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  1. #1
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Rotary Buffer- Stick Handle - Hoop Handle - Or no handle at all

    Rotary Buffers: Stick Handle - Hoop Handle - Or no handle at all

    Had a gentleman e-mail be about buffing out aluminum tanker trucks and in our e-mail exchange the question of which style of buffer is best came up.

    Best is a relative term especially in the detailing world so I thought I would start a thread on this topic and add a few comments...

    No handle at all
    I've used both stick handle models and hoop handle models and after about 12 to 15 years of using a rotary buffer my preference now days is no handle at all, (most of the time).

    That is just grab the head of the buffer and hold on to it. As long as it's not a super hot day and you're not buffing for hours this will work, but if it's hot outside and you're doing what I call a "complete", which stands for a complete multi-step buffing process, then it shouldn't get so hot that it's uncomfortable. If it does, then use the handle or come kind of work glove or even a weight lifter's leather glove, the kind where your fingers poke out but the palm is covered. That's how I use a rotary buffer, everyone has to find their own style.


    Stick Handle
    With a stick handle you can quickly and easily remove the handle in case it's in the way due to a curve of a panel or design of a car, or move it to the other side. All three of these options are a plus and can come in real handy.

    You also get great leverage over the tool as far guiding over a panel for hours and hours. It requires more forearm muscles to push down on the head because your hand hold is off to the side.


    Hoop Handle
    With a hoop handle your hand usually smack dab centered over the buffing head and it's easy to push down with pressure easily with less fatigue because your hand is directly over the head of the buffer.

    You don't have as much control over the side to side movement of the polisher because your hand is right over the head of the buffer instead of the side like a stick handle model.

    I've buffed out all day projects with both styles and at the end of each day it seems like my left arm is less tired or fatigued with the stick style handle than with the hoop style handle. YMMV


    Both styles can be found here,

    Rotary Buffers



    My personal RB for over a decade now has been my trusty, dusty Makita, Note how the sand-cast, textured finish on the aluminum head of my Makita Rotary Buffer has been worn smooth after years of buffing. At the end of the day I would usually be bleeding in two places on my hand where it rubbed mostly because I was to dumb or lazy to wear a band-aid, or put some tape on my finger or knuckle where it rubbed.






    Kind have to use all three options to see which option works best for you. Before I bought my first Makita I would go down to the local tool rental store and rent a rotary buffer for the weekend, I think it was a Sioux or a Milwaukee and weighed about 30 pounds!

    Recently I tried out the FLEX L3403 VRG Lightweight Circular Polisher



    Very light weight, nice design, easy to use.

    Mike Phillips
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  2. #2
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    Re: Stick Handle - Hoop Handle - Or no handle at all

    Wow good thread, not something you would normally think about. But me, I have tried the no handle and handle via the Dewalt 849, and without a doubt I prefer the handle! Never had anything with a loop so...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Erik Mejia's Avatar
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    Re: Stick Handle - Hoop Handle - Or no handle at all

    I prefer the stick handle myself, and occasionally will go no handle. Never did like the Bail handle. Cool thread.

  4. #4
    Senior Member AeroCleanse's Avatar
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    Re: Stick Handle - Hoop Handle - Or no handle at all

    For a rotary I like the hoop handle that came with my Makita. For a D/A I prefer no handle.

  5. #5
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Stick Handle - Hoop Handle - Or no handle at all

    Here's a dedicated thread for PC style polishers...

    DA Polishers - Stick Handle - Hoop Handle - Or no handle at all?



    Mike Phillips
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  6. #6
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    Re: Stick Handle - Hoop Handle - Or no handle at all

    I rock the FLEX VVB Rotary. I prefer no side handle.
    Autogeek OG. Attended detail fest I/II. Still detailing!

  7. #7
    Senior Member sydster's Avatar
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    Re: Stick Handle - Hoop Handle - Or no handle at all

    Quote Originally Posted by AeroCleanse View Post
    For a rotary I like the hoop handle that came with my Makita. For a D/A I prefer no handle.
    This is the way I like it too!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Chris27182's Avatar
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    Re: Stick Handle - Hoop Handle - Or no handle at all

    Hey Mike, any chance you could do a test with this handle next time you use a rotary FLEX Grip Side Handle, reduce vibration, Flex polisher handle

  9. #9
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Stick Handle - Hoop Handle - Or no handle at all

    Whoops!

    Sorry everyone I didn't add the words Rotary Buffer: to the beginning of the title of this thread and then wrote a similar title for a dual action polisher without adding, DA Polisher: to the beginning of it.

    So the threads look like the same thread.

    I actually saw my mistake and edited the titles to reflect the differences but the limit for editing the title of a post had already passed so the edit didn't take.

    I've asked Jason to tweak the time limit so I can try again.

    Sorry... typing too fast, thinking too slow...


    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  10. #10
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Stick Handle - Hoop Handle - Or no handle at all

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris27182 View Post
    Hey Mike, any chance you could do a test with this handle next time you use a rotary FLEX Grip Side Handle, reduce vibration, Flex polisher handle
    You bet! For times when you want a handle this looks like a great design.





    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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