Friday, February 17, 2012

Polishing Machines

Also referred to as buffer, come it many different shapes, sizes, and operating methods. As mentioned in an earlier post, buffers are differentiated between orbitals and rotaries, the later of which a beginner should stay clear of.

Orbital: The oscillating movement of an orbital buffer produces much less heat on the paint's surface and therefore is much more forgiving. The two most popular are the Porter Cable (PC) and the Orbital Flex.

Porter Cable

The Porter Cable can be purchased for around $130 and is very much capable of achieving 85% correction with the proper use of pads, polishes/ compounds/ and pressure. Because it is very safe to use and in a low price point, beginners often make this their first buffer.

The Flex is available as a orbital as well as a rotary. The orbital produces quite a bit more power than the Porter Cable, but also comes with a higher price point of about $300. Paint correction is possible up to 90-95%. Still very safe to use, if you have the money, opt for the orbital Flex rather than the PC, as you will upgrade rather sooner than later. The one disadvantage of this Flex though is that it can not use pads smaller than 5.5", therefore making it difficult to get to harder to reach areas.


Finally, the rotary buffer quickly builds up enormous heat because of its 360 degrees turning table and is the most efficient in end result and time for paint correction. Makita is one of many makes of rotaries, but certainly one of the most used within the industry. A good rotary is cheaper than a n orbital Flex, by about $100, but can do damage tenfold of the savings if not used properly.

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