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The Best Floor Buffers

Buddit Nidsornkul/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated January 2023

It's the modern age; you don't need to get on your hands and knees to get that long hardwood hallway shiny. One of these floor buffers will do the trick in a fraction of the time.

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  Best for Heavy Cleaning Premium Option Best for All Floor Types Best For Budget Most Versatile
 
  Prolux
Core Heavy Duty 13-Inch Commercial Floor Buffer
Viper Cleaning Equipment
VN1715 Venom Series Low Speed Buffer
Prolux
Core Heavy Duty 15-inch Commercial Floor Buffer
BiSSELL
BigGreen BGFS5000 Portable Two Brush Floor Scrubber
Oreck
Commercial Orbiter Cleaner 550 MC
 
Our SummaryAn orbiting motorized floor buffer for deep cleaning all floor surfaces.A buffer that sports an all-steel triple planetary gearbox, offering great torque and consistent pressure.This floor buffer wins out for its wider cleaning path to clean larger areas faster.This compact, lightweight, yet tough floor scrubber is perfect for household uses.An orbital, induction motorized floor buffer that sands, scrubs, cleans carpets, requiring minimal maintenance
Pros✓ Household and light commercial use
✓ 13-inch cleaning path
✓ Random orbiting motor
✓ Five pads included
✓ Extension cord included
✓ Solid build
✓ 1.5-hp motor
✓ 101 pounds for deep cleaning
✓ Triple planetary gearbox ✓ 175 rpm
✓ 16-inch pad driver
✓ Household and light commercial use
✓ 15-inch cleaning path
✓ Random orbiting motor
✓ Five pads included
✓ Extension cord included
✓ Great hybrid commercial/household choice
✓ Lightweight
✓ Multipurpose
✓ Metal parts
✓ 12-inch cleaning path
✓ Great for small spaces
✓ 175-rpm random orbital motor
✓ Induction motor
✓ Low-maintenance
✓ For much more than buffing
Cons✗ Pricey if you don't need the power✗ Pricey
✗ Unsuitable for most homes
✗ Too heavy and vibrates too strongly for some
✗ The pads can wear down quickly✗ Not made for heavy-duty work✗ Pads not included
✗ Must buy Orteck 550 pads
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The Best Floor Buffers

A person uses a buffer machine on a floor to make it shiny.
Buddit Nidsornkul/Shutterstock.com

Buying Guide for Floor Buffers

Modern polishing machine on parquet floor.
New Africa/Shutterstock.com

Why buy a floor buffer?

If you’ve ever sat in an airplane terminal, hospital waiting room, or worked out in a gym, you’ve probably seen someone pushing a floor buffer. They make valuable cleaning equipment for commercial properties or homes with a lot of traffic and square footage. While they’re more commonly used for hard surfaces like hardwood, marble, tile, or laminate floors, some floor buffers can tackle all surfaces, including carpets.

What should you look for in a floor buffer?

  • Motor: The most important thing to look for in a motor is high-quality parts. One premium floor buffer we review has a relatively low horsepower (hp) but is characterized as a random orbital motor, so the buffer cleans in both directions. Less hp is required than in single-direction motors. Low rpm isn’t necessarily a sign of weakness; it means the motor creates greater torque for deep cleaning. It makes more sense to prioritize motors that match the requirements for the target cleaning task.
  • Cleaning Path: If you search online, you may discover that the average cleaning path for floor buffers ranges between 13-20 inches. Why such a range? A floor buffer with a wider clearing path works great for large areas, typically commercial environments. Most of the buffers we review have 13-inch clearing paths, making them appropriate for smaller spaces like homes and garages.

Are there any accessories you should look for?

Absolutely! Useful accessories can turn a good floor buffer into the best. Look for models with several cleaning pads with varying levels of abrasiveness. A buffer that advertises itself as a brusher should, ideally, have a bristle brush attachment; if you find a floor buffer that works best for your needs and doesn’t come with pads, consult the manufacturer’s website. Another common accessory that adds value is a long, 50-foot+ extension cord.

Our Picks for the Best Floor Buffers

Best for Heavy Cleaning

Prolux Core Heavy Duty 13-inch Floor Buffer

An orbiting motorized floor buffer for deep cleaning all floor surfaces.

Pros: Made with household and light commercial use in mind, the Prolux Core floor buffer has a 13-inch cleaning path and a low-geared 150-rpm random orbiting motor. It polishes and cleans like single-direction motors but cleans in both directions without creating marks or gauges. The lower rpm means the powerful 1.5-hp motor creates greater torque for deep cleaning.

Cons: If you don’t need to deep-clean your floors regularly, you may be better off with a less powerful, less expensive floor buffer.

Bottom Line: This commercial-grade floor buffer features a superior motor to similar brand models and comes with four cleaning pads of different abrasive levels and a scrubbing brush. Plus, you get a 50-foot extension cord. What a great bundle.

 

Premium Option

Viper Cleaning Equipment VN1715 Venom Series Low-Speed Buffer

A buffer that sports an all-steel triple planetary gearbox, offering great torque and consistent pressure.

Pros: Aptly named, the Viper Venom floor buffer has a solid build and a powerful 1.5-hp motor. At 101 pounds, it provides seriously deep cleaning. The optimal, all-steel triple planetary gearbox balances the motor’s torque for even buffing. Running at 175 rpm, the Viper Venom creates strong torque, with a 17-inch deck safely secured by a 16-inch pad driver.

Cons: This pricey, heavy-duty cleaner is unsuitable for most homes. While it’s easy to use in terms of design, it’s too heavy and vibrates too strongly for some users.

Bottom Line: A floor buffer built to last years and surfaces of all kinds, the Viper Venom is a great option for commercial operations like warehouses, contracting sites, or other industrial settings. If you have the money, this floor buffer is a sound investment.

 

Best for All Floor Types

Prolux Core Heavy Duty 15-inch Floor Buffer

This floor buffer wins out for its wider cleaning path to clean larger areas faster.

Pros: This buffer shares numerous advantageous qualities with the Prolux Core 13-inch model; it’s just wider at 15 inches. Why buy the 15-inch over the 13-inch model? Consider this option to clean larger surfaces faster. It comes with five pads for nearly every floor surface, just like the 13-inch but with larger pads. Both models feature the random orbital motor, telescopic wand, and large rubber wheels for easy rolling.

Cons: The pads can wear down fairly quickly.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for the quality standards of the Prolux Core floor buffers, the 15-inch option is a great choice for tackling larger floors faster. You may appreciate the orbital motor even more in the 15-inch; its equally strong and even torque across greater surfaces is impressive.

 

Best for Budget

Bissell BigGreen BGFS5000 Portable Two Brush Floor Scrubber

This compact, lightweight, yet tough floor scrubber is perfect for household use.

Pros: Introducing a lightweight, multipurpose floor buffer that utilizes two brushes instead of one—the Bissell BigGreen! The 16-pound tool can be left in a closet for quick touch-ups. Its quality metal housing, motor base, yoke, and handle are sure to last. But its main attraction is its versatility; the Bissell BGFS5000 handles concrete, hardwood, marble, brick, and carpet—scrubbing them to your satisfaction. It comes with green scrubbing pads, tan polishing pads, and felt buffing pads. Its 12-inch cleaning path is ideal for tight spaces.

Cons: There’s no hiding the fact that the Bissell is a multipurpose, compact buffer for tight spaces. If you’re looking for something with more meat, we recommend you browse other models.

Bottom Line: This handy and easy-to-use floor buffer scrubs just about all flooring, is light as a feather, and is easy on the wallet.

 

Most Versatile

Oreck Commercial Orbiter Cleaner 550 MC

An orbital induction-motorized floor buffer that sands, scrubs, and cleans carpets, requiring minimal maintenance.

Pros: This commercial-grade floor buffer features a 175-rpm random orbital motor, allowing for easier maneuvering. The high-quality motor deserves a bit more attention. It’s precision-engineered and made of durable zinc and steel. Without gears, motor brushes, or belts, it’s virtually maintenance-free. Use the floor buffer for numerous tasks on all types of flooring, including carpets. It sands, strips, refinishes, scrubs, waxes, polishes, and dry cleans.

Cons: It doesn’t come with pads, so you’ll need to purchase them separately. Just make sure to look for Oreck Commercial pads for the model ORB550MC.

Bottom Line: With a moderately wide, 13-inch cleaning path, the Oreck Commercial Orbiter Cleaner suits home and commercial environments. This buffer has a wide variety of applications, so it will impress those charged with many floor-cleaning tasks. 

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you have a better idea of what a floor buffer can do for you and the specific qualities it should have. Consider the products we reviewed here to get you started.

Britta Kallevang Britta Kallevang
Britta is a professional writing tutor and freelance writer that is trained in journalistic, technical, and creative copywriting. At LifeSavvy, she researches products, writes about the items, and shares what she's uncovered with readers. Her writing is comprehensive and sometimes a bit silly. Read Full Bio »
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