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Old 09-01-2011, 08:35 AM   #1
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Ok, I want to purchase a buffer to give my car a good detail and get the blemishes out on the paint. What is a good economical tool to buy? I was thinking about getting something from Harbor Freight.

I dont need any expensive professional grade buffers, just something that will get me a decent finish.
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:02 AM   #2
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Dont bother with harbor freight, their buffers are junk. You can purchase a porter cable 7424 for about $115-$125 bnib. In order to get blemishes out of the paint, you need a good buffer as well as the right rubbing compounds, polishes, glazes, and wax.
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:14 AM   #3
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I was just about to create this thread...you beat me to it.

From what I read Dual Action is best for someone getting into machine polishing. Random Orbital is better and faster, but it can easily burn through paint, so only experienced detailers use those.

Everyone seems to love the porter cable so I'm leaning towards that, but there's the whole myrad of pads, polishes, compounds, ect that I have to figure out.

Watch the video on here: http://www.autogeek.net/bupo.html

What sort of pads/polishes should I look into getting? Autogeek likes pinnacle/wolfgang, and I've never used those brands before. Our Lexus LS400/GS400 paint is in very good/excellent condition and it only needs minor polishing before wax, but the Legends have a good amount of swirls, and the white one has a lot of oxidation (I think--It's hard to tell with white paint). I still haven't replaced the hood after hitting the deer, so I can practice on that before moving on to the rest of the car and the hood I eventually buy.
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:21 AM   #4
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It's hard to burn paint with a random orbital buffer I think its the rotary which what you wanted to mention.
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:24 AM   #5
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Wolfgang deep gloss sealant 3.0 is my favorite finishing coat, awesome stuff and protects 4-6 months. Offers the deep gloss of a hard carnuba with all the benefits of a synthetic sealant.

As far as polishing. Poorboys SSR line and Meguiars M105 and M205 are great affordable polishing compounds.

If you arent as confident removing swirls or cant remove them completely, Poorboys Black hole show glaze is excellent for dark colored cars as well as red cars, and the Poorboys white diamond show glaze is excellent on light colored cars.

For polishing pads, you will want to use a Lake Country CCS orange pad for swirl removal, CCS Lake Country white or black pad for applying polishes and glazes, and a CCS Lake country blue pad for applying sealants and waxes.
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:26 AM   #6
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It's hard to burn paint with a random orbital buffer I think its the rotary which what you wanted to mention.
Just caught that. Dual action polishers are random orbital and offer the easiest use without fear of burning paint.

Full orbital or rotary polishers spin at a much higher rpm and can burn through clear coat quickly in the hands of someone who doesnt know how to properly use one.
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Old 09-01-2011, 09:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreams94coupe View Post
It's hard to burn paint with a random orbital buffer I think its the rotary which what you wanted to mention.
whoops, but you know what I meant.

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Wolfgang deep gloss sealant 3.0 is my favorite finishing coat, awesome stuff and protects 4-6 months. Offers the deep gloss of a hard carnuba with all the benefits of a synthetic sealant.

As far as polishing. Poorboys SSR line and Meguiars M105 and M205 are great affordable polishing compounds.

If you arent as confident removing swirls or cant remove them completely, Poorboys Black hole show glaze is excellent for dark colored cars as well as red cars, and the Poorboys white diamond show glaze is excellent on light colored cars.

For polishing pads, you will want to use a Lake Country CCS orange pad for swirl removal, CCS Lake Country white or black pad for applying polishes and glazes, and a CCS Lake country blue pad for applying sealants and waxes.
Thanks for the polish/pad suggestions...I'll look into those. I may PM you for some more advice. I'll probably end up buying them at the beginning of my next credit card billing cycle :P
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Old 09-01-2011, 03:10 PM   #8
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griotsgarage.com has a good orbital buffer. I know one of the best professional detailers here in Wa. state uses it.
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Old 09-01-2011, 03:20 PM   #9
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I have a rotary. It got my paint to what I would say is "excellent" condition, but it's nearly impossible to get it hologram-free and I burned 2 edges. Wish I bought a DA.
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:05 AM   #10
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First off, let me explain that I've done it all....

Second, let me clarify about Random Orbit / Dual Action buffing....they are the same. They spin while they move back and forth, and they are not considered high-speed polishers.

High Speed (rotary) polishers remove scratches much faster and better than RO/DA buffers, but require higher skill levels to prevent burning the paint.

Now for the thread topic...which buffer do you want to do your car? The Harbor Freight $35.00 high-speed rotary, but make sure you get one with variable speed so you can slow it down until you get a good feel for it. I've detailed professionally for years now, and I use the cheap buffer from Harbor Freight...but I've been through about three of them. One day I'll buy a Makita, but the only difference is longevity.

I also own the Porter Cable DA...which ran me almost $300. I rarely use it. Typically I use the high speed rotary with a heavy cutting pad to remove the scratches (also using a heavy cutting compound). Then I go over it with the Porter Cable and a light cutting polish to make sure there are no buffer swirls.

That being said, I recommend the average noob should use the cheap Harbor Freight buffer with a medium or light pad, and a light cutting polish (or one-step wax/polish). Grab a heavy pad if you want to get some deeper scratches out, but if your finger nail catches on the scratch when you drag across it, it's probably too deep to buff out.
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