5 Best Car Polishers For Beginners

We’ve tested 10s of car polishers, read hundreds of online reviews and consulted with experts to compile the list of 5 best car polishers for beginners.
Check out the list now.

No car polishing service will make your car shine like when you do it yourself.
You can even make money by polishing other people cars.

Are you done with paying someone else to do a job that seems like something you could do at home?

Would you like to polish your car on your own from now on?

The only thing you need is the right polishing tool and you are ready to take care of your beloved car by yourself.

Luckily, you are in the right place, because in the article below, we are going to introduce you to some of the best car polishers suitable for beginners.

Make yourself comfortable and keep reading because you are just one article away from knowing everything about polishing your car for the first time.

Dive in, and find the one best suited for you!

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Best Car Polishers for Beginners:

Model (link jumps to our review)ImageTypeSpeedPowerRatingPriceOrder Online
1. PORTER-CABLE 7424XPPORTER-CABLE 7424XP 6-Inch Variable-Speed PolisherOrbital Polisher2500 – 6800 OPM120 volts
(854 Reviews reviews)
$119.00Buy on Amazon
2. Meguiar's MT300Meguiar's MT300 Dual Action Variable Speed PolisherDA Polisher3000 – 7500 OPM120 volts
(148 Reviews reviews)
$212.25Buy on Amazon
3. DEWALT DWP849XDEWALT DWP849X 7-Inch/9-Inch Variable Speed Polisher with Soft StartRotary Polisher600 – 3500 RPM120 volts
(593 Reviews reviews)
from $219.99Buy on Amazon
4. Flex XC3401VRGFlex XC3401VRG Positive-Drive Rotary-Orbital PolisherRotary Polisher160 – 480 RPM110 volts
(92 Reviews reviews)
$422.99Buy on Amazon
5. Bosch GP712VSBosch GP712VS 120-Volt Large Angle Polisher (Discontinued by Manufacturer)Rotary Polisher750 – 300 RPM120 volts
(29 Reviews reviews)
Currently not availableBuy on Amazon

Prices are last updated on %last_update%

FAQ

This great video by Darren Priest will show you show to polish your car. Darren runs a Youtube channel called Auto Fetish Detail and he’s an expert when it comes to auto polishing.

Polishing a car is a process of literally removing layer by layer of paint from your car’s finish, revealing a new, fresher layer of paint that lies underneath. Read more about it here.

There are three types of car polishers: rotary polishers, orbital polishers and dual-action polishers. Learn more about them here.

Reviews of Featured Car Polishers for Beginners:

We’ve compiled a hand-picked list of top 5 car polishers for beginners in 2018The list is based on our author’s objective review and combination of various opinions from users all over the world. Continue reading to see all of our car polishers reviews:

1. PORTER-CABLE 7424XP

1. PORTER-CABLE 7424XP

Ranked #1 by the editor
Amazon rating:
(based on 854 Reviews reviews)

Pros:

  • Compact size, lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • One of the safest polisher on the market
  • Very powerful
  • Cleans out swirls, water spots, oxidation, and scratches

Cons:

  • Limited speeds means limited abilities – not capable of getting out deep scratches

Editor’s Review: 

One of the best car polishers ever has been boosted into the 7424XP which is the first polishing machine in our top five list.  This dual action polisher has a 4.5 amp motor and operates from 2.500 to 6.800 OPM. These two things together provide a lot faster and even better removal of paint imperfections. This fast and aggressive polisher cleans out swirls, water spots, oxidation, and scratches while still being safe for both you and your car. What I’m trying to say is that you can be sure that it will not burn the paint or your fingers which makes it perfect for home use.

The body of the machine has an improved design with a lot better ergonomics that make it a lot more comfortable to a user while also putting more control to his hands. It is one of the safest, most user-friendly polishers on the market that will most definitely become your new favorite tool in your little men cave.

And while the Porter Cable 7424XP Dual Action Polisher has everything including admirable power and speed, great design and durability, it also has one characteristic that every future home user will be so happy to hear. It is LIGHTWEIGHT! Well, it’s not like you are holding a remote control, but as lightweight as a car polisher can be. The 7424XP weights under 6 pounds which mean that you would be able to polish your car a lot faster than with any other, heavier polisher.

2. Meguiar's MT300

2. Meguiar's MT300

Ranked #2 by the editor
Amazon rating:
(based on 148 Reviews reviews)

Pros:

  • Perfect for both professionals and somewhat skilled beginners
  • Very sturdy and durable
  • Ergonomically designed; good grip, lightweight and comfortable to use
  • Features thumb speed control and locking trigger button
  • Has no problems such as overheating
  • Provides smooth operation with minimum vibration

Cons:

  • It can be a little noisy

Editor’s Review: 

Meguiar’s is one of the most recognizable names in car care. It provides some of the best car polishers that give professional results, but not overly complicated to use, so if you have some skill, you can safely use it at home. It has all the features you are looking for in a highly effective polisher, but if you are a total beginner, though, move on to another polisher immediately.

This polisher has a 500-watt power and a large 8mm throw that give it the ability to remove even the toughest swirl marks, water spots and scratches from your cars paint with minimum effort. Once you turn the machine on it starts very slowly and soft which provides easy control so that you can get to know it and prepare yourself for the work.  It is ergonomically designed with billet counterweight that ensures smooth precision balance and multi-position handle that improves comfort and control. It also has a lot of smart features and perfectly designed details. However, none of that is exactly my favorite thing about the MT300. To be honest, what I find really important when choosing a car polisher, besides the power and the result that it can give me, it is the weight. If it is too heavy, I don’t want it. Luckily, this powerful machine weighs only 5.4 pounds which allows you to achieve that glossy look on your car in a lot less time.

One of the features that designers are especially proud of is the thumb adjustable speed dial that goes from 3000 to 7500 OMP speed range and allows faster compounding and amazing final polishing look. Then, there is also a so-called DTM or Digital Torque Management that allows you to electronically adjust the torque needed to maintain the loaded speed level.

What’s also important for a good car polisher is that it allows you to change the brush. What Meguiar’s MT300 has to offer on this behalf is fast and easy brush changing with the easily accessible side ports.

3. DEWALT DWP849X

Culligan FM-15A Advanced Faucet Water Filter

Ranked #3 by the editor
Amazon rating:
(based on 593 Reviews reviews)

Pros:

  • Has a soft and comfortable start
  • Variable speeds and 12-amp motor provide amazing results on a variety of materials
  • Ergonomically designed to provide comfort while polishing
  • 3-position bale handle capabilities
  • Features wool ingestion sheets
  • Features hook and loop accessories
  • Not very expensive

Cons:

  • It is relatively heavier compared to some other polishers in the market

Editor’s Review:

This polisher is easiest to describe as a combination of power and finesse for detailing, which is what everyone wants from a car polisher. It delivers the maximum of 1250 watts at 3500 RPM which provides quite powerful polishing that gives you perfect results with minimum effort.

To increase the life of the machine, Dewalt DWP849X features a wool ingestions shield. This ensures the long life of the tool which means that you won’t need to buy a new one anytime soon.

What I really love about this machine is that it wasn’t designed only for your car, but also for other kinds of vehicles. It allows you to change and adjust the speed from 0-600 or 0-3,5000 RPM, all powered by a 12 amp motor so that it can do a really good job polishing any kind of material you need polished. These variable speed controls are very easy to change, using just two fingers and it is also located in the most convenient spot that gives you a lot of control with just one hand. Even though there are some materials that tend to break or ruin during polishing, the adjustable speeds feature helps you prevent that by allowing you to pick the appropriate speed for every material from cars and boats to even shining things like concrete.

This tool is not too complicated to use, it only needs some getting used to is, which means that it can be used by both professionals and average Joes.

The polisher is built very well and sturdy with an all-metal bearing construction and a motor large enough to assure great performance.

The only downside to this amazing polisher is that it isn’t quite the lightest one. It weighs 6.7 pounds, and as you know, the heavier the polisher the more time you’ll need to get the job done.

4. Flex XC3401VRG

4. Flex XC3401VRG

Ranked #4 by the editor
Amazon rating:
(based on 92 Reviews reviews)

Pros:

  • Great design
  • Comfortable and easy to use
  • Very durable and versatile
  • Has a very powerful motor
  • Removes swirls, scratches, and oxidation with ease

Cons:

  • You have to have some experience in order to use it
  • Expensive

Editor’s Review:

Designed to provide flawless polishing, Flex XC3401VRG is what they call a dual action polisher on steroids. It removes swirls, scratches, and oxidation simulating circular movements of a human hand with a smooth movement that provides the precise and hologram-free finish.

It has a true dual action motion that keeps moving even if you put some extra pressure on the machine. However, it still operates smoothly thanks to the controlled motion of the pad which also provides reduced vibration.

What I really like about this polisher is how safe it is even for less skilled users. The direct orbital drive works in a way that develops very little heat on the car surface which means that no matter how temperature-sensitive your car’s finish is, the polisher won’t burn or ruin it.

This polisher features what’s called a seven-fold microprocessor which offers a very nice speed control by a tachometer generator as well as nice and soft start, an overload protection, restart protection after power interruption, an accelerator trigger switch and a speed selection.

The whole machine is ergonomically designed to make the polishing experience more comfortable. The handle is positioned on the front of the polisher, as you expected, providing room for the other hand at the bottom of the machine. This way it will be very easy for you to balance the machine while working with it. The addition to comfortable use is definitely the weight of only 5.7 pounds that will allow you to work for longer periods without fatigue.

5. Bosch GP712VS

5. Bosch GP712VS

Ranked #5 by the editor
Amazon rating:
(based on 29 Reviews reviews)

Pros:

  • Perfectly designed
  • Features a D-handle that allows various hand positions
  • Powerful 12 amp motor is capable of removing deep scratches and stubborn stains and marks
  • Lightweight, easy to use for long periods of time
  • Features variable speed control
  • Features lock-on switch for continuous use
  • It has an ergonomic design
  • It’s solid and compact
  • Comes with one-year warranty card

Cons:

  • Can be tricky for beginners
  • Louder than some other polishers in its class

Editor’s Review:

Another amazing polisher, Bosch GP712VS, is a tool that will give your car amazing glossy look like it just got out of manufacture. It is designed to slightly angle to allow you to access all kinds of surfaces a lot easier and do all kinds of polishing jobs to perfection.

It is such an amazing product to work with especially because of its high-end features such as a locking variable speed trigger switch, a fully adjustable d-handle grip, and a powerful 12 amp motor.

The polisher is ergonomically designed and very comfortable to work with even when using it for long periods of time. It is also fairly lightweight, considering the power that it has, which makes it even more comfortable to use.

The Bosch GP712VS has a variable speed control with speed that ranges from 750 – 3000 RPM for 12 amp motor.

So if you are really serious about home polishing and are looking for a tool that a professional might use, Bosch will probably be a good choice because it is capable of removing stubborn watermarks and oxidation and at getting rid of deep scratches while also giving your car that glossy finish.

The only downside to this spectacular machine is that it doesn’t have a soft start which is odd for such a powerful car care tool. So, if you aren’t quite familiar with polishing and don’t have any skill at all, this might be a problem for you. You will need to be very careful in until you get to know it a little and get used to it because it might burn your cars paint if you are careless. This tool is also a little louder than I would want it to be.

What is Car Polishing?

Polishing a car is a process of literally removing layer by layer of paint from your car’s finish, revealing a new, fresher layer of paint that lies underneath. This way you’ll improve your cars overall appearance, making it look like it just got out of manufacture. If you wonder how often you should polish your car, I would say once a year, but you should definitely wax it every two to three months. Don’t polish it after you notice any and every little scratch unless you want to burn the paint completely. Waxing every few months should be just fine and it will not just make your car look amazing with a like-new shine, but will also maintain its finish longer.

What Types of Car Polishers Exist?

1. Rotary Polishers:

This is the most popular machine for polishing car paint, mainly because of its ability to remove deep scratches. It is very powerful and quick to apply or remove any kind of polishing product. With the direct-drive system, rotary polishers rotate strongly, quickly creating a high-gloss finish. The only downside to this machine is that, due to its power, if not used carefully, it can remove the paint from the car, so if this is type is your choice, make sure to get one with variable speeds so that you can control the polisher depending on your needs.

2. Orbital Polishers:

This type of polisher was made with home users in mind and that’s why it is a lot easier to use, but also a lot less powerful. This type of polisher comes in both standard and random varieties which are very popular because of their random oscillating movement pattern. This pattern is a lot less intense and very easy to use even for beginners.

Orbital polishers are obviously less powerful than rotary ones and aren’t really able to get out deep scratches, but they do give your car a glossy finish for a lot less money and at home.

5. Dual-Action (DA) Polisher:

This is another great car polisher for beginners because of its dual-nature of design which makes it impossible for you to apply too much pressure to any particular place, which makes it very safe to use even if you’ve never polished a car yourself. This type of polisher has dual-action motors and drive units that oscillate in random circular motions, somewhat like random orbital polishers, but with much more ease. It doesn’t leave any dreaded holograms and buffer swirls which makes them even more popular among those who want to polish out a blemish in the easiest way.

How to Polish Your Car?

If you are a first time home polisher this might look like an overly complicated task, but let me tell you right away, it’s not. There are a few rules and certain steps to follow (no skipping) and if you do, you’ll do a damn good job, if you have a good polishing machine, of course.

The first step should certainly be washing your car by hand, and make sure to do it in a shaded area. You are probably wondering why in a shaded area and the answer is very simple. If you make sure that the surface of your car is cool, or as cool as possible, it will prevent from creating soap stains on your car’s surface.

Now that you’ve prepared your car for polishing, you should also prepare the necessary equipment.

Start by placing a clean, slightly wet pad on the polishing wheel and put a reasonable amount of the compound on the body panel. Turn the machine on and adjust the speed to medium to spread the polish. What you should pay attention to is to keep the spinning pad parallel to the surface of the car, that’s the key to avoid any swirl marks. The pressure should be constantly applied while moving the tool back and forth over the entire surface. Once the coat heats up and the car paint becomes warm to touch you’ll notice that scratches will slowly begin to fade away until they completely disappear.

It’s really important to know when it is enough when to stop. Pay attention to the compound and the water. Once they are thrown aside and absorbed by the foam pad, stop. You’ll see the brightened finish and that means that it is the time to move on to the next panel and repeat the whole process from the beginning (step2).

Also, I have a tip, depending on the color of your car. If your car is dark-colored, I recommend using softer pads and polishing compounds because darker cars are more sensitive to swirl marks. However, if your car has lighter hue, you can safely use more aggressive compounds for cleaning.

This is the step that you will need to estimate if needed and how often you need to repeat it. Before moving on to the next panel, always check the foam pad. Sometimes, if necessary, you’ll need to stop and rinse it off with a hose or a power washer. That way you’ll prevent it from becoming too saturated or gummed up with too much compound.

Once you are done with all the polishing, wash your car again, by hand, and make sure not to miss the doors, trunk and hood jambs. When the car is completely clean, dry it carefully.

Here comes my favorite part. Waxing. If you apply a coat of wax to the newly revealed layer of paint, you will cover up some swirl marks and any surface imperfections that you missed or created while polishing. Take a new, soft foam pad and mount it on an orbital sander. Apply a mix of paste wax and fine finishing polish (approximately 60:40) onto the pad. Turn the tool and adjust the speed to medium to spread the wax onto the surface while moving back and forth with constant light pressure. You should thoroughly rub the wax, leaving just enough of it to be visible when it dries.

Lastly, while the wax is drying, you have just enough time to clean the other areas of the car including windows, interior etc.

Once the wax is dry, all you have to do is remove it with some kind of microfiber towel. Now, this is important. It has to be microfiber because bath towels or rags can easily mar the surface, and you certainly don’t want that after all the hard work.

If needed, apply touch-up paint onto any lingering scratches and finally move the car into the sunlight for final inspection and bragging.

How to Choose the Best Car Polisher - Buyer's Guide

Picking the right polisher for your car can be a tough choice in a sea of all sorts of different polishing machines. However, as always there are a few key things to consider, that will surely help you narrow down your list, at least.

How do you want to polish?

Why is this important? Well, there are only two ways to polish your car and you can either hand polish it or use a machine to do it. Machine polishing is, obviously, more effective than hand polishing, and it is quite a safe alternative.

If hand polishing is your choice, I literally have no idea what are you doing here, since this is an article about polishing machines.

However, I doubt that hand polishers are reading this article unless they want to switch to a machine, so let’s talk about that.

Ideally, you should get a variable six-speed dual-action polisher that will allow you to remove all kinds of scratches, water spots, and oxidation. It is a great solution for someone who is just learning to polish because it allows you to adjust the speed to your level of comfort. However, that doesn’t mean that it is any less powerful than those used by professionals. Actually, that depends on a lot of things, but it isn’t necessarily less powerful.

However, there are models and models of variable six-speed dual-action polishers so, let’s see what are the things that need to be considered before making the purchase.

The rotation speed of a buffer actually effects a lot of other factors, like heat, friction, and efficiency. Polishers that are more powerful speed wise, are better for larger vehicles as well as for getting out some deep scratches. However, your ideal polisher should have a variety of easily changeable speeds so that you can use just one polisher for a variety of different situations, materials, and surfaces.

If you really want to get the job done, you need to take it seriously, but that doesn’t mean that it needs to be tough. Your car polisher needs to be comfortable to use, which means ergonomically designed, well balanced and lightweight.

The perfect polisher would also have to be versatile so that you can easily remove the rubber pad and holders to replace them with some other kinds of brushes that you need to use.  Additional brushes that you might need for a car care are carpet cleaning brush, upholstery brush, fabric brush, leather brush and tile and grout brush.

This is as important as ergonomically design. Polishing your car takes hours of work. What you don’t need is a bulky and heavy polishing tool that will easily make you tired and you’ll just have to take a minute every now and then to rest. It is uncomfortable and it prolongs the already long process.

My advice is to look for those polishing tools that measure around 10 inches and weigh between 5 and 6 pounds. Those would be the ideal numbers, but even if you don’t find one with these ideal measurements, keep in mind that in this case, less is always more.

As you probably already know, all car polishers vibrate, and that is normal. But some vibrate more than others. If you are still wondering, no, vibration is not a very good thing in this case because it produces visibly uneven compound applications, plus it is a lot harder to use. So, the less vibration, the better.

Customer's Opinions - See What Other Users Say:

Once I’ve noticed a first few scratches on my car I tried to buffer it by hand but it wasn’t only tiresome but it also wasn't doing a very good job. I immediately ordered PORTER-CABLE 7424XP and if you ask me why exactly that one, I would have to say mostly because of a cult following of this machine. And you know what? It didn’t let me down. Not once. It is perfectly built, very solid and easy to use. This machine gives you professional results for a lot less money and allows you to polish the car yourself at home. It is amazing!
customers-tetsimonilas
John
Using the PORTER-CABLE 7424XP
I’ve wanted the Flex XC3401VRG for quite a while; I just couldn’t find the excuse to spend the money on it while my old polisher was still working fine. When it finally broke, I literally ran to my computer to order this one. I tried it out the second it arrived and I’m so happy that it didn’t disappoint me. It really makes me feel like a pro and it certainly gives professional results. This tool is perfectly built and very easy to use. Does everything as advertised and even better. I am really happy with it and would definitely recommend it.
customers-tetsimonilas
Justin
User of the Flex XC3401VRG

Conclusion

I hope this article helped you with deciding what car polisher you want for home use, or at least what kind is the best for you.

Just keep your eyes open and take all the things from the Buyer’s Guide section into account before making a final decision.

If you wonder which one would be my choice, I’d have to say that it would definitely be the PORTER-CABLE 7424XP.

Happy shopping!

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Tijana Milunovic

Tijana Milunovic

Tijana is a copywriter and a fashion designer. She has years of experience in testing & reviewing products.

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