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Rotary Buffer Vs Orbital Buffer


Detail ExTreMisT
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I'm wondering guys,...when do you think it's time to "move up" to a rotary buffer? I mean, I use the Porter Cable religiously to apply Swirl and Haze Remover, Fine Machine Polish, and Super-wax, but thing is with swirls,....it really take a long time for me to remove some of the very small "fine" lines within the paint. It kills me. I love detailing but it's hours I put into my car. I'm what you'd call an extreme detailer,...I enjoy putting in long hours of buffing work on nice cars, but I kept asking myself is there a faster way? So I talked to my friend who is a very experienced detailer, he knows how to paint cars and professionally buff them using rotary and orbital, he gives me hands on training on my off days at his garage and he tells me that:

 

"dude, I know you like the porter cable because it's safe, but if you really want to become a serious detailer and equal or better than me, you're going to have to eventually experiment and move up to a rotary buffer. You spend hours and hours with that porter cable, which is fine if you like that, but I can give the cars a BETTER shine FASTER than you can with your porter cable. Rotary buffers can definitely take the paint off of a car if used by someone uneducated,and someone who buffs in the same spot like an idiot, but it has more cutting power than your PC, and produces better results for shining a car. If you look at any professional in the business today, nearly all use rotary".

 

That's everything he told me. Now, I'm hearing him out, but how do I know when it's time to move up? For me, the PC is a great tool, although for some swirls, it's tiresome, I put in hours doing swirl and haze remover on a car, but my friend can get it done in half the time. He's more experienced than me sure, but when he let me take a crack at using the rotary, it really didn't feel that bad. Actually, it felt more steady and vibrated less than the PC, although he told me, the number one rule to always obey using the rotary, ALWAYS MOVE, NEVER stay in one spot for more than a second because it generates more heat than a PC and will take the paint off.

 

He claims, while buffing using a rotary, always keep moving, and start off at low RPMs which are still more effective than the PC, and that I should rarely need high rpms to get anything done. He says patience and constant movement is key.

 

But still, I'm kinda seeking a second, and third opinion before I even think of purchasing a rotary buffer. It felt good, and very smooth, easy to use, but something I have to keep on my mind is NEVER STOP MOVING. Junkman/Adam, what do you think? Experienced members, feedback is appreciated.

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Actually, makita is the same one I was fooling around with. Seems nice and smooth, but you can feel the power. The only reason id even switch from the pc is because of its cutting or "leveling" power. It really won't be leveling anything fast. I use it on my camaro, but there is still one spot on my hood, that I just cant get to come out,no matter how long I buff. I made it less visible to me, but its still there, not deep though. Its only visible under 1000wat lighting. No one on the street will ever see it.

 

Junkman already told me, for the type of paint-correction that I want to do, I'm gonna need tools. Like a paint thickness gauge. Already looking into purchasing one. Just need opinions on a rotary buffer.

Edited by Detail ExTreMisT
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Actually, makita is the same one I was fooling around with. Seems nice and smooth, but you can feel the power. The only reason id even switch from the pc is because of its cutting or "leveling" power. It really won't be leveling anything fast. I use it on my camaro, but there is still one spot on my hood, that I just cant get to come out,no matter how long I buff. I made it less visible to me, but its still there, not deep though. Its only visible under 1000wat lighting. No one on the street will ever see it.

 

Junkman already told me, for the type of paint-correction that I want to do, I'm gonna need tools. Like a paint thickness gauge. Already looking into purchasing one. Just need opinions on a rotary buffer.

 

Then follow Ryan's advice and step up to the Flex 3401VRG. Its forced rotation can give you a lot more cut but yet, it is a little more forgiving than a rotary. Your friend is totally wrong on saying that a rotary will give you a better shine. Totally false. The shine will be equal using either machine, it just takes much more time using a PC. Also, a PC won't leave holograms in the paint like a rotary will and you don't remove any unnecessary clear with a less powerful orbital.

 

A true detailer who is a master at his trade will always have multiple polishers to address the issues he faces. This one tool fits all mentality is the sign of someone who is strictly into the trade for the money and not for the benefit of his customers. I avoid using my Makita 9227C at all cost as it is going to remove more clear than I may want removed. Yea, the work time is a lot less but for me, it's about doing the least amount of damage necessary to fix a given situation. A rotary is not always the answer and a true detailer will have multiple options to choose from. I have 4 different polishers that I can use and I DON'T detail cars for a living.

 

I have yet to see a guy use a rotary and NOT leave buffing trails. They always end up following the rotary with another, less powerful machine. Thus, they end up doing a car twice, instead of just doing it once with the correct machine or applying some junk to cover up their inexperience. You can step up to a rotary if you want as it is your car, but what you have to weigh is the cost factor if you screw up compared to working slower. If you have to have part of the car painted, you will have wished that you stayed with a slower machine. Especially if the paint shop does a lousy job and doesn't match the paint right.

Edited by Junkman2008
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What paint thickness gauge are you looking at?:confused:

 

Because my car is fiberglass, I'm stuck between a rock and a hard spot. The fiberglass paint thickness gauges are outrageously priced as it is. I need one that will not only measure the total amount of product on top of the fiberglass, but also one that will differentiate between the paint, primer AND clear coat. It does me absolutely no good just to know how much stuff is sitting on the car.

 

Thus, the only gauge that will provide me this info is the DeFelsko PosiTector 200 B Advanced. It is capable of measuring both TOTAL coating thickness AND up to 3 individual layer thicknesses in a multi-layer system. Price? $2600+ smackers. They make 3 different models of that gauge but only the the advanced model provides what I need.

 

If someone wanted to be my BFF, they'd buy me one. :D

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I've been using a Rotary Polisher for roughly 30 years. I tried a DA Orbital once and didn't like it, but really didn't give myself much time to figure it out. I first began using the Rotary at a job I had back in College over two summers. We'd apply a Cleaner/Glaze/and Sealant type product on one to two cars per day with two of the steps requiring the Rotary to apply. So figure up to four passes per day over two summers, that was a lot of practice, and I vividly remember burning some spots on some customers cars. Experience with practice is needed with the Rotary while patience and time seems to be what's needed with the DA Orbital.

 

Junkman, I'm planning on being at Grabiak on April 24th, if I bring one of my cars, and you have a minute, I'd really appreciate it if you would point out to me the "buffer trail" or any holograms I'm leaving with the rotary. I'm always looking for the next level of perfection:glasses:I've been using a 6" Sears/Craftsman two speed Rotary. If, in fact, they are there: I don't care if you use my car as an example of what a rotary can leave/do vs. the orbital. /Threadjack

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I've been using a Rotary Polisher for roughly 30 years. I tried a DA Orbital once and didn't like it, but really didn't give myself much time to figure it out. I first began using the Rotary at a job I had back in College over two summers. We'd apply a Cleaner/Glaze/and Sealant type product on one to two cars per day with two of the steps requiring the Rotary to apply. So figure up to four passes per day over two summers, that was a lot of practice, and I vividly remember burning some spots on some customers cars. Experience with practice is needed with the Rotary while patience and time seems to be what's needed with the DA Orbital.

 

Junkman, I'm planning on being at Grabiak on April 24th, if I bring one of my cars, and you have a minute, I'd really appreciate it if you would point out to me the "buffer trail" or any holograms I'm leaving with the rotary. I'm always looking for the next level of perfection:glasses:I've been using a 6" Sears/Craftsman two speed Rotary. If, in fact, they are there: I don't care if you use my car as an example of what a rotary can leave/do vs. the orbital. /Threadjack

 

Hey Dave, I would be more than happy to discuss anything I see with you. Who knows, with all the years you have on a rotary, you may be the exception that I have been looking for. As you and I both know, these same college kids are working in a lot of dealerships with rotary polishers and don't have a clue as to what they're doing. Here's a hood that I had to fix on a new Corvette that a dealership hack took a rotary to. The thing is, I fixed it with a PC.

 

blackcar_damage.jpg

 

You can clearly see the buffer holograms as well as the terrible swirls this guy left behind. It didn't take me much work, just the proper technique and polish to bring it back to its original beauty. Needless to say, the owner (pictured) was very happy.

 

blackcar_fixed2.jpg

 

blackcar_fixed4.jpg

 

blackcar_fixed5.jpg

 

The sun was setting so I missed out on my signature sunbeam shot. Some guys who use rotary polishers will cover their last layer so that the holograms don't show. The only problem is, after a couple of washes, the holograms are staring at you like a beast from the black lagoon.

 

Here's a beauty, a guys first attempt at using a rotary. Like he couldn't find a 1973 Vega to practice on first!

 

holograms.jpg

 

Look me up when you get there Dave. I'd love to exchange ideas. :2thumbs:

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Good God Man! Those look like they're from Rubbing Compound with a Wool Pad without washing the car first. I've been outside since shortly after the sun's come up looking over my Dodge Magnum (detailed it with the rotary three weeks ago) looking for some signs of the rotary's tracks in various stages of the sun's light: I can't see any. Think if I did a hack job like any of those the rotary would be up for sale on eBay. Really look forward to meeting you on the 24th of April.

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:lolsmack:

 

You see, there's the beauty of someone familiar enough with a tool to be able to look at a picture and realize where someone went wrong. This guy had no clue about the tools he used or the purpose of the compound. This is why I heavily discourage novices to even think about picking up a rotary. I would rather have a billion swirls than to drive my car around looking like that hack job. People can't see swirls for some reason unless you point them out to them (e.g. 90% of the cars at car shows!). But the damage on that BMW? A 5-year old can point out that atrocity. That's fugly!

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:lolsmack:

 

You see, there's the beauty of someone familiar enough with a tool to be able to look at a picture and realize where someone went wrong. This guy had no clue about the tools he used or the purpose of the compound. This is why I heavily discourage novices to even think about picking up a rotary. I would rather have a billion swirls than to drive my car around looking like that hack job. People can't see swirls for some reason unless you point them out to them (e.g. 90% of the cars at car shows!). But the damage on that BMW? A 5-year old can point out that atrocity. That's fugly!

 

That would be why I cringe on some of the other forums I'm on when people suggest "Just pick up a makita and some rubbing compound" like it something you just casually pick up and start doing :help:

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That would be why I cringe on some of the other forums I'm on when people suggest "Just pick up a makita and some rubbing compound" like it something you just casually pick up and start doing :help:

 

Man, you and I know it! I just had a talk with a certain person who followed me from Detailing Bliss over to a UK forum I post on. A mod had to set him straight! :rockon:

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