The trowels that we use on The DIY School Plastering Course have been in use for over 3 years now, are in use every day and have never let us down. They are of the £5 type.
Plastering Trowels range hugely in price, come in a variety of sizes, materials and handle types.
Prices can range from below £5 to well over £30 for standard trowels. Other special purpose plastering tools can cost much more and for basic plastering can be unnecessary.
It is true that every new trowel needs to be worn in and that includes the worn in trowels. What this means is that the edges of the trowels are very aggressive when first manufactured. By rubbing the edges in a typical plastering fashion against a flat abrasive surface the edges can been prepared for plastering. Typically though a trowel will become optimised for plastering within just a few plastered walls.
When starting out do not spend too much or buy too big.
Keep your trowel clean at all times. If you put it down for just a few moments clean it off.
Always keep the handle dry and clean. Keep the back of the trowel clean also.
If you are using it infrequently use a bit of WD40 on it to prevent it rusting whilst in storage.
Never leave your trowel on its edge. Were someone to fall on the exposed edges it will cause a serious injury.
Your plastering trowel is a craftsman’s tool. Using it as a scraper on walls, floors or spot boards will only damage it and detract from the quality of your finish.
If you trowel is leaving lines in your wall it is possible that it is twisted and may need replacing.
Always wet your trowel before using it. Remember that a trowel that is almost flat to a wall with a gap of up to 1inch between the plaster and the leading edge of the trowel will lay plaster on the wall. Any more than an inch and the trowel will start to remove plaster.
In most cases the shoulder of the trowel will be on the same side as the shoulder of the arm that you are holding it with.