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10 Best Car Buffers of 2018

Top Car Buffer For Your Needs

Published August 22, 2018

Operating a car buffer can be intimidating to a lot of car owners. They are heavy power tools that are capable of generating ridiculous amounts of torque, but they are also the best tool for buffing and polishing your ride to a pristine showroom shine.

Why Use A Car Buffer Machine to Polish Your Car

Cars today are painted and sealed with protective clear coats that make a showroom shine difficult to achieve with car wax and a rag alone. 

A car buffer makes the arduous and tedious task of polishing a car by hand easier and more efficient, similar to how a power drill makes building furniture easier than if it were to be done with only a screwdriver.

Simply put, a car buffing machine is the best way to achieve a professional auto detail without forking over hundreds of dollars or straining your elbow rigorously polishing.

Car Buffing & Polishing Guide

The automotive world is brimming with exceptional experiences, but three stand out against all the others; the sound of a powerful engine, the feel of a brand new leather interior and the look of a freshly waxed and polished ride.

Every car looks great when waxed and polished. Even junkers seem to shed years of hard use and neglect when someone takes the time to clean, wax and buff it.

Time, however, is exactly the reason most car-owners rarely, if ever, wax their car. It takes a long time to apply small amounts of wax to the individual sections of an automobile and painstakingly rub it into the surface and then wipe it away. Just ask the Karate Kid.

Karate Kid Wax On/ Wax off

The best way to wax, buff and polish your car is with an electric buffer. There are two different types of electric car buffers: variable speed rotary polishers and dual-action orbital polishers. The car buffer machines differ in how the buffing pad rotates around the motor of the machine.

Variable Speed Rotary Polishers – Rotary car buffers typically resemble an angle grinder, with a fixed handle on the side.

The buffer on a rotary polisher rotates in the direction of the motor which means the outside of the buffing pad spins faster than the inside of the pad.  

rotary orbital pattern

Rotary polishers can be used to spread wax on to the surface of a vehicle. However, they are generally utilized to remove heavy swirls, defects, and sanding marks from the factory finish.

Dual Action Orbital Polishers – Orbital polishers differ from rotary car buffers because the pad and spindle oscillate around different axis, which creates a different buffing pattern than a rotary car buffer.

variable rotary pattern

Orbital polishers perform exceptionally well at applying and removing wax and removing defects from the factory finish.

How To Properly Use A Car Buffer

“Wheeling” as it is known to professional auto-detailers, is the process of polishing a vehicle with an electric car buffer.

When done correctly, the wheeling process temporarily heats the paint’s clear coat until it becomes soft enough to be spread across the finish and fill in small scratches and blemishes.

This guide will walk you through the steps you’ll need to follow to ensure that you achieve the highest level of clean and shine for your car.

Before you can get started wheeling the car buffing machine of your choice, you must first gather your tools and materials. You’ll need:

  • Electric Car Buffer
  • Car Polish, Wax or Compound
  • Buffer Pad
  • Bucket
  • Soap & Water
  • Sponge
  • Microfiber towel

Once you have gathered your tools and materials the next thing to do is to find a shady, well-ventilated area to park your car and get to work.

  1. Wash your car – The first step in the car buffing and polishing process is to wash your car. Combine soap and water in a bucket and thoroughly wash your car with a clean sponge.

Be sure to remove all dust, dirt, and debris from the individual panels, and from every surface. Any debris left on the finish runs the risk of being ground into the paint by the car buffer.

Dry your car with a soft towel only once you are satisfied that all dirt, dust, and debris has been removed.

  1. Lock the buffer pad onto the spindle of the electric car buffer – Every car buffer and polisher is manufactured differently.

Be sure to attach the buffer pad firmly to the spindle and follow all of the manufacturer instructions prior to starting the car buffer and applying it to the surface of your vehicle.

  1. Apply your chosen car polish, wax or compound to the buffer pad – Some car polishes and buffers call for the buffer pad to be slightly damp, or to apply the polish directly to the cars finish. As always, follow all manufacturer instructions.

 

  1. Apply the electric car buffer to the finish – Always be sure to apply even pressure and keep the electric buffer pad parallel to the surface of the car.

Do not stay in one place for too long and never grind the electric buffer pad into the surface. You will know you are performing the “wheeling” correctly when the surface of the panel is warm to the touch and when small scratches and blemishes begin to disappear.

  1. Move on to the next panel and start again – Once the panel is scratch-free and shines like the day you bought it, move to the next panel and start the process over. Repeat until every exterior surface panel of your car has been buffed and polished.

10 Best Car Buffers & Polishers

Now that you know how to buff and polish your car it’s time to determine which car buffing machine is the best for you.

10. Porter Cable 7424XP Variable Speed Polisher

The 7424XP Variable Speed Polisher is one of the better electric car buffers available today. It’s as popular with professionals as it is with car enthusiasts, is remarkably user-friendly, and safe to use on any finish.

Porter Cable 7424XP Variable Speed Polisher

The 7424XP Variable Speed Polisher is marketed as the safest car buffing machine available because it features a random orbit, heat overload protection, and variable speed options, all of which protect you from burning yourself or damaging your car.

The 7424XP Variable Speed Polisher is the perfect electric car buffer for beginners. It’s a dual action random orbital polisher, which means the electric buffer pad moves around the spindle similar to how the Earth moves around the sun.

The random orbit action makes The 7424XP Variable Speed Polisher an immensely effective electric buffer that is easy to use and powerful, yet not so powerful as to burn the factory finish.

The handle can be adjusted for right or left handed users and helps to minimize vibration and increase control. The Porter Cable 7424XP Variable Speed Polisher is a fan favorite and easily makes the list of 10 best car buffers.

Dewalt DWP849X Variable Speed Polisher

The Dewalt DWP849X Variable Speed Polisher is one of the auto industry’s highest-ranking picks when it comes to electric car buffing machines and car polishers.

Dewalt DWP849X Variable Speed Polisher

Dewalt DWP849X Variable Speed Polisher is ergonomic and lighter than most electric car buffers and polishers, which is not to say that the Dewalt DWP849X Variable Speed Polisher lacks any power.

The Dewalt DWP849X Variable Speed Polisher is incredibly powerful and effective at any one of its variable speed options. (0-600/0-3,500 RPM)

The Dewalt DWP849X Variable Speed Polisher is one of the best electric car buffer and polishers because of its intuitive and comfortable design.

The extra-long straight handle and three-position bale handles offer maximum control. It features a non-marring rubber gear case, so there is no chance of you accidentally scratching the car you are trying to polish.

The Dewalt DWP849X Variable Speed Polisher also features an ergonomic two-finger trigger, and sculpted rear handle allows for a range of finger positions and grips.

All of these features combine to create a powerful car buffing machine that is comfortable to use whether you are a one car owner or a professional auto-detailer with hours of buffing work ahead of you.

Griot’s Garage 6-Inch Random Orbital Polisher

The Griot’s Garage 6-Inch Random Orbital Polisher has established quite the reputation amongst auto-detailing professionals. It’s a reputation that is built on industry experience and proven effectiveness of Griot’s Garage products.

Griot’s Garage 6-Inch Random Orbital Polisher

The Griot’s Garage 6-Inch Random Orbital Polisher is a random orbit, dual-action car buffer with some serious buffing power. Its powerful 7 amp motor delivers 850 watts of power to the electric buffer, enabling a breathing polish and a flawless finish.

The Griot’s Garage 6-Inch Random Orbital Polisher was designed to be less intimidating to new users while preserving the reliable power auto-detail professionals love.

The variable speed options allow the user to gently apply the car buffer to their cars finish and crank up the power to ensure the optimal finish and a spotless shine.

TORQ 10FX Random Orbital Polisher

Chemical Guys is one of the most trusted brands in auto-detailing cleaners, electric polishers, and compounds.

TORQ 10FX Random Orbital Polisher

So it stands to reason that the Chemical Guys chose wisely when they picked the TORQ 10FX Random Orbital Polisher as the recommended polisher and electric buffer to use with their products.

The TORQ 10FX Random Orbital Polisher is designed to deliver precision power. 6 variable speeds provide a smooth delivery of buffing and polishing power to your car’s finish.

The harmonious balance of internal components enables the TORQ 10FX Random Orbital Polisher to remain balanced and parallel to the car’s finish no matter the speed setting.

The TORQ 10FX Random Orbital Polisher powers through swirls, scratches and defects on all factory finishes and can apply car wax and polish in mere minutes.

What really sets the TORQ 10FX Random Orbital Polisher apart from other car buffers is its incorporation of a digital interface. The digital interface displays the speed control buttons enabling a user-friendly and intuitive feel and easy adjustment of the 700-watt motor.

All of these features combine to make the TORQ 10FX Random Orbital Polisher a car buffer and polisher that delivers the maximum level of balance, precision, and power.

Bosch 120-Volt Large Angle Polisher

Bosch is a big name in power tools, so it’s no surprise that the Bosch 120-Volt Large Angle Polisher qualifies for the list of 10 best car buffers and polishers.

Bosch 120-Volt Large Angle Polisher

The Bosch 120-Volt Large Angle Polisher is one of the larger electric car buffing machines around at 19 inches long. However, the extra-long length of the Bosch 120-Volt Large Angle Polisher does not detract from the effectiveness of this electric buffer.

Instead, the 19-inch total length adds an extra level of stability and precision to the vast amount of power delivered by the huge 12 amp motor.

The Bosch 120-Volt Large Angle Polisher is a versatile electric car buffing machine. It’s comfortable, even over periods of extended use. Its ergonomic and lightweight design allows for maximum adjustment and ease of use.

The Bosch 120-Volt Large Angle Polisher weighs in at 6 pounds and is a bit noisy, but when it comes to overall effectiveness and car buffing power, there is no beating the Bosch Tool Company.

Meguiar’s MT300 Pro Power DA Polisher

The auto-experts at Meguiars know professional-grade. They have always been a trusted name in automotive care, and it’s because of high-quality products like the Meguiars MT300 Dual Action Polisher.

Meguiar’s MT300 Pro Power DA Polisher

The Meguiars MT300 Dual Action Polisher is a dual action car buffer that is ideally suited for car owners and professional auto-detailers alike.

The Meguiars MT300 Dual Action Polisher features are ergonomically designed to provide a smooth, seamless operation that reduces fatigue over extended periods of use.

It includes a digital torque management system, a thumb-adjustable speed dial, and a billet counterweight. When combined, these features enable a controlled, precise operation that maintains buffer pad rotation, provides easy speed control and a soft start when turning on the car buffer machine.

The Meguiars MT300 Dual Action Polisher includes a powerful 500-watt motor that enables it to remove swirl marks, scratches and water spots with minimal effort and easily apply wax and polish.

The Meguiars MT300 Dual Action Polisher is a superb electric car buffer that truly delivers the kind of performance and reliability we have come to expect from Meguiars.

Flex Rotary Orbital Polisher

Car owners looking for the perfect showroom shine in no time should try out the Flex XC 3401 VRG Dual Action Orbital Polisher.

Flex Rotary Orbital Polisher

This car buffing machine is packed with power. The Flex XC 3401 VRG Dual Action Orbital Polisher incorporates a dual action orbital rotation that simulates the circular movement of the hand.

When combined with the power of its 590-watt motor the Flex XC 3401 VRG Dual Action Orbital Polisher is a car buffer that is powerful enough to power through the most stubborn blemishes, yet be as gentle as the human hand.

The stroke (size of the orbit car buffers orbit) of FLEX XC3401 VRG Dual Action Polisher is 8mm which ensures a uniform application even under heavy pressure.

The dual action motion of the FLEX Dual-Action Polisher ensures the buffer pad moves in a forced rotation and keeps moving even when extra pressure is exerted on the machine. The result is a forced circular application that actively reduces vibration.

These features enable the FLEX XC3401 VRG Dual Action Polisher to outperform other car buffers and rank amongst the 10 best car buffers.

Makita 9227C Electronic Polisher-Sander

The Makita 9227C Electronic Polisher is a favorite amongst auto-detailing professionals and car enthusiast alike for its reliable power and control.

Makita 9227C Electronic Polisher-Sander

A 10 AMP motor and variable speed control combine to make the Makita 9227C Electronic Polisher a powerful electric buffer that is ideally suited for clear coats and restoring a factory finish.

The Makita 9227C Electronic Polisher also includes a soft start feature which enables a smoother startup process and minimizes polish “fling-off.”

The soft start feature, when combined with the Makita 9227C Electronic Polishers ergonomic loop handle and two-finger trigger provides the user with extra comfort and control.

The Makita 9227C Electronic Polisher and sander differs from other car buffers because of the inclusion of constant speed control. Constant speed control maintains electric buffer speed by applying additional power to the motor when it senses the electric buffer is under load.

The Makita 9227C Electronic Polisher and sanders range of use, controlled application of power and comfortable, ergonomic design make it the most versatile car buffer machine included on our list.

The Makita 9227C Electronic Polisher can be used for long hours and on a wide array of vehicles, finishes, and applications. It’s powerful, comfortable, and reliable, and when it comes to the best electric buffers, it’s hard to ask for much more than that.

Milwaukee 11 Amp 7-Inch Polisher

The city of Milwaukee is primarily known for three things, beer, Harley Davidson, and Milwaukee Tools. Milwaukee has been a name brand in power tools since 1924, and all of that experience is evident in the Milwaukee 11 Amp 7-Inch Polisher

Milwaukee 11 Amp 7-Inch Polisher

The Milwaukee 11 Amp 7-Inch Polisher weighs in at little over 9 pounds and includes an ergonomic and ambidextrous side handle which makes it easy-to-use and the ideal size to accommodate any user preference. It even includes a glass-reinforced nylon handle for extra comfort and reduced heat retention in your grip.

The 11-amp motor provides reliable power, even when applying extra pressure to stubborn scratches.

We really like the Milwaukee 11 Amp 7-Inch Polisher for its patented Quick-Lok cord. If the cord to the Milwaukee 11 Amp 7-Inch Polisher is damaged in any way it can easily be replaced without having to buy a new polisher.

Milwaukee 11 Amp 7-Inch Polisher also includes a spindle lock for quick and convenient electric buffer accessory changes.

The Milwaukee 11 Amp 7-Inch Polisher is one of the most reliable and innovative electric car buffers available today. It’s intuitive, easy-to-use, and reliable. All of the Milwaukee 11 Amp 7-Inch Polishers features are where you think they should be on the tool.

It’s powerful, easily serviced, and manufactured by one of the most trusted names in reliable power tools.

Shurhold 3500 Professional Grade Dual Action Polisher Pro

Shurhold likes the use the phrase “clean and simple” to describe their products and they couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate tagline for the Shurhold 3500 Professional Grade Dual Action Polisher Pro.

Shurhold 3500 Professional Grade Dual Action Polisher Pro

Users can see precisely how the Shurhold 3500 Professional Grade Dual Action Polisher Pro is operated simply by looking at it. Its ergonomic handles and trigger make it easy-to-use whether you are a professional auto-detailer or a regular car owner.

The Shurhold 3500 Professional Grade Dual Action Polisher Pro electric buffer delivers a showroom finish and restores your car’s clear coat to its factory shine without burning the surface or leaving unsightly swirls.

Shurhold 3500 Professional Grade Dual Action Polisher Pro is comfortable to use and also includes a variable speed option and a powerful 120-volt motor, all of which combine to create a truly clean and simple electric buffer that performs better than advertised.

Conclusion

If you haven’t waxed or polished your car in a while, then it is time to take your car’s aesthetic to the next level by purchasing an electric car buffer machine.

Purchasing any one of the 10 best car buffers presented here is a guaranteed way to ensure that you remove all of the unsightly scratches and marks from your car’s finish without burning it or causing further damage.

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Jacob Doyle
About Jacob Doyle

I am a Chicago-born writer with a thirst for everything automotive. I live by a simple rule; travel far, work hard and never stop writing. If I am not writing away, you can find me wrenching on my 1989 Ram Charger or wrecking something with wheels.

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