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  1. #1
    chuck2417's Avatar
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    Rupes LHR15 Review

    When I was in the market for a new polisher, it was because of want and not need. The GG 6 inch has done a lot and works amazing. The only complaint I had was after correcting paint for 3-4 hours your hands would be so worn out and numb from the vibrations. I don`t detail professionally so this will be a review from the side of the enthusiat who helps friends and family. This will be comparing the Griot Garage 6 inch random orbital with the Rupes Bigfoot 15mm random orbital.

    Size:
    The LHR15 is bigger, but the design of it makes it easier to hold. It won`t fit in tight areas the same as the GG. Pretty much any place you can use the GG with a 5 or 6 inch pad you can use the Rupes. This would be a tie.

    Ease of use:
    This might be shocking to some people, but the Rupes is not a polisher you pick up and feel instantly comfortable with. While holding it feels comfortable and confidence inspiring it does take technique. It is very sensitive to weight and tilting. The pad will stop spinning rather easily if you apply too much pressure or if the pad isn`t faily flat on the paint. The GG 6 inch actually will spin through just about anything with its extremly powerful motor, so because of that there is a learning curve. However after a few panels you quickly learn how she likes to be used (rupes)! This category is hard to decide. If you are just starting out the GG will be easier to use. If you have polished before and are familiar with DAs and proper technique then the rupes is definetly more comfortable.

    Build quality:
    Honestly this might be a tie between the two. Neither feel like they would survive a drop because of all of the plastic externals. The dial on the GG for speed clicks while the rupes is a continous motion. Both feel very well made and designed to last.

    Price:
    GG 6 inch - $140-$160 (in Canada)
    Rupes LHR 15 - $379-$429 (in Canada)
    Don`t think I need to explain who wins here

    Pads:
    Well I have used a few GG pads, I prefer lake country and megiars. Anything with a hook and loop backing will work on this polisher. The Rupes recommends you only use their pads (they offer 6). The 2 microfiber pads are very nice but you have to be careful with the product. If you are not paying attention when you put the product onto the pad you might accidentally put some on the backing plate. The other 4 foam pads work similar to other foams pads but build quality of them is much better!

    Backing Plates:
    Well the GG can be used with any backing plate. I have a 3 inch, 5 inch and 6 inch. All work well but the best balance I found was a 5 inch backing plate with a 5.5 inch pad. The rupes says it will only work with the 5 inch rupes backing plate. Now I will go ahead and confirm that the 6 inch backing plate from rupes does fit on the machine and it will work. The smoothness is not the same. The motor spins a bit faster than the 21 but has the reduced throw. I use the 6 inch backing plate on the rupes when I am working on a large flat panel to increase the area I am covering. I will say that 85% of the time I use the 5 inch backing plate on the rupes. The GG wins this one as it offers more versatility.

    Correction ability:
    To run this I used megiuars mf cutting pad on a test hood that I have. I put 2500 grit wet sand marks in it and tapped off sides. Both were using a 5 inch backing plate. Both had the cutting pads on them (even though rupes doesn`t recommend it). Speed was put at 6 for both machines. I used Prima Swirl as the polish as I had some laying around and it was easy to get too. Both removed the sanding marks without a problem. The rupes required a lot less effort and did it in almost half the time. When the rupes you do not have to push down as it will stop the pad from spinning, it`s actually rather amazing how well it works when you put very minimal pressure down. The GG 6 inch did the job and did it well. It did take a bit more time and required more effort from the user (more vibrations and a bit more pessure). I will step up to 2000 grit at a later date. But the swirl isn`t designed to remove sanding marks so I was pretty impressed. The Rupes wins this category.

    Operator experience:
    Well this is very subjective. I find the Rupes easier to hold and use. It takes less pressure and corrects pretty fast. The GG works very well but the hard plastic exterior and wide body make it a bit less comfortable. I will state the the GG is a the 3rd generation with the 10 foot cord (25 was sold out). Rupes wins this category.

    - Rupes does not have the KB washer mod on it right now, but I am thinking I might try it

    Which would you recommend?
    Honestly If I could only have one polisher, I would be torn. If you are only going to polish one vehicle, save the money and get the GG. It is the best bang for your buck and works awesome. If you have a polisher already I would say the Rupes is worth taking a look at. It`s smooth and corrects very well. Once you learn to not push down as hard as you might be used too and to let the machine do the work you will be amazed. I find the LHR15 is something I do not regret buying. When it comes time to do some correcting or polishing I go for the Rupes first. I have the GG setup with a 4 inch pad for the tighter spots I can`t get too with my Rupes (5 inch is the smallest backing plate). I am glad I have both.

    Complaints about the rupes;
    - trigger is the on/off switch, it is not variable like a rotary
    - as others have stated, it seems like it really only has 3 speeds
    - That`s it, it is a very good machine and comfort wise, there is no DA that I have found that can match it

    Complaints about the Griot Garage;
    - none, it is a well built machine that I have never had a problem with
    - it will work great for a quick scratch removal or correcting a vehicle over the course of a day and not complain!
    - maybe if they could make it smoother, but I wouldn`t want that if it would loose any power

    Hope this helps anyone who is on the fence about if they should get a Rupes or not. If you have the money, and polish on a regular basis then go for it. If you already have a DA and only work on one vehicle, it can be lived without. If you work on larger trucks and SUVs then look at the Rupes 21 and 15.

    Once I figure out how to post pictures I`ll see if I can add some up. Overall they are both great polishers and you can`t go wrong with either of them.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Pats300zx's Avatar
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    Re: Rupes LHR15 Review

    Awesome review.

    I love my Rupes 21 with the 5 inch backing plate and the washer mod. I would love to compare it to the 15 one day.

  3. #3
    Zelfiris's Avatar
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    Re: Rupes LHR15 Review

    Great review!

    I`m in love with Rupes MF pads. Haven`t had any trouble putting polish on the pads and worry about polish going into the backing plate. You need just need an adequate amount on the fiber and its good to go.

    I think the vents on the Rupes MF pads is the best feature. Compared to BnF MF pads, the Rupes MF pads don`t have to worry about failure due to over heating (at least for me I had 3 BnF pads failed on me). The backing plate is really quality as well.

  4. #4
    AspiringProductSpecialist Angus's Avatar
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    Re: Rupes LHR15 Review

    Excellent review! Love my GG6 - but can`t wait for the day I can bring home a Flex or Rupes!!!

  5. #5
    chuck2417's Avatar
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    Re: Rupes LHR15 Review

    Ya that is one thing I`ve found with the rupes pad is they are better for reducing the heat. I had a few buff and shine mf pads but I haven`t had any problems with them. But sometimes you need to stop and spray with cool water as they do get pretty hot!

  6. #6
    Detailing Gnosis Bunky's Avatar
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    Re: Rupes LHR15 Review

    Good review..My Rupes w/o washer mod has nothing about speed 5 and does seem to have specific speeds and not continuous as the speed dial would suggest. I would have guessed 4 or so. But in my experience so far, it does not need to be run wide open.. When I use it at near top speed, polishes dry out quickly...too fast work time for good results.

    Al
    The Need to Bead


  7. #7
    Lou Bunn's Avatar
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    Re: Rupes LHR15 Review

    I heard that the washer mod pretty much makes a world of difference and I see Rupes has 2 backing plates, one more aggressive than the other. Get the less sticky one for LC or B&S pads.
    I had most of my money ready for the Rupes, then I looked at a sweet Ruger .22 pistol and I got all off task!!

  8. #8

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    Re: Rupes LHR15 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Bunn View Post
    I had most of my money ready for the Rupes, then I looked at a sweet Ruger .22 pistol and I got all off task!!

    I did the same thing! I ended up with a Glock 36 instead of a rupes.

  9. #9
    cleanmycorolla's Avatar
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    Re: Rupes LHR15 Review

    Super read! Great stuff.

    I`d still get a Flex though! I`ve always had my heart set on a flex.

  10. #10
    Detailing Gnosis Bunky's Avatar
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    Re: Rupes LHR15 Review

    I guess hand guns do not do much for your paint.

    Al
    The Need to Bead


  11. #11
    Klock's Avatar
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    Re: Rupes LHR15 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Lou Bunn View Post
    I had most of my money ready for the Rupes, then I looked at a sweet Ruger .22 pistol and I got all off task!!
    Quote Originally Posted by boostedmoose003 View Post
    I did the same thing! I ended up with a Glock 36 instead of a rupes.

    You guys aren`t alone. It was a new Hoyt bow for me!

  12. #12
    chuck2417's Avatar
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    Re: Rupes LHR15 Review

    Guess I don`t have that obsession with guns. Power tools and fishing rods on the other hand... You`ve got my attention!

    I have the normal rupes backing plates (blue ones, not the grey ones). I am always careful taking the pads off, to save the Velcro.

  13. #13
    RMD's Avatar
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    Re: Rupes LHR15 Review

    Great review. Completely agree. Have had GG6 for several years and love its power and versatility in terms of different backing plates and pad sizes. Just bought a rupes 15 about a month ago when I got a new car and have been playing around with different pad and polish combos. The rupes pads are awesome, and can be used with other polishes. I posted a thread about that on AG the other day and Mike P chimed in approving the use of other polishes with rupes pads. Definitely a good decision to buy and compliment the GG. If I could only have one though, it would be the GG. Even with the rupes, a GG or PC is still necessary for smaller pads. Or buy rupes mini if budget allows.

  14. #14
    lobster poutine's Avatar
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    Re: Rupes LHR15 Review

    Great Review Chuck!

    glad youre happy with the machine!

    Jeff

  15. #15
    chuck2417's Avatar
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    Re: Rupes LHR15 Review

    The rupes takes some getting used to. It`s not the one polisher someone could have without others. But it can be a real workhorse. I`m contemplating getting the 21 as well but wonder if it`s really necessary. Otherwise might get the mini or the duetto. Thanks everyone! Yes the rupes does work with other polishes and pads. Can`t comment on how it affects the pads as I haven`t been using it long enough.

 

 
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