Low speed scrubber vs high speed burnisher: what's the difference? (Video)

clean floor

The Floors are an essential part of everybody's daily life.

Think about it - the first thing you do every morning - besides hitting snooze - is to put your feet on the ground to get the day moving and the last thing you do is pick your feet up off that same floor.

Personal preferences come into play about what type of flooring your feet encounter but it can’t be denied that is a major part of our lives. That fact alone should be motivation to keep your flooring clean and looking fresh weather at home or in the workplace. While we recognize that those are two very different environments there are particular ways to keep every type of flooring looking its best and floor cleaning services are the best options to clean your floor.

Low Speed Scrubber for Home Cleaning

In the home if we want to go beyond the broom / mop / vacuum arsenal of tools you can look further into a low speed scrubber which is a multi purpose tool that can be used to do everything from carpet cleaning, stripping, buffing, and scrubbing flooring. That’s great for home use you are thinking but can this withstand the rigors of a high trafficked VCT in the office area?

High Speed Burnisher for Office Cleaning

Generally speaking those areas will be stripped and waxed on a regular basis which provides protection, however, have those floors serviced with a high speed burnisher to restore the high shine glossy look or what is call the “wet” appearance.

Regardless of your needs these machines will greatly aid in the preservation of your flooring, let us take a deeper look into the functionalities of these machines.


Low Speed Scrubber

low speed scrubber While looking at the low speed scrubber it’s best attribute is that it is so versatile and can be used for a plethora of services. It’s an ideal machine that we use on a daily basis and is a cornerstone of our flooring services.

Scrubbers come in a variety of sizes ranging from 12 inches to 20 + inches and the machine itself has a single axis and single set of wheels. To operate the machine you will generally need to tilt it back on the axis ( while using the appropriate flooring pad) and manipulate the machine in a side to side motion which is referred to as a “swing” motion.

These machines can also come as speciality items - such as solely a carpet cleaning machine which as a tank mounted on the top for shampoo which will enhance the carpet cleaning.

Scrubbers are highly useful for us as their ability to perform multiple jobs make them great for going on projects with a variety of flooring.

However, while excelling in versatility they lack in speed topping out at 125 RPMs, where there counterparts - the high speed burnisher - can reach as much as 2500 RPMs. In the 2002 February issue of “Sanitary Maintenance” the results of a comparison study of the 2 machines was released. On a 10k sf floor while using a scrubber to buff the floors it took 25 man hours and with the burnisher is took a mere 4.5 hours. How is there such a difference?


High Speed Burnisher

high speed burnisher High speed burnishers have a sole purpose of achieving a high shine or appearing to have a “wet” look.

These machines have 2 sets of wheel and axis and have many models that are stand behind, which alleviates some of the manual labor. These machines are operated in a back and forth motion and while doing so the interaction between the floor finish and the pad is what creates that high shine.

There are 3 different types of high speed burnishers:

(1)Battery, (2)Electric and (3)Propane.

It is of the utmost importance that you recognize that propane machines release emission which could be toxic if inhaled.

To provide some insight on each, a battery operated machine can hold a charge for 2 hours and can burnish about 15k sf per hour, a battery operated machine runs on a standard 15 amp circuit, however, you must recognize that you can blow a circuit which hinders the process, and lastly the propane operated machine. This guy as you can imagine is a force to be reckoned with. It tops out at 2500 RPMs and can burnish 25k sf per hour which is ideal for your warehouses and large commercial areas. High speed burnishers have one function and they do it well no matter which type your using.


Using either of the floor cleaning machines is great method to service your flooring!

However it becomes imperative to select the correct machine and applications that accompany that machine to avoid damaging that floor that step on to every day. Allow us to come and take a look at your floors and discuss the needs it may have and explore the various options.

Please contact us and so we can transform your flooring
into what your minds eye sees!