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Flex XC3401 or Flex PE14-150?


MichiganSRT8
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Ok guys its time to add another polisher to my arsenal as I have already came across cars now that just take too much time with only the PC. I have no plans on getting rid of it at all as i feel very confident with it and makes sense in many applications. I was wondering if anyone has worked with both the 3403 and PE14? I have been hearing mixed messaged about both and am looking for some first hand experience, anything would be great. I know they are both not in the same ballpark but I think adding a rotary or forced rotation would be a good thing. So i can get those perfect finishes I think this will be a must in the very near future, especially after winter here in Michigan. I already have many people asking me to do their cars after this winter so I figured I should pick one up and practice in the winter on scraps panels i can get for free. Thank you again and I'm just here to listen! :D:lurk::bow:

Edited by MichiganSRT8
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Are you sure you don't mean the 3403? The 3401 is the DA tool we sell... the 3403 is a rotary.

 

Comparing the PE 14 to a 3401 isn't really a fair fight... a rotary is much more powerful tool and capable of a whole other level of correction (and much higher potential for damage)

Edited by Dylan@Adams
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no dylan you were correct on your first post before edit. I do mean the 3403, i know that the possibility for damage but after like 6 months of working the wheel this winter on junk pieces im sure i will have at least a hand for it i hope. I saw you said that you love the pe, that seems to be what almost everyone says that its the best they have used. would the adams flex pads be fine for the pe? or you guys working on some proto's for the pe? thanks again

 

*edit*

I also know the flex DA will also take care of some of what the PC cant, what is the advantages of taking the PE14 compared the the DA besides maybe faster? Im not after faster, just closer to perfection.

Edited by MichiganSRT8
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The flat flex pads would work fine with it, I've used them and had good success.

 

The PE12 is just a better all around machine than the 3403... not that the 3403 is a bad tool, the PE is just much nicer in almost all aspects IMO.

 

You sparked my curiosity. Could you elaborate on this more please? How is it better?

 

Also,

This reminds me of that scene form Blue Streak

 

"What do you think about the P31?" "I'd rather have a P40"

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The flat flex pads would work fine with it, I've used them and had good success.

 

The PE12 is just a better all around machine than the 3403... not that the 3403 is a bad tool, the PE is just much nicer in almost all aspects IMO.

 

Gotcha, ok yeah Ill have to look at some write-ups as you use the pe12, think thats the one I would end up going with but no rush since its about to be winter now. Thanks for the input, might have more questions too as I go, I feel like you can pick up the PC in 10 min but the rotary is an art so I feel up to the challenge. Especially with your and everyone on heres help!

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You sparked my curiosity. Could you elaborate on this more please? How is it better?

 

Also,

This reminds me of that scene form Blue Streak

 

"What do you think about the P31?" "I'd rather have a P40"

 

PE14 is just lighter, smoother, more comfortable to work with... all around a better rotary tool. If you're choosing a high speed I don't see a reason to go with anything else at the moment. My dewalt and makita are both going to be mothballed for the foreseeable future.

Edited by Dylan@Adams
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PE12 is just lighter, smoother, more comfortable to work with... all around a better rotary tool. If you're choosing a high speed I don't see a reason to go with anything else at the moment. My dewalt and makita are both going to be mothballed for the foreseeable future.

 

Are you talking about the PE14, or the Metabo PE12? I thought this thread was about the Flex machines. :confused:

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I own both the 3403 and the new PE14-2 150. Both are great light weight machines. The big difference is that the newer PE14-2 150 has a more advance cooling design. Plus its much quieter. The 3403 for extended use can heat up a bit.

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so does this mean Adam's might change their FLEX kits to carry the PE14 instead of the 3403 in the future?

 

NVM, i see now the PE14 is a rotary, don't want to risk customers damaging their paint!

Edited by 2010TexasEdition
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so does this mean Adam's might change their FLEX kits to carry the PE14 instead of the 3403 in the future?

 

NVM, i see now the PE14 is a rotary, don't want to risk customers damaging their paint!

 

yeah i was gunna say, think the flex Adams already carries is already capable of doing damage in the wrong hands. dont know if wed see a rotary line, besides dylan says he uses the DA flex pads on the rotary and it works just fine, i was happy to hear that :D:2thumbs:

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Yes... I'll make that clear. The need for a rotary tool is not all that prevalent for anyone who maintains their vehicles properly from the beginning. The Flex 3401 and PC 7424xp are very capable tools that offer the ability to correct paint without the learning curve/risk of damage in the hands of an inexperienced user. Also when you consider that once a car is corrected it can be easily maintained with a DA polisher and very moderate polishing techniques the usefulness of a rotary for anyone only caring for their own cars is pretty low.

 

Honestly, aside from major 1x corrections or fixing big damage someone not professionally detailing might only ever use a rotary tool once as it wouldn't be needed anymore for upkeep.

 

Remember this picture of what a rotary tool can do when the operator is not experienced... and this is the least of the potential problems:

 

photo12.jpg

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Its faster for one... and can restore some seriously trashed paint.

 

Look it in these terms... the PC7424xp, Flex 3401, and Flex PE14-2 all do the same thing... remove material. The speed and ease with which they do this the difference.

 

Theoretically you could polish ANY defect out with a PC... problem is that if its really deep it could take literally hundreds of passes, each pass just removing a small amount of material. The 3401 gets you there a tad faster as it is capable of higher speeds and has the rotation. The PE14 is going to get you there really fast b/c its removing a lot of material in a short amount of time.

 

I've used this analogy before:

 

Lets say you're gonna put a pool in your backyard... but first you need to dig a big 10ft deep hole. You could do it with a spoon (hand polishing) but to dig a huge 10ft deep hole with a soup spoon is going to take forever. You could do it with a shovel and other hand tools (PC) and it'll take you awhile but you'll eventually get it done. You could rent a small bobcat tractor (Flex 3401) and get it done, but its gonna take some practice to figure out how to operate the machine. Even if you make a mistake driving it around the chances any significant damage to your house or yard is slim.Or you could do it with a humongous professional back-hoe (PE 14-2 rotary) and dig that hole with just a few scoops. Problem is if you don't know what you're doing you could hit an underground pipe line easily, or knock your house over swinging it around.

 

Flip it around the other way and say you just need to dig a small hole to plant a tree... you don't need to move a lot of dirt so the backhoe become impractical, the bobcat is probably even a little bit of overkill, but a shovel or even a spoon make more sense.

 

The concept is this - the deeper the damage the more material (clear coat or paint) need to be removed to remove the damage. A rotary becomes completely overkill for upkeep polishing when a pass of FMP on the PC will do, but its ideal when a finish is really hammered and you need to correct it in a reasonable amount of time.

Edited by Dylan@Adams
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I've used this analogy before:

 

Lets say you're gonna put a pool in your backyard... but first you need to dig a big 10ft deep hole. You could do it with a spoon (hand polishing) but to dig a huge 10ft deep hole with a soup spoon is going to take forever. You could do it with a shovel and other hand tools (PC) and it'll take you awhile but you'll eventually get it done. You could rent a small bobcat tractor (Flex 3401) and get it done, but its gonna take some practice to figure out how to operate the machine. Even if you make a mistake driving it around the chances any significant damage to your house or yard is slim.Or you could do it with a humongous professional back-hoe (PE 14-2 rotary) and dig that hole with just a few scoops. Problem is if you don't know what you're doing you could hit an underground pipe line easily, or knock your house over swinging it around.

 

 

 

LOVE that analogy, thats what i was getting tho think like when I was looking at all these articles and threads from everywhere. Im gunna keep that in minds cause i feel that is perfect. And moving to such pads like wool with a rotary you remove even much more correct? creating much more heat as well? I also am looking to correct the gel coat of my jets skis eventually and would like something i could work with for that as well. I think the 3401 with a wool pad would be efficient for that even though it is much thicker and i know most people i have asked use rotaries. Wish i lived closer to you so you could school me on the technique haha. This is good info and exactly what i needed, i think if i am ever going to do cars for anyone else but family im gunna need something more, be that a pe14 of 3401, speed is going to come in after that. Thanks again man!

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