The development of a new product
I first met Rick Hardman on Drywalltalk when I replied to an old thread where he was requesting tool testers. These paddles were the tools that he wanted to get other professionals opinions’ on. Rick Hardman grew up in the drywall trade from his father and took over some of his father’s tool designs. He currently has a site, Hardman Systems. He is not currently selling any tools as he is focusing on patents and other tool designs but some of his tools are being sold through drywall sites like All Wall . Rick stands behind his design of the NE-516 Cyclone and I have no doubt if I told him I found a problem he would send me a quick replacement and drill me for what I think caused the problem.
My experience with the tools
I was given these two paddles by Rick free of charge for testing purposes. There are two designs of this mixing paddle, the first one is a smaller design that is not covered by the lifetime warranty called the Tornado it has the black paddle. My understanding is that Rick designed the mixer for DeAnne, at Advanced Drywall Tools. The second one is the larger model NE-516 Cyclone that is covered by a lifetime warranty it has the green shaft and white paddle. I see them both with a place in the field with similar characteristics, and hopefully the feedback I can provide will help with further development.
The Tornado version is what I originally tried and it lives up to its claims of being a top notch drywall
mixer at an affordable price. Although it is designed for drywall, I could not resist dipping it into paint as well. It also performs this task exceptionally well. The only problem with putting it in paint is you want to keep the power down on the drill as it is a powerful mixer and it will fling paint onto your legs if you are not aware of just how powerful it really is. My overall opinion of the Tornado is that while it is a great drywall mixer it has become my
dedicated paint mixer.
The NE-516 Cyclone as mentioned, has a life time warranty and is also suited for replacement paddle pieces. This mixer is also very powerful, being designed for drywall mud and it seems to outperform the Tornado. I would not consider dipping it in paint knowing how powerful it is.
Both paddles have a unique design compared to all the other paint and drywall mixers I have used in the past. The holes are designed to whip through the mud pushing it through the holes as to not create drag. The paddle also has a pivot head enabling you to thoroughly mix the materials. If you notice by the pictures you can see that the shape on the bottom will enable the user to mix all the way at the bottom of the bucket without scratching the bucket and contaminating the product, thereby saving you from having some untouched material by the time you get to the bottom. Both have a solid sturdy shaft but the NE-516 Cyclone also has a larger thicker shaft that makes it seem indestructible. Also both paddles wash up from paint and mud quickly. I have found the Tornado gets a little mud stuck in the pivot point where the Ne-516 Cyclone paddle does not.
If you are looking for a drywall mixer or a paint mixer than either of these paddles will serve you well. If Drywall mud is your desire the NE-516 Cyclone is the ticket and will make the Tornado seem lacking. If a multipurpose paddle is needed then I would recommend the Tornado paddle as it will have no problem being in paint or mud.
From everything I understand the NE-516 Cyclone is currently not being sold as it expensive to
manufacture and Rick is trying to find the sweet spot on making money without compromising the
quality of the tool. I for one hope that he gets it figured out and is able to produce these at a fair price so
that more people can enjoy this design. The last word I heard on the price for the NE-516 Cyclone was
70 dollars The Tornado paddle can be purchased through All-Wall.com for 20 dollars.
I have been using the Tornado for over a year and the NE-516 Cyclone for the last few months. It was interesting trying a product developed by fellow craftsman for a use other than it was originally intended and providing feedback.
Powerful, a design that is perfect for both powders and premixed, pivoting head, well built design,
cleans up fast, mixes faster than traditional designs, curved sides, Lifetime warranty for the NE-516
Powerful, best if used with a variable speed drill, the NE-516 Cyclone is currently out of
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