Why is 175 RPM the Standard for Buffers?

Let’s say you’re a mechanic on a job site. Right now you’re going to sand between finish coats. You grab your trusty floor buffer, perhaps the Clarke RS-16 DC, and go to work. It’s a machine you’ve used time and time again. You know this is a disc sander that spins at 175 RPM. But what you might not know is why 175 RPM is the industry standard for buffers.

There are a few major reasons why buffers are traditionally operated at 175 RPM.

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Reason #1: Dust control

175 RPM is an ideal speed for limiting the amount of dust produced. When you’re using the Clarke RS16, you’ll probably be at the finishing stage of sanding — maybe even using the machine as an in-between-coat abrasion. The sanding done at this stage produces a lot of very fine dust.

With 350 or 1750 RPM machines, the disc spins so fast the fine dust particles get airborne quickly. 175 RPM buffers spin fast enough to get the job done, but slow enough to control the dust output.

Reason #2: More control

With 350 RPM and 1750 RPM machines are much harder to control when screening wood floors. A better choice would be a machine that spins at 175 RPM like The Clarke RS-16 rotary sander.

The slower speed of 175 RPM allows the mechanic more control during operation and less chance the machine will “kick out” or “get away” from the mechanic. On a related note, 175 RPM is slow enough that burnishing the floor is no longer a threat so long you make sure that you’re not using screens, buffing pads, or sandpaper past their prime.

Reason #3: More power

The RPM of the Clarke RS-16, in conjunction with its 1.5 horsepower motor, gives the machine a lot of versatility. With the proper abrasive, it can aggressively take out straight line scratches from a big machine.

You could attach a screen and carefully sand to take out sanding patterns on the floor. With the RS-16’s 1.5Clarke RS16 HP motor you can drive a hardplate for use on parquet floors. This machine is so versatile that you can use sandpaper that ranges from 12 to 240 grit. Click here for more information on the Clarke RS-16 DC buffer.

When you’re at the final stages of sanding, there is precious little time left. You want to take the time and care to make sure you get each pass of sanding or buffing absolutely correct. In the case of buffers, a higher RPM isn’t always desirable. 350 RPM buffers can be hard to tame and 1750 RPM buffers are really just floor polishers and burnishers.

With a 175 RPM buffer like the Clarke RS-16 or the RS-16 DC, you can almost guarantee good results during the crucial step of buffing the floor.

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One thought on “Why is 175 RPM the Standard for Buffers?

  1. Mike Farrell

    Once again PFS is on target with a Clarke machine. As they mentioned the RS 16 DC is a versitile machine. It is a smooth operator with little to no dust escaping from the machine when attached to the proper dust collection equipment. The RS 16 DC has just the right weight needed for hard plateing a floor with the same smoothness and agility to screen a floor prior to recoating. Superior engineering lead the RS 16 DC to smooth, flat and scratch floor. The experts at PFS have many years experience with the RS 16 DC and can speak with certainty to the results it provides!

    Mike Farrell
    Regional Manager Northeast
    Clarke American Sanders

    Reply

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