Initial Impressions: Buff and Shine Uro-Tec Padsby Zach McGovern
I purchased my first Rupes Bigfoot Polishers in 2012 shortly after they were released. These revolutionary new tools featured a considerably longer throw than what was considered standard for dual action polishers. The increased stroke allowed for quicker, more efficient correction and less physical effort by the user. There are now long-throw tools available from several manufacturers due to the popularity of the first generation Rupes machines. Given that these types of machines make up a large part of the detailing market, it seems fitting that pads should be developed to work specifically with the unique motion of a long throw machine.
Buff and Shine developed the Uro-Tec product line with this exact intent. The Uro-Tec pads (White, Yellow, Maroon & Blue) incorporate euro foam that is, as you might have guessed, imported from Europe and has been designed for outstanding durability in automotive applications. Random orbital machines are often associated with hand numbing vibrations and an altogether unbalanced feel. This can be exaggerated when using a long throw machine, especially if the pad is not perfectly balanced or centered on the backing plate. The Uro-Tec pads have a centering hole for precision pad placement and have been engineered for perfect balance on long-throw polishers for smooth and controlled operation.
The pads feature a high-density open cell foam that will ensure the pad will not break down as quickly as other pads with heavy use. The open cell foam helps to disperse heat. The centering hole also helps to reduce heat by providing a chamber for excess heat to escape during use. The heat travels through the center of the pad and then through the open cells of the foam.
The Uro-Tec pads are available in a variety of sizes ranging from one-inch to seven-inches. The pads are one-inch thick and the sides are tapered so that the diameter of the hook and loop backing is smaller than the diameter of the actual pad face. There are four different colored pads which indicate different levels of cutting and finishing. The blue pad is a course foam that is designed for heavy cutting and defect removal and will generally be used in combination with a heavy cutting compound. The burgundy pad is designed to provide medium cutting or heavy polishing; a great all-in-one pad that can work well with compounds and polishes depending on your situation. The yellow foam is a polishing pad that can remove minor imperfections and clear up any compounding haze when paired with your favorite finishing polish. The white pads are a soft finishing pad that can be used for the final polish on more delicate paints or for applying sealants or waxes.
I put the Uro-Tec pads to use on my Rupes LHR21ES Mark II beginning with the blue heavy-cutting pad. I primed the surface of the pad with Meguiar’s M100 and then applied a couple of drops of working product. I made several overlapping passes in a cross-hatch pattern. The pad was smooth and balanced. After compounding several consecutive sections, the pad face was completely cool to the touch. The blue foam has a very open cell structure which must allow considerable airflow and heat dissipation while working, however, I did also notice that this sometimes led to some product flinging. I seemed to resolve the mess-making by applying a bit less product and by applying it more towards the center of the pad face rather than near the outer edge. For comparison, I performed a test spot using a microfiber pad and although marring was present after compounding with both the foam and microfiber cutting pads, it was clear that on this soft, jet-black paint, the Uro-Tec Blue Foam finished better than the microfiber cutting pad.
I then grabbed the yellow Uro-Tec polishing pad, applied some Meguiar’s M205, and began refining the paint. This pad was also very smooth and easy to control. With just a few passes it was easy to see that this paint was clearing right up and this daily driven kid-hauler would look the best it has in quite some time.
My initial impressions of the Uro-Tec product line is that it seems like a great set of pads, and I really enjoyed using them. They remind me quite a bit of the Rupes foam pads which I had really grown to like in the past, especially the yellow polishing pads and white finishing pads. While the majority of my pad collection still consists of the traditional foam “flat pads”, I anticipate purchasing more of the newly designed pads such as the ones found in the Uro-Tech line moving forward.
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