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The Auto Detailing Podcast

Jan 21, 2019

Rupes LHR 15/21 Mark III Features + Review

From the mark one to the mark two, the main selling argument or point was that it had 30% more power than the mark one. The mark iii holds that standard with the 30% more power than the mark one, but there is no increase in power from the mark two.


There is a much longer cord. In fact, it's a 30-foot cord instead of the ... I actually don't know what size cord is on the mark one and mark two, but the mark three has a 30-foot cord, which is nice actually. The Porter-Cable I have has a longer cord than the normal, and the point for that is that you're not getting a reduction of power through an extension cord from the wall. You're able to plug in directly to the wall and make sure you're getting all that power.


From there, we see a difference in the speed dial. So this speed dial here is a lot bigger. Actually has some rubber stops, so you have a little bit more control in it. The numbers are also a different way. You can see on the mark one, the number dial or the speed dial, speed control rather, the numbers are horizontal. On this one they're vertical, much bigger, and also actually work in the direction. Make it a little bit easier to see.


The speed dial is different than on the mark one. If we turn it sideways real quick, we'll be able to see how much bigger it is. So not only is it bigger, and these are both the 15s with the five-inch backing plate, not only is the trigger bigger, it has a nice little rubber grip. Again, similar to the speed dial. Unlike the mark one, that is just straight plastic and can get slippery. Same noise.


This is also the main upgrade from the mark two to the mark three. Is it has this variable speed trigger. So it's not just that it has the soft start of course, and we'll see that later if you hang out for the video. I'm going to be demoing it on a car. It has a soft start like all Rupes do, but you can feather it down while staying at full speed. For example say you want to feather it down so you're getting to an early spot, you can kind of feather down this speed, if you will, without having to come back up to the top and adjust the speed dial. You could do that all within the trigger. So you can have full power, scale it back a little bit, and I will show you what that looks like when we get to the car.


While we're on the side of the machine, there's the Rupes logo and this additional stripe. So you have the Rupes logo and this additional stripe, which is rubber, versus if you look on the mark one, there is not that stripe of rubber. Again, probably for improved just handling and ergonomics.

Also, the Rupes logo on the mark one is screen printed. They also moved it down a little bit. A lot of people like to customize their Rupes, whether they wrap it in film or whatever, and thus they would cover up the Rupes logo. So from a branding standpoint, that's very smart to put it in rubber. You can't really cover this up.


So from there, We have these stops. So these two rubber stops on the machine. Obviously there's the speed control or graph, if you will, different from the mark one. That's also on the mark two. What's not on the mark two are these two stops. So when you lay the machine down it's not going to slide anywhere, it will rest right there on the ground. Also, not going to be scratching the machine at all.


Also, they've changed the tip of the machine, which this is probably one of my favorite changes, that they went to a matte carbon look, instead of the plastic fake carbon look, which you could see what starts to happen. This is actually a pretty well worn machine, or lightly used rather, but you could see that on the mark one, this plastic piece which obviously is replaceable, it does start to wear towards the top right there. It will wear right around the body of the machine. Also, I think adding the rubber just makes the machine look a little bit nicer.


The one thing I've always loved about the Rupes machine that it seems like not many other companies can replicate is the smoothness of the machine while you're holding it, and has been my gripe with a lot of other machines when using it.

In conclusion -

So that's that, the 30% more power from the mark one but not the mark two. One concern I will state that I have, and it's really not that big of a deal but I do wonder about, is the color of the rubber. Now I think it looks nice when it's sitting down, when it's on a shelf. When you pull it out of the package it's very nice. What I'm concerned about is that this light color is going to wear and not be nice as it wears, especially if you have your hand up at the top. Often what is this, is the ink from the black going to wear out? Is this going to start discoloring or getting black, or is it going to be something you have to clean? I do really like that matte carbon look. I've been holding the 15 the whole time, but all the same things are true with the LHR 21 Mark III as well.

So I think it's a very nice upgrade, especially if you're going from the LHR Mark I to the LHR Mark III. If you have the LHR mark ii I'm not convinced that it's worth it to upgrade to the mark iii right away, unless you're just that type of person that likes to have the latest and greatest. Then at that point of course, do what you wish, but I do feel like it's a significant upgrade from the LHR Mark I - check out the Auto Detailing Podcast Store. - Take your detailing business to new levels.

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