Author Topic: RAP 150 versus Milwaukee 5540  (Read 3371 times)

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Online Cheese

  • Posts: 5067
RAP 150 versus Milwaukee 5540
« on: June 15, 2018, 12:24 PM »
Does anyone have experience with these 2 polishers and can evaluate their capabilities?

I've owned the 7" Milwaukee 5540 for years. It has variable speed from 0-2800 rpm. It works well but it's very heavy especially when using it on the roof of a car.  [eek]

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Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 2198
Re: RAP 150 versus Milwaukee 5540
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2018, 01:08 PM »
I've owned the Shinex since it came here to the US. Very light, quiet, and easy to maneuver around a door or hood/trunk. It is limited to a 6" pad by Festool's Specs, but the odd use of a slightly larger pad might not hurt it.
 The bigger polishers from everyone else will handle the 8" and 10" pads, but for my use on small cars, I don't need the larger pad that much.
 Spindle thread IS 14mm, not 5/8" like so many other units out there. I use a thin wrench to just snug the back pad to the spindle on my Shinex, which does have the spindle lock on it, I don't trust hand tightening since I've seen videos of pads flying off polishers that were not fully locked on before the guy started with the tool...... [embarassed]
 Cord could be longer but I'm hard pressed to add any thoughts on Improvement for the tool, which is now superceded by 2 models of different speed ranges from what I hear.
 Maybe someday we'll get the larger RAP 180 Pollux here in the US.... [scratch chin]
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 5067
Re: RAP 150 versus Milwaukee 5540
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2018, 06:53 PM »
Hey @leakyroof thanks 🙏 for the reply.

Do you use the Festool pads and compounds?

If not, why not and if you do, what are your thoughts on them?

I’ve always been a Meguiars guy...ya I kinda know it’s rather old school.  [tongue]

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 2198
Re: RAP 150 versus Milwaukee 5540
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2018, 07:28 PM »
Hey @leakyroof thanks 🙏 for the reply.

Do you use the Festool pads and compounds?

If not, why not and if you do, what are your thoughts on them?

I’ve always been a Meguiars guy...ya I kinda know it’s rather old school.  [tongue]
.  I use Festool Pads, but Meguiars and Griots Garage polishes and waxes.
The problem I have with Festool compounds is that I want assurances they’ll be offered year after year and not discontinued after a short time.
I don’t knock Festool or other people/ company who don’t actually make the chemicals for selling as rebranded under their own name, just don’t be surprised if end users have to stick with suppliers or manufacturers for continuity .
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Offline Dick Mahany

  • Posts: 384
Re: RAP 150 versus Milwaukee 5540
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2018, 08:15 PM »
I needed to find an ergonomic, lighter rotary polisher a few years back,  I really considered the Festool polisher and almost purchased it.  Having previous experience with polishers by FLEX, I decided to look at the PE14-2-150.  It has all of the great ergonomics as the Festool, but I wanted the 5/8" spindle because I  wanted to be able to use the many different backing pads and extensions from Lake Country Mfg.  It has turned out to be a fine German Engineered polisher and is worthy of a look.

I know this is not a direct answer to your original post, however I just wanted to offer another alternative and going with a lighter polisher on my truck and SUV roofs has been a real back saver.

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 5067
Re: RAP 150 versus Milwaukee 5540
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2018, 11:45 PM »
I know this is not a direct answer to your original post, however I just wanted to offer another alternative and going with a lighter polisher on my truck and SUV roofs has been a real back saver.

I probably should have worded my inquiry better...I appreciate your input and have high regards for Flex tools, especially their wet grinders.
I’m just caught between owning a 9# Milwaukee polisher or purchasing a 4.5# Festool polisher for $500, plus another $200 for accessories.
The Milwaukee was purchased 20 years ago.. I owe nothing on it while it sits in the basement. At 70 years of age the 9# is a back breaker. Thanks for the suggestion

Which model Flex do you own?

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 5067
Re: RAP 150 versus Milwaukee 5540
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2018, 11:53 PM »
I use Festool Pads, but Meguiars and Griots Garage polishes and waxes.
The problem I have with Festool compounds is that I want assurances they’ll be offered year after year and not discontinued after a short time.
I don’t knock Festool or other people/ company who don’t actually make the chemicals for selling as rebranded under their own name, just don’t be surprised if end users have to stick with suppliers or manufacturers for continuity .

I hear ya...within the last couple of years Festool has turned their offerings of compounds upside down. Not good for business. It confuses the masses...or at least me.  [tongue]

Any suggestions for waxes for a black car?

Offline Dick Mahany

  • Posts: 384
Re: RAP 150 versus Milwaukee 5540
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2018, 08:52 AM »
Which model Flex do you own?

I have owned the Flex VRG 3401 HD  forced rotation orbital for about 7 years.  It is fantastic.  It  removed swirls and scratches perfectly and quickly on a dark navy blue Tahoe completely without the risk of burn through, and left a hologram free shine.  I primarily use Meguiars professional compounds, but have been playing with Menzerna polishes and like them very much.  Some folks don't like the forced rotation as they need to be held normal to the surface being polished or they will "walk".  I don't find that a problem, in fact that behavior is a self-teaching action that quickly reminds me if I am not contacting the pad to the surface correctly.

I bought the Flex PE14-2-150 rotary about 5 years ago and really like it when I need a rotary polisher.  I mainly use 3" and 6" pads on it and it is light at 5.6 lbs.  I'm not as adept with a rotary as I would like to be and get fine buffer trails (holograms), so my go to polisher for finishing is always the VRG 3401.

Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1259
Re: RAP 150 versus Milwaukee 5540
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2018, 09:40 AM »
Another suggestion you didn’t ask for: consider the Rupes LHR15 or 21 polishers.  Similar to the Flex 3401 in terms of the end results and effectiveness, but it trades off forced rotation for a larger orbit (8mm for the flex I think vs. 15/21mm for the Rupes.  The Rupes have a smoother sound which isn’t as tiring as the mechanical whine of the Flex.  The Rupes loses the variable speed trigger, you just control speed with the dial, like a barrel grip jigsaw.  The Flex has both the dial and variable trigger like a D handle jigsaw.  The lack of variable speed on the trigger means I’m changing the speed dial a lot, since I start a panel on one speed, ramp up to do the work and lower to do the finishing passes.  I will cheat on the finishing passes and leave the speed alone and just reduce pressure.
-Raj

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 5067
Re: RAP 150 versus Milwaukee 5540
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2018, 09:52 AM »
I have owned the Flex VRG 3401 HD  forced rotation orbital for about 7 years.  It is fantastic.  It  removed swirls and scratches perfectly and quickly on a dark navy blue Tahoe completely without the risk of burn through, and left a hologram free shine.  I primarily use Meguiars professional compounds, but have been playing with Menzerna polishes and like them very much.  Some folks don't like the forced rotation as they need to be held normal to the surface being polished or they will "walk".  I don't find that a problem, in fact that behavior is a self-teaching action that quickly reminds me if I am not contacting the pad to the surface correctly.

Thanks for sharing Dick...I decided to google Flex VRG 3401 and came upon this rather interesting video.



The Milwaukee that I own would be considered part of the 3rd group, the professional polishers.  However, they're not to be used for applying waxes.  [eek]

I'm also amazed at how popular Meguiars products still are.

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 2198
Re: RAP 150 versus Milwaukee 5540
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2018, 08:35 AM »
I use Festool Pads, but Meguiars and Griots Garage polishes and waxes.
The problem I have with Festool compounds is that I want assurances they’ll be offered year after year and not discontinued after a short time.
I don’t knock Festool or other people/ company who don’t actually make the chemicals for selling as rebranded under their own name, just don’t be surprised if end users have to stick with suppliers or manufacturers for continuity .

I hear ya...within the last couple of years Festool has turned their offerings of compounds upside down. Not good for business. It confuses the masses...or at least me.  [tongue]

Any suggestions for waxes for a black car?
  I don't know what the current hot pick is for Black Cars, but years ago I and others used Zymol Carbon Wax for Solid Black Paint Cars and Clear Coated  Black Paint cars.  Paste wax, not that easy to apply either.
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Offline live4ever

  • Posts: 790
Re: RAP 150 versus Milwaukee 5540
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2018, 09:57 AM »
Though I'm a polishing newb, I recently used Chemical Guys' Blacklight on a dark gray car (after polishing).  Easy to apply and buff off.  Can't compare it to anything myself, but everything I read about it suggested it's the bee's knees for black and dark cars.
Current systainer to productivity ratio:  very high