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Old 03-28-2014, 09:54 AM   #1

Todd@Autopia's Avatar
Drives: 2010 Mazdaspeed 3
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Orlando/Stuart, FL
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Rupes vs. Griot's Showdown: Rupes Duetto and Mini vs. Griot's 6 and 3 inch polishers

SEMA 2013- Rupes S.p.A. announced and introduced two new polishers, the Duetto and the Mini. These polishers retain the traditional random orbital design, namely a thumb-operated on/off switch and a tail-mounted speed dial (1-6).

Almost instantly the interest peaked and the questions were asked... namely, how would these new Rupes polishers stack up against other traditional random-orbital DA polishers? In this brief in comparison, we aim to answer this question.

Here is one of our test panel hoods we had laying around. I cannot tell you what was done to it but it appeared to polished with rocks, sandpaper and thumbtacks. In other words, it was dull and and scratched badly.

Test One: Rupes "BigFoot" Duetto Polisher vs. Griot's Garage 6-inch Random Orbital Polisher

The Griot's Garage 6-inch Polisher has been widely regarded as the most powerful (traditional) DA polisher available. A powerful 7-amp, 850-watt motor is by far the strongest in class, while the 6800-OPM speed limit and 5/16 (8mm) throw is industry standard.

In comparison, the Rupes "BigFoot" Duetto features less powerful 500-watt motor but a larger 12mm stroke and a 5000 OPM ceiling.

Would the higher OPM rating and stronger motor of the Griot's be enough to overcome the large stroke of the Rupes Duetto? To keep testing results similar, both products would be applied for 60 seconds using firm overlapping passes. The polish of choice was Wolfgang Uber Compound and the pads were Lake Country's Cyan Hydro-Tech Cutting Pads.

First up, the Duetto...

Compared to the Griot's, the Duetto is a little shorter, a little thicker and a little taller. However, it instantly feels comfortable and familiar. The soft-start feature means the pad takes a few seconds to ramp up to speed once turned on. This machine, like all of Rupes highly-engineered polishers, is extremely smooth and nearly vibration free.

The pad never achieves the outright rotation (spinning) of the Griot's, but the paint correction results were instantly visible. Here is the final result...

The Griot's Garage 6-inch Polisher quickly gets up to speed, the fast 6800 OPM gets the polishing pad spinning. The pad is also less likely to bog when pressed down. There is considerably more vibration than with the Rupes, but not enough to be distracting.

The results of the Griot's...

The Duetto, with less power, less pad rotation and less vibration, easily produced a better, faster result.

Test Two: Rupes LHR 75E Mini "BigFoot" vs. Griot's Garage 3 Inch Polisher

If you were looking for a purpose-built spot-buffing polisher you used to only have one choice. The Griot's 3-inch... until now. The Rupes Mini Polisher is loaded with the features you would expect in their "BigFoot" line, but has been balanced and designed to work with 3-inch polishing pads.

The Griot's uses a 240W motor which spins a 3/16" orbit to turn a maximum of 10,000 OPM. The Rupes uses powerful 500w motor, a large 12mm (slightly more than 7/16") stroke and a maximum OPM of 5500.

First up, the Rupes...

In your hands the Rupes has considerably more weight and the larger stroke means that it doesn't quite fit in tightest of areas. That said, this thing flat-out rips!!! It equaled (or bettered) the cutting power and speed of the Duetto, quickly eliminating the deep paint defects and rough finish of the paint.

The Griot's light weight and small stature make it easy to operate. Ideal for small areas were the power can be focused, the Griot's 3-inch Polisher struggled on the large surface area of the test panel.

Ultimately, both Griot's polishers have excelled at their jobs and have both achieved outstanding results for years. It is ultimately a question of money. The Rupes offerings deliver more polishing power and higher-engineering, but will cost 2 to 3 times as much. You cannot go wrong with any choice, but you will go faster with Rupes.
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