A Porter Cable 7424XP and the FLEX XC 3401 VRG are both described as orbital polishers, but there’s a noticable difference between these two machines. Both machines are constructed so that the pad rotates and orbits around the central spindle, but the FLEX features forced rotation.
To understand forced rotation, it’s helpful to think of a bicycle. The back wheel of a bicycle is connected to the chain and sprocket and it’s driven by the pedals. There’s a mechanism forcing the rotation of the back wheel. This is like the pad’s rotation on the FLEX XC 3401 Orbital Polisher. The front wheel of the bicycle is just along for the ride. It rotates when the bike is in motion but there’s no mechanism driving it. That describes the pad rotation on the Porter Cable 7424XP it rotates freely as it orbits because of a free spinning bearing assembly.
In practice, the forced rotation of the FLEX XC 3401 VRG and the free rotation of the Porter Cable 7424XP feel quite different. The FLEX pad completes full rotations and has a lot of power behind it to force that rotation. The FLEX XC 3401 VRG, even though it?s still an orbital machine, can remove a lot of imperfections. The Porter Cable?s motion is often described as jiggling, but it still achieves the dual action?that is, orbiting and rotating ? that will keep you from burning the paint. The Porter Cable 7424XP is great for minor defect removal, waxing, and general polishing.