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Should beginners use a dual-action polisher?

Mitch Avatar By: Mitch | Last updated September 24, 2021

Dual action polishing a car


Over time, the exterior of the car can be left dull because of dirt and minor scratches. While a full detailing would be quick to fix this, it is cheaper and more convenient for some to do this by themselves. This is why many prefer washing, polishing, and waxing their vehicles at home. However, polishing is sometimes a problem for some who may find it hard to do it without damaging their car’s paint in the process because of heat build-up. Because of this, some may ask if it really is advisable even for beginners.

What is a Dual-action Polishers and are there other options?

The simple answer is: yes, it can be used by beginners. This is only made possible with the use of dual-action polishers if hand polishing is too hard for you. 

These are machines that can be bought in auto shops and online. These are designed to mimic the motion of hand polishing but at a much faster rate. With this, users simply need to guide the unit through the minor scratches and dull parts of their car’s exterior. It is light to the hands and easy to grip which makes it an easy choice for all users.


As stated above, users can simply polish the car with their hands. However, much effort must be exerted to do this, especially for scratches that are deeper than usual.

On the other hand, there are also rotary polishers that are known for their single direction motion. These are usually seen in auto detailers and are used by professionals. This is because it does the job faster. However, incorrect usage of this can lead to heat build-up to the exterior of the car which may damage it paints. It may also cause hologramming or buffer trails. 

How do use a dual action polisher

If you’re only starting to use one, it is best to first wash the car thoroughly to remove any dirt. Be sure to do this in an area that is shaded and has no causes of dirt. 

After this, pick the best pad for the unit. Generally, rougher ones are recommended for lighter paint while the opposite for darker ones. This is to avoid smudging and damaging the paint.

Next, be sure to first start at the slowest polish speed which you can gradually turn up once you get comfortable with it. Be sure to make it constant while cleaning the car to have even results. Be sure to keep the pad damp throughout the process to avoid scratching the car while polishing. Never remove these pads too while the machine is still on. 

After this, you can now start waxing the car to add more shine to its exterior.

Things to look for in a dual action polisher

If you feel confident enough in your polishing skills, you can now start canvassing for a double-action polisher that you can use. Although it might be tempting you probably don't want the cheapest dual action polisher you can find, as is the case in many instances in life sometimes you do get what you pay for.

First, see the speed settings of the machine. These are measured in revolutions or orbitals per minute. Higher frequency ones are generally recommended for larger vehicles with deeper cuts on its exterior. 

Next, be sure to look for one that has a lot of features that can make polishing easier. An example of this is having a speed lock that can keep the frequency constant while polishing to make the shine consistent. Next, it is also good to look for a product that is reviewed by other users to have little vibration. Vibrations are good for dissipating the heat of the polishing process and avoiding the car’s paint from being damaged but may be a cause for additional stress to your hand while you clean.

It is also good to go for a unit that is cordless so that you can be more comfortable while polishing the car. These are usually powered by Lithium-ion batteries. 

Should you buy a dual action polisher?

In conclusion, dual-action polishers are recommended even for beginners. Purchase the product if you want to polish your car yourself at home.  We have done a lot of hands on reviews of the different polishers on the market to find out which is the best dual action polisher for you. If you are looking to fix up the shine on your car, then take a look at a dual action polisher as they are a lot more forgiving than a rotary polisher and pretty easy to use for anyone.