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#3161558 - 10/20/13 11:01 AM Re: Rupes LHR 21ES Polisher - thoughts? [Re: The Critic]
FastEddie Offline


Registered: 06/15/08
Posts: 235
Loc: The 805, CA.
Originally Posted By: The Critic
Just got it. grin

It's one killer machine for sure, now do the washer mod and find something to polish. I remember many, many years back when I got my new Makita rotary, I couldn't wait, decided to compounded and polished my washer and dryer. Best looking washing machine on the block grin2
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08 DuraMax 4x4
auto detailing san luis obispo

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#3162205 - 10/21/13 01:44 AM Re: Rupes LHR 21ES Polisher - thoughts? [Re: The Critic]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 17887
Loc: Walnut Creek, CA
OK found a car to polish today. I did not polish the entire car, but I gave the hood a quick polish.

All I can say is wow. The machine is incredibly smooth and balanced, and makes polishing a joy compared to the Flex. No vibrations and far easier to control.

I used the Rupes White Pad, HD Polish and the Rupes 21 at speed 4 to remove some light marring from the hood (white Mazda 3). The finish came out excellent.

Lastly, with the 7" Rupes pads and the 21mm throw, I can shave off a significant amount of time. I usually need to split a hood into 4 sections, but now I can do one in 2 or 3.

For now, I think this machine is truly worth the money. The Flex still has its place, but for light to moderate paint correction duties, the Rupes 21 is the best choice IMO.

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#3220182 - 12/18/13 01:04 AM Re: Rupes LHR 21ES Polisher - thoughts? [Re: The Critic]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 17887
Loc: Walnut Creek, CA
OK, I've had a bit more time with this polisher. Here's what I think so far.

1) NVH is best-in-class, period.

2) 21mm throw can provide a significant amount of cut, so be careful when using it with Meg MF pads…especially those cutting pads. You can do some damage.

3) The Rupes 7" pads are too big/thick for this polisher. As a result, the polisher stalls too easily on curved panels.

4) The 21 works best with the 5" backing plate and good 'ol 5.5" pads. The thinner the pad, the better. B&S pads are great, IMO. While the 5.5" pads do not completely eliminate the stalling issue, it's a significant improvement over the bulky 7" Rupes pads.

5) This machine does finish a bit better than the Flex 3401. Light cutting pad + finishing polish can yield significant defect removal and still finish out great on soft paints.

6) If you're only going to use the 5.5" pad, you may want to consider the Rupes 15 to save a few bucks. The Rupes 15 is a bit smoother on 5.5" pads (b/c it was designed for it) and still provides nearly the same correction ability.

7) It takes longer to break down certain polishes compared to the Flex 3401. For instance, I've noticed that Sonax Perfect Finish takes a bit longer to break down on the Rupes than the Flex.

Overall, I think it is a great tool that has its place on any detailers shelf. While it does not replace the Flex 3401 IMO, it is a very versatile machine that is a pleasure to use.


Edited by The Critic (12/18/13 01:08 AM)

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#3221140 - 12/18/13 10:22 PM Re: Rupes LHR 21ES Polisher - thoughts? [Re: The Critic]
JHZR2 Offline



Registered: 12/14/02
Posts: 34224
Loc: New Jersey
So this gadget is substantially better than the standard PC RO machine?

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#3221148 - 12/18/13 10:30 PM Re: Rupes LHR 21ES Polisher - thoughts? [Re: JHZR2]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 17887
Loc: Walnut Creek, CA
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
So this gadget is substantially better than the standard PC RO machine?


Yes, they're not even in the same league. Think Corolla vs 5-series.

In fact, I had the opportunity to use a PC 7424xp last weekend, and I was seriously puzzled as to why people even buy those things...

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#3221181 - 12/19/13 12:07 AM Re: Rupes LHR 21ES Polisher - thoughts? [Re: JHZR2]
FastEddie Offline


Registered: 06/15/08
Posts: 235
Loc: The 805, CA.
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
So this gadget is substantially better than the standard PC RO machine?

Eh, unless your detailing for money regularly, a standard PC will do just fine IMO. It might take a little longer, but the end result will be the same if you know what your doing and use proper technique. I love my Griots and PC's and use them on almost every detail. But then again, I'm mainly a rotary guy. grin2
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#3221208 - 12/19/13 12:47 AM Re: Rupes LHR 21ES Polisher - thoughts? [Re: FastEddie]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 17887
Loc: Walnut Creek, CA
Originally Posted By: FastEddie
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
So this gadget is substantially better than the standard PC RO machine?

Eh, unless your detailing for money regularly, a standard PC will do just fine IMO. It might take a little longer, but the end result will be the same if you know what your doing and use proper technique. I love my Griots and PC's and use them on almost every detail. But then again, I'm mainly a rotary guy. grin2


That is true! The griots and PC will be quite unpleasant to use compared to the Rupes, but will do the job -- but it will sometimes take you longer.

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#3222115 - 12/19/13 09:24 PM Re: Rupes LHR 21ES Polisher - thoughts? [Re: The Critic]
sciphi Offline


Registered: 03/24/07
Posts: 8640
Loc: Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: The Critic
Originally Posted By: JHZR2
So this gadget is substantially better than the standard PC RO machine?


Yes, they're not even in the same league. Think Corolla vs 5-series.

In fact, I had the opportunity to use a PC 7424xp last weekend, and I was seriously puzzled as to why people even buy those things...


Or HF DA polishers? They're cheap and work okay. They might not have all the bells and whistles such as low NVH, but they do get the job done for the occasional user. Even a pretty basic DA polisher will still do minor correction and make wax application much faster.
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#3226223 - 12/24/13 07:29 AM Re: Rupes LHR 21ES Polisher - thoughts? [Re: The Critic]
MKZman Offline


Registered: 12/18/07
Posts: 350
Loc: NC
I have the Flex and Rupes 15. The Rupes is a smooth machine compared to my old UDM and a Griots. The flex still gets the job done and some Rupes say the 21 works faster but a lot has to do with technique in any case. Even a old PC with time can get a lot done. My criteria was less vibration with consistent results. As an occassional polisher, I do not need to spend time dialing in a process (pad, polish, etc). The Flex just works. If I did not have the Flex I would consider the Rupes 21 but picked the 15 for ease of applying waxes, paint cleaners, etc. where faster arm speed is used.

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#3228833 - 12/27/13 12:57 AM Re: Rupes LHR 21ES Polisher - thoughts? [Re: MKZman]
The Critic Offline


Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 17887
Loc: Walnut Creek, CA
Originally Posted By: MKZman
I have the Flex and Rupes 15. The Rupes is a smooth machine compared to my old UDM and a Griots. The flex still gets the job done and some Rupes say the 21 works faster but a lot has to do with technique in any case. Even a old PC with time can get a lot done. My criteria was less vibration with consistent results. As an occassional polisher, I do not need to spend time dialing in a process (pad, polish, etc). The Flex just works. If I did not have the Flex I would consider the Rupes 21 but picked the 15 for ease of applying waxes, paint cleaners, etc. where faster arm speed is used.

Same here. After getting more time with the Flex this past weekend (Rupes is loaned out to someone), I'm finding that the Flex has a slight issue with buffer trails when used with certain pads/products. While the technique is certainly key, this is something to consider.

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