How many decisions do you think you’ve made already today? The choices we have are endless from the smallest details to the large investments. Where do we go to lunch today? Where do we want to take a vacation? This reality is not really too different when it comes to cleaning equipment like scrubbers. We say it all the time, but it bears repeating: we like to keep it simple.

Cylindrical vs. Disk

At Hammerhead® we narrowed down the options to two self-propelled, walk-behind 20” scrubbers: the 500SS (cylindrical) and the 500RSX (disk). If you’re not too familiar with scrubbers and the differences, below is a little diagram to help out: However, knowing what each one looks like isn’t quite as important as knowing what the differences are in functionality and maintenance or why you’d maybe choose one over the other. In that effort, we broke it down for you with a list of “pros and cons” for each one.

Pros: 500SS Cylindrical

1. On-board debris hopper.

The twin counter-rotating brushes will move debris such as nuts and bolts or pallet chips into the hopper. Simply remove and empty the hopper when necessary.

2. No need to sweep first.

You’ll be able to save time by not having to sweep the area first before scrubbing. Just grab your scrubber and go. 
Hammerhead 500SS Scrubber Debris Hopper Open
On-board Hopper

Pros: 500RSX Disk

1. Low maintenance.

Unlike the cylindrical that is equipped with two smaller motors to drive the brushes, the disk brush only has one, larger, gear reduction drive that will require virtually no maintenance.

2. Lower price point.

You’ll pay around 10-20% less on a disk brush scrubber than a cylindrical scrubber. Not only will the upfront price point be lower, but also your maintenance cost for wearable parts.

3. Versatile.

The disk brush can work on many types of floors. From quarry tile to concrete to epoxy resin, the disk can be equipped with different brush strengths or pads (additional brush and pad options coming soon on depending on the sensitivity of the surface being cleaned. 
500RSX Scrubber Disc Brush
Standard Disc Brush

Cons: 500SS Cylindrical

1. More maintenance.

You have double the motors, brushes and belts as the disk model. This typically translates to additional maintenance on the machine over time.

2. More expensive.

The upfront cost of the cylindrical will be more than the disk and so will the overall maintenance. For example, the cylindrical brushes may wear out more quickly and you are replacing two brushes instead of one (this will vary based on floor surface, bristle type, size of area, frequency of use and maintenance). It is important for you to be aware that the smaller motors and belts will need additional attention over time as well. 

3. It’s not a sweeper.

The cylindrical scrubber is a multi-tasking customer’s dream. While it is true that you get a two-for-one deal with the scrubber/sweeper combination, you will get the performance of a scrubber equipped with sweeping technology, not that of a scrubber AND a sweeper. For prime performance, it is best to have units dedicated to one or the other.

Cons: 500RSX Disk

1. Sweep first.

The biggest drawback for the disk brush scrubber is that you have to sweep the area before you can scrub. By not doing so, you can collect loose debris* in your machine causing issues. For instance, the debris can clog the hose, rip your squeegee, or be dragged along, streaking your freshly clean floor. Protect your floor and machine by sweeping first. (*We are not referring to dust, chalk, dirt or spills, but rather pieces of trash, pallet chips, machine shavings, nuts and bolts, etc.)

2. Replace Brush More Often.

Although you only have one brush to replace, it will potentially need replaced more often (this will vary based on floor surface, bristle type, size of area, frequency of use and maintenance).  
950MS Manual Sweeper Front Brooms
950MS Sweeper
Got debris and don’t want to opt for the 500SS? The best solution is to combine the scrubbing capability of the 500RSX with the sweeping power of our 950MS Walk-Behind Sweeper. This “Power Couple” is one of our most popular combinations!  You can click the links below to check out more about each of the units or ask us a question in the comment section.

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    500RSX Walk-Behind Disc Floor Scrubber
    500RSX Disk Scrubber
    Hammerhead 500SS Cylindrical Walk-Behind Scrubber
    500SS Cylindrical Scrubber
    950MS Manual Walk-Behind Sweeper
    950MS Manual Sweeper