The 10 Best Buffing Pads

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This wiki has been updated 23 times since it was first published in June of 2016. Whether you’re looking to remove heavy oxidation from the hull of a boat or simply want to administer a fresh layer of wax to your car or truck, you’ll need a quality buffing pad to get the job done. Our selection features options capable of addressing every aspect of the paint correction process, and the majority can attach easily to pneumatic and electric polishers, too. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Chemical Guys Hex-Logic

2. Meguiar’s Supreme Shine

3. Griot's Garage Black

Editor's Notes

September 15, 2020:

Not too much has changed in the buffing pad world since our last update, but we decided to say goodbye to two of our number to bring on smarter choices. We removed the Meguiar’s DFP6, which is still a solid offering, because it's close enough to other foam selections on this list that we felt we could supplant it with Meguiar’s Supreme Shine. These 4-inch pads are perfect for small jobs that need to be done by hand, and are extremely budget-friendly, resilient, and absorbent, so you're less likely to work the pad dry and create swirls. They're so absorbent that you might want to dedicate each pad to a particular solution, although they are machine washable, which lowers the chance of cross-contamination.

We also brought on the Griot's Garage Black at the expense of the Griot's Garage Red, which are similar, except that the black variant are more fine-tuned for finishing jobs. The construction and beveled, flat face of these pads promote even application, consistent results, and easier wipe off.

Budget hunters will appreciate the Petutu Car Kit, which offers a great value for money, while the Viking Car Care Microfiber aren't too far off from what you'll find in many car wash kits. These are ideal for light-duty jobs and interior applications and should last a while since they're machine washable and relatively durable for the price.

We still think the Chemical Guys Hex-Logic is the one to beat. It's an 8-item kit with options for everything from removing severe scratches to medium and moderate swirls and oxidation, with two finishing pads and cleaner to keep each piece from breaking down from embedded spent product, removed paint, dirt, and contaminants.

May 17, 2019:

Since this wiki had fallen out of date, we gave it a complete overhaul that saw the addition of six new selections on top of the reestablishment of a few tried and true ones. Not surprisingly, the likes of Griot's Garage, Chemical Guys, Meguiar’s, GM, and DeWalt featured prominently on our list. We also included the Viking Car Care Microfiber for their rock-bottom price tag and versatility when it comes to light duty jobs and interior detailing. They won't last as long as some of the professional-grade options out there, but they're a solid choice to keep on hand for the odd task. If you're willing to pay a little more for a heavier-duty option, we have the Petutu Car Kit up for consideration.

Chemical Guys Hex-Logic has continued to command a top spot because it remains one of the best options out there, and one of the few that comes with its own special cleaner to keep everything in good working order. Because they are so durably made and thoughtfully designed to enhance myriad finishes without leaving holograms or swirls, they are suitable for beginners and professionals alike.

For waxing, look to Griot's Garage Red, while for polishing there's the Meguiar’s DFP6. For tough jobs, we have the 3M Double-Sided and DeWalt DW4985CL Wool. The latter comes with its own backing plate for convenience. Finally, for a reliable, middle-of-the-road option, you can't go wrong with the SPTA Sponge.

Special Honors

Starke Yacht Surface Technologies If you're looking for accessories for professional marine detailing, Starke Yacht Surface Technologies carries industry-leading items from top brands. They offer a host of buffing and polishing pads, as well as coating applicators, plush microfiber towels, mitts, and rotary polishers and their accouterments.

4. TCP Global Ultimate

5. 3M Double-Sided

6. Griot's Garage Fast Finishing

7. DeWalt DW4985CL Wool

8. SPTA Sponge

9. Petutu Car Kit

10. Viking Car Care Microfiber

Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.

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