High-speed floor buffer machines, also known as floor burnishers, rotate at more than 10 times the speed of a conventional buffer, usually between 1,500 and 3,000 RPMs.
Burnishers rotate faster than rotary floor buffers, but they also are much heavier, which helps provide a "wet-look" shine and maintain floors quite well. They also are much more complicated, requiring more maintenance and upkeep than a traditional buffer.
When deciding what type of burnisher to buy, one of the most crucial things to take into consideration is the power source. Some burnishers are electric-cord powered; others are battery powered; and others run on propane.
Electric Floor Burnisher Buffers: The electric cord burnisher is the least expensive, the lightest and the easiest to maintain. Because it is lighter, it is best used for smaller spaces such as individual offices and small office buildings.
Battery-Powered Burnishers: Battery-powered burnishers do an "acceptable job" according to many industry professionals. Hospitals and medical centers often prefer the battery-powered units because they enable one worker to cover a larger area more quickly, he says. Both the electric and battery operated machines have a standard base size of 20 to 24 inches.
Propane Burnisher Buffers: The propane burnisher is the "big daddy" of the floor machines. If your client list includes large retail stores, you will have little choice but to use a propane burnisher to maintain these massive locations.
Propane burnishers today often are walk-behind units with a 20- to 27-inch rotating base. They can reach speeds up to 3000 RPMs. Their heavy weight — 285 to 320 pounds — helps produce the best floor shine possible.
While buffers have just a few parts, propane burnisher buffers have a larger variety as well as much more complex engines. They are more like a small car and need to be maintained as such. The oil itself should be checked and changed on a regular basis. They also have catalytic converters that need maintenance and attention from time to time as well.