Tools & Equipment
10 Best Car Buffers & Polishers of 2020
That sparkling shine that you see on cars when in the showroom does not just happen. It is a result of meticulous care in the form of polishing and buffing.
But the good news is that you can also give your not so new vehicle the same shine (or at least something close), and all you need is to buy the best car buffer.
A car buffer is a simple handheld machine designed to give your vehicle a lustrous, shiny and scratch-free look. It provides a better finish than hand waxing, and it also makes car polishing faster and easier.
Car buffers are available in both electric and pneumatic types, and also in rotary and orbital styles, and so you will always have plenty of options to choose from.
Our in-depth buying guide and reviews of 10 top-rated car buffer below will make it easier for you to find the perfect buffing and polishing machine for your well-loved vehicle.
10 Best Car Buffers – Review
1. DeWalt DWP849X
2. Porter Cable 7424XP (Best under $200)
3. Black & Decker WP900 (Best Budget)
4. Makita 9237CX3 (Best Value for Money)
5. Wen 10PMC (Best Fixed Speed)
6. Wen 6010 (Inexpensive but Versatile)
7. Griot's Garage 10813STDCRD (High Speed & Quite Powerful)
8. Meguiar's MT300 (Versatile & Variable Speed)
9. Ryobi RB61G (Perfect for DIYers)
10. Wen 948 (Powerful & Variable Speed)
1. DeWalt DWP849X
2. Porter Cable 7424XP
(Best under $200)
3. Black & Decker WP900
4. Makita 9237CX3
(Best Value for Money)
5. Wen 10PMC
(Best Fixed Speed)
6. Wen 6010
(Inexpensive but Versatile)
7. Griot's Garage 10813STDCRD
(High Speed & Quite Powerful)
8. Meguiar's MT300
(Versatile & Variable Speed)
9. Ryobi RB61G
(Perfect for DIYers)
10. Wen 948
(Powerful & Variable Speed)
1. DeWalt DWP849X – Best Overall
- Power: 12 Amps
- Speed: 0-600 and 0-3,500 RPM
- Weight: 6.7 pounds
DeWalt DWP849X runs on a powerful 12-Amp soft start motor that delivers variable speeds of 0-600 and 0-3,500 RPM.
The massive power and variable speeds combine with the feature-packed design to make this one of the best professional car buffers and polishers out there.
These features include an all-bearing construction that helps to increase the tool life and performance and a conveniently located two-finger speed trigger that makes sure you always get maximum control of the tool regardless of the momentum.
Maintaining your desired speed is also not a problem thanks to the electronic module, and so you can be confident of always getting smooth finishes and better-buffering results.
Wool ingestion will also not be an issue with this DeWalt car buffer as it comes with shields to prevent it and hence minimizing servicing costs.
Additionally, this car buffer will come with a non-marring gear case to help protect the surfaces from scratches, and with both the traditional handle and three-position bail handle for more gripping options.
This powerful car buffer can get quite hot when running for extended periods but it should still be easy to handle with gloves on.
2. Porter Cable 7424XP – Best Car Buffer under $200
- Power: 4.5 Amps
- Speed: 2,500-6,800 OPM
- Weight: 5.75 pounds
If you prefer the user-friendliness of random orbital buffers, the Porter Cable 7424XP will be a good buy for you.
This high-performing buffer runs on a 4.5-amp motor and is designed to deliver variable speeds of 2,500-6,800 OPM to make it ideal for a variety of applications.
The two-position side handle also helps to make this one of the best random orbital buffers out there. Also, you can have the handle on either the right or left-hand side, and it is easy to remove if you prefer to use the buffer without it.
This car buffer will accept a wide variety of spindle thread accessories between 5/16 and 24 which makes it quite versatile.
Durability is also guaranteed by the full ball and roller bearing construction, and you can be sure of always getting swirl-free sanding and polishing.
Included foam polishing pad looks and feels cheap but the good news is that it still does an amazing job, and so it should not be the deal breaker
3. Black & Decker WP900 – Best Budget Car Buffer
- Power: 0.5 Amp
- Speed: 4,400 OPM
- Weight: 5.3 pounds
Black & Decker WP900 is one of the cheapest and lightest items on our car buffer reviews. And this means you not only get a highly affordable buffer but also one that is light enough and convenient to use.
It is a random orbital buffer that is designed to generate a single speed of 4,400 OPM to ensure that you always get smooth and swirl-free finishes.
Also, it will come with a 10-foot cord which is relatively longer than what you get from others in its class. The long cord increases mobility to make it more convenient to use and will also accommodate both cars and boats.
Using it should also be easier thanks to the comfortable dual handle design that also makes it simple to control when buffing.
The speed on this inexpensive car buffer is not adjustable but it is still useful for most buffirng and polishing applications and hence not a big concern.
4. Makita 9237CX3 – Best Value for Money
- Power: 10 Amps
- Speed: 0-3,200 RPM
- Weight: 7 pounds
If you want a high-quality tool for detailing and polishing that is not only easy to use but also feature-packed to ensure you get the best value for your cash, the Makita 9237CX3 is a great buy.
This top-rated car buffer runs on a 10-amp motor which makes it one of the most powerful on our list, and it also offers soft and smooth start-ups with minimal wax or polish fling off.
It has a variable speed trigger that will deliver 0-3.200 RPM to make it easy to match the speed with the application, and it also has a constant speed control for maintaining a constant speed under load.
With the externally accessed brushes, maintaining this car buffer should be easier and more convenient. There is also has a wire mesh intake cover to ensure wool fibers do not get to the motor for a long tool life.
Operating the car buffer is also quite comfortable thanks to the rubberized loop handle. Also, this rubberized handle helps to protect delicate surfaces from scratches.
While this top-rated car buffer might feel a little heavy on the hand it is still well-balanced and once you get used to it, you can buffer for extended periods with minimal hand fatigue.
5. Wen 10PMC – Best Fixed Speed Car Buffer
- Power: 0.75 Amp
- Speed: 3,200 OPM
- Weight: 3.08 pounds
Here is another highly affordable car buffer that is designed to make buffing a quick and easy process for you regardless of the vehicle type you have.
Besides the affordable price tag, this is also an easy to use car buffer because it does not take a lot of effort to keep it balanced. And if you also factor in the compact and lightweight design, you have the best car buffer for the money.
The 0.75-amp motor might not be the most powerful on our list but for this car buffer, it is more than enough, and it will deliver an equally good speed of 3,200 OPM.
With the high impact insulated housing on this car buffer, you can also be sure of a long service life as it can withstand regular job site abuse.
This car buffer comes with different types of bonnets and a wool washing mitt to make it ready to use straight from the box. And there is also a convenient carrying case to help with storage and transportation.
And although the cord on this fixed speed car buffer is not the longest it should be still good enough when buffing or polishing the car in the garage or close to the house.
6. Wen 6010 – Inexpensive but Versatile
- Power: 0.5 Amp
- Speed: 4,000 RPM
- Weight: 3.35 pounds
The Wen 6010 is another lightweight and compact car buffer that is engineered to make buffering a simple and quick activity.
It comes with an ergonomically contoured palm and body grip design that makes it not only easy to hold but also simpler to control for more accurate results. And you can use it with either one hand or both.
Also, this car buffer uses the random orbital action to ensure that you always get a smooth and streak-free finish.
This Wen car buffer is the cheapest model on our car buffer reviews to ensure that you not only get a high-performing tool but also save a lot of cash.
While this 6-inch buffer works best on cars, it is also designed to work well on a variety of other surfaces, and so it will be highly useful around the house.
The only notable shortcoming with this car buffer is that it does not seem to have an effective mechanism for dampening vibrations. But unless you plan to use it for several hours nonstop this will hardly be a concern for most users.
7. Griot's Garage 10813STDCRD – High Speed and Quite Powerful
- Power: 7 Amps
- Speed: 6,800 OPM
- Weight: 8.38 pounds
This Griot’s Garage random orbital polisher is a great pick for anyone on the market for the best car buffer and polisher for professional use. However, it is still safe and easy enough to use for the first-time users.
It is designed to remove scratches and swirl marks fast and easily, and you can also use it to apply wax to your vehicle in a fraction of the time it would take you to do it manually.
The easy pad mounting and removing also cement its position as one of the best car polishers out there, and this is thanks to the unique hook and loop backing plate.
This car buffer also comes with an adjustable loop handle and a domed and rubberized palm grip to make it more comfortable to use and easier to control.
You will also get to chose from two cord options which are 10 and 25-foot cords, but regardless of what you buy, you will still have a long enough power cord for easy mobility.
When compared to other models on our list, this car buffer is a little heavier but it is still under 10 pounds which means it should still be easy enough to handle.
8. Meguiar's MT300 – Versatile Variable Speed Car Buffer
- Power: 4.2 Amps
- Speed: 3,000-7,500 OPM
- Weight: 5.4 pounds
You can almost never go wrong with any dual action car buffer but the Meguiar MT300 takes things a notch higher by incorporating some impressive technologies.
These technologies include the digital torque management which uses a digital circuit to adjust the torque electronically so that the buffer maintains the loaded speed.
Also, it has a wide speed range of between 3,000 and 7,500 OPM for increased versatility, and you can easily adjust the speed using the conveniently located thumb adjustable dial.
The soft starting motor will ensure easy control when switching on the buffer while the dual action buffering ensures that you always get flawless and swirl-free finishes.
The universal throw makes this an ideal machine for a variety of applications from polishing and waxing to compounding.
And with the comfortable multi-position D-handle, you can be confident of maximum comfort and control regardless of your skill level.
A long cord would have made this car buffer even easier and more comfortable to use but you can easily fix this small issue with an extension cord.
9. Ryobi RB61G – Perfect Choice for DIYers
- Power: 0.5 Amp
- Speed: 4,800 OPM
- Weight: 5.5 pounds
Orbital car buffers like the Ryobi RB61G will always deliver smoother and swirl-free finishes, and this explains why they are highly popular.
The Ryobi RB61G is a compact and relatively lightweight buffer that is easy to use with both or one hand, and it will deliver up to 4,800 OPM which makes it a great choice for a wax application.
Also, it is quite a comfortable car buffer to operate thanks to the ergonomic handle and the fact that the on/off power switch is conveniently located in an easy to access spot.
You will also never have to worry about keeping the bonnets in place and secure as it includes an elastic band to help with this. And it will come with the application and polishing bonnets to make it ready for immediate use.
The 0.5-amp motor is not as powerful a other on our list but this is still one of the best automotive buffers you can get for the money as it still does a great job when buffing or polishing.
10. Wen 948 – Powerful and Variable Speed Car Buffer
- Power: 10 Amps
- Speed: 1,000-3,500 RPM
- Weight: 6.7 pounds
The variable speed range of between 1,000 and 3,500 RPM makes the Wen 948 a highly versatile car buffer that will be handy for everything from buffing and polishing to finishing, compounding and waxing.
Also, with its 10-Amp motor, it is quite powerful and it is hard to get a more powerful car buffer at the same price tag.
This car buffer uses a hook and loop base pad that will make the bonnets, pads or sandpapers easy and quick to install or remove.
Another feature that makes this a unique and high-performing car buffer is the onboard digital readout that will display the machine’s current speed for more accurate and precise buffing.
The reversible side handle makes this a convenient and comfortable car buffer to use. And when you buy it you will also get the necessary accessories for immediate use.
Even at the lowest speed setting this car buffer can still be a little fast for some applications, but in most instances you will hardly find yourself in a situation where te speed is too much for the task at hand.
How to Buy the Best Car Buffers
Most people seem to prefer taking their car to the auto shop for buffing or waxing, but this is not only more expensive but you will not always get the best outcome.
What you need to do is buy a good car buffer and do it at home with more attention to detail and more meticulously. Finding the perfect car buffer does also not take a lot of effort as you only need to watch out for the following things.
1. Electric vs. Pneumatic Car Buffer
Generally, there are two common types of car buffers based on the power source which are the electric and pneumatic buffers.
Electric Car Buffer: Electric car buffers are the types that use electricity to power their motor, and so they will require constant plugging in to operate. These are some of the most convenient types as they provide a constant supply of power.
Also, unlike the pneumatic types, you will not need to buy an air compressor to use them which means they come ready to use straight from the box. And they also do not have as many issues in the long run as many pneumatic ones do.
However, the cord can be hectic to deal with, and this is more so when polishing larger or longer vehicles like trucks and SUVs.
Pneumatic Car Buffer: Pneumatic car buffers are often the most powerful type, and you will also not have to deal with long electrical cords when working on your vehicle.
With these car buffers, you only need to pull or push the air compressor which in most cases comes with some wheels to make this easier.
The higher power output means that the pneumatic car buffers will be more useful when dealing with serious cases of scratches or stains. However, they are more expensive to buy and operate because they need an air compressor. Also, air compressors tend to have many issues
Buying Advice: If you already have an air compressor or are looking to have a more powerful car buffer go for the pneumatic types. But, if you prefer something more convenient and relatively more affordable, the electric car buffers are a much better option.
2. Rotational or Random Orbital Car Buffer
Besides choosing between the pneumatic and electric buffer types, another important decision you will need to make is whether to go for the rotational or orbital car buffers. Each will have both merits and demerits which you should know to make a more informed choice.
Rotational/Rotary Car Buffer: Rotary car buffers are by far the most common and popular options, and this is more so for professionals.
They are also the most powerful option as they use a direct drive system that delivers a powerful rotating motion for performance that is almost unrivaled.
These are the best car buffers for dealing with deep scratches and tough stains or mineral deposits. But, their greatest shortcoming is that they can easily remove car paint if you are not careful.
Orbital Car Buffer: Orbital car buffers might not be as powerful as the rotational types, but they are by far the safest option and are also more user-friendly. And this makes them an ideal choice for the home users.
Because they cause less friction, they will be safer to use even for novice users as it is harder for them to remove car paint.
The orbital car buffer makes use of two different mechanisms working at the same time which are the rotation and oscillation. And this enables users to cover every part of the car easily without damaging the paint.
Like with many other power tools, speed is a crucial element to consider when choosing a car buffer. And while a high-speed car buffer can get the job done fast, there is more to it than just going for something with the highest speeds.
What is more important is to get a buffer with variable speed or one that allows you to choose from different speed options.
Variable speed car buffers provide the best results and also help to minimize the risk of damaging your car’s paint job.
Because you will need to lift and hold the car buffer in your hand for long periods when buffing the car, its weight matters a lot.
It is important to go for something lightweight as it will be easier and more convenient to use. A lightweight car buffer is also more convenient for extended use and is also more maneuverable.
However, also note that most of the weight often comes from the motor or engine, and so if your car buffer is too lightweight this can be an indication that it has a smaller and less powerful motor.
5. Ease of Use
Buffering should not be a laborious task that you dread doing. Instead, it should be an easy and even fun activity that you look forward to over the weekend.
For this to be the case, you need to make sure that you go for a car buffer that is easy to use. Besides being lightweight, an easy to use car buffer is one that comes in an ergonomic design and with a soft and comfortable handle.
Also, some user-friendly features can make your car buffer simpler to use because you do not want to waste time trying to figure out some complicated features. Some comprehensive instructions can also be handy for first-time users.
A car buffer is a very useful machine for keeping your car clean and shiny, and it is a way much better option than the traditional waxing methods.
If you are on the market for a good car buffer, you first need to understand the different types in the market and then consider other factors like the weight, speed and ease of use.
And the many options in the market should also not overwhelm you when shopping for the best car buffer as our top 10 reviews will provide some great recommendations and the perfect place to start your shopping.
- 10 Best Car Buffers – Review
- 1. DeWalt DWP849X – Best Overall
- 2. Porter Cable 7424XP – Best Car Buffer under $200
- 3. Black & Decker WP900 – Best Budget Car Buffer
- 4. Makita 9237CX3 – Best Value for Money
- 5. Wen 10PMC – Best Fixed Speed Car Buffer
- 6. Wen 6010 – Inexpensive but Versatile
- 7. Griot's Garage 10813STDCRD – High Speed and Quite Powerful
- 8. Meguiar's MT300 – Versatile Variable Speed Car Buffer
- 9. Ryobi RB61G – Perfect Choice for DIYers
- 10. Wen 948 – Powerful and Variable Speed Car Buffer
- How to Buy the Best Car Buffers