View Full Version : rotary polishers; choice of four

Oct 12th, 2005, 04:39 PM
Right now I have two rotaries; a Snap-On trigger actuated model with no ability to set the speed (it was given to me), and a $25 Chicago Electric. I've been getting kinda comfortable with the CE over the last year, and I sort of think the rotary is my tool of choice for paint correction now. I have a Cyclo, but honestly I've never warmed up to that tool. IMO it's one of those "worst of both worlds" items; not as fast and powerful as a rotary, and not as maneuverable and versatile as the PC7424.

The SnapOn, well, it has a max speed of 1700rpm, and is variable with trigger pressure, but there's no way to set any speed. The CE was a good tool to learn with, but it is crude and noisy and heavy, and I only have a quarter invested in it so I don't mind replacing it.

So, I can get a Hitachi rotary at around $130, a Makita at around $140, a DeWalt at around $159, or a Metabo at $238. As far as tools go, my feeling is that value is more important than price. Four years from now the money won't be as important as my level of satisfaction with the item.

Left on my own, I get the Metabo. Is there a compelling reason to buy one of the other tools, considering the price/value relationship of each? I'll use it somewhere between 6 and 10 times a year; not as much as a pro, but often enough to have fun.


Oct 12th, 2005, 05:22 PM
I have had and still have a Black & Decker 6138(Dewalt 849 in disguise) for a little more than 9 years. It has been a great machine that never missed a beat. At 8.x pounds it's on the heavy side for polishing side panels and that takes it's tool on you in the polishing process.

I picked up the Hitachi and look forward to using this machine. It's a pleasure to use as it's lighter in weight, quieter and has the bail handle that *I* like a lot. I also appreciate the 5 year warranty as I have read about one of the members of a few detaling forums having to buy another Metabo that would cost as much/more to repair and it wasn't that far out of warranty.

If you are seriously considering the Metabo there is something about it, if I am reading what I'm reading correctly, that I don't like. There seems to be a speed selector and an on/off switch. In other words, no trigger feathering??? That would be a deal killer for me even if I did get over the price. Other than that, I don't think you can go wrong with any of them as far as quality goes.

Oct 12th, 2005, 05:31 PM
Hey SpoiledMan, is you B&D the Professional series? I think I may have that one as well if it is. I have a Makita as well, but until this unit goes, I'm not going to switch.

Oct 12th, 2005, 05:40 PM
Yes it is the Professional Series.:D The last of the good B&D's!

Oct 12th, 2005, 05:45 PM
I agree, definitely a very rugged and well-build unit....but soooo heavy especially when doing the doors and side panels. I think I need to start wearing gloves too, cause after a little while the vibration gets to be too much.

Kevin Brown
Oct 12th, 2005, 06:54 PM
My favorite is still the DeWalt DW849 (previously known as a Black & Decker 6138). I like the size, variable trigger, and variable speed dial. It is bulletproof.

DeWalt also has a polisher for less dough, and it is quite a performer! The DW847 has the variable speed but only goes to 1750rpm (versus 3000).

Personally, I've never liked any buffer with a 'soft start' trigger, nor an 'overload' cut-out... They seem to cut out too quickly (I used to have an Hitachi).

As for the Metabo, I love its size. I'm not too hip with the on/off switch. It is either off or on, meaning like a light switch. It's on the top of the machine (like a G100), and there is no way to throttle it with your finger.

Personally, I haven't used a buffer with a bail-style handle. I'm pretty certain I wouldn't find it to be convenient.

Oct 12th, 2005, 11:35 PM
I have a Makita 9227c, i think thats the wxact number, its the one with the bail handle. I love the damn thing! its so comfortable to hold! I don't think its is the heaviest or lightest of all, but the weight is very well balalanced to where it should be.

the other pc
Oct 13th, 2005, 06:39 AM
Originally posted by SpoiledMan
...If you are seriously considering the Metabo there is something about it, if I am reading what I'm reading correctly, that I don't like. There seems to be a speed selector and an on/off switch. In other words, no trigger feathering??? ...It's true, the Metabos don't have speed triggers so that's something to keep in mind. Neither does the Fein that Jimmy Buffit uses (and loves).

Also, the PE 7175 has a side handle only,

The PE 12-175 has the head grip and/or the side handle

note: the stupid hand guard is easily removed (or should at least be wrapped with something soft where it might touch paint!).

Of the other units mentioned I would seriously consider the Hitachi. I haven't tried one yet but it looks very cool.

Then again, if it were me, I'd get a Dynabrade 51610 (http://www.dynabrade.com/cgi-bin/Industrial/51610?gAY9rFq8;;4).

Here's me with a Dynabrade with Meguiar's adjustable handle at NXT ti II.
(yeah, I know I didn't throw the cord over my shoulder, we were just working on that one little corner so I wasn't dragging it on the paint)


Oct 13th, 2005, 07:58 AM
Right now I'm leaning toward the Makita I think. PC, I like the Dynabrade, but that's a hard tool to find. The lowest price I found for it is $260! (I have one of those pics too, btw; same guy!)


Oct 16th, 2005, 03:42 PM
Have owned and used B&D/DeWalt, Makita, Milwaukee in our shops for many years-I've intermittently used or tried many others, but due to weakness in the motors or odd shape, I stuck with these 3 in our shops. My guys usually started with Makitas since they were light, but then I saw them trading favors to get to the B&D/DeWalt machines once they'd used both.

Milwaukee was the heaviest, by far, and noisy. It was the one that stayed on the shelf unless there was no other machine available. Their variable speed models start slowly and seem to howl (even new, not just one with a bad armature.) They're not nearly as easy to service as the DeWalt. Makitas were too light for my liking, but if you want light, they are a good machine.

B&D/DeWalt was my favorite and the one I used as my personal machine. Used a Makita for 2 years until I bought that B&D. Very easy to completely disassemble and rebuild, parts are readily available, and it has good torque that stays consistent in its load ranges.

Oct 16th, 2005, 04:23 PM
Thanks for the input, everyone.

I picked up a new Makita on ebay, just about an hour ago. I DO want light, I have some physical problems that make that sort of thing an issue. I'll use the tool on a dozen cars a year or less, and the lower cost for a tool that is highly respected made the difference. I think it will be fine.

Pete, it seems some pros PREFER the DeWalt because it's heavy, and some pros AVOID the DeWalt because it's heavy. I guess it's like bat choice for a baseball player. I'd already made up my mind (and won the auction) before I read your post, but it did give me pause. Thanks for the well-reasoned explanation of your choices.


Tim Lingor
Oct 16th, 2005, 04:46 PM
Hi Tom,

Congrats on your new purchase! Welcome to the Rotary Club!!! :xyxthumbs

I have two Makita rotaries and a Dewalt rotary. I have never had an issue with any of the three. They are all top notch quality! :)


Oct 17th, 2005, 01:55 PM
Mosca, that's exactly how I've heard it from so many other people. Some prefer light, some heavy. Outside of my area, I've never heard too much about Milwaukee polishers...always seems to be heavy DeWalt vs. light Makita.

Incidentally, which handle style does your Makita have: the one out the side or the round one over the head?

Oct 17th, 2005, 02:47 PM
It comes with the bail handle, but I have the other handle for it if I need (I have 4 different rotary/machine handles with different thread sizes, a Snapon [DeWalt], CE, the Meg's adjustable, and the PC) one of them HAS to fit.


Oct 17th, 2005, 03:23 PM
You will love the Makita... I love mine and wouldnt trade it for any reason!