Rupes Bigfoot Polishers & Pads
Rupes is located in Italy and has been in business since 1947. Rupes prides themselves on being one of the leading players of the international professional tool market. Rupes has only recently been introduced to the professional detailing industry, with importers beginning to sell the Rupes Bigfoot Polishers starting in November 2012. The Rupes buffer has been in high demand since many top professional detailers have switched over to using it, including Todd Cooperider of Esoteric Auto Detail and Paul Dalton of Miracle Detail. Currently in the US, there are 3 Rupes models that are impacting the professional detailing industry: LHR21E, LHR15E and LHR75.
Rupes Bigfoot Polishers Overview
What makes the Rupes polishers stand out from other random orbital buffers on the market? The first thing you would notice by turning one of these Bigfoot Polishers on is how much they reduce vibration during use. Compared to the Porter Cable 7424XP and Griot’s Garage random orbital buffer, the Rupes is hands down the more pleasant machine to work with. The Rupes makes other buffers feel like a toy in your hand. You’ll also notice how much more refined the product is, but you are also paying for it. A major differentiating factor on why the Rupes polishers are able to correct more in less time is the throw distance of the backing plate. This measures how far the backing plate or pad travels during each oscillation. The Porter Cable and Griot’s travel between 8 to 10 mm per throw, where the Rupes throw is a 15mm (LHR15E) or 21mm (LHR21E). One thing that the other buffers have over the Rupes is the ability to swap out to a different sized backing plate. The Rupes LHR21E is designed for 6.5″ pads and the Rupes LHR15E is designed for 5.5″ pads. Check out our Rupes polisher review with videos.
Rupes LHR21E Polisher
The Rupes LHR21E polisher is the largest of the three polishers in terms of pad size and throw. The LHR21E is designed for 6.5″ pad use and offers the largest throw of 21mm. This buffer is ideal for those who regularly work on large flat areas, such as buses, boats, vans, limos and other large flat paneled vehicles. Getting this buffer into snug areas is a challenge and you’ll find out that the Rupes buffers are a little more sensitive to buffer tilt. This means that the buffer will stop oscillating as a safety precaution in order to prevent damaging the paint. When this happens it also means you won’t be correcting that area either. This is why most professional detailers are gravitating towards the LHR15E, to work with smaller pads and have the ability to get into tighter areas.
Rupes LHR15E Polisher
The Rupes LHR15E polisher is the one I would recommend purchasing if I had to choose just one. The LHR15E is designed for 5.5″ pad use and offers a throw of 15mm. This is the more practical buffer compared to it’s larger brother the LHR21E. It allows you to use smaller pads, which enable you to get in tighter areas and focus more pressure on a smaller area. The LHR15E will be easier to control than it’s larger brother. Most professional detailers prefer to work with a smaller pad as well, making the LHR15E the choice for detailers. Heck, it even says “Detailing” right on the handle, where the larger version does not.
Rupes LHR75 Pneumatic Polisher
The smaller Rupes LHR75 pneumatic random orbital polisher is powered an air compressor. Using the LHR75 paired with the LHR15E is a detailer’s dream come true. The smaller LHR75 is designed for 3 or 3.5 inch pads making it the perfect companion to a larger Rupes buffer. Make light work of lower panels, front and rear bumpers, around fenders, curved intakes, door pillars and other hard to polish areas. A simple squeeze of the handle and your are up and running. Due to the small size, this buffer is extremely easy to control and the results it produces are outstanding. Even though this unit is smaller in size than the LHR15E, it produces that same large 15mm throw, allowing for maximum correction in the shortest amount of time.
Where to buy Rupes Bigfoot Polishers
Esoteric Car Care