Professional using a car bufferTired of sore arms and spending hours polishing your car by hand just to keep it looking shiny and new like it should? Of course you are!

Today, there’s a wide-variety of awesome car buffers out there just waiting to be used, so there’s no reason to wax your car the old-fashioned way. That being said, some car buffers are better than others, so you need to perform some research and gain a little expert advice in order to find the best car buffer for you and your ride.

With decades of experience as a professional detailer, my expert car buffer reviews are the result of fist-hand experience with each and every model I recommend. So, if you’re here in search of the best buffer or the best car polisher, you’ve come to the right place. Enjoy.

Our Top 10 Recommended Car Buffer Comparison Table

Car BufferOur Review
Griot’s Garage 6-Inch Orbital

Griot’s Garage 6

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com
Our Review
Porter-Cable 7424XP 6"

Porter-Cable 7424XP 6-Inch Variable-Speed Polisher

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com
Our Review
DeWalt DWP849X 7"

DEWALT DWP849X 7-Inch/9-Inch Variable-Speed Polisher with Soft Start

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com
Our Review
FLEX (XC 3401) VRG Orbital

FLEX (XC 3401) VRG Orbital

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com
Our Review
Bosch GP712VS 120-V

Bosch GP712VS 120-Volt Large Angle Polisher

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com
Our Review
Milwaukee 5540 7"

Milwaukee 5540 11 Amp 7-Inch Polisher

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com
Our Review
Neiko 10671A 7"

Neiko 10671A 7-Inch Polisher and Buffer

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com
Our Review
Meguiar's MT300 Pro

Meguiar's MT300 Pro Power DA Polisher

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com
Our Review
WEN 946 7"

WEN 946 7-Inch Variable-Speed Polisher/Sander

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com
Our Review
Milwaukee 5460-6 7-Inch/9-Inch

Milwaukee 5460-6 7-Inch/9-Inch Polisher with Electronic Speed Control

Click Here for Pricing, Pictures and Reviews on Amazon.com
Our Review

Top 10 Best Car Buffer Reviews

1. Griot’s Garage 6-Inch Random Orbital Polisher with 10-Foot Cord

Griot's Garage 10813STDCRD 6" Random Orbital Polisher with 10' Cord

Pros:

  • Easy for beginners to use
  • Excellent torque
  • Sleek and ergonomic design
  • Very durable and well-made
  • Lifetime warranty
 Cons:

  • A little pricier than some of the other orbital buffers
  • Not the best for professionals

When it comes to orbital car polishers, this first-class model from Griot’s just may be the best random orbital polisher I’ve had the pleasure of using. I tested this car buffer alongside the insanely popular Porter-Cable below and other top-rated buffers, but the easy operation and flawless performance of the Griot’s Garage 6-Inch Random Orbital Polisher is second to none. With a sleek design, improved ergonomics, a comfortable rubberized handle, and undeniable buffing power, this excellent car buffer definitely deserves the top spot on this list.Griot's Garage 10813STDCRD 6" Random Orbital Polisher with 10' Cord

Product Details (specifications):

  • Powerful 850-watt, variable speed motor
  • Produces 2,500-6,800 oscillations per minute
  • Wide RPM range and orbit pattern
  • Fully-adjustable ergonomic handle
  • 10-foot cord included
  • Lifetime warranty

Review

The Griot’s Garage 6-Inch Random Orbital Buffer is safe to use, features a smart design, and works like a champ, making it a wonderful all-around buffer and my #1 pick. Thanks to its random orbital motion, it’s virtually impossible to cause swirl marks or accidentally damage your car’s precious paint.

Meanwhile, the Griot’s powerful 850-watt motor has just the right amount of low and high-end torque to perfectly conquer any polishing task. This top-notch buffer also comes equipped with a super-handy speed dial with six speed settings, allowing you to polish at the perfect speed for any application.

There are a lot of options out there, but if you’re looking for a safe and easy to use buffer to protect your car and remove imperfections as they arise, this Griot’s is for you!

5
Performance
5
Durability
4
Versatility
5
Ease of Use
4
Value
Overall 4.6
Summary
Overall, the Griot’s Garage 6-Inch Random Orbital Buffer is an awesome buffer for beginners or anyone who wants to effortlessly remove scratches, oxidation, and swirl marks from their car’s paint. Whether you’re an experienced detailing pro or a car-loving novice, you can’t go wrong with this Griot’s.
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2. Porter-Cable 7424XP 6-Inch Variable-Speed Polisher

PORTER-CABLE 7424XP 6-Inch Variable-Speed Polisher
Found in more garages and detailing shops around the country than any other car buffer, the Porter-Cable 7424XP 6-Inch Variable-Speed Polisher is definitely worthy of a place in your garage as well. I’ve yet to run across a car buffer at the Porter-Cable’s low price-point that can polish like this Porter-Cable. Safe to use yet capable of producing professional results, this random orbital buffer is simply one of the best around.

Pros:

  • Strong motor and great performance
  • Very popular
  • Lower priced than many of today’s quality buffers
  • Very safe on the paint
  • Easy to use and maneuver
  • Compatible with any hook and loop pad
 Cons:

  • Unable to remove some deeper scratches and blemishes
  • Doesn’t come with a backing plate
PORTER-CABLE 7424XP 6-Inch Variable-Speed Polisher

Product Details (specifications):

  • 4.5-amp motor
  • Produces 2,500-6,800 oscillations per minute
  • 5/16-24 spindle thread
  • 6-speed variable speed dial
  • Heat overload protection
  • 90 day guarantee and one-year warranty

Review

With hundreds of positive reviews from happy owners, it’s clear Porter-Cable upped the ante when they created the 7424 XP. This industry-standard car buffer has proven time and time again to be a versatile, safe, reliable, and highly effective tool for properly applying and breaking down polishes. With the same low price tag but even more power and features than previous versions, the new and improved Porter-Cable 7424 XP is a great option truly worth considering.

The new and improved 7424 XP features an upgraded motor that creates faster orbiting speeds and helps it reach 6,800 oscillations per minute, resulting in a 13 percent increase over the previous popular version and the perfect OPM for deeper polishing and scratch removal. The larger motor also gives you the ability to apply more pressure as needed without having to worry about bogging down the motor.

In terms of features, the Porter-Cable 7424 XP also enjoys a re-designed on/off switch and a six-speed variable speed dial. All in all, it’s an amazing, affordably priced buffer that will help any detailer or average Joe make their cars shine like never before.

5
Performance
5
Durability
4
Versatility
4
Ease of Use
5
Value
Overall 4.6
Summary
If you’re looking for what many consider to be the best orbital buffer for average DIYers on the market today, look no further than the Port-Cable 7424 XP. Wildly popular and widely considered one of the best car buffers for professionals and beginners alike, this buffer has the power and speed to take care of all of your detailing needs.
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3. DeWALT DWP849X 7″/9″ Variable-Speed Polisher / Soft Start

DEWALT DWP849X 7-Inch/9-Inch Variable Speed Polisher with Soft Start
Almost as popular as the Porter-Cable but backed by DEWALT’s longstanding reputation for nothing but excellence, the DEWALT DWP849X 7-Inch Variable-Speed Polisher is a detailing workhorse that not only works but works extremely well. If you care more about performance and less about appearance, this car buffer will provide you with years of professional-quality performance. I’ve been a fan of DEWALT buffers for nearly a decade now and regularly use this awesome model both at work and at home.

Pros:

  • Extremely durable and well-made
  • Very versatile
  • Creates a shine that’s second to none
  • Easy to use with a soft star feature
 Cons:

  • A little more expensive than comparable models
  • May be a little heavy for some users
DEWALT DWP849X 7-Inch/9-Inch Variable Speed Polisher with Soft Start

Product Details (specifications):

  • Powerful 12-amp motor with soft start
  • Produces 600-3,500 oscillations per minute
  • Electronic speed limiter for optimal finish results
  • Variable speed dial
  • Rubber gear case cover for improved looks and grip
  • Wool ingestion shields for increased durability

Review

The DEWALT DWP849X is a premium car buffer for professional car detailers and anyone who enjoys taking care of their ride. Combining both power and finesse, this beast of a machine can tackle just about every detailing job. In fact, it can even be used for metal finishing, detailing boats, and more.

Although it has plenty of power, the DWP849X is designed to run at a much lower RPM than other car buffers, giving it superior handling and providing users with superior results. Speaking of handling, this DEWALT buffer features two handles for comfort and convenience.

With a linear ball bearing structure and precision-cut gears as well, the DWP849X is one of the smoothest and most durable car buffers I’ve ever used, and I’ve used a lot!

5
Performance
5
Durability
4
Versatility
5
Ease of Use
4
Value
Overall 4.6
Summary
All things considered, the DEWALT DWP849X is an excellent machine any detailer or car lover would be more than happy to own. In all honesty, it has everything anyone could ever ask for in a car buffer and more. Aside from changing the occasional pad, this rock-solid DEWALT buffer will provide you with years of worry-free use. No wonder everyone mentions it when debating the best car polisher machine.
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4. FLEX XC 3401 VRG Orbital Car Polisher

FLEX (XC 3401) VRG Orbital Car Polisher
Blowing the lid off of the price and performance categories, the FLEX XC 3401 VRG Orbital Car Polisher is a professional car buffer and arguably the most revolutionary car detailing product of the last century. The remarkably beautiful piece of auto detailing machinery is a purpose-built all-action tool that will bring your car back to life and make it shine like never before. With plenty of polishing power yet safe enough to never worry about burning your car’s paint ever again, car buffers don’t get much better than this innovative FLEX.

Pros:

  • Beautiful design
  • Powerful motor
  • Never bogs down
  • Very comfortable to use
  • Incredibly durable and versatile
  • Easily removes swirls, scratches, and oxidation
 Cons:

  • A little on the heavy side
  • Quite expensive
  • Not suited for novices
FLEX (XC 3401) VRG Orbital Car Polisher

Product Details (specifications):

  • 7.5-amp motor with soft start
  • 3,200-9,600 oscillations per minute
  • Variable speed and accelerator trigger
  • Tachometer generator for consistent speed control
  • Trigger-lock
  • Overload protection
  • Temperature monitor
  • One-year warranty

Review

The FLEX XC 3401 VRG Orbital Car Polisher is simply one of the absolute best car buffers your hard-earned money can buy. Its smart design features a highly responsive and easy-to-use trigger that allows you to operate the buffer at virtually any OPM you want. Thanks to the trigger lock, you can also set the speed, which is particularly useful for larger jobs. Simply press the button and you’re good to go.

Most importantly, the FLEX XC 3401 VRG Orbital Car Polisher comes equipped with a super strong motor that produces nearly 50 percent more power than popular Porter-Cable 7424 XP above, allowing it to generate up to 9,600 oscillations per minute and remove much deeper imperfections.

In addition to an incredibly strong motor, this FLEX car buffer also comes with a number of other advanced features that help make it one of the best car buffers on the market. With microprocessor electronics, a variable speed selector, easy-to-use trigger switch, overload protection, and a whole lot more, the FLEX XC 3401 VRG Orbital Car Polisher is simply one of the best around.

5
Performance
5
Durability
5
Versatility
5
Ease of Use
3
Value
Overall 4.6
Summary
This powerful and beautifully designed orbital car buffer is packed full of features that make it one of the best in the business. It may be expensive, but if you have the budget to spend and pride yourself on only buying the best, get this top-rated car buffer today. You won’t be disappointed.
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5. Bosch GP712VS 120-Volt Large Angle Polisher

Bosch GP712VS 120-Volt Large Angle Polisher
Like DEWALT and all of the other great brands we’ve discussed thus far, Bosch is well-respected in the auto detailing community. In keeping with Bosch’s reputation for creating some of the best power tools for sale today, the brand’s GP712VS 120-Volt Large Angle Polisher is an excellent car buffer that deserves to be mentioned in any buffing-related conversation. Ideal for removing oxidation, imperfections, and deep scratches while being a powerful polisher as well, this awesome Bosch car buffer is a great option for detailing professionals and DIYers alike.

Pros:

  • Powerful motor
  • Competitively priced
  • Lightweight
  • Great reputation
 Cons:

  • Can be tricky for beginners

Product Details (specifications):

  • Powerful 12-amp motor
  • Produces 750-3,000 RPM
  • Variable speed control
  • Class-leading power-to-weight ratio
  • Lock-on and lock-off triggers
  • Comfortable D-handle
  • One-year warranty

Bosch GP712VS 120-Volt Large Angle PolisherReview

The Bosch GP712VS 120-Volt Large Angle Polisher is lightweight yet comes with a variable speed control and a number of other great design features that make it an excellent polisher and superb at removing oxidation, deep scratches, and oxidation.

It’s powered by a 12-amp variable-speed motor with an easy to use trigger switch that allows you to match the speed of the machine to any application. There’s also a lock-on/lock-off switch for added safety, comfort, and convenience on large jobs.

Lastly, the Bosch GP712VS 120-Volt Large Angle Polisher features a D-handle as well, providing you with added comfort and the ability to use multiple hand positions.

4
Performance
5
Durability
4
Versatility
4
Ease of Use
4
Value
Overall 4.2
Summary
It may not be the most popular car buffer on the planet, but don’t let the lack of reviews fool you because the Bosch GP712VS is one of the best car polishers on the market today. If you’re looking for a well-built car buffer with all of the features you need and none of the ones you don’t, you should definitely keep this Bosch on your short list.
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6. Milwaukee 5540 11-Amp 7-Inch Polisher

Milwaukee 5540 11 Amp 7-Inch PolisherMilwaukee products have a reputation for being incredibly well-made and tough as nails, and the Milwaukee 5540 11-Amp 7-Inch Polisher is no exception. Featuring a powerful 11-amp motor, an array of must-have features, and the impeccable craftsmanship Milwaukee is known for, the Milwaukee 5540 is a terrific car polisher in every way. Built to work as advertised for years and years, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better car buffer than this Milwaukee.

Pros:

  • Extremely durable and well-made
  • Easy to use
  • Powerful enough for a variety of applications
  • Great reputation
 Cons:

  • A little more expensive than other brands

Product Details (specifications):

  • Powerful 11-amp motor
  • Produces 0-2,800 RPM
  • Variable speed control
  • Aluminum gear case
  • Glass-reinforced nylon handle
  • Detachable Quick-Lok cord
  • Limited warranty

Review

Despite weighing in at nine pounds, the Milwaukee 5540 is designed with a number of features, such as a movable side handle, that make it easy for any professional or DIYer to use. In terms of performance, this monster of a car polisher is equipped with a powerful 11-amp motor and a variable speed control switch, allowing you to adjust its speed according to the application at hand.

Not surprisingly, the 11-amp motor of the Milwaukee 5540 never bogs down when pressure is applied, which is just what you need when removing oxidation or applying a deep polish.

In addition to the variable speed control dial and movable side handle, some of the 5540’s other features include a comfortable glass-reinforced nylon handle, a spindle lock to make changing accessories a breeze, a detachable Quick-Lok cord, and more. With so much to offer, it’s hard not to like this awesome car buffer!

5
Performance
5
Durability
4
Versatility
5
Ease of Use
4
Value
Overall 4.6
Summary
The Milwaukee 5540 11-Amp 7-Inch Polisher is super easy to use and built Milwaukee tough, making it a strong contender certainly worth considering. Whether you’re detailing your car or polishing your kitchen floor, this heavy-duty buffer can get the job done and bring out the natural shine of just about anything in no time at all.
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7. Neiko 10671A 7-Inch Polisher and Buffer

Neiko® 10671A 7-Inch Polisher and Buffer, 1300W Motor with Six Variable Speeds | UL/CUL listed
At the other end of the price spectrum, the Neiko 10671A 7-Inch Polisher and Buffer certainly isn’t the most durable or refined car buffer out there. However, it features a surprisingly powerful motor, variable speed control, and a variety of thoughtful features typically found on car buffers costing twice as much. Therefore, I just had to include it on this list. If you’ve never used a car buffer before and simply want an inexpensive model to learn the ropes with and occasionally polish your car, this may be the buffer for you.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Surprisingly well-made
  • Capable of providing excellent finishes
  • Backing disc included
 Cons:

  • Could be more durable

Product Details (specifications):

  • Powerful 1300-watt motor
  • Produces 1,000-3,000 RPM
  • Six-speed variable speed control
  • UL/CUL listed
  • Easy-to-use handle and trigger
  • Velcro backing disc for a variety of polishing pads

Review

The Neiko 10671A 7-Inch Polisher and Buffer may not be the best looking or performing car buffer out there, but it works surprisingly well and comes with a price tag that can’t be beat. Although the 13000-watt motor produces low RPM, the buffer works rather well for most light polishing jobs.

When testing the Neiko 10671A 7-Inch Polisher and Buffer, I was pleasantly surprised to find it did a remarkably good job, leaving a once dusty car looking almost brand new. While it took a little bit longer than it may have taken with some of the other car buffers above, it performed well and the car received my seal of approval when all was said and done. Needless to say, this buffer gets my seal of approval as well.

3
Performance
3
Durability
4
Versatility
3
Ease of Use
5
Value
Overall 3.6
Summary
The Neiko 10671A 7-Inch Polisher and Buffer definitely isn’t the best car buffer on the market, but it is one of the best budget-friendly buffers I’ve run across. Solidly built and equipped with just about everything you would expect in a quality buffer, the Neiko 10671A should be at the top of your list if you’re simply looking for an inexpensive, no-frills buffer to polish your ride.
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8. Meguiar’s MT300 Pro Power DA Polisher

Meguiar's MT300 Pro Power DA Polisher
Designed for professionals by professionals, the Meguiar’s MT300 Pro Power DA Polisher is lightweight, ergonomically designed, and features a bevy of smart features and thoughtful design details. From its billet counter weight to its unique Digital Torque Management speed control function, this DA polisher is arguably the best car polisher your hard-earned money can buy. With a competitive price tag in relation to all that it offers, the MT300 proves you don’t have to be a professional to enjoy a professional-quality buffer.

Pros:

  • Incredibly well-made
  • Features many unique design details
  • Very durable and versatile
  • Super smooth start up
  • Made by Meguiar’s
 Cons:

  • On the more expensive end of the price scale

Product Details (specifications):

  • 3,000-7,000 oscillations per minute
  • Smooth start feature
  • Variable speed control
  • 8mm throw
  • Reduced vibration control
  • Digital Torque Management system
  • Billet counterweight

Meguiar's MT300 Pro Power DA PolisherReview

In addition to featuring a soft start motor with variable speed control that produces 3,000-7,500 oscillations per minute, the Meguiar’s MT300 Pro Power DA Polisher utilizes Meguiar’s innovative Digital Torque Management speed control system for the perfect finish for any application, a billet counterweight with linear bearing design, an 8mm throw for polishing and compounding large surfaces, and many other smart design details.

Although the MT300 doesn’t come with a backing plate like many of its competitors, the Meguiar’s Soft Buff DA Backing Plates fit it perfectly. If you’re on the hunt for an awesome all-around car buffer, you can’t go wrong with the Meguiar’s MT300 Pro Power DA Polisher!

5
Performance
5
Durability
5
Versatility
5
Ease of Use
4
Value
Overall 4.8
Summary
Made to provide both professionals and ordinary car lovers with an innovative and unique car buffer that works, you can’t help but love the Meguiar’s MT300. From its one-of-a-kind Digital Torque Management system to its ergonomic and lightweight design, this impressive car buffer is loaded with smart design features simply not found on other polishers. Made to perform and backed by Meguiar’s stellar reputation, anyone shopping for a car buffer should definitely keep the MT300 at the top of their list.
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9. WEN 946 7-Inch Variable-Speed Polisher/Sander

WEN 946 7-Inch Variable Polisher
Similar to the Neiko above, the WEN 946 7-Inch Variable-Speed Polisher/Sander is refreshingly low priced yet more than capable of taking care of all of our car waxing and polishing needs. However, in addition to simply being a buffer, this uniquely versatile tool also quickly converts to a sander for sanding metal, wood, and fiberglass. Talk about cool! With an electronic speed control, an 11-amp soft start motor, and more, there’s honestly not much this buffer/sander can’t do.

Pros:

  • Very inexpensive
  • Super versatile
  • Surprisingly well-made
  • Easy to use
 Cons:

  • Lacks durability

Product Details (specifications):

  • Powerful variable-speed motor
  • Produces over 4,000 oscillations per minute
  • Soft start feature
  • 5/8-inch x 11-inch spindle with lock
  • Versatile ambidextrous handle mount

WEN 946 7-Inch Variable PolisheReview

The WEN 946 7-Inch Variable-Speed Polisher/Sander is a solid entry-level car buffer/sander for all of your auto detailing needs. In addition to featuring a strong motor and all of the features needed to safely and easily wax, polish, and even compound any car, this versatile car buffer can also transform into a sander, providing you with double the bang for your buck.

While it’s not ideal for heavy paint correction and sanding, which require buffers/sanders that provide higher oscillations per minute, the WEN 946 is an unbeatable value and a great budget-friendly option. Thanks to its solid performance and rock-bottom price, it definitely gets two thumbs up in my book.

3
Performance
3
Durability
5
Versatility
4
Ease of Use
5
Value
Overall 4
Summary
There aren’t many quality car buffers out there as versatile and well-built as the WEN 946 7-Inch Variable-Speed Polisher/ Sander. With a low price that will make you pinch yourself and the ability to sand and polish surprisingly well, you won’t find a better deal than this budget-friendly WEN car buffer. It may not be the best car polisher ever made, but it will perform well enough for most of your auto polishing needs.
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10. Milwaukee 5460 7″/9″ Polisher / Electronic Speed Control

Milwaukee 5460 7-Inch/9-Inch Polisher with Electronic Speed Control
Inexpensive car buffers that actually perform are a welcome surprise, but if you want a car buffer with some guts, then the Milwaukee 5460 7-Inch/9-Inch Polisher is a much better option for you. As a longtime fan of Milwaukee products, I’ve tried every buffer the brand has ever made. However, this particular model is by far one of my favorites for a variety of reasons. From its indestructible design to its myriad of awesome features, car buffers don’t get much better than this Milwaukee, making it a great option to round out our top 10 list.

Pros:

  • Very versatile
  • Powerful motor
  • Excellent features
  • Easy to use
  • Built Milwaukee tough
 Cons:

  • Not the most affordable car buffer on the market

Product Details (specifications):

  • Powerful 11-amp motor
  • Produces up to 2,800 RPM
  • Variable-speed control
  • Quick-Lok cord
  • Extra-strong glass-reinforced nylon handle

Review

The Milwaukee 5460 utilizes the same overall design and features of the 5440, such as a strong 11-amp motor, variable-speed trigger, spindle lock, detachable Quick-Lok cord, and a glass-reinforced nylon handle, putting the beast of a car buffer on par with some of the best in the industry.

Unlike the Milwaukee 5440, however, the 5460 can produce up to 2,800 RPM, allowing you to use it for a wider variety of applications. At nine pounds, the Milwaukee 5460 is a little heavier than other some of the other car buffers being sold these days, but if you have the budget to buy it and the muscle to use it, you should seriously consider this top-notch car buffer.

5
Performance
5
Durability
4
Versatility
5
Ease of Use
4
Value
Overall 4.6
Summary
All in all, the Milwaukee 5460 7-Inch/9-Inch Polisher with Electronic Speed Control is a powerful yet easy-to-use car buffer that’s ideal for general use. Whether you’re polishing your car or a motorhome, this heavy-duty buffer is more than capable of bringing out the natural shine and luster of any paint job.
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What is a Car Buffer and What is it Used For?

Car buffers are machines designed to make polishing a car a breeze and deliver the best possible results. Typically powered by electric motors and featuring orbital or rotating heads with specialized polishing pads, car buffers are designed to safely and easily provide maximum luster and shine.

In addition to bringing out the dark, rich color of your car’s paint and making it shine like a fresh cut diamond, car buffers also help protect your car from the elements and prevent small rust spots and scratches from becoming noticeable problems. In other words, they help cars look their best!

Car Polish vs. Car Wax

Before we get into the various types of car buffers, let’s first discuss the differences between car polish and car wax.

Car waxes are used to protect cars from the elements, make them shine, and bring out the gloss of their paint. Car polish, on the other hand, is used to polish out scratches and buff out blemishes.

When correctly applied with a quality car buffer, both types of applications are capable of transforming a dull, blemished paint job into near showroom quality.

Types of Car Buffers

When shopping for car buffers, chances are you’ve run across rotary, orbital, and dual-action models. All three types of car buffers work quite well, but there are major differences between them. Let’s take a look at each to help you determine which type of car buffer is best for you.

Rotary Car Buffer

Rotary buffers are the most powerful on the market and the tool of choice for detailing professionals. Thanks to their power, these types of buffers are excellent for quickly applying and removing a plethora of finishing products.

Rotary car buffer infographic

Rotary buffers utilize a direct-drive system, resulting in a strong rotating motion that can quickly create a blemish-free, high-gloss finish. Unfortunately, due to their power, they‘re also less safe and capable of doing more harm than good when in the hands of a novice.

One of the most popular and arguably the best rotary buffer is the Bosch GP712VS 120-Volt Large Angle Polisher. This champ of a rotary buffer is one of the most used in my shop and does a terrific job of polishing and removing deep scratches and oxidation.

Orbital Car Buffer

While rotary buffers are geared more for professionals, orbital buffers are made with home users in mind. Orbital buffers are easier to use and have less power, making them ideal for non-professionals in search of professional results.

Random Orbit Polisher infographic

If you’re wondering how to use orbital buffer, it’s important to know this type of buffer comes in both standard and random varieties, with random models being the most popular. Random orbital buffers move in a random oscillating pattern, making them less intense and much safer to use on a car’s paint and finish.

Although they lack the power and ability to get out deep scratches and blemishes like rotary buffers, orbital buffers are less expensive, easier to use, and much safer due to the minimal friction they cause. This makes them a popular option for normal everyday users.

Due to their popularity, there are a number of excellent orbital buffers on the market today, but the Porter-Cable 7424XP 6-Inch Variable Speed Polisher is a personal favorite of yours truly and arguably the best orbital buffer available. Found in garages and auto shops across America, no other buffer in its price-point can compete. If you’re looking for the best random orbital polisher, this is it.

Dual-Action (DA) Car Buffer

Commonly called DA buffers by detailers, dual-action buffers have motors and drive units that oscillate in random circular motions. Thanks to the dual-nature of their design, it’s virtually impossible to apply too much pressure at any one place, making them incredibly safe to use on the most precious of paint jobs.

Infographic on Dual-Action car buffing

Rather than rotating, the oscillating motion of a DA buffer will ensure you’ll never suffer from dreaded holograms and buffer swirls. This makes them super popular with people who want to play it safe and polish out blemishes rather than inflict them.

When it comes to DA buffers, the Porter-Cable G-100 Dual-Action Polisher is by far one of the most popular as its lighter weight, smaller size, and polishing ability make it the best DA buffer in its class.

Rotary vs Orbital vs DA

Thinking manAs you now know, DA and orbital buffers are much safer than rotating buffers because they have a less aggressive action incapable of removing small paint particles. However, since they’re safer, these newbie-friendly buffers are only capable of removing the finest of scratches.

Therefore, orbital and DA buffers are suitable for waxing and light polishing. Rotating buffers, on the other hand, are made to eliminate deep scratches and blemishes, making them suitable for anyone looking to perform more serious detailing jobs.

Considering the higher costs of rotating buffers and their ability to cause just as much damage as they fix when used by untrained hands, most non-professionals find themselves opting for orbital or DA buffers. If you have the budget and the time to learn how to detail like a pro, then a rotary buffer may be the way to go.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Car Buffer

There are a lot of car buffer reviews out there recommending a wide-variety of great and not so great car buffers. Fortunately, I’m here to educate you and help you truly find the best buffer for car. With that in mind, here are some important factors to consider when shopping for the best polisher for cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, and just about everything else you can imagine:

  • rocker iconSpeed – The rotation speed of a buffer influences a number of factors, such as heat, friction, and efficiency. More powerful buffers with faster rotation speeds are great for larger vehicles and getting out deep scratches, but you must exercise caution when using them in order to avoid heat-related damage and paint swirls.
  • man lifting weightsWeight – Like many things, the heavier a buffer is, the harder it is to control. Many people by buffers that are too big and heavy for them to comfortably use and control, so you should keep the weight of a car buffer in mind when deciding on the best one for you.
  • radio waves vectorVibration – All car buffers vibrate, but some vibrate more than others. In addition to being uncomfortable and difficult to use, car buffers with more noticeable vibrations often produce visibly uneven compound applications.
  • horse iconManeuverability – Although they are less powerful and safer on paint, orbital buffers are generally larger than rotating buffers. This makes them less capable of reaching hard-to-reach spots.
  • wrench tool iconMaintenance – Similar to other power tools, car buffers require periodic maintenance. Therefore, regardless of which car buffer you choose, you should carefully read the included equipment manual and follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance procedures. If maintenance is a concern, you’re better off going with a more expensive top-quality model as they last longer and typically require less mechanical upkeep.
  • money bag iconPrice – As is the case with everything else in life, you get what you pay for when purchasing a car buffer. There are basic orbital car buffers available for under $100, professional-grade models that cost several hundred, and quality models somewhere in between the two. I advise against choosing a cheap model as these are seriously lackluster and rarely last longer than a few uses. Middle-of-the-road car buffers, on the other hand, are more durable and usually sufficient for most cars and applications. If you really want to swing for the fences and buy the best car polisher, there are plenty of top-rated models available as well.

Ideally, it would be nice to have multiple car buffers to handle any detailing job. However, since not everyone can have a garage overflowing with tools, you should ultimately choose the best buffer for your budget. Not all orbital, DA, and rotary buffers are the same, so it’s important to read detailed reviews like ours in order to find the best car buffer for you.

Benefits of Having a Professional Car Buffer

Sure, you can polish your car by hand, but car buffers offer a wealth of benefits and provide you with more time, less soreness, and most importantly, a better looking ride. Here’s a quick rundown on some of the benefits a quality car buffer may be able to provide you:

  • Improved Results
    Waxing a car by hand is better than not waxing it at all, but there’s no denying the fact that the best car buffer is a must-have for superior results. When polishing a car, the goal is to evenly and thoroughly work in the polishing particles. This is nearly impossible to do by hand. An average car buffer can produce up to 6,000 oscillations per minute at a safe and effective speed. Trying to duplicate this by hand is virtually impossible.
  • Time and Money Savings
    In addition to being able to cut your car polishing time in half, a car buffer will also save you money on polishing products as well. When applying car polish by hand, it’s nearly impossible not to apply too much. Car buffers, however, allow you to apply a thin even coat across the surface of your car, saving you money on product every time you polish it.
  • Versatility
    Another great advantage of car buffers is their ability to be used with a variety of pads for just the right polishing power. Different pads have different densities and levels of softness. Since you can use a variety of pads with most quality car buffers, a top-quality buffer can take care of nearly all of your car detailing needs.
  • Safe to Use
    Unless you’re using a rotary buffer, which can be awesome for deep polishing and scratch repair, you don’t have to worry at all about burning through your car’s paint. With an orbital or DA buffer, you can work on giving your car the perfect finish without worrying about potentially harming its surface.
  • Great Learning Tools
    Since it’s easy for on-the-job training to turn into a financial disaster and a damaged paint job, orbital and dual-action polishers are great learning tools for detailing newbies. These polishers can help you gain confidence in record time and quickly transform you into a detailing pro capable of safely using the most powerful rotary buffers.
  • Preserve Your Car’s Color and Luster
    The color of any vehicle will begin to change without regular waxing. Before you know it, your once red car will fade to orange or your midnight black SUV will begin turning gray. With the added protection of car wax, however, the paint of your new car will remain as glossy as the day you drove it off the lot. Therefore, you should wax your vehicle with a quality buffer at least every three months in order to maintain the beauty of your auto investment.
  • Maintain the Value of Your Car
    A car is a large investment that should be taken care of and treated as a valuable item. By using a car buffer to properly maintain your car’s paint job, you’re also maintaining the value of your investment. If you ever hope to resell your vehicle, as most of us do, keeping your car waxed and buffed will ultimately fetch you a higher resale value.

The Griot’s Garage 6-Inch Random Orbital Polisher is an excellent all-around car buffer that will provide you with all of these benefits and more. The versatile buffer is easy to use, completely safe, and an absolute buffing beast, which is why myself and many others consider it to be the best car polisher being made today.

Another great option with a ton of benefits is the DEWALT DWP849x 7-Inch/9-Inch Variable-Speed Polisher with Soft Start. That being said, there are plenty of other great models that are guaranteed to perform.

How to Wax a Car with a Buffer

Learning how to properly use a buffer or car waxing machine to wax a car not only reduces the amount of time it takes to finish the job, but it will also help you achieve a showroom finish. Although quality orbital and dual-action car buffers are quite affordable and easy to use, it’s a good idea to take a few minutes to become familiar with how to use one before you, well, actually use one.

With that said, here are the basic buffing steps and a great video showing you just how easy it is to use one of today’s awesome car buffers.

  • Work in the Shade
    When waxing your car, it’s crucial that you do it in the shade. If you wax it in the sun, the wax will likely dry too fast, resulting in all sorts of problems. While shade is important, you should try to avoid waxing your car underneath trees to avoid falling leaves and bird droppings.
  • Wash the Car
    As is the case with any form of waxing, it’s a wise idea to wash your car before you wax it. Be sure to wash and dry it thoroughly, paying special attention to leave no soapy residue behind.
  • Apply the Wax
    When your vehicle is clean, it’s time to apply the wax and buff it in. To do so, apply the wax applicator to the buffer pad and begin applying the wax to your car in a large circular motion. It’s important not to apply too much pressure on the buffer as it should easily glide across your car’s surface without the need for additional pressure. Allow the wax to completely dry, leaving your car looking hazy and clouded.
  • Buff the Car
    When the wax has dried, take the wax applicator off of the buffer and replace it with a wax removal cloth. Then, turn the buffer on and begin buffing the dried wax off using big smooth strokes. It’s important to never buff in a circle pattern as this may leave swirls in the paint. Similar to when you’re applying the wax, don’t apply too much pressure when buffing.

If you’re anything like me, you’re a visual learner. If so, check out this detailed video for a better understanding of how to properly use a car buffer to give your car the perfect finish you’ve been looking for.

Where Can I Buy a Car Buffer?

There are a ton of car buffer reviews and even more auto detail shops, but where exactly do you go to find the best car polisher? The answer is simple: online of course!

shopping cart iconsIn addition to being able to order directly from the manufacturer’s website and possibly land a great deal, you can also order many of the today’s top car buffers right from Amazon at bargain prices.

Amazon is responsible for nearly a quarter of all Internet transactions, so it’s incredibly safe and easy to use. Plus, they can have your car buffer of choice delivered right to your front door within a day. What’s not to like about that?

Whether you’re looking for a cheap car buffer or the best buffer for car detailing ever made, chances are you can find it on Amazon.

Making the Decision

Griot's Garage 6" Random Orbital Polisher with 25' CordMy expert pick for the best overall car buffer is the Griot’s Garage 6-Inch Random Orbital Polisher. It’s a well-built, durable, and all around great car polisher that’s easy to use and more than capable of turning any dull exterior into a show stopper.

If for some reason the Griot’s Garage car buffer isn’t for you, then my next top pick, the Porter-Cable 7424XP 6-Inch Variable-Speed Polisher, is a great choice.

From inexpensive orbital buffers to professional-grade rotary buffers, we’ve reviewed several of today’s top-rated car buffers in this buying guide.

By reviewing all of the information found on this site and in the car buffer reviews above, you’ll be able to better analyze all of the various models along with their features and ultimately pick the best car buffer for you.

After picking out a great buffer, go to Amazon, click the “buy” button, and get your shine on today!