If you’re just getting into the field of building service maintenance or office cleaning you’re sure to face the decision of whether to use a floor buffer or a floor scrubber for your floor cleaning jobs. You may think at first “these must be the same kind of machine, right?” Well, not really.
Generally, a floor buffer is a machine that has a horizontally rotating head that sits directly on the floor. Think of a large, round scrubbing pad spinning in a circle. The spinning of the pad is powered by a small motor, usually directly over the center of the pad. Some buffers come equipped with a solution tank that can squirt cleaning solution directly into the scrubbing pad and onto your floor. This extra feature allows the user to put small quantities of cleaner on the floor as needed, without having to stop and pour it directly out of a bottle– a real time and back saver. But, there is no way for a buffer to “vacuum up” that solution once it’s on the floor.
Floor buffers are also known as rotary floor machines because the scrubbing surface is constantly rotating in a circle in one direction. Automatic floor scrubbers MAY have a rotating head, similar to buffers, but many models offer a cylindrical brush head. We’ll address that difference in a minute. Just know that you’ll run across the terms “floor buffer” and “rotary floor machine” as meaning the same thing.