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What are the features to look for in a dual-action polisher?

Mitch Avatar By: Mitch | Last updated March 12, 2022

polisher on a black car


Dual action polishers are made for car owners who want to bring shine and luster to their vehicle’s paint from the comfort of their homes. This is designed to be used by amateur users which removes the need to pay for professional auto detailing services. These units can be bought from auto shops and from online shops. These also come with various safety and speed features to make the cleaning process faster and consistent. With all of this available, users should be extra picky when it comes to choosing the dual-action polisher that they will be purchasing to see if it will last long for them.

How do dual action polishers work?

Before choosing the features you want for the unit, you should first know how it works. Dual action polishers, as the name implies, uses two methods for polishing the car namely oscillating and rotating. This allows it to mimic hand polishing which is very gentle while still producing good results. With the use of the machine, users can do this for thousands of revolutions per minute. This allows it to fix any minor scratches and imperfections in your car’s paint. 

The other option is the rotary polisher. Instead of two motions, it only uses rotation to polish the car. Because of this, it easily builds up heat when used which results in burns and swirls in the paint if used incorrectly. Its main advantage is that it can gloss over deeper scratches and does the job faster. If you want an easier and more reliable way of polishing your car at home, dual-action polishers are more recommended. Rotary polishers are usually used by auto detailers as they typically have more experience in polishing cars.  

We don't suggest using a rotary unless you are very confident in your polishing abilities. This isn't to say you can't use it effectively, it is just that the learning curve is steep with the possibility of damage being high. If you want to find out who we thought had the best dual action polisher just check out that article.

What features should you look for in a dual action polisher?

Easy to grip handle

First, you should look for a unit that can be held for extended periods of time. You should take note that these units usually have a little to moderate vibrations on it depending on the specific product. Because of this, your hand can easily be tired when holding it. For this, you should look for a polisher that has a D-shaped handle. Through this, you can hold the product to the car with the right amount of pressure while being able to carry it for a long time. There are a lot of dual-action polishers that come with this design, too, which makes this an easy feature to look for.

It is also good for the product to be entirely wireless as to make it easier to reach the edges of the vehicle while polishing.  We really like the spta dual action polisher for their nice handle.

Speed settings

Next, you should look for units that can polish within the speeds of 3,000 to 5,000 revolutions per minute at least. This ensures that you can simply polish the car or be able to target minor scratches with ease. This can be seen in the label of the box or in its description in the online shop. Even with a high-speed setting, users do not need to be worried about accidentally burning the exterior of the car as the dual-action polisher is designed to prevent this with its gentle polishing.

Next, users should look for a speed lock feature. This ensures that the revolutions per minute will stay consistent while you polish the car to avoid giving inconsistent polishing results. It is also better if the product instantly shuts down in case you are using it incorrectly as to avoid any accidents that may damage the exterior. These features are designed to make the product friendlier for beginners. It is also handy for ensuring the best results in polishing your car. 

Price and durability

Most dual-action polishers are priced within $50. With more speed settings and features, it is expected for the product to price higher. There are even those that are priced more than $100. These are designed to be used for a lifetime. Generally, set your costs depending on how much you will use the product and depending on the features that you would like. We have put together a quick article about the cheapest dual action polishers available right now. But be warned sometimes when the price is too good, there are usually other things that come along with it.. like headaches. 

It is also important to review the material used for the product. A mostly plastic exterior may be more fragile than a steel one but may also be cheaper. There should be a perfect compromise for this depending on your b