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The more aggressive machines require more skill and experience so you do not dig holes in your floor.
The milder machines are much more forgiving. They just take more time to get the work done.
I do the bulk of my work with a 17" orbital which is some where in the middle, I just started
If the floor is in decent shape and only has some finish dullness, then a screen and recoat is quick and easy. If the finish is worn through and you have leveling issues then a full sand will be needed...this too will vary widely.
Getting a floor flat and smooth is the ultimate goal and sometimes it requires a LOT of sanding.