Introducing THE BOSS! Welcome To The New Griot’s Garage!
What do I mean by the “New” Griot’s Garage? Well, up until now I have always viewed Griot’s in the same vein as companies such as Zaino and Adams; while I know they have a niche selection of great products, I’ve always viewed them as “enthusiast” brands. But, with this new BOSS system, I feel Griot’s Garage has stormed into the professional market, like THE BOSS™! 🙂
Seriously though, I think you will be impressed not only with these new tools, but with the system as a whole! In this particular review I will only focus on the tool, but be sure to check out my review on Griot’s BOSS™ pads and polishes as well.
Background Story: Meeting Jeff Brown
Rewinding back to June 2014, I received a random email from Jeff Brown of Griot’s Garage. Jeff introduced himself, shared his industry experience and explained his role within Griot’s. Jeff spent 17 years working for Meguiar’s, which obviously got my attention! Another key tidbit from this email piqued my interest; that Jeff happened to live just a short 15 minutes from me. After exchanging a few emails we arranged a time to meet and discuss detailing stuff, over a few beers of course, and the rest was history! Throughout the rest of the summer Jeff provided me with a variety of previously released products for testing and the provision of feedback. When Jeff asked whether I’d be interested in testing development products, admittedly I was only mildly enthusiastic initially. Between the commitments of working at my full time job and detailing part-time. I’m afforded precious little free time for testing, but I was curious to see what Griot’s had been concocting over in Tacoma, Washington, so I agreed to take on the challenge. Fast-forward to last December when Jeff asked if I had time to preview and test some”stuff.” I set aside a weekend and lined up a test car. When Jeff pulled the tools from his bag it was like Santa Claus himself was handing me the best Christmas gift ever; I was totally blown away! But enough about all that, let’s get onto the actual review! 🙂
Product Description (From Griot’s)
Designed to perfection in Tacoma, Washington, THE BOSS™ is the most innovative orbital ever! These tools are built right, using the best of the best in materials and manufacturing methods! Packing 900 watts of muscle, THE BOSS™ Long-Throw Orbitals combine a perfect balance of performance, control, and comfort. Prepare for unparalleled polishing effectiveness!
Griot’s Garage™ offers up two configurations: THE BOSS™ G15 has a 15mm orbit and THE BOSS™ G21 has a 21mm orbit. That’s an 87% and 162% difference, respectively, in orbit throw between THE BOSS™ tools and a conventional 8mm random orbital. The G15 comes equipped to use our BOSS™ 5” pad system and is recommended for experienced enthusiasts or detailers. The more aggressive G21 is set up for our BOSS™ 6” pad system and is recommended for professional detailers.
Built to withstand tough professional use or weekend use at home in your garage, THE BOSS generates consistent torque regardless of user technique, encourages the fast pad rotation rates needed to power away the deepest defects, and ensures smooth, low-vibration operation.
- 900 watt, 7.5 amp motor
- Precision-machined, steel counterbalance
- Premium NSK™ bearings throughout
- Variable speed, instant on trigger/throttle
- Quick access brush side ports
- Ergonomic design
- Double-shot rubber grips on the main handle, body and head
- 15mm offset on the G15, 21mm offset on the G21
- Interchangeable 5″ and 6″ backing plates (G15 comes with the 5″, G21 comes with a 6″)
- Stainless steel washer included in tool pouch (ships uninstalled)
- Price G15/G21 (MSRP): $365/$385
Thoughts and Observations
I’ve been using these two polishers exclusively since December 2014 and, for reference, my previous go-to tools were the Rupes 21/15. When Jeff handed over the new Griot’s tools, I was blown away! These were clearly not just re-branded, off-the-shelf polishers, but completely new and redesigned from the ground up. In your hands, the heft indicates that these are well-built tools, comparable to my German-built Flex PE14 rotary. The edges are rounded, making the tool very comfortable to hold and reinforcing the significant consideration that has gone into each component of THE BOSS™. Unlike other tools I’ve seen, the rubber grips on THE BOSS™ are not hard or plastic-feeling, but a nice, comfortable rubber you’d want and expect. The trigger is variable-speed and instant-on, which are a welcome features. The main handle fits perfectly in your hand and the lock placement can be set effortlessly; attesting to thoughtfulness of design. Side-by-side with my comparable Rupes, THE BOSS™ offer noticeably more power and are more resistant to stalling over curved panels. With respect to vibration, I didn’t really notice a difference between Rupes and Griot’s tools, both are very smooth. The Griot’s tools are a hair heavier and while the sound of the tools have a lower (cooler sounding) tone, the actual volume “may” be a tad louder. In my opinion, given the more-powerful motor, quality bearings and construction, the weight and sound are an inconsequential trade off for greatness.
- Solid, very well -built tool
- High-quality components
- Variable speed
- Instant start
- Speed control
- Power cord quality
- Heat-management backing plate
- Overall power of the tool
- Slightly Heavier
- Slightly Louder
Exploded tool image
Backing plate removed, counter balance shown
Counter balance assembly
Premium NSK bearings
D handle (Optional accessory)
Side handle (Optional accessory)
Me working THE BOSS™. Jeff Brown is a camera ninja, always taking pics without me knowing it!
Controlled defect removal testing with a the BOSS system
Comparing the Rupes and Griot’s tool with some various pads
Conclusion, final thoughts:
I know the number one question I’ll probably get is, “Should I buy a Griot’s or a Rupes?” Let me be very clear by saying that I love my Rupes tools! Rupes was the first to market with large-throw DA machines and they have served me very well for over 2.5 years now. If you have a Rupes large-throw DA now you probably won’t realize a significant benefit by purchasing a Griot’s tool, as both will ultimately achieve the same end-goal. However, I feel the G15 and G21 are better tools in every way and if you are in the market for a new large-throw DA, my opinion is that THE BOSS™ just raised the bar to a significantly higher standard and threw down the DA gauntlet. The detailing industry has been exploding with great products, tools, and innovation over the past few years, fueled by a drive for excellence and thirst for competition and the top spot on the podium. Thus, with the release of these new Griot’s tools, I’m somehow reminded of the long history of the Camaro vs. the Mustang. Your move Rupes! 🙂
Thanks for taking the time to read my review and be sure to check out other BOSS™ reviews by Greg Gellas!