View Full Version : Anybody use a Chicago brand rotary

Mar 6th, 2006, 06:54 AM
I was at a parts store and they had a Chicago brand polisher/sander.

It is variable in RPM from 300-3000, and comes with a 7" backing plate with velcro attachments as well as a couple foam pads, and a couple of bonnets.

All for 29.99 at a local store or for 24.99 via internet.

Here is a directlink for the product...


please give me your thoughts, opinions. Also, if this isn't sutiable, what exactly should I be looking for?

Thanks guys

Mike Phillips
Mar 6th, 2006, 07:10 AM
I've read mixed reviews for these inexpensive rotary buffers, some guys have had good luck while others have tried them and then purchased a quality name brand rotary buffer.

Here are two threads you can read, I know OctaneGuy ended up getting a Makita after his experience with the Harbor Freight options.



Mar 7th, 2006, 05:25 PM
I tried on of those Chicago rotarys, with constant use it last only 2 weeks before it started to lose power and would cutoff a lot and it overheats, I got a new Dewalt and it is awesome.

Mar 7th, 2006, 11:10 PM
An easy test. Test drive a HF rotary next to a DeWalt, Makita, or Hitachi (which by the way is around $100), and you will find a night and day difference.

Yes the price is attractive, but you lose preciseness in speed control, and overall controllability. Take my advice and don't bother with this tool if you really want to learn how to use a rotary.

Mastering the rotary takes time and practice, and it will be to your benefit to start off with a tool that doesn't fight the learning curve. I sure wish I hadn't spent $59 on the electronic version of this rotary which at first the specs seemed so similar to the Makita--but because it wasn't available in stores--only online, the only way to find out was to order it and try it. It wasn't until several months later that I got hands-on time with a Makita and realized what I was missing out!

It's not just about longevity and quality, its about using the right tool to help you focus on mastering it without fighting it's inherent drawbacks.

Mar 8th, 2006, 05:27 PM
Thanks for the advice guys, I've decieded to skip out and wait on till I can afford/justify buying a better piece of equipment.

Mar 21st, 2006, 01:44 PM
I had one I used to sand cabinets and forgot about until last year.
I used it to polish my Crown Vic and you could tell it was down on power after a while but it still works.

It's heavy and noisy!
The speed doesn't seem to stay constant either.

I use it on tough spots when I need to.(the benefit of doing newer cars! :D )

I did however place an order for a Makita last night and can't wait to get it!! Now I just need it to warm up a bit more!!

I would save the money and put it toward a quality unit.