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3�, 2� & 1" cutting pads and results

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  • 3�, 2� & 1" cutting pads and results

    I put this together in my quest to find a single pad manufacturer to cover all the different sizes of pads I use.

    One of the big dilemma I've always had with smaller pads has been range and availability.

    Whilst there's plenty of great choices for 5.5" to 7" pads, when it comes to smaller pads locally, the choices are very limited.

    What I want to do is have the same pads range in sizes from 5.5" down to 1".

    The other thing is local availability, I'm a big supporter of our local detailing suppliers and will always buy locally where I can.

    This really narrowed it down to 2 pad brands from what I found ... Buff n shine and shinemate. Happy for anyone else to come in and correct me if I've missed something.

    I've used buff n shine pads for the past 7 years and they have been by far my favourite pads over the cheaper options and even the likes of LC or Scholl.

    Shinemate was a bit of an unknown to me but the cost is very attractive.

    I tested 6 cutting pads all up. Why cutting pads? I've found these are most sensitive to foam quality and results.

    The test:

    I didn't go super scientific but I grabbed a spare Subaru door, cleaned it, clayed and rubbed it down with 2000g paper.

    I sectioned the door off and used 3 drops of angelWax redemption on each pad.

    All the pads were brand new.

    I used my normal technique, moderate-slow arm movements and 2 full passes at 1000rpm on the rotary.

    The Machine:

    I used a mini rotary from shinemate and a full size rotary from mint for the tests. Both machines were set at speed 2 which is about 1000rpm.

    Why a rotary? Extension bars and step down to as small as 1" for those awkward parts we love to hate.

    The pads:

    Shinemate wool 3"
    Shinemate green 3"
    Shinemate diamond yellow 4"
    Bns urofiber 3"
    Bns urotec maroon 3"
    Bns urocel blue 6"

    Why the urocel blue 6"? I've been pretty impressed with the urocel on rotaries so this was my benchmark. Unfortunately, urocel pads are not available any smaller than 6".

    The results:

    I have to say I was a little surprised by the results.

    The shinemate pads performed quite well, especially considering they cost less than half of the more expensive pads.

    The BnS urotec is a very nice pad to use. I enjoyed using this over the others.

    The SM diamond cut flung product everywhere. This was not a problem with any of the other pads.

    2000g sanding marks

    SM Wool

    SM Green

    SM Diamond Yellow

    BnS urotec maroon

    BnS urofiber

    BnS urocel blue 6"

    Things to consider:

    The urotec maroon is not the most aggressive pad from bns. Unfortunately I could not get the urotec blue in 3" to test.

    The urotec pads are meant to be used on long throw das, but since they are the only brand besides SM with the full range of 6" - 1" pads I decided to try them anyway.

    Subaru paint is know to be soft, I'm not sure how the results would differ on harder paints.

    All pads caused some marring, and would need to be followed up with a 2nd stage.

    The shinemate wool pad is listed as a 'spot polishing pad' even though it is wool. It did not fare well for cutting duties.

    The urofiber pad performed awfully on the rotary. I repeated the test with a mini da at speed 4 and they corrected as well as the best pads in the roundup.

    BnS urofiber on da

    Each pad was used for a max of 1 minute. At this stage I couldn't comment on longevity or the effects of pad fatigue.

    Speed matters, I upped the speed from 1000rpm to 1500, this changes the effectiveness of some of the pads. Most notable the 6" urocel blue pad performed ALOT better at the faster speed as did the urotec maroon. The wool pad performed worse.

    SM Green

    SM wool

    BnS urotec maroon

    My opinions:

    SM Green
    Performed the best at both speeds. Very stiff foam, I didn't quite enjoy using it but it worked very very well.

    SM Wool
    Struggled to correct 2000g on this soft paint, was a little grabby and just didn't feel right. Seems a little flimsy. Did not like this pad.

    SM diamond yellow 4"
    Much softer foam than the green and much more pleasant to use. The diamond pattern is not my thing, found it flung product around. Didn't quite match the top performers for cutting but then it is a step below.

    BnS urofiber
    Easy to use and kinda cleans up after itself. Absolutely useless on a rotary, but performed as well as the SM Green on a da. Would be my #1 choice on a da.

    BnS urotec Maroon
    This is a lovely foam, the most pleasant pad to use. It is not rated as a heavy cutting pad and the results show especially at the slower speed. At the higher speed it picked up and closed the gap to the much stiffer SM Green pad. I'd be really interested to test out the urotec blue pad!

    BnS urocel blue 6"
    Didn't quite perform that well at the slower speed and was outmatched by the SM Green. Was still slightly behind at the higher speed, but is a more forgiving foam and nicer to use.


    It's very hard to look past the SM pads. If pad performance is a concern as it was for me it, shouldn't be. From a cutting perspective the green and yellow foam perform very well.

    One thing to consider in tight spaces using an extension bar, the smaller SM pads are square with little margin for error where the BnS are tapered.

    If I removed cost from the equation, the BnS would be my pick but only because it is a much nicer foam to work with. I'd love to have tested the BnS urotec blue pad against the SM green.

    This is just my own personal findings and opinions. Bottom line, if you're after performant, cost effective pads the shinemate pads seem to tick the box for corrective ability at the very least. Hope someone find this useful.

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

  • #2
    Mods: Sorry about the title, something went screwy. I've been trying to correct but can't seem to edit.


    • #3
      great write up, thanks a lot!