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Which Electric Buffer/Polisher to Get?


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13 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Riddley

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 01:53 AM

I've never owned or used a power buffer/polisher. I'm starting to see the logic of getting one.  

 

Here are three different models I'm looking at:

Let me know if you use a buffer/polisher and if you like it or could recommend it.   - Riddley.









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#2 OFFLINE   mtb9153

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 02:19 AM

I've never owned or used a power buffer/polisher. I'm starting to see the logic of getting one.  

 

Here are three different models I'm looking at:

Let me know if you use a buffer/polisher and if you like it or could recommend it.   - Riddley.

All I can say is why?  At least the paint on my CMax is far better than any production paint job I've ever seen coming out of Detroit.  Even when dirty my Platinum White looks like a million bucks.  I would be too afraid of ruining the factory paint.  Just my two cents.



#3 OFFLINE   Mark426

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 04:09 AM

Porter-Cable



#4 OFFLINE   heinzd01

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 06:50 AM

Porter-Cable



#5 OFFLINE   RedLdr1

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 07:02 AM

I currently use an older Craftsman I wouldn't recommend...  Of the three listed the Porter Cable is the "pro" choice due to their good name.  But look carefully and you will see has a different style grip than the other two...which style grip is going to be more comfortable for you?



#6 OFFLINE   jmckinley

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 08:26 AM

Definitely Griot's Garage.  And all their waxes and polishes.  Can't beat them.

 

But, as others said, why bother at this point.  All I'm using is Griot's Speed Shine.  It's all you need with a new car and if you use it every time you wash, you may never need to wax.



#7 OFFLINE   C-MAXER

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 09:33 AM

I typically give and follow the advice of buying/using quality tools but....... there's also marketing for higher priced "pro-level" products (common with cameras, golf clubs, etc.)  For the average consumer, results with those pro-tools are no different than lower end stuff. 

 

I consider once a year waxing/polishing to fall into the non-pro category of usage.  I've owned a 10-inch sears craftsman (DC) and a generic 6-inch (AC) hand polishers which have delivered beautiful results.  For the past couple of years, I'v moved to using a Black & Decker variable speed drill with wool and foam pads for both application and buffering along with the orbital black & decker as a final polisher.

 

This is an old mazda protege I brought back to life.

 

20110913_4665.jpg

 

A once wrecked bike now looking new again.

 

rightsideweb-1.jpg

 

Nissan Cube that had scratches from car wash brushes.

 

IMG_9742.jpg

 

 

My advice for a new car?  Hand apply the materials and orbital polisher to buff out.  


Edited by C-MAXER, 06 April 2013 - 09:35 AM.


#8 OFFLINE   Riddley

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 12:41 PM

To all who want to know WHY?

 

The other cars in my driveway are all 10 or more years old. Some of them are really oxidized. I need to start on cleaning them up and moving them out. It might be  a while before I feel comfortable enough to power polish the max. But fortunately I will have had a lot of practice by then.



#9 OFFLINE   hmatthews102

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 01:19 PM

Porter Cable



#10 OFFLINE   C-MAXER

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 02:19 PM

To all who want to know WHY?

 

The other cars in my driveway are all 10 or more years old. Some of them are really oxidized. 

 

Yup, that's important information.  So, I'll now highly recommend the variable speed drill, circular foam pads (from auto parts store or similar) and the paint care system products of your choice (meguiars is easily sourced).   The foam pads and a rubbing compound will cut thru the worst things (bird stains, etc) but keep the speeds down.  Polish coat (or two if really bad) and finally a couple of light wax coats.  Orbital hand polisher for the final wax/buff out.  

 

If the paints main problem is just a lack of care and oxidation/stains are not too bad, clay barring the surface does wonders before polishing/waxing (no rubbing compound, that's for the bad stuff).

 

As always, the surface needs to be clean, clean, clean before starting.  If you have a lot of black trim next to the paint surfaces, murphys law guarantees you'll get wax all over it (especially with power tools) which is very hard to remove especially if the trim is porous.  I recommend taping over it with blue painters tape.  3M makes a wax/grease remover that works great too but getting down into the pores is a PITA.  Taping is easier.  BTDT.

 

You can also work your way backwards on a small section to see if it really needs all 3 major steps (rubbing, polishing, waxing).  So, clean and wax a small section (say the top of one fender) and see if it meets with your approval.  If not, try polishing and waxing.  If that still doesn't do it, you know you'll have to rub, polish, wax the whole car.  The red Nissan Cube above only needed scratch remover and waxing.  Scratch remover is a sometimes mini-fourth step between polishing and waxing; especially for darker paints.  The black protege, which was in poor shape, need all four steps.

 

GOOD LUCK!!!


Edited by C-MAXER, 06 April 2013 - 02:26 PM.

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#11 OFFLINE   dalebunker

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 09:37 PM

'll Echo C-Maxers process, though if you really want a good machine, I recommend a variable speed polisher/sander as having a high degree of control over start speed, speed control, and multiple holding positions for varying conditions.

 

Porter Cable makes a great machine, but DeWalt also has the soft start which was the tipping point.  I had an old Snap On for 14 years that worked very well, but it finally gave up the ghost,  I spent quite a bit of time researching, and DeWalt won out with the variable speed and soft start switch (Which my Snap-On had-- it was a $350 unit in 1999) The soft start switch is great for spreading the compound evenly at slow speed before hitting full speed (so it doesn't sling stuff) then lock in the switch to run it.  Then you can vary the speed with the dial speed selector to holding a consistent speed .  When working with different compounds and polish, the right speed for the right condition is critical.

 

My detail jobs are a pretty big undertaking, when I run a unit, I run for hours over multiple days.  So having something that can run for hours without heating up is critical.  

 

Here are pictures of the recent detail job, its a full 3 step process: compound, polish, then wax. There are some before and after pictures, the polisher and the 3 step process.. The results are amazing and having a good machine really really helps deliver the results needed.

IMG 1976
IMG 1975
IMG 1973
IMG 1972
IMG 1970
IMG 1969
IMG 1968
IMG 1967

Edited by dalebunker, 06 April 2013 - 09:48 PM.

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#12 OFFLINE   Riddley

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 10:00 PM

Great advice C-MAXER and Dale!! 

I appreciate the effort you took to be thorough.

I'm sure some other folks who are curious or may have older cars/bikes/boats they want to whip back into shape will appreciate this as well.



#13 OFFLINE   altabrig

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Posted 11 April 2013 - 09:14 PM

If you go above $100 and want a cord go PORTER-CABLE with a Lowe's coupon found in post office change address packets. 

 

My Friend used the big DeWalt when he was a pro.  He used it for fiberglass RVs.  I borrowed his DeWalt and Bonnets for my huge Glass Shell on my 8' F 1-150 Mongo Shell, before gas prices took that guzzler the way of the great Auk and the dinosaurs.  I miss the truck and the shell.  I had fishing rods and surfboards hanging from its ceiling.   DeWalt was awesome for that oxidized white gelcoat, but way too beastly for our little Cmaxes.

 

If you want a cheap rechargable cordless waxer buffer that can do minor paint repairs (small scratches and dull paint areas) with a bit of cutting compound and a pad, this one is great with an extra SM Arnold pad or two if you can find it online for around $40:

 

http://www.amazon.co...ref=pd_sxp_f_pt

 

I got a white car after owning a few midnight blue and black cars.  I have grinded, sanded and polished a few surfboards with Milwaukees and used the above mentioned DeWalt, but honestly those are powerful sander/grinder/buffers that require a very light touch.  I prefer to stay on the turds and regularly wash and wax, because I am afraid of burning through the paint when trying to correct a blem with a high speed unit.   They really require professional level skills to avoid taking off the clearcoat or worse.


Edited by altabrig, 11 April 2013 - 09:30 PM.


#14 OFFLINE   Riddley

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 09:02 AM

Good Stuff Altabrig!

 

Thanks for taking the time to write this up!

 

Riddley








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