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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Nervous About My Flex XFE7-15 Purchase

    I have been wanting to buy a new polisher for years. My last purchase was a Flex 3401 about 10 years ago. With the recent tool sale I bought the XFE-7 15-150.

    I was hoping to use it so I could polish my cars with a smoother polisher, and get into the long throw polishers that have gained so much traction. I haven't gotten my polisher delivered yet, but I looker further into the XFE-7 15 and I am getting kind of nervous. It seems to have a lot of negative comments. Seems like a lot of people say that it has inferior power to the Griots Garage Boss 15 and Rupes Mark II 15.

    My original point of reference was these two reviews from Car Craft:

    YouTube
    YouTube

    After seeing those I looked more into it. It has awful reviews on Amazon, one stating because it has low power and can barely spin a pad. Also, under the Car Craft videos in the comments section there are users of this polisher that say its weak too. One comment says its basically a PC 7424 that looks nice, and another guy saying flat out it sucks. These are from people who say they own it.

    I am not trying to be critical of a product I haven't used yet. I am just wondering, should I even try it out when I get it? If the best this can do is finish paint after its been compounded and spread wax I won't be happy. I can spread wax with my PC 7424 if i really wanna machine wax my car, I don't need two weak strength polishers.

    Is there anyone who owns this tool, or has had a lot of time on it that has any comment? Why so many bad comments on this tool online? I hope made the right decision purchasing this instead of the other long throw options!

  2. #2
    Senior Member VISITOR's Avatar
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    Re: Nervous About My Flex XFE7-15 Purchase

    i would try it out and see how you like it first before making judgement. opinions differ from person to person and what one what may like about a tool, another may not and so forth. here's another review and it's favorable...

  3. #3
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    Re: Nervous About My Flex XFE7-15 Purchase

    Opinions will be all over the map.

    I personally bought one 2 years ago (or whenever they first came out) and have used it quite extensively. I love mine.

    Look at it as another tool in your arsenal. Will it replace the 3401 for heavy cutting? Probably not (although fitted with a microfiber (or wool) pad, it can move some defects). But to supplement the 3401 (the beast) with the XFE (finisher), it does a great job! Its a very smooth tool with great ergonomic features that will also match your 3401.

    On the XFE (for me at least) speeds 1-4.5 are pretty useless. The power band is from speeds 4.5-6. Mine is usually set somewhere at 5-5.5.

    Also, Comparing the XFE (15mm orbit) to a 21mm is not a fair comparison. I love Sandro's videos and think he provides great unbiased feedback, but I believe his DAS6 pro polisher is a 21mm. I have a 21mk2 and it is a defect killer, and easily outperforms my XFE7. But for finishing, I still grab the XFE.

    I would say the "power" is maybe a tad less than the Rupes mk2 15, and probably a little more than the boss 15. Also, fit it with a 5" plate and use 6" pads with it (like the buff and shine URO tecs). Also consider that the XFE is a very quiet tool. We've grown accustomed to "loud=powerful." Like a Tesla P100D has perceivably less "power" than a chevelle with a 454 and long tubes. Put the Tesla in ludicrous mode, and you have an 11 sec car. My $.02

    One final thought, I have owned both the 3401 and Mille (both forced rotation) and sold both. I'm a rotary and long throw guy. If you learn how to use the long throws properly, you can achieve excellent results that are less taxing on your body. Again they're just another tool in your toolbox.

    Hope this was helpful! Best of luck!
    Brandon Visser | 269-569-1900 | b5visser@live.com
    Owner/Appearance Specialist | @domainappearance

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  5. #4
    Senior Member DaveT435's Avatar
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    Re: Nervous About My Flex XFE7-15 Purchase

    I had one, sold it and bought the battery version which even that has plenty of power. I think a lot of the negative remarks are from people just moving into a long throw machine. There is definitely going to be a learning curve going from a 3401 to a long throw. If you give yourself adequate time to learn how to use the machine you'll love it. Coming from a 3401 the first 5 minutes you'll probably hate it. I like to buy and try a lot of polishers. I had the Rupes 15 Mark II and the Flex XFE-7 at the same time. There may be a little bit of difference in power, but not much. I had both machines and both were new and I sold the Rupes and kept the Flex.

    Again, there will be a learning curve especially with 10 years behind a 3401. I've had a3401 and currently have a Mille. I like the Mille better, they will both cover up a lot of bad technique. You will have to work on technique, I think you'll find it worth it in the end.

    If you're really concerned with power but want a long throw the 21 mm machine may be a better option. I have a 21 mm Boss and run a 5" backing plate, definitely no shortage of power.
    2015 F-150 Crew Cab Lariat
    2016 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS

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  7. #5
    Senior Member Dr Oldz's Avatar
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    Re: Nervous About My Flex XFE7-15 Purchase

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveT435 View Post
    I had one, sold it and bought the battery version which even that has plenty of power. I think a lot of the negative remarks are from people just moving into a long throw machine. There is definitely going to be a learning curve going from a 3401 to a long throw. If you give yourself adequate time to learn how to use the machine you'll love it. Coming from a 3401 the first 5 minutes you'll probably hate it. I like to buy and try a lot of polishers. I had the Rupes 15 Mark II and the Flex XFE-7 at the same time. There may be a little bit of difference in power, but not much. I had both machines and both were new and I sold the Rupes and kept the Flex.

    Again, there will be a learning curve especially with 10 years behind a 3401. I've had a3401 and currently have a Mille. I like the Mille better, they will both cover up a lot of bad technique. You will have to work on technique, I think you'll find it worth it in the end.

    If you're really concerned with power but want a long throw the 21 mm machine may be a better option. I have a 21 mm Boss and run a 5" backing plate, definitely no shortage of power.

    This is a great post!!


    I have a Flex Finisher and absolutely love it. It’s super smooth and quiet. Plenty of power. A long throw polisher will stall the pad more that even a weak PC style machine until you get the technique down. I guarantee at first you will be disappointed..... but give it time and hone in your technique. One thing you must realize when using a long throw machine is to let the machine do the work. Not a lot of down force is required.

    If you are planning on doing a lot of cutting/compounding, I highly suggest getting the 5 inch backing plate. Personally I do all my cutting with a rotary or the 3401 and then finish with my “finisher”. It’s smoothness and quietness makes me smile each time I use it. Good luck and enjoy your new purchase.
    Jim

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  9. #6
    Senior Member dlc95's Avatar
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    Re: Nervous About My Flex XFE7-15 Purchase

    You can't account for user error, via online opinions.

    Ever try and teach someone how to polish paint? Even those experienced with other tools can have a difficult time grasping the concept of a free spinning tool.

    They'll have the pad all off canter, trying to mash the pad into the paint, etc, etc.

    But with a little bit of time and self observation the problems can eventually be sorted out.

    I had a very hard time in the beginning with the Rupes tools. It had nothing to do with power, it had to do with approach, technique. I've always been fascinated with technique from being a drummer for 32 years. How the slightest variations can have a big impact.

    These guys droning on about power aren't going to consider refinement of themselves. In their perspective (which isn't inherently wrong) the tool should adapt to them, not the other way around. This just means they bought the wrong tool.

    It will always confound me when people will buy a free spinning tool, complain about a "lack of power", and dismiss the idea of moving to a more appropriate tool for their style.

    Another issue may be the perception that the Flex name carries to the marketplace. Because of the strength of the 3401, the Flex name connotates power. People have a perception of this, and it overflows into expectation. When the tool doesn't perform as "expected", therein lies the disconnect.

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  11. #7
    Senior Member rlmccarty2000's Avatar
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    Re: Nervous About My Flex XFE7-15 Purchase

    As others have mentioned it’s technique, technique, technique. Most 3401 users have a hard time adjusting to a long throw polisher. It just takes time and knowledge. With it advancement in abrasives very little downforce is necessary to achieve excellent results. You can see some videos of professionals using polishers with zero downforce. I use Rupes products and I learn something just about every time I use them. I never use high speeds to polish anymore, I stay around 3-4 and get great results with the MK II. I still use the original Rupes 21 for vertical panels and I don’t run it past 5. People still get showcar results with the PC. I’m sure with a little practice the Flex Finisher will be fine.

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  13. #8
    Senior Member Sizzle Chest's Avatar
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    Re: Nervous About My Flex XFE7-15 Purchase

    I like mine! Recently picked it up and have found myself reaching for it all the time.
    Scott Harle
    Autodermatology
    www.autodermatology.com

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  15. #9
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    Re: Nervous About My Flex XFE7-15 Purchase

    Thanks for all the replies.

    I got it today and used it on my hood, which has some contours to it, and a fender to get a feel for it.

    I don't have new pads, so I just used what I had with the 6" backing plate. Started with a purple foamed wool, then an orange CCS pad, the older thicker ones, and then a green CCS pad, again the older thicker ones from about 10 years ago. All my pads are 6.5". I used HD One with the purple foamed wool, and orange pad and I used HD Speed with the green pad.

    I was able to spread my product and keep the purple wool foam pad spinning at speed 1.5 by keeping the pad in contact with the paint but lifting the tool a little. That was surprising to me because from the negative reviews I saw, I thought anywhere that low would be useless. I ended up polishing at 3-4.5 and had no issues with pad stall.

    The orange pad took a little more technique and wouldn't spin at the 1.5 speed. I also noticed some bogging down on the contours which was expected from my research on long throws. With some technique adjustment I was able to keep the pad spinning at 4.5-5 for most of this. At 6 I basically had no issues even if I pressed down with some moderate pressure, and the only area it bogged down with pressure was on contours of the hood which I expected from a long throw. Not sure why anyone would want to jam a pad into the paint anyways. I had similar results with the green pad.

    The polisher is light and very quiet. I think the power is adequate. I am not a professional with extensive tool use in different tool brands, but I don't understand the negative reviews this thing is getting. I barely have technique because I just got it, and I used probably the least ideal pad choice based on the many options out there. I would think with a 5" backing plate and there right pads this thing would be even more enhanced.

    Also, the technique I used was similar to the Flex 3401. On the 3401 if you aren't holding the tool flat it pulls, so for instance the handle is angled too low, so you gotta hold it flat and it it starts pulling adjust up or down a little. I found on the XFE, not holding it flat at lower speeds stalled the pad, and all I had to do was lift or lower the handle and it would spin. That is a technique I am already fairly accustomed to. The other technique I was using at lower speeds was lifting the tool a little while keeping the pad in contact. That helped too.

    Again, I am really surprised this tool got hit so hard in some of its negative reviews. In my opinion those negative reviews were misleading, but my world of detailing is very small compared to a lot of people so who knows. Bottom line, it works for me, like most of you said it would. Thanks, and if you have any comments on better technique please let me know. Also, now that I got my new polisher I am in the market for a great pad/compound combo for this. Anyones input would be more than welcome. Thanks.

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  17. #10
    Senior Member Dr Oldz's Avatar
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    Re: Nervous About My Flex XFE7-15 Purchase

    Glad to heat you liked it. Once you get thinner pads or 5.5 inch pads, you will like it even more. Personally I prefer the 5 inch backing plate all the time. That was my only con with the machine. It should have come with both plates or a 5 inch with the 6 inch optional. Lot of pad options.

    I tend to use 5.5 inch by 7/8 pads and they work great for me. There are other pads designed more specifically for these machines like the HDO pads and the Thin pro pads both from lake country. The uro tech pads from buff n shine are also very nice.
    Jim

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