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Rotary vs Orbital...the misunderstanding saga continues...

Posted by Toddco Bodywerkes 
There is still a misunderstanding of these two types of machines & how different they both are. People have done a lot of damage to their vehicles let alone anybody elses vehicles due to improper use of a rotary polisher.

Rotary polishers are intended mainly for compound rubouts along with neglected finishes that may require severe heavy duty polishing or colorsanding. The rotary polishers/buffers can produce high rpms around 3,500 rpms & can easily burn off a edge of a finish in a matter of seconds. It takes years to really get the hang of using a rotary polisher without doing any severe damage to a finish.

For the beginner, it is sugested that the vehicles body lines/edges are taped off from causing a burn through to the vehicles primer surface. It is also recommended that the beginner use nothing but foam pads for any polishing or rubbing. Having a beginner use a wool pad or synthetic is like giving an arosonist a match to play with.

A lot of people will disagree that it doesn't take very long to master the correct technique of using a rotary polisher. I disagree with their thought on this matter & will have others back my decision on this.

If you can picture someone using an rotary that flows with the body of the vehicle, you will notice that he will be unaffected with the weight of the polisher & will just glide the machine around the vehicle in a matter of minutes rather than hours. This is the true meaning of flowing with the lines & appreciating the machine & having it do all of its work for you.

The weight of these rotary polisher are there for a reason. That reason is for the machine to do the job for you. The one thing that you do not want to do is fight with the machine. In the long run, if you fight with the machine, the machine will win every time.

Orbitals are a different type of breed. Think of a orbital like using your shoulder applying polishes & waxes on a vehicle at a little faster application. The term orbital is exactly what the word implies & this is how the liquid is transferred to a vehicles finish.

Oribitals are for fine polishes, waxes along with glazes & other fine liquids that you may want to apply instead of hand application. You will also notice using a orbital rather than hand application is the even pressure the liquid is applied. This cannot be done via hand application. The circulation in the hand is what prevents the uneven pressure that a orbital can do rather than trying to duplicate it as a orbital does.

Most people that detail their own vehicles have a pretty nice finish on it to start off with. There really isn't any use for a rotary for applying any product unless they have some light scratches that have been stubborn to remove prior using a hand application. Orbitals will do the best job for the beginners & will provide the best results rather than trying something more severe that is uneccessary to begin with.
Re: Rotary vs Orbital...the misunderstanding saga continues...
December 31, 2001 04:50PM
love 'em all and probably couldn't make it without. not that i use either that much nowadays, but it is nice to know its there if you need it. kinda like a car with 300 horsepower that doesn't get driven above the speed limit!
Re: Rotary vs Orbital...the misunderstanding saga continues...
January 05, 2002 04:34AM
i agree toddco.much finnesse goes into the specialized art of rotary polishing.been doing it for 12 years and its not for the faint of heart.
Now heres someone that knows how to follow the distinct flow the the vehicles nature body lines. Keep up the good work & keep that rotary flowing! Good to see your name on the board again!
Kinda like a good golf swing (not mine) smooth, easy, and effortlessly.
Re: Rotary vs Orbital...the misunderstanding saga continues...
January 06, 2002 04:36PM
so what do you mean? if i bob my head, shake my a-- and look like i am having a siezure while i am buffing-does this mean i don't have any finesse?lol.
Not at all. Both are similar in that you let the equipment do the work as opposed to doing the work with the equipment. No offense was intended to anyone and I appologize if any was taken.

P.S. My golf game sucks but I still enjoy playing when I get the chance to play.
Re: Rotary vs Orbital...the misunderstanding saga continues...
January 07, 2002 07:18PM
i can figure out the buffer, unfortunately i'm not coordinated enough for the golf clubs. i do too much damage!
The moles run for cover when I play.
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