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  1. #1
    Oneheadlite's Avatar
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    Question for those that have used all of the machines...

    Got a chance to put polisher to paint recently, and while I was running through the process I got to wondering. I`m using a Griot`s G9, and often read about how long throw polishers offer faster correction.

    My question is, can anyone that`s used a variety of machines help me quantify how machine choice impacts correction speed/ability?

    Example: If you were to take the exact same pad and compound/polish, how would machine choice affect the required number of section passes? Thinking in regards to your standard "short throw" (let`s just say 8mm), 15mm or 21mm machine. How about 5" or 6" pads if it`s an option?

    Does a flex offer any faster correction, or just speed via not having to contend with stalling?

    For sake of conversation, lets focus on just the correction stage - I understand finishing ability can vary based on paint system, pads, liquids, etc.


    I got to thinking about this as I was (finally!) doing a correction on my Audi. Due to time constraints (and giving in to the fact that it`s a 235k mile daily driver), I decided to reduce my expectations for correction of heavier marks. I just wasn`t going to have time to get the job done if I added in more section passes. Truth be told, I probably need heavier cutting pads if I really wanted to chase it anyway. That`s probably a discussion for it`s own thread anyway. I don`t see myself moving to a longer throw since I`m strictly a hobbyist, it`s just fun to wonder about how the grass grows on the other side of the fence.


    John

  2. #2

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    Re: Question for those that have used all of the machines...

    I have pretty much all the machines and I always go back to my Rupes Mark ll 21mm. I pull out the flex every so often for light jobs but in my years of experience a 21mm out performs the 3401 hands down and is smoother.

    My 21mm requires less passes and offers more correction ability. It`s not even close imo.
    IGL Authorized Coating/Kenzo Installer

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  3. #3
    A Miracle Detailing Merlin's Avatar
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    Re: Question for those that have used all of the machines...

    ^ Agreed!

    Go with the RUPES BigFoot LHR21 MARK III Random Orbital



    I personally use it with a 5" backing plate and 5" pads (my preference)
    This is my go-to machine and it`s made in the USA






    Merlin
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  4. #4
    wannafbody
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    Re: Question for those that have used all of the machines...

    That Rupes doesn`t look all that different than the Harbor Freight Bauer version. I`m sure the innards are better quality on the Flex though.

  5. #5

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    Re: Question for those that have used all of the machines...

    I helped a friend do a car and i finished a panel ahead of him. He had a GG6 and i had a Boss G15. Paint was in great shape with minor swirling.

    Note: watching his process i think i was also moving slower he was making fast passes on last panel. My guess would be like finishing as fast with your g9 minus your hood and trunk lid.

    Agreed not a big deal as a hobbyist but when doing it for work time is money. I went with the Boss over the gg6 because it was more ergonomic. I liked the trigger and it was a hell of a lot smoother. Didn’t want gear driven as first polisher.

    Chose it over Rupes because i got a great black fridayish deal for $305 with 5 Boss pads and 3 supreme 530 mf towels and some BF pad Cleaner. Was going to need to buy pads and the towels were a nice bonus. Also came with a $50 AG giftcard so all in all put my perceived value at under $200. Couldn’t pass up that deal.

    At less than half the price of the mark II at the time i felt it was better than half the machine. Cant compare to a rupes but for me that has used it on 4 cars in 1 1/2 years it has been stellar.

    With the current g9 and long throw sharing same ergonomics i would probably had went g9


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  6. #6

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    Re: Question for those that have used all of the machines...

    My advice:

    If it has a motor and you rely on it don’t purchase it from harbor freight.

    They are great for certain things but every drill, power screw driver and jump box has been a quality fail in short order.

    Quote Originally Posted by wannafbody View Post
    That Rupes doesn`t look all that different than the Harbor Freight Bauer version. I`m sure the innards are better quality on the Flex though.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Question for those that have used all of the machines...

    I have a Rupes 15, a Griot`s 6 inch from probably 10 years ago, two harbor freight 6 inch polishers (one was my first, probably closer to 15 years ago, the second is about 5) and two harbor freight rotaries. I`ve also used a flex rotary, the original forced flex, Makita and DeWalt rotaries. I`m of the mind that whatever you use most you will be best with. My original harbor freight is a 4 inch set up and I`m better with that (faster and better correction) than I am my Rupes. Not everyone is that way. If I absolutely had to buy one machine and only one, for efficiency and effectiveness, it would be the Makita rotary. That thing is as smooth and predictable as I could ever ask for. If any of my harbor freight rotaries break, the Makita will be replacing it. Rotaries may seem intimidating but if you`re patient and don`t do anything crazy, they`re not hard to learn on (the first polisher I ever used was the DeWalt).
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  8. #8

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    Re: Question for those that have used all of the machines...

    Doing significant correction with a PC/GG6/etc. takes me *SO* [freakin`] long that even as an amateur I simply can`t deal with it.

    The first time I used a PC it took so long compared to the Cyclo that I assumed it was broken.

    The Flex 3401 is close enough to my rotaries efficiency-wise that I sold `em to Stokdgs with zero regrets. The Flex might even be *more* time-efficient since it never leaves holograms (although it absolutely *DOES* require a follow-up with a machine that finishes better).

    I pull out the flex every so often for light jobs but in my years of experience a 21mm out performs the 3401 hands down and is smoother.

    My 21mm requires less passes and offers more correction ability. It`s not even close imo.
    Huh, thanks for posting that, I never woulda thunk it. I`m not gonna trade my Flex 3401 for a 21mm unit, but it`s still good to know.

    But then, unless I buy another vehicle, I don`t plan to *EVER* need to do even one panel`s worth of significant correction again in this lifetime
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  9. #9
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    Re: Question for those that have used all of the machines...

    Disclaimer: I`m not a pro.

    I honestly feel it becomes a matter of preference. Give two guys the same machine and what are the odds that they will use the same pressure, same arm speed, etc? Those variables alone will provide user feedback to the user to make it a choice of preference.

    Justin prefers his Rupes 21.
    Mike Lambert prefers his Griots (G15?) and now the G9.
    Mike Phillips seems to favor the 3401 (unless other factors come into play, and he switches accordingly).

    Having Merlin using a Rupes 21 might be like having Michael Schumacher driving an F1 car, whereas having me with a 3401 is like having....well, not Merlin status! (That`s a compliment to Merlin).

    I picked up a Griots G15 around the same time I picked up a Rupes 21 MK11. I used them both a little bit. After some time, I ended up selling the Rupes 21, as I wasn`t using it much at all.
    Had it been a Rupes 15 and a Griot`s G21, it may have gone the other way. Who knows.

    Myself? I prefer a 3401. So much so, I bought a second to use with different size pads!

    Quote Originally Posted by Oneheadlite View Post
    My question is, can anyone that`s used a variety of machines help me quantify how machine choice impacts correction speed/ability?

    Example: If you were to take the exact same pad and compound/polish, how would machine choice affect the required number of section passes? Thinking in regards to your standard "short throw" (let`s just say 8mm), 15mm or 21mm machine. How about 5" or 6" pads if it`s an option?

    Does a flex offer any faster correction, or just speed via not having to contend with stalling?
    Oddly enough, I did just that over the weekend!

    I was testing out a cordless DeWalt on a Porsche 996. The DeWalt is quite comparable (IMO) to a Griot`s BOSS G15.

    I started out with the DeWalt, using Griot`s Yellow Pads and Perfecting Cream. i went until I used up two batteries.

    Once the batteries were discharged, I switched to the Flex 3401. Same pads, same polish. Was it any faster? Number of passes changed? Nope. Still used similar arm speed and number of passes.

    To the naked eye, the results were the same.

    To end this longish response.....hehe....here`s a video from 7 years ago. Guy compared a Griot`s 6" to a Rupes 21.
    (Skip to 7:40 to get straight to his results)

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  10. #10

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    Re: Question for those that have used all of the machines...

    Rupes just did a webinar that explains a lot about what influences how a particular machine works.
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  11. #11

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    Re: Question for those that have used all of the machines...

    Quote Originally Posted by top189h View Post
    ......If I absolutely had to buy one machine and only one, for efficiency and effectiveness, it would be the Makita rotary. That thing is as smooth and predictable as I could ever ask for. If any of my harbor freight rotaries break, the Makita will be replacing it. Rotaries may seem intimidating but if you`re patient and don`t do anything crazy, they`re not hard to learn on (the first polisher I ever used was the DeWalt).
    I am not going to dis anyone who uses a rotary for detailing, BUT I think it is "difficult" to master the correct skills in using this particular polishing machine.
    Judging by the many posts with pics of vehicles` paint surfaces swirled or damage from those who "attempted" to use a rotary for correction or polishing give ample evidence of that fact. And as I have stated before, many a professional detailer within this forum is making good living fixing rotary faux pas.

    That said, if you go to ANY body shop or car dealer prep shop, new or used , you will find them using a rotary. WHY? Time is money. Rotaries just correct faster in the hands of a skilled operator. That and dealing with and correcting fresh paint is much "different" than just trying to "gloss up" a daily driver soccer mom`s neglected van. Even watching TV programs on the cable Motor Trend Channel like "Overhaulin`" or "FantomWorks" or "Wheeler Dealers", all I see are DeWalt rotaries and wool pads with 3M compound/polish products.

    This thread is kinda fishing for the answer to the proverbial question within this forum from many hobbyists detailers: "What polishing/buffing machine should I buy?" Quite honestly, there is no good answer until anyone assesses and honestly answers these detailing-related questions:
    1a) What is my skill level in handling such a power tool?
    1b) How much time and training (AKA, money) am I willing to invest in mastering any type of machine I buy?
    2) How much money am I willing to spend on such a power tool AND do I need to buy more than one? (A mini buffer may be needed to get into those "inaccessable" areas, like tail light recesses, door jams, under rear wings or in air ducts/louvers, front fascias, side mirrors, or deep panel curves/contours)
    3a) How often will I be using it? Daily, weekly, just on my own vehicles?
    3b) Could my detailing hobby "morph" into a side business,which would find me using the polisher more often?
    4) What am I trying to do with this tool? Fresh paint correction or removing mirror swirls or apply LSPs (The last one long-throw DAs are NOT well suited to!)
    5) Do I have a current foam/microfiber pad collection and size(s) that may not fit the new polisher I buy OR will it influence me to buy a polisher that can accept a backing plate size to accommodate those pad size or sizes?
    6) Will I need more equipment to accommodate my new polisher, like a pad spur or pad cleaning bucket, or extension spindle shafts, or different backing plate sizes?
    7) Do I want to go cordless/rechargeable OR stick with corded electrics? (If you think of becoming a Mobile detailers, which is more convenient)
    8) Are my compounds and polishes that I currently have or use suited to the type of polishing machine motion I am considering to buy? (Yes, some are better suited to working with a rotary motion and some are designed to work better with foam pad and DA motion)
    9) What is the warranty with or reliability of the polishing machine manufacturer or reseller AND where can I get it fixed if I need to?

    Once you`ve answered those questions for yourself, I think you can narrow it down to what type of polishing machine/buffer would fit your detailing needs!

    On a related note, I think everyone in this forum can say, "I wish a do-it-all machine was out there" LC Power Tools UDOS 4 in 1 Random Orbit Polisher was suppose to be that. We are still waiting for its reality...
    https://www.autopia.org/forums/machi...tml?highlight=
    GB detailer

  12. #12

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    Re: Question for those that have used all of the machines...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike lambert View Post
    Rupes just did a webinar that explains a lot about what influences how a particular machine works.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
    I am not going to dis anyone who uses a rotary for detailing, BUT I think it is "difficult" to master the correct skills in using this particular polishing machine.
    Judging by the many posts with pics of vehicles` paint surfaces swirled or damage from those who "attempted" to use a rotary for correction or polishing give ample evidence of that fact. And as I have stated before, many a professional detailer within this forum is making good living fixing rotary faux pas.

    That said, if you go to ANY body shop or car dealer prep shop, new or used , you will find them using a rotary. WHY? Time is money. Rotaries just correct faster in the hands of a skilled operator...
    Interesting timing for this topic. On the Rupes C.O.R.E broadcast on 08/04 (the one I think Mike L. is referencing), they stated one of their large volume customers broke down doing a full polishing job with a rotary vs. the same job with the Rupes Bigfoot sytem. The POLISHING time was less with the rotary, but the total job time (more taping with the rotary, finishing steps, etc.) was actaully longer with the rotary. Now most body shops & dealers are not doing all those steps, so yes, their jobs are much faster with a rotary.
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  13. #13

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    Re: Question for those that have used all of the machines...

    In the time it takes to master a rotary, any non-Pro can do a literal *lifetime`s* worth of correction with another system, a system that IM (real life) E *anyone with the right mindset* can get right the very first time.

    IMO there shouldn`t be any need to "master" *anything* when it comes to Detailing. Today`s stuff makes it so easy to get good results that everything oughta turn out fine first time, every time. Detailing is dead-nuts simple these days if you go about it right.

  14. #14
    wannafbody
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    Re: Question for those that have used all of the machines...

    Quote Originally Posted by top189h View Post
    I have a Rupes 15, a Griot`s 6 inch from probably 10 years ago, two harbor freight 6 inch polishers (one was my first, probably closer to 15 years ago, the second is about 5) and two harbor freight rotaries. I`ve also used a flex rotary, the original forced flex, Makita and DeWalt rotaries. I`m of the mind that whatever you use most you will be best with. My original harbor freight is a 4 inch set up and I`m better with that (faster and better correction) than I am my Rupes. Not everyone is that way. If I absolutely had to buy one machine and only one, for efficiency and effectiveness, it would be the Makita rotary. That thing is as smooth and predictable as I could ever ask for. If any of my harbor freight rotaries break, the Makita will be replacing it. Rotaries may seem intimidating but if you`re patient and don`t do anything crazy, they`re not hard to learn on (the first polisher I ever used was the DeWalt).
    Here`s my opinion based on use and viewing other people work. For major correction such as post wetsanding or neglected paint, a rotary is a huge time saver. The downside is the potential for product sling. Once correction is done, you can switch to a random orbit and finishing polish.

    Here`s my rant...if you are a professional charging based on an hourly rate, you shouldn`t be taking twice as long to do the job with a PC as compared to using a better and faster machine.

 

 

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