Our Favorite Online Repair Manual...Mitchell1

The Process

Wash

The first step to a clean car, washing can be more complex than you think. Read more...

Clean

The key to a long lasting shine, propely cleaning your paint is a must. Read more...

Protect

Wax is your paint's protection from the elements. Get it right and your car will thank you. Read more...

Tires and Rubber Care

So your paint is taken care of, how about your tires and other rubber trim components? Read more...

Wheels

Brake dust sucks! Keeping your wheels clean can be a real chore without the right knowledge and products. Read more...

Engine Compartment

Don't neglect your engine compartment! A clean engine can make repairs and diagnosing leaks easier, plus it can help component last longer like hoses and belts. Read more...

Other Topics

Should I Buy A Car Polisher?

Car Polisher

Should you use a car polisher when waxing or polishing your car?

Yes and no... it depends! How is that for clear advice? First let's define the two distinct types of car polishers (or buffers) out there.

  • Random or Orbital polisher: This type of polisher has a head which spins and oscillates in a motion which attempts to mimic the action of hand polishing. It's less aggressive and requires more time to get the job done.
  • Rotary Polisher: The pad spins about a shaft and is definitely more aggressive than an orbital polisher. This is good and bad, since it will take less time to get the job done (good) but you could burn through your paint a lot easier too (bad). Rotary polishers tend to come with a speed control to allow you to vary the speed depending on the job at hand, typically between 100 - 3,000 rpm.
  • Dual Action Polisher: I know I said there are two types of polishers or buffers out there, but really there is a third which is the Dual Action buffer which is simply a combination of the random and rotary polisher. The tool has a "switch" which allows you to change the action to suit the job you are doing. They are most often powered by air (pneumatic) and used for sanding more than buffing or polishing paint.
  • So which tool is right for my car?

    If you are experienced, have a heavily scratched or oxidized finish and are short on time, the rotary polisher is the ticket. You will need to pay attention to panel edges to keep the pad from burning in to the paint and ruining your finish. The time savings can be as much as 50% but you will have to be careful.

    For most car owners, I suggest a random/orbital polisher which may take a little more time but will reduce the risk of you ruining your paint job.

    Whichever method you chose, make sure to follow the polish/wax manufacturer's recommendations on application. Pads can vary from aggressive wool, to softer foam pads, read the directions with your polish or wax to find out which is best.