Car Polishing Machines and the Difference Between Rotary, Dual Action & Orbital

When looking to buy a polishing machine we often get asked if Rotary car polishing machines are suitable for first-time users and what the main differences are between Rotary, Dual Action and Orbital car polishers.

Rotary Polishers

The motor on these machines directly drives the polishing head that fixes directly to the backing plate onto which you fix your cutting, polishing or finishing pad.

This means all the power, and there can be a vast amount of it, is directly driving the rotation of the machine down onto and across your paintwork – too much pressure and you can quickly burn through your paintwork.

However the upside is that if you are seeking to do paint correction the Rotary is more suited to this type of work as it will allow you to take the paint layers down further and quicker than either a Dual Action or Orbital.

Many professional detailers use a rotary car polishing machines for both speed and where required for full paint correction details. However many will be the first to admit they started out with a Dual Action such as the original Porter Cables before moving onto the Rotary car polishing machines.

Dual Action Polishers

Image showing difference in motion of dual action and rotorary car polishing machinesThis unique action prevents the creation of holograms (symmetrical buffing marks), paint burns and other forms of paint damage often associated with rotary polishers.

The Dual Action polishing machine is ideally suited to light scratch and swirl removal and deep shine buffing – it would not be the ideal choice for the removal of deeper scratches where your finger nail “jarrs” when passed over the scratch (the finger nail test).

Orbital Buffers

These tend to have larger heads and dual handles that allow the machine to be pressed onto the paintwork. The also tend to work at lower speeds and have a single “jiggle” movement rather than spin.

They are ideal for applying product deep into the paintwork over a larger area and removing same (using different bonnets). They are however not as versatile as the Dual Action car polishing machines, which will allow the use of different size plates and pads and work at higher speeds, whilst being more user friendly than a Rotary.

The Dual Action as by its name combines two actions, one the rotating of the plate holding your pad and the other is the oscillation of the spindle. An easier way to understand this is comparing it to the action of the earth – which itself spins, whist at the same time orbits, or oscillates around the sun.

The motor on these machines directly drives the polishing head that fixes directly to the backing plate onto which you fix your cutting, polishing or finishing pad.

This means all the power, and there can be a vast amount of it, is directly driving the rotation of the machine down onto and across your paintwork – too much pressure and you can quickly burn through your paintwork.

Which Car Polishing Machine Should I Choose?

Your choice of machine really depends on what you want to achieve and your level of confidence (experience). The beauty of some of the latest car polishing machines is both the introduction of digital speed control and the lighter weight. The speed on some machines can be set in increments from 500 rpm to 3000 rpm, making them more user-friendly than traditional rotary machines. It does however still need to be treated with respect.

The Dual Action Car Polisher (DA) machines whilst not being equal to a rotary when it comes to paint rectification work, will produce excellent, professional-looking results with the added benefit that it is much harder to do any serious damage to your paintwork than it is with a rotary.

And lastly if you are seeking simply to save time and cover large areas the traditional dual handled orbital buffer may be the ideal choice.

Bestseller No. 1
SPTA Mini Polisher, Buffer Polisher 25mm/50mm/80mm 780W, with 6 Variable Speeds, 27pcs Detail Polishing Buffing Pad Ideal for Car Sanding, Polishing, Waxing, Sealing Glaze - HROMPS3ACUK
134 Reviews
SPTA Mini Polisher, Buffer Polisher 25mm/50mm/80mm 780W, with 6 Variable Speeds, 27pcs Detail Polishing Buffing Pad Ideal for Car Sanding, Polishing, Waxing, Sealing Glaze - HROMPS3ACUK
  • ◆What You Will Have◆ 1pc Superpolish R3 mini polisher, 18pcs mixed polishing and wool polishing pads, 3pcs mixed size polishing backing pads, 1pc extension shaft and our best service.
  • ◆Applicatons◆ Used for all kinds of coat paints's waxing, polishing and sealing glaze, to clean and improve their lightness; As well as for auto car detail polishing.
  • ◆Specifics◆ Prime quality wool pad, sponge pad, bendable, washable and reusable. Different colored sponges have different softness, they will meet all your requirements, suitable for polishing rough and small areas. With Adhesive backing, you can change pads just in seconds.
  • ◆Material◆ Made of High Quality sponge and wool, all sponge polishing pads can be cleaned for reusing. Efficient cutting and polishing the most difficult car oxidation coating, scratches. Can be used in pneumatic or electric car polisher.
  • ◆Fast Shipping◆ Fulfilled by Amazon, will provide you a convenient and fast shipping service, let you receive your parcel much more earlier.
Bestseller No. 2
Faburo 125MM Electric Polisher Kit, 600W Polishing Machine Buffer with Detachable Polishing Pad for Buffing Car, Wood, Metal, Furniture (Small and Powerful)
  • Polisher is made of new materials, high temperature resistance, light weight, compact structure and low noise.
  • Polisher can quickly change the polishing cotton and polishing tools, and the operation is simple.
  • Polisher is equipped with high quality dust exhaust pipes, which are durable, not easily damaged and can be adapted to a variety of working environments.
  • Polishing sponge (hardness is from small to large: black, red, blue, orange, green) to meet different polishing needs.Soft and delicate, fine porosity with high elastic, ensure better adsorption to the surface of the polishing object.
  • Small and Powerful Polisher is suitable for home and personal use suitable for all types of polishing, such as vans, cars, glass, etc. Also suitable for polishing at home, such as wood furniture and leather.
Bestseller No. 3
Dual Action Polisher, Ginour Random Orbit Car Polisher, 6 Variable Speeds 2000-6400OPM, D-Handle & Side Handle, 4 Polishing pad, 2 Carbon Brushes,150mm Base Ideal for Car Sanding, Polishing
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Dual Action Polisher, Ginour Random Orbit Car Polisher, 6 Variable Speeds 2000-6400OPM, D-Handle & Side Handle, 4 Polishing pad, 2 Carbon Brushes,150mm Base Ideal for Car Sanding, Polishing
  • 【DUAL-ACTION POLISHER】7.5A 900W motor provides stable speed for low noise. Come with random-orbit, swirl-free polishing /sanding action, can reduce the damage of machine tracks, burn marks, holograms, which is different from normal polisher or rotary machines. Perfect for polishing, waxing, polishing, buffing and removing swirls
  • 【COMPACT SIZE & 6 VARIABLE SPEED】The body size is 14.56"X6.10"X6.10" and weighs only 5.7 pounds, compact and powerful. 6-level variable speed dial allows user to set 2000/6400 RPM according to different materials and applications
  • 【PROFESSIONAL ACCESSORIES】Come with two different design handles (D-handle and side handle), its ergonomic design meet your higher operational requirements. Attach 2pcs 6-inch types of foam , the yellow foam disc for smooth polishing, the black foam disc for fine waxing and polishing
  • 【HUMANIZED DESIGH】With switch lock design, you can maintain a speed by lock down the button, greatly reducing fatigue. When the spindle is locked, you can quickly replace other accessories without using other tools. Constant power and constant speed allows the operation more steady
  • 【WHAT YOU GET】1 x Ginour Polisher; 1x Hook and Loop Base Pad; 2x 6-inch Smooth Foam; 2x 6-inch Waffle Foam;1 x Wool disc ;1xD-Handle;1xSide Handle;1xHex Wrench; 2x Carbon Brush; 1x Packing Bag;1xUser Manual;Lifetime warranty and best customer service
Bestseller No. 4
TACKLIFE Electric Car Polisher, 1200W Polishing Buffer Machine,6 Variable Speeds, D-Handle, Wool disc,2 Carbon Brushes,Using for Car Polishing/Paint,Buffing Metal,Furniture Waxing and etc
199 Reviews
TACKLIFE Electric Car Polisher, 1200W Polishing Buffer Machine,6 Variable Speeds, D-Handle, Wool disc,2 Carbon Brushes,Using for Car Polishing/Paint,Buffing Metal,Furniture Waxing and etc
  • ▲【Powerful Motor】- 1200W powerful motor drives the polisher up to a speed of 3500 RPM, offering you strong polishing force and great polishing effect,Which greatly improves work efficiency.
  • ▲【6 Variable Speed】 - Adjustable 6 Speed from 1500-3500 Rpm for different materials and applications,be suit for polishing, buffing and sanding for cars, furniture, tiles and more.
  • ▲【Widely Application】- This Polishing Machine Can use in many Scenes such as Floor Waxing, Metal Descaling, Furniture Waxing, Jade Polishing, Car Polishing etc.
  • ▲【Detachable Polishing Pad 】 - You can replace the pad for bigger or smaller one, but please note that the spindle is 5/8 inch, your pad must fit the spindle.
  • ▲【Safety Lock Design】- Instead of continually pressing the switch, safety-lock design can keep one speed convenient throughout for as long as you need, reducing your fatigue.
Bestseller No. 5
RUYIKA Electric Car Polisher 1600W Polishing Buffer Machine Kit Orbit Buffer, 8 Variable speeds, 6 Polishing pad, 2 Carbon Brushes, 2 Rotating Velcro Plate, Ideal for Buffing Metal, Car Paint
14 Reviews
RUYIKA Electric Car Polisher 1600W Polishing Buffer Machine Kit Orbit Buffer, 8 Variable speeds, 6 Polishing pad, 2 Carbon Brushes, 2 Rotating Velcro Plate, Ideal for Buffing Metal, Car Paint
  • 🌟COPPER MOTOR & LOW NOISE - The polishing machine is a high temperature resistant copper motor, strong power, with a 1600W high-power motor, which greatly improves work efficiency. Low noise gear transmission, noise reduced by 1/3.
  • 🌟8 VARIABLE SPEEDS - Indication for precision 8 variable speeds dial, lets user set speed from 500-3600 Rpm for different materials and applications. Suitable for a variety of paint surfaces: Ordinary Paint/ Metal Paint/ Pearl Paint.
  • 🌟HUMANIZED DESIGN - Our machine is ergonomic design, comes with a D-handle, has all ball-bearing construction and safety-lock design, the shaft can be locked to make it immobile, making it easier to install/remove. Comfortable, labor-saving, non-slip and durable.
  • 🌟WIDELY USED - Our polishing machine is ideal for Automotive, Woodworking, Ceramic Tile, Furniture Industry, Hardware, Electronic Components and Electronic Equipment Covers etc.
  • 🌟PACKAGE CONTENT - 1 x Electric Polisher Machine, 1 x Wrench, 1 x D-type Handle, 1 x Handle, 2 x Rotating Velcro Plate7" M14, 2 x Replacement Carbon Brushes, 2 x Polishing Black Sponges Medium-soft 7", 2 x Polishing Sponges Medium-soft 7", 2 x Super Soft Polishing Wool Cover Fur 7".

3 Comments

  • Man and Van Cambridge
    Posted January 3, 2012 3:11 pm 0Likes

    Dodo Juice Machine takes my vote. One of the positive point is that it is the lightest weight in its category and speed can be adjusted easily. It gribs well in hand and less chance of slipping.

    I have one, and it is very reliable and long lasting. It consume less power and gribs very easily. The size of the pad is also very reasonable…remember. bigger pad tends to slip and are not good while doing the corners.

    • Fax
      Posted July 23, 2012 6:24 pm 0Likes

      Hey mate, thinking of getting one dodo juice, how has it been treating you in the last six months. Thanks faz

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