The Porter Cable Polisher is a top rated car buffer that continues to receive great reviews as well as a dedicated following of enthusiasts and professionals alike. In search for the perfect car buffer many people will oversimplify the process and fail to ask the right questions in order to come to the best conclusion. Asking a hobbyist their opinion of a select car polisher will get you a very different answer then a seasoned veteran; or would it? Experience has shown me that many people lack the experience to even ask the right questions in the first place, and therefore come to limited conclusions.
Follow along as I help you ask the right questions in order to come to the right conclusions in your search for the best car buffer for you!
The Porter Cable buffer (buffer and polisher is an interchangeable term) is what is called a DA (dual action) or random orbital buffer. It has two circulating points to the head which is why it is referred to as dual action. Think of the earth as it spins while simultaneously rotating around the sun. It was designed as a safe alternative to the infamous high-speed, or rotary car buffers, as well as designed to replicate the motion of your hand in the form of a power tool.
Random Orbital: Means the orbiting is random and not forced
through gear operation. When too much pressure is applied, the rotation
stops while the spinning continues. This is why these random orbitals
are so safe; it is virtually impossible to generate too much friction or
heat when polishing. The Porter Cable is a random orbital.
Forced Rotation Orbital: The second type of orbital buffer is the forced rotation which means that both the spinning and rotation are gear operated and cannot be stopped with pressure. These types of orbitals offer greater polishing abilities as they can produce additional levels of friction and heat as compared to random orbitals, but still lack the ability to create the heat and friction that can be produced through use of high-speed rotary polishers. The Porter Cable is a random orbital as explained above.
Indeed the Porter Cable is often referred to as the safest car buffer and therefore ideal for the true beginner, but the reason this polisher is so safe has nothing to do with it being a Porter Cable, and everything to do with the fact that it is a random orbital buffer. The many car forums are filled with limitless people willing to echo the fact that this buffer not only has a big following, but represents a viable answer to beginners and car polishing. Long has been the cry of beginners and car enthusiasts for a safe alternative to rotary polishers, and numerous manufacturers have risen to perform.
Orbitals do represent a safe and effective means of car polishing. But the very reasons these buffers are so safe is the very reasons their abilities are limited. The Porter Cable is reserved for fine or light polishing such as swirl removal. While high-speed car buffers are consider dangerous by many, this is an unfair label as any tool can be deemed unsafe when used improperly by the inexperienced. The fact is that the latest generation of rotary polishers represent the widest range of uses, along with reduced speed settings that allow these polishers to be as safe as any orbital buffer. You can see my in-depth review of automotive polishers to see if you come to the same conclusion.
Despite the newly designed rotary polishers, many people will still choose the safety and popularity of the Porter Cable polisher. This quality polisher does have plenty of benefits and there is little wonder as to why it remains so popular:
In a perfect world non of us would be limited by our pocket books and we would all have each buffer type in our tool box to pick and choose from.With that said, most people will not be able to buy multiple buffer types and therefore are looking to find the one buffer that represents the greatest amount of uses and benefits. Use this list to ask yourself the following questions:
Review the categories below to see which conclusion best matches your situation:
Category 1: Safe and Easy-
Answer: Porter Cable Polisher
Porter Cable 7424XP Intro Pad Kit - Choose Your CCS Pads! FREE BONUS
Category 2: Enthusiast, Hobbyist, Professional:
Answer: Makita Rotary Buffer:
Makita 9227C Rotary Polisher 8.5 inch Pad Kit
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