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  1. #11
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Rupes Mille or Flex 3401

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevine View Post

    Thanks Mike for the reply. Doesn’t really help much though.

    The point of this is to try and narrow things down rather than “guessing and hoping” I am trying not to order $600 worth of stuff only to be disappointed and have to try again. Although I am sure AG would like that. No doubt there is a lot of personal preference aspects as well. Just looking for input from those that have used both. Would love to also hear pad and compound/polish choices with preferred machine too.

    Sorry about that, wasn't that I wasn't trying to help, just pointing out what I've seen is there is no simple answer simply because we're also different.

    I meet guys that their primary focus is a low vibration, smooth running tool. Then there's guys like me that just want to go fast and I don't care how the tool feels as long as the job gets done and looks great.


    In the REALLY BIG PICTURE - I believe it's more about using the right tool for the job and I'll share just a small sample of what I mean down below.

    As for which tool I most commonly use, well here at Autogeek we pretty much have all the tools that are commonly talked about in the cyber-world of detailing and while I could use any of them to detail a car I almost always grab the BEAST and now the CBEAST. In my opinion and experience, 8mm gear-driven trumps 5mm gear-driven, (5mm gear-driven includes both Makita and RUPES polishers).

    The CBEAST is a tick slower overall compared to the corded version for reasons I share in my review and battery test write-up in the below link, but the ease of use without having to hassle with a cord is nice and convenient.


    How long does the battery last? 40 minutes - Cordless FLEX XC 3401 aka the CBEAST





    I'm not sure why other companies went with 5mm over 8mm but I think it's to create a smoother operating tool. But I find they both grab the paint and jerk the tool around a little when buffing out non-flat panels so it's moot point to me. I just want the speed and the power of the FLEX 3401. Sometimes I will use a long-stroke orbital polisher



    About the only time I use a free spinning polisher is on soft paint or delicate paint or even glossy graphics like I did here,

    COPO Camaro - Flex vs Rupes - Carbon Fiber Hood Extreme Makeover









    And I chose the free spinning 8mm Griot's random orbital polisher for the original paint on the survivor 1965 Buick Skylark Grand Sport

    Jay Leno BIG DOG Award to 1965 Buick Skylark Grand Sport - Pinnacle Jeweling Wax






    Not sure if that helped you out either but seeing that you already have a number of free spinning tools, at some point you'll just have to make a choice and either go RUPES, Makita or FLEX for a gear-driven orbital.


    Me? When I'm using gear-driven orbital I'm using the 3401


    That's my take.


    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member - Certified Detailer - Skills Validated Detailer - IDA Recognized Trainer
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  3. #12
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    Re: Rupes Mille or Flex 3401

    Thanks mike. That does help. I had originally thought Mille only to save pads. However, like you, I can handle some vibration in exchange for speed. Thinking Flex at this point.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  4. #13
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Rupes Mille or Flex 3401

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevine View Post

    Thanks mike. That does help. I had originally thought Mille only to save pads.

    However, like you, I can handle some vibration in exchange for speed. Thinking Flex at this point.


    Here's something I recently wrote on Mille pads and BigFoot pads


    Rupes Mille with standard pads?


    Also - in my boat detailing class we use RUPES 7" pads on the BEAST for machine polishing. I show my class how to get show car results on gel-coat boats.


    Here's the test spot on the 24' Edgewater





    And here's the results from the Test Spot




    And here's the FINAL RESULTS from the class!




    More pics here,

    Pictures & Comments 2019 Boat Detailing Class at Autogeek with Mike Phillips



    RUPES makes great pads, products and tools. Each person just needs to figure out what works best for them and their style of detailing.


    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  5. #14
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    Re: Rupes Mille or Flex 3401

    Lets just put it this way, when I met Mike for a brief second a couple years back at SEMA....guess what tool he was using to buff a red 458? A Flex 3401. I know Mike like his Flex! I do also.

    I have not tried the Millie. I have tried all their Bigfoots and while they are smooth machines, I can't see switching to them over a Flex. Maybe I am old school, been using a Flex for so long I am just used to it by now. It does everything I want it to and if there's a real tight spot to polish, I just get the Rupes ibrid.

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  7. #15
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    Re: Rupes Mille or Flex 3401

    I guess I’m one of the few that would go Mille. I’ve got back problems and Thea Mille is definitely less strain. That and I never did get used to the counter clockwise rotation. I have had bot machines. Sold the Flex, keeping the Mille.
    2015 F-150 Crew Cab Lariat
    2016 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS

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  9. #16
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Rupes Mille or Flex 3401

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaban View Post

    Lets just put it this way, when I met Mike for a brief second a couple years back at SEMA....guess what tool he was using to buff a red 458? A Flex 3401. I know Mike like his Flex! I do also.

    I remember that Ferrari. What a pain in the butt to buff out a car in a booth. Actually a really dumb idea when a hood will accomplish everything needed. Having a car in your booth just takes up valuable real-estate.


    Just to share in this thread, when working at SEMA I play the part of the Equal Opportunity Exploiter - that is, if the tool, pad or product works - I'll use it and show it. If it doesn't then I'm the wrong guy. Luckily everything we take to Autogeek for our booth works and thus I'm always comfortable showing anything on black paint under excruciating lights. Been doing this for 17 years now at SEMA.

    Love this article I wrote back in 2014 - kind of shows my normal thing at SEMA. I still reference this thread and share how COARSE this pad is to anyone and everyone when I'm teaching the "Way of RUPES".


    Mind Blowing - Rupes Blue Foam Cutting Pad and Zephir Gloss Coarse Gel Compound


    Something that was absolutely mind blowing at SEMA was demonstrating the Rupes Duetto with the Rupes COARSE blue foam cutting pad on a BLACK demonstration panel.

    The paint was flawless and looked like we just removed a show car wax.

    Did this over and over and over and over again for 4 day in a row, thousands of eyeballs watching under incredibly bright lights.

    Here's a picture or the Rupes Duetto with their coarse, blue foam cutting pad and our black demo panel.




    Anyone watching we would first have them FEEL a clean, blue Rupes foam cutting pad.

    They would always say,

    WOW!



    Because it feels so aggressive and scratchy. Then do the demo, wipe off the residue and voilà --> almost a show car finish.


    Can I get a witness? We had plenty of forum members stop by the booth and watch the demo.


    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member - Certified Detailer - Skills Validated Detailer - IDA Recognized Trainer
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  11. #17
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    Re: Rupes Mille or Flex 3401

    Do you think the CBEAST will ship in 2019 Mike?

  12. #18
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Rupes Mille or Flex 3401

    Quote Originally Posted by gspam1 View Post

    Do you think the CBEAST will ship in 2019 Mike?

    For sure.


    The first container of "Production" units arrived last week. I don't know the count, could be 20 could be 50? I don't think it's a lot though. When I spoke with Bob Eichelberg on Tuesday, he had just returned from a meeting at FLEX in Stuttgart, Germany and he told me his shipment was still stuck in Customs. He expected it to be released quickly.

    Once it's released he has some key detailers in the industry that will get these first units. I'm happy and grateful to say I'm getting one. He's asked me to test and compare it to the current unit I have, which is the Number #1 Production Unit.

    Just to note, to date the production unit I have has performed flawlessly. I've shared 2-3 FULL car details I've used it for and I already detailed more cars and the write-ups are coming.


    But "yes" the new CBEAST will be here in the USA Bob said in June, that's a liquid date, could be sooner, could be later.


    Cool tool. No pad stalling and that means you can buff out ANY shaped or curved panel as fast as humanly possible.





    Nothing wrong with free-spinning oribitals because for some paints they naturally finish out better more consistently. But for speed and swirl-free quality, you cannot beat a gear-driven orbital.

    This is why when someone asks me this common question,


    Mike, which polisher should I buy?



    I say let me re-phrase the question....


    Which tool should I buy first?




    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member - Certified Detailer - Skills Validated Detailer - IDA Recognized Trainer
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  14. #19
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    Re: Rupes Mille or Flex 3401

    Hey Mike. Thanks again for the constructive help. After lots of debate and reading, I think i will give the Flex a try. The only thing I am cautious of is getting used to the rotation direction after using Rupes but I suspect thats not too big of an issue. However your post about the CBEAST got me thinking about that.

    I have LOTS of power tools and for me personally, I am not a usually a fan of cordless in a tool that requires a lot of power and torque. An extreme example of this might be a cordless weed eater or lawn mower....WHY? Sure they work, but not well if grass if very thick or not for very long.

    Now with that said, and in my quest for getting things done faster, I pose these questions to you since you have used the CBEAST:

    Do you feel the cordless does the job equally in time and quality as the corded 3401?

    If not, what are some of the differences to consider when comparing the two versions?

    What run time can we expect on the C?



    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    For sure.


    The first container of "Production" units arrived last week. I don't know the count, could be 20 could be 50? I don't think it's a lot though. When I spoke with Bob Eichelberg on Tuesday, he had just returned from a meeting at FLEX in Stuttgart, Germany and he told me his shipment was still stuck in Customs. He expected it to be released quickly.

    Once it's released he has some key detailers in the industry that will get these first units. I'm happy and grateful to say I'm getting one. He's asked me to test and compare it to the current unit I have, which is the Number #1 Production Unit.

    Just to note, to date the production unit I have has performed flawlessly. I've shared 2-3 FULL car details I've used it for and I already detailed more cars and the write-ups are coming.


    But "yes" the new CBEAST will be here in the USA Bob said in June, that's a liquid date, could be sooner, could be later.


    Cool tool. No pad stalling and that means you can buff out ANY shaped or curved panel as fast as humanly possible.





    Nothing wrong with free-spinning oribitals because for some paints they naturally finish out better more consistently. But for speed and swirl-free quality, you cannot beat a gear-driven orbital.

    This is why when someone asks me this common question,


    Mike, which polisher should I buy?



    I say let me re-phrase the question....


    Which tool should I buy first?





  15. #20
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    Re: Rupes Mille or Flex 3401

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevine View Post
    Hey Mike. Thanks again for the constructive help. After lots of debate and reading, I think i will give the Flex a try. The only thing I am cautious of is getting used to the rotation direction after using Rupes but I suspect thats not too big of an issue. However your post about the CBEAST got me thinking about that.

    I have LOTS of power tools and for me personally, I am not a usually a fan of cordless in a tool that requires a lot of power and torque. An extreme example of this might be a cordless weed eater or lawn mower....WHY? Sure they work, but not well if grass if very thick or not for very long.

    Now with that said, and in my quest for getting things done faster, I pose these questions to you since you have used the CBEAST:

    Do you feel the cordless does the job equally in time and quality as the corded 3401?

    If not, what are some of the differences to consider when comparing the two versions?

    What run time can we expect on the C?



    Thanks
    The new 3401 is dropping soon. Wait for that if you decide to go for the corded version.

    XCE 10-8 125 - Random orbital polisher with positive-action drive

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