Chinese or Japanese? Not chicks, rotary buffers of course!
When it comes to taking the big leap and purchasing a rotary buffer, is it okay to skimp on quality? Can you go by using a cheap Chinese rotary or save and spend on a tried and tested Japanese rotary, the Makita 9227C. MYR 150 vs MYR 900 …. worth skimping on?
Read on to find out!
I remembered hearing a story about a friend who attended a trade fair where there were many Chinese sellers setting up booths to sell their product/service.
He was walking past one booth where a Caucasian lady was talking to a fellow Chinese businessman. My friend overheard the Caucasian lady saying(rather loudly), “I am not Chinese, I do not copy!”.
Upon hearing his story, I recalled a presentation that I had to do for my Economics class. The topic was about the two types of entrepreneurship.
The first type is the Schumpeterian entrepreneur, this entrepreneur is the one that innovates and creates a new idea/product to totally kill another product(aka creative destruction). Do you remember the Polaroid camera? It became obsolete after the invention of the digital camera. The Schumpeterian entrepreneur is the innovator.
The second type is called the Kirznerian entreprenuer. This entrepreneur is not a creative innovator, but is very alert to the market. Filling in gaps and satisfying needs that were not identified before. Somehow, they can still make money in a saturated market. One business strategy that Kirznerian entrepreneurs use is Creative Imitation. This is where they imitate the product of a market leader and add a few improvements to it. Then again, not all imitated products are improvements over the original product. You can also say many, if not most, Chinese entrepreneurs are Kirznerian entrepreneurs.
Which brings me to talking about cheap Chinese rotary buffers versus an expensive Japanese one.
I have been asked before whether one should spend the money on a rotary buffer(RB) such as the Makita, or start with an easier machine, such as the Bosch GEX-125AE.
To put things in perspective,
Makita 9227C RB – RM900
Bosch GEX125AE ROB – RM330
The Makita is nearly 3 times more expensive than the Bosch. When asked to choose which machine to start on first, my answer would depend on their time constraints and budget.
If the user is willing to spend many hours learning and getting comfortable with the rotary, he will be rewarded with results that are beyond the capabilities of a random orbital. If one is only aiming for clean and shiny paint without having to invest time in learning the machine, a random orbital is a good choice.
The second factor to choosing one machine over the other is budget. If one purchases the Makita together with all the pads, backing plate, compounds and polishes. The total bill can easily exceed RM1500. With the Bosch, you do not need pads such as a wool pad or traditional compounds such as M85. So you have lesser products to purchase when you want to buy the Bosch.
But after playing with the China made rotary buffers, I think I’m going to change my answer. If you are willing to spend time learning the rotary to achieve good results but do not have a high budget, I might suggest buying a China made buffer.
I only used the buffer on half of the boot on a Proton Waja, but boy were there huge differences.
Here’s a quick comparison chart based on the very short play time I had with the Fuqiang RB
In addition to that, Henry from Osren Malaysia also commented that the China made buffers are not as durable.
With all those cons above, are they worth the purchase, well the price might suggest so. Such a HUGE price difference!
Okay okay, putting all those aside, the main question is, DOES IT WORK? I’ll let the photos do the talking.
Spurring the wool pad.
And the reflection shots of the before and after. Note that the reflection shot in the before picture is unedited by any photo editing software(i.e. NOT Gaussian blur, etc.). The after shot is also not the result of sharpening using software, but by the cutting using hardware.
Another China made rotary named…. BoHai *cue audience laugh*
Here, Jackson is using it with a Lake Country 4 ply wool and Osren PC 3.0
The gloss achieved after compounding, polishing and Meguiar’s NXT 2.0
So, would I recommend one? Yes if budget is an issue and time is not. I mean, with the China machine, you may have to spend more time learning it since it is not as smooth and comfortable to use as the Makita. For example, on speed 1 with slight pressure, the backing plate wouldn’t even turn, unless you lift the buffer or up the speed. Not to mention the China machines are also MUCH louder than the Makita.
If you are willing to live with it, then it isn’t such a bad choice.
The Fuqiang retails at about RM150. The BoHai at RM180. Another popular China RB, KEN, retails for about RM300+.
If you do go with the China RB though, I recommend getting quality pads and compounds/polishes. I have no experience with Chinese pads and compounds/polishes. But seeing the results we achieved that day, you can’t go wrong with good pads and polishes, even if the machine is much cheaper!
Again, this is my opinion based on the short playtime, so please do not treat this as an absolute when choosing one machine over the other.
Other than that, wish you all Happy Detailing and have a great weekend! Can’t wait for tommorow, The Pacific pt. 3, showing on HBO at 9pm.
p.s. Would like to thank Jackson for hosting the RB party, snacks were delisshh. To Raymond for allowing us to use his car as a test mule, and to the rest for being great company as always!
EDIT: Seech’s comment made me feel like I kinda betrayed you guys with the post title. So, here’s a free bonus!