Polishing Ball Comparisons - Flitz® vs. Mothers®
Last summer, Mothers introduced the first foam-polishing tool designed to revitalize billet, diamond plate, polished aluminum, stainless steel, plastic lenses, and convertible-top plastic windows, when used with Mothers PowerMetal Polish.
The company offers this product in two sizes: full and mini.
I tested the Mothers ball with the PowerMetal Polish as the instructions suggest.
First, I tested the full-size ball. I found this product to be very difficult to control. The ball is made from foam. The problem I had was that the foam would grab and bounce, making it very difficult to control. At times, when it kept grabbing, I had no control. I tried it on diamond plate as advertised. The plating chewed up the foam as if it was going through a shredder, leaving little pieces of foam all over my work. I had to go back over my work to clean up these pieces.
I found that the mini ball worked much better; the foam was compressed tightly, thus creating a more durable product.
I still found that even the mini ball grabbed and bounced, but I was able to control it better because of the shaft that runs from the drill to the ball head. This shaft has a sleeve that lets you hold for better control. It fits into hard-to-reach, tedious polishing areas and makes them easier than polishing by hand.
I love Mothers Billet Polish, so I tried the mini ball with billet. It just didn’t work; the grabbing effect was even worse, I was, however, able to gain some control by misting with water.
My overall opinion: this product failed. It didn’t live up to the advertising as rugged and easy to use.
“Flitz Buff Ball”
This past November, while attending SEMA, I came across the Flitz polish and the Flitz Buff Ball. Initially I was skeptical, based on my experience with Mothers PowerBall. But the thought of reducing the effort to accomplish this task whispered to me, “Let’s give it a try!”
Flitz currently offers this ball in three sizes: the 5" Ball will fit into most areas, while the 7" Ball is oversized and works great on large surfaces like diamond plate.
I must say that I’ve always been a Mothers Polish guy, but I decided to give the Flitz polish a try in combination with their polishing ball. Flitz claims that the ball will work with both their liquid and their paste polish. The paste has the highest concentration of cleaning power; it also provides longer-lasting protection. The liquid is not as concentrated as the paste, but it gave me comparable results. The protection didn’t seem to last as long as that provided by the paste. However, it lasted as long as Mothers liquid. The liquid was easier to work with, because of its spreadability.
Wahoo! What a difference! I love the new Flitz Buff Ball. Simply attach to the drill, and polish away. It’s almost like magic. Hundreds of little “polishing fingers” get into hard-to-reach places. The material is a cloth, and it worked fantastically; there was no grabbing or bouncing. The polishing ball glided into the groves of the wheel with ease, leaving a finish ready to show.
The biggest problem with the Mothers ball happened with diamond plate, so I put the ball to the test. The material of this product held up with no problem, no chewing up. It glided with ease. This polishing ball is also washable.
The only problem I encountered was the size; the size of the ball made it difficult to get into tight spots. I talked to the folks at Flitz and asked about a mini ball; they informed me that they have a mini-version coming out this May; I have seen the ball and believe it will fill this gap. They say it was designed to work in tight spots like spokes on motorcycle wheels. This is the nightmare of all detailers.
I found that the Flitz Buff Ball® out performed the Mothers PowerBall®. Hands down, Flitz was more durable and easier to use.
About the Author: Jim Pyatt is the owner of Tender Rubbing Care and a published author and consultant. Jim has over 10 years experience as detail shop owner operator, and is a member of The National Association for Professional Detailing and Reconditioning (NAPDR). He can be reached by phone at 831-246-3441 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reprinted with permission from Tender Rubbing Care Auto Detailing Newsletter - February 2007