Best Car Polisher
Not all polishing machines are the same. The best car polisher has nothing to do with price or brand. Instead, it boils down to features and performance.
Unlike those experts with the means and livelihood to test different polishers, ordinary petrol heads are left confused on what to use.
Luckily for you, I did the dirty work in advance and came up with a list of the best car polishers you can buy today. These high-quality polishing machines are loaded with friendly features that are ideal for both beginners and experts alike.
If you are looking for something a little more specific, then I’ve got the following articles just for you:
- Best Dual Action Polisher
- Best Dual Action Polisher for Beginners
- Best Rotary Polisher
- Best Cordless Car Polisher
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Best Car Polisher (Overall) – Meguiar’s MT320OUK Dual Action Polisher
When it comes to DIY car detailing, your best bet is to go for a tried and tested dual-action polisher. I’ll spill the beans at the latter part of this guide, but dual-action or DA polishers are great for both experts and beginners.
And with that being said, my top pick for the best overall car polisher in terms of performance and price is the Meguiar’s MT320OUK Dual Action Polisher.
In fact, this is a completely redesigned model. Meguiar’s wanted a new generation DA polisher that combines an ergonomic design with professional-grade results. This polishing machine is equipped with a digital torque management system that automatically adjusts the torque to maintain the proper speed when polishing.
This car polishing machine even comes with a billet counterweight design to ensure a smooth and balanced movement as you work on the paint. And with a soft start feature, using this machine will also avoid those pesky slings while offering easier control as the machine is turned ON.
As you will see from other articles, I’ve written on car polishers, I really rate the Meguiar’s MT3200UK. It cuts well, it’s ergonomic, it has a great range of speed and, if looked after, it should last you a lifetime.
Meguiar’s MT320OUK Dual Action Polisher Spec Sheet
- Weight: 2.3 Kg
- Dimensions: 46.8 x 15.6 x 12.5 cm
- Speed: 3,000 to 7,500 opm
- Backing plate: 5 inches (127 mm)
- Warranty: One year
- Thumb-adjustable speed dial
- 3,000 to 7,500 opm speed
- Ergonomic and easy to hold design
- Powerful buffing and polishing action
- Premium build quality
- A little bit more expensive than some of its competitors.
Best Budget Car Polisher – VonHaus Dual Action Polisher
If the Meguiar’s Dual Action Polisher is a bit fancy-schmancy for your tastes, I propose the VonHaus Dual Action Polisher.
Right off the bat, this polishing machine may look like an ordinary rotary polisher, but it’s a true-blue dual action polisher with the heart of a champion.
As a plus, it only costs half of what Meguiar’s is asking for its DA polisher, so I’m talking about good value here. The VonHaus Dual Action Polisher has a variable speed control from 1,500 to 6,800 opm (orbits-per-minute), making it ideal for all types of detailing jobs whether polishing, compounding, or waxing to a sleek shine.
It also has a slightly bigger 150 mm backing plate to cover a wider area as you work. And while this machine is not all glammed up like the Meguiar’s, it offers decent performance for the price.
If you’re new to detailing or you’re looking to get great results on a budget, then this is your guy!
VonHaus Dual Action Polisher Spec Sheet
- Weight: 3.68 Kg
- Speed: 1,500 to 6,800 rpm
- Backing plate: 150 mm
- Warranty: 2 Year manufacturer
- Affordable price
- Decent performance
- Variable speed controls
- Larger backing plate covers a larger surface area per pass
- Middling quality
- It’s a bit hefty and tiring to use for longer jobs
Best Rotary Car Polisher – Dodo Juice Spin Doctor V2 Rotary Car Polisher
Contrary to popular belief, it’s possible to use a rotary polisher safely if you know the proper technique. But when it comes to tougher polishing and restoration jobs, nothing beats the direct power output of a good ole’ rotary polisher.
With that being said, my favourite has to be the Dodo Juice Spin Doctor Rotary Car Polisher.
This polishing machine can cut swirl marks and paint imperfections a lot quicker than DA polishers. But this Dodo Juice Spin Doctor Rotary Polisher goes further by offering a powerful 1100W motor with digital speed controls, the latter of which can adjust the polishing speed from 1,000 to 3,000 rpm in increments of 100 rpm. This means having complete control over the entire process with the touch of a button.
Although it has a rather small 125 mm backing plate, this machine is powerful enough to restore neglected paint in half the time it takes using a DA polisher. Best of all, it has a friendly price, making it the best rotary car polisher I tested by far.
Dodo Juice Spin Doctor V2 Rotary Car Polisher Spec Sheet
- Weight: approx. 2Kg
- Speed: 1,000 to 3,000 rpm
- Backing plate: 125 mm
- Warranty: 2-years
- Powerful 1100W motor
- Ergonomic side handle allows for total control
- A nifty digital LCD
- Adjustable speed in 100 rpm increments for precise results
- Affordable price
- Not ideal for beginners or novice detailers
Best Professional Car Polisher – Rupes LHR21ES Deluxe Bigfoot Polisher
Rupes is a renowned brand in the professional detailing industry. Yes, this Rupes Deluxe Bigfoot polishing kit is worth more than the others, but you do get a lot more bang for the buck.
For starters, the kit includes a bevvy of replenishing/polishing liquids along with matching foam pads. You also get a nice bag to store all your stuff.
The 21 in the model number refers to the 21mm orbit diameter, which is way more than what other DA polishers have to offer.
In fact, a conventional DA polisher with either a 5-inch or 6-inch backing plate typically creates smaller orbits measuring several millimetres in diameter. But the Rupes Bigfoot trashes it all with a marvellous 21 mm diameter orbit. This means better, faster results, each and every time.
I’ve tried a lot of car polishers, but professionals only insist on the best. With that being said, I hereby crown thee Rupes LHR21ES Deluxe Bigfoot as the best professional car polisher ever.
Rupes LHR21ES Deluxe Bigfoot Polisher Spec Sheet
- Weight: not indicated
- Speed: fully-variable
- Backing plate: 152 mm
- Warranty: not available
- Larger 21 mm orbit diameter for faster, professional-quality results
- Super-fast cutting speed
- Smooth and balanced operation
- Superb quality
- The kit is a bit pricey
Best Small Car Polisher – Rupes Bigfoot LHR75E 3” Polishing Kit
Professional detailers will usually several polishers in their arsenal. However, I only advise you have two, and one of those should be the Rupes Bigfoot LHR75E 3” Polishing Kit.
It helps to have both large and small polishers to handle a wide array of polishing and detailing jobs. While a normal 6” polisher is great for general bodywork and side panels, having a spot polisher allows you to tackle narrow painted areas such as the A-pillars, bumper corners, and all those various nooks and crannies in the body of a modern car.
And since we’re talking about a Rupes polisher, it retains the same merits of its bigger brother albeit in a smaller form. It has a variable speed of 1,700 to 4,000 opm and produces a wider 12 mm orbit area. This means faster cutting and polishing while achieving a mirror gloss shine.
As usual, this Rupes Bigfoot LHR75E comes as a kit complete with liquid compounds, polishing foams, and microfiber towels.
Rupes Bigfoot LHR75E 3” Polisher Spec Sheet
- Weight: 2.3 Kg
- Speed: variable 1,700 to 4,200 opm
- Backing plate: 75 mm or 3”
- Warranty: 1 year
- Small in size but delivers powerful cutting action
- Superior ergonomics
- Easy to operate
- Great quality
- It’s a bit heavy for its size
Best Cordless Car Polisher – Flex 418099 Cordless Random Orbital Polisher
Cordless car polishers are the future of detailing. They will eventually replace the corded machines, just as cordless drills and impact drivers.
However, cordless orbital polishers are – for lack of better words – idiotically expensive. But still, if you like the idea of polishing without cords, the Flex Cordless Random Orbital Polisher is top of the pops.
Weighing in at a rather portly 2.1 Kg (not including the battery pack), there’s one thing that makes this wireless polisher an interesting proposal: It has a 15 mm orbit diameter to deliver better efficiency.
It’s capable of orbiting at 2,300 to 7,500 opm. I’d recommend that you’ve several batteries on the go if you’re tackling a big project, but if you’re already a part of the Flex range, then you may have these to hand anyway.
This Flex 418099 Cordless polisher is the best I’ve tried in the wireless category.
Flex 418099 Cordless Random Orbital Polisher Spec Sheet
- Weight: 2.1 kg (without batteries)
- Speed: 2,300 to 7,500 opm
- Backing plate: 150 mm
- Warranty: not available
- Wireless operation
- 15 mm orbit diameter for precision waxing and polishing
- Simple, ergonomic design
- Produces great results
- Battery life
- It’s bloody expensive
What is the difference between a dual-action (DA) and a rotary polisher?
The main difference is how the head spins on its axis. In a conventional rotary polisher, the polishing head spins on a single axis in a circular motion, which causes a ton of heat and friction on the surface of the paint.
While you need heat and friction to literally ‘burn’ or ‘cut’ through paint imperfections like scratches and swirl marks, too much heat and friction will strip the paint off the metal.
However, DA or dual-action polishers (also referred to as orbital polishers) behave similarly to how the Earth rotates on orbit. As the planet spins on its axis, it also moves and rotates around the sun similarly to how a DA polisher works. The backing pads in a DA polisher spins on top of the spindle while the spindle also spins around to create an oscillating or wobbling effect.
The resulting wobble is responsible for preventing excess friction and heat build-up, which means the dangers of burning through the paint are zero, making DA polishers perfect for novice detailers.
Why are cordless polishers so expensive?
You can blame it all on the battery pack. Mind you, it’s the very same reason why electric cars are still relatively costlier than conventional petrol-powered vehicles, and this is despite EVs having lesser mechanical parts than a normal car.
How should I prepare my car for polishing?
I can sum it up in two words for you: washing & decontamination.
Before polishing, it’s important to wash the entire vehicle thoroughly using clean water and car shampoo.
Next, it’s best to remove all paint contaminants using a clay bar and some iron cleaner. After safely removing all contaminants, only then can you proceed in polishing the paint.
Of course, don’t forget to apply a nice layer of wax after polishing to seal in the shine.
Can a car polisher be used on other vehicles?
Yes. In fact, you can use a car polisher on any vehicle with a painted surface including bikes, motorcycles, boats, planes, etc.
Which is the best polisher for a beginner?
No doubt, beginners should refrain from using a rotary polisher and should stick to DA polishers, instead. This is because DA polishers are essentially fail-safe and easier to use, largely due to its unique oscillating action.
Novice detailers can gain more confidence using a DA polisher simply because they won’t think about the dangers of stripping or burning the paint.