Dan Carr

By: Dan Carr on November 21st, 2019

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4 Best Walk Behind Automatic Floor Scrubbers of 2020

There are several different types of autoscrubbers available including upright, micro, walk-behind, stand-on, and ride-on. It can be hard to know which is the best option for your business.

Find out more about the different types of automatic floor scrubbers here.

The best choice for your business will be based on the size, needs, and budget of your facility.

In this article and video, we compare 4 of the best walk-behind auto floor scrubbers. 

Walk-behind floor scrubbers are larger than upright scrubbers but smaller than ride-on scrubbers. They are great for facilities ranging from 1,000 square feet to 100,000 square feet.

Walk-behind scrubbers are more expensive than upright scrubbers, but they have advanced features that enable the operator to be more productive and get more done in the same amount of time. Increased worker productivity will translate into labor savings.

If you are interested in a specific type of walk-behind scrubber, click on the link below to learn more about  the specific model.

Walk-Behind Automatic Floor Scrubbers

Clarke® CA30™ 20B

Clarke CA30 20B Walk Behind AutoscrubberScrub Time 

The CA30™ 20B has a run time of approximately 2-3 hours per charge. 

Scrub Head Type 

It is a disc scrubber. Disc scrubbers can be used with a scrubbing brush or disc pad, increasing machine versatility. 

Scrubbing Width

The CA30™ 20B offers a 20-inch scrubbing width, which is the most common scrubbing width offered on our list.

It is important to consider scrubbing width to ensure you are choosing the most productive machine for your facility. The larger the scrub width the fewer passes your staff will have to make, allowing them to move on to other cleaning tasks. However, if you are operating the machine in a small area, a large scrub path may not be needed. 

Brush Speed

The Clarke® CA30™ 20B 20-inch disc scrubber rotates at 160 rpm, which is the fastest of the disc walk-behind floor scrubbers on this list. The faster the pad rotates the better the scrubber can clean floors. 

Tank Size

The solution and recovery tanks are each 10.5 gallons, the smallest on our list.  Small tanks will restrict how far your staff can travel before having to empty the recovery tank. The more times your staff has to stop, the longer it will take them to clean.

Pad Pressure

Distributing 77 lbs of brush/pad pressure, this floor scrubber can easily tackle tough spots during your routine scrubbing procedures. 

What makes the Clarke® CA30™ 20B a top-rated walk-behind floor scrubber? 

The Clarke® CA30™ 20B compact automatic walk-behind scrubber is the smallest machine on our list, allowing it to cover areas within tight spaces. It is great for facilities up to 7,000 square feet. Additionally, this machine offers the highest rpms when compared to the other scrubbers below.

Viper – AS5160

Viper AS5160 Walk Behind AutoscrubberScrub Time 

This machine has a run time of 2.5 hours per charge. 

Scrub Head Type

The Viper AS5160 comes in two models: disc or orbital. 

The disc model can be fitted with either a round (disc) pad or a brush. The ability to use either a pad or brush allows the operator to switch back and forth between the appropriate floor pad or brush for the floor surface. For example, brushes usually clean tiled floors more effectively because the bristles can reach deep into grout lines.

Scrubbing Width

It is equipped with a 20-inch scrubbing path. 

Brush Speed

The AS5160 operates at 150 rotations per minute (rpm). 

Tank Size

This Viper machine has both a 16-gallon solution and recovery tank that allow the operator to cover more space before having to empty the tank.   

Pad Pressure

The disc model provides 60 pounds of pressure and the orbital provides 51 pounds of pressure to the floor.

What makes the Viper AS5160 a top-rated walk-behind floor scrubber?

This scrubber offers the same basic features of other walk-behind scrubbers such as the 20-inch scrubbing path and 2.5 hours of run-time per charge, but can also be purchased as an orbital scrubber. Orbital scrubbing provides multi-directional scrubbing as well as reduced chemical and water use.

Clarke® – CA60

Clarke CA60 Boost Walk Behind AutoscrubberScrub Time 

The Clarke CA 60 can be used for approximately 1.25 hours per tank. 

Scrub Head Type 

This Clarke® CA60 automatic floor scrubber can be purchased with either a disc or orbital scrub head. 

Disc scrubbers utilize a round scrub deck and round floor pad or brush. They rotate the floor pad or brush in circles to clean the floor. 

Orbital scrub heads “orbit” or move in fast, tight vibrations to clean the floor. On this machine, the orbital scrub head is equipped with BOOST® technology. BOOST® technology is a form of orbital scrubbing. This technology helps ensure uniform pad pressure in the front and back for even cleaning and reduced water consumption.  

Scrubbing Width  

The CA60 can be purchased with either a 20-inch disc or BOOST® orbital deck, or with a 24-inch BOOST® orbital head. 

Pro Tip: Disc pads are round and rotate. BOOST® pads are square and orbit. 

The 24-inch BOOST® pad offers the largest orbital scrubbing of all the scrubbers on our list of top-rated scrubbers.

Brush Speed

Disc and orbital machines operate at two different rotations per minute (rpms). 

Disc machines spin in larger circles and typically require a cleaning chemical so they do not need to rotate as fast as an orbital machine. The CA60 disc machine rotates at 150 rpm. 

Orbital scrubbers use high speeds and reduced or no chemicals to clean floors. When purchased as an orbital scrubber, the CA60 orbits at 2,250 rpm. 

Tank Size

This walk-behind has a 16-gallon solution tank and a 16-gallon recovery tank.

The operator can use the BOOST® orbital machine on low water flow saving up to 70% water usage versus the conventional disc scrubber.   

Pad Pressure

Depending on the model, the CA60 can deliver up to 110 pounds (BOOST® model) or 51 pounds (disc model) of downward pad pressure. 

What makes the Clarke® CA60 a top-rated walk-behind floor scrubber? 

With the ability to be equipped with BOOST® technology, this machine is a more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly auto scrubber option by reducing the amount of chemicals and water needed to clean.

The rectangular BOOST® pad is also great for reaching along walls or getting into tight corners. When used with a surface preparation pad (SPP), this machine can take several coats of wax off a floor with just water in the tank. 

TASKI® Swingo 1655 

Taski Swingo 1655 Walk Behind AutoscrubberScrub Time 

The TASKI® Swingo 1655 provides the longest run time when compared to all the other walk-behind automatic floor scrubbers on our list. It provides 4 hours of continuous scrubbing time per charge. 

Scrub Head Type 

The TASKI® Swingo 1655 is a disc machine. Disc machines can be paired with round brushes or floor pads to scrub different floor types. The ability to use either a disc or brush allows workers to switch back and forth between the appropriate floor pad or brush for the floor surface. 

Scrubbing Width 

At 26 inches, this machine has the largest scrubbing width of the machines we are reviewing. When your custodial staff can complete cleaning procedures with fewer passes, you will save on labor costs. 

Brush Speed

Offering improved cleaning productivity, the Swingo 1655 spins at 160 rpm.

Tank Size

The TASKI® Swingo 1655 is equipped with the largest solution and recovery tanks for the walk-behind scrubbers on our list. Both tanks are 23 gallons. 

The larger the tank, the less the machine will have to be emptied, providing greater worker productivity. 

Pad Pressure

Delivering 132 pounds of brush pressure, this machine releases the highest downward pressure offered by any of our top-rated walk-behind scrubbers of 2020. 

Increased pad pressure can help tackle harder floors or tough stains, reducing the number of passes your workers have to make. 

Pro Tip: It is important to note that increased pad pressure doesn't always mean better results. Using the correct combination of pad pressure and floor pad for the cleaning procedure can reduce the risk of damage to floors. 

What makes the TASKI® Swingo 1655 a top-rated walk-behind floor scrubber? 

The TASKI® Swingo 1655 is the largest auto floor scrubber on our list. It can clean about 30,000 square feet an hour. This floor scrubber also provides the operator with the longest run time. The longer a floor scrubber can clean without needing to empty the recovery tank or to be recharged, the more your janitorial staff can accomplish.


Final Thoughts 

The size and budget of your facility will ultimately help you determine which is the right floor scrubber for your business.

Keep in mind, money shouldn't always be the deciding factor when choosing the best floor scrubber for your facility. 

A smaller, less expensive machine, like the Viper AS5160 or Clarke® CA30™ 20B,  may be appealing. But, keep in mind, a larger, more expensive floor scrubber like the TASKI® Swingo 1655, which will clean more space in a shorter amount of time, can end up saving you more money through labor savings in the long run. 

If you are interested in more sustainable product and equipment choices, the Clarke® CA60 equipped with BOOST® technology or AS5160 orbital machine will reduce the amount of water and chemical needed to clean your floors. 

If a walk-behind scrubber does not provide a large enough cleaning path, a stand-on or ride-on auto floor scrubber might be a better option for your facility. Ride-on automatic floor scrubbers offer larger cleaning paths, lowering cleaning times and boosting worker productivity. 

No matter your situation EBP can help match the best auto floor scrubber for your needs.

EBP has an unrivaled selection of commercial cleaning products and janitorial cleaning equipment to help you build the most effective floor care program.

If you are still not sure about which is the best option for your facility or have a question about auto floor scrubbers, let an EBP Equipment Specialist help.

Download your FREE copy of The Ultimate Guide to Auto Floor Scrubbers

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About Dan Carr

Dan Carr is the Equipment Program Manager for EBP Supply Solutions and a Trainer for the EBP Training Academy, which offers CMI-certified and other training courses for supervisory and front-line cleaning professionals throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. He holds the ISSA CMI Basic certification and has over 35 years of experience in the janitorial and sanitation industry.