For decades, the rotary buffer has either been the automotive detailer’s best friend or his or her worst nightmare. Using a rotary buffer is a scary proposition if you lack the experience or training to operate this sensitive auto detailing tool. That’s why a lot of detailers continue to polish by hand. It’s either that or switch over to an orbital polisher.
An orbital polisher is much safer and easier to use on a vehicle’s painted surface than the rotary buffer. In fact, the most difficult part of the process is actually selecting the best orbital polisher for your needs. Among the popular and reliable polishers that have been around for a while are the Porter Cable 7424 (or new model 7424XP), the Cyclo Polisher (or Model 5 Pro) and the Flex DA.
These machines are made for the auto detailer as well as the active car enthusiast who wants to safely perform a slight paint correction on a vehicle. Orbital polishers are very safe to use on vehicles because they won’t leave swirl marks and they won’t burn through the paint/clear-coat, which is murder on darker-colored vehicles.
An orbital tool saves you time and money — the latter because you’ll be using a lot less polishing product. Detailers tend to use too much product when applying by hand. An orbital polisher enables you to apply a nice thin, even coat to the surface, which means you’re also bringing a lot less elbow grease to the application. In fact, using an orbital polisher can cut your labor time in half!
Best yet, detailing a vehicle with an orbital actually results in a much better job than polishing it by hand or with a rotary device. That’s because today’s clear-coat paints scratch very easily, leaving the hand polisher or rotary user in the position of oh-so-carefully polishing the vehicle while maintaining the paint’s integrity. In other words, they baby the task. With an orbital polisher, you can press down harder, which is safer for creating a better shine as well as removing minor paint imperfections.
And these polishers won’t burn through the paint or leave swirl marks. You can work diligently on the paint, knowing full well that you’re not going to harm the surface of the vehicle when performing minor paint corrections. These polishers are also great tools for new employees who lack experience, because on-the-job training can be a financial disaster if your newbie screws up a paint job.
As a result, an orbital polisher helps new employees quickly attain the level of confidence you and your customers require. So much so in fact, that when it’s time for them to use a high-speed rotary buffer to correct a more serious paint imperfection, they’re perfectly comfortable with the new device, thus cutting the learning curve to a minimum.
We mentioned three polishers above, but the one that’s really taken off in popularity among auto detailers is the Flex DA. With its “forced” rotating-orbital motion, you can perform an even better paint correction than with a “free” rotating orbital polisher like the Cyclo or Porter Cable. All without the fear of burning or leaving swirl marks on your client’s automobile. Some dealers say they rarely bring out their rotary buffer anymore because the Flex DA does such a great job. In fact, this tool does it all — compounding, glazing and waxing/sealing!
Keep in mind that if it’s an orbital polisher, you can count on it saving you a ton of time, product and labor.