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  1. #1
    Senior Member Dr Oldz's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    NE PA
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    Flex XFE-15-150: initial impressions

    So I got a chance to use my new Flex “finisher” yesterday and wanted to share some thoughts.

    First off: Changed the backing plate to the smaller one(purchased separately) for use with 5.5 inch pads. Personally I feel a 15mm long throw DA should use 5.5 inch pads. This backing plate should come with the machine and the bigger one the extra purchase option.

    Ergonomics: For me it feels fantastic but I have been using a 3401 for years so It also has to do with the familiarality. The rubber overmolded head is great.

    Noise: this machine is super quiet. The quietest polisher I have ever used.

    Operation: super smooth. I think I was smiling the whole time the machine was on.

    Speed control: I am used to it’s placement and this seems more positive when switching speeds. Although my 3401 has a lot of miles and may be worn out. I still wish they put the speed control on top Like a Dewalt 849x but this is still a good spot.

    Cord: nice flexible rubber like most quality tools.

    I purchased this as a polisher and not for compounding. I prefer to compound with a rotary or the 3401. So I got about 4 hours of polishing with this machine. I was very please with the sound, smoothness and great finishing capability of this machine. This does have the power to compound but again that isn’t my preferred method.
    Stalling wasn’t an issue but it can be on any long throw DA if it is not used properly or hitting a curved panel.

    I did use this to apply a wax and it worked fine. For waxing I do prefer the PC as I can buzz around the vehicle using only one hand to hold the polisher. The finisher requires 2 hands for operation.

    I had had zero heat issues

    the plate design is far superior to any other long throw I have seen.

    Overall I am very pleased with this machine and can’t wait to get more miles on it. The smoothness, quietness and finishing capabilities are fantastic.

  2. Thanks john b, Aaryn NZ, Diner thanked for this post
  3. #2
    Senior Member Dr Oldz's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    NE PA
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    Re: Flex XFE-15-150: initial impressions

    I have polished 3 vehicles with this machine thus far. I’m really happy with my choice to purchase this polisher and it’s performance.

    My typical method is starting the machine on 4-5 speed setting.
    1st pass - medium-light pressure
    2nd pass - light pressure
    3rd pass - machine weight
    4th pass - machine weight and one click slower speed
    5th pass - picking up the machine a tick and again one lower speed than previous step.

    All passes done with faster arm speed. Maybe 2 inches a second.

    Of course different paint systems/polishes may require a slight deviation in the methods.

    Machine gets a thumbs up thus far except for coming with a 6 inch plate.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Kamakaz1961's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
    Tustin, CA
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    Re: Flex XFE-15-150: initial impressions

    Way Cool! I am a Flex 3401 user and love it! I use my PC7424XP as my sealant/wax applicator. Excellent review!
    2013 Mustang GT w/Track Pack 6-Speed Manual
    Save the Manual!

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  6. #4
    Senior Member Sizzle Chest's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    Naples, FL
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    Re: Flex XFE-15-150: initial impressions

    Great review Doc. I like mine as well and have used it without any issues for cutting/compounding. Overall a darn good machine!
    Scott Harle

  7. #5
    Senior Member Dr Oldz's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    NE PA
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    Re: Flex XFE-15-150: initial impressions

    Many vehicles in now and lots of hours on this machine.....

    I really like this machine.

    The name “Finisher” applies very well as I use it exclusively for final polishing work. While it may be suitable for compounding/cutting for some, I think there are better options for Compounding such as the 3401 or Rotary machines.

    Opinions vary on pad usage. Mike Phillips suggest the 6.5 inch force hybrid pads. Myself, I prefer the standard 5.5 inch by 7/8 flat pads. You can be your own judge there as long as you are getting desired results.

    I have seen mixed opinions of priming pads or just adding buffing liquids and going to town. I have found priming pads to be more effective. A) you are certain the whole pad is working for you. B) The whole pad is lubricated thus decreasing the potential for the long throw polisher stall issue.

    The machines smoothness and quietness are outstanding.

    All said and done this is a great machine that allows your final polishing game to truly stand out. It’s just up to you to pick the right psd/polish combo for the paint you are working on.

    Haven’t had one malfunction or overheating issue thus far.

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  9. #6
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    Stuart, Florida
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    Re: Flex XFE-15-150: initial impressions

    Thanks for the update Jim.

    This tool is consistently well received, (that means everyone like it a lot), at all my classes.

    At the last boat class everyone loved it for machine sanding the gel-coat boats.

    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member - Certified Detailer - Skills Validated Detailer - IDA Recognized Trainer
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  10. #7
    Senior Member VISITOR's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Re: Flex XFE-15-150: initial impressions

    can't go wrong with a flex tool. it delivers time and time again...

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