dlc95

Optimum Microfiber Cutting Pads

Recommended Posts

I saw these for sale on Autogeek a couple few months ago and decided to order some.

 

One came with a weird "bunched up" line across the center, so I thought I'd use that as my test subject, and just ordered a replacement for it to use in the field. 

 

Intensive Polish is my current muse. I seem to get a lot of marring with it while using the orange waffle pad, so it's the polish I want to understand the most for it's healthy cutting ability. 

 

I went old school with an old Porter Cable 7424, which is actually my favorite polisher of all time. Yeah I have a Rupes 21, two Duettos, two Mini's, a Nano, and a Flex 3401. 

 

The test dummy was a black charger door I found on the side of the road by my house. 

 

I hit the door with various grits sand paper back in the early fall. I decided to start with the orange waffle pad with Intensive Polish. I got the pad ready with the LC 4000 pad washer + ONR.  Decent clean up of the sanding haze,  but deeper, inconsistent tracers remained.  I also had quite a bit of marring left on the surface.

 

I switched to the Optimum Microfiber Cutting pad. They arrived in an appropriately sized ziploc style bag, and I don't know know why or how, but they smell SO good. 

 

The Optimum Microfiber Cutting Pad boosted the cut, and the finish! I was not at all expecting that.

 

These pads run really smooth, and these cutting pads have a very dense foam interface. Similar to the Lake Country HDO.  

 

For both pads I ran the PC at speeds between 3, 3.5, 4, and 4.5. Speed 4 felt the best for me. 

 

I tackled the next section with Hyper Compound. I got faster defect removal, and a better finish than  I would have ever expected from such an aggressive compound. 

 

So far I prefer these to the purple foamed wool. The center hole in those pads makes a mess on the backing plate hooks, or inside the backing plate hole if I'm using the Rupes, Flex 3401, or the 3M 20206 backing plate on my PC. 

 

If you are a microfiber pad fan, pick one up, and see for yourself! I'll be stocking up on these, and trying the polishing version very soon. Excellent pads!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was never very impressed with the Optimum MF pads, but I got mine perhaps as long as 10 years ago, but they look like the ones pictured at the Optimum store--are they different now?  When I say I wasn't impressed, I guess I mostly remember they weren't that durable, the MF  and/or velcro would separate from the foam for me.  This was way before LC started making MF pads, and Meguiar's improved theirs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing!!

I too love Intensive Polish. It cuts very, very well and leaves a very glossy finish, but indeed with micro-marring. I use it with Rupes Blue wool most of the time, with the Zentool 21e2 and LC4000. In my experience, NOTHING cuts like Rupes Blue wool, except maybe Hyper wool. I haven't really tested that one though, since I only had one and the velcro was ruined pretty ruined quickly. It keeps flying off from my Zentool 👎 . Hyper Wool definitely run smoother, the Rupes ones seem to pick up some extra weight when used and causes excessive vibrations.

I too have found that the finish of Intensive Polish GREATLY improves when used with Meguiar's MF pads. It often finishes down absolutely perfect with one of those. They seem to run smoother and are more durable than the Rupes wool pads, but are more difficult to clean and seem to like more sprays. I'll try to order the Optimum MF pads as well, you got me curious about the smell! 🤣

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/30/2022 at 8:12 AM, Setec Astronomy said:

I was never very impressed with the Optimum MF pads, but I got mine perhaps as long as 10 years ago, but they look like the ones pictured at the Optimum store--are they different now?  When I say I wasn't impressed, I guess I mostly remember they weren't that durable, the MF  and/or velcro would separate from the foam for me.  This was way before LC started making MF pads, and Meguiar's improved theirs.

Oh man, I hope that isn't the case with these. 

 

Yes, they appear to be one in the same as the ones pictured. 

 

I've only done the one test spot with one of the wonky ones AG sent me.

 

That being said I used to be able to get good life out of the notoriously fragile Lake Country Cyan Hydrotech (which now seem to have been discontinued).  

 

Wishe me luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/30/2022 at 2:19 PM, Heijneker said:

Thanks for sharing!!

I too love Intensive Polish. It cuts very, very well and leaves a very glossy finish, but indeed with micro-marring. I use it with Rupes Blue wool most of the time, with the Zentool 21e2 and LC4000. In my experience, NOTHING cuts like Rupes Blue wool, except maybe Hyper wool. I haven't really tested that one though, since I only had one and the velcro was ruined pretty ruined quickly. It keeps flying off from my Zentool 👎 . Hyper Wool definitely run smoother, the Rupes ones seem to pick up some extra weight when used and causes excessive vibrations.

I too have found that the finish of Intensive Polish GREATLY improves when used with Meguiar's MF pads. It often finishes down absolutely perfect with one of those. They seem to run smoother and are more durable than the Rupes wool pads, but are more difficult to clean and seem to like more sprays. I'll try to order the Optimum MF pads as well, you got me curious about the smell! 🤣

I actually really like the Rupes blue wool, but not the yellow so much, even though it dies cut and finish very well. What I don't like about will is the way they spit fibers as they wear, but I'll keep trying. I do use the Rupes wool with their line of polishes. 

 

I do have the Optimum Hyper Foamed Wool pads too. I do need to further test them. The minor issue I have with them is the center hole getting filled with the spray on compound. Thus far the only remedy I have come up with is placing the black screw tips the come installed on Optimum's bottles. I put that over the center hole, spray, wipe the cap on the pad, and set aside. 

 

I have issues with my Buff and Shine Uro-Tec foam pads backing wearing pre maturely. It's really frustrating to have good usable, healthy foam with a worn out backing. I suspect I was using too much pressure trying to get them to do more than they were designed or intended. 

 

Before I got the orange waffle pads I would often use green Buff and Shine in their capacity. When I started using the PC more in 2013, I ordered the Hex Logic sanpler pack, and found the green would often out perform the orange and yellow in  cutting. Back then I was using mostly Meguiar's Ultimate Compound, and in 2014 I added Menzerna FG 400. I did a job for a friend where I paired Intensive Polish with the green Buff and Shine (same foam. Buff and Shine makes the Hex pads for CG). The combo removed all the defects and left a nice glossy finish, that was finished with Optimum Car Wax. 

 

I'm really interested in trying Intensive on the black waffle Opti pads. I like the cutting potential of Intensive. But when I tried it on a new Ford Bronco (it was destroyed by the lot boys at the dealership) a couple months back it marred the daylights out of the paint with the orange pad. Hyper struggled to remove the marring on the black or orange waffle pad. I ended up using 3D One with the yellow Uro-Tec to finish up that vehicle. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't even use the yellow wool pads anymore! I find with wool it depends on how they are cleaned. As soon as I take a brush or Rupes Claw tool to them, they start spitting a bit of wool. But never a problem.

I know what you mean with the center hole, luckily I gave up on having a clean polisher a long time ago! 😋

It helps if you spray off-center on a spinning pad, but it won't solve it.

Yeah having a good pad with worn velcro sucks... It happened to me due to low-quality Zentool velcro and ramping speed up to quickly when spindrying.

I have the same experience with Intensive Polish and the orange waffle pad. It leaves a lot of marring, while an MF pad would leave a far better surface and the wool somewhere inbetween. Of course it depends on the paint. 

What I hate about Microfiber pads, is that they are way more difficult to clean with Optimum polishes, compared to wool. I run ONR in my pad washer (with the occassional APC pre-spray on pad), maybe replacing it with an APC would help. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now