Polisher?

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Jun 3, 2005
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Hi guys. Looking for your opinion on a NON-random orbital polisher. Just one that spins. I've got a couple of cars that are in severe need of some TLC, and I've tried using a Craftsman random orbital. It just doesn't do the job. I know these can be hard to use and it's easy to mess up- that's a chance I'm willing to take. I just would like to know if anyone has used them and what models to look for. Can an angle grinder be used, if it has a low enough speed available?
 
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Sounds like you are describing a rotary polisher. Have you considered a DUAL ACTION polisher such as a Porter Cable 7424, Meguiars G110, or the FLEX? A rotary polisher would definitely have the juice to correct vehicle cosmetics, but quickly chew through clear coat if not very careful. A craftsman random orbital is probably the same thing as what you can find at WalMart. Its definitely not going to get the job done. I wouldn't try an angle grinder.
 
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You want to make sure that you get a polisher that has variable low rpms . Optimally would be between 500 rpm and 2000 rpm for automotive finishes. The higher speeds for compounding and the lower 300-1000 for fine polishing . If your just going to use it occasionally their is one at Harbor Freight for 40 bucks with a one yr warranty. Probably would fill the bill. Click here... http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=92623
 
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 Originally Posted By: swalve
I've tried using a Craftsman random orbital. It just doesn't do the job.
Of course it doesnt. Its a waxing machine not a polishing machine. If you have more than one vehicle a PC-type polisher will be more than worth the price while still being safe to use all the time compared to a rotary polisher which can end up gathering dust.
 
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 Originally Posted By: Dyoel182
 Originally Posted By: swalve
I've tried using a Craftsman random orbital. It just doesn't do the job.
Of course it doesnt. Its a waxing machine not a polishing machine. If you have more than one vehicle a PC-type polisher will be more than worth the price while still being safe to use all the time compared to a rotary polisher which can end up gathering dust.
I agree. The Sears job is strictly for applying and removing wax. There are random orbital poishers that will do the job such as Porter Cable, Cyclo, and Flex as previously mentioned. If you positively want a rotary then get one. I suggest the Makita 9227C Polisher. Using a rotary is a matter of when you burn some paint not if you will burn some paint.
 

swalve

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OK, so what's the difference between a Sears random orbital and some other random orbital? What does it do differently?
 
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 Originally Posted By: swalve
OK, so what's the difference between a Sears random orbital and some other random orbital? What does it do differently?
Power...them cheap ones you buy from them stores have no power,good enough to apply wax is about it.
 

swalve

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 Originally Posted By: daman
Power...them cheap ones you buy from them stores have no power,good enough to apply wax is about it.
The motor in the Craftsman has never bogged down. That's not my problem with them: it's that the random orbital action wants to move the machine more than the head. Any pressure at all and the head stops and the machine is just sitting there jiggling in my hand. I'm not running out of power.
 
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Either a Dewalt 849 (built like a tank, lasts forever, heavy but no soft start) or a Makita 9227 (lighter, soft start, lasts a long time) will be good choices. I have both machines and like them both. The Makita is nice with it's lighter weight but that Dewalt is like the eveready bunny, it just keeps on going.... Both are varible speeds in the ranges that a polisher should work in and will last a home user a lifetime. Check out the body shops and detail shops in your area and you will probably find those two machines more than any other.
 
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 Originally Posted By: swalve
The motor in the Craftsman has never bogged down. That's not my problem with them: it's that the random orbital action wants to move the machine more than the head. Any pressure at all and the head stops and the machine is just sitting there jiggling in my hand. I'm not running out of power.
The issue is that the waxing machines jiggle instead of orbiting because it needs more power. If it cant overcome light pressure so how can expect it to do anything but kinda spread wax around?
 
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 Originally Posted By: swalve
 Originally Posted By: daman
Power...them cheap ones you buy from them stores have no power,good enough to apply wax is about it.
The motor in the Craftsman has never bogged down. That's not my problem with them: it's that the random orbital action wants to move the machine more than the head. Any pressure at all and the head stops and the machine is just sitting there jiggling in my hand. I'm not running out of power.
What you describe is EXACTLY the reason a true D/A buffer like those mentioned is superior to the Craftsman tool you're using. Apply too much pressure and the rotation stops, but the oscillation continues, and so does at least some of the work. The step up from what you're using to a true, quality D/A is huge. The step from a D/A to a rotary is equally huge. The big differences between the two are that the learning curve of the D/A is much shallower, the risk of damage with the D/A is almost nil, and it takes a bit more time to correct serious defects with a D/A. Yes, you need a bigger hammer than what you have, but you don't need a wrecking ball!!!
 
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 Originally Posted By: Mike-in-Orange
The big differences between the two are that the learning curve of the D/A is much shallower, the risk of damage with the D/A is almost nil, and it takes a bit more time to correct serious defects with a D/A. Yes, you need a bigger hammer than what you have, but you don't need a wrecking ball!!!
I'd have to agree and add you need experience. I actually have a craftsman but at one time was paid to use rotaries and I still have one in the garage. With experience you could get the craftsman to do allot of wonderful things but a D/A would still be better with less risk then a rotary. You still need to know how to use it and what it can and cannot do. What compounds you use and how you are trying to use them matter as well. A cheap bottle of 3M glaze from advance or autozone can do wonders if you know how to use it.
 
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Joined
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 Originally Posted By: Dyoel182
 Originally Posted By: swalve
The motor in the Craftsman has never bogged down. That's not my problem with them: it's that the random orbital action wants to move the machine more than the head. Any pressure at all and the head stops and the machine is just sitting there jiggling in my hand. I'm not running out of power.
The issue is that the waxing machines becaujiggle instead of orbiting se it needs more power. If it cant overcome light pressure so how can expect it to do anything but kinda spread wax around?
Exactly what i meant not enough power,,to do any correction at all you need to apply some moderate down pressure and with them cheap DA's it just wont do it.
 
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