Skill in handling finishing tools only comes with training and practice. But the first step to successful finishing is choosing the right tool for the job. Here are the basic tools needed for most flatwork finishing operations, and the uses for each:

  • Spreaders and rakes: Distribute and level freshly placed concrete.
  • Straightedges: Remove excess concrete and bring the top surface to proper grade.
  • Tampers: Push coarse aggregate below the concrete surface immediately after strikeoff.
  • Bull floats and darbies: Level ridges and fill voids left by the straightedges.
  • Hand floats: Remove imperfections from earlier finishing operations, and compact the surface in preparation for troweling.
  • Edgers: Produce a radius along the top edge of a slab that resists chipping and damage after form removal
  • Groovers: Cut contraction (or control) joints in fresh concrete.
  • Trowels: Produce a smooth, hard, dense surface after floating.
  • Brooms and brushes: Produce skid-resistant, textured concrete surfaces.