Is the Rotary Buffer Dead/Obsolete? Replaced with the DA and advanced compounds?
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Thread: Is the Rotary Buffer Dead/Obsolete? Replaced with the DA and advanced compounds?

          
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    Is the Rotary Buffer Dead/Obsolete? Replaced with the DA and advanced compounds?

    Hello All,
    I'm in the process of getting back into buffing, mostly an occasional car for family/friends, and am curious if times have really changed in that the rotary buffer is no longer the tool of choice by pros?

    I used to buff (rotary) professionally for 14 years but it's been over 6 years since I've picked one up. Now I get the impression the DA's and advanced compounds/pads have replaced the rotary buffer and just received an email from a pro detailer stating just that?

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I just got a Meg G110v2 but felt it was slow in removing even light to moderate scratches on a few tests spots perfomed. I was using a Megs polishing pad and tried M205, UC as well as M2 fine cut. I didn't have any pads for my rotary (on order) so didn't get to compare it but felt it would have performed better even with the same pads/compounds...

    Anyhow, can such as the new Meguiars MT300 really outperform a rotary buffer in correcting paint as quickly and as good? I mean with use of standard cutting/polishing pads and compounds/polishes. Not some extraordinary process where I have to use some sanding pad and then finish out.

    I had planned on reserving my rotary for moderate/major scratches using M101 because it should make quick work of such and reserving my DA for polishing (M205) and waxing. However, if the MT300 can cut just as fast with M101 -vs- my rotary; then I will definetly pick one up and get rid of my rotary and my G110v2.

    Thanks,
    Ralph

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    Registered Member drumdan's Avatar
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    I don't know man...

    I don't think anything will "cut faster" than the rotary, but if I can (and I have) remove 1000 grit sanding marks with a Porter Cable 7424xp, some Rupes microfiber cutting pads, and m105, I would do that simply because it's a LOT cleaner (product spatter / dust / wool fibers all over the place). It took one buffing cycle to dial in my technique, then one buffing cycle was all I needed to wipe out 1000 grit marks. If it was on my car, and not a test panel, I could have waxed it and been on my way.

    Another added benefit is that a random orbital machine is a lor more "forgiving" in that it takes longer to burn paint. It will burn paint though. You can even burn it by hand if you try... By and large though, the Random Orbit machines remove a lot of liabilities.

    As far as the mt300, it's also a random orbit machine. It's seems prettt advanced though.

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    Mr Sparkle davey g-force's Avatar
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    Re: Is the Rotary Buffer Dead/Obsolete? Replaced with the DA and advanced compounds?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph III View Post
    I had planned on reserving my rotary for moderate/major scratches using M101 because it should make quick work of such and reserving my DA for polishing (M205) and waxing.
    I would just do this ^^

    All things being equal, a rotary will still cut faster than a DA, however a modern DA with modern pads and products can come close, whilst still being relatively safe.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueline View Post
    I own a silver vehicle and a black vehicle owns me. The black one demands attention, washing, detailing, waxing and an occasional dinner out at a nice restaurant. The silver one demands nothing and it looks just fine. I think the black vehicle is taking advantage of me, and the silver car is more my style. We can go out for a drive without her makeup and she looks fine. If I want to take the black one out, it is three or four hours in the "bathroom" to get ready.

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    Re: Is the Rotary Buffer Dead/Obsolete? Replaced with the DA and advanced compounds?

    Well, I just don't know either. If you had told me the rotary would be replaced 6 years ago or no longer the preferred machine for pro's I'd have said you're nuts.

    I'm one who loves to learn though and weigh all the advantages in deciding the best method. However, I still believe the rotary (in the proper hands) would be most appropriate for tougher corrections. It's simply just a step below wet sanding, as I think now the DA is simply a step just below the rotary. I don't doubt you could use a DA to accomplish the same goals but why would one choose to overwork themselves or the paint; when wet sanding or a rotary step would have been more appropriate?


    I never really had the fear of burning through paint as some make it out to be with a rotary. You get a feel for how the paint is reacting during the process and being attentive is all it takes. The real issue is when working corners/edges. Now there is the potential to burn paint but that would be the case for a DA as well.

    The DA's are a very exciting new tool but I'd have to play around with them a bit before I could conclude it has completely replaced the rotary buffer. I guess I will have to figure this out on my own because it would be a terrible feeling to wake up and realize my rotary and I are extinct dinosaurs.

    Ralph

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    Cool Re: Is the Rotary Buffer Dead/Obsolete? Replaced with the DA and advanced compounds?

    The rotary isn't obsolete.

    That said, many detailers have found they're getting better results, faster and with less effort on many jobs with current DA processes.

    What should be dead, and what has always been obsolete, is the one-size-fits-all mentality that's far too common in this enterprise.

    No mechanic ever said ratchets made box end wrenched obsolete. No chef ever said food processors made knives obsolete. No painter ever said rollers made brushes obsolete.

    Highly skilled craftsmen understand the tools they have at their disposal and use their knowledge and experience to choose the best combination for the job at hand. They also learn new tools and techniques as they evolve.

    The top notch detailers who are currently using DA's for most of their work haven't tossed their rotaries. They've just found they need them less and less. But they keep all their tools the tool box and bring them out as needed.


    pc

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    Mr Sparkle davey g-force's Avatar
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    Re: Is the Rotary Buffer Dead/Obsolete? Replaced with the DA and advanced compounds?

    ^^ Great post!
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueline View Post
    I own a silver vehicle and a black vehicle owns me. The black one demands attention, washing, detailing, waxing and an occasional dinner out at a nice restaurant. The silver one demands nothing and it looks just fine. I think the black vehicle is taking advantage of me, and the silver car is more my style. We can go out for a drive without her makeup and she looks fine. If I want to take the black one out, it is three or four hours in the "bathroom" to get ready.

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    Re: Is the Rotary Buffer Dead/Obsolete? Replaced with the DA and advanced compounds?

    I started with rotary nearly twenty years ago and it's still my favorite tool
    in my eyes it is not obsolete, I use it for

    Orange peel reduction
    jewelling and ultra finishing with 120 pore per inch pad
    Applying sealants

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    Re: Is the Rotary Buffer Dead/Obsolete? Replaced with the DA and advanced compounds?

    People are talking as if the orbital is down right dangerous and going to ruin the paint whenever one uses it.

    I think the misconception mainly came from people who had bad experiences with dodgy detailers who

    1, use old/ dirty pads and/or cheap brittle pads and bad polishing compounds
    2, never properly prime the pads
    3, use far too aggressive polish/pad/speed for the job and skip follow up steps.
    4, VERY often use a cheaply converted electric grinder with NO proper speed settings that goes up to 9000rpm with one quick pull of the trigger.

    The DA is safer, and easier to use, very true, but modern orbital buffer with brushless motor and precise multi stage speed control can get the job done equally well, if not faster. And will not vibrate like a turbocharged vajezza.

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    Re: Is the Rotary Buffer Dead/Obsolete? Replaced with the DA and advanced compounds?

    Hello All,
    I started the thread not because of limitations of the rotary buffer but because of the apparent advances in the DA polishers. I was considering purchasing one, having never owned or used one, because so many self proclaimed "pro's" were advocating them.

    I quickly answered my own questions though having performed a heavy correction on a full size black pickup in very poor condition. I believe the DA polisher has a place but it most definitely does not replace the rotary buffer for me or IMHO!

    I used my Milwaukee rotary buffer and M101 for the major correction and followed it up with a Meguiars MT300 DA for polishing (m205) and wax (wolfgang). The truck turned out beautifully but I still prefer the rotary buffer even for jeweling. It just feels natural in my hands and I feel the results are still better.

    Thanks for all the input.
    Ralph

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    JB's Executive Detailing Jeff Burrows's Avatar
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    Re: Is the Rotary Buffer Dead/Obsolete? Replaced with the DA and advanced compounds?

    Good day Ralph,
    You bring up a great question that seems to get asked a lot. There has been some very good feedback thus far and I wanted to chime on my personal use and experience with the Flex 3401 and their line of Rotary polishers along with other polishers I use.
    In my opinion the rotary polisher is definitely not obsolete and in many ways improving. It has definitely received a lot of bad rap in the hands of inexperienced users (As I was when I first started detailing). However when comparing the smoothness of the new Flex rotary polishers compared to my older Makita for example they are definitely easier to manage and a lot quieter. I especially like the Flex PE8 because of the compact size and ability to get into tight areas with rotary cutting abilities on 1" pads.

    As the DA or Forced Action Polishers (Flex 3401) are improving and allow the user to get better results and correct more serious defects the gap between them and the rotary polishers has narrowed with the cost being time. I want to mention it takes a lot more time to cut and refine paint only using a DA or forced action polisher compared to a rotary or rotary/DA combo. Unless you are a hobbyist where time does not matter as much, very few detailers charge the proper pricing to spend 30-60 hours to refine paint using solely a Rupes 21 or similar DA. Keep in mind sometimes a DA will haze or mar certain finishes that can only be refined with a rotary.

    If you took an experienced detailer side with side with another experienced detailer using a rotary to a DA. the rotary will win every time given the surface being polished is receptive to both methods. I have finished many details with a rotary before I applied my LSP. Not saying that all paint finishes can be this way and finishing with a DA is safer in regards to burn through and holograms.

    I hope that gives a little insight and help.
    JB's Executive Detailing "Protecting your investment"

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