I recently had a chance to work with a Clarke Super 7R floor edger on a project. Like all tools from Clarke (website), the Super 7R is a professional tool for flooring installers. I used one to prepare the subfloors in my house for an additional layer of plywood, and to refinish a worn-out oak floor. Let's see how it did.
The Clarke 7R feel like one solid chunk of metal. That's because it is a solid chunk of metal. There is not one plastic part on it. I am absolutely confident that any part of the machine would support my full body weight. The Super 7R was made for continuous use, day in day out. It shows. If you drop it, you'll worry about how deep the dent in the floor will be. The Super 7R won't break easily.
The hand grips are simply impressive. They are big wings molded into the top of the machine. The grips make the machine easy to move around and hold firmly.
All that metal makes the Super 7R heavy. Just heavy enough to create a good amount of down force on the sanding disk. The operator only has to guide the edger around the room. No downward pressure is necessary.
During operation the operator is never left wanting for more power. The Super 7R powers through anything. It'll hum along when used properly. The only way to make it labor is to apply excessive downward pressure. When you do that the motor's pitch will change, but the Super 7R will not stop. The sanding disk will burn up long before the motor ever will.
The sanding disk is mounted at a slight angle such that only the half facing the front of the machine touches the floor. The operator must guide this area around the room. The Super 7R handles like any other edger. The machine will create gouges if used improperly just like any other sander.
The Clark passes the most important test; the finish it leaves behind. I was able to create a perfect surface on oak with the usual number of grits. The Super 7R does not make the work any easier or harder. It just makes it go faster.
The machine does kick a bit at startup, but nothing unmanageable. Sanding within 1/2" of a wall without hitting it is perfectly doable. The palm sander only has to come out in the corners.
With lower grits installed, the Super 7R does pull at the operator's hands a little. Operation is not fatigue free, but it's close.
The dust collection on this unit is surprisingly good. The built in sack catches about 98% of the visible dust particles. That's not good enough to run it without dust proofing the room you are working in, but it makes for very easy cleanup.
After sanding dirt off of 600sqft of subfloor (did not want to rent a drum sander) the floor was covered with a slight mist of dust, just enough to be visible. I vacuumed the entire area with a shop vac in one go. I never had to clean the filter on the vacuum. When I was done, the drum held about a quart of material.
Emptying the filter bag is a bit of a chore. The connection between the machine and the bag is all metal. It will never break, but it can be a tight fit when dust gets into the threads.
The zipper on the bag catches a lot of dust while the bag is being emptied into a trash can. That makes the operation needlessly messy. I'd like to see Clarke relocate the zipper to the bottom of the bag when the bag is held vertically. That way the dust can fall out of the bag unobstructed.
The built in dust collection on the Super 7R is not perfect, but it will save you good amount of time. Cleaning up after the job is done will be fast.
The Clarke Super 7R edger is a professional grade tool throughout. It performs like is should, never complains, and won't break. It can be repaired, and is worth repairing. The Super 7R is a tool that will serve you for decades. Not only will it perform, it'll also leave you wanting for thing else. The Clarke Super 7R is a floor edger that does everything it needs to.