Whether you’re a professional builder or a DIY enthusiast, a plastering trowel is one of the most important tools you can have in your arsenal.
As the name suggests, they are designed for applying plaster to walls and ceilings, and giving you a smooth finish which can then be painted or wallpapered over, leaving you with a beautifully decorated room.
They’re also a ‘dual tool’ and are used for scooping the plaster out of a bucket and onto the wall in one swift movement, before gently smoothing it across the surface and giving you a perfect finish.
Sounds fairly simple, right? Well, you might be surprised to learn that there are a plethora of plastering trowels available, and they all claim to do different things which, when it comes to buying one, can make things seem a little complicated.
To take the guesswork out of finding the perfect plastering trowel for your needs, we’ve put together a collection of some of the best available below, along with a handy buying guide that is filled with tips on what to look out for before making your final purchase.
Grab a seat, kick your feet up and join us as we take you on a journey through the best plastering trowels!
In a hurry and got a big plastering job coming up that you need a trowel for? Take a look at our top pick below.
In a hurry? This is our winner!
Best Plastering Trowel – Comparison Table
Best Plastering Trowel – Reviews
Best Plastering Trowel – Buyer’s Guide
If you’re looking to get a professional finish on any renovations that you’re undertaking, there’s no doubt that a plastering trowel is the tool you need for the job.
Not only will it make getting the plaster onto the wall or ceiling a lot easier, but it will also ensure you get a smooth, ripple free finish that you can then cover with your choice of paint or wallpaper.
However, to make sure that you get the correct plastering trowel for the job in hand, there are a few things you need to give some thought to before purchasing. We’ve outlined these below for you, and once you’ve given each one some consideration, you’ll be able to confidently purchase the best plastering trowel for your building needs!
The first thing you need to think about is how big you need your plastering trowel to be. You’ll notice that many available options will give you a choice of size, and choosing the incorrect size could cause a delay to your work.
As a standard rule, the larger the area you have to plaster, the larger the plastering trowel needs to be. Choosing a large trowel of around 14” will allow you to cover a wider area in one application, and will give you the correct surface area for smoothing the plaster out for a perfect finish.
If you’re working on a smaller space or are covering holes in a wall that has already been plastered, then a smaller sized trowel will give you the precision you need for creating a finish that is level with the rest of the surface.
There are several options available to choose from when you’re looking at what your plastering trowel is made of, but the most important thing to be sure of is that it is strong and durable enough to bear the weight of the plaster as you apply it to your surface.
Stainless steel is the most popular choice, and for good reason, as it is super strong and won’t break or snap under a heavy weight, nor will it bend out of shape as you apply pressure to it when smoothing it across your surface.
Many plastering trowels are made of stainless steel that has also been hardened and tempered, which provides extra strength to the metal, and some even have a lacquered finish which gives them ultimate durability and prevents any corrosion or rust damage.
It’s also important to make sure that your chosen plastering trowel has a certain level of flexibility to it as well as strength.
When you’re plastering any surface, you’ll be hitting bumps and uneven textures, so a trowel that has flexibility in the blade will allow you to glide over these and create a smooth finish without it catching or stopping abruptly.
You’ll also need to pay some attention to the corners and edges of your plastering trowel, as these will play the biggest part in how you achieve that smooth finish. The best option to go for would be a plastering trowel that features rounded corners and pre-worn edges, as these will ensure you get a line-free, ripple free surface without having to spend a lot of time smoothing the plaster out.
There are also a few options to choose from when it comes to choosing what sort of handle your plastering trowel has. Ideally, you’ll want to purchase one that is not only going to give you the steady grip you need for such an important job, but will also provide you with comfort when you’re using it for a longer period of time.
Luckily, many plastering trowels have been designed with an ergonomic grip which reduces the risk of any wrist strain or injury, and also helps to reduce fatigue, so this is always a good feature to look for.
The material that your handle is made of is another important factor to look into when it comes to finding the most comfortable option. Cork is a good choice here, because it will mould to the contours of your hand over time, however there are also specially designed handles that provide you with a soft and comfortable grip.
As we know, plaster is a fairly heavy material to work with so you’ll need to make sure that the handle is as securely fixed to the blade as possible. There are usually a couple of options to choose from here.
The first of these options is a handle that has been welded to the blade. This creates a strong bond between them, and gives your plastering trowel the appearance of having been created from a single piece of metal which is often more aesthetically pleasing.
The second option is a handle that has been riveted to the blade using stainless steel fixings. This is often the most popular option as the bond is generally stronger than welding, and prevents the handle from bending or snapping under a heavy weight.
The price of plastering trowels can be fairly erratic, with some models being much more expensive than some others. This is generally due to the materials being used, and the construction of the trowel itself, however there are still some really good options available that are at the lower end of the price scale.
It’s a good idea to firstly think about how often you intend on using your plastering trowel (is it for professional use or more for the odd DIY task, for example), and then setting yourself a budget accordingly. And, as always, make sure that you’re paying for the quality of the trowel and the features it offers, rather than paying for the brand.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to wear in a plastering trowel?
To get the smoothest finish possible, it’s a good idea to wear in a plastering trowel. This can be done by simply rubbing the edges with a sheet of sandpaper until they are smoother than they originally were. Some plastering trowels do come with pre-worn edges, however, so these are a good option if you’re looking to buy one.
What is a plastering trowel used for?
Plastering trowels are tools that are used for lifting plaster out of a bucket, placing it onto a surface (such as a wall or ceiling), and then smoothing it across the surface. This creates a hard, smooth finish that can then be painted on or wallpapered over. They can also be used for filling small holes in walls and creating a level finish alongside any existing plaster.
Are plastic plastering trowels any good?
Plastic plastering trowels will provide you with a smooth finish to your surface, however they are prone to breaking more easily under the weight of the plaster. The best material to look for in a plastering trowel is a metal, such as stainless steel, that will offer you strength and durability, as well as give you the smooth, ripple free finish you’re looking for.