I'm looking at some motorized disc repair kits on Amazon ( https://www.amazon.com/disc-repair-kits/b?node=14084701 ). and I see that some can be had for as little as $20 while more expensive ones are well over $100.
Does anyone have any experience with any scratch removal machine?
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I have a Memorex Optifix Pro that I picked up at a Thrift Store for $4 that came with all the pads / solutions. I borrow quite a few DVDs from the library and occasionally get a really scratched disc. I've gotten pretty good at looking at a disc and "knowing" whether it's going to give my player problems. I'm amazed at how well a modern Blu-Ray/DVD player is able to handle scratched discs.
I've only had to use the Optifix on 3 discs. Two discs were "repaired" good enough to play without skipping. One disc was so badly scratched, I eventually gave up trying to repair it. I ran that disc through the 2 minute "repair cycle" probably 5 times. The disc "looked" better each time but continued to skip so it wasn't worth the continued effort. The repair pad are only supposed to last 20 cycles and I didn't want to use them up.
Cleaning guides say to wipe from the center to the outside edge of the disc. Although I don't regret my $4 investment, it leaves faint swirl marks on the disc surface. Intuitively, it seems something like Skip Dr. would be a better choice due to the center to edge wiping motion.
I tried a couple years ago and they only made the disc worse. Check out your local video game or video rental store and ask if they the have an RTI DiscCheck machine. If they don't have one or don't know what it is, move on.
Edit: Read this thread, it's old, but nothing has changed: https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/336461-Fixing-scratched-disk-read-about-it-tried-it-it-worked%21
Amazing at what it does, essentially sand and rebuff surface.
Note that it can only be done a few times to a disc, before the disc starts to ruin from losing its surface.