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Roadfly Magazine
Issue Eight
Table of Contents

Past Issues Index
Roadfly Magazine
Issue Eight
August 9, 2003
Cruising with Jay Leno
Hot Rod Power Tour
Paint Protection Film
Brake Pad Tech
Porsche Cayenne
Porter Cable Buffer
Coming Next Issue
Fernandez Racing
CPO Nightmares
Hot Lap: Strong Strut
Lotus Elise Preview

Review: Porter Cable 7428 Rotary Buffer, continued.

Important Links

With all of the warnings and disclaimers behind us, let's take a look at Porter Cable's awesome 7428 Rotary Buffer (hereon referred to as simply the "7428").

The Velvet Hammer

On paper, the German made Porter Cable 7428 Rotary Buffer appears menacing - it weighs in at nearly eight pounds, has a 10-amp motor, operates at between zero and 3,000 rpm, and measures nearly 18" in length. This sucker means business.

Luckily, business is good, because once you lift it out of the box, you realize that it's actually quite light as far as heavy-duty rotary buffers are concerned. At first look and feel, it's obvious that the buffer is built quite well - the body is fit together perfectly with TORX screws, the drive mechanism is housed in a cast aluminum body and all of the components and controls are well placed.

The buffer comes with what is referred to as a "bailing handle." This handle mounts just above the drive spindle, and allows the operator to control pressure and direction of the buffer during operation. It can be mounted in one of two ways, depending on the operator's preference - left-handed or right-handed operation. The handle mounts to the aluminum housing with two beefy M8x1" machine screws.

Once the handle is installed, it's time to install the hook-and-loop backing plate. Porter Cable supplies a backing plate (Porter Cable Catalog Number 54747), but the plate is designed for larger (8") buffing pads, like those available from 3M. We were able to get the plate to work with the 7" pads that we prefer from Lake Country Manufacturing, but it would be in your best interest to purchase a slightly smaller backing plate should you decide to use the smaller pads on a regular basis.

The backing plate is attached to the buffer's drive spindle by way of a 5/8" right-hand threaded shaft. Porter Cable supplies you with a little wrench that's used for securing the backing plate to the drive spindle. They also supply you with a hex-wrench that's used to supply the bailing handle to the buffer body.

Perhaps the most important feature of the 7428 is the speed control set - they are, in my opinion, the best available. There's a continuously variable finger trigger that's used to run the buffer, and its operation is silky smooth. The trigger will allow infinitely adjustable operation from zero rpm to 3,000 rpm, and also features a "trigger lock" that helps prevent trigger finger fatigue.

Thanks entirely to the smooth trigger action, you can easily control the rate of start-up speed for the buffer, which helps to minimize compound sling and contributes to the overall feel and precision control of the buffer. I was so pleased to find this feature on the buffer that it's reason enough alone to run out and buy the 7428.

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