Drew Pancroft, proprietor of Zenith Detail, takes the Festool Rotex for a "test drive" in this latest end-user article. Drew travels the country detailing some of the most exotic cars in the United States. Recently, we sent Drew a Rotex RO 150 FEQ and Shinex RAP 150 (Available Spring 2011) to test out and give us some feedback on how these products meet the high demands of his clients. Be sure to check the Zenith Detail website for incredible before and after photos of the Ferrari F-430 from this article.
Festool is renowned as the tool manufacturer of choice among the automotive industry in Europe. From time to time, we will have industry experts test products for new markets as is the case with Drew testing the Shinex RAP 150. However, many detailers in the U.S. already use the Festool Rotex RO 150 extensively.
Here's what Drew had to say about his experience...
Today, I begin the first of what will prove to be multiple days of paintwork correction on my client’s weekend driver. For the correction on this car, the Shinex RAP 150 rotary machine and RO 150 REQ will be utilized to perform the multi-stage process. Today will be spent preparing the car for and performing the initial step of leveling the paintwork. In the case of this 2006 Ferrari F430 F-1 coupe, I will be working on hyper-thin, ultra-hard Rossa Corsa PPG Ceramiclear. The desired result will be 98 -100% paint finish correction.
Our first stage consists of what resulted in 10 hours of polishing the paint finish to eliminate swirls, micro-marring and cob-webbing. This process was performed with the Shinex @ 1700 rpm, 1500 rpm then back to 1700 rpm, applying polish via 80 ppi foam polishing pad. Though feasible to complete this step in less time, I prefer to spend more time leveling the paint with a less aggressive polish rather than the traditional compound/wool pad application.
The following day consisted of a similar process with less aggressive polish applied via Rotex on speed 3 with an 80 ppi polishing pad followed by the same polish via 100 ppi finishing pad on the Shinex.
Throughout, the Shinex performed smooth and quietly; easily reaching around bends and curves of the car. Accessing the speed dial is convenient and user friendly. Variable speed trigger is very applicable when initially applying loaded pad to surface of car, enabling slow start up to work polish to prevent sling. Screw-in side handle is not much use in my application.
The Rotex is smooth and quite comfortable when manipulating curve and vertical panels of the car. Much less noise and vibration than other units I’ve used.
To learn more about Drew and view more examples of his work, visit his website, Zenith Detail, or visit the Festool Owners Group forum to view more details about this and other vehicles Drew has since worked on.