NEW, LOWER PRICE ON RUPES LHR15 BIGFOOT!
Every now and then a new polishing machine comes along that just changes the way that paint correction is performed, and the new Rupes LHR15E is definitely one of them!
The shift to random orbital / dual action polishers for heavy paint correction (and finishing work) has been going on for several years now. Back then I said that there would be even new technologies coming out in the D/A polishing world that would change the way that we correct paint. Just a few short months after publishing that article, we were at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, and was introduced to the Rupes LHR21E (the larger throw version of the LHR15).
Where the LHR15E will earn its keep is with time savings...and if you're a professional detailer or body shop, then you know that time is money! And if you're an enthusiast who likes to maintain your own car(s), a machine like this will mean that you can spend less time polishing, and more time enjoying your vehicles. The 15mm throw on this machine translates into more cutting in less time.
The LHR15E is fantastic for heavy compounding AND for final finishing.
The LHR15E is limited to a 5" backing plate, so it will require the 5.5" (130-150mm) pads.
While the machine is more of an investment than other dual action polishers, it's well worth it in my professional opinion. Once you see how well it works, you'll quickly realize that you can make up the extra cost in the very first paint correction job with the time that you save, and the extra amount of correction / finish that you achieve!
So what's the difference between the LHR15 and the LHR21?
While it may sound a bit obvious...the biggest difference is that the LHR15 has a 15mm throw, and the LHR21 has a 21mm throw. The LHR15 uses 5.5" pads, and the LHR21 uses 6.5" pads.
The LHR15 was designed with the Detailer in mind...the smaller pad and shorter throw allows for more control when compounding in tight areas and against edges, and most detailers prefer working with the 5.5" pads. This is the reason why "Detailer" is written on the LHR15, but you don't see it on the LHR21. The LHR21 was designed with the body shop in mind where polishing large surfaces in a short amount of time is critical.
Here at Esoteric Auto Detail and the Esoteric Elite Detailer Academy, we mostly use the LHR15E when compounding, working in tight areas, or dealing with heavy contours. We then choose the LHR21 when performing one-steps, on cars with plenty of flat surfaces, or when finish polishing since you cover such a large area in a very short amount of time.
So why is the amount of "throw" so important?
It's all simple math, really. If you have one machine with 10mm throw, and another with 20, then it means you get twice the polishing action in the 20 versus 10 when working the same sized area for the same amount of time. Most DA polishers on the market are in the 8-10mm range of throw, whereas the Rupes are 15 and 21!
A few product / combination recommendations for the LHR15 based off of relentless testing to figure out what works best depending on the needs and conditions:
Very heavy defect removel (1500 grit sanding marks): Surbuf pad with Meguiar's M105 compound
Heavy defect removal: RUPES MF Cutting Disc with Scholl's S3 Gold compound
One-step correction (some paints upwards of 85% correction rate): RUPES Yellow Polishing pad with Sonax Perfect Finish.
Finish-Polishing: RUPES White Finishing pad with either Sonax Perfect Finish, Scholl's S30+, or Scholl's S40
15mm Orbit means that you quickly obtain gloss and color depth
The electronic feedback control maintains constant speed in all applications
Soft Start guarantees an acceleration ramp to provide better control
The antispinning feature prevents the high speed rotations avoiding scratches
New ergonomic front handle
The 500 W RUPES motor reduces power consumption
Polyurethane backing plate designed by RUPES
The tool can be easily used even by unskilled operators