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Picking the Perfect Polisher

If you're a car enthusiast, there's probably not much that puts a sparkle in your eye more quickly than a sparkling clean hood. From polishing panels to buffing bumpers, if nothing less than a mirror finish will do for your car, WEN has a machine for you. In this article, we'll dive into the differences and similarities between the various types of polishing machines, as well as offer some helpful tips on how best to choose and use a polisher or buffer.

Types of Polishers and Buffers

Polishers and buffers can be broken down into three categories, depending on their polishing mechanism: rotary, random-orbit, and dual-action (DA).

Rotary polishers

The workhorses of the detailing world, rotary polishers and buffers operate on a fixed, spinning spindle. This gives it maximum power and speed, making it a great choice for professionals. Capable of tackling deep scratches, heavy rust and oxidation, severe paint defects, and other problems, these powerhouses are best used by those with considerable polishing experience, as beginners may have trouble handling the significant power they put out.

Random-orbit polishers

These machines take the advice given in the film Karate Kid ("wax on, wax off") and dial it up. They use a random-orbit mechanism to move the polishing or buffing pad in an oscillating, circular motion, which minimizes the risk of paint damage or swirl marks, making them great for beginners. Use them for applying wax, sealant, and polishes. If you're polishing fine furniture but don't want to do it by hand, a small buffer like the WEN 6010 6-inch Random Orbit Waxer / Polisher is a great choice.

WEN 10PMC polishing kit

The WEN 10PMC 10-inch Random Orbit Waxer / Polisher Kit is a great random-orbit option for beginners and professionals alike.

Dual-action polishers

Commonly referred to as DA polishers, these machines combine the best of the rotary and random-orbit worlds, and are great choices for the professional and weekend warrior alike. Their pads rotate and oscillate simultaneously, giving you a great balance of correction ability, user-friendliness, and control. They're best used for moderate correction work (such as swirls and scratches) and evenly distributing compounds. 

WEN AA6158 5-Inch 8-Amp Professional Grade Dual Action Polisher with Paddle Switch, 15mm Throw and LED Display

The WEN AA6158 5-inch dual action polisher is a feature-packed, well-rounded option for all skill and experience levels.

What's the best polisher for you? 

As always, it depends. Here are four things to keep in mind as you figure out which machine suits you best. 

1. Skill level

If you're newer to polishing, a buffer or DA polisher is probably the best approach, since they minimize the risk of potential damage. If you're an experienced detailer, consider a rotary polisher for its speed and power. 

2. Work type

If you're buffing fine furniture, only use a buffer. If you're doing automotive work, a buffer, rotary polisher, or DA polisher may suit your needs best, depending on what exactly you're doing.

3. Finish condition

For heavy damage, a rotary polisher will get the job done most quickly. If you're just removing minor damage, a DA polisher is a good balance. If all you ever need is a quick touch-up shine, choose a buffer.

4. Work scope

Consider the scale of your projects. If you plan to work on large areas, a buffer or DA polisher's larger pad size and versatility can make life easier. For smaller, intricate areas, a rotary or dual-action polisher with a smaller backing plate might be more suitable.


Thanks for reading! We hope this has been a helpful guide on your journey to picking the perfect polisher for you. If you have any questions about WEN polishers or buffers, or need help deciding which one is right for you, please give us a call at 1-847-429-9263 (M – F, 8 – 5 CST), or drop us a message here to talk to our friendly and knowledgeable technical support team

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