Need some input on Rotary Buffer vs DA Polisher and buffing pads.....
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Thread: Need some input on Rotary Buffer vs DA Polisher and buffing pads.....

  1. #1
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    Need some input on Rotary Buffer vs DA Polisher and buffing pads.....

    Hello All,

    In giving some background. I managed a detailing business for 14 years which was operated out of a dealer only auction. I handled most of the buffing (rotary) myself and probably buffed in excess of 10k cars over those years. It was always a balance of speed and quality though.

    Anyhow, I left that job 6 years ago and haven't buffed a vehicle since. However, given my background my current boss asked if I could buff his 2007 "black" pickup as it's starting to suffer from years of neglect. The paint is in good shape overall with only a handful of minor scratches, but it has dulled and needs clay-baring badly.

    Ok no problem; but now I'm feeling apprehensive because I haven't touched a buffer in years much less attempting to restore a superior gloss to a black vehicle. I know as long as I use the proper pads, compounds and technique, there should be no issues but still.


    Given all that, your input would be appreciated.

    1. I went ahead and purchased a Milwaukee 5460 (rotary, variable speed) similar to what I used to use; however, would a DA polisher (Meguiars or Flex) be equal to the task with a moderate job? The results some demonstrate on You Tube seem beyond what I may be able to get with a rotary buffer alone? My new rotary buffer is variable speed, unlike my old work one, so maybe adjusting that at different stages is all that is needed in getting superior results?

    2. What Meguiars compound or polish would you recommend in restoring the black truck finish? I've never used their products for buffing but was considering the "M02 Mirror Glaze Fine-Cut" followed by their "M205 Mirror Glaze Ultra Finish Polish"?

    3. Has anyone used the DRC1000 buffing pads as their video looks impressive? Otherwise, is the SM Arnold recessed waffle pads -or- Buff and Shine Hex pads worth consideration? Also, what affordable hook and loop backing disc can you recommend?

    God Bless,

  2. #2
    Michael The Guz's Avatar
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    Jul 2013
    Lawndale, CA
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    Re: Need some input on Rotary Buffer vs DA Polisher and buffing pads.....

    The DA has come a long way. One can achieve amazing results with the proper technique. I would recommend you read up a lot and watch some videos on a DA. Mike Phillips from Autogeek has some good videos on youtube. It's a much safer alternative to the rotary if one is not skilled in using one.

    Meguiar's is introducing their new DA shortly. See here

    You also have the Porter Cable 7424XP, Meguiar's G110V2 (previous model before the MT300), Griots Garage and the Harbor Freight DA. You also have the more premium priced DA's in the Rupes and the Flex 3401.

    As far as polishes and compounds. You can pick up Ultimate Compound and Ultimate Polish locally. I do not believe they are for rotary use but they are available locally if you chose to purchase a DA. You also have the tried and true combo in M105/M205 which can also be found locally. One other compound you may want to look into is D300 and the microfiber cutting pads. You could also pick up the D302 polish with the microfiber finishing disk or follow that up with M205 and a foam pad.

    The microfiber system

    I am not sure about the pads you posted as I have never used them but Meguiar's has new pads for 2015.

    DA pads

    Rotary Pads

    very good video for educational purposes!

  3. #3
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    Re: Need some input on Rotary Buffer vs DA Polisher and buffing pads.....

    If you're used to the smooth rotation of a rotary, I'd guess your arms will be quite stressed by the vibrations of a typical DA polisher especially if you're doing an entire truck in a day or two.

    Since you already purchased a very capable rotary and very familiar with these in the past , I'd say stick with the good old things and be very happy.

    And btw,there's now a new breed of wireless lithium powered rotary buffers in the market. They're very sweet to use, the brushless motors greatly extended battery life, to up to one hour per 20v 4Ah pack. No more wires over the shoulder!

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