When and why to use a Float Blade and a Finishing Pan?
It is important to notice that there are two different types of float. At first there is the Finishing Pan, also called the float pan which is the big disk and there are the Float Blades Clip-On which are a smaller replacement of the disk. They both clip on the finishing trowel blades.
These two types of float are used for the same purpose: doing the rough part of concrete finishing. In fact, float blades are mainly fixed on walk-behind power trowel and the Finishing Pans on walk-behind and ride-on power trowel, both to do the first two or three passes after concrete leveling.
Basically, the float blades and finishing pans are designed to place the aggregates uniformly below the floor surface. It removes all the inequalities, all the bumps and the major imperfections to ensure the flatness of the concrete surface.
They are generally made of 12 to 10 gauge steel so they are built tough. That is one of the reasons why a lot of finishers like to work with them: because they help saving the finishing trowels blades from wear:
Instead of having friction on aggregate with a 0.062” to 0.094” (16 to 13 gauge) finishing trowel, they use some 12 to 10 gauge float trowels so the finishing trowel last longer.
They also do a better and faster job at finishing and help reaching a higher FF number.
Furthermore, the Float Blades use a clip-on system and the Finishing Pans use safety catch or Z bracket system, so it doesn’t take much time to change.
Some finishers choose to use Finishing Pans, and some prefer Float Blades. These latter provides a easier steering control on walk-behind power trowel.
Moreover, some of our finishers report that the concrete is drying faster in cold and moist conditions when the concrete is drying to slow by using the Floats blades.