The biggest questions that pops up in a plasterers discussion is what’s the best plastering trowel to use? There are so many companies making premium tools in all different shapes and sizes. But which one is the best?
Today we’re going to tackle this massive subject and try to define which plastering Trowel is the best. There are so many things to discuss but let’s keep this one simple. If I had only one Trowel I could use to satisfy my everyday plastering needs, which one would it be?
This subject is really hard to cover because of one simple fact: there are so many DIFFERENT types of trowels now.
It’s not like 30 years ago where you had 1 trowel to use throughout your whole career.
We have finish trowels, we have plastic trowels, steel trowels, magnesium trowels, cork handled trowels, corner trowels, midget trowels, gold plated trowels! (Nah just joking, but imagine how cool that would be)?
Anyway, there are so many different trowels now and I typically use about 5-8 trowels when I’m skimming. However, there is one factor that makes a Trowel worth KEEPING:
It’s all about how your wall looks after your work. If you use a lovely £60 Trowel but you can’t get a flat wall then I’m afraid you’re screwed. That’s why I’m going to break this down into 3 main categories. There’s a winner for each one, with the ultimate Trowel, announced at the end.
These are the sections
* The Ideal Trowel size
* Best Finishing Trowel
* The ultimate plastering Trowel
However, before we start we need to address one key factor:
What is the best Trowel size?
This is a key factor you need to consider when buying a trowel. The size of your plastering trowel affects your control, speed and pressure when plastering.
If you buy a 16″ trowel you have the ability to get a lot more plaster on your walls compared to using a 13″ trowel. On the other hand, a 12″ trowel holds a lot less plaster but provides more control compared to an 18″ plastering trowel.
So the question is which is best? Is it better to have a longer trowel which holds more plaster or a smaller trowel which provides more control? My answer is simple.
Use a 14″ plastering trowel. This sized trowel can spread a good amount of plaster with the optimum amount of control. It’s isn’t too stressful on your joints and it’s a great weight to work with.
I’ve worked with all sized trowels and always returned to my trusty 14″. I believe this is the ultimate sized trowel for all forms of plaster. It’s easy to work with, great for render and finish plaster alike and makes it easy to use for your more intricate forms of plaster.
Now let’s get to the good bit!
Best Plastering Finishing Trowel
I would have never had a category for this when I first started plastering because there simply wasn’t an option. I had one 1 trowel which did everything. From Finish to render, my Trowel did it all!
However this Trowel I’m going to mention has changed the way a plaster. This one Trowel gives a great Finish with a minimal amount of work which is why I had to give it some recognition.
The best plastering finishing trowel I’ve used is the Refina Superflex.
It’s better than the Marshalltown Superflex, it’s better than the Nela Mediflex and it’s also better than the Refina Plaziflex. I believe this Trowel beats them all!
It’s light, ultra-flexible (which takes all the pressure off your joints) and lovely to work with. The Superflex provides a great Finish and for the price, gives results that most people wouldn’t dream of getting.
It has changed the way I plaster and I will never go back to the old days of just using 1 trowel. It’s just too good to deny! I have written a full review on the Refina Superflex in my last blog post so if you’re intrigued give it a read.
The Best Plastering Trowel
This is the big one, the one question that every plasterer asks. What is the best plastering Trowel? If I could only use 1 Trowel for the rest of my life, which one would it be?
The winner is the 14″ Marshalltown Permashape Finishing Trowel with a carbon steel blade. Wait a minute…..
Carbon Steel blade???
Yep, you heard me, a carbon steel plastering trowel. I’ve used the Marshalltown stainless steel Trowel but it just isn’t as good. It’s great to look at and easy to maintain but the steel trowels are the best for me.
The steel trowels are far more superior to keeping a sharp edge and I’ll be honest, the best finish I’ve had was from my old steel Marshalltown. The blades get really fine providing a Finish that a stainless steel Trowel struggles to compete with.
As a company, Marshalltown provides the best. They are extremely durable, comfortable to use and generally hard to beat. This Trowel is the ideal size, easy to use and great for both Finishing and rendering.
Its Permashape blade prevents the trowel from losing its shape which makes this Trowel strong as an Ox. Most professional plasterers will recommend a carbon steel Trowel because they simply can’t be beaten.
The rubber handle provides optimum grip with comfort during high-pressure moments. It has great weight and makes Plastering extremely easy.
If you’re willing to spend a bit more time maintaining your plastering Trowel, go for a carbon steel Marshalltown. You won’t be disappointed.
The only thing is that it does rust so you do need to be using it consistently and rubbing it down with a rag of WD40 after use. This prevents it from rusting.
If you’re aren’t using it frequently then I would settle for the stainless steel one. Its a good choice for beginners and I would use in conjunction with a Refina Superflex to get the perfect finish at the end.
The stainless steel trowel is easier to maintain and it is still a lovely trowel. It just doesn’t beat the classic carbon alternative. Either way, I do believe that the Marshalltown trowels are brilliant and should definitely be considered.
So you have the trowel sorted…
Now it’s time to start plastering. If you’re new to the world of skimming then we have a FREE video series available. We’ll show the 7 steps to plastering, teach you how to mix the plaster and even show you a bonus video on getting your walls flat.
If you’re interested, sign up to our free course using the form below and we’ll email you the first video on how to plaster a wall:
So this concludes our test for the best plastering trowel.
If you have any questions let us know. feel free to leave any comments and have a look at the rest of the site!