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Floor Buffers and Burnishers – What is the Difference And How To Operate Them?

buffing floor

I’m sure that you’ve already heard about floor buffers and burnishers, but do you know what is the difference between these two devices and how do they work?

Well, this article was created to answer to all these questions, and even to tell you how to use them to make your floors look like new again.

What Are Buffers and Burnishers?

Floor buffers and burnishers may look quite similar, but they have different functions because they have been created to perform different tasks.

What is a Floor Buffer?

A buffer also known as a stripper or swing machine is a device that moves side-to-side to strip the floors.

The motor is mounted directly above the pad driver and there is a single axle with one pair of wheels and the pad driver is easily removable.

How to Operate a Floor Buffer?

To operate a floor buffer the most important thing is proper handle height because this will not only ease your job, but will also reduce fatigue.

In order to start the machine, you need to make sure that the machine is perfectly level. Put your foot forward on the handle press on the safety lock and pull either handle up.

When you release the safety lock, the machine will start, so you have to hold the handle very well.

To operate the device, pull up the machine to go on the right, and push it down to go to the left.

Slow, steady movements are the key to making this work properly. You can also walk slowly forward and back, but what you don’t want to do is to hold the machine away from the waist.

Holding the machine away from the waist will only wear your arms out and make you extremely tired at the end of the day.

You have to let the legs do the work for you, so keep the machine pressed against your waist.

If the machine gets out of hand, don’t let go of the handle, you can let go of the trigger device, but try to hold on the handle because otherwise the machine will start spinning around, which can harm you.

Floor buffers are devices that work at lower speeds and are used mainly for residual cleaning and polishing of hard floors.

To make your hard floors clean and shiny, you can buy used floor buffers because despite the fact that they are used, they work the same way like any new device which is more expensive.

What is a Burnisher?

There are two types of burnishers today, regular burnishers and a good high-end burnishers with dust control which are much better for the environment.

Burnishers run at higher speeds compared to buffers (1200 to 3000 RPM), and create enough friction to make the floor look very shiny.

To do this, you have to put a restore product in your mop bucket or in your automatic floor scrubber and after it goes on the floor and dries, then you have to dead buff or dry buff the floor.

The burnisher with dust control, uses a vacuum bag to store the dust and debris collected from the floor, which means that the devices is much cleaner.

How to Operate a Burnisher?

Having the rotor in the center or slightly offset from the center of the pad driver, the burnisher uses two sets of axles and two pairs of wheels to ensure a better control of the machine.

Some burnishers have a fixed handle meaning that there is no adjustment for it.
However, there are burnishers that do have an adjustable height handle, so you have to refer to the owner’s manual
for proper height adjustment.

To prepare the device, you have to rest the machine on the second set of wheels, plug the machine in and put the cord on your shoulder to keep it out of the way.

There is a safety interlock on top and two handles on the side, which activate the switch. Push the safety interlock in, and pull either handle to start the device.

Always start the high speed burnisher without the pad touching the floor. Once the device is started, hold the handle lightly and touch the pad to the ground.
Move the machine forwards and backwards to polish the floor and produce that “wet-look” shine, which only a burnisher can do.

To stop the machine you only have to lift the machine off the floor and let go of the handle.

The only purpose of the burnisher is to produce a high gloss, high shine or the “wet-look” on a vinyl tile floor with floor finish.

What is the Difference Between Buffers and Burnishers?

While burnishers are used only to polish hard floors, buffers have multiple uses.

A floor buffer can be used for stripping, scrubbing and low-speed buffing of hard floors.

Article written by:

I am a writer and reporter for the clean energy sector, I cover climate change issues, new clean technologies, sustainability and green cars. Danny Ovy

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