LAST UPDATED: September 25, 2020

The Best Car Buffers (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021

Best Choice dewalt DEWALT DWP849X 7-Inch-9-Inch Variable Speed Polisher
Premium Pick Flex Rotary Orbital Polisher Flex Rotary Orbital Polisher
Best Value wen waxer polisher WEN 10PMR 10-Inch Waxer-Polisher

You probably wash your car regularly. But do you also take the time to give your car a good buffing once it’s clean? Buffing is as important as regular washing when you own a car — it helps keep your vehicle’s exterior paint in the best possible condition. When you buff and polish your car, you’ll get rid of stubborn stains, polish away small scratches, and leave your exterior looking shinier and better than before. But in order to regularly buff your car, you’re going to need the right tool: a quality car buffer. Available in many different sizes, styles, and prices, there are a lot of buffers to choose from. If you’re searching for the best car buffers available, you can check out the top options right here.

The Best Car Buffers

DeWalt is a well-known name when it comes to rugged tools, and the DeWalt DWP849X is no exception. Exclusively designed for auto professionals and amateur car enthusiasts, it boasts a powerful 12-amp motor. The all ball-bearing sturdy construction renders it one of the most durable buffers on our list. Moreover, it features a unique Controlled Finishing System that performs as a Soft Start operation, and the electronic module is excellent in maintaining the desired speed and can go as high as 600/3500 rpm.

Furthermore, featured is a Wool Ingestion Shield that eliminates any wool accumulation and increases the life of the tool. The total weight of the system 6.7 pounds, which makes this polisher incredibly portable and easy to carry. In addition, it features a Non Mar Rubber Gear Case that improves your grip and allows precision work on your car.

Key Features
  • Powerful 12-amp motor
  • A maximum speed of 600/3500 rpm for a variety of surfaces
  • Wool Ingestion Shield
  • Control Finish System
  • Non Mar Rubber Gear Case for improved grip
Specification
  • Brand DEWALT
  • Model DWP849X
  • Weight 6.7 lbs
PROS

It has no-load speed capabilities and can easily perform a Soft Start.

The ball-bearing structure and Wool Ingestion Shield make the machine durable

It can be used on a variety of surfaces such as boats, metal surfaces, and more

Precision-cut steel gears make it smooth to operate

It can be operated at various speeds

CONS

It might burn some plastic parts

It may cause overheating issues

Porter-Cable was one of the first companies to launch a commercial polisher and since then it has taken over every professional automation shop and in-home garage. The Porter-Cable 7424 is one of its latest innovations with a 4.5-amp motor, and the random orbit action is perfect for sanding any swirls or stains off the car.

The sturdy ball-bearing function adds to the durability of the buffer. This beast of a machine operates at a speed of 2500 -6800 rpm; the speed settings are customizable and can be easily varied using a trigger and handle. The machine can be used on a variety of surfaces as the foam base is of top-notch quality. Moreover, the electronic module features a dual-position handle that can be used easily by all types of users as it is well suited for professionals and DIY car enthusiasts.

Key Features
  • Powerful 4.5-amp motor
  • Variable speeds from 2500-6800 rpm
  • Heat overload protection
  • Random orbit action helps in removing stains and swirl marks
  • Ambidextrous Construction
Specification
  • Brand PORTER-CABLE
  • Model 7424XP
  • Weight 5.75 lbs
PROS

Dual side handles allow ambidexterity

It will not overheat

The machine is compatible with a variety of surfaces

It has one of the fastest speeds

Its construction is durable

CONS

It does not feature a backing plate

It is not quiet

The Torq TorqX Random Orbital Polisher Kit is one of the best buffers for those just starting out with polishing and have little experience in using one. The easy-to-use functions featured on this machine are all basic and can be easily understood by beginners. Equipped with a powerful motor that runs on 700 watts, it provides enough power to remove nasty stains or the most stubborn scratches.

The TorqX is best suited for vintage cars as it effectively removes watermarks, swirls, stains, and defects from the car surface.

The heavy-duty construction of the machine makes it durable enough for long-term use, and it does not require any load to start. Additionally, it features a Soft Start function and can operate at varying speeds, ranging from a minimum of 1200 to a maximum of 4200 rpm. The set speed can be easily read off the display panel.

Key Features
  • 700 Watts Motor
  • A variable speed of 1200-4200 rpm
  • Random orbit action effectively removes any defects
  • A digital speed display
  • Soft Start
Specification
  • Brand Torq
  • Model BUF503X
  • Weight 8.6 lbs
PROS

It requires no load to start up

It is easy to use for beginners

There is no need to hold down on a power switch

It can work on a variety of metal surfaces

The machine can be set at various speeds

CONS

It cannot be used by professionals as it not recommended for detailed polishing

It does not work well with deep scratches

The Avid Power Polisher Dual Action Random Orbital Car Buffer offers both the effective buffing you need for your car’s exterior and a handful of helpful accessories. This electric buffer and polisher features a variable speed motor, with six different speeds to choose from. You can change the speed to suit different applications and purposes, and the motor can reach between 1,500 RPM and 6,800 RPM. At low speeds, this handy tool is perfect for both buffing and waxing. A professional-level buffing tool, you can remove defects like swirls and scratches with every use.

In addition to the buffer itself, you’ll also get three foam pads that are ideal for polishing and waxing your car. A foam disc, detachable D handle, spanner, and hex wrench are also included to so you’ll have everything you need to work on your car. You can customize your buffing as well as your grip and speed with this versatile car buffer.

Key Features
  • Ergonomic and adjustable handle
  • Offers six different working speeds
  • A maximum speed of 6,800 RPM
  • Orbital action prevents any swirling or streaking
  • Includes multiple foam pads
Specification
  • Brand Avid Power
  • Model MEP127
  • Weight 6.84 pounds
PROS

Professional-level quality offers durability and effectiveness

Can buff out swirls, scratches, and defects

Easy enough for beginners to operate

Includes an adjustable, detachable handle

CONS

Can feel heavy during use

On-off switch can malfunction or become loose

The Makita 9237CX3 is specifically designed for professional detailers as it allows extreme precision work and removes the deepest scratches from the surface of your car.

The powerful 10-amp motor features speeds from 600–3000 rpm, and the variable speed dial and trigger allows the user to set the desired speed according to the task at hand. Constant speed can be set up using constant speed controls.

The machine features a Soft Start and does not require any initial load. The handle is rubberized for better grip and added comfort. Also included are wire mesh intake covers that prevent any wool from entering the motor adding to the longevity of the machine. This machine is perfect for tackling long and tedious detailing work for any automobile.

Key Features
  • 10-am motor
  • Variable speeds of 600-3000 rpm
  • Wire mesh intake covers for longevity
  • Soft Start
  • Constant speeds can be set up
Specification
  • Brand Makita
  • Model 9237CX3
  • Weight 7 lbs
PROS

The machine is quiet

A dual mode is featured: sander and polisher

Soft Start feature means no load is required to start up

It can be used continuously using a Lock On button

No wool can enter the motor

CONS

It is complex and not recommended for beginners

It can be quite heavy

The Black & Decker WP900 is a fast, high-quality polisher designed to handle heavy-duty jobs and is perfect for amateur work as well. Since the random orbital action is perfect for removing those pesky stains and scratches from the surface of the car without leaving behind streaks or swirls, we recommend it to auto professionals as well as any car enthusiast.

Another great add on is the machine has two handles with rubber grips to allow detailing without losing your grip. The machine works at one speed of 4500 rpm, and the constant speed allows for uniform buffing work. Also included is a 10-foot cord that allows for larger jobs.

An application bonnet, as well as two polishing bonnets, are also included and this buffer can be your savior if you wish to tackle larger cars or even boats.

Key Features
  • One speed of 4500 rpm
  • 10-foot cord length
  • Random orbital action to prevent swirls
  • Rubber handles for a secure grip
  • Two polishing bonnets, one application bonnet
Specification
  • Brand Black & Decker
  • Model WP900
  • Weight 2.05 lbs
PROS

The machine is well suited for large projects such as oversized cars, and vehicles such as boats

The Black & Decker can be used on a variety of surfaces including metal, wood, and more

It is durable and sturdy

The random motion prevents any swirling

CONS

It does not work at a variable speed

It does not feature a wool shield

The Wen 10 PMR is a powerful waxer with a 0.75-amp permanent magnet motor designed to make your car shine like new. The high-performance 120V motor is perfect for amateurs because they can easily learn the tips and tricks of heavy-duty car buffing with this simple and convenient machine.

The machine operates at a constant speed of 3200 rpm, and the handle has a dual grip that allows for steady and accurate detailing. Moreover, random orbiting ensures that your car shines streak-free.

It includes two applicator bonnets, two wool bonnets, and two polishing bonnets, all of which can be neatly stored in a molded carrying case. The bonnets are durable and can work on a variety of surfaces.

Key Features
  • It comes with a 0.75-amp, 120V permanent magnet motor
  • The constant speed of 3200 RPM
  • Dual grip handle
  • Random orbital motion for a streak-free shine
  • A convenient carrying case
Specification
  • Brand WEN
  • Model 10PMR
  • Weight 4.02 lbs
PROS

The Wen can operate on a number of surfaces including wood and metal

It is perfect for intermediate learners

The orbital technology ensures no swirls or streaks are left behind

It is durable and affordable

The dual grip handle can be used for ambidexterity

CONS

The motor is low-power

It does not feature varying speeds

The Wen 6010 is the way to go when it comes to giving your car what it needs. The high-performance 120V, 0.5-amp permanent magnet motor is ideal for heavy duty waxing and polishing. The versatility of the polisher is unmatched as it can work on a variety of surfaces including cars, tiles, kitchens, etc.

It works at a constant speed of 4000 rpm, which makes this beast exceptionally fast. In addition, the machine has a dual grip that allows you to use it with both hands for extra security and accuracy.

There’s n need to hold down the button as you can simply lock it in place for continuous workflow. The random orbital technology ensures your car shines without leaving behind any streaks or swirls and with each unit, and an applicator and terry cloth bonnet are available as well.

Key Features
  • It comes with a 120V, 0.5-amp permanent magnet motor
  • The constant speed of 4000 rpm
  • A lockable on/off switch
  • Random orbital technology
  • Contoured palm and body dual grip handles
Specification
  • Brand WEN
  • Model 6010
  • Weight 3.35 lbs
PROS

The dual handles allow for ambidexterity

It allows continuous workflow

The Wen is incredibly affordable

It can be used on a variety of surfaces

It ensures a streak-free shine

CONS

The power of the motor is a bit low

It does not feature variable speeds

The Meguiar’s G3500 DA Power System Tool is the perfect choice for those just setting out to purchase a new buffer for their cars. The machine is drill activated and must be attached to a drill to rotate. Most household drills will suffice, which is why it is super attractive for any beginner to use and it is mostly recommended to be used with a 3/8-inch corded drill with an rpm between 1200 and 2500.

Furthermore, it can be used for a variety of surfaces, including cars, interiors, tiles, and even carpet. The tool is fast and easy to use, and it will wax your whole car within 30 minutes.

Also featured is a dual-action mode that allows you to remove stains, streaks, or swirls left behind by previous waxes. The DA Power System easily removes oxidation and other defects on your car by using the compounding power pads.

Key Features
  • Attaches to a household drill
  • Dual action mode
  • Compounding power and wax pads for polishing
  • Removes all defects without leaving streaks
Specification
  • Brand Meguiar's
  • Model G3500
  • Weight 1.32 lbs
PROS

The Meguiar is fast and easy to use

It can be attached to any household drill

Beginners can use this tool easily

It can be used for a variety of surfaces

CONS

It requires a drill to use

The pads are not durable and might need replacing

The Carrand 94001AS Automotive Polisher is an Auto-Spa Orbital Polisher that features a 120V motor. If you wish to preserve the “fresh from the showroom” feel of your car, the Carrand is perfect. The Auto-Spa motor features low vibrations, which makes it easy to use, and the dual grip handles are contoured to fit in your palms for a secure and safe grip. In addition, it makes it easier to do detailed work with accuracy.

Also featured is a 3-layer foam pad with a moisture barrier that allows your machine to have a long life without its parts rusting. Included in the package are a foam wax, a polish applicator bonnet, and a micro fiber buffing pad.

The motor works at a constant speed of 3500 rpm and it effectively removes light scratches, mineral or water deposits, and swirl marks.

Key Features
  • It has a 120V motor
  • A constant speed of 3500 rpm
  • Contoured dual grip handles
  • Comes with a 3-layer foam pad with a moisture barrier
  • Low vibrations
Specification
  • Brand Carrand
  • Model 94001AS
  • Weight 5 lbs
PROS

The machine is compatible with various surfaces

It ensures a secure grip

It is easy to use

It is durable because of moisture barriers

CONS

It does not feature variable speeds

It is not quiet

Highly responsive with an excellent design that’s packed with smart and useful features, the Flex XC3401VRG is one of the best car buffers around, both for beginners and seasoned users. Thanks to the dual-action orbital rotation feature, the polisher stimulates the circular movements of the human hand while polishing, so while the end result is perfectly smooth finish, there’s not much effort required on your part. In fact, the polisher has an ergonomically designed knob handle so it’s pretty comfortable to use for long periods of time, making it ideal for beginners.

The Flex polisher is also powerful and works at speeds up to 480 RPM or higher, depending on the surface you’re working on. It ensures a uniform movement that leads to a precise, smoother-than-usual finish. And because of the direct orbital drive, very little heat develops on the surface, making this machine suitable even for temperature-sensitive finishes.

Key Features
  • RPM variability 160 to 480 RPM
  • Orbit rate 3200 to 9600 OPM
  • 8 mm orbital movement
  • 900 Watt motor, 10 ft. cord
  • Ergonomic knob grip
  • Microprocessor monitors motor temperature
Specification
  • Brand Flex
  • Model XC3401VRG
  • Weight 5.7 pounds
PROS

Exceptionally powerful motor

Easily removes scratches, swirls and oxidation

Produces perfectly smooth finish every time

Excellent, durable construction

Comfortable to use for long periods of time

CONS

On the pricy side

Some users may find it a little too heavy

The Rupes LHR21ES polisher is the definition of excellent craftsmanship – which is what one expects from the Italian tool maker, after all. This polisher is smooth-running and capable of correcting large amounts of paint defects and other types of damage in a short amount of time. Because it has a massive throw – a whopping 21 millimeter! –  the machine covers more surface area as you polish. This translates to easier and quicker removal of scratches, swirls, and as mentioned, various paint defects. The Rupes Big Foot Random Orbital Polisher ensures a smooth finish not only due to its random orbital movement, but its super-large throw too. Indeed, the finish is always perfect with this one– you’ll find no swirls using this beauty.

The model has a 500 Watts motor and OPM of 2000 – 4,200, making it powerful and efficient no matter the surface you’re working on. It uses a 6 inch hook and loop backing plate which accommodates 7 pads. This makes it ideal for polishing horizontal and other large body panels.

Key Features
  • Speed variability 2000-4200 OPM
  • 500 Watts motor, 11 ft. cord
  • 21 millimeter throw
  • 6 speed settings
  • Anti-spinning feature
Specification
  • Brand RUPES
  • Model LHR 21ES
  • Weight 7.8 pounds
PROS

Covers larger surfaces quickly and easily

Produces smooth, swirl-free finish

Uniform constant in all applications

Perfect for polishing cars, trucks, RVs and other vehicles

CONS

Can be noisy sometimes

The pads could be more durable

If you’re in need of a compact and lightweight car polisher, the Flex PE 14-2 150, also known as Polishflex, is a great choice. German engineered and manufactured, this tool is of excellent quality and design. With a powerful 10-amp motor and speed variability between 600 and 2100 RPM, it offers efficient treating of various surfaces. And thanks to its max polishing pad diameter of 200 mm, it ensures both horizontal and vertical surfaces are quickly and easily treated. Importantly, it has a continuous speed control trigger for a gentle start, so it produces a smooth finish no matter the surface or your experience  in using polishers.

The tool also has an ergonomic design, which combined with the lack of vibrations (this is one quiet polisher), makes for a very easy-to-use tool, one that is comfortable to work with for longer periods of time. Another plus is the polisher’s optimized air ducting, which ensures optimum cooling of the motor and surrounding parts; in other words, there’s practically zero exhaust air.

Key Features
  • Speed range of 600 – 2100 RPM
  • Ergonomic design
  • Pad diameter 20 cm
  • Lock-on feature for continuous operation
  • 10 AMP motor, 10 ft. cord
Specification
  • Brand Flex
  • Model PE142150
  • Weight 2.54 pounds
PROS

Lightweight and easy to maneuver

Quiet operation

Produces a smooth finish

Perfect for beginners

CONS

Pricy for a compact polisher

There’s no bail handle which can be an issue for some users

Another great polisher by Rupes, the LHR75E model is perfect if you’re looking for a smaller tool to work on more intricate car problems. Whether that’s a grill, bumper, headlights or maybe motorcycle forks, this long orbital throw polisher is the polisher for you needs. With a powerful 400-watt motor and various useful features, the tool powers though pretty much any car job you can think of. It’s great for difficult paint corrections on those smaller and hard-to-reach areas, although it’s not exactly perfect for very fine polishing. It helps that the machine is ergonomically designed and has rubberized finger grips as it’s comfortable to work with for extended periods of time.

The model ensures a controlled soft start, giving you full control over the tool, and as a result great end results. Overall, this is a fantastic choice if you need a smaller tool to use in combination with a full-sized polisher.

Key Features
  • 400 Watts motor, 11 ft .cord
  • Variable speed 4000- 5500 RMP
  • 12 mm orbit
  • Ergonomic design
Specification
  • Brand Rupes
  • Model LHR75E#120/H6/US/STD
  • Weight 6 pounds
PROS

Perfect for working on smaller car areas

Removes even the most difficult paint defects

Easy and comfortable to maneuver

CONS

The switch is slightly stiff which can be annoying for some users

Not ideal for very fine polishing

Are you surprised another Rupes polisher made it to our list? You shouldn’t be as this Italian tool maker definitely knows what it’s doing. The LHR 15ES model boasts a fantastic design and incredibly durable, long-lasting craftsmanship that is guaranteed to last for years. With a 500-watts motor and 15 millimeter throw, the polisher powers through any type of a job you apply it to. It creates a perfect finish, free of swirls, and removes even the hardest paint defects quickly and efficiently. Its anti-spinning feature prevents high-speed rotations and avoids scratches, so even if you’re a complete beginner this machine is easy to use. That said, the LHR 15ES model is equally suited for seasoned users as it can handle pretty much any detailing situation.

The machine is also very quiet and produces minimum vibrations. There is no bail handle; however, the tool is easy to control and maneuver. even despite being of average weight. In fact, even if you’ve never used a buffer or a polisher before, this model should be simple to use and it’s quite comfortable to work with for long periods of time.

Key Features
  • 500 Watts motor, 11 ft. cord
  • Variable speed 1700 – 4200 RPM
  • 15 mm throw
  • Anti-spinning feature
  • Silent operation with minimum vibrations
Specification
  • Brand Rupes
  • Model LHR 15ES
  • Weight 8.75 pounds
PROS

Produces a smooth finish, corrects various paint defects

Perfect for both beginners and enthusiasts

Comfortable to work for extended periods of time

CONS

The trigger lock can take a bit of getting used to

On the expensive side

The RYOBI P435 One+ Orbital Buffer is perfect for beginners who do not wish to carry around a lengthy cord while they buff their cars. This orbital buffer is cordless and runs on an 18V lithium-Ion battery. Numerous batteries by RYOBI that are compatible with this machine, and the buffer can work for up to an hour on a standard RYOBI battery.

Moreover, it features orbital action that prevents streaking or swirling and removes scratches from the surface of the car. The rubber overmold adds to a better grip for precision work.

The machine is extremely easy to use because it simply turns on or off by pressing a button near the handle. Also included are two bonnets: a buffing bonnet and an applicator one.

Key Features
  • Cordless
  • Works on an 18V lithium-ion battery
  • A maximum speed of 3500 rpm
  • Rubber overmold for better grip
  • Orbital action prevents any swirling or streaking
  • Two bonnets: buffing and applying
Specification
  • Brand Ryobi
  • Model P435
  • Weight 2.42 lbs
PROS

The machine requires no load to start up

It is cordless and can be used anywher

The RYOBI can work for up to an hour

It is easy to use for beginners

A number of batteries can be used with it

CONS

It is not intended for precision work and is not recommended for professionals

It does not have variable speeds

Best Car Buffer & Polisher Buying Guide & FAQ

There’s a wealth of different options when it comes to car buffers. You can find a buffer in just about every style, from cordless to corded, small and lightweight to heavy-duty, and everything in between. But how can you choose the best of the bunch? You just need to know what quality features you should look for in a car buffer. Our buying guide will help you narrow down your options and choose the perfect product.

best car buffer

Benefits of Polishing Your Car

There are plenty of reasons you should buff your car regularly. Buffing, when done after washing, can offer an array of benefits that include::

  • Keep your car’s paint job in great shape. Over time, exterior paint can fade, leaving your car looking dull and worn out. However, when you apply wax and polish with a car buffer, you can add luster, shine, and depth to the exterior. 
  • Eliminate scratches and other marks. Every car gets scratched at some point; over years of driving, small scratches can begin appearing. When you buff your car’s exterior, however, you’re actually able to fill those scratches. It’ll leave your car looking flawless once again. 
  • Remove water and mineral marks. Even if you carefully care for your vehicle, water spots and mineral deposits can leave behind unsightly blemishes. When you use a car buffer, you’ll polish away any marks to create a sleek, clean surface.
  • Increase your car’s value. As vehicles get older and develop signs of wear and tear, they depreciate and cannot hold their value very well. The better you maintain your car — keeping its paint looking good and its exterior shining without scratches — the more value it’ll have. And that could be especially important if you decide to sell your car.

Related Post: Car Waxes

Features to Look for in a Car Buffer

The following features should be taken into consideration when buying a car buffer:

Speed: The number one factor to consider is speed. The greater the speed, the better it targets deep scratches. However, greater speeds often lead to more heat and friction. This requires greater caution when using at high speeds. Ideal speeds for buffers range from 2000-4000 rpm.

Weight: Since you need to lift up the machine in order to work on your car, it is important that the buffer is lightweight. If it is too heavy, it might tire you out quickly and you may not be able to work continuously. Ensure the buffer you buy is small and lightweight for the best maneuverability.

Vibration: Car buffers tend to vibrate when in use. However, too much vibration can be uncomfortable and it causes inaccurate results as well. If you are planning on doing detailed work, choose a buffer that has minimum vibrations.

Price: The price of the car buffer should well within your budget. Buying an expensive version could mean that the machine is not worth the price while a cheaper one usually compromises on quality.

Hand Control: Since you might take some time doing the job, you should ensure you are comfortable in doing so. A dual handle will serve you best as you can hold the machine with both hands. Ensure the grip is secure as well as a poor grip could lead to inaccurate results.

Type: Buffers are usually either rotational or random orbital. We recommend buying the random orbital type as they eliminate all defects while preventing any swirling or streaking.

best car buffers

Tips When Using Car Buffers

Follow these tips for a flawless finish every time:

  • Do not mix buffing pads. When you have used one with a specific compound, do not use it for another.
  • Use wool pads for heavily oxidized paint or where the foam pads will not cut the paint.
  • Use an RPM of 2000-2500 for heavy cutting with wool pads and 1600-1800 for light cutting. For foam pads, use 1100-1300 rpm.
  • Do not buff away at one place for too long as this might end up harming your car’s surface.
  • Since buffers tend to grow hot, use masking tape to seal zones that might catch fire on the surface of the car.
  • Use a spur or a padded brush to clean your buffing pads from time to time.
  • Do not apply the compound to the buff pad, instead apply it to the car and then buff away for optimal results.
  • Ensure your buffing pad never touches the ground or it will accumulate grime or dirt which is hard to remove.
  • Clean your car before you start to polish. Ensure the car has no dirt or grime on the surface.

Our Top Pick

When it comes to best car buffers, our top pick is the DeWalt 7-Inch-9-Inch Variable Speed Car Buffer. This device is powerful enough to tackle even the toughest buffing jobs — but it’s also gentle enough to work carefully on your car’s exterior at slow speeds. It can reach speeds of up to 3,500 RPM with a powerful 12 amp motor. But what really makes this our choice for the best of the bunch is the professional quality. The DeWalt car buffer is designed to deliver professional results, providing impressive finishing and polishing. It’s lightweight, it’s easy to use, and you’ll be happy with how well your car shines after use. Add the Dewalt car buffer to your garage, and you’ll have a handy, helpful tool.

You May Also Like: Car Rental Companies

Sources:

  1. 10 Tips on Buffing Auto Paint – Garage Eastwood
  2. Car Polishing Tips and Techniques – Cars Direct
  3. What Are The Benefits of Buffing Your Car? – Braun Automotive