INDCO Industry Report: Portable 5-Gallon Pail Mixers
A variety of fixed location and portable pail mixers are on the market for open or closed lid pails. Popular formats include shakers, tumblers, and pail rotators with scraping blade and top-mounted rotating impeller mixers. A versatile 5-gallon pail mixer can be a critical piece of equipment for efficient on-site mixing applications, particularly when the batch has a limited working life. Some common jobsites across industries: a contractor painting a facility or residence, someone laying tile in a large space, or a baker making a batch of goods for a store front. A pint or one-gallon pail may be too small and 55-gallons is too much and not very mobile. The 5-gallon pail is easily moved around the site on the floor or a tabletop and often yields enough material to complete the job.
In addition to size, weight and portability, price point is also a positive for these mixers compared to other formats. The most portable top-mounted versions are priced between $500.00 and $2,000.00 depending upon horsepower and other features such as explosion-proof motors or variable speed control. Drum rotators start in the $1,500.00 range. Conventional reciprocating shakers can be purchased between $3,500.00 and $4,500.00. More complex multi-axis gyroscopic and dual axis shakers start around $5,000.00 and can be $9,000.00 or more.
Another option for mixing in 5-gallon pails is agitation tools driven by a standard drill motor via an adjustable chuck. Although much less powerful than mixers designed to mount directly to the pail these tools can be the most economical when the results are acceptable. Prices vary widely with an approximate average price point of $68.00. There are many manufacturers and versions of impeller styles including those that advertise tornado-like vortexes, high shear or specific designs to minimize air in the mixture. These options may require the operator to hold the mixer power head and move the tool around the pail while mixing.