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shimp
12-12-2007, 05:30 PM
The flex is a tool that is an ideal primer (Rotary 101, if you will) this tool was made for paint correction (used by EU car manufacturers, much like the Cyclo is in the for production line paint correction)

Like all tools there is a learning curve with it, so first gain experience on a paint surface that doesn’t matter i.e. a scrap panel, practice until you feel confident enough in its use and capabilities to use it on your own vehicle.

The immediate future in automotive clear coat paint is something very similar to CeramiClear i.e. very hard. A Flex has the ability to correct this type of hard paint, whereas a PC/UDM requires a quite a few passes to correct them, and also struggles to breakdown diminishing abrasives (something else that car care products are going over too) as it doesn't provide sufficient friction)

TOGWT

Which EU car manufacturers use the Flex?
Where did you learn this info?
Do the car manufacturers have to replace their bp's on the units they use?
How long has the Flex been around?

Thanks

m4gician
12-14-2007, 09:21 AM
That's the part that is the hardest for me right now. I can't really figure out which way to go....

you and me both. I've been trying to secure a flex ever since they debuted on detailedimage but I wanted to make sure that if I got it to detail at LEAST part time, it would save me time, but most of all money.

I can see the time savings, and the money savings as well. But I would need to use it with menzerna vs. the polishes I have.

I have the PB SSR line and Optimum, I don't have menzerna as it is quite pricey. I don't know if it's justified because of my location, I can't do major detailing until spring starts, should I wait for the flex to come back and go on sale? Or should I bite now? That's my dilemma. I am very proficient with a UDM/PC (udm is mine now) but doing a WHOLE car with just a UDM is VERY VERY TIME CONSUMING, it doesn't matter if Im using PB SSR or XMT360, it takes a long time, and feels very time consuming as I keep on doing it.

Ive always wanted a rotary for correction, but if the flex can pretty much do the majority of cars out there, I'm in I guess.

budman3
12-14-2007, 10:10 AM
So much talk and hype about the Flex ... yet so little answers. One would think all of the talk about how great the Flex is would lead to some answers ... :confused:

Russecu
12-14-2007, 11:21 AM
Comments below:

I know that not too many people have had the Flex for a long time but there's a few questions that I've been thinking of.

Since the flex is more powerful than the PC / UDM and is direct driven per se, how safe is it in reality? It seems relatively safe to me. I've been using a pc and it seems to be about as safe but I would use more caution on fiberglass or plastic panels. I used my Flex for the first time yesterday. Takes a little more attention and control needed since it is direct driven. I've seen paint damage from a PC and it would make sense that it would be easier to damage with the flex- ie burn. Has anyone burnt or damaged paint yet? Thank goodness no. It maybe a little easier but then again you always need to be careful especially on edges, plastic, and fiberglass. Has anyone intentionally left the Flex in one spot (on spare hood or junker) to see if it would actually damage the paint? No Would you give a rookie this machine and allow them to work on your personal vehicle? Well we are all OCD so I would not let anyone to work on my vehicle unless its a reputable paint shop. How are the vibrations? Vibrations are less than the PC especially when you are at higher speeds. You are going to have vibrations due to the random orbit. Helps some to have a pad nice and centered. If I have a PC and a rotary, would a Flex be worth it? If you are pretty confident in rotary work then I would say not. But then again I feel the Flex is nice to have because it does do work faster than a pc and with the added power it works better with the compound and polishes designed for rotary work. How far off is the Flex from a rotary in working times and results? Not sure b/c I do not use a rotary. If you are having to go over rotary work with a pc/udm then the flex has the best of both worlds and can maybe safe time in that you do'nt have to go back over with a random orbit to get the finish right. Can you damage trim, moldings, doorhandles, etc if the pad on the Flex touches it (like a rotary)? Not sure as the amount of cars I do (not many other than my own) I tape those areas. I am sure you could if you intentionally left the pad on there too long.

Added info: I really like how the switch operates. I keep the machine on 5 and just feather the switch when spreading the polish then I go to full switch and lock the switch. The speed dial the right there if I need to lower speed or go up. Another is that I could not bog the machine down. I tried a couple of times and it wouldn't. Though I do not think that much pressure is needed.
I have more vehicles lined up for next week so I will get more experience and will come back if I find other likes or dislikes. Or if my opinion changes of anything. Right now I am really liking the speed (over the PC) that I can work.

Sorry for a million questions :)

Thanks :cheers:

PS- I have a PC, UDM and Chicago Electric rotary and my next buffer purchase is either going to be a better rotary or a Flex, depending on the feedback I hear about the Flex in the months to come, since they cost the same.

trlblazer3
12-14-2007, 12:18 PM
Russecu -Thanks for your input regarding the Flex. Much appreciated!

Showroom Shine
12-14-2007, 04:26 PM
Just took my Flex out of the box,grabbed the Menzerna and headed for the garage. This machine is AWESOME! It's all that and a bag of chips.
I would tell anyone that is contemplating buying a PC, UDM, Rotory, (any brand ) to pass and buy the Flex. I was using it on my hood with one hand. A smooth running DA, light weight,easy to handle, with UMP! I will probably sell my 2 rotories real cheap. If anyone wants to know anything about the Flex and mo about it. PM me I'll answer any questions. I'll be in the garage!

Detail_Guy
12-19-2007, 06:18 AM
So much talk and hype about the Flex ... yet so little answers. One would think all of the talk about how great the Flex is would lead to some answers ... :confused:

It's actually pretty simple... the Flex will correct paint imperfections easier/faster than a PC, but not quite as easy/fast as a rotary. Of course, the that makes the Flex more apt to do damage than a PC, but still safer than a rotary. You don't want it to touch vinyl, rubber, or anything like that if you are running it at significant speeds.

If you already have a rotary and use it, you shouldn't have any issue with the Flex. If you are not comfortable with the rotary, stick with the PC.

I have a Makita and Milwaukee rotary buffers, a PC, and now that my son has a Flex, we are covered. :D If he didn't have the Flex, I would sell my PC and maybe even one of my rotary buffers to buy the Flex after using it. I was able to do nearly the same corrective work as a rotary in about 1/2 the time it would take with a PC.

Again, the rotary is still the most efficient tool for paint correction, but with the Flex, I didn't have to do near the taping, didn't have to worry much about splatter, and didn't have to worry nearly as much about edges and such.

budman3
12-19-2007, 10:17 AM
It's actually pretty simple... the Flex will correct paint imperfections easier/faster than a PC, but not quite as easy/fast as a rotary. Of course, the that makes the Flex more apt to do damage than a PC, but still safer than a rotary. You don't want it to touch vinyl, rubber, or anything like that if you are running it at significant speeds.

If you already have a rotary and use it, you shouldn't have any issue with the Flex. If you are not comfortable with the rotary, stick with the PC.

I have a Makita and Milwaukee rotary buffers, a PC, and now that my son has a Flex, we are covered. :D If he didn't have the Flex, I would sell my PC and maybe even one of my rotary buffers to buy the Flex after using it. I was able to do nearly the same corrective work as a rotary in about 1/2 the time it would take with a PC.

Again, the rotary is still the most efficient tool for paint correction, but with the Flex, I didn't have to do near the taping, didn't have to worry much about splatter, and didn't have to worry nearly as much about edges and such.

Detail Guy, thanks for the info, that's exactly what I was looking for, especially the last part. I am no pro with a rotary but I do have enough experience with it where I won't make any dumb mistakes and burn paint or trim (been there done that). I really only pull out the rotary when I'm working on a total disaster (how would a Flex handle this):

http://webpages.charter.net/kmford/corolla/corolla/P1010022.jpg

Since I currenlty do correction with a PC / UDM 90% of the time I think a Flex may be worth it ... but probably not any time soon ... not too fond of 1st round batches :buffing:.

Detail_Guy
12-19-2007, 05:02 PM
I really only pull out the rotary when I'm working on a total disaster (how would a Flex handle this):

http://webpages.charter.net/kmford/corolla/corolla/P1010022.jpg

Since I currenlty do correction with a PC / UDM 90% of the time I think a Flex may be worth it ... but probably not any time soon ... not too fond of 1st round batches :buffing:.

Budman,

Anything the PC can do, the Flex can do... only faster, and probably better. So, if that paint correction was done with a PC (nice by the way), then a Flex will do it. Again, with the speed turned up on the Flex, it is much closer to a rotary buffer in performance... of course, it also starts to approach the same concerns with doing damage.

To be honest, I'm not a real PC fan. Prior to purchasing mine about 5 years ago, I had used rotary buffers of various types for 35 years or so. Through the years, I've used pneumatic rotaries, singe speed electric, dual speed electric, and variable speed electric. The first time I used a PC, it felt like I was trying to polish paint with a jack-hammer. :D While the Flex still feels somewhat similar to a PC, at least I didn't have to work the paint as long with the Flex. So, I didn't mind it so much.

As for the "1st Batch", I wouldn't worry about that too much, as the Flex has been around Europe for a long time. Actually, with the recent surge in popularity, I'd be more concerned with the next batch.

ZoranC
12-19-2007, 06:27 PM
On the subject of "1st batch", Flex as a company is not a newcomer to scene that is trying to quickly put some parts from China and Mexico together. They have been around and they have a reputation. Still, even best companies with long history and reputation do end up being bitten by "V 1.0" syndrome. However, it is my understanding XC 3401 VRG has been sold in Europe for months before it was sold here. It's just that States were not hearing about it. Flex was not sold here until August/September. However, I was investigating info about European units 3+ months before that. I know for fact of purchases in Europe before that. Therefore this can not be considered a first batch.

budman3
12-19-2007, 06:32 PM
Thanks again Detail Guy. The above picture was done with a rotary, light cut pad and Optimum Hyper Compound ... those are the types of vehicle I use a rotary on and usually everything else gets done via PC (for the most part atleast).

Detail_Guy
12-19-2007, 07:21 PM
Thanks again Detail Guy. The above picture was done with a rotary, light cut pad and Optimum Hyper Compound ... those are the types of vehicle I use a rotary on and usually everything else gets done via PC (for the most part atleast).

No problem budman3!

If you can do that kind of work with a rotary, I don't see you having any problems using a Flex.

SpoiledMan
12-19-2007, 07:25 PM
On the subject of "1st batch", Flex as a company is not a newcomer to scene that is trying to quickly put some parts from China and Mexico together. They have been around and they have a reputation. Still, even best companies with long history and reputation do end up being bitten by "V 1.0" syndrome. However, it is my understanding XC 3401 VRG has been sold in Europe for months before it was sold here. It's just that States were not hearing about it. Flex was not sold here until August/September. However, I was investigating info about European units 3+ months before that. I know for fact of purchases in Europe before that. Therefore this can not be considered a first batch.

Zoran,

I'm trying to get in on the "next" batch. Would you call me already???;)

ZoranC
12-19-2007, 07:54 PM
Would you call me already??? ;)
Yes, Sir! P.S. Already? It hasn't been even half of a day! Man, you really are Spoiled! LOL

budman3
12-19-2007, 08:25 PM
No problem budman3!

If you can do that kind of work with a rotary, I don't see you having any problems using a Flex.

I'm not really concerned whether or not I'd be able to use the machine, but thinking about others, and whether or not I'd trust someone to use it and be comfortable with it. A lot of my questions were angled to get more useful information about the Flex on the forums other than the 'this machine rocks' posts :). My predicament is whether I should upgrade my rotary or pick up a Flex. If there is a big gap between the two then a rotary may be a better fit for me... but if a Flex can handle the above situation fairly quickly then that would be more attractive. I'll probably end up with both later on down the road though :buffing: :).