A power float is a construction machine that is used to create a smooth surface when concrete is partially set. For larger surfaces, this is an essential tool because it increases efficiency and can save hours of work.

The majority of concrete surfaces need to be level and flat, and this finishing stage has typically been the most difficult in the concreting process. Screeders and hand tamps can be used to level out a concrete surface, but a power float is uniquely capable of creating a perfect finish when it’s almost set.

Using a Power Float

Petrol power float

Power trowels, as they’re also known, can be electrically powered; but the most popular examples are petrol-driven. Small jobs can be finished using an actual trowel, as the back of a gardening trowel has a nice smooth surface. As the power trowel’s blades spin, the partly-set cement levels off and the surface is flattened.

The time to use a power float is typically when the cement is in the final stages of setting, when you can walk on the surface without making significant dents. Certain projects allow the power float user to stand beyond the working area whilst operating the float on the cement.

Norton Clipper’s CT series of power floats incorporate a dead man’s handle, which ensures that the machine cannot operate on its own without the user actively triggering it. The petrol models of course mean cable-free operation.

Before the advent of these machines, concrete finishing would have been an extremely precarious and time-consuming affair, especially for projects that require immaculate results. The CT601 from Norton Clipper can work up to a proximity of 10mm from objects such as walls, so there is often no final smoothing to be done.

As with many items of construction equipment, the balance of weight can have a significant effect on the user comfort, and the lightweight frame of modern power floats means easier and quicker operation whilst still feeling sturdy enough for large-scale projects.