Article discusses what factors contractors should consider before buying a walk-behind or ride-on power trowel, including design features, productivity, power options, drive mechanisms and ease of control.

Walk-behind trowels have one set of blades ranging in diameter from 2 to 5 feet, giving a finished area per revolution of slightly more than 3 to nearly 20 square feet, respectively. A typical 36-inch-diameter walk-behind power trowel can produce between 700 and 1,500 square feet of finished concrete per day.

Equipped with either two or three sets of rotating blades, ride-on trowels have path widths ranging from 6 feet to slightly more than 10 feet and can produce a troweled area of about 17 to 40 square feet, respectively. The largest units weigh more than a ton and can finish about 3,000 square feet per day.