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removes dvd or CD scratches. Polishes them to almost new.;Use it to fix unplayable DVDs/CDs or polish them or great listening or viewing.
1. A good microfiber towel. It comes with a little rag in the box, but DO NOT USE IT. If you use it to wipe the cream off you will create a lot of superficial scratches on the disc! I bought a big microfiber towel at Wal Mart in the car care supplies for $8.00. No more superficial scratches when I wipe the discs down.
2. Extra white pads. For whatever reason they give you 100 yellow pads, and only 10 white. I found 100 white pads on Ebay for $8.50. Great deal!
3. Rain X Window/Glass Cleaner. The stuff in the clear spray bottle. Spray it on before doing anything, wipe it off to get any grit out. Use it to lube up the disc in between cycles, and use it at the end when wiping off the cream with the microfiber towel. Once again, $4.00 at Wal Mart.
That's about it. I do recommend 2 machines though. Keep yellow pads on one machine for deep scratches, and white pads in your other for surface scratches/buffing. It's a good machine for the price, but you will need some practice.
I was very surprised to find that: Yes and Yes!
A great way to save money is to buy used - video stores are always having sales on used titles that let you save a very large amount. The problem are that you never know what you're getting - scratches, gouges, and even marks you have no idea where they possible came from - these are normal on used discs!
I've tried just about every other method - the creams, the sprays, the disc doctor, the other "resurfacing" machines, but none work. The disc doctor/resurfacing machines do usually make the problem better, but leave ugly marks on the discs (and often can't resurface enough of the disc). If you have a deep scratch, you're screwed with these machines. The other problem are the high replacement supply costs (usually sold in large packs with EVERYTHING -- problem is you usually only need 1 or 2 of the 8 pieces they sell you in bulk).
I figured it was time to move up and try this one - I've seen it on Amazon for a while, but the price always kept me from ordering. I have to say I'm very glad I finally gave in. The machine looks good compared to the rest - fortunately the ugly green/blue top has been replaced with a clear one.
The instructions are a bit confusing - there is a big set written by someone who doesn't seem to speak english natively. There's also a single-sheet that looks like it was re-written by someone who does (problem is some information varies between the two).
One really neat thing about this (and why I think it works compared to the rest) is just how fast it spins - it spins fast while the others move very slowly (usually taken 2-3 minutes for 1 rotation, this one spins many times per second). This also helps speed up the process - instead of 3 minutes per cycle, this one cycles for 10 seconds at a time. Run it for a cycle, add some more cream, run it, add cream, run it, add cream - I do that for about 6 times and then just need to polish the disc (white pads).
One problem are the pads - they're stickers. Stick them on the machine, peel them off, stick others on. It doesnt always work (stickers lose their sticking power, start to tear, etc..) fortunately theyre disposable after a few uses (not something you need to keep) but having a locking mechanism would've been nicer. Get used to constantly swapping pads though. If you can afford a 2nd machine (one for resurfacing, one for polishing), get one!
The included quantities are good for resurfacing discs (100 pads), but the polishing/cleaning pads are very limited (10 of each). I'd recommend another set of Yellow pads (resurfacing) and White Pads (polishing) - the blue ones (cleaning) are probably not necessary unless you only use this machine to clean discs.
The replacements are sold through the company website at a reasonable cost (about $7 each) - whether its for pads or creams. This is nice as it lets you specify exactly what you need more of.
We'll see how well it holds up, but so far I'm loving this thing. Exactly what I was wanted and it far exceeded what I was expecting out of it. If you've been disappointed by the rest, this is the one to get.
After using this product for a couple weeks (regularly), I've decided to lower the score to a 4/5 (from 5/5) due to the overall investment.
The product works wonders, and at the selling price seems like a very good deal. The problem comes in that to continue getting those results, you need to keep paying.
The included accessories (yellow cream, red cream, white cream, cleaning spray, 100 yellow pads, 10 blue pads, 10 white pads) seem like a lot, but you'll soon find they go quickly.
Assume 4 uses out of each pad (and 4-8 "uses" per discs, depending on the damage) and you're getting 50 "repairs" out of the yellow pads. The White pads, however, are needed to make the disc look new again (after using the yellow pads, the disc is covered in marks and the white pads are needed to remove these marks). The included blue/white pads will last you maybe 5 discs at most.
The white cream is also a very small bottle (so I'd suggest 2-3 bottles per 100 pads (cream needs to be used on each pad (2), each time you use the machine (so 4-8 cycles = 8-16 drops of cream per disc).
Within a couple weeks, I spent more than half of the machines up-front cost just on buying extra pads/creams (Basically $7 for anything - each pack of pads, each bottle of cream, etc..) While I did think this was good upfront (see the review above) I quickly found it can get pricey and quick!
Another negative is that these accessories are only available through the manufacturers website - this makes me a little uncomfortable because who knows how long these will be available for (and without them, the machine just plain doesn't work).
The instructions are in Chinese english and are incomplete, inconsistent, and confusing.
There are 2 types of plastic shims the same diameter as a DVD. The thinner one is used under DVD's with labels, the thicker on with DVD's without labels.
There are 3 types of polishing/cleaning pads about an inch in diameter: "white", "yellow", and "blue". They are offset in the machine so that one overlaps the inner part and one overlaps the outer edge of the disk. The "yellow" pads come in a large box and are disposable after 4 uses. The "blue" and "white" pads come in a little plastic bag of about 10, and are apparently intended to be reused. "White" pads are apparently intended for cleaning or light polishing, "yellow" for repair, and "blue" for final cleaning.
There are 2 tubes of polish, "yellow" and "red", and one spray bottle of cleaner. The "yellow" is apparently intended for use with the white and yellow pads (depending on which part of the instructions you read), and the "red" is apparently intended for the yellow pads only. The cleaning fluid is used with the blue pads at the end of the process.
The process is more or less as follows:
1) Start with the yellow pads and red compound and run the machine 2-6 times for 10 s each, adding polishing compound each time. This step can be skipped for lightly damaged disks.
2) Use 2 new yellow pads and yellow compound and run the machine 2-6 times again. This step can also be skipped if only light cleaning or polishing is required.
3) Use 2 white pads and white compound and run the machine 2 times.
4) Replace pads with blue pads, wipe off any access polishing compound, spray with cleaning fluid, and run the machine on the "short cycle" (a few seconds). Although the instructions don't say so, I had to remove the shim first for this to work (disk wouldn't rotate otherwise).
The above sequence of steps may need to be repeated if scratches still remain.
Recommend setting aside as many damaged disks as possible so you can repeat each step on multiple disks, possibly saving on pads, especially the non-disposable ones. Have lots of facial tissues available. The "special cleaning pad" mentioned in the instructions was nowhere to be found in the box I received.
The machine does what it says it will do, so why did I give only 4 stars? First, the instructions. Simotech should spend a little $$$ for a native English speaker to rewrite their documentation. You should have a few throw away CDs on hand to practice with before you try to recondition that expensive boxed set. Second, the process. Reconditioning a CD from really bad to like new requires changing the cream/pads several times. The pads have self-stick adhesive to adhere them to the polishing wheels. This means that you have to stick and un-peel the pads several times during the process. It's a pain. You can try to do a batch of CDs at a time, but that's a limited solution because sometimes you only realize that you need to use a coarser polish again, after you've moved on to a finer one and still see lingering scratches. The coarser polishing creams can leave a hazy swirl on the disk the obscures the scratches you're trying to get rid of. The way around this is to buy more polishing wheels. You'd keep the pads adhered to the wheels and change out the wheels, which are friction fit onto the roller bearings. The wheels are relatively inexpensive, but it would have been nice if Simotech had included a couple of sets.
Besides those two complaints, this machine is great. It's well worth the investment if you need to recondition a lot of damaged CD, DVDs or games.
UPDATE - Wanted to update my review. I bought several additional polishing wheels and was using the method I described above to switch wheels while reconditioning CDs. The problem with that method is that it can be hard to get the wheels off of the roller bearings. You have to use something to carefully pry them off without damaging the bearings. It's difficult and a pain to do regularly. The polishing wheels however, come in two parts. There is a green part that holds the polishing pads and a black part that fits into the green part and also fits over the roller bearings. I found that it was easier to leave a set of the black parts attached to the bearings while just switching the green parts with the pads attached. The tolerance on these parts is not very accurate so you'll need to mix and match the parts until you find a pair of black sections that are not too tight or too loose for all the green sections. Now I can remove and replace the green parts quickly by hand. Much more convenient.
Ultimately, we selected the JFJ Easy Pro Plus, but the Simotech ZDAG 102 gave a good performance. Our rating was based thusly:
Ease Of Use - The ZDAG was marked slightly lower because of the need to deal with two polishing pads, compared to the single pad of the competition.
Quality of instructions - The ZDAG rated poorly here because it came with only a single page of xeroxed text, written poorly in a sort of 'Ching-lish', with no illustrations. The competing polisher had a book of clear text with plenty of color illustrations.
Messiness - The ZDAG fared better here, because the CD rotates and the polishing pads do not; on the competing polisher, the high speed rotation of the polishing pad flings the abrasive solution off onto the inner surface of the housing. The ZDAG would be better for occasional use in a home environment.
Consumption of Expendables - The ZDAG is slightly better for occasional use because its stationary polishing pads retain their abrasive solution rather than flinging it around. On the other hand, the pads are adhesive mounted and are pretty much ruined when replacing them with other pads having different grades of abrasive, whereas the competing polisher has Velcro mounted pads that are not ruined when switching back and forth between grades of abrasives.
Polishing Results - The ZDAG and its competition both succeeded in removing all significant scratches and blemishes from the deliberately damaged CDs. In every case, the ZDAG left behind more fine 'polishing scratches' than did the competing polisher. The sandpaper abrasives were not used on either polisher, since only the most heavily scratched CDs would require this.
So, comparative results aside, what is the ZDAG like to use?
The base unit, aka the 'polisher machine' is basically a motorized turntable which holds the CD (or DVD), with two polishing pad holders on the hinged lid and a solid state motor timer operated with a pushbutton on the front of the unit.
The CD/DVD is held to the turntable using a nut that screws onto the central pin. The two pad holders have smooth plastic surfaces, and this is where the adhesive-backed polishing pads attach. One of the pads is positioned to polish the inner half of the CD/DVD, while the other is positioned to polish the outer half. You could, in theory, use the ZDAG to polish those tiny CD ROMs by using only the inner polishing pads.
Peel the backing paper from two polishing pads, stick the pads to the holders, apply a few drops of abrasive polishing solution to each pad, and close the hinged lid. Press the pushbutton, and the timer runs the motor for a short while. Open the lid, unscrew the nut and remove the disc. Wash it off under running water and dry it. Spray on the cleaning solution (included) and do a final wipe with the soft cloth provided. Done.
For a disc with heavier scratches, use the grittier polishing solution first, then replace the pads and do another pass with the finer abrasive solution. For deeper scratches, sand the disc first using the small sanding block (two are provided), then run the two polishing passes; you will need to change the pads for each type of solution.
The kit also includes a set of buffing pads and a tiny bottle of special solution (I think this is some sort of wax), which does not remove scratches, but which can fill in any scratches that might remain.
The base unit is quite small, not much wider than a CD, and is about 5-6 inches high. It would be a good choice for use at home where occasional CD/DVD polishing is needed, especially if you buy used discs from Amazon Marketplace sellers.
So the low down..the unit includes pads, cleaning fluid, and both lighht and heavy scratch cream, it also includes sanding blocks for both fine medium and heavy scratch removal, and shims for getting a proper fit to the pad from the spinner plate. A basic set of instructions was included but here's what i learned after 400 cds....
Clean them all...the fine finish it gives makes a difference in how quickly the cd is ripped with error correction into you computer.
use the yellow pads and the red tube cream (heavy cream) the yellow is fine for general cleaning but that's it. the small bottle of liquid cream is a great buffing agent for cds that are dirty or to finfish of a newly repaired disk. yellow pars will last for 4 cds if you have heavy work or 30 if your just buffing and finishing. Basically when the surface of the pad is looking caked with cream or you can't see the ridge in the pads surface...change them already...
start with a buff with just a little cream on the pad and I mean a little goes a long way hear. then cycle the unit for one or two long passes....take a look...still scratched try it twice more...if you have lots of little surface scratches then try a shim on the table to put the cd closer to the pad and then cycle twice more...only add cream if you do not see a change in the cd...otherwise just keep spinning...up to 6 passes for light but not gouged cds...if there gouged then keep reading
gouges need some practice and some patience...first off make sure it is a gouge and not a surface material like glue ect...then wet the cd where it needs to be sanded. Use the red pad for most and the black pad only after trying the red and buffing out the area. So use the red pad in small tight circles over the gouge till it looks like it is gone...wipe the area dry...still look gone ..ok then use the heavy cream and a shim on the table and run it through three long passes...let it cool for 10 or 20 seconds.....then 3 more passes...repeat till its buffed...if after a couple of passes the gouge looks like is still there go back and use the black sand pad...and then back to the buff and wait buff and wait.
Fixing takes time...cleaning buffing or regular scratches are quick so just take your time...i do it while i am trolling or reading the news online a couple a day sometimes more...and eventually they got done...the machine works well and except for the cheap plastic top and hold down for the cd table...(which you don't need to use by the way...the cds will sit on the table shims without moving so avoid the on and off nut for the hold down as it will strip out after about 30 cds anyhow.) (the top also had little clip in the back that broke but it still stays on and opens well so i don't care and it took 300 cds before this happened so...)
Last but not least when your done put on Disc Skin - Bulk Pack 100 Skin ...that way this is a one time project for you collection and you have the machine for emergency repairs in need be....good luck
Anyway, this is a GREAT product. I cannot believe that I have been using (and replacing) the terrible little Maxell units that I have been getting at Wal-mart for so many years.
It does restore a CD/DVD back to brand new functioning quality - and near, if not always perfect mirror-like visual quality. It is indispensable to me - a video game reseller. Now, I do not even look at the quality of the games that I purchase to sell - because I know I can fix them.
It does take some work - I normally just have to use the yellow cream a couple of times, then the white polish a couple of times. Sometimes, on minor marks, I simply use the white polish and do not use the yellow/red creams at all!
The only downside is that there is not nearly enough white pads (which has been mentioned elsewhere), but you can order a box of 100 for less than $8 including shipping from the manufacturer's US website (along all other expendable supplies and actual machine replacement parts). The company also replies very very quickly to questions [...] I asked about the status of my order and received a fast response, and a couple of simply technical questions - both of which were answered very very quickly.
I immediately ordered a box of 100 white pads ($5.75 + shipping) the day after I received my unit and received them via 1st class mail within 3 days. The next time I order (probably white polish and yellow pads) I am going to order two additional pad holds so I do not have to peel the pads off and on all of the time (I can keep white pads on one set of holds, and yellow on the other, then just switch the holders out).
In conclusion - I am very, very happy with not only the unit but the ease of ordering supplies and the customer service. I think this unit is not only a great device for home consumers, but small businesses as well - any business that buys/sells video games, movies, CDs, etc. Again, not ONLY for the entry price (which is affordable) but the ease of ordering, and the cost of replacement supplies.
1) Spacers: More than optional, these spacers are essential for generating the proper pressure to cut the required amount of plastic off the old CD surface. Starting with the yellow pads and red cream, add one clear spacer, give it 3-4 spins. If you still see deep scratches, add a green spacer, give it 3-4 more spins, etc. Keep increasing the spacer thickness and spinning until you get the desired polish. If you are doing multiple CDs (I did a batch of 12), do all the CDs with each spacer thickness. For the worst CDs (like mine), you will end up using all 4 spacers. That's OK, just leave all the spacers in as you work your way through the creams (red, yellow, and white).
With badly scratched CDs and using multiple spacers to generate the needed cutting pressure, you will have to avoid two problems. First, the motor will stall if you hit the start button with the lid shut. You will have to start the motor with the lid open, then click the lid shut once the motor spins up. Second, if you leave the lid shut between spins, the pressure will bond the grit to the CD surface leaving a dot pattern on the CD where the pads stopped. This not only can ruin the finish, it carries coarse grit to the next polishing stage and can prevent you from getting a good polish. To prevent this, count the number of seconds for each spin (about 12), and open the lid the last second before the disk stops spinning. You definitely need to let the machine cool down for at least 20 seconds between spins, or the machine will overheat and shut off. Its also better for the CD.
2) Pad changing: For really bad CDs, you will need to remove a lot of plastic, and this clogs the pads. I had to change the yellow pads every four CDs on the first pass. Once I got past the red cream, the pads lasted for all 12 CDs. ALWAYS CHANGE THE PADS WHEN YOU CHANGE CREAMS.
3) Cleaning: The polishing creams have a waxy base to lubricate the disc during polishing. I filled a spray bottle with half-diluted vegetable cleaning spray which leaves zero residue (available at supermarkets or Whole Foods). Worked great! Lay out a roll of paper towels to put your CDs on while you are cleaning them. This will blot off the water between polishing steps.
4) Sanding Blocks: WARNING - DO NOT USE THE RED OR BLACK SANDING BLOCKS. I tried to use these on deep scratches, and instead of a bunch of deep scratches, I ended up with the entire CD full of deep scratches! I found that it is much better to leave a few of the deepest scratches than be anal and try to remove every last scratch. Even the deep scratches will be lightened substantially with the normal polishing process, and will not affect the ability to read the disk. If you use the sanding block, you will not be able to polish out the resulting scratches (I tried 20 spins and could not get the sanding block scratches out!)
5) Cream: Dont use as much cream as they tell you to. Put a tiny dab on each pad each time you change the CD. Even a 1 mm length squeezed from the tube is too much. Just squeeze a tiny bit out of the tube and touch the pad, leaving a little dab. A little goes a long way!
6) Instructions: The instructions that come with the unit are pretty good. However, read and print out the best of these reviews, which I found to offer interesting and helpful tips!
Best use is polishing the disc. Tried first level scratch removal on a dual layer DVD. Tried playing between each step of the treatment. First polishing only gave best results.
Try a "cleanDr." or similar motorized (3 AAA cells, no 'wall wart') disc cleaner [...]", disassembling the pad assembly and cleaning the fingerprint, cigarette smoke and dust residue off the cleaning pad helps. Doesn't help the scratches, but does clean the crud out of them, which helps also.
Instructions are a bit brief. Instructions on how to judge which thickness of disc raising pad are non existent. The only clue to their use is the description of them in the parts list.
I was skeptical... how can this product be so pricey (relative to other products) and yet have 18 out of 18 5-star ratings? I had to try it. I've had a chance to try it on some lightly and some moderately scratched discs, and every one of them looks like NEW! This is an AMAZING product. The 2nd disc I tried was a moderately scratched disc, and I was upset when it ended up with a discolored "ring" in the middle of the disc... but it played OK... so I didn't worry about it too much. After doing a couple more discs, I realized that you REALLY have to pay close attention to the directions. USE the spray water bottle. Reapply the buffing and polishing fluid. Get distilled water for the water bottle (or soft water in a pinch) and keep the disc moist during scratch-filling sessions. I'm going to try it on some of my friend's uber-scratched kids games (he has 5 boys, from 2 years to 15... and they have truly GOUGED some of their games -- so I'm going to put the machine to the ultimate test. I'll update this after... but honestly, this product works fantastically on discs that are marginal... they look (and play) like NEW! Oh, and that ring in the middle of the 2nd disc I did? I went back to the beginning on it, this time making sure to use the water liberally... and lightly buffed it a couple of times and polished it 3-4 times... and then it too looked like new. So for those couple of guys who said it made some discs worse? They probably didn't read the directions closely enough. One way you can tell you need more water is when it doesn't want to easily start up when you close the lid.
Oh yeah, one more thought -- if the disc is real dirty or might have grit on it, CLEAN it or rinse it off under running water to get the grit off before you start working on it.
When I examined the disk, I saw that about halfway from the edge was an unbroken ring of damage, about 1/4 inch wide. The damage was deep enough to be easily detected by touch.
I tried the old 'toothpaste' trick... in this case, the results were a joke; I was just making things worse. I needed a much more "serious" solution, which ruled out a lot of the products I looked at. So, I purchased this DVD repair machine instead.
The machine is a bit tricky to use; there are several types of cleaning pads and several cleaning solutions, each used in different combinations. This is one case where you really do need to read the instructions!
With this machine, I was able to remove ALL the damage described above. The disk looked completely new in just a few minutes' time. I've wasted so many hours trying to fix damaged discs, and now I'll never have to go through that ordeal again.