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Three important things to know before you buy burnishing floor equipment.

When purchasing burnishing floor equipment is important to match the type of burnisher to the floor you are maintaining. There are two main types of floor burnishers, swing electric burnishers and battery full-sized burnishers. Swing electric burnishers are extremely portable and can be used on many different types of flooring. These types of units are usually smaller than large battery operated models. Swing units are extremely portable and lightweight and can be easily transported from jobsite to jobsite. Swing models can be used on multiple types of flooring depending on the speed of the machine. The drawback to these types of electric burnishers is the time required to maintain a small area of space. Battery burnishers are usually self-propelled and can cover large areas but are hard to maneuver around obstacles and tight turns. These battery units are highly recommended for VCT and smooth tile floors with large expansive spaces. When purchasing this type of floor equipment there are three main considerations to keep in mind, the speed of the burnisher, power and overall construction.

When looking at any floor burnisher the speed of the machine is rated by how many revolutions per minute the cleaning disc turns. Most common units will range from 1500 RPMs to 3000 RPMs. A great rule to follow when looking at the speed of the unit is that lower RPM machines are perfect for maintaining softer floor finishes and higher RPM machines work best on hard finishes. For most commercial cleaners a 1500 to 2000 RPM unit is perfect for most common types of floor finish. For polishing terrazzo tile and marble burnishing floor equipment should reach speeds of up to 3000 RPMs. If the speed of the machine is not matched to the type of floor it is maintaining the floor can easily be damaged.

When looking at this type of floor equipment power should be a major concern. Power on floor burnishers is measured by the horsepower rating on the brush motor. In most cases the higher the horsepower the faster the pad driver will turn. On more expensive units a gear system is used to enhance the brush motors power in turn cycling the desk more revolutions per minute. This type of  system relies on either dual or triple planetary gears which have evolved from older belt driven gear systems.

The last important factor to look at when considering ownership of this type of floor equipment is overall construction. This type of floor equipment usually encounters more punishment than other types of cleaning machines. The two types of base construction used on burnishers are either plastic or metal. Plastic is substituted for metal in some cases to lower-cost of the overall unit. If you plan on keeping this machine for a prolonged period of time it is recommended that you purchase a machine that is constructed of steel. Other construction areas to look at are the switch lever assembly, handle and wheel carriage. Most burnishers are powerful enough to swing the user around if not controlled correctly. In some cases burnishers can spin off on their own and hit obstacles causing injury or damage. Steel constructed burnishers will hold up to these kinds of events better than cheaper plastic models.

Most burnishers in today's market are swing type models that range from $500-$3000. A good steel constructed burnisher by one of the leading manufacturers should cost around $1000. Some of the leading manufacturers of these types of floor equipment are Tennant, NSS, Tornado, Windsor, Koblenz and Clarke. When seriously looking at this equipment is always useful to ask the floor equipment dealer or manufacturer to demo or test the unit on the area that you are cleaning or maintaining. Another important factor is to always price out the floor equipment parts and check for availability of common wear items so that in the event of malfunction parts are readily available.

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