Review of the American Sanders 1600 Buffer/Rotary Sander
Buffers offer a wide range of tools for many jobs. If you want an all around tool in your truck, this might just be it. The American Sanders 1600DC buffer is a buffer with many applications. This buffer can do anything from sanding wood, staining wood, to intercoat abrasion. American Sanders designed this machine to meet all the demands put on a buffer by wood flooring professionals around the world. It is a dust free buffer that truly has a great dust shroud to ensure almost no dust. It uses a special shroud system built by American Sanders to ensure that all dust is captured and maximum suction is achieved. Upon first seeing the buffer you will notice it is a heavy, conventional buffer. Below we will discuss the pros and cons of this machine.
How it Preforms in the Field
I have personally used this buffer for almost every application you can in the past 2 years. I have put it through the ringer and so have my employees. This buffer is dust free and truly works well with the dust shroud included. Below I will go through all the applications we have used it for and how it preformed. I think this might be the best way to cover everything you might have questions about.
Sanding with a multi-head
Prior to the American Sanders Hydra-Sand there was the Bona Multidisc. We extensively used the American Sanders 1600DC with the multidisc. The American Sanders can easily handle any grit with the multidisc with ease and not once did the multidisc present an issue for the buffer. The multidisc coupled with the American Sanders 1600DC leaves a very random scratch pattern and makes sure any stain looks great. Since this buffer is a bit heavier than most buffers it really helps the multidisc buff with ease.
This buffer is a bit heavier than other buffers. It is a strength and a weakness of the buffer. While it helps during the final sanding steps it doesn’t help in the intercoat abrasion. I find that the heaviness leaves a much deeper scratch than is needed and sometimes can be seen slightly on the final coat. To get around this make sure to use the norton 220 grit sand paper strips (psa rolls) and it seems to not be as harsh as the 220 screens (even used screens!)
Staining with a buffer is nothing new. I find that this buffer does a well job of staining and takes the task with ease. Probably any buffer can do staining so this should be a non factor.
Reliability of the American Sanders 1600DC Buffer
While most things on this buffer work well and function properly. However, there are a few things to know about. After 2 years of usage the following things have broken or worn out on our buffer. I do expect my employees to be a but harsher on things than probably a one man operation so keep that in mind.
The main housing/metal tub that comes from the ground to the top handles snapped in half from moving the buffer. This metal tubing is very thin and while it won’t fail it does how the potential being so thin if you put too much pressure on it while trying to move it up curbs or down doorways. Ours broke while going up a curb from too much pressure on the wheel and the employees hand pressing down.
The main pinion gear in the machine broke in our machine. They said that it had too much pressure on it while in use. They claimed it to be that our buffer driver was not on correctly and snapped the pinion gear when it went on. We have never had this issue in 15 years of our previous buffer so I find it a bit odd. This issue happened 6 months after buying the buffer and now in a year and a half it hasn’t been an issue. I would call this issue a anomaly.
The dust shroud is easy to rip so make sure to take it on and off the machine after use. Ours ripped while taking it out to the truck. While this might be an issue, this dust shroud beats any other companies shrouds I have used. Consider this a non issue.
Customer Service of the American Sanders 1600DC Buffer
When our pinion gear broke we called Clarke to get the machine serviced. I was please to know that we could take it to a Waxy center for repair. The whole repair was paid for by Clarke and we only had to take the buffer i, no questions asked. Waxy had the repair done within 5 business days and it was back to working like normal. Our experience with the Clarke customer service has always been wonderful and we would expect nothing less. Their 5 year warranty is fantastic and there should be nothing above that worried you since they honor repairs effortlessly.
The American Sanders 1600DC is one of the more expensive buffers on the market. However, the Clarke buffer can do all the applications you need it to do. The heavy weight makes it so it can be a great finish sander, decent at intercoat abrasion and good at staining floors fast and effectively in a dust free manner. If you are looking for a good buffer that can do anything this buffer is the right one for you.