See What Happened When I Used the Kushlan Cement Mixer to Pour a Shed Foundation

This big mixer might be the best tool for the job…or it could be a bull in a china shop.
Mark Wolfe Avatar
The Kushlan concrete mixer set up in a yard
Photo: Mark Wolfe for Bob Vila

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn More ›

Whether it’s replacing a mailbox post, repairing the sidewalk, or building a new shed, the time eventually comes when most DIYers have to work with concrete. For small projects, a wheelbarrow works just fine to mix up a few bags. For large jobs, it’s best to order a delivery of wet mix by the cubic yard. But the cement required for midsize projects is too much for a wheelbarrow and not enough for delivery. That’s when a portable concrete mixer like the Kushlan 600DD comes in handy.

I recently used the Kushlan 600DD electric concrete mixer to mix and pour a 4-foot-by-8-foot concrete slab floor for a small garden shed. With its large mixing capacity and heavy-duty motor, it worked so well that I am already planning my next concrete project. Read on for all of the operational details and why I think it’s one of the best mixers for most midsize concrete jobs. I also provide an easy solution on how to fix its main flaw.

Kushlan 600DD Concrete Mixer: At a Glance

The interior of the Kushlan concrete mixer full of mixed cement ready for use
Photo: Mark Wolfe for Bob Vila

Rating: 9.1/10

SPECS

  • Drum: 5/16-inch polyethylene, 6 cubic feet
  • Drive: 28 revolutions per minute (rpm) direct drive
  • Motor: ¾ horsepower (hp) 120-volt electric motor
  • Frame: Cold-rolled galvanized steel tubing
  • Wheels: Flat-free polyurethane tires, ball-bearing race
  • Dimensions from the manufacturer: 50 inches long by 24 inches wide by 46 inches high
  • Dimensions measured by reviewer: 54 inches long by 28 inches wide 48 inches high
  • Weight: 107 pounds

PROS

  • Mixes up to six 60-pound bags of premixed concrete at a time
  • 3 steel blades are configured for mixing either concrete or mortar
  • Thick-walled polyurethane drum resists dents and corrosion and is easy to clean
  • Flat-free tires roll easily across pavement or unpaved ground
  • Rounded frame continuously supports the load while pouring concrete
  • Removable handles use less space in transport or storage

CONS

  • Operator must use caution to avoid stepping on the power cord while pouring concrete
  • Wide build is not suitable for working in narrow spaces

Get the Kushlan 600DD concrete mixer at:

What is the Kushlan 600DD concrete mixer?

The Kushlan 600DD concrete mixer is a heavy-duty machine capable of mixing several bags of concrete mix in a single batch. A ¾ hp 120-volt direct drive electric motor turns the 6-cubic-foot polyethylene mixing drum at a steady rate of 28 rpm. The motor and drum are mounted on a wheelbarrow-style frame made of galvanized tubular steel with two flat-free wheels.

The mixer required some assembly upon arrival. Following the directions in the box, I put it together in less than 20 minutes. Fully assembled, it was a bit bulky, mainly because of the wide drum and long handles. That bulk is one of the reasons this might not be the best option for every user. It becomes a liability in narrow workspaces and travel corridors, plus it eats up quite a bit of storage space.

How many bags of concrete can the Kushlan 600DD concrete mixer mix per batch?

The 6-cubic-foot drum and ¾ hp motor accommodate a little more than 300 pounds of concrete mix. The machine comes with a recipe printed over the motor housing that recommends mixing four 80-pound bags (320 pounds) of concrete mix with about 5 gallons (roughly 40 pounds) of water. That would make 2.4 cubic feet of cured concrete per batch. I adapted the recipe to work with batches of five 60-pound bags of concrete mix and 4.5 gallons of water. This altered recipe made 2.25 cubic feet of concrete per batch.

A person adding a bag of cement to the Kushlan concrete mixer
Photo: Mark Wolfe for Bob Vila

Is the Kushlan concrete mixer easy to use?

In most ways, the Kushlan 600DD concrete mixer was very easy to work with. The drum opening was fairly wide (17 inches in diameter) and at a comfortable height (30 inches from the ground) that allowed me to load heavy bags of dry mix without bending or stooping. The power cord pigtail, on/off switch, and built-in circuit breaker were easily accessible at the base of the drum and in between the wheelbarrow handles.

A few key details made the dual-wheel wheelbarrow design especially functional. The two 13-inch flat-free tires rolled easily over uneven ground, even with a heavy load. The axle was well balanced over a fulcrum point so that it remained stable during loading and mixing. When the mixer was loaded with more than 300 pounds of wet concrete, I was able to push it up a slight incline to the edge of the slab forms.

To unload the mix, I leveraged the curved part of the frame in front of the wheels. It allowed me to simply tip the whole thing forward, transitioning the weight from the wheels to the frame in one smooth motion with full support. I repeated the process five times to complete the slab.

The main flaw was discovered when I moved the mixer to dump the load. I accidentally stepped on the power cord and temporarily unplugged it, which could be problematic since it’s important to keep the drum in motion when there is wet concrete inside. The constant motion prevents problems with the mix and with the machine. After that incident, I zip-tied the extension cord to the handle to keep it out of the way. That was an easy solution.

Is the Kushlan concrete mixer good quality?

Physically, everything about the Kushlan 600DD concrete mixer represents good quality. The heavy-gauge polyethylene drum has incredible wall strength, will never rust, and eliminates much of the noise from tumbling concrete mix. The rugged galvanized steel frame is built to withstand heavy loads while rolling across uneven ground. Thoughtful details are included, such as extra-long handles, ideal balance, and curved dump supports to make the operator’s job easier. The heavy-duty motor features a weather-sealed power switch, grounded plug, and built-in circuit breaker.

In operation, the mixer motor turned smoothly and steadily. There was no hesitation or other signs of stress during loading or when it was mixing a full load of wet concrete. It was also very quiet—both the motor noise and the aggregate moving inside the drum—compared to other portable concrete mixers I’ve used. After mixing the first two batches of concrete, I switched power sources from a wall outlet to a portable generator. I noticed no difference in operation. To me, the best proof of the Kushlan 600DD concrete mixer’s overall quality was the combination of heavy-duty construction, a strong motor, and easy operational details.

The Kushlan concrete mixer in use pouring a cement foundation in a yard
Photo: Mark Wolfe for Bob Vila

Should you buy the Kushlan 600DD concrete mixer?

The quality of the Kushlan 600DD concrete mixer makes a compelling reason to buy this model. When it comes to size, I prefer having a high-capacity mixer like this one. For large concrete projects requiring multiple batches, it’s logistically easier to mix fewer, bigger batches. For smaller projects, it’s not a problem to mix a partial load in a big mixer, and cleanup takes no more effort than when you’re working with a wheelbarrow. However, if storage space is a concern, the Kushlan 600DD concrete mixer is a bit larger than a standard wheelbarrow. It also takes up more space on the worksite. For those who don’t have the storage or operating space for a large mixer, I recommend the smaller Kushlan 350DD concrete mixer, which offers similar functionality with a compact build and about half the capacity. Alternatively, if you only have one project in mind, then renting a mixer may make financial sense. But if you have several concrete-mixing projects in your future, the Kushlan 600DD concrete mixer is worth the investment.

Where to Buy the Kushlan 600DD Concrete Mixer

Get the Kushlan 600DD concrete mixer at:

Meet the Tester

Mark Wolfe is a writer and product tester with an extensive background in the nursery and landscaping industry. For more than 20 years he mowed, edged, planted, pruned, cultivated, irrigated, and renovated beautiful landscapes. Now he tests and writes reviews about the latest outdoor power equipment, hand tools, lawn care products, and other outdoor-living goods.

Share

Mark Wolfe Avatar

Mark Wolfe

Staff Writer

Mark Wolfe is a second-career freelance writer based in Georgia and has an extensive background in the horticulture industry. Since 2020, he has contributed numerous gardening and home improvement articles to BobVila.com, along with a variety of consumer product reviews.

WHY YOU CAN TRUST BOB VILA