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  1. #1
    Senior Member 2black1s's Avatar
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    Flex vs. Rupes Gear Driven Orbital Polishers

    I’m trying to gather as much information as I can to help with my decision for a potential future purchase.

    I’m very familiar with all of the rave reviews and other positive threads for the Flex machines but not so much for the Rupes… There just doesn’t seem to be as much discussion around the Rupes. Is that because the Rupes just can’t compare? There are less of them out there? Or other reasons?

    The primary reason I’m asking about the Rupes is due to the clockwise rotation. I know, I know… Everyone that has used a Flex says the rotational direction is irrelevant but something in my mind tells me otherwise and that is an important consideration to me. This thread is not intended to debate the effects of the rotational direction of any machine… It is what it is. The real intent is to determine the efficacy of the Rupes vs. the efficacy of the Flex for the following applications.

    The primary use of the machine will be for routine polishing and final finishing. Absolute correction ability and/or speed is not a primary concern as I am proficient with and will continue to use a rotary for such applications. What I’m really looking for is the zero-stall benefit of a gear driven machine vs. a conventional random orbital during routine polishing to speed up the process without compromising finish quality. I’d like to be able to “tilt” the machine anywhere from slightly to all the way on edge in certain and appropriate situations without the worry of pad rotation.

    So, given my desire for a CW rotating gear driven orbital (not many choices), is the Rupes a worthy machine? Or is it miles behind the Flex? I understand the larger throw of the Flex probably equates to more correction ability, but again, absolute correction ability is not my objective. In fact, I think I’ll prefer the shorter throw of the Rupes for finishing and working up to edges/body lines.

    Not mentioned are some of the other choices, like the Makita or Lake Country polishers. That is as intended as I’m not a fan of multi-function tools.

    What do you guys say?

  2. #2
    Senior Member 98CayenneTA's Avatar
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    Re: Flex vs. Rupes Gear Driven Orbital Polishers

    I also am a massive rotary user for cutting but have been heavily pondering the FLEX XCE 10-8 125.

    The one thing that jumps out at me and will be pushing me towards the FLEX XCE 10-8 125 once back in stock is the 8mm throw vs the MILLE LK900E 5mm throw.

    I'm with you though on the pad rotation, don't know if my brain can handle counter clockwise
    Ripping through your mind like a hurricane full of novocaine

  3. #3
    Member JT Moto's Avatar
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    Re: Flex vs. Rupes Gear Driven Orbital Polishers

    You know, I never really hear anything about the rupes forced rotation just like I am lost never hear about the flex random orbital or as Mike calls it “the finisher”.

    I’d be interested to hear folks I put as well.

    That being said, I own and Beast and Supa beast as well as a pixie. The pixie has shown me some advantages and disadvantages or the free spinning random orbital.


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  5. #4
    Senior Member psnt1ol's Avatar
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    Re: Flex vs. Rupes Gear Driven Orbital Polishers

    I have both the 3401 and the new super beast. I also have a Rupes 21 and a GG G15. They all have their places depending on the job at hand. I prefer to compound with Gear driven orbital and finish down with a long throw.

    To be honest with you.... the counter clockwise rotation doesnt bother me. Maybe I am so used to it. I dont think about it anymore. What I like about the gear driven machine is that I could vary the pressure to get the result I am looking for. I do find MF pads does better on a long throw than a gear driven one and wool on a gear driven machine is simply a monster. A curvy car generally would give you the most fits if your technique is not on par and this is where a gear driven machine shines. For me.... it comes at a price. Its more taxing on my body using a gear driven machine. If a vehicle has many large flat panels.... the long throw is coming out. LOL

    If gear driven and long throw machines are cars, Gear driven machine is American Muscle while the long throw is a European sports car. Both type of cars have pluses and minuses and it really depends on your driven style and the road you are on. It also holds true for both gear driven and long throw machines.

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  7. #5
    Senior Member 2black1s's Avatar
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    Re: Flex vs. Rupes Gear Driven Orbital Polishers

    Quote Originally Posted by 98CayenneTA View Post
    I also am a massive rotary user for cutting but have been heavily pondering the FLEX XCE 10-8 125.

    The one thing that jumps out at me and will be pushing me towards the FLEX XCE 10-8 125 once back in stock is the 8mm throw vs the MILLE LK900E 5mm throw.

    I'm with you though on the pad rotation, don't know if my brain can handle counter clockwise
    Well like I said... That 5mm throw is probably a benefit when it comes to edges and body lines.

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  9. #6
    Senior Member 2black1s's Avatar
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    Re: Flex vs. Rupes Gear Driven Orbital Polishers

    Quote Originally Posted by psnt1ol View Post
    I have both the 3401 and the new super beast. I also have a Rupes 21 and a GG G15. They all have their places depending on the job at hand. I prefer to compound with Gear driven orbital and finish down with a long throw.

    To be honest with you.... the counter clockwise rotation doesnt bother me. Maybe I am so used to it. I dont think about it anymore. What I like about the gear driven machine is that I could vary the pressure to get the result I am looking for. I do find MF pads does better on a long throw than a gear driven one and wool on a gear driven machine is simply a monster. A curvy car generally would give you the most fits if your technique is not on par and this is where a gear driven machine shines. For me.... it comes at a price. Its more taxing on my body using a gear driven machine. If a vehicle has many large flat panels.... the long throw is coming out. LOL

    If gear driven and long throw machines are cars, Gear driven machine is American Muscle while the long throw is a European sports car. Both type of cars have pluses and minuses and it really depends on your driven style and the road you are on. It also holds true for both gear driven and long throw machines.
    Good analogy with the cars.

    As for the taxing on body part, I cut my teeth with a 12 lb., 3,000 RPM single speed rotary, so I imagine today's gear-driven orbital polishers are probably a walk in the park by contrast.

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  11. #7
    Senior Member psnt1ol's Avatar
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    Re: Flex vs. Rupes Gear Driven Orbital Polishers

    Quote Originally Posted by 2black1s View Post
    Good analogy with the cars.

    As for the taxing on body part, I cut my teeth with a 12 lb., 3,000 RPM single speed rotary, so I imagine today's gear-driven orbital polishers are probably a walk in the park by contrast.

    Holy POPEYE arms... Batman !!!! LOL

    If you are used to the rotary then the counter clockwise rotation wont bother you. IMHO.... Most users who had a hard time with this are generally those who came from a free spinning DA. I remember the first time going from a rotary to a free spinning DA... I felt like I wasnt getting anything done. The very first time I laid hands on the 3401... I was like " OK... I got this". Took to it like duck to water. Please be mindful that everyone's mileage may differ.

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  13. #8
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Flex vs. Rupes Gear Driven Orbital Polishers

    Quote Originally Posted by 2black1s View Post

    I’m trying to gather as much information as I can to help with my decision for a potential future purchase.

    I've used the FLEX BEASTS a LOT in my life. I have access to both the RUPES Mille and the Makita PO5000C


    All three tools are capable machines and gear-driven orbital is so much more efficient for correction work than free spinning random orbital. I know if a person spends enough time with any of these tools they can learn to make them dance on paint.

    The clockwise/counterclockwise aspects don't mean anything to me when using either the RUPES or the FLEX polishers, it simply is what it is and whichever tool you own and use you get use to this aspect or characteristic.


    Here's my own personal take for what it's worth and it's simply my personal preference, there's no bias or fanboy emotion involved. When I go to do paint correction work or polishing, now days I always grab the Supa BEAST. To me, even though it's a small difference, 8mm gear-driven orbital is faster and more aggressive than 5mm gear-driven orbital. I want to go fast but keep my quality high.

    If RUPES or Makita would have brought out an 8mm gear-driven orbital you would likely see me using these types of tools as much as the BEASTS. But for their own reasons they chose to go with 5mm


    We use to sell the Makita PO5000C here at Autogeek but they moved or "sold" so slowly we never put in a second purchase order after depleting the inventory for the first purchase order. I have 6 of them in the garage, none of them ever get used.l

    I think I have 7 or 8 Milles in the garage and about the only time the get used is during my classes as I teach ALL the tools.

    I probably have 40+ FLEX 3401s, Supa Beasts and CBEASTS and they get used a LOT.


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  15. #9
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    Re: Flex vs. Rupes Gear Driven Orbital Polishers

    Well if you cannot make the class with Mike then I suggest a way to try them out yourself. You might talk to some of the detailers in your area and see if you can have them show you their RUPES Mille or the FLEX 3401. Given our weather patterns now you might be surprised to get a chance to try and discuss.

    Just a thought!

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  17. #10
    Senior Member 2black1s's Avatar
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    Re: Flex vs. Rupes Gear Driven Orbital Polishers

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    I've used the FLEX BEASTS a LOT in my life. I have access to both the RUPES Mille and the Makita PO5000C


    All three tools are capable machines and gear-driven orbital is so much more efficient for correction work than free spinning random orbital. I know if a person spends enough time with any of these tools they can learn to make them dance on paint.

    The clockwise/counterclockwise aspects don't mean anything to me when using either the RUPES or the FLEX polishers, it simply is what it is and whichever tool you own and use you get use to this aspect or characteristic.


    Here's my own personal take for what it's worth and it's simply my personal preference, there's no bias or fanboy emotion involved. When I go to do paint correction work or polishing, now days I always grab the Supa BEAST. To me, even though it's a small difference, 8mm gear-driven orbital is faster and more aggressive than 5mm gear-driven orbital. I want to go fast but keep my quality high.

    If RUPES or Makita would have brought out an 8mm gear-driven orbital you would likely see me using these types of tools as much as the BEASTS. But for their own reasons they chose to go with 5mm


    We use to sell the Makita PO5000C here at Autogeek but they moved or "sold" so slowly we never put in a second purchase order after depleting the inventory for the first purchase order. I have 6 of them in the garage, none of them ever get used.l

    I think I have 7 or 8 Milles in the garage and about the only time the get used is during my classes as I teach ALL the tools.

    I probably have 40+ FLEX 3401s, Supa Beasts and CBEASTS and they get used a LOT.


    Thanks Mike. I knew what your opinion would be as I was creating this thread. From all of your posts relative to using the Flex Polishers, I know that they are amongst your favorites and your go-to polisher more often than not. You're a Flex guy and I get that. And I also respect your opinions.

    Here's my situation though, and the primary reason I'm asking about the Rupes...

    I've been doing this stuff a long time (late 1960s) although I do not have as much pure polishing experience as you. Where you may have polished cars five days a week, I was painting for five days and polishing for one (this is only an analogy and not necessarily mathematically correct). And then over the last twenty or so years, my polishing is more or less a few to several times a year, not a daily exercise.

    That said, all of my experience is with CW rotating polishers. It’s natural to me. Throwing a reverse rotation polisher into the mix at this point concerns me a bit. I could certainly adjust and adapt to the reverse rotation with enough tool time, but my tool time is not that great these days. Therefore, I believe getting familiar with a new tool would be more natural and expeditious given the CW rotation.

    I may be wrong, but those are my thoughts now.

    Your second paragraph gives me the kind of information I was soliciting…

    “All three tools are capable machines and gear-driven orbital is so much more efficient for correction work than free spinning random orbital. I know if a person spends enough time with any of these tools they can learn to make them dance on paint.”

    I want to be dancing on the paint within a few minutes of using the tool and I think the CW rotation, in conjunction with my past experience, will play its part in realizing that goal. And also, the absolute correction ability is not my primary objective. Finishing well, without the issue of pad stalling in prone areas, is the primary objective.

    Thanks again for the information. I certainly haven't made any decisions yet, even if I'm going to make a purchase at all, but if I do I have to say that I was leaning in the Rupes direction for the reasons stated.

    And to borrow a phrase of yours... Make Sense?

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