Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Burrows View Post
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.
Thanks Jeff,
It's an old thread but I appreciate your input. I managed a detail business and buffed professionally for 14 years and was curious about all the hype over the DA's; having never used anything other than a rotary buffer.

I purchased a quality DA and IMO it doesn't compare to the speed and results that I am able to get from my Milwaukee rotary buffer. So I ended up answering my own question. The DA just doesn't offer any advantage or added benefit over my rotary and consequently I doubt I keep it. I can see it benefiting other's who are not as proficient or comfortable with a rotary buffer though.

God Bless,
Ralph