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Concrete TampersHow to tamp concrete with a jitterbug
Tampers (sometimes called Jitterbugs) push the coarse aggregate in the concrete below the concrete surface and consolidate the concrete.
HOW DO YOU TAMP CONCRETE?
Most tamping is done with the finisher standing in the wet concrete—though there are roller tampers that can be used from outside the forms.
DO YOU NEED TO TAMP CONCRETE?
Tamping should only be done on low slump concrete. With high slump concrete, the coarse aggregates sink naturally and tamping can cause segregation of the aggregates.
Ralph Spannenberg, in "Use the Right Finishing Tools at the Right Time" notes that if a tamper is used when the slump of normal weight concrete is greater than 3 inches, a tamper segregates the concrete, creating a thick layer of mortar at the surface.
When the concrete dries, this cement-rich surface shrinks more than the underlying lean concrete. Map-cracking or crazing is often the result.
WHAT DO TAMPERS COST?
Concrete tampers come in different lengths, ranging from 12 to 48 inches, and the cost varies depending on which you pick. Pricing also varies between tool manufacturers.
Generally, expect to pay somewhere between $40 and $100 for a tamper.
Looking for a tamper to use when stamping concrete?
Check out this article on Touch-Up Tools & Tampers for Stamped Concrete.