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What is a dual action polisher and what should you look for before buying one?

Mitch Avatar By: Mitch | Last updated August 6, 2021

Car polisher


Polishing a car is important for maintaining its exterior in the long run. While it is often forgotten because washing and waxing is easier to do, users should know that it can also be done at home. This can be seen as a way of lessening the costs of having to regularly send the car for a full detailing. For this, users simply need to use polishers that can be bought online or in car equipment stores. With a little effort, users can remove minor scratches, add shine to their car, and generally make it look better.

What are dual-action polishers?

Dual action polishes are known for being able to mimic the circling motions that can be done when polishing the car by hand. With it, users can add mechanical power to make it faster and to lessen the effort on their part. For this, dual-action polishers use a mix of rotating and oscillating to give it a good polish. These are mostly recommended for most users who plan to polish their cars at home because it is easier to use and also because of its safety features that protect the car’s exteriors.

It is considered the competitor of the rotary polishers which is notable for its single polishing head. The latter are usually cheaper. The main benefit of using this is that it is generally faster when used which is why it is mostly used in car detailing services. However, these may be a reason for the paint to be damaged when used incorrectly because it tends to build up heat easily because of its design. This is the reason why it is mostly advised for those with expertise in using it which is why dual-action polishers are preferred for home usage.

Why should you use a dual action polisher versus a rotary polisher?

As mentioned, its main benefit is its design that utilizes dual heads for polishing the car. Because of this, it is capable of oscillating and rotating which makes it good for removing minor scratches and giving the exterior a shine and luster. This design also makes it safe for the paint of the car as it has minor vibrations that reduces the heat that is applied to the vehicle whenever it is polished unlike the rotary polisher.

Some of these also come with their own safety mechanism which instantly turns the unit off when used incorrectly. Some also come with speed locks that can prevent it from being slower or sped up. For this, users may need to adjust their angle of polishing or move it to another spot. 

Since it is a good choice for home usage, it has a very simple design that users can easily grasp in the first few usages. It usually comes with the perfect ergonomic shape and handles to make it easier to grip while polishing the car. We did a lot of reviews to find the best dual action polishers, so if you want to see what we thought please take a look at our reviews.

How do you use a dual action polisher?

First, users should wash the car and dry it down to remove dirt and anything that may cause discoloration. Next, users should pick the best pad that they should use for the car. It is generally advised to use a soft paid for dark vehicle to lessen the possibility of swirling its paint. Lighter cars, though, can handle rougher pads. 

Next, users need to make the pads wet as dry ones can damage the paint of the car. Throughout the polishing process, these should be kept damp.

After this, users can either put the rubbing compound directly on the parts that they want to polish or on the pads itself. After this, they can start the machine to start polishing. After washing the car once more, you can now start waxing it if you want more shine.

Final thoughts on dual action polishers

Users should ensure that the speed of the polisher which is measured with orbits or revolutions per minute matches their car. They should match it with the severity of the car’s exterior as most minor scratches can be done by a unit with 3,000 RPM or less.