Perhaps, you’ve wondered how some people’s cars stay so shiny, and yours has already lost its glossy finish. Over time, any car’s paintwork starts diminishing and losing its sheen. But no matter how old a vehicle gets, there’s still a way to bring back its showroom look. A dual-action polisher and a bit of elbow grease will save you tons of time and energy. What’s more, you don’t have to spend a large sum of money to achieve the desired effect.
Unlike traditional rotary polishers, dual-action polishers are complete game-changers. They are safe to use by any enthusiast who wants to learn the ropes of polishing. Moreover, you can successfully renew your car’s paint without any experience. However, the abundance of brands and models on the market can be overwhelming for both beginners and pros. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best dual-action polishers. Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly option or something of professional-grade, this article will help you to find everything you need.
What is a dual-action polisher?
- What is a dual-action polisher?
- Best Dual-Action Polishers
- 1. Rupes Bigfoot Mark II
- 2. Flex XFE7-15-150
- 3. Makita PO5000C
- 4. Meguiar’s MT300
- 5. Griot’s Garage GG6
- 6. Porter-Cable 7424xp DA Polisher
- 7. Flex XFE15 150
- What’s the difference between dual-action polishers, random orbit polishers, and rotary polishers?
- The Verdict for Best Dual-Action Polishers
As the name suggests, dual-action (DA) polishers oscillate their heads in a dual motion. Typically, the DA polisher has a central spindle and a backing plate with a second axis. The two autonomous movements work together, allowing the pad to orbit in an Earth-like motion. In other words, the dual-action polisher will spin on its own, but it will also orbit around its axis.
Best Dual-Action Polishers
“The Rupes Bigfoot Mark II is the undisputed king of dual-action polishers. It’s the best solution for those who want to make any car look like it came out the showroom.”
Undeniably, Rupes has made a massive impact on the entire industry with their first Bigfoot models on the market. The Rupes Bigfoot Mark II DA polisher certainly steps the game up a notch with higher RPM and more torque. The larger side-to-side movement this model delivers is enough to achieve excellent cutting power without any added effort. What’s more, you’ll be able to cover much larger areas in no time. Simply use the trigger lock and set the speed anywhere from 2500 to 5300 RPM.
Furthermore, there are some improvements in the housing that will undoubtedly make this dual-action polisher more durable. The design of this outstanding tool comes with a rubber grip on the front housing underside. Another great feature is the rubberized top of the machine, which prevents unwanted knock-overs. Besides, the 11-ft cord is now much more flexible, so you can safely move around the vehicle. Needless to say, this 5.7-lb dual-action polisher is the go-to choice for every professional.
Best Overall, Runner-up
“Experience German quality with the Flex XFE7-15-150 long-throw car polisher.”
Another option that will amaze you with its capabilities is the Flex XFE7-15-150 dual-action polisher. This orbital-style buffer boasts a powerful 710-watt motor and RPM ranging from 2900 to 8600 RPM. Like Mark II, this tool has a lengthy throw, which ensures fast and perfect finishes. The primary difference here is that this model exudes German quality.
Even though it doesn’t have a set of go-to polishes, the Flex XFE7-15-150 shows outstanding results with almost any combo. In some way, it’s a cheaper version of the Rupes Bigfoot Mark II. Still, it outshines its competition with a more featherweight design of 5.3 lbs and quiet motor operation. What’s more, the unit has much more powerful torque with higher RPM, which increases the polisher’s overall capability. If you’re looking for a dual-action polisher for both cutting and polishing, this one will quickly meet your expectations.
“The Makita PO5000C allows for quick switch between forced rotation and free-spinning for ultimate precision during work.”
If you’re into more versatile power tools, you’ll undoubtedly like the Makita PO5000C. This dual-mode polisher can easily switch between forced-rotation and free-spinning modes.Moreover, the 900-watt motor and 0 to 6800 RPM are enough to either cut or finish at will. The electronic controller will ensure constant speed control and a soft start for perfect precision during car polishing.
Perhaps, the only real drawback of the Makita PO5000C is that the tool is a bit pricy. Moreover, it’s a short-throw version, which means you’ll spend twice as much working on your paintwork. Still, this dual-action polisher will prove a trustworthy companion with its trigger lock. Besides, it’s widely accessible through local hardware stores, so you can quickly buy it without waiting.
Best Rotary Style
“The digital torque management and design of this car polisher will provide rotary-style control during paint correction.”
In the past decade, Meguiar’s has slowly earned its spot as the most popular detailing brand in the U.S. Now, the brand is slowly taking over Europe and the rest of the world with its dual-action polishing combos. One of the staples in this category is Meguiar’s MT300. This DA polisher comes with a variable-speed trigger and digital torque management. Thanks to the “cruise control” feature, the machine won’t lose power even when you apply pressure to it.
Undoubtedly, you’ll have no problems compounding, polishing, or waxing with this unit. Just set the speed from 3000 to 7500 RPM, and you’re ready to go. The soft start and ergonomic design will make polishing much more enjoyable. What’s more, the 5.4 lbs of weight this DA polisher has makes it one of the most featherweight. While some customers have complained about cord problems, this car polisher is still one of the top choices out there.
5. Griot’s Garage GG6
“You’ll hardly find a DA polisher this cheap and powerful at the same time. The Griot’s Garage GG6 is perfect for learning the ropes of car polishing.”
If you don’t care about buying the most high-end model, then Griot’s Garage has the right DA polisher for you. The GG6 6-inch orbital buffer is ideal for those who are learning the ropes in car polishing. This short-throw machine comes with a 6-inch backing plate and 850 watts of power. You can tweak its speed between 2500 and 6800 RPM for an enjoyable work of cutting, polishing, or waxing. Either way, you’ll have effortless yet perfect results without taking the risk of using a rotary polisher. What’s more, you’ll love the comfortable ergonomics and 10-ft. or 25-ft. cord of choice. If you want to get into the tight spaces of your car, you can quickly switch to a 3-inch backing plate.
Another great advantage that comes with this machine is the set of replacement brushes. Even if you find out there’s some issue with your DA polisher, you can use Griot’s lifetime warranty. Still, this dual-action polisher is quite reliable for the specs it gives. Besides, it has one of the most powerful motors in its category. Thanks to its affordable price, you will quickly get your hands on the GG6. The double shot rubber grip inserts at its head and tail, which will minimize the vibration and fatigue from prolonged use.
“This car polisher is a great alternative to high-end dual-action polishers. For those who are on a budget, the Porter-Cable 7424xp will deliver a satisfying swirl-free polishing action.”
While the GG6 is a decent choice for beginners, the 7424xp will give you the best value for your bucks. Arguably, Porter-Cable has earned its spot in the detailing industry for its affordable polishers. This model is the one that started the DA polisher craze. Initially, the brand designed the 7424xp as a dual-action sander and a wood polisher. This 500-watt tiny beast is an effective alternative to expensive car polishers. It boasts 2500 to 6800 OPM (orbits per minute) and is ideal for beginners.
Of course, it’s far from quiet and smooth compared to Griot’s Garage GG6, but the 7424xp is still quite reliable. It’s not one of the most featherweight car polishers. However, it features a handy 2-position removable side handle for added comfort during work.You can find the 7424xp in any hardware store and start car polishing right away.
“The XFE15150 is the first long-throw cordless orbital polisher. If you’re looking for a reliable backup machine, this one will do wonders.”
To some, a cordless car polisher may sound quite odd. Still, Flex has managed to build a great battery-powered machine to serve as needed. The XFE15 150 breaks the ice as the first long-throw cordless orbital polisher. While it’s obviously incapable of correcting more than 2 or 3 panels, you’ll still get the desired results. Best of all, this model doesn’t compromise any of its polishing power or speed.
You can use it for 45 minutes straight with a speed between 2300 to 3800 RPM thanks to the 5-amp battery. When it dies, you can switch it with the other one for additional 45 minutes of work time. Besides, you’ll still get the 15-mm long throw that corded options have. If you’re not a fan of cords, this Flex DA polisher will serve you well. Of course, you won’t have the chance to use it for a full car polishing. Regardless, this buffer is a great backup tool, and you may as well use it as a touch-up alternative.
What’s the difference between dual-action polishers, random orbit polishers, and rotary polishers?
As you may know, there’s a wide range of car polishers available on the market. They use different operation mechanisms, meaning they have distinctive pros and cons. Depending on your skills and aim, each type can serve you well. However, you first need some basic knowledge ofhow these car buffers work.
Standard and Random Orbit Polishers
If you have a temporary interest in car polishing, then spending a fortune on expensive tools will disappoint you. Perhaps, you simply want to try and polish your car on the weekend. In such cases, a standard orbit polisher will do the trick. While it lacks power and cutting capabilities, this option is the cheapest and most accessible. Ultimately, you can use it to apply wax or sealant because it mimics how a hand moves during polishing.
If you’re more eager to maintain your car’s shine, a random orbit polisher is an ideal tool for learning. Unlike rotaries, random orbit polishers rotate from the accumulated momentum by the orbital motion. This type is relatively safe due to the lack of a link between the rotation and the orbit. Therefore, a beginner can achieve satisfactory results without causing harm to their car’s paintwork. What’s more, most basic random orbit polishers are affordable and easy to buy.
Forced-rotation dual-action orbital polishers, or DA polishers, give the user a combination of safety and efficiency. Similar to their predecessors, these machines combine both rotary and orbital motions in one. The difference here is that both movements are now forced. In other words, the dual-action polisher produces a highly-consistent pattern. While these tools are pretty easy to use, they pose some danger, as they can quickly burn through a clear coat. Still, you can learn the ropes of using a DA polisher to deliver outstanding results.
Arguably, this is the classic version of a car polisher. These machines are simple but effective only in the hands of pros.However, this often means excess heat, which is very dangerous and can easily damage a vehicle’s paint. What’s more, improper use often causes swirl marks or holograms. That’s why experts don’t recommend this type of car polisher to beginners.
The Verdict for Best Dual-Action Polishers
All in all, dual-action polishers have a bright future in the detailing world. While they eliminate the risk of damaging a car’s paintwork, they’re ideal for both newbies and pros. That’s why they are the perfect choice for those who want to safely bring back their vehicle’s old shine. Unlike standard orbit buffers, a DA polisher will fix grave defects on your paint as efficiently as a rotary polisher. Still, it’ll serve as an ideal pick for polishing and waxing for achieving the ultimate finish.
If you’re a beginner, you can quickly learn the paint correction ropes with the Porter Cable 7424xp or Griot’s Garage GG6. These car polishers are suitable for anyone who wants to achieve 60-70% correction without spending a fortune on a Rupes. But if you already have some experience in detailing, you’d want to go for a Bigfoot Mark II. Let’s not forget the incredible Flex XFE7-15-150 and the Makita PO5000C. If you love using Meguiar’s products, then the MT300 will fit perfectly into your detailing arsenal.