee World War III will break out.