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  1. #1
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    Rupes Mille or Flex 3401

    Thinking about adding another tool to the arsenal. So far I have the Rupes LHR15 and the Rupes 75ES. I want to get something that will make shorter work of cutting without going to a rotary. The LHR is decent but I don’t feel it cuts very efficiently. You can get scratches out but I just feel it should be easier. Contrast that with the 75ES and even though it’s small, it seems to remove swirls and such faster or better. Now that they have been out a while, what is everyone’s thoughts on the Mille? For those that have used both, what is your honest review (brand loyalty aside). I need to get something to reduce the amount of time spent cutting and polishing as well as great results.

    My gut says buy the Mille since I already have a bunch of pads and I really like the 75ES but I am mostly interested in time and achieving great results most efficiently. Heard great things about the Flex too though.

    Which one would you buy again?
    pros and cons?
    other considerations?
    would you use Mille for all or keep the LHR for final polish?
    if Flex, 3401 VRG? Or other?

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  3. #2
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    Re: Rupes Mille or Flex 3401

    I definitely prefer the 3401. The only Rupes I like is the ibrid...but even that has its own issues. It's the best tool of its kind that I know of, but could use some improvements (trigger pinches hand, gets WAY too hot, sometimes finicky to power on/off and would randomly cut power, the DA head is way too sensitive if you ever tilt it even the slightest bit, it stops rotating/correcting efficiently, etc.)

    The only complaint I have about the 3401 is they don't make a 5" backing plate to use with 5.5" pads so we custom make our own. Otherwise this tool is bomb proof. Done hundreds if not thousands of heavy corrections with them over the past several years. The only thing we ever needed to change are the brushes several times and cords. We abuse the hell out of them and they never skip a beat.

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  5. #3
    Senior Member Dr Oldz's Avatar
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    Re: Rupes Mille or Flex 3401

    I have both. I always reach for the 3401. It works with just about any pad and any compound/polish.

    The Mille is awesome when used as a system with Rupes pads and compounds/polishes.

    The 3401 is faster and and corrects better IME.
    Jim

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    Re: Rupes Mille or Flex 3401

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Oldz View Post
    I have both. I always reach for the 3401. It works with just about any pad and any compound/polish.

    The Mille is awesome when used as a system with Rupes pads and compounds/polishes.

    The 3401 is faster and and corrects better IME.
    We had several guys come work with us and they all quickly sold their Rupes and bought a Flex instead. The stuff you hear about 3401s "walking on you" and difficult to control is just complete BS. I can honestly buff with my eyes closed after the first 2-3 cars of using it. Just learn to use the tool and it will do EXACTLY what you want it. Don't believe everything you read on the forums. Half these guys are just weekend warriors who had one bad experience, due to lack of practice or experience, and they just go and bash various products endlessly.

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    Senior Member Dr Oldz's Avatar
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    Re: Rupes Mille or Flex 3401

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaban View Post

    The only complaint I have about the 3401 is they don't make a 5" backing plate to use with 5.5" pads so we custom make our own
    Try this....

    FLEX XC3401 Mini 4.5 inch Backing Plate, FLEX
    Jim

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  11. #6
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    Re: Rupes Mille or Flex 3401

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Oldz View Post
    Thanks for the link Jim. I actually saw this a few weeks back, but I like my backing plates exactly 5" so it covers pretty much the entire velcro portion of the pad. A 4.5" backing plate creates too much overhang on the pad which I don't like, makes the edges of the pad less effective since you can't apply that much pressure on them with a smaller BP.

  12. #7
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    Re: Rupes Mille or Flex 3401

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaban View Post
    We had several guys come work with us and they all quickly sold their Rupes and bought a Flex instead. The stuff you hear about 3401s "walking on you" and difficult to control is just complete BS. I can honestly buff with my eyes closed after the first 2-3 cars of using it. Just learn to use the tool and it will do EXACTLY what you want it. Don't believe everything you read on the forums. Half these guys are just weekend warriors who had one bad experience, due to lack of practice or experience, and they just go and bash various products endlessly.
    Have you tried the Rupes Mille?

  13. #8
    Senior Member Aaryn NZ's Avatar
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    Re: Rupes Mille or Flex 3401

    I have both.

    I prefer the Flex, I dunno, it just feels like part of me. I have used the Mille a lot & it is a nice tool. It does feel ‘tall’ which I don’t really like & am more comfortable with it when wrapping my leading hand around the shroud of the tool as apposed to on the ‘handle’.

    Like Kayan said - the Flex 3401 is ‘bomb proof’, all of my 3401’s have many many hours on them & have never let me down, my oldest one being almost eight years old & still going strong.

    Flex for the win, all day every day!

    As Dr Oldz mentioned, the 4.5” Flex backing plate is a fantastic option too.


    Aaryn NZ.
    a DETAILS Blenheim New Zealand - IDA Member - C.Quartz Finest Authorized Installer

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  15. #9
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Rupes Mille or Flex 3401

    I'll chime in,

    Here's what I've seen over the years of working inside and outside the detailing industry.


    Everyone's different


    I know that's kind of a generic, fluff statement but that's what I've seen first hand after teaching HUNDREDS if not thousands of classes with people attending from all walks of life, very diverse backgrounds and just as diverse experience.

    When it comes down to which type of tool YOU will really like to stand behind for HOURS and buff out car paint, you really need to spend some time with the tools you're interested in to get a feel for the tool, your buffing style and even the type of pads and products you use.

    Some tools are pad specific, but most will work with any product that already uses great abrasive technology.


    The classes I teach here at Autogeek are unique in that you get to use so many different tools as well as pads and products. This is true for all three of the classes, the 3-day, the 2-day roadshow class and even the boat class lets you use all the different and popular tools on the market.

    Heck at my last boat class the students were using the RUPES TA50 side-by-side with the RUPES Nano and the Griot's Garage 3" Mini. How's that for getting to see and use a diverse set of tools.


    Anyway, here's what I've seen... people "think" they're going to like one type of tool but after using it on a real car, not a hood or a cookie sheet defiantly not after only "watching" the instructor use the tool, and then they use all the other different types of tools and brands of tools, they are able to hone in on which tool or tools they really like and which tools they simply don't care for.

    But it's only after working on multiple cars, with multiple tools sets so they are getting real world hands-on experience are they able to come to such definitive conclusions.

    Everything else is just guessing and hoping.


    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  16. #10
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    Re: Rupes Mille or Flex 3401

    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.

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