Last Updated on March 30, 2020 by Team TRA
Does your vehicle need a good polish? If so, you may be looking for a buffing machine. If you’re not, you’d better consider it. Buffers give you the sleek, shiny look you’ve always wanted your vehicle to have. And they save you a lot of physical work, too.
There’s a huge selection of buffers on the market, though, so how do you know which one to buy? To help you find the best car buffer, we’ve gone ahead and done the research for you. Keep reading for our reviews of ten buffers, plus some other helpful information.
10 Best Car Buffer Products for 2020
So what is the best car buffer and polisher? Ultimately, the right one for you depends on what you intend to do with it. So you’ll need to keep your specific needs in mind. As you shop around, here are ten buffers you definitely need to keep in mind. After you read through our picks for the best car buffer polisher, check out our guide to consider the features that might be important to you.1. Porter-Cable 7424XP
Customer Choice: Best Car Polisher/Buffer
This 6-inch variable-speed polisher operates with a random orbit for swirl-free polishing action. Choose from various speeds and switch the handle to the side that is most comfortable for you!
This polisher comes in at under six pounds, so you won’t have to worry about hauling a big machine all over your car. When you purchase this polisher you’ll also get a polishing pad, wrench, instructions, and a side handle.2. DeWALT DWP849X
Best Car Buffers for Beginners
The DWP849X is a variable-speed polisher that is more than capable of getting the job done. It offers a slower start and 12-amp motor, and a handle that can be gripped from multiple directions.
This polisher weighs 6.7 pounds, so it’s a bit heavier than the Porter-Cable 7424XP. But you’ll be so happy with the performance of this great machine that you probably won’t mind the extra weight. One great thing about this polisher is the included 90-day money-back guarantee.
You won’t have to worry about being stuck with a machine you’re not happy with. If it doesn’t meet your standards, simply send it back.3. Griot’s Garage 10813STDCRD
Best Orbital Polisher
This polisher from Griot’s Garage has you covered, whatever lengths you need to cover. Choose either a 10-foot or 25-foot cord, whatever suits your projects. The 25-foot cord will give you plenty of room to maneuver around your vehicle while you work.
Features of this polisher include a six-inch hook and loop backing plate, an 850-watt motor, various speeds, and easy operation. Beginners and professionals alike will appreciate this polisher.4. Flex XC3401VRG
Best Buffer for Car Enthusiasts
This may be the best buffer for car enthusiasts who are new to performing their own buffing. It’s powerful and efficient, but it’s simple and provides great control-perfect for beginners. One thing we really love about this buffer is the shut-off carbon brushes.
This feature helps prevent damage to your car. If your brushes wear down too much, the motor shuts off.5. Makita 9227C
Best Buffer for Waxing Cars and Sanding
The Makita 9227C helps prevent static electricity by coming equipped with a three-prong plug. Keeping safety in mind doesn’t mean it’s low on features, though. You’ll love the speed control dial, soft start feature, and lock-on button.
This buffer gets even better, thanks to its ability to double as a sander. When you purchase this bugger, you’re getting two tools in one!6. Torq TORQX
Best Car Buffer for Detailing
The Torg TORQX is all about simplicity matched with efficiency. And, it can be purchased in a handy kit. Use it for wax, sealant, and glaze, no matter your level of expertise.
Even if you’ve been buffing cars for years, you’ll appreciate this polisher. It performs well for beginners and experts alike. It’s heavier than some of the other buffers on this list and isn’t recommended for professionals, but it will serve any amateur well.7. Milwaukee 5460-6
Longest Lasting Car Buffer
The Milwaukee 5460-6 is a gutsy buffer that will get the job done well over and over again. It’s built to last while offering great versatility and power.
If you’re looking to work out some deep scratches, this is the buffer for you. But even with all the bells and whistles, this buffer is simple to use. This buffer is loud and pricey compared to others, but that’s a pretty fair trade for the power and durability you get in return.8. Ryobi P435
Best Car Buffer for Your Budget
Cords can be cumbersome when trying to get that perfect polish, especially if you’re a beginner. The Ryobi P435 eliminates that issue by providing this cordless buffing option. To make things even easier, it’s lightweight, too.
This buffer’s simple design doesn’t mean its capabilities are lacking, though. This orbital buffer provides up to 2500 RPMs and will run for up to 90 minutes on a single charge.9. Meguiar’s MT300
Ergonomic Car Buffer
The motor for this buffer has been known to have some problems, but it comes with several desirable features. These include its ergonomic design, soft start option, billet counterweight, and universal throw.
You can purchase three different sizes of plates to work with this machine, ranging from three to six inches. All around, this machine was designed to work hard so you don’t have to.10. BLACK & DECKER WP900
Best Cheap Car Buffer
In the WP900, Black & Decker provides a great machine for a fraction of the price you’ll find with a lot of other buffers. You get 4400 orbits per minute and a 10-foot cord for working on any size of vehicle.
To make things easy, this buffer comes with a few helpful accessories. These include a foam applicator and polishing bonnets. Extremely lightweight (barely over two pounds), you’ll never have to worry about your arms getting tired. The comfortable two-handle design helps with that too.
Polishing vs. Buffing
In our article you’ll see polishing and buffing used interchangeably. The simple reason being, they mean the exact same thing. So don’t get confused by our switching back and forth.
This is important to keep in mind when you shop, too, since tools are labeled as both polishers and buffers, depending on the product and manufacturer. So if you see a tool labeled as “the best car polishers and buffers” the tool’s name is redundant.
Why Polish Your Car?
Whether we like it or not, small imperfections show up regularly on our cars, whether you drive a Wrangler or a Prius. This may be in the form of oxidized paint, scratches, or paint imperfections. Polishing your car helps to rid it of these issues.
Polishes have slightly abrasive qualities about them, which help to rub away your car’s outer imperfections. When you polish your car, you end up with smoother paint, which means a shinier car.
There are some disadvantages to polishing your car, but you can combat it if you know what to do. Polishing can remove the protective wax layers from your car. So make sure you choose a polish that includes wax or add a new wax layer when you’re finished polishing.
Different Types of Buffers
While buffers and polishers are the same types of machine, there are different kinds to choose from. Here’s the low-down on a few types you’ll likely encounter during your search:
These buffers are high-speed machines, working at 1000 to 3000 RPMs. They’ll most likely have a variable trigger that allows the user to control the speed.
Rotary buffers can create too much friction, which could damage vehicle paint. This means the user must be careful when using it. Even then, this is the most popular type of buffing machine used in shops.
There’s a notable learning curve with this type of buffer. Practice using it on surfaces that you don’t care about since damage is more likely–especially if you’re a beginner.
This type of buffer is designed to imitate the movements you’d make if you were buffing by hand. But, of course, it gets the job done a lot quicker. xUnlike with the high-speed buffer, this buffing machine doesn’t generate a lot of heat. This means it can be used on heat-sensitive finishes.
Orbital buffers work in an orbital pattern, unlike rotary buffers. They create less heat and are much less likely to cause accidental damage. In other words, these tools are great for beginner buffers. And, if you need something less aggressive, this kind of buffer is a good choice.
Why not Polish by Hand?
In times past it was normal to polish and wax your vehicle by hand. While you could still do this, it doesn’t make sense with new technologies. And we don’t just mean it would take a lot more time. Today’s clear coat finishes are harder and more delicate, so they require a different method.
Even with these changes, you could buff your car by hand. But be prepared to spend a lot of time doing it, and you probably won’t get all the defects out. If you want a quicker, more effective method, use a machine buffer. We recommend watching a video or reading about the best way to wax a car with a buffer before you get started.
Removing vs. Improving Scratches
Some scratches can’t be removed by buffing. Or, at least, we don’t recommend you try it. Why’s that?
- Deep scratches may have entered the base coat of your car (i.e., the paint’s color coat). You don’t want to buff that deep into your car’s paint.
- Shallow scratches only impact the clear coat on top, not the base coat. Those can be safely removed using a buffer. If you have deep scratches, focus on improving them, not removing them, so you don’t damage the color coat.