Updated August 12, 2018 by Daniel Imperiale

The 10 Best Polishers

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A good polisher will have your car, boat, plane, or anything else that needs a waxing, sanding, or buffing looking good without too much hassle or effort. You can get faster and more professional results in your finishes with any one of the easy-handling, low-maintenance options from our selection. We've ranked them here by power, durability, and features. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best polisher on Amazon.

10. Black & Decker WP900

9. Tradespro 836788 7-Inch

8. Griot's Garage 10813 Dual Action

7. Flex XC3401VRG Positive Drive

6. Bosch 1250DEVS 6.5 Amp

5. Milwaukee M12

4. Porter-Cable 7424XP 6-Inch

3. Makita 9237CX3

2. Wen 948 10 Amp

1. DeWalt DWP849X

What Does A Polisher Do And Why Do You Need One?

So builders of all sorts can no longer ignore the importance of polishing.

Polishing is an essential final touch to cleaning or finishing an array of large items, from boats and cars to massive floors. In fact, the current eco-friendly climate is calling for more fiberglass as a building material in everything from homes to boats, and regular polishing is crucial to maintaining the quality of fiberglass. So builders of all sorts can no longer ignore the importance of polishing. A polisher usually uses an abrasive, which removes small irregularities on a surface, that has been applied to a work wheel. There are a few important jobs that polishing accomplishes. It can remove oxidation from surfaces which, if left alone, can cause corrosion. Oxidation is simply the process by which oxygen chemically combines with another substance.

Depending on with what the oxygen combines with, the material's property changes in different ways. Rust, for example, is a form of corrosion and shows up a lot on iron and steel. A good polisher can remove layers of rust, and prevent them from deteriorating the materials on which they lay. As previously mentioned, polishing can be used to finish a surface. For this application, an abrasive that has anywhere from 60 to 80 grit should be used. As the surface becomes smoother, the worker can move to a higher grit abrasive. The grit spectrum works like this; the lower the number, the more aggressive the abrasive, and the higher the number, the more gentle it becomes. If you were polishing something like brass, a very soft metal, and wanted absolutely no visible lines or marks, you would use an abrasive with around a 600 grit.

A polisher can accomplish buffing, too. This will just require special movements, known as the cut and color motions. The former happens when you move the polisher against the rotation of the wheel, and the latter is achieved by moving the workpiece with the wheel. The cut motion gives a semi-bright, uniform surface. The color motion creates a very bright, shiny surface.

What To Look For In A Polisher

Always look at the rotations per minute the work wheel is capable of. The higher that number is, the faster the tool can accomplish a job. One also wants the option of lower speeds, for surfaces that cannot handle aggressive polishing. This is especially important if you are polishing floors since falling is the second leading cause of personal injury, and overly-polished floors are one of the top causes of falls. So look for a polisher with a well-placed and responsive speed dial, so you can adjust the RPM of your polisher as you move over various surfaces.

So look for a polisher with a well-placed and responsive speed dial, so you can adjust the RPM of your polisher as you move over various surfaces.

If a polisher has multiple hoses for things like air, exhaust, and water, then you can move seamlessly through every process of polishing something, without needing to grab many extra tools. Some polishers even offer a sanding option, eliminating the need for yet another tool. Those with random orbit action in the head, in which the angle of rotation of the head and the disk is variable, deliver some of the smoothest results.

Make sure your polisher has a counter balance system so you do not lose control of your tool while using it. If you are purchasing this tool to be used by multiple people, make sure it's suited for left or right-handed use. Unfortunately, most tools are made for only right-handed individuals, which is one of the reasons few left-handed people take construction jobs.

Why It's Important To Polish Your Car

Most people want to get in and out of the car wash as quickly as possible, and often turn down certain upsells like the polish. That is unfortunate considering that 72 percent of individuals who take their car to a professional car wash, do so to maintain the value of their vehicle, and polishing it is an important part of that. Since, visually, a car that is post-polish or post-wax can look the same (namely clean and shiny) a lot of people just opt for the wax, which is less expensive.

Most people want to get in and out of the car wash as quickly as possible, and often turn down certain upsells like the polish.

The reality is that wax only covers up problems, like scratches, oxidation, swirls and other imperfections in your paint job. But waxing isn't very effective without a good polishing first. Likewise, polishing is rather useless if you aren't going to protect your car with a quality car wax afterwards.

If you only wax your car, then you are not getting to the root of the problem behind its markings. You also are not allowing the wax to penetrate deep enough to offer your vehicle much protection. For example, if your car has suffered oxidation, but you do not polish that away, and simply put wax over it, the wax is not really getting to the layers of your vehicle's surface that it needs to. You must polish away the oxidated layer, first.

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Daniel Imperiale
Last updated on August 12, 2018 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel Imperiale holds a bachelor’s degree in writing, and proudly fled his graduate program in poetry to pursue a quiet life at a remote Alaskan fishery. After returning to the contiguous states, he took up a position as an editor and photographer of the prestigious geek culture magazine “Unwinnable” before turning his attention to the field of health and wellness. In recent years, he has worked extensively in film and music production, making him something of a know-it-all when it comes to camera equipment, musical instruments, recording devices, and other audio-visual hardware. Daniel’s recent obsessions include horology (making him a pro when it comes to all things timekeeping) and Uranium mining and enrichment (which hasn’t proven useful just yet).


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