Pad Driver For Floor Machines
What is a pad driver for floor machines? A pad driver is the attachment that mounts to the bottom of your floor machine. There are many different names for a rotary floor machine ( floor grinder, floor polisher, swing machine, burnisher, etc. ) but they’re all pretty much the same type of machine. There are also many different types of pad drivers for these machines. For example, there are Velcro, hook and loop, tufted brush, carpet brush, and specialty pad drivers. The sizes that are most popular for floor machines is 17″ and 20″. But there’s also other odd sized machines and drivers. The clutch plate is what mounts the pad driver to the machine and there are two most popular types of clutch plates for the drivers.
Pad Drivers For Concrete
Since I’m in the concrete resurfacing industry and use mostly products for this industry, the focus for this article will be on pad drivers for concrete restoration. The most commonly used pad drivers for concrete resurfacing are the hook and loop, Velcro, and specialty. All of these are versatile and can be used in many different ways. I’ll go over these options below.
Hook And Loop Pad Drivers
Hook and loop is similar to a large scale Velcro system. The pad drivers have these little hooks on the bottom that hook into the different types of pads you might mount to the driver. You push the pad firmly against the hook and loop pad driver and it should stick to the driver. Sometimes you might have trouble with it sticking to the driver. This might be because the hooks are getting warn and a new pad driver is required.
These are most commonly used for buffing, burnishing, cleaning, and floor stripping. Since I don’t do maintenance work I rarely use the white buff or burnishing pads. I use the cleaning pads to scrub concrete floors with water to clean them after the grinding process. In addition, I use floor stripping pads pretty often. These pads are great for removing adhesives, paint, and other sealers from concrete surfaces. For instance, I commonly use these pads in conjunction with floor strippers for the best performance. You can also use them for abrading a previously sealed floor to get it ready for re-sealing.
Velcro Pad Drivers
Velcro pad drivers work with any type of pad that has Velcro backing. These pad drivers are most commonly used for concrete and natural stone tile grinding and polishing. Usually you’ll use a small rubber or foam Velcro riser between the diamond pad and the pad driver to lessen the vibration on the machine. The most common diamond pads used with this style driver is the 3″ rounds. These come in metal and resin form and have diamonds embedded into them. They come in all different styles and grit levels. Usually the lower grit levels are metal and the higher grit levels are the resins.
When the diamond pads start to get warn out you can peel them off of the Velcro pad and replace them with a new diamond. In addition, you can change them out for each grit level when polishing a floor. You usually start with a lower grit level, then work your way up to a high grit level. This leaves the floor with a glossy, polished look.
Specialty Pad Drivers
My personal favorite specialty pad driver is The Claw by Hawk Enterprises. Light duty floor machines usually don’t use trapezoidal diamonds which are more aggressive than round diamond pads. Trapezoidal, or traps for short, are mostly used with large, heavy duty floor grinders. However, The Claw is a weighted pad driver (35 lbs ) that is magnetic. It has spaces for either round or trapezoidal diamond pads. The rounds can either be magnetic or it comes with metal Velcro rounds that a Velcro diamond can be mounted to. The traps are where it’s at though.
The traps make The Claw super aggressive compared to other 17″ diamond pad drivers. For instance, I don’t use any weights on my machine when running The Claw. Even without weights, it grinds between 50% – 80% faster than my old rounds in the same grit. As a result, I can grind out the same square footage as usual but have the floor much more flat with a lot more aggregate exposure.
Check out my video showing off this bad boy below.
Here’s where I get my stripper and cleaning pads: Grainger.com