Investing in a ride-on floor scraper allows you to save time on floor removal projects while still providing an excellent end result. Like any piece of surface preparation or construction equipment, not all scrapers are created equal. Weight, power sources, and other factors all affect performance, so to help you select the right ride-on floor scraper, we’re breaking down these differences along with some pros and cons of each.

Weight Matters in a Ride-On Floor Scraper

No ride-on floor stripper is going to be lightweight, but several hundreds of pounds can make a massive difference in performance. The general rule is the heavier the scraper, the slower it will move and the more aggressive the removal, but it could also damage subflooring if it’s used on the wrong kinds of material. On the other hand, a lightweight scraper is faster and less likely to damage subflooring or concrete slabs under a floor covering, but it won’t be as effective against more durable floor covers.

A heavy scraper, such as the Cyclone SS ride-on floor scraper or the Taylor Tools Bronco Hybrid ride-on floor stripper, will be able to tackle ceramic tile, thinset, parquet and hardwood, and even exterior coverings like rubber coverings on playgrounds, tennis courts, and running tracks.

A lightweight ride-on floor scraper, like the Taylor Tools Bronco 260P.G2 floor stripper is able to remove up to 400 square feet of flooring per minute. However, the lightweight models work best against glue-down carpet, vinyl, mastic coatings, and lighter hardwood flooring.

That’s not to say that a heavy floor scraper can’t be used on carpet or a light scraper can’t remove tile, but from an “ideal performance perspective, heavy equipment works better on heavy materials and vice versa.

Powering Your Ride-On Floor Stripper

Ride on floor strippers have four main power sources:

  • Propane
  • Electric and plugged into an outlet
  • Battery
  • Gas/Diesel

Like weight, one is not better than the other, there is just one that is better for the task at hand.

Diesel, Gas, & Propane-Powered Scrapers

Gas, diesel, and propane floor scrapers offer continuous operating capability, as long as you have fuel. However, fossil fuel-powered equipment requires extensive maintenance including cleaning filters and changing out fuel lines, are louder, and can cause odors and fumes. This means they’re better for outdoor and remote locations.

Electric Floor Scrapers

Electric floor strippers offer continuous operation, as long as there is a power source available, either from standard wall power or a generator. However, cord length and access to a power source can limit functionality. Having to use a cord over 50 feet can drastically reduce power and electric equipment tends to be lighter weight and slower moving than its fossil-fuel powered counterparts.

Battery Powered Floor Scrapers

Battery-powered floor scrapers combine the best of both. They use clean energy, are quiet, and don’t create fumes or odors, and they also don’t require a tethered power source, so they can be operated anywhere. However, you are dependent on the life of the battery and heavy floor coverings like ceramic and thinset will exhaust a battery more quickly than carpet or VCT.

In general, a floor scraper’s battery can operate between four to eight hours and will last up to 1,000 life cycles. That being said, a replacement battery can cost over $8,000.

Contact Us for the Right Ride-On Floor Scraper

No matter what kind of floor stripper you need – a light, electric one for residential carpet removal or a heavy duty propane-powered machine to tear through gym floors and outdoor surfaces, we’ve got what you need. Not only do we have a wide variety of ride-on floor scrapers, we also have a variety of scraper accessories, including replacement blades and repair kits. Contact us at  (815) 472-9740 or by filling out our contact form to speak with one of our sales specialists and get the best price!