Rotary vs Orbital Scrubbers
Rotary floor scrubbers are the most commonly seen models and utilize a large, round scrubbing pad with thick bristles to dislodge dirt and stains from the floor.
With the use of special pads, professional cleaners can perform additional tasks with the rotary, including polishing, carpet encapsulation (see carpet cleaning), and the capability to select the desired level of floor penetration to scrub.
Orbital floor scrubbers serve a similar purpose to the rotary, but can provide an even multi-directional scrubbing pattern at a much higher RPM than the one-way circular pattern of the rotary (2000-2500 RPM vs 200-300)
Also due its square shape, the cleaner is able to hit corners and edges with the scrubber, which is done manually by hand when using the rotary.
Orbitals have a variety of special pads as well and with the ability to function at a higher RPM, it is capable of stripping wax without the need of chemicals, making it a green cleaning method and less time consuming than the traditional use of a stripping agent. With special pads, the wax can be "sanded" to the bare tile, vacuumed, rinsed, and then recoated in a quarter of the time than with the rotary machine.
Both types of scrubbers have their pros and cons on the quality and type of pads that can be used for the required task. It is CRUCIAL that the professional understand and have the proper training on how to select and use the right pads for the job, including the ability to evaluate the current conditions and decide what is the best course of actions, because any mistakes can lead to permanent damage!