Concrete Screed Types: How Do They Compare?

There are many types of concrete screeds out there leveling concrete these days. But which one is best for you? How does each type of concrete screed compare?


Levels Subgrade★★★ØØØØ
Operates to Left, Right or Center★★★ØØØØ
No Dragging Required by Laborers★★★ØØ★★Ø
Width Adjustability★★★★★★★ØØ
Ease of Use★★★★★★★Ø
Steep Grades★★★★★Ø
Screeds 20+ Feet Wide★★★★★★★ØØ


Roller Screeds

Roller Screeds allow users to get into small areas with ease. Typically set up as a metal tube that spins away from the user, they cause a great amount of work for the crew. Two members pulling against the spinning screed and a few laborers keeping the concrete close to grade in the middle, spin screeds require a great amount of physical labor on anything more than a simple pour. Concrete that is left to high, or is to dry has a tendency to roll over the top of the screed causing the two pullers to have to go back and re-screed that area. Although the spinning effect has some cream creating abilities, there really is no true vibration in most systems that allow the cream to rise and concrete to properly settle. Lightweight, and easy to clean, roller screeds are great for tight areas.

Truss/A-Frame Screeds

Capable of running widths all the way out to 60+ feet, truss or A-frame screeds can put a lot of concrete down. They are set up on tracks on either side of the pour and are belt driven. These screeds, however, are very heavy and require a lot of labor to set up. They run relatively slowly and any resetting of the screed is very cumbersome. Truss screeds still require a lot of laborers keeping the concrete close to grade. Truss screeds are great for screeding very large widths of concrete.

Stand Up Screeds

Another great tool to have on hand, stand up screeds work wonders in tight areas. Typically set up as a vibrating bar operated by a single user, stand up screeds requiring one worker to drag while several others are in the concrete keeping grade close. They are ideal for small pours or tight areas.  Stand-up screeds are inexpensive and are beneficial to any crew. They still require some physical labor from several laborers and are limited in their width.

Laser-Guided Screeds

Laser-guided screeds are great. Set up as a laser-guided arm on a relatively small machine, they’re capable of precision level concrete with minimal labor. Crews get concrete somewhat close to grade and laser-guided screeds can get a precision grade from there. However, they are traditionally not capable of grading subgrade nor are they capable of wide widths. They save on physical labor and are extremely accurate, but the cost of a laser-guided screed is far more than most can afford.

Dragon Screed

One of the fastest ways to dump and drag a load of concrete, Dragon Screed is easy to set up and extremely easy to use. Its versatility allows crews to both subgrade and level concrete in many different configurations. Capable of getting a subgrade faster and more accurately, crews no longer have to fret manually leveling gravel in order to have a quality subgrade. Once this is done, simply remove the subgrade panels and switch to the vibrating float panels and you’re ready for concrete. Dragon Screed, like a laser-guided screed, requires crews to simply get concrete close to grade and the operator can do the rest. Machine driven, Dragon Screed allows crews to pour stiffer concrete without fighting to get it flat. Rescreeding with Dragon screed is as simple as backing your machine up and driving along the forms again. The vibrating floats work the concrete and bring cream to the surface giving finishers an easier task. Dragon Screed works in forward or reverse, off of either side of the machine, as well as an attachment that works in front of the machine. Dragon Screed eliminates the need for draggers in front of the screed, which significantly adds to your roster of finishers behind the screed.

Concrete Screed Comparison