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  1. #1
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    Anyone have experience with the new corded XCE compared to the 3401?

    Just wondering if there is much difference in terms of actual use on the new machine? Doesnít seem to be a lot of info out there. I know it uses a smaller backing plate so Iím hoping itís a little smoother maybe and possibly beats you up a tad less when using it for extended periods? Just looking for some feedback, thanks.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member WaxMaster1's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have experience with the new corded XCE compared to the 3401?

    Backstory, a Cyclo was my first tool back in the late 80s. In 2014 I started reading this forum and decided it was time to upgrade my tool. I went with the 3401. I did not like it and it never grew on me I still picked up my Cyclo. To me, it did whatever it wanted to do and is a very physical tool so I sold it rather quickly.

    I have had many tools in between and still do have a ton of tools but I did pick up the new XCE. Personally, I think it's light years ahead of the 3401.

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  5. #3
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have experience with the new corded XCE compared to the 3401?

    I do.

    Amazing tool. Smoother, quieter, lighter and cooler than the original.

    It does not have the same maximum RPM or OPM as the original.


    BEAST = 480 RPM and 9,600 OPM

    Supa BEAST = 430 RPM and 8,600 OPM

    CBEAST = 380 RPM and 7,600 OPM



    Here's my take, if I REALLY want to bust out a job and plow through it as fast as humanly possible I use the BEAST. If not trying to hit Warp Speed - I grab the Supa Beast, much more enjoyable to use. If I have an easy job, that means the car has only light swirls, scratches, etc. and I'm not in a hurry then I grab the CBEAST.

    Best pads I've found for the BEAST and Supa BEAST are either the Lake Country 6.5" Force Hybrid Pads, I can pretty much do anything with Orange, White and Black.

    I also really like the RUPES 7" foam pad, in all colors, just depends on the project. For polishing gel-coat - the blue and green. For polishing car paint - the yellow and white. I like the TAPERED edge on the RUPES pads as it works well with the reach and buffing characteristics of the gear-driven 8mm tool action.

    For the CBEAST - at this time I don't think there's a PERFECT pad for this tool but I do like the Buff & Shine Uro-Tech pads.



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  7. #4
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have experience with the new corded XCE compared to the 3401?

    More,


    And from your other post,

    Looking for guidance on Audi paint correction.


    I shared this. In an effort to help others, I wrote this article.


    Supa BEAST backing plate swap



    And just to comment,

    Talking about tools by their part numbers is a joke. I've shared my thoughts on this with most tool manufactures that we sell. Some get it. Some don't.

    For example, when Makita launched their gear-driven polisher they did NOT give it a catchy name. It is referred to by it's part number and nobody is ever going to talk, speak or type out the part number.

    PO5000C

    The tool has in my opinion, also never "caught on". It has it's fans, but not like the BEAST has it's fans.


    So here's the nicknames for the FLEX tools,


    FLEX 3401 - the original - The BEAST - and the BEAST is spelled with all capital letters. This is a 8mm gear-driven fixed orbit orbital polisher.

    FLEX XCE CORDED - The Supa BEAST - Supa is short for super and only the first letter is capitalized. This is a 8mm gear-driven fixed orbit orbital polisher.

    FLEX XCE CORDLESS - The CBEAST - All capital letters and the letter C before the word BEAST simply stands for cordless. This is a 8mm gear-driven fixed orbit orbital polisher.

    FLEX XFE7-15 - The FINISHER - The FINISHER is spelled using all capital letters -this is a 15mm FREE SPINNING random orbital polisher

    FLEX XFE15 - This is - The CORDLESS FINISHER. This is the cordless version of the corded FINISHER. At this time I'm not aware of any nicknames for this tool Like the corded FINISHER, this is a 15mm FREE SPINNING random orbital polisher.

    FLEX PXE 80 - Is called The PiXiE - Basically you're running the letters PXE together when you say it and it comes out Pixie, which in mythology is a small fairy, or in this case a small tool. Chris Metcalf came up with the idea to type the part numbers in all capitals and the two letters i in lower case like this, PiXiE. I respect Chris and his twist on this nickname and that's why you see me type it out this way. I coined the term pixie, Chris came up with the spelling. In the new FLEX catalog FLEX called it the "Game Changer" for a nickname but that name has not caught on while the nickname pixie has caught on.

    FLEX PE14-2-150 - This is simply - The PE14 - I am not aware of any nicknames for this tool but I would say that the part number, PE14 is the normal and accepted nickname for the full part number PE14-2-150, which no one is ever going to say or type to refer to this tool.

    FLEX PE-150 - This is the cordless version of the PE14 and I am not aware of any nickname for this tool except to say - The cordless version of the PE14


    Clear as mud?


    Mike Phillips
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  8. #5
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    Re: Anyone have experience with the new corded XCE compared to the 3401?

    Thank you, love to hear the feedback on user experience related stuff. I’m just a weekend warrior so the experience is more important than the polishers maximum capabilities.

  9. #6
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    Re: Anyone have experience with the new corded XCE compared to the 3401?

    Wow, Thanks Mike. Great info and thank you for taking the time to go into detail.

    I would like to try and stick with 5-5.5” pads and honestly that’s just because I like my current pad storage solution and it wont accommodate larger pads. I use a lot of the rupes pads but have heard the 3401 is really hard on the thicker pads. Are you using the regular pads or their thinner pads for the mille?

    I am just a hobbyist so the difference in rpm isn’t a concern of mine as I am not trying to knock time off of jobs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    I do.

    Amazing tool. Smoother, quieter, lighter and cooler than the original.

    It does not have the same maximum RPM or OPM as the original.


    BEAST = 480 RPM and 9,600 OPM

    Supa BEAST = 430 RPM and 8,600 OPM

    CBEAST = 380 RPM and 7,600 OPM



    Here's my take, if I REALLY want to bust out a job and plow through it as fast as humanly possible I use the BEAST. If not trying to hit Warp Speed - I grab the Supa Beast, much more enjoyable to use. If I have an easy job, that means the car has only light swirls, scratches, etc. and I'm not in a hurry then I grab the CBEAST.

    Best pads I've found for the BEAST and Supa BEAST are either the Lake Country 6.5" Force Hybrid Pads, I can pretty much do anything with Orange, White and Black.

    I also really like the RUPES 7" foam pad, in all colors, just depends on the project. For polishing gel-coat - the blue and green. For polishing car paint - the yellow and white. I like the TAPERED edge on the RUPES pads as it works well with the reach and buffing characteristics of the gear-driven 8mm tool action.

    For the CBEAST - at this time I don't think there's a PERFECT pad for this tool but I do like the Buff & Shine Uro-Tech pads.




  10. #7
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have experience with the new corded XCE compared to the 3401?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lt1ssteve View Post

    Wow, Thanks Mike. Great info and thank you for taking the time to go into detail.

    I would like to try and stick with 5-5.5Ē pads and honestly thatís just because I like my current pad storage solution and it wont accommodate larger pads.
    The RUPES 6" pads work great on the 5" backing plate on FLEX gear-driven tools. No problems. The TAPER is nice on RUPES pads. I give them,






    Quote Originally Posted by Lt1ssteve View Post

    I use a lot of the rupes pads but have heard the 3401 is really hard on the thicker pads.
    The BEAST is hard on everything - that's why it's the BEAST!

    But I get YEARS out of my pads on the beast. Most, if not all the pads you see here are old and used. Still going strong.

    many pads I used.


    Review: 3D Paint Coating and 3D One Cutting Compound and Finishing Polish







    Quote Originally Posted by Lt1ssteve View Post

    Are you using the regular pads or their thinner pads for the mille?
    On flat panels the RUPES MILLE pads work great, (thin pads), I find when buffing curvy cars the thicker RUPES pads seem to feel better when transitioning between planes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lt1ssteve View Post

    I am just a hobbyist so the difference in rpm isnít a concern of mine as I am not trying to knock time off of jobs.
    Copy that. Once in a while you see complainers complaining about things like this and I just remind myself - I'm not an Engineer.



    Mike Phillips
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  11. #8
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    Re: Anyone have experience with the new corded XCE compared to the 3401?

    Picked one up. Amazing tool for sure. I don’t have a 3401 on hand to compare side by side but from my reflection it feels significantly more docile than I remember the 3401 being. Started in on a two step on my wife new Audi today and tested out a bunch of pads. Meguiars microfiber cutting pads and uro fiber 50/50 pads work great on it and followed up with some perfect finish on a rupes yellow and seems to do great.

    I think the people saying you need forced rotation specific pads on these seem to be a bit overblown from my initial experience.

    Once again thanks for the help Mike.

  12. #9
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Anyone have experience with the new corded XCE compared to the 3401?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lt1ssteve View Post

    Picked one up. Amazing tool for sure. I donít have a 3401 on hand to compare side by side but from my reflection it feels significantly more docile than I remember the 3401 being.
    Ha ha....

    First time I've ever seen the word

    docile

    Used to describe the difference between the BEAST and the Supa BEAST. But that would be an accurate way to describe the handling and user experience between the two tools.





    Quote Originally Posted by Lt1ssteve View Post

    Started in on a two step on my wife new Audi today and tested out a bunch of pads. Meguiars microfiber cutting pads and uro fiber 50/50 pads work great on it and followed up with some perfect finish on a rupes yellow and seems to do great.

    I think the people saying you need forced rotation specific pads on these seem to be a bit overblown from my initial experience.

    Like a lot of things detailing related, much of what is experienced is relative to the person but also the type of cars they buff out.

    Generally speaking, I do find thin pads don't feel as comfortable on gear-driven tools as thicker pads and most microfiber pads are on the thin side.

    The experience to me is grabby. Of course, the type and lubricity of the product being used can be a huge influence.



    Quote Originally Posted by Lt1ssteve View Post

    Once again thanks for the help Mike.

    I appreciate you're taking the time to do a follow up. Also, if the help you received here helped you to make the decision to purchase a FLEX Supa BEAST, no matter where you bought it, I find that rewarding too.

    It's a powerful tool that simply gets the job done without a person having to fool around with pad stalling.

    I used one myself to buff out a 1932 Ford Roadster Highboy after first removing all the pinstripes.







    Mike Phillips
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  13. #10
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    Re: Anyone have experience with the new corded XCE compared to the 3401?

    Your right, a little grabby with the thin pads with some of the products I tested but seemed to be ok with the sonax stuff as long as I didn’t work it too long.

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