What Is Your Favorite Trowel And How Did You Decide?

 
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Old 10-23-2017, 03:54 PM   #1
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What Is Your Favorite Trowel And How Did You Decide?


My dad was always very particular about the trowel he used. When I wanted something smaller he laughed at me, in a loving, fatherly way.

What is your favorite trowel and why?

(also, here's my silly little website blog post on the topic).
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Old 10-23-2017, 07:54 PM   #2
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Trowel And How Did You Decide?


Rose wide london 10.5" I think.
I think a lot of why one works for you has to do with handle to blade angle and rise of handle. Hope that helps, send me a free mortarboard or two, thanks.

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Old 10-24-2017, 06:48 AM   #3
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Trowel And How Did You Decide?


When I was younger, and pre Spec-Mix, a year old ~12" long Narrow heel London pattern W. Rose 13" trowel for brick veneer( less then 5" behind the line,) and a wide W.Rose 12" for everything else...

As the mortar workability disappeared, I use a 12" Rose narrow heel, with a plastic handle and crutch tip to preserve the handle length over the trowels lifetime, and a wore down 12" wide heel on CMUS.

If I am stuck underpinning or laying above my head I have "airplane" trowels down to ~9" depending on the amount of obstructions.

On prisons and other grossly over steeled walls I'll buy and use a low lift heel trowel an inch or so smaller then 'normal' to aid in threading the needle through the thicket of rebar.

If your arm and or hand hurts for more then a few minutes at the end of a day, get a smaller trowel, It is silly to do tens of thousands of dollars damage to yourself to lay few more units for a short period of time.

Most of the time, when working for others, the mortar's lack of quality mixing prevents the use of the larger trowels for any length of time, undertrained and understaffed operations just abuse the bodies of all the employees involved labor and mason alike.
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Old 10-26-2017, 06:20 PM   #4
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Trowel And How Did You Decide?


11.5" Rose. I always touch and feel all the new ones till I find one that feels the best.
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Old 10-26-2017, 09:57 PM   #5
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Trowel And How Did You Decide?


I especially like the ones that the guys I hire bring with them! They have lots of skills and experience, too.
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Old 10-27-2017, 01:55 AM   #6
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Trowel And How Did You Decide?


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I especially like the ones that the guys I hire bring with them! They have lots of skills and experience, too.
My Dad once hired a guy that claimed he was a skilled mason. Show up for work his first day with a new concrete finishing trowel, he didn't hang around
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Old 10-27-2017, 11:55 AM   #7
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Trowel And How Did You Decide?


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Rose wide london 10.5" I think.
I think a lot of why one works for you has to do with handle to blade angle and rise of handle. Hope that helps, send me a free mortarboard or two, thanks.
Artisanstone, I sent you a message, not sure if you received it. I'm going to open this offer to anyone on the forum who comes across this message. If you want a free mortar board just visit this link. I'm asking that you pay shipping and provide some feedback.

Thanks
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Old 10-30-2017, 10:03 PM   #8
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Trowel And How Did You Decide?


Wash, rinse, repeat...10.5 narrow London, Rose of course. They still pound them out about a mile down the road in Sharon Hill PA.

And nobody uses a 13" Fourth... you've lost your mind my friend
Attached Thumbnails
What is your favorite trowel and how did you decide?-rose-trowel-006a.jpg   What is your favorite trowel and how did you decide?-rose-trowel-007a.jpg   What is your favorite trowel and how did you decide?-rose-trowel-024a.jpg   What is your favorite trowel and how did you decide?-rose-trowel-026a.jpg   What is your favorite trowel and how did you decide?-rose-trowel-029a.jpg  

What is your favorite trowel and how did you decide?-tools-039a.jpg   What is your favorite trowel and how did you decide?-tools-040a.jpg   What is your favorite trowel and how did you decide?-rose-trowel-038a.jpg   What is your favorite trowel and how did you decide?-rose-trowel-037a.jpg  
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Old 10-30-2017, 10:11 PM   #9
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Trowel And How Did You Decide?


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Artisanstone, I sent you a message, not sure if you received it. I'm going to open this offer to anyone on the forum who comes across this message. If you want a free mortar board just visit this link. I'm asking that you pay shipping and provide some feedback.

Thanks
I'm in, just ordered one...thank you and I will certainly let you know how I like it.
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Old 10-30-2017, 11:25 PM   #10
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Trowel And How Did You Decide?


I'm not a mason, I'm a GC who self-perform a lot of trades, so all I really know is Marshalltown and Bon Tool.

I started with a Philadelphia, but didn't really like it, I've now switched to a London, and I love it. I'm currently laying CMU all day, and no pain at all at the day's end.


Oh, and I completely lost my $#!T today on the job, and hurled my trowel across the slab. I damaged the handle, but it's still perfectly functional, so they're good quality, too.





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Old 10-31-2017, 08:02 PM   #11
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Trowel And How Did You Decide?


Artisanstone, I sent you a message, not sure if you received it. I'm going to open this offer to anyone on the forum who comes across this message. If you want a free mortar board just visit this link. I'm asking that you pay shipping and provide some feedback.



Not to look a gifted horse in the mouth,however, like I mentioned,30" x 30 " boards are to my liking,24" x 24" are to small. If you decide to make that size,count me in,otherwise,thanks but I'll pass.
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Old 11-07-2017, 09:47 PM   #12
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Trowel And How Did You Decide?


W. Rose 100%!! when I bought my first trowel my dad told me to buy a w.rose because thats the only trowels pros use, but I liked the softgrip on the marshalton so I went with that and after about 1 year laying block my marshalton had a bunch of indentations on the side from cutting ladder wire with it. Aside from that it went from 12" went down to about 11-1/4" pretty fast..his 15+ y.o. w. rose showed no damage from cutting wire and was still pretty close to its original size. If you cant find w.rose marshallton is still pretty good.. What you want to look for is a one piece trowel. Never buy a trowel that has been welded.
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Old 11-08-2017, 10:26 AM   #13
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Trowel And How Did You Decide?


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W. Rose 100%!! when I bought my first trowel my dad told me to buy a w.rose because thats the only trowels pros use, but I liked the softgrip on the marshalton so I went with that and after about 1 year laying block my marshalton had a bunch of indentations on the side from cutting ladder wire with it. Aside from that it went from 12" went down to about 11-1/4" pretty fast..his 15+ y.o. w. rose showed no damage from cutting wire and was still pretty close to its original size. If you cant find w.rose marshallton is still pretty good.. What you want to look for is a one piece trowel. Never buy a trowel that has been welded.


There is no doubt both Rose and MT. make a good product. Let me give you some insight as to why the MT. had "dings" from cutting wire. Rose makes their trowels in two blade hefts,standard and limber. The standard is what is predominantly stocked and consequently what most masons are familiar with. The blade has thicker metal than their limber version. MT on the other hand, to the best of my knowledge,makes only one blade thickness,that being closer to the limber version of Rose. Hence,thicker blade,less "dings" cutting wire (by the way,there are specific tools to cut wire ) So,if you were to cut wire with a limber Rose,you'd get dings in it.

The trade off between both blade thicknesses is the limber Rose and a standard MT have more "snap" to them . And just to play the devils advocate,who really cares if a trowel lasts 15 yrs.? I personally don't.
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:05 PM   #14
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Trowel And How Did You Decide?


My favorite trowel (really the only trowel I use other than margins or pointing) is a 12" stainless steel Narrow London from Bon, with the blue comfort grip. Like fjn mentioned, it's relatively limber due to the fact that it's thinner (the stainless must be stronger than mild steel).

A huge bonus is that it never rusts, so if you don't use it everyday, or put it away wet, you'd never know it. It also stays much cleaner because of the lack of rust.

ANother thing I look for in a trowel is a fat handle, as I find it much easier to hang onto all day. I used to use the cushion grip MT trowels, but found myself dropping them off of scaffold all of the time because the grip was too small.


I think "superseal" might be the Imelda Marcos of masonry tools! Quite the impressive collection!
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:42 PM   #15
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Trowel And How Did You Decide?


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ANother thing I look for in a trowel is a fat handle, as I find it much easier to hang onto all day. I used to use the cushion grip MT trowels, but found myself dropping them off of scaffold all of the time because the grip was too small.


I'm like you,like a fatter handle. I usually get just the standard wooden handle,put a rubber bumper on end and wrap with duct tape to get the thickness right .

You would be spending a bunch of money on our jobs,we have an old rule,any guy who drops his trowel,buys lunch for the whole crew,laborers included.
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:54 PM   #16
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Trowel And How Did You Decide?


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And just to play the devils advocate,who really cares if a trowel lasts 15 yrs.? I personally don't.

No kidding they are not that expensive...last rose I bought about 6-7 years ago I think was $40 or something

at the store yesterday I was checking out trowels and I am absolutely surprised how thick the metal blade is on a new rose compared to mine since itís so worn down from use. The edges on mine are razor sharp







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Old 11-11-2017, 09:00 PM   #17
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Trowel And How Did You Decide?


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You would be spending a bunch of money on our jobs,we have an old rule,any guy who drops his trowel,buys lunch for the whole crew,laborers included.

They better include the laborers since they are probably the ones picking up the trowel if your on a Scaffold...haha

I usually donít drop the trowel often unfortunately itís usually my damm levels that hit the ground



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Old 11-11-2017, 09:41 PM   #18
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Trowel And How Did You Decide?


How long does your trowels last? My Rose trowels last about 2 years, they wear down about an inch, time for a new one.
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Old 11-11-2017, 11:17 PM   #19
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Trowel And How Did You Decide?


The latest M-towns last almost as long as the W.Roses do... I get 3 or 4 years but use different trowels for block and veneer work, and a smaller trowel for underpinning and tight Quarters. Rubber crutch Tips and use of Hammers instead of the trowel to snap bats along with cutting Dura-wall with bolt cutters with add several months of wear to any brand of mud forker.

My used paddles are either cut down(remove 2-3" of the tip at ~80-75 degree angle)
to bucket trowels or given to older/younger masons, or DIY friends, or consigned to the mixer men
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:19 AM   #20
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Trowel And How Did You Decide?


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You would be spending a bunch of money on our jobs,we have an old rule,any guy who drops his trowel,buys lunch for the whole crew,laborers included.
Fred, I used to drop it so much that I wouldn't have been able to afford to work with your crew!

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