Choosing a Floor Buffer - Buyer's Guide

Floor buffers are arguably the most commonly used tools in the janitorial industry. The simplicity of a floor buffer is a large part of its appeal, as well as the labor savings. If you are routinely cleaning larger commercial floorings, a buffer is a great investment.


Features to Compare When Buying a Floor Buffer

Floor buffers come in a variety of options. To determine which machine is right for you, consider the following features.


Size Options

The industry standard is 17 inches, although various sizes are available. We offer machines as small as 12 inches in diameter up to 20 inches. Smaller units can get into smaller areas but will not finish off large areas as quickly as a larger machine will. Considering where the largest volume of work will need to be done will help you make the ultimate decision on base size.


Not to toot our own horn, but our very own CleanFreak 17" Buffer is by far our best selling floor buffer. Its extreme durability and value earn this buffer consistent 5-star ratings from our customers. Check it out!


Speed Options

Buffers also come in varying speeds. 175 RPM is the standard speed for basic stripping, scrubbing, and polishing. A dual-speed buffer operates between 200 and 400 RPM to offer faster and more aggressive scrubbing and buffing.


High-speed polishing to achieve the ‘wet floor’ look will require a burnisher.


Related: Buffer vs Burnisher: Which is the Machine You Need for Your Job?


Rotary vs Orbital

Rotary machines have the classic side-to-side motion, while orbital units can be moved in straight lines. Both types of machines can be used for low-speed buffing, scrubbing, and stripping. Some units from both types can be used to scrub carpets as well.


Circular shaped machines have round pad drives and use circular-shaped pads. Most of these units are rotary style. Rectangular machines use orbital movement and can cut straight lines and get into corners.


Additional Features to Consider

Dual or Single Capacitor – Single capacitor machines save money on the initial building costs of machines. Dual capacitor machines are generally more durable since two capacitors are regulating the flow of electricity through the motor.


Optional Weights – Some machines offer optional weights that can be added to strip floors or buff wood or marble floors more effectively.


Enclosed Motors – Some units have enclosed motors that are necessary if the unit will be used for sanding. The enclosure prevents dust from entering the motor and damaging it.


Explosion Proof – These units are higher priced, but needed for situations where fine dust is present such as bakeries and pharmaceutical labs. They prevent explosions or fires from occurring inside the motor due to exposure to fine dust.


We're Floor Care Specialists!

Floor buffers come in a variety of styles and speeds at various price points. Contact our team to help you select the right buffer for the job or browse our large selection of rotary floor buffers and stripping machines.



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