TOP Dual Action Polisher

1
SPTA 5

SPTA 5" 125mm Random Orbital Car Polisher

  • Great value for the price
  • Kit has almost enough pieces to do a detail included
  • Flexible handle allows for customizable grip
  • A-handle is also customizable 
  • Kit comes with 5 and 6 inch backing plates

The SPTA 5" 125mm Random Orbital introduces itself as a great value for anyone getting into detailing paint.  Although not a true dual action polisher this random orbital comes in at a price, and does a job closer to a dual action versus a true rotary polisher.

Getting this polishing kit gets you in the fastlane to getting your polishing or compounding started. Inside their starter kit is the following: 

  • SPTA 5" 125mm Random Orbital Car Polisher
  • 1pc Packing bag
  • 1pc Pinafore
  • 3pcs 5" polishing pads
  • 3pcs 6" foam pads
  • 5" Woolen pad
  • 6" Woolen pad
  • 1pc Ergonomic side handle
  • 1pc Ergonomic D-handle
  • 1pc Wrench
  • Pair of extra carbon brushes
  • User Manual
  • 1pc Car wash glove
  • Foam pads cleaning brushes
  • 12pcs 5" and 6" sanding discs
  • 250ml Supreme polish compound
  • 250ml Supreme rubbing compound
  • 2pcs 40x40 microfiber towel

Amazon customers are generally impressed with the box contents they got for less than $100, and so do we. Nothing seems to be out of the ordinary when you use this machine, but there are still some complaints made by several customers where they talk about how unreliable the polishing pads are.

Regardless, the SPTA 5" 125mm car polisher's performance is still unaffected and retains its place on one of the most reliable car care tools that have ever existed. Here is why:

  • Superior Ergonomic Design. From handling and maneuvering to the indispensable speed dial, the SPTA ensures nothing gets in your way to productivity. 

  • Sturdy Build. SPTA only uses quality materials to create the robust casing of a 5" 125mm random orbital car polisher, essentially enhancing its resistance from breaking.

  • Adjustable Speed. Although this car polisher has only 1000 – 3,800 rotations per minute (RPM), it is still reasonably practical for removing any car imperfections.

  • Comfortable Handles to Grip. The SPTA 5" 125mm car polisher has three ways of handling: either with the polisher head, ergonomic side handle, or D-handle. Just pick one setup from three to get the complete control you wish.

  • Large Throw Distance. Long-throw polishers like the SPTA 5" 125mm car polisher are known for their speedy car imperfections removal because of the larger surface area it covers.  

  • And the Free Extras Included. There are no other detailing companies that offer very great deals other than SPTA. Invest $89.99 and get a box full of 18 total items useful for potential long-term car care.
8.6

BEST!

2
 Rupes LHR 15ES Big Foot Polisher  Product Image

Rupes LHR 15ES Big Foot Polisher

  • Very little vibration, very well balanced
  • Easy to handle and use
  • Large throw covers polishing area fast
  • Lightweight and great power 

With the superior craftsmanship of the Milan-based Rupes, the LHR 15ES Big Foot Random Orbital Polisher offers more than Italian efficiency. Whether you are working in a garage or outside the house, you need not worry about getting tired too quickly, thanks to its lighter weight than other similar polishers. 

Take the word from us: this model is highly flexible and made to handle any detailing situation – be it waxing or polishing a large surface area. On top of that, the Rupes LHR 15ES Big Foot Random Orbital works perfectly for both car care enthusiasts and professionals alike. 

However, with this amazing quality comes a pretty hefty price tag. At almost $300 to get started this model isn't suggested for someone who has their budget in mind. If you are using the polisher all day everyday, your hands and back will thank you for choosing the Rupes. If you are using it once a year, your wallet will thank you for choosing another option.

The package costs $299 and includes:

  • The polisher itself
  • Allen Wrench
  • Manual

Polishing pads and detailing wax and compounds are sold separately. 

8.5

Very Good

3
Adams Swirl Killer 15mm Dual Action Polisher Product Image

Adams Swirl Killer 15mm Dual Action Polisher

  • Equipped with Backing Plate with Velcro hook and loop.
  • Budget-wise in the long run.
  • Compelling and highly reliable car polisher.

The Swirl Killer 15mm DA is one of Adam's Polishes' masterpieces. Why? Because of its no-nonsense and highly efficient car polishing performance, that guarantees to make your car look like the day you have bought it. However, there are a couple of issues that include handle trigger button problems, so this 7-pound car polisher might or might not work for you based on how you like to handle your polisher. 

Regardless, this car polisher still packs a punch to solve all your car scratches concerns and gets the job done. However, when you compare to others the price tag and trigger issue cause other polishers to be our suggestion. 

8.2

Very Good

4
ZOTA 21mm  Long-Throw Orbital Buffer Polisher Product Image

ZOTA 21mm Long-Throw Orbital Buffer Polisher

  • Excellent pricing.
  • Pretty good build quality
  • 30 foot power cord
  • Suitable for beginners and professionals.

Are you looking for an budget-priced entry-level car polisher? Then the ZOTA 21mm  Long-Throw Orbital is your go-to polisher if you are trying to save a few bucks without comprising the performance you desire. Built with quality Chinese craftsmanship, the uniquely build ZOTA 21mm  has a straightforward goal: completely eradicate existing paint imperfections to make your car stand out visually.  Although that is generally the goal of all polishers, we can’t give a thumbs up to Zota on this polisher.

While we can’t compare it to the Rupes LHR 15ES Big Foot Random Orbital based on their prices we can compare it to other budget options. Read our full review to find out why we suggest taking a look at a different model rather than this one.

Their starter kit isn't bad for $99 as it includes:

  • Orange pad – best for scratches.
  • Yellow pad – used for polishing.
  • Blue pad – very ideal for fine polishing and waxing.
  • Cleaning towel.

But compared to SPTAs bundle we just can't suggest getting this one.

8.1

Very Good

5
Porter-Cable 7424xp 6-Inch Variable Speed Polisher Product Image

Porter-Cable 7424xp 6-Inch Variable Speed Polisher

  • Entry-level price
  • Decent cable length and thickness
  • Sturdy and dependable 

For an entry-level price of $119, the Porter-Cable 7424xp 6-Inch Variable Speed Polisher does a pretty good job. Although it is a cheaper polisher it has built a legacy of being one of the go to entry level pieces to get. Although you won’t get the luxury of low vibration or silent operations, but you will save a bunch of money.

For under $120 you get the following :

  • Porter-Cable 7424xp 6-Inch Variable Speed Polisher
  • 10-foot cord
  • Polishing Pad
  • Wrench
  • Operating Instructions

Which is a pretty standard, bare bones, beginning to polishing and compounding your car/truck/ whatever you’d like to polish.

Needless to say, the Porter-Cable 7424xp has a decent reputation on the Amazon store. Many customers said how ‘just right’ the size and weight to not burn them out quickly while polishing. However, with its lighter weight some users have had a longer polishing time when compared to other higher powered models. Porter-Cable impresses their customers with the product’s little to no fuss approach to a polisher. If you are looking for a low cost entry into paint correction this could be the right choice for you, however based on other entries into the budget polishing area we do have to say that there are better deals to be had, like the SPTA package which costs less and comes with more. The Porter-Cable 7424xp 6-Inch Variable has gained 4.7 stars out of 5 from 2,100+ customers – Quite amazing for an entry-level car polisher if you ask us.

8.0

Good

Last updated July 27, 2021

All About Dual Action Polisher
Driver Updater

When you purchase a brand new car, everything would look fantastic. The interior would be spotless, the engine would be immaculate, and the paint would be pristine. But all of that would change the minute you left the showroom.

Give a couple more months and several hundred miles under a burning sun and heavy rain, then it won't be as impeccable as it used to be. The inside may still look great but the outside, especially the paint, won't be as flawless anymore. There would be scratches appearing here and there. And the more you let it be, the worse it would be. Even the paint would start to fade away.

So what to do about it? The answer is to polish it. You should polish your car regularly in order for it to always look fresh and get rid of those pesky scratches. But do keep in mind that different places might charge a different fee for their services. And even the brand and model of your car would also influence the price that you have to pay.

Or, you could also do it yourself. Nowadays, there are tools readily available to help you achieve that flawless look on your car. And the best one to do that job is a tool called a dual-action polisher. This article would tell you all you need to know about this amazing device.

Why you should polish your car

Before we begin talking about the dual-action polisher, let's begin by answering the most basic questions. Why should you polish your car in the first place? Can't you simply let it be? How dangerous can scratches be? Is there even any long-term impact of not polishing your car?

Polishing your car has nothing to do with its performance. But it does heavily affect the appearance though. If you're not properly and regularly polish your car, it would look coarse and way older than it actually is. As for those scratches, minor ones that are not too deep might not pose any danger except making the color of your car look somewhat faded. But the longer you let them be and the more of those scratches pile up, the more dangerous it would be.

For a general rule of thumb, if you could feel the scratches with your fingernail, then a more thorough job would be needed to fix it. If it's deeper than that, such as to the point of reaching the primer, then you might need to properly remove and repaint your car. So before you are faced with such expensive predicaments, be sure to properly polish your car at a regular interval.

What is a dual-action polisher?

As the name suggests, a dual-action polisher is a type of polisher that has two kinds of rotation working at the same time. With a regular polisher, there is only one part that rotates in a single way. In a dual-action polisher, however, there are two rotating movements happening in the head.

The head consists of a small part that rotates at its axis and also spins around the outer layer of the bigger part. It is also often called the orbiter polisher because of how it mimics the movement of the earth. The earth is rotating on its own axis while at the same time, it also revolves around the sun, which is the main principle behind the dual-action movement.

This mechanism provides a softer and gentler polishing while greatly reducing the heat and friction that usually occurs on a regular polisher. This makes dual-action polisher way easier to use than its conventional counterpart.

How to use a dual-action polisher

A dual-action polisher was designed to be extremely user-friendly. Even a total beginner could learn how to use it in no time. You can use it in these three simple steps:

  • Apply a sufficient amount of polish on the appropriate pad.
  • Make sure it is spread evenly all around the pad. You could even give two or three bean-sized polish for added measure.
  • Start the machine and gently polish your car with it. It is best to do it section by section before finally moving on to the whole car.

That's it. How simple is that? But that alone is not enough though. To make sure you achieve a greater result, you should do the following steps:

  • Clean your car properly beforehand. It is highly recommended that you always work on a freshly cleaned car. You could even use car shampoo for this step.
  • Dry your car and then properly inspect the surface of your paint to know which side needs which type of pads.
  • Apply polish/paint cleaner on the cutting pad on your dual-action polisher to remove the scratches, swirls, and other coarse surfaces following the steps above. Make sure to do it one section at a time.
  • And now it's time to polish. Attach your polishing pad to your dual-action polisher and polish away according to the steps above. Again, make sure to do it one section at a time.
  • Finally, attach the finishing foam pad, and apply the wax to your pad. And use your dual-action polisher to properly wax your car. Again, make sure to follow the proper technique mentioned above and do it one section at a time.

It might seem like a hassle, but if you follow these steps properly, then it is guaranteed that the end results would look fantastic. You would be surprised at how shiny and flawless your car looks. But do keep in mind that when you use the double-action polisher, you need to clean the pad properly every once in a while and apply the cleaner/polisher/wax whenever you feel necessary.

Are all dual-action polishers made the same way?

No, not all dual-action polishers are made the same way. Different brands produce different kinds of dual-action polishers. Some of the most obvious differences are regarding the wattage, minimum or maximum size backing plate, speed control, weight, maximum and minimum speed of rotation, shape, and the distance of the shaking motion, also known as the throw.

That being said, most of the differences mentioned above won't make one machine superior to the other. Most of it comes down to the preferences of the users and how he uses the dual-action polishers. Some might prefer a lighter albeit less powerful machine, while others like a powerful, energy-hungry machine with lots of control options.

But the most important difference that you should look for is the way the machine creates the dual-action movement. There are two kinds of movement, the forced dual-action movement, and the free dual-action movement.

As the name implied, the forced dual-action movement forced the backing plate to stay still or simply move in an eccentric motion. This results in extra power that would be good for getting rid of deeper scratches and swirls. But it also has the risk of overheating and more friction which can damage the paint.

The free dual-action movement, however, has a bearing that links the dual-motion mechanism. This means the backing plate is free from the orbital movement. Of course, due to the centrifugal force, you would still feel the shake from it.

This mechanism creates a much gentler movement and reduces the risk of extra heating and friction. On the other hand, it would also mean that it could only remove surface-level scratches and swirls.

Why dual-action polisher is better than a regular rotary polisher

Just like the forced dual-action movement, the regular rotary polishers also have a greater polishing power. That's why most professionals use this type of polisher machine when it comes to fixing a heavy paint job. Because other than the rotating pad, it could also build up heat that is necessary for that particular kind of work.

But if a beginner uses this machine to fix the light scratches on their car, more often than not, they would end up with even bigger damage than they originally suffered. Not to mention this machine is also usually bigger and heavier than a dual-action polisher.

That's why for a beginner that mainly intends to polish their car at home, it is better to use the dual-action polisher than the regular rotary polisher. The orbital movement would prevent excess friction and build-up heat. Not to mention it is also lighter and easier to use.

And the more you use it, the better you’d be. With the proper skill and experience, you will achieve the same result as you would get from a professional polishing service. Of course, you should also follow the proper methods as mentioned before to ensure the best result.

Features to look for in dual-action polishers
  • Variable speed. In general, if you get a dual-action polisher that is rated above 3000 RPMs, then it would be able to handle most jobs you would throw at it. But do keep in mind that you need different speeds for different purposes. That's why it is important to have a machine with an adjustable speed or also known as a variable speed. That way, you're not stuck to the same rpm forever.
  • Speed lock. Sometimes, a wrong technique or application could lead to dangerous results. Speed lock is a safety feature that prevents accidental speed changes. When you turn on the speed lock, it would lock your dual-action polisher on a speed that you want and would prevent it from suddenly increasing or decreasing from that speed.
  • Automatic shutdown.A long with the speed lock, an automatic shutdown is also another safety feature that you should look for. As the name suggests, this feature will kick off whenever you use the machine in a wrong and harmful way, such as if you press it too hard to the surface of your car or if you approach it at the wrong angle. When turned on, this feature would shut your machine down to prevent any accidental damage.
  • Ergonomic design. Although a dual-action polisher generally has a reasonable weight, an awkward usage would lead to all kinds of hand or arm fatigue or even injury. That's why you should always pick a tool that has an ergonomic design that is comfortable to use.
  • Extra handle. Prolonged use of a dual-action polisher, even one with an ergonomic design, is bad for your hand and your arm. A machine with an extra handle is always a great option to have. That way, you could divide the burden to both of your arms.
  • Cordless Most dual-action polishers in the market come with a cord that needs to be plugged in whenever you use it. While there's nothing particularly wrong with that, using a cordless one would give you so much more freedom. You could move around however you want without having to worry about the length of the cord.
  • Ease-of-use. A dual-action polisher is always easier to use than regular rotary polishers. Most of them only required you to push a button to use it. But you should also look into how easy it is to change the pads, the battery, and sometimes even the extra handle.
Final thoughts

No matter what you do, scratches and swirls would appear on your car. Given time, it would start to accumulate and get deeper and deeper. Along with it, the color of your car would also start to fade. And after some time, it would look coarse and crude.

As mentioned above, to prevent deeper scratches and swirls, you should begin to regularly polish your car. And amongst all polishing machines, the best and the easiest one to use is the dual-action polisher. It uses the rotating and spinning mechanism to deliver a double action that results in a softer and gentler movement while still powerful enough to do its job properly.

If you choose a dual-action polisher that has all of the essential features and fits your particular preferences, then you would be able to get a professional result from your home garage. Of course, you should also follow the proper steps and methods in order to achieve the best result.

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