Cylindrical Versus Rotary Floor Cleaning Machines

Cylindrical Scrubbers Gaining Market Share

While there will always be a need for rotary scrubbers, cylindrical scrubbers are gaining popularity as businesses discover their value and performance.

Cylindrical Floor Machines Work Great on Rubber, Stone and Ceramic

Cylindrical floor scrubbing machines use cylindrical brushes that work great on uneven or sloped floors that are made of stone, ceramic or rubber.  Cylindrical machines are a “must” in fitness centers, ice arenas and any facility with rubberized flooring.  Cylindrical scrubbers are extremely versatile and also do a great job on polished floors of all materials.

Cylindrical Scrubbers Have Higher RPMs and Scrubbing Pressure

This is where Cylindrical floor scrubbers have an almost unfair advantage over Rotary floor scrubbers.  Their evenly distributed and easy to control brushes operate at 3-5 times the “pad pressure” versus standard rotary scrubbers AND the brushes rotate at speeds 5-10 times faster than standard rotary machines.

Cylindrical Floor Machines are Multi-Directional

Cylindrical machines have roller brushes that rotate inward (contra-rotational).  As is the case with another other auto scrubber, the squeegee is typically in the rear of cylindrical floor machines.  However, cylindrical scrubbers continue to scrub, no mater which direction you are going and work great when pulling back at edges or in smaller spaces.  Cylindrical scrubbers do not throw scrubbing solution against walls, even at their high scrubbing speeds.  These machines have a square base that lines up against baseboards to facilitate edge cleaning.

Nothing Works Better on Carpet (Yes, Carpet)

Cleaning any soil from any surface is all about agitation.  Nothings cleans more effectively than cylindrical carpet extractorsCylindrical Extraction Machines are designed slightly different than their floor scrubbing counterparts, but operate on the same principle.

Business and residential customers are recognizing the obvious benefits to agitation when cleaning their carpets.  The days of the old fashioned wands (as used by most truck/van mounted systems) that flood the carpet are quickly diminishing.  Cylindrical extractors provide the necessary agitation to deep clean carpet fibers without damaging effects and your carpet is dry much more quickly!

Rotary Machines Still Relevant and Necessary

Rotary floor machines use a round pad or brush (sometimes two on auto scrubbers) that rotate at 175 to 330 RPMs (revolutions per minute).

We suggest using rotary floor machines when performing restoration work on most types of flooring.  This includes stripping floor finish, and stubborn deep-scrub situations.

Also, burnishing (high speed polishing) should be done with a rotary machine that uses special burnishing pads at a speeds of 1000-2000 RPMs.


For the most part, rotary machines and cylindrical machines produce excellent results on smooth floors such as linoleum and most tiles.

However, with structured floors, such as rubber-studded floors and uneven or stone floors, cylindrical floor machines produce better results.  Cylindrical floor machines use less cleaning solution, create less mess and do the job more quickly.

For polishing a finished floor, Rotary floor machines (buffers and burnishers) are the better choice.

Overall, cylindrical floor machines are more versatile and economical than rotary machines.


Contact us for help in choosing the right machine for your needs.