Random Orbital polisher

Joined
Sep 16, 2007
Messages
712
Location
St. Louis, Missouri
What do you think of that 10-inch Random Orbital polisher / waxer at Harbor Freight that's available for $25 right now? It even comes with a terry bonnet. The machine is made of orange plastic. It might be just the thing for a total novice like myself. Do you think it's made with good enough quality? Should I buy it, or look for a more expensive model at some other store? If the latter, which store?
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2007
Messages
3,205
Location
Ball, LA
all that is really good for is spreading on waxes, and taking them off. No real corrective action will come from it if you use a compound, scratch remover, etc... For corrective action you need a Porter Cable 7424, Meguiars G110, Flex The one you mention will work again for just putting on and taking off lsp (last step products)
 
Joined
Jan 10, 2008
Messages
4,998
Location
Milwaukee, WI
I have a similar quality model from walmart. O2 is right, it's really only good for spreading on waxes and saving your arm a bit. I don't use it to take anything off. I once bought a used Civic bumper, and used it with some 3M finish restorer IIRC, better than rubbing by hand but a better machine would have been a thousand times easier. I think I spent 45 minutes on it, with marginal results. At least it's hard to screw anything up with them. Buy a few bonnets.
 
Joined
Jan 16, 2006
Messages
1,841
Location
United We Stand
What amount of your time are you planning on dedicating on the condition of your paint? A big 10 inch random orbit is only usable on large flat surfaces. The kind you are refering to is basicly like your hand only faster but you have to use virtually no pressure at all and let the unit do all the work. When the buffer starts spinning the orbit ends up closer to 15-20 inches so its not going to fit in any tight spaces. I have this one, its a fun little toy. http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00910723000P#descriptionAnchor It has its uses but one of the more expensive units are needed to do some jobs. I can do more then you may think with the 10 incher. I also have a rotary as well since that is what I used to use on a daily basis. I prefer working by hand myself on my cars unless my shoulder is bothering me, then I'll use the 10 incher.
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2004
Messages
930
Location
Southeast
im curious about taht model too. I would only use it 3-6 times a year to apply turtle wax or something simila.r
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2007
Messages
3,577
Location
no. indiana
An awful lot depends on how much cash is available to spend. Not everyone in todays economy has big bucks to spend on a tool they'll use 3 times a year. Lots of folks out there are trying to make it on unemployment, disability, or S.S. Try making it on $1500 a month or less.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2009
Messages
417
Location
Boston, MA
The small D/A mini-buffers (e.g like the black and decker 6in) are good for applying paste waxes. They don't have the force to really work any chemicals into the paint. For that you need a real D/A polisher like a Porter Cable, or Meguires G110 etc. If all you want to do is save your arm when applying paste waxes (E.g Turtle Wax T-6 Carnauba Cleaner Wax etc) then the mini buffers would be suitable for that, if you got a few bonnets to go with them. A complete D/A polishing kit will run around $100-$200 or so by the time you have the machine and all the acessories. It's overkill if all you are doing is applying waxes though. What I find is that a paste wax job lasts much longer if you maintain it by regularly dusting the car with some QD spray or spray wax. The Armor-All Ultra-shine Wax n Wax spray detailer ($6/bottle at autozone) seems to do good job when used on top of a carnauba paste wax.
 
Joined
Oct 1, 2002
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3,522
Location
North TX
Buy the real thing to do the work you want it to accomplish. If your budget is $25 then save your money on this one.
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2007
Messages
3,577
Location
no. indiana
Buy whichever one you like. If your budget keeps you in the $25.00 range and you believe it'll do the job you wish to accompolish, go for it. It will probably than the other option which is nothing. Also how long do you plan on using it, might not need an expensive one at all.
 
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
Messages
11,654
Location
NorthEast
I have used the cheapie one from walmart; make sure you select the small diameter one which comes with wool (or synthetic wool) bonnet. Depending upon your vehicle paint's softness and the product used, you can make quite a difference in the finish. I recommend you get your hands on Meguiar's M105 12Oz samples from Auto Detailing Solutions (internet) or Meguiar's Ultimate Compound if you would rather shop locally. Select about 1.5' x 1.5' spot on your vehicle and use the machine. You will be impressed with the results you get if you do NOT have hard paint. - Vikas
 
Joined
Oct 31, 2009
Messages
5
Location
SoCal
Speaking of "economy": If you buy the cheap one, your not really going to fully benefit from the products your purchasing also. As the above poster mentions Megs 105 or UC. IME, these machines do not have the ability to properly break these products down, as they were designed. I'm fairly certain they werent designed with this type of machine in mind. So your not really getting full value for your money spent on ANY abrasive polish for that matter. The PC 7424/7424XP is really the most economical in this situation. Rotates fast enough to "roll" these abrasives out, wide selection of backing plates and pads. WAY more versatile then the Harbor Garbage or Sears 10" Orbitals. Save a few bucks each month and wait for the Spring thaw, and go for it.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2009
Messages
417
Location
Boston, MA
The meg's 105 and UC are based on constant cut abrasives, they never break down, and they can be used by hand. These aren't products to be used regularly either, as they will thin the paint quite a bit. Much better to use something mild, like KIT scratch out. Unless you plan on abrasively polishing your car regularly, spending $200 on a complete DA polisher kit is very much overkill, unless you are into obsessive detailing or collecting power tools.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 18, 2007
Messages
357
Location
NC
Originally Posted By: ionbeam22
The meg's 105 and UC are based on constant cut abrasives, they never break down
They do not work like traditional polishes but they go clear when they have done their job. If worked too long they will dust. The M105 by machine has a short work time where is goes to clear. This is when you stop polishing. M205 has a longer working time. I have not used them by hand.
 
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