Porter Cable Polisher
Why this buffer could be your top pick!

best auto detailing tip

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.  The Porter Cable was really the beginning to what is now a market with many choices for a professional grade orbital car polisher.

Unlike the big and bulky random orbital car buffers you may have grown up with, the Porter Cable is a true quality piece of machinery that is incredibly safe and will take your paint to a higher level of shine!

Porter Cable Polisher:
Asking the right questions

porter cable polisher
  • What is the Porter Cable polisher?
  • Is the Porter Cable really the safest car buffer?
  • Why choose an orbital polisher over a rotary buffer?
  • Is the Porter Cable buffer a good choice for my needs?
  • What is Darren's personal opinion and tips?

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!

Porter Cable Polisher Review

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.

It are these features that make the dual-action, random orbital car polisher the safest as well as the easiest of car polishers to use.

meguiars random orbital polisher

Random Orbital: Means the orbiting is random and not forced through gear operation. When too much pressure is applied, the spinning stops while the vibrating (some refer to this as oscillation) 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 dual-action, random orbital car polisher.

flex orbital polisher

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, rather than a forced rotation orbital as explained above.

What is the Safest Car Polisher Available

Indeed the Porter Cable polisher is often referred to as the safest car polisher and therefore ideal for the true beginner. 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 dual action, random orbital polisher.

The many car forums are filled with endless people willing to echo the fact that this buffer is the original dual-action polisher and has a big following, therefore it is a "sure thing". But as you read further, you will see that in today's world of dual-action, random orbital car polishers, there are many other options available, most of which I recommend more than the Porter Cable polisher.

Darren's Note: Regardless of the car polisher you choose, since we are talking about the safest car polisher here, I want to ad my recommendation to the safest car polish you can choose that are not part of any of these kits. You can read what I consider the best car polish that would be ideal for use with any of these car polishing kits.

Choosing the Porter Cable Polisher

best porter cable polisher

Because of the quality that continues to be engineered into the dual action, random orbitals, I believe these new generation models are actually the best choice for 99% of any of you reading this. And it is also this reason that the Porter Cable polisher is being left behind as the first choice in a top rated car buffer.

The list of benefits with the latest generation dual-action polishers are real and substantial:

  • User friendly design
  • Reasonably priced (not all models, but many models)
  • As safe as safe gets
  • Many professionals and enthusiasts alike never move past the random orbital (dual action) polisher
  • Ideal choice for any beginner to seasoned veteran
  • Also your answer to a true hologram and swirl free finish

The Porter Cable Polisher kit:

  • For anyone committed to a Porter Cable polisher
  • Not my professional choice
  • Good, but not great

Porter Cable Polisher:
Better Alternatives

As stated above, the Porter Cable has been losing market share for many years now despite it essentially being first to market decades ago. Other companies have released versions of the very popular dual action, random orbital buffers that have taken over this area of auto detailing.

Below are what I consider the winning choices that represent better value, performance, and overall user experience than can be had from the Porter Cable polisher.

Adam's Car Polisher Kit:

  • Everything needed to perform light to heavy paint correction
  • Comes with professional grade polishing pads for heavy paint correction to fine polishing
  • A true balance of winning features and performance

Adam's Swirl Killer Car Polisher Kit:

  • The perfect kit that contains everything needed to take your paint to amazing levels of depth and shine
  • A great car polishing kit without over-paying like other car polishers
  • The last kit 99% would ever need to get (of course if you get the "car polishing bug", you will always want to try the next best car polisher as they come out)

Porter Cable Polisher Summary

porter cable polisher versus maxshine polisher

Many guys get hung up on reading one "best car polisher" review after another. Whether at this point you have decided to go with the Porter Cable polisher or one of the other recommendations of mine matter not.

You simply need to get off the fence and finally pull the trigger and just get started. Just accept that you never know how deeply you embrace the car polishing process or not.

For many guys that "catch the bug" of polishing their cars, they find they can't help themselves and want to continue to buy car polisher after car polisher moving forward.

But unless you at least get started, you just won't know. You also won't realize the amazing satisfaction that can come by polishing a car car with great tools, great polishes, and creating some amazing shine to your car paint!

I promise you won't go wrong with the Porter Cable polisher or any of the other car polishers on this page as they all represent top rated car polishers. You simply need to make a decision and work forward!


Darren Priest

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