Things to Know About High-speed Burnishing

A contractor on a shiny polished floor with a burnisher
Photo courtesy of Commercial Floor Resources in Calhoun, Georgia

When used optimally, a high-speed burnisher can be useful during many phases of a polished concrete project especially while high-speed burnishing.

Most people who own a high-speed burnisher or do I speed burnishing don’t know that the back wheels that touch the floor should be in the most set-back hole. When machines are manufactured and delivered, the machine is set for burnishing a wax/floor finish on a softer material such as a floor covering.

By moving the pivot point back just a few inches, the weight distribution of the machine shifts forward, putting more pressure on the pad to ride heavier on the floor. The goal is for more of the pad’s surface to intimately contact the floor so that each rotation produces as much action as possible.


Here are the tips

Burnisher has multiple uses
  • The burnisher can be equipped with a clean hogs-hair/natural pad to dry a wet slab quicker.
  • The burnisher can be used in one direction to blow debris sitting on the slab so that it can be vacuumed up quickly (only when moved constantly in the same direction). Don’t turn around.
  • Outfit with a black pad, use burnisher to heat-up the slab by walking slowly and producing friction between the pad and the floor.
  • When equipped with the right pads, a burnisher can be a polisher to bring up a shine. This assumes that during normal polishing all random scratches have been removed.
  • The burnisher can be used to burnish densifier to a higher gloss whether the floor has been ground and honed or simply densified. Do this by walking slowly and always moving the front of the machine. This can be side to side, backward and forward, or simply in one direction.
Set yourself up for success
  • Move wheels to the back-most hole.
  • Take a clean damp rag and wipe off the wheels that touch the floor. This eliminates wheel marks on film-forming stain protection products.
  • If your machine did not come with a 25-pound weight on the front, weld a bar directly above the middle of the pad and buy some free weights. This way you can easily add and subtract the weight.
  • If your machine has a pad-grab that screws in to hold the pad, set it on the floor before you put it on. Stomp down the edge of the center hole with your heel. Thinner equals easier.
  • Always start your machine either with the pad not touching the slab or with the clutch not engaged.
Other things to note
  • Burnishing backward will remove both boot and wheel marks.
  • RPMs are measured when the burnisher head is free spinning in the air.
  • Measuring pad speed while the burnisher’s pad is running and in contact with the surface.

Have more questions or a suggestion for polished concrete topics? Feel free to contact Jennifer Faller at [email protected]

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