Choosing a floor buffer

Victor Rotary Machine Selection Guide

The Right Model
Choosing the right model is probably the only problem you will ever encounter with a Victor buffing/polishing machine in a lifetime of efficient service.

Key factors you should consider when choosing the right rotary buffer machine for your needs are the right speed, the right size and weight, the right accessories and the correct cleaning method.

The Right Speed
The cleaning industry is highly labour intensive and over 90% of all cleaning costs can be attributed to this one factor. It makes good economic sense, therefore, to use a higher speed cleaning machine where the cleaning application permits. Slow or standard speed rotary buffer machines are more suitable for wet scrubbing, floor stripping, scarifying and carpet cleaning. The most widely used techniques on hard flooring, spray cleaning, bonnet mopping and buffing, benefit most from the higher speed machines.

The graph below show approximately at what speed the cleaning techniques start to change, the colouring gives an loose indication of which colour pad is suitable for each cleaning task and machine speed. Please bear in mind-the faster the brush or pad speed the higher the work rate and therefore a reduction in cleaning time is achieved.



A simple rule of thumb is the dirtier the floor and more heavy duty job you need to perform the slower the machine you should be using. Lower speeds up to 300 rpm should be used for stripping floor polish, sanding wooden floors using a mesh screen, scarifying and floor scrubbing.

Roughly speaking at about 300 - 350 rpm the is a transition between performing a scrubbing action on the floor and the floor polishing action. So a machine of between 300 and 450 rpm is ideal for spray cleaning, where you want a cleaning action on the floor but require a polished appearance upon completion.

To produce a higher shine and more polished appearance on the floor obviously the higher the speed of the machine the better. There is another transition at about 1000 - 1500 rpm where the high polishing action called burnishing takes over from a cleaning action. At these speeds it can be easy to 'burnish in' a mark on the floor particularly if you are applying a polymer based cleaning solution. This is where the polymers in the solution are applied to the floor but the polishing action overpowers the cleaning action heats up the polymers over the mark effectively sealing the mark into the floor. One reason why it is best to use a neutral cleaner when spray cleaning a polished floor, particularly a ultra-high speed.

Machine Size and Weight
This is mainly a matter of common sense. Small buffer machines for restricted or congested areas; larger buffer machines for more open spaces.

As you may imagine the harder job and the dirtier the floor the heavier the cleaning machine you should use.

Think about it logically, when you are cleaning your car and faced with a dirtier area you will naturally apply more pressure to that area and also move your hand more slowly. The reverse is true after you have applied polish to the car, you will choose a soft cloth and applying lighter down force and make a more vigorous hand action to produce a shine. The same is true with floors and floor machines.

PTS Clean supply a range of Victor rotary machines, some like the Trojan with the ability to add additional weight for heavy duty tasks and others like the Lynx that have a lower downforce but much faster speed for producing a deep shine.

One final point to make is that while a cleaning machine may feel heavy and in some cases weigh a lot it doesn't necessarily mean that the machine has a large amount of downforce and is going to remove marks and dirt effectively. Victor engineer their products so that where a machine is designed to remove heavy marks and dirt, the weight of the machine is converted into downforce over the pad to deliver maximum cleaning impact onto the floor. This philosophy has the added benefit of making our heavy duty machines not only effective but also very light on the operator in use.

Vacuumation can be beneficial for a number of cleaning tasks. Dust is a hazard, and, it can be a serious problem in hospitals where even small amounts of germ laden dust can affect the well-being of patients. Or in computer or sensitive machinery rooms where a dusty environment can lead to numerous and serious complications.

Victor have developed a number of vacuum options for our rotary machines, from high powered suction with HEPA filtration to silent passive vacuums for noise sensitive areas Victor have the solution.

Collecting dust has the obvious benefits of lowering the risk of cross contamination and eliminating unsightly skirting edge discolouration as the dust is never allowed to build up. When active vacuumation is used it eliminates the dust control mopping sequence before and after spray cleaning or buffing- another time saver. It also reduces the incidence of shelf, counter, pipework and high level cleaning and extends the life of floor pads as the dust is taken directly into the vacuum bag and not absorbed by the pad.

A full range of drive boards (pad holders) and brushes can be fitted to Victor machines to meet any flooring requirement. Gumati brushes for polishing uneven floors to polypropylene brushes for heavy scrubbing. From sanding screens for wooden floors for scarifying brushes for concrete. Bonnet Mops can be used to effectively and quickly clean carpet or hard floors with very short drying times.

Cleaning Method
Utilising the right machine together with the right accessories gives you the best possible results only when combined with the correct methods.

An under used method that can yield very fast results is bonnet mopping.
On hard floors this system lets you clean over 5-6,000 sq.ft. of floor by using only 2-3 litres of solution, leaves a floor that is spotlessly clean and dry in under 3 minutes. The long life mopping head is washable and reversible. While the downforce create machine mopping of between 27-32 kg compared to under 2 kg with a conventional mop means produces more efficient cleaning with less effort from staff.

On carpets you can cover ground far quicker than with conventional extraction cleaning, use a fraction of the cleaning chemical and vastly reduce carpet drying times.