Now that we have a brief overview of the different polishing movements, let’s pick the best one for you. Since you are primarily polishing your own vehicles, and some friends and family on the side, we can probably forego the power of the rotary, for now. This leaves us with two choices… The BigFoot Random Orbital or the BigFoot Gear-Driven Mille.The problem with answering this dilemma is that both tool systems are excellent, each with slight differences. Both roads lead to Rome (or in RUPES’ case Milan), but each road is different.
Random Orbital Pros: No swirl marks, safest tool design, can reduce time by reducing steps, reduction in compound usage, and the most similar to what you’re already accustomed to using.
Random Orbital Cons: May require different tool sizes with different orbit/pad diameters to cover every vehicle perfectly, especially on edges and in tight spaces.
Gear-Driven Pros: Mille comes with two backing plates, safe, hard to create polishing marks and can be used to edge due to the gear-driven rotation.
Gear-Driven Cons: Not quite as efficient as a Random Orbital at finishing and may require additional steps to get to your desired results, especially if the paint is soft or haze-prone.
My personal preference would be to team up the LHR15 Mark II BigFoot Random Orbital Polisher with a LHR75E BigFoot “Mini” Random Orbital… This will give you two easy-to-use systems that will work well with just about any vehicle size and shape. If budget is a concern you could opt for the LHR15ES (first generation) polisher which saves you some upfront cost and would still be a HUGE upgrade over the tools you have been using.
If you’re not quite ready to invest in multiple tools for your personal use then I’d suggest the LK900E Mille as your best option as it eliminates some of the need for the smaller tool on edgework. This does really illustrate why RUPES develops so many options, no one tool is ideal for every single situation. Having multiple options to choose from lets you piece together a collection that provides you the most effective and efficient solution for your particular needs.