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Which are the best plastering trowels for the job?

As a plasterer, you’re no doubt already aware of just how many tools there are for your job. And this includes the numerous different trowels you might need to finish different individual jobs. So, to make sure you can keep delivering excellent work for all your clients, we’ve broken down the best plastering trowels that you should invest in.

The importance of good plastering trowels

No matter the area, if plastering is your trade, then you know how important using the right tools is. And that means you need the best trowels available in order to create a smooth finish.

But how do you know just which trowel to invest in? After all, there are many different types available.

Well, to help you out, we’ve created this list of the best plastering trowels in all areas. That way you can be sure your tools are up to the job and won’t let you down.

Which plastering tool is best?

Plastering isn’t like it was 30 years ago when one trowel would probably get you through your whole career. Nowadays, there are so many different tools for plastering that it can make it tricky to know which to buy.

From finishing trowels to plastic trowels and even magnesium trowels, the list is long and thorough. This in turn means you’re likely to use a number of different trowels for each job. For skimming alone, you’ll probably use at least five!

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However, when it comes to the best plastering trowel for your needs you should consider the following factors:

  • The job in question
  • Your level of plastering experience
  • Your strength
  • The wall you’re working on
  • How often you’ll be doing plastering jobs

Ultimately, you’ll want to look for a trowel that’s strong, lightweight, and flexible. And remember, the best plastering trowels typically have rounded corners.

This is to avoid marking wet plaster. They may also have a pre-worn blade to remove any imperfections left over from the manufacturing process.

Which is the best finishing trowel?

In today’s market, the best finishing trowel tends to be flexible in its use. For that reason, the Pre-Worn Finishing Towel from Ragni is always a great option. This 14” finishing trowel has a comfortable grip and provides a great finish without much work.

However, another fantastic choice is the Ox Pro 16” UltraFlex Finishing Trowel. This stainless-steel tool is very flexible but still durable enough for professional use. Plus, it’s got a large, rubberised grip, making this one of the most comfortable trowels to use.

Best of all, both these trowels are available from Selco – one of our partner brands! So, if you’re a Checkatrade member, you’ll be able to get an exclusive discount on it!

Remember, when looking for flexible trowels, a thinner blade is always important. It makes the finishing stage of plastering much easier and smoother, ultimately giving you a better finish!

You’ll want to avoid more standard and solid plastering trowels as they tend to have much stiffer blades. This can create stress on your joints at the finishing stages because of their lack of movement.

On top of this, bear in mind that flexible plastering trowels aren’t suitable for applying or flattening plaster. Hence why you now need more than one trowel to get the job done properly.

Which is the best trowel for plastering?

The core part of most plastering jobs, when it comes to the best trowel for plastering, we have one favourite.

In our opinion, you’ll want to go with the 16” Marshalltown Permashape Plastering Trowel.

Made from hardened and tempered golden stainless steel, it comes with a pre-worn-in blade. This means you can get started as soon as you get it out of the box.

It even has a soft handle to help reduce fatigue. And as a permashape tool, it will likely maintain its original, broken-in shape for a long time.

There are many reasons why we love this tool specifically. It’s great for applying plaster to walls, as well as for flattening and going over with secondary coats. It’s simply just a great all-rounder.

Remember, when looking for laying-on trowels, you actually want to find a more rigid product. This allows you to more easily control the thickness of the plaster.

If you’re an experienced plasterer, you might also find that you favour a larger trowel for this job. That way, you’ll be able to get more plaster on the walls faster.

best plastering trowel for laying on

Which is the best plastic plastering trowel?

For the most part, we wouldn’t actually suggest a plastic tool as the best plastering trowel. However, the 16” Refina Plaziflex Trowel has to be one of the best plastering trowel options out there. It’s certainly ideal for use as a skimming trowel.

Lightweight and incredibly versatile thanks to its replaceable blades, its ‘flex-back’ design gives its blade both rigidity and flexibility. This allows it to glide across walls without putting stress on your joints and arms.

Just bear in mind that, plastic plastering trowels aren’t designed for laying on plaster. Instead, their flexible but warp-prone nature makes them better suited for skimming and finishing work.

Which is the best bucket trowel?

If you’re plastering a wall, then you’re obviously going to need a bucket by your side. As their name suggests, bucket trowels are used for scooping mortar from a bucket.

One of the best tools for plastering, the simple bucket trowel is another all-purpose tool to have in your kit. They can even be used for smoothing mortar on larger bricks and blocks.

For this reason, we highly recommend the 7″ Ox Pro Bucket Trowel. Sturdy and heavy, its shorter blades make it easy to fit in your bucket. It’s also crafted from stainless steel, making it rust-resistant, as well as curved corners to help eliminate lines in plaster.

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Which is the best trowel for rendering?

If you want a plastering trowel that can also be used for rendering, go for the 16″ Tyzack Cementing Trowel. With a strong stainless-steel blade, it’s both lightweight and strong, making it great for finishing and rendering alike.

However, if you’re rendering external walls, you’ll need a trowel that’s capable of handling the heavier composition of render.

There are a lot of different kinds of trowels that you can opt for. However, the best plastering trowel in this area is one that offers versatility.

Which is the best Venetian plaster trowel?

Finally, if you want to get fancy with your tool choice, you might want to consider a Venetian trowel. Good Venetian plaster trowels have some flex to them, making the Gold of Venice Polished Plaster Trowel absolutely ideal.

This stainless-steel trowel was specially designed for applying Venetian plaster, marmorino, and decorative plasters, and was made in Italy. It’s also very durable and pleasant to use thanks to its lightweight nature and ergonomic handle.

Save money on buying tools with Checkatrade

So, now you have a good idea of the best plastering trowels you can use. And if you’re thinking of buying new tools, then you should sign up for Checkatrade first.

We offer plenty of discounts to our members on all kinds of tools thanks to our partnerships. Take a look at the membership benefits to see who we’ve teamed up with.

Don’t forget to get in touch with the Checkatrade team today to learn more about joining.

You can also visit our blog for more articles like this one. We have pieces on starting a plastering business, plasterer salaries, and plastering courses.

Get exclusive discounts on plastering trowels

Checkatrade members get exclusive rates on their tools from Selco

Find out more

Plaster trowel FAQs

Do you need a finishing trowel?

It’s not vital to have a finishing trowel, as some trowels can be used for both laying on and finishing. However, investing in a trowel especially for finishing will make the finishing stages of plastering easier. It’ll also help you to achieve a flawless finish.

What is the best plastering trowel for beginners?

The best trowel for beginners will depend on personal preference. However, when starting out, you can’t go wrong with the simple Silverline Plastering Trowel.

It’s short enough to give you a good level of control. Overall, it’s proven to be a hit with beginners and professionals alike.

What is the best size trowel for plastering?

The most common sizes for plastering trowels range between 12” and 16”. In an ideal world, you’d have different-sized trowels that you can turn to depending on your changing needs. But a happy in-between could be a 14” plastering trowel.

This size gives you a good balance between control and being able to spread a decent amount of plaster. Longer trowels require more pressure and a greater technique to use while shorter trowels scoop less plaster.

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