7 Buffer Polisher Secrets That Will Make Your Car Look Like New!

By David Bynon

Have you tried removing water spots, swirl marks or fine scratches from a new car lately? I can promise you can't do it by hand anymore. The good old days are over. Simply put, the new clear coat finishes are super hard. They can resist minor scratching, swirl marks and water spot like never before, but they also resist hand polishing.

These improvements in clear coat technology, while beautiful and durable, present a new problem for automobile owners. The finish is so hard that it's nearly impossible to polish away minor surface defects by hand. That means you will need some sort of buffer polisher to correct the problems. Fortunately there's a great solution, the Porter Cable 7424. It's been a car enthusiast favorite for more than a decade, and it makes quick work out of clear coat defects, even on the high-tech ceramic finishes used by Mercedes-Benz.

The original Porter Cable Polisher and the new 7424xp are dual-action polishers. What this means is that the polishing head rotates (free-spins on its spindle) and orbits (powered by the motor) around the center spindle. A mass counterweight mechanism on the spindle dampens vibrations. This polishing action, often referred to as "random orbital" or just "orbital," totally prevents symmetrical buffing marks, paint burns and the other types of automotive finish damage that people associate with high-speed buffing machines. That means if you use the polisher as intended it's virtually impossible to damage your car, even with no experience.

This type of electric polisher closely mimics the motion of circular hand polishing. Imagine being able to make 2,500 to 6,000 tight hand circles in a single minute. That should give you a pretty good idea of how this machine does its job. Basically it works just like you do, only at super-human speed. Plus, it never gets tired!

If you have previously owned a car waxing machine that made a lot of racket, but did little else to fix the damage and restore shine, you will appreciate the brilliance of one of these buffing machines. It has all of the power needed to get the job done, yet it's small enough and light enough that it's easy to use.

The secret to using a dual action polisher with shining results is choosing the right polish and polishing pads for the job. Basically polishing pads come in three grades: cutting, polishing and finishing. A cutting pad is coarse and used to remove damage. A polishing pad has a bit if coarseness, but not much. It's used to remove very minor damage and restore full gloss. A finishing pad is very soft. It's used to polish without cutting and to apply waxes and glazes.

Polishing pads do not work alone. The actual work is performed by polish and you need to match the function of each polish with the appropriate pad. Polishes have different grades of cut, just like the pads. For example, a polishing compound is a cutting polish that removes damage. A compound that can take out 2000 to 2500 grit sanding scratches will do a pretty good job on heavy swirls marks and most water spot etching problems.

Let me save you a lot of time. Try Meguiar's Ultimate Compound. It's a top rated product and it's safe for all clear coat finishes. You'll find it at most auto parts stores. The reason I recommend it is because it uses a new micro abrasive technology that polishes without scouring the finish.

After compounding to remove damage, you might think the finish looks great, but I recommend finishing off the job with a fine polish. Most compounds, including the new Meguiar's product, will leave just a touch of hazing in the clear coat. All it takes to remove the hazing and restore a brilliant shine is a fine paint polish. I prefer and recommend Klasse All-In-One. It's an amazing product that will produce a final finish that blows you away.

New automotive paints may be too hard to maintain by hand, but the solution is easy. A Porter Cable 7424xp gets the job done faster that you ever could by hand, and it's a quality machine that will last a lifetime.

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