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.
And regardless of a persons experience, they can voice this opinion for free courtesy of the Internet and the endless social media platforms!
I get it!
It feels good to give an opinion. Even if the opinion given has nothing to back it up in the form of real world experience.
"Darren, I visit so many detail and car forums and each time I walk away 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 20% of the people are actually qualified to give an opinion and offer tips that are based on real-world experience. To make matters even worse, many of these so-called experts have hidden agendas simply based on their own pocket book or self-promotion.
"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!"
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....
Before we get too far into selecting a top rated car buffer, let's begin by busting a few bad rumors that continue to circulate and have likely caused you confusion yourself.
False! Yes, you could argue that polishing by hand is the safest way as far as not creating swirl marks or burning any edges, but the simple fact is that no person will ever be able to maintain the consistency of speed, pressure, and duration produced by using a car buffer over using your hand. There is a reason that in virtually every area of craftsmanship, the use of powers tools exists for a reason. Because when you match up the right tool with the right craftsman; amazing things happen! Car buffers and polishing your car with a quality car buffer is no exception.
Depends. I know; I hate that answer also. But it really does depend. It depends on lots of things. The good news is that with today's car buffers, polishes, compounds, and buffing pads, it would be hard for even an "out of the box" beginner to actually screw car paint up! The car buffers and everything else that goes along with polishing your car have been engineered to perform at such an entry level position, a monkey could do it and produce far better results than you will if you think you are gonna do it by hand.
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 polisher 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. (Using only a random, dual action car buffer will definitely take longer than using a rotary to do the job, but any beginner car owner will appreciate the user-friendly experience of the newest in random orbital car 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.)
Darren's Note: Throughout this page I will switch between using the term polisher and buffer. Just know they are simply terms used interchangeably for the same "thing". Some guys call them polishers, some guys call them buffers.
The following are what most professionals would consider entry level car polishers. I choose these to start with for the following reasons:
Maxshine M15 Pro Series II DA Dual Action Polisher, 1000W
Maxshine M21 Pro DA Dual Action Polisher
Darren's Tips: At this point, most guys/girls recognize that one of the above auto buffers represent the winning balance of performance and cost. But the very next thing is deciding on the smaller or the larger version of these very nice auto buffers.
My experience has shown me that if this is your very first car buffer then you will likely feel most comfortable with the smaller, 15mm Pro car buffer.
Also as a note, due to your lack of experience, it would be hard for you to even know the difference between the two if this will be your first time polishing a car.
Before we get into the top rated auto buffers, let's start with what is just as important as choosing a top rated car buffer:
A top rated car polish! (This is the elusive obvious that most car buffer reviews don't talk about) Obviously if you are looking for a car buffer, you are looking to buff out your car. You will not get very far without choosing a great car polish do go with that great car buffer.
CSI Ceram-X Car Polish 62-203-Quart - Single Product Polish (SPP) Superior Single Polish Replaces The Countless compounds/Polishes You Think You Need
Since I am throwing in my selection of the top rated car polish, I should also add the following when it comes to polishing pads.
Maxshine High Pro Foam Pad Stack - 6 Inch 4 Pack
Darren's Tips: Like every other area of auto detailing you will find yourself neck-deep with endless opinions. Everyone has an opinion on the best car buffers, the best buffing pads, and the best car polish.
You really don't have to over-think most of it. To be the most important decisions to make are these (2):
Doing these two things will give you a massive head start regardless of whether this is your very first car polishing experience or not!
Nanoskin (NAA-PCB1 Pad Conditioning Brush
Darren's Trick: If you want to do without a separate pad cleaning tool then you can try what I do: simply have some water in a spray bottle. When your pad is ready for cleaning, spray the pad, turn on the buffer and hold a micro-fiber cloth firmly against the pad. This will "mop up" any used polish and keep your pad fresh.
The professional grade random orbital car buffers below are in-fact professional grade equipment which is reflected in the price.But like anything in life; you get what you pay for.
If you are willing to spend more on one of the more expensive top rater auto buffers from Griot's or Rupes than you can expect to get a lot more in the way of performance and overall user experience.
Rupes LHR15 III Black Random Orbital Polisher (Mark 3 Bigfoot)
Griot's Garage BG21 21 mm THE BOSS Long-Throw Orbital
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 operating speeds, soft-start control, and better ergonomics 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.
DEWALT DWP849X 7-Inch/9-Inch Variable Speed Polisher with Soft Start
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.
FLEX (PE 14-2 150) POLISHFLEX Compact Variable Speed Rotary Car 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".
Most of us live on tighter budgets 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:
My goal is to always provide what I consider usable 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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