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  1. #1
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Review: RUPES Mark III BigFoot 21 Polisher by Mike Phillips

    Review: RUPES Mark III BigFoot 21 Polisher by Mike Phillips


    RUPES BigFoot LHR21 MARK III Random Orbital Polisher





    Used this red 2014 Corvette Stingray for a video and as a thank you to the owner, machine polished the exterior using Pinnacle Jeweling Wax. This gave me a chance to test out the new RUPES BigFoot 21 Mark III





    So let's take a look at what's inside the box.





    There's the polisher, a User Guide and a printout with some extra information on lubricating the backing plate where it rubs against the rubber shroud and the extension cord.












    Nice. And the suggested retail price for this tool by itself is = $465.00






    Now let's take a look at the features of the tool itself.

    First up - it comes with a 9 meter long power cord, for we in the States that never learned the metric system this works out to be about 30 feet.







    Sexy piping to make the tool look visually pleasing to any hardcore tool guy....





    Extra large speed dial that's easier to read and easier to adjust.





    Speed dial goes from 1 to 6





    Graph imprinted on the top of the tool body shows you the OPMs for each speed setting.





    Soft rubber tool rests - this one just above the speed dial.





    The other tool rest is towards the front of the tool. The soft rubber tool rests enable you to lay the tool upside down without it falling over. Because the tool rests are soft rubber, if they are clean you could lay this on the hood, roof or trunk lid of a car. (I do)





    Soft rubber overmold around the head of the tool makes it easier to grab and grip.





    Hex Head Wrench stores onboard for removal or re-tightening of the backing plate.





    Progressive Trigger provides easier control over tool speed with exact precision. (nice)





    Soft rubber grip on trigger makes it easy for your finger to grip the trigger for easy speed adjustment - even if wearing gloves.





    Speed lock button to lock the tool in the ON position at a determined speed setting.





    Dirt and dust cover on the backing plate to keep it clean.






    RUPES is not a big fan of co-mingling their system.




    This means they prefer you to use tier pads and products with their tool. I completely understand this and back when I wrote the RUPES how-to book - if you notice the title states,

    The RUPES BigFoot Paint Polishing SYSTEM

    That's because it's truly a system - not just a tool.




    Identification Tag - Shows it is assembled in the USA From parts made in the European Union.






    The RUPES BigFoot backing plates are thin with a tapered rubber outer flange.







    I strongly recommend placing a mark on the backing plate to make it easier for your eyes to watch the backing plate during operation to monitor pad rotation.







    There's a lot of controversy around the practice of stuffing a spacer washer between the spindle and the backing plate. I don't do it myself as a practice but I DO apply a lubricant to the back of the backing plate to reduce friction between the backing plate and the rubber shroud. Looks like RUPE recommends the same thing.







    Apply the lubricant to the blue portion of the backing plate here.






    Multiple cooling holes in the backing plate align with the cooling vents on their microfiber pads.





    From the Autogeek.com store page


    Technical Data

    • Ř backing pad mm-in - 150 – 6”
    • Ř Orbit mm-in - 21 -13/16”
    • Power Watt - 500
    • R.P.M. - 3000 – 4500
    • Weight kg-lbs - 2.7 – 5.95
    • Speed regulation •
    • Backing pad thread - M8
    • Cord Length m-ft - 9 – 29.5




    On Autogeek.net


    RUPES BigFoot LHR21 MARK III Random Orbital Polisher




    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  3. #2
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Review: RUPES Mark III BigFoot 21 Polisher by Mike Phillips

    Continued.....

    This Corvette is garage kept and low mileage. Besides some overspray paint on the back of it there wasn't a lot of swirls or scratches to be removed. That said, nothing looks as good as a freshly waxed car.














    A couple of RIDS here and there....







    If I put the top up I would have to tape off the top. If I leave it down I have to cover the interior. Either way I have to cover something so I chose to leave the top down and cover the interior up.







    There's very little plastic trim on these cars but where it is located it's faster and easier to tape-it off then to try to detail it after the detail work.











    Ready to start buffing...

    Here you can see I not only mark my backing plate but now days I mark all my pads too. Making a simple mark makes it a LOT easier for your eyes to monitor pad rotation. If you want to remove swirls and scratches you must remove a little paint. To remove a little paint you need pad rotation. If the pad is stalling out then it's basically just vibrating against the paint and >you< are not doing anything.





    Here I've put some of the Pinnacle Jeweling Wax on the face of the pad.... if you don't know - you use a one-step cleaner/wax like a compound or polish as it relates to how much product to use.

    You certainly don't take the silly advice of using 3 peas sized drop.





    And BOOM! The car is done. Sorry I don't have any pictures of me doing the work but I can vouch that the car didn't buff itself out.

    And I always include how many pads I used in a project to show others that it takes more than ONE pad to buff out any car with any tool.













    And here's the results. I actually had people walk into the garage the next day and ask me,

    What ceramic paint coating did you put on it?

    Not coated - just the Pinnacle Jeweling Wax. Looks good huh?













    I tested a new tire cleaner when I was washing this car. As a follow-up to the cleaner I applied the Pinnacle Black Onyx Tire Dressing.







    This drop top is drop dead gorgeous!







    Mike Phillips
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    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Review: RUPES Mark III BigFoot 21 Polisher by Mike Phillips

    Continued....


    Review

    I was REALLY impressed with this new updated BigFoot 21 long stroke polisher. The 21mm is my favorite and it was fun to re-visit this type of tool for buffing out an entire car and a very curvy car at that.

    I don't remember EVER experience any pad stalling with this new Mark III version and most of the time I was only on speed setting 4. Normally I'm always on speed 6 with these types of tools to help with maintaining pad rotation but pad rotation just didn't seem to be a problem.

    I've always LOVED buffing with the RUPES ultra soft white 7" foam pads and of course the Pinnacle Jeweling Wax is an incredible product that uses amazing abrasive technology.


    If you've been waiting (for years), to take the plunge and get a RUPES BigFoot 21 long stroke, free spinning orbital polisher, this newest updated version is great.


    I give it 2 thumbs up!




    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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    Senior Member conman1395's Avatar
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    Re: Review: RUPES Mark III BigFoot 21 Polisher by Mike Phillips

    Great write-up Mike. Question: Why does Rupes continue to have the shroud contact the backing plate? I don't get it. Rather than lubricate the surface, why don't they just make it not touch at all?
    Former professional detailer. Current medical student (class of 2023)

    2017 Infiniti Q60 3.0t AWD

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  9. #5
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Review: RUPES Mark III BigFoot 21 Polisher by Mike Phillips

    Quote Originally Posted by conman1395 View Post

    Great write-up Mike.

    Question: Why does Rupes continue to have the shroud contact the backing plate? I don't get it.

    Rather than lubricate the surface, why don't they just make it not touch at all?

    That is a GREAT question. Myself and Todd Helme both shared our reasons why, (I believe Todd's reasons are the most accurate, I just shared what I was told by the head Engineer at RUPES).


    In that same line of logic - why does everyone that copies the RUPES design include a rubber shroud that rubs on the back of the backing plate?

    They could have just not used a rubber shroud? The Porter Cable polisher has been around for 20+ years and it doesn't have a rubber shroud? Neither does the Meguiar's MT300 or the Griot's 6" DA or the HF DA.


    I have to go out to the garage and finish packing for a private Roadshow Class in another week. I got a good start with the tools, now it's time to pack the pads, chemicals and other supplies so I can get it MOVING towards it's destination.


    TOOLS! - Car Detailing Training - Packing for a Roadshow Class! No sitting all hands-on!



    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  10. #6
    Senior Member Mike@DedicatedPerfection's Avatar
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    Re: Review: RUPES Mark III BigFoot 21 Polisher by Mike Phillips

    Very nice review Mike!

    That Vette came out glossy. You know, it should be illegal the amount of shine you put on cars that come through your hands.

    Keep up the great work

  11. #7
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Review: RUPES Mark III BigFoot 21 Polisher by Mike Phillips

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike@DedicatedPerfection View Post

    Very nice review Mike!
    It was kind of short and to the point. Big picture is I used it over an entire car, a fairly curvy car to so I would have real-world experience to share a factual opinion. Except for flat panel cars I don't tend to grab any companies 21mm long stroke polishers for most of my detail work as I tend to like gear-driven tools to simply work faster since there's no pad stall.

    So I was very happy with the performance of the Mark III as it seem to work really well as far as maintaining pad rotation on this car. I would add that I think it's easier to maintain pad rotation with the softer 7" white polishing pad than it is to maintain pad rotation with any other firmer pad so I'll have to buff out some more cars using the other RUPES pads to test this new version to it's limit. Suffice to say, out of all the BigFoot 21 polishers the Mark III is the best bang for your buck.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike@DedicatedPerfection View Post

    That Vette came out glossy. You know, it should be illegal the amount of shine you put on cars that come through your hands.

    Thanks!

    The Pinnacle Jeweling Wax really works nice for cars in this condition. I find myself recommending this product to a lot of people with cars like this that stay in great shape but do need the occasional refreshing to restore that just waxed look. I think I mentioned this previously but a number of people either asked me what ceramic coating I used or inferred the coating I used looked great. Then I told them it wasn't coated but waxed.

    Have to admit - the red paint came out incredibly glossy and it looks as good if not better in person as it does in the pictures.







    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
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  12. #8
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    Re: Review: RUPES Mark III BigFoot 21 Polisher by Mike Phillips

    Pinnacle Jeweling Wax? Wouldn’t that be outside the system? Review: RUPES Mark III BigFoot 21 Polisher by Mike Phillips


    Sent from my iPhone using Autogeekonline mobile app
    '03 Corvette Z06

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    Re: Review: RUPES Mark III BigFoot 21 Polisher by Mike Phillips

    Here I've put some of the Pinnacle Jeweling Wax on the face of the pad.... if you don't know - you use a one-step cleaner/wax like a compound or polish as it relates to how much product to use.

    You certainly don't take the silly advice of using 3 peas sized drop.




    Mike can you please elaborate on the 3 pea-sized drop comment? I've always been told less is more. Is that quantity of product specific to this Wax or do you believe people under-use product in general? Thanks

  14. #10
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Review: RUPES Mark III BigFoot 21 Polisher by Mike Phillips

    Quote Originally Posted by jbodrich1 View Post


    Mike can you please elaborate on the 3 pea-sized drop comment?
    Sure, glad to. My goal is to always educate and I'm willing to put my experience and opinion on the front line for anyone to agree with or disagree with.


    Quote Originally Posted by jbodrich1 View Post

    I've always been told less is more.

    Is that quantity of product specific to this Wax or do you believe people under-use product in general?

    Thanks

    The old adage


    Less is more


    I definitely true for some things. Not my gas tank or my bank account.


    When using a PURE wax or PURE sealant, in this context, the word pure means NON CLEANING. Then in this example you are SUPPOSED to be applying a product like Meguiar's #26 or Pinnacle Souveran Paste Was using the less is more technique BECAUSE the paint you are SUPPOSED to be applying these types of non cleaning products should already be in new, excellent or show car condition and thus all you're trying to do is lay down a thin uniform layer of product.

    So yeah, less is more. Overusing the product would be simply wasting the product.


    Now here's what I wrote - note the part I made bold


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips

    Here I've put some of the Pinnacle Jeweling Wax on the face of the pad.... if you don't know - you use a one-step cleaner/wax like a compound or polish as it relates to how much product to use.

    You certainly don't take the silly advice of using 3 peas sized drop.

    When using any quality cleaner/wax of as some of you like to call it, an AIO or All-in-One, you want plenty of what's in the cleaner/wax ON the surface WORKING for you.

    This can include,

    • Abrasives
    • Lubricating agents
    • Chemical cleaners
    • Solvents
    • Waxes or any type of protection ingredients




    In context, if you're using an AIO or cleaner/wax, you're SUPPOSED to be working on neglected paint, that is paint that has defects like,

    1. Swirls
    2. Scratches
    3. Water spots
    4. Oxidation



    Thus you need the things I listed above working in conjunction WITH the pad, tool, time and technique to remove the defects and leave the surface both polished and protected.


    IF you underuse the product when working on this type of paint then you're diminishing the overall results you can achieve and investing a lot more time to get the job done.


    What I always write when talking about cleaner/waxes, or cleaner/sealants or AIOs or jeweling waxes, is you want to use the product HEAVY or WET --> this means you use plenty of product. You are not ridiculous and use so much product it's spraying and splattering all over the place, but you don't use 3 Peas Sized Drops. That would be ridiculous. And anyone telling you this is simply still learning.


    I actually met a recognized Pro Detailer a few months ago getting ready to start buffing on very neglected paint. Right in front of me he applied 4 peas sized drops. Still way to LITTLE product for the paint he was working on. I let him buff this first section and then wipe off the residue to inspect the results. He basically buffed to a dry buff due to so little product used. Keep in mind, anytime you buff to a dry buff on scratch-sensitive clearcoats you risk micro-marring the paint. That's working backwards in my book.


    Then I politely shared with him what he was doing and what he should be doing. He politely told me he was always told to use 3 pea sized drops. That's an example of bad information simply being regurgitated or parroted in the blogosphere and the results is everyone that is YouTube Trained & Certified simply don't really know what they are doing.

    I cover all of this in all of my classes, car detailing classes and boat detailing classes and with boats it's even MORE important to use a product heavy or wet because dry oxidized gel-coat absorbs some of the liquids in the product as you're working the surface so you automatically lose some original lubrication and chemical cleaners to the gel-coat. And same thing applies when working on oxidized single stage paint.


    Great questions!

    Thanks you for asking! I hope my explanations make sense.




    p.s.

    Just to give due credit where credit is due, it is Meguiar's that originally assocated the word PURE with non-cleaning polishes and non-cleaning waxes.



    Mike Phillips
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