Best Auto Buffers Review
Deciding the perfect fit for you!

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Welcome to Best Auto Buffers Review where I am going to walk you through the difficult process of picking a top rated car buffer. In today's world of the Internet, most of you will find yourself sifting through too much information and opinions, rather than not enough.

As society we are on information overload and anyone with an opinion now has a stage to voice their opinion. Any trip into one of the many car forums will only confirm we are drowning in a sea of bad opinions spread by misinformed so-called experts and well-intentioned people who are simply ignorant. But when it comes to making important decisions, how does one tell which are the good opinions versus the bad.

Real World Experience!

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"Darren, I visit so many detail and car forums and each time I walk away being more confused and frustrated than ever. Can you help me figure out what is the best fit for me when it comes to choosing from what feels like an endless selection of auto buffers?"

Unlike most other car buffer reviews, my reviews come from the real world of professional detailing. The reality is that 80% of the people offering opinions on the many car forums have no business offering their opinions...

Opinions which are generally based on very limited experience and knowledge. Only about 20% of the people are qualified to offer tips and help that is based on real-world experience. To make matters even worse, many of these so-called experts have hidden agendas based on profits first and foremost.

"Unfortunately most people like yourself lack the experience and knowledge to even ask the right questions in order to make a true informed decision. If you had the answers, you likely wouldn't be here in the first place!"

Darren's Auto Buffer Review made Simple!

If you are anything like myself which I know many of you are, you would appreciate things made simple by someone you can trust; my goal is to be that someone....

  1. Today's buffers are more user friendly than ever before.
  2. I can perform 99% of my professional and personal detail polishing and buffing with a single polisher.
  3. 95% of you will only ever need a single polisher for all your polishing needs. Whether you are a driveway detailer, enthusiast, or looking to go professional. And most often, this will be a quality random orbital like the ones below.
  4. The good news is that due to the newer car polishers/buffers, you no longer have to start with some low-budget entry level polisher if you are a true beginner.
  5. I have instructed hundreds of people with this same checklist and philosophy, and have never had anyone tell me they weren't able to come to the best decision for themselves.

#1 Biggest Myth

"Never use a buffer on your car!"

That has got to be the number one biggest piece of bad information I hear when it comes to auto buffers in general. This is of course an over-simplistic piece of bad info since the high-speed (rotary) car buffer is the real enemy according to the "so-called" experts. (A rotary buffer is simply one that spins or rotates on a single axis point and can be adjusted from speeds ranging from 600 RPM's on up to 3500 RPM's).

"Just as guns don't kill; buffers don't ruin or burn car paint. The wrong person behind the wrong buffer can be a dangerous moment"

Let's Help You Pick the Right Car Buffer

auto buffers review tips

Having grown up in the world of professional detailing, I was limited to high-speed car polishers. Today's auto buffers consist of both high-speed (rotary) and what is called random orbital or DA (dual action) car buffers.(I am using a DeWalt rotary to polish out the gel coat on a boat in this picture)

While the heavy lifting of paint correction and car polishing has traditionally been left to the high-speed car polishers, today's DA car buffers can achieve virtually the same results as a high-speed buffer without the risk generally associated with high-speed (rotary) car buffers.

Random Orbital, Dual Action Buffers

Random orbitals are what many consider to be the best auto buffers for the largest group of people; from beginners to professionals. Also called DA for dual action, these car buffers are designed to replicate the motion of your hand when applying polish or wax; there are (2) rotating points. (Think of the earth spinning on its axis, while circling around the sun.)

  • Random orbitals are considered the safest car buffers due to lower RPM's and non-forced rotation. This means that if too much pressure is applied, it will cease to spin (it continues to oscillate, but not spin) and therefore minimize risk to the paint. This is why it is called a random orbital; versus a forced rotation dual action polisher.
  • The tool most people will want to start with and likely the last polisher you will ever need moving forward regardless of where your detailing path takes you. This would be the one I recommend for virtually anybody looking to learn how to use a car polisher for the first time.
  • Also ideal for any true beginner due to the non-forced, dual action motion; extremely easy to maintain control while using.

Darren's Note:

The reality is that many of you have been sitting on the fence when it comes to not only deciding as to whether or not to take a buffer to your car, but which one is the best fit for you and your world.

And for this reason I am separating the area of DA auto buffers into (2) groupings:

  • Entry level.
  • High-end or professional grade.

Darren's Top Pick for Entry-Level Random Orbital Buffers
(Also known as dual-action or DA)

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

  • One of the exact DA buffers I use professionally.
  • The perfect auto buffer 95% of you will ever need.
  • From applying wax to high levels of paint correction.
  • As easy to use as easy can get.
  • From a complete beginner to advanced professional.
  • Louder and less ergonomically friendly as other higher priced DA polishers.

Meguiar's MT300 Pro Power DA Polisher

  • A trusted name in cosmetic car care.
  • Another perfect choice as an entry level DA polisher that is still capable of delivering professional results.
  • In many ways it represents a direct comparison with the Griot''s DA polisher for those on a tight budget or less committed to dropping the extra money for professional grade equipment.

Professional Grade Random Orbital Auto Buffers
(Also known as dual-action or DA)

Darren's Note:

The professional grade random orbital car buffers below are truly professional grade equipment which is reflected in the price. What you don't know is that along with the added cost, you also get added performance that includes an overall better user experience.

So regardless of who you are; if you are the type of person who wants nothing but the best, then you will be choosing among these top rated auto buffers.

Rupes LHR 21 Mark II Big Foot Random Orbital Polisher

  • For those who are looking for the next level in performance.
  • For those of you that generally shop for what is considered the best regardless of cost.
  • A high quality, dual-action car buffer.
  • Made in Italy from a well known tool manufacturer.
  • Second generation version.
  • One of the many buffers I own and use professionally.

Griot's Garage BG21 21 mm THE BOSS Long-Throw Orbital

  • A true professional grade car polisher.
  • From a company that has specialized in cosmetic car care for decades.
  • Featuring the latest in performance, ergonomics, and technology.

Rotary Car Buffers
(High-speed buffers)

Rotary or high-speed car buffers are considered the red-headed step children by many inexperienced and misinformed people. Similar to the proverbial gun debate that guns don't kill... high-speed buffers don't damage paint; people do! Now the industry has responded with updated forms of these necessary tools with reduced starting speeds that make these tools every bit as safe as an orbital car buffer.

They are still heavier and more difficult to use due to the weight, but nonetheless, they are very safe when used at the lowest speed settings.

  • Slow start speeds of 600 RPM's (this is very slow!)
  • Every bit as safe as any orbital auto buffers.
  • Represent the broadest range of performance and abilities that can be used in every form of car, boat, or RV polishing.
  • Slower speeds mean that true swirl free finish can be obtained without switching to orbital car polisher as a finishing tool.
  • Based on your budget and expectations with regard to build quality, any of the (2) auto buffers below will not disappoint and will last you a lifetime of use!

Top Rated High-Speed Car Buffers
(Also known as rotary polishers)

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

  • One of my favorites.
  • The exact car polisher I use for any of my "heavy lifting".
  • A must have if you plan on doing fiberglass/gel coat restoration or polishing for heavy duty oxidation removal.
  • Soft start for a great user experience.
  • Super slow run speed starting at 600 rpm.

This high-speed car polisher from DeWalt is a true work horse. Yes you could spend more on a top rated car buffer, but if you are not concerned with "appearances" and having to shop based on perception, then this DeWalt is an excellent choice and will provide endless years of true professional level performance.

This is the exact auto buffer that 95% of all body shops use because they are such work horses and can truly perform at a professional level.

The Mercedes of High-Speed Car Polishers

FLEX (PE 14-2 150) POLISHFLEX Compact Variable Speed Rotary Car Polisher

  • Considered the Mercedes of car polishers.
  • German made; German engineering.
  • Your choice when ultimate in user experience and performance is a must.
  • Based on the price difference between the Flex and the De Walt, you can also see why big-time body shops are not supplying their workers with the refinement of the Flex polisher.

I realize there are those of you that simply want the best of the best. If you consider yourself one of those people then the Flex rotary polisher is going to be your pick as the top rated car polisher.

I accept that as a rule we truly get what we pay for, and while I know I can produce the same end result with the DeWalt from above, that I can with this Flex, the difference comes down to the user experience, and the user experience behind this polisher will simply be "better".

Darren's Professional Tips:

polishing mercedes benz

Most of us live on tighter budget than we would like, so most of you will be deciding upon one of these auto buffers that will do the most with the least price. In a perfect world you would probably have 4 different types of polishers; a specific buffer for a specific job. ( I currently have 3 polishers I rotate in and out of testing as can be seen in the various pictures of this website) With all that said, how do you decide upon the best buffer that will do the most and allow you to go the furthest. Without knowing your world, all I can do is apply my perspective based on years of experience:

  • The most simple answer will be to choose one of the random orbital auto buffers from above; either the Griot's or the Rupes.
  • Everything has limitations and trade-off's. Hopefully you know what those are based on these auto buffers I have reviewed.
  • 95% of you will only ever need a single polisher to start with and it will last you for years to come; so go with one of the random orbitals.
  • For the other 5% of you that either want to have ultimate in versatility and want to branch out into other areas of detailing such as heavy oxidation removal on boats and RV's, you will need a rotary for those types of jobs. With that said, I would still begin with one of the random orbitals and work up from there as you progress in skill.

Auto Buffers Review

My goal is to always provide what I consider useable information, not information for the sole purpose of entertainment. Hopefully you are much more informed and can make a decision as to what the winning combination of auto buffers means in your world.

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Best Auto Buffers Review