CAR POLISHER – A TOOL THAT GETS RESULTS
You may have heard the old Theodore Levitt quote “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole”
Basically it means people want results not tools.
It’s also fits perfectly for what I’m writing about here – Car Polisher.
I don’t know anyone who deep down wants a car polisher, they want the results…ie a shiny car.
It also happens that there are a couple of other benefits from a polisher other than a shiny surface.
They achieve a better result and in less time than if the same job was done by hand.
UNDERSTANDING THE BASICS
I’m doing my best to keep this short(ish) because if you reading this on a mobile device a couple of thousand words gets a bit much for the eyes.
And I understand Facebook is calling!
When looking into car polishers you are going to run into some terms that you may or may not understand.
Firstly there is two types of car polisher (there are others but let’s keep this simple and most polishers fall into one of these two groups)
Rotary and Dual Action
We are looking at Dual Action car polishers here because anyone can use one without stuffing up the paintwork.
Dual Action means that the pad moves in 2 directions at the same time, similar to how the Earth rotates on its axis while spinning around the Sun.
Rotary’s are a different story and is one for another day.
Common terms you will read or hear about:
Backing Plate – Disc that attaches to the polisher that often has a velcro (hook & loop) face for pad attachment. Backing plate is located off-center to the polishers driveshaft.
Counter-Weight – Balances the weight of the backing plate and pad to prevent wobbling.
Power – Rating of the electric motor stated as Watts(W). If not, it will be stated in amps. It’s easy to figure out the watts by multiplying volts x amps. Basically it’s marketing ploy to sell an under powered machine.
OPM – orbits per minute or oscillations per minute. One orbit is the backing plate rotating around the driven spindle (driveshaft) once. Like the earth rotating around the sun. Same principle.
Throw – can also be referred to as Stroke or Backing Plate Offset. Distance between the machines driveshaft center and the backing plate locator center. (common sizes are 8, 12, 15 mm)
Speed Controller – A dial located in the body of the polisher, usually within thumb reach, that controls the speed of the polisher. Numbers indicated are orbits per minute (opm)
Pad – Polishing pad. I’m sure you know what a pad is.
THREE CAR POLISHERS WORTHY OF ATTENTION
The three polishers mentioned here are available in just about all markets globally. So you should be able to fine them or a slight variation of in your country.
I found them in the UK, US, EU, AU, NZ.
DAS 6 PRO DUAL ACTION CAR POLISHER
Like a majority of the polishers on the market the DAS 6 Pro is manufacturered in China.
It’s not a bad thing just a fact.
From the searches that I’ve done the DAS 6 is not available in the US, well at least not as the DAS 6.
It is available under a few other brand names. The one I chose for this post is Griots Garage 6.
While it is not physically the same the internals are very close (US has 120 volts, rest of the world is 220-240v)
Griots Garage has some input into the external design for better handling comfort.
This DA polisher is light-weight coming in at 2.3kg, so it’s not going to give your arms to much of a workout when polishing the sides of your vehicle.
Whether you are doing a paint restoration or just simple wax maintainence the DAS 6 Pro has adjustable speed settings to make sure you get the finish right.
Many polishers is this price bracket are only rated at 500W, not this one, it has the power you need to keep the pad spinning with 850W.
Basically if the polisher can maintain rotation speed with downward force applied to the head the pad will also keep working.
Lower power rated polishers drop rotation speed even under light load causing the backing plate (pad) to stop rotating. No rotate, no work.
cleanyourcar.co.uk has it in blue and it comes with a 5 and 6″ velcro backing plates.
Griots Garage supply theirs with only a 6″ backing plate but also have the option to purchase one with a 25′ power cord.
DAS 6 Pro Price Check on Amazon UK
Griots Garage Price Check on Amazon
MEGUIAR’S MT300/310/320 DUAL ACTION CAR POLISHER
A few years ago Meguiar’s introduced the MT series car polisher not so much as an upgrade from their then current G220 but because they noticed a gap in the market of DA polishers.
There was very little to offer in the 200 – 300 dollar price range. Go figure. Obviously things have changed since.
If you wondering about the 300/310/320 after the MT the numbers are region specific. 300 for the US, 320 for the UK and 310 for EU, AU and NZ.
The US version is 120v while the rest are 220/240v.
Meguiar’s did put a lot of thought into the design of this polisher. They aimed it square at the home car enthusiast, gave it specs and features that best suited that market.
It’s ergonomically designed to reduce user fatigue.
A rear hand grip with a trigger switch and a D handle up front make for great control and comfort.
Within thumb reach is the adjustable speed dial allowing the user to quickly adjust speed when needed.
Meguiar’s MT has two functions that set it apart from many other DA polishers.
One is the soft start function. Meaning the machine slowly picks up speed when you pull the trigger. Makes for easy control and all but eliminates product (polish/wax) being thrown everywhere.
Get a couple of Pro tips about pre-polishing. Click and then scroll to Before Applying the Polish
The other is Digital Torque Management (DTM). Electronically adjusts the torque to maintain speed. The user can apply downward force on the head and the polisher will automatically adjust for the extra load to maintain the speed.
What it means to the user is a great finish because the pad and product kept working even under load.
Now don’t let the image of the machine fool you. It may appear large and heavy but in reality it’s the same weight – give or take 100gm – as the DAS 6 Pro and just a little longer.
Two backing plates are available, 5 & 6″, along with a range of pads for both that are designed to work in conjunction with Meguiar’s polishes.
It also seems like the US is the only place where the machine alone does not come with a backing plate. All other countries supply it with a 5″ backing plate.
Of course if you buy the bundled pads, product and microfibre towels it comes with a backing plate.
Meguiar’s MT300 Price Check on Amazon
Meguiar’s MT320 Price Check on Amazon UK
FLEX XC3401 VRG
This is a different beast compared to the other two.
Firstly it’s German engineered. That may set off warning bells of ‘complicated and over-priced’.
Relax a little. The machine is quality and extremely well designed. Price is less than what you expect considering the nature of the machine.
The Flex has the power of a rotary combined with the charactertics of a dual action making it still safe for anyone to use.
The backing plate is turned using forced rotation, driven if you will, instead of random oscillations like a regular DA.
In a video I spliced together about these three polishers you can get a good look at what is meant by driven/forced rotation of the Flex. Skip to 5.22 of the video to watch Mike Phillips of Autogeek explain it.
What’s not so obvious about this car polisher is the safety features and electronic controls.
Restart protection after power interruption (meaning machine will not automatically restart when the power returns)
Quality shut-off carbon brushes: if the carbon brushes wear down, the motor will be automatically switched off and thus protected from damage
Microprocessor controls electronics:
Consistant speed control by tachometer generator (similar to Meguiar’s DTM)
Soft start. Machine starts slowly for easy control.
Accelerator trigger switch
POWER OF THE FLEX
The Flex has the capabilities to remove marks and scratches in your cars paint that other DA polishes can’t. Having a forced rotation pad enables this polisher to work harder and remove marks in less time.
That’s the short of it!
Flex XC3401 Price Check on Amazon UK
Flex XC3401 Price Check on Amazon
IT’S OVER TO YOU
I know three seems so under-whelming and it is meant to be. Many of the dozens of polishers on the market will be similar if not identical to one of the above three.
Any that don’t probably are not really suitable for someone just starting out unless they have a particular feature that you require.
If you are looking to up-grade from your current polisher and wondering where to drop your hard earned cash. The Flex will not disappoint.
Some readers may wonder about the Rupes polishers. If you know about them then you also know they are quite exspensive and they come in a range of ‘Throws’. (12, 15, 21mm) You’re also possibly not new to the game of polishing (car detailing)
Whatever your decision, this quick look at dual action polishers was put together to help you decide and dispell any overwhelm you may have previously had when looking to buy a car polisher
Remember (results not tools) it’s that ‘Show Shine’ you want!
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