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Vortex mixers: how fast, how furious?


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I'm looking around trying to find a decent vortex mixer that fits my budget (less than $100, and on Amazon due to a gift card restriction). To anyone who has a vortex mixer for their paints, how many RPM does yours spin at (if you know)? The ones I'm looking at in my price range seem to be in the 2800-3500 rpm range. User reviews on several models I've looked at are mixed; some say 2800 rpm was enough to mix Army Painter paints (which I know have a tendency of really separating), others say 3000 rpm wasn't enough to mix and the motor burned out (I'm willing to chalk the motor dying up to user error, most likely by spinning it for minutes on end).

 

A true laboratory-grade vortex mixer would have a much higher RPM than 3500, and be variable, but that's not a reality for me (not even a refurbished one from Typhoon Painting is viable, otherwise I'd go that route). So, if you know how fast your vortex mixer spins, kindly let me know. Thanks in advance.

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I have an original series Vortex Genie.  It goes from 1 to 10. (pictured, not mine)

 

24609_fisher-scientific_vortex-genie_01.

 

Haha.  Seriously, IIRC it's something in the range of 600-3200.  The newer models are rated for 60+ minutes of continuous usage.  Off Amazon you can find "used but works" for under $100, but that doesn't help with your gift card.

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Says it goes 2800 RPM. I have no reference against other paint shakers or vortex models.  I read up on a few different kinds.  This one looked like it could do the trick.  Takes a small amount of learning where the sweet spot is to get the right mix.  I often to a spin right side up and the one upside down.  So far the consistency I'm getting is way way better not to mention my wrist is grateful.  For its price, how quiet it is, how small it is on my table - totally worth it. 

 

I recommend. 

Screenshot_20210201-190619_Amazon Shopping.jpg

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@R2ED you actually have that mixer? Because I've been looking at it for a couple weeks (and now looks like it's jumped up a few $ in price). If you do, how long have you had it, and how long do you usually hold a bottle on to mix/wait between putting another paint on?

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In this topic from Mid-last year, there are some suggestions and discussions on shakers.

https://forum.reapermini.com/index.php?/topic/90799-nail-polish-shaker/page/2/&tab=comments#comment-1957366

 

Mine is Heathrow Scientific 120598 Mini Vortex Mixer for 91.00 US when I bought last July. As far as RPMs, I looked it up and it is:

  4,500 rpm

 I usually just give a quick shake or two, and then mix from bottom/top/bottom again, and then use the paint. It is the first I have owned, so not sure if it is the best RPM range, if I am doing it properly or most reliable (fine for me, where I mix up one/two paints a day on average week). I purchased from Global test supply... they email me once a month to advertise to get me to buy more medical equipment. (Sorry source alternatives do not help you much with Amzn restriction - looks like it is 104. USD right now there)

Edited by golldan
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Honestly, I have to say a vortex mixer has really helped my shoulder and elbow feel better.  Vigorous shaking was taking it's tole.  I'm already on the edge of repetitive motion syndrome because of the amount of time I spend at a computer (my job) so taking away the extra stress of shaking paints is great.  It's also great for dealing with a paint that has been sitting for a while.  Especially if it's a thicker brand like GW or Vallejo.

 

I bout the cheapest one because i wasn't sure if I'd like it.  When this one eventually dies I'll probably get a slightly more expensive one.  3k RPM is more than enough IMHO but I'm sure more doesn't hurt.

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@ManvsMiniso sorry on the wait!  I didn't catch you called me out sooner.

 

I have had it about a month.  Works well.  I saw some mixed reviews (pun not intended) that said it wasn't great.  I think for it's price and learning where the sweet spot is for getting a good stir is critical.  Msp paints are thinner than my go-to Vallejo, which means msp mixes easier.  I hold it on the vortex for about 10 seconds or until i hear that sloshing sound.  Then i tip it cap down and do the same. It has made my paint much more consistent.  Do i think there are better ones out there? Probably. This is the only one I've ever owned, but I'm enjoying the hell out of it.  I use it on my daler rowney inks, too. Caution that it doesn't take well to bigger, heavier bottles. If only it worked on spray primers....

 

Oh, and on your question about paints one after the other.  I've done a set of 10 without breaking more than 15 seconds between them trying to prep them for painting.  No problem.  I read about a few reviews saying the motor died when they did this.  I am pretty light on my touch and can feel there's a resistance you have to be cautious of or you'll make the motor wheez.  Be light on pressure, hold the bottle in place firmly, but not hard pressure holding it down.  Think of it like holding a fragile bird in your hand, but you don't want it to spread its wings.  Like that.  Firm, but not constricting. 

 

If you've ever had a problem like Lenny from Of Mice And Men, well this may not be the mixer for you.  If you're the kid they warned not to hold a kitten, then this might not be the right item.  If you have an impulse issue when handling fine stemware... might not be the mixer.  You get what i mean,  @ManvsMini.  

Edited by R2ED
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I just have the Robart Paint Shaker.  Friend gave it to me after he got a vortex.  This still works for me except I have to buy the straps every once in a while as they snap.  This one does 5k shakes a minute.  Much faster than my wrist. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Vortex mixer was acquired over the weekend. Thank you all for your input. I went with one that spins at 2800 rpms. It's doing a good job on all but a couple of my metallic P3 paints. Haven't tried it yet on some paints that I no longer use, but will once the opportunity presents itself.

 

Someday, in more prosperous times, I'll get a more powerful (possibly a Typhoon).

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5 hours ago, Gadgetman! said:

Drop in a ball baring or something, then try the P3 paints again...

 

Yah the P3 metallics are very thick, especially Brass balls. Excellent paints thou.

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