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  1. #1
    Senior Member Dr Oldz's Avatar
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    BUFFERS: If I had to do it all over again......

    After years of detailing, I have a collection of buffers that get heavy use thru dust collectors. I thought it would be fun to list my personal thoughts on machines I would purchase now and the order I would buy them in.



    1: A PC Style machine
    This is you basic entry level Free Spinning DA polisher. This style machine get you started in the buffing arts. Many uses from compounding to applying waxes/sealants. Fantastic for a starting detailer to do production detailing with an AIO type product. Great for the DIYer as it doesnít break the bank yet can provide professional looking results. I find the simple 8mm throw can finish down perfectly on soft paint systems where other machines fall short.

    I suggest the Griots GG6 or Max Shine machines. While the GG9 is the latest and greatest evolution of this machine style, I prefer the body style of the other machines. They can be easily handled with one hand.

    Use 5.5 inch flat thin pads on this style machine.


    2: Flex Beast: Aka Flex 3401. This is a gear driven forced rotation 8mm dual action buffer. What does that mean? It rotates and oscillates with no pad stalling. This is still my workhorse machine. I use it a lot. It provides faster results than a PC style machine. Because it is gear driven, you can tackle much larger sections while still providing professional results. I highly suggest learning this machine and becoming one with it.

    Compounding with it is fast, effective and precise.

    Finish polishing with it also provides great results. While on some softer paints it may not finish 100%, you have the above machine to do that step. If you spend enough time with the Beast and use quality abrasives paired with the right pad, it will finish down spectacularly.

    AIO jobs this is a must have in my books.

    Pricy machine compared to above but bullet proof and can make you tons of money.

    If you are a Rupes fan, they offer the Mille in this style tool. I prefer the Beast.

    I have not yet used the new a Flex Supra Beast but Iím sure that is a sufficient replacement.

    I prefer 6.5 inch pads on this machine. A smaller backing plate is available for use with 5.5 inch pads.



    3: The Flex PiXiE:
    This cordless mini tool is so versatile. While a recent introduction into the detailing world, I use this tool a lot and now consider it a necessity.

    From sanding to waxing and everything in between, this will handle the smaller jobs. Smaller areas, this is a must have. With its versatility to handle one to three inch pads yet still packing a load of power for a tiny machine, all without a cord.


    4: A 15mm long throw polisher: While personally I donít use this style machine for compounding or AIO work like some, I do like finish polishing with one. I like to work fast when compounding and doing AIO work so I reach for the Beast. These machines will stall in some areas and that means no buffing is being done.

    That being said, after a hard physical compounding session, I reach for this tool to finish. They are ultra smooth and have a very enjoyable user experience. Finishing capabilities are phenomenal.

    My choice is the Flex Finisher. The Rupes Mark III is also suitable.

    5: A Rotary: I donít think the rotary is for everyone nor do I currently think everyone needs one. I myself do wet sanding for some special interest vehicles and for a few body shops at times. To remove sanding marks, I find this a necessity. Boat detailer will also need one.

    As far as detailing, I still use one for compounding the trashed vehicles as itís speed is undeniable. With that speed comes the drawback of a high possibility to instill swirls. I will always follow up with one of the above machines to leave behind a flawless finish. While I can personally finish with a rotary most times; the current advancements in abrasive and pad technologies, I find no need to finish with a rotary and possibly leave holograms behind.

    I like the Rupes 19 as my first choice. The Flex 14-2 is also a great choice. For bigger jobs, The DeWalt Bumblebee is my choice.


    Finally: The Flex family of cordless tools: I canít pick an order with these. The battery technology is top notch.

    While they donít offer the same muscle as their corded brothers, the fact you are not wrestling with a cord is so amazing.

    I use these whenever possible and I donít need the big muscles of the corded versions.

    Expensive but worth not having a cord.





    Thatís my personal list of buffers and the order I would purchase them as of today. Hope you enjoyed reading




    Jim
    Jim

  2. Thanks TMQ, BSoares, Thomkirby, patrick0001, Diner and 3 others thanked for this post
    Likes Loach, BSoares, mwoolfso, John U, oneheadlite and 8 others liked this post
  3. #2
    Senior Member TMQ's Avatar
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    Re: BUFFERS: If I had to do it all over again......

    Good read...Thanks for your input!

    Tom
    Mr Tommy's
    Wash, Buff, Wax
    txt: 240-422-3831

  4. #3
    Senior Member PaulMys's Avatar
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    Re: BUFFERS: If I had to do it all over again......

    Great list and breakdown, Jim.
    It is no coincidence that man's best friend cannot talk.

  5. #4
    Senior Member DMiglio's Avatar
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    Re: BUFFERS: If I had to do it all over again......

    I love my Griots polishers, but I wish I would’ve bought a Flex Beast before I bought my long throw. Don’t get me wrong, it has great power, runs smooth and feels good ergonomically, but the Flex and the gear drive is hard to beat in my eyes.
    Alumni Autogeek's first ever Roadshow Detailing Class Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

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  7. #5
    Senior Member John U's Avatar
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    Re: BUFFERS: If I had to do it all over again......

    My collection mirrors The good Dr’s list.

    I do have a PC in the #1 spot and a Craftsman rotary I purchased almost 50 yrs ago in the #5 spot. Extra credit for a long dormant Waxmaster???

  8. #6
    Senior Member KBsToy's Avatar
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    Re: BUFFERS: If I had to do it all over again......

    Being a senior enthusiast I have settled on Shinemates EX605 / EX603 . These polishers are easy for me to use and do a great job taking care of our cars and a few friend's.

  9. #7
    Senior Member KBsToy's Avatar
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    Re: BUFFERS: If I had to do it all over again......


  10. #8
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    Re: BUFFERS: If I had to do it all over again......

    Awesome post but now I've got a new buffer itch

    I went from the gg6 to the g9 but have been wondering if there was a better choice for my production buffs. Now I want the beast lol

  11. #9
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: BUFFERS: If I had to do it all over again......

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Oldz View Post

    After years of detailing, I have a collection of buffers that get heavy use thru dust collectors. I thought it would be fun to list my personal thoughts on machines I would purchase now and the order I would buy them in.


    1: A PC Style machine

    This is you basic entry level Free Spinning DA polisher. This style machine get you started in the buffing arts. Many uses from compounding to applying waxes/sealants.

    Fantastic for a starting detailer to do production detailing with an AIO type product. Great for the DIYer as it doesn’t break the bank yet can provide professional looking results.

    I find the simple 8mm throw can finish down perfectly on soft paint systems where other machines fall short.

    I suggest the Griots GG6 or Max Shine machines. While the GG9 is the latest and greatest evolution of this machine style, I prefer the body style of the other machines. They can be easily handled with one hand.

    Use 5.5 inch flat thin pads on this style machine.

    Just to comment...

    I agree with Jim on this tool and his suggestion to have one in your detailing tool arsenal.


    I'll talk about this today when we go LIVE


    LIVE Detailing Class - How to compound and polish by HAND





    Besides showing the correct techniques for removing swirls and scratches by hand we'll also compare and contrast to working with the simple, entry level Porter Cable 7424XP.


    Today at 3:00pm


    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member - Certified Detailer - Skills Validated Detailer - IDA Recognized Trainer
    Mike Phillips Facebook Page
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    Sign-up for Mike's Tips & Techniques Newsletter


  12. #10
    Senior Member Bill D's Avatar
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    Re: BUFFERS: If I had to do it all over again......

    My Cyclo has been collecting dust for years. I guess it's only good as a carpet scrubber these days.
    Treat it like it's the only one in the world.

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