We just received this polisher and all we can say is WOW!
Many enthusiasts refer to the Porter Cable 7424 as a D-A or dual-action polisher. It isn't. The 7424 is an orbital polisher. This Flex XC3401VRG is a true dual-action machine. There's a huge difference between the two. With the Porter Cable 7424, the pads do not rotate, they oscillate, or jiggle, in a random pattern designed to simulate hand application. The "throw" or amount of "jiggle" is not disclosed by Porter Cable but it is very, very small. With the Flex XC3401VRG, the pads do have a forced circular motion, they rotate or "cut". Plus, as the pads rotate, they oscillate, or move, in a random pattern. Hence the name, dual action. One action is the circular rotation and the second action is the random movement of the pad while it is rotating. This random oscillation also has a exceptionally "long throw" of 8 mm. The forced circular pad rotation coupled with the long throw of the oscillations give the Flex considerably more cutting power than the Porter Cable 7424. In fact, after spending an afternoon with this machine, I feel it will do 90% of what a pure circular polisher can do with the safety of the random oscillations to prevent swirls. A case of having your cake and eating it too! The Flex XC3401VRG has a bale-style handle which puts your hands at the 6 o'clock and 12 o'clock position which most professionals prefer. This gives you an even weight distribution between your hands, making the polisher less fatiguing when used for long periods. A six position speed control allows you to limit rpm's between 160 rpm and 480 rpm. Under the speed control, a variable speed trigger allows you to feather the oscillations per minute (OPM's) up to the maximum set by the speed dial. A very nice touch for keeping the rpm's low for applying waxes and sealants which you normally can not apply with a circular polisher.
This machine has a very solid "feel", like it could operate all day without stopping (which it probably does in some plants). It never feels strained or "near the edge". Feature wise, the Flex XC3401VGR is one of the most technologically advanced machines on the planet. It features a seven function microprocessor to insure consistent speed, restart protection after power interruption, overload protection and temperature monitoring. Auto shut-off carbon brushes automatically shut off the motor when they wear down to prevent motor damage. A 13 foot power cord allows you to work around most vehicles and the machine comes with a one year warranty through service centers across the US.
Awesome machine! I personally own a Porter Cable 7424 and a DeWalt 849 Circular polisher. Knowing everything I know about machine polishing, if I were starting over, I would own this machine in a heartbeat and call it quits. It's that good!
If you order now, through midnight Sunday night (November 25th, 2007) you can get this primo polisher at Holiday pricing, plus free ground shipping.
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