Need Help Picking A Buffer.

Messages
4,116
Location
Central Virginia
I'm looking for suggestions for a low cost but decent quality low RPM orbital buffer (not the D/A random orbit kind). I'm trying to remove some nasty water spots from my paint and glass on my Challenger. Also suggestions appreciated on what pad and compound to use. Thanks.
 
Messages
2,439
Something you qualify as cheap may be expensive to others, give us a budget to help you get more focused recommendations.
 
Messages
3,408
Location
North TX
Of the three I have this is my favorite. You will need a backing plate for 5.5" pads. It will spin 6" pads but 5.5" work considerably better. The longer cord is worth the extra money. A cheapy orbital only buffer like those from Sears will NOT do what you are trying to do and is a complete waste of money. A DA random orbital IS what you need. Plan on around $250 to do this properly if you shop carefully. http://www.detailedimage.com/Griots-M56/Random-Orbital-Polisher-P671/6-S1/
 
Messages
1,635
Location
Illinois
You do want a D/A, but you want a decent one. Honestly, for the price, the Harbor Freight D/A is not bad at all. Get a new backing plate if you can and get some pads. If you are looking to save money, this is the best bet. I have a Griot's DA. Lifetime warranty. I use it a lot and it's been perfect for the last two and a half years. Plenty powerful for the average Joe, and even for me. I do some cars for money and find it to be more than enough 97% of the time.
 
Messages
911
Location
GA
I have the Griots orbital bought from Amazon on a Black Friday deal or something last year. I have been pleased with the results using the pads from Griots that came with it. The package included the four steps of Machine Polish by Griots. Those seem to have worked well so far. I'm sure the Griots products aren't the best, but they seem to work.
 
Messages
24,187
Location
CA
Before resorting to correction, try a product such as CarPro Spotless. You'd be surprised how well it works at removing water spots that most people would normally have to polish off. It is possible that the spots have already etched into the paint, and will now require some advanced techniques to remove.
 
Messages
1,406
Location
WV
Originally Posted By: Silverado12
I'm looking for suggestions for a low cost but decent quality low RPM orbital buffer (not the D/A random orbit kind). I'm trying to remove some nasty water spots from my paint and glass on my Challenger. Also suggestions appreciated on what pad and compound to use. Thanks.
I just got some water spots etched in my hood off using Meguires fine cut compound and a random orbital buffer(6 in) with a foam pad. I followed with Hi Tech Swirl remover and then Zaino's polish. I just picked up a 6" RO buffer at Harbor Freight. It was $70 and I had a 20% off coupon. It's basically a Chinese copy of the highly recommended Porter Cable buffer. I am very happy with the results as these spots are on a 08 and had been buffed a couple of times. They came out and not swirls or scratches.
 

Silverado12

Thread starter
Messages
4,116
Location
Central Virginia
^^^I was thinking about going to harbor freight. All those buffers seem to be made in China anyway, so I figure the unbranded ones are probably the same thing as the 'spensive ones.
 
Messages
486
Location
Los Angeles, CA
For waterspots on your glass try good old Bar-Keepers Friend at your local grocery store with 0000 steel wool. I usually see those right next to each other. For your paint, I wish we could use the same product, but it'll be too rough so you will need to polish it off. If it's a localized area or don't mind working out you can do it by hand. Just use a good polish like Meguairas Ultimate Polish or Compound. If by hand, you can save time with Ultimate Compound. You can also use that Flitz ball, but I am unsure of it's suitability for paint. Mother's however does make one specifically for paint. If you don't want to deal with having too much detail equipment, consider the $50 Meguairs DA Power drill attachment. It's rotation is surprisingly sophisticated and you can use non Meguiar's pads with it. Obviously they will not tell you that and there is no need to do otherwise since their pad kits are inexpensive.
 

Silverado12

Thread starter
Messages
4,116
Location
Central Virginia
OK, thanks for all the help. I tried the Barkeepers Friend, but not with steel wool. I have the Flitz XL ball on the way, and Flitz says it can be used on paint. If that doesn't work, I may try the Harbor Freight buffer or take it to a pro.
 
Last edited:
Messages
1,855
Location
Southwest
Originally Posted By: BTLew81
You do want a D/A, but you want a decent one. Honestly, for the price, the Harbor Freight D/A is not bad at all. Get a new backing plate if you can and get some pads. If you are looking to save money, this is the best bet. I have a Griot's DA. Lifetime warranty. I use it a lot and it's been perfect for the last two and a half years. Plenty powerful for the average Joe, and even for me. I do some cars for money and find it to be more than enough 97% of the time.
As a happy owner of a high-dollar Flex--get the Harbor Freight one. Don't get the ones in-between. These aren't precision machines, so they lend themselves to the HF treatment. Sure the housing is a little awkward, but so what? I would expect it would be plenty good enough for the guy trying to take care of a couple of cars at his house. Why am I down on the in-between machines? Griot and Porter-Cable? Because they aren't cheap enough. Doubling the price of a cheap-jack Chinese machine and offering a lifetime warranty is no bargain in my opinion. My Flex is simply overkill (they didn't have the HF machines when I was looking). Unless you are a pro, it will outlive you unless you are in your low forties.
 
Top