A darby tool is a long, flat, rectangular block of wood or aluminum. You use it to smooth out concrete and to remove any excess.
It’s usually used before using a bull float, but after using a screed. If you want to know what those are, I’ll explain them to you below.
What a Darby Tool Is Used For
To understand what a darby tool is used for, you need to understand what a screed and bull float are, since those are the tools it’s used in between.
A screed is a long board that you pull across the surface of your concrete. You use it to flatten out the surface and to fill in any low areas. You can use a 2 x 4 for this, which is why they’re often called “2 x 4 screeds.”
A bull float is what you use after screeding to smooth the surface of the concrete. It’s a long, flat tool that you pull across the surface of the concrete.
It’s the darby tool that you use before the bull float, to get rid of any excess concrete and to smooth out the surface even more.
A darby tool is also used for concrete overlays, where you pour a thin coat of concrete over an existing slab. You use the darby tool to smooth out the overlay and to get it level.
What a Darby Tool Is Made of
A darby tool is made from either wood or aluminum. You can think of it as a long, flat, rectangular block of whatever material it’s made of.
Wood darby tools are made from a single piece of wood, so they’re not as durable as ones made from aluminum. They’re also lighter, so you might prefer a wood one if you value maneuverability over durability.
Aluminum darby tools will last you a lifetime. They have a cross section that’s hollow, which makes them both lightweight and strong.
The Difference Between a Darby and a Trowel Tool
The difference between a darby tool and a trowel tool is that a darby tool doesn’t have the handle that a trowel tool does.
That’s why a darby tool is used for smoothing out the surface of fresh concrete, while a trowel tool is used for finishing fresh concrete, by drawing it into a compacted surface.
So, the difference is that a darby tool is used for smoothing out the concrete, while a trowel tool is for compacting it.
The other difference is that a trowel tool is smaller and more maneuverable than a darby tool, since the handle of the trowel tool allows you to have a more precise control over what you’re doing.