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
Polisher, TACKLIFE Buffer Polisher 180MM 1500W, with 6 Variable Speeds, Digital Screen, Lock Switch, Detachable Handle, Ideal for Car Sanding, Polishing, Waxing, Sealing Glaze - PPGJ01A
526 Reviews
Polisher, TACKLIFE Buffer Polisher 180MM 1500W, with 6 Variable Speeds, Digital Screen, Lock Switch, Detachable Handle, Ideal for Car Sanding, Polishing, Waxing, Sealing Glaze - PPGJ01A
  • ▲ STRONG POWER & LOW DECIBEL - 1500W 7AMP Head-mounted Motor provides maximum torque and a light body of 3.7KG make your work efficient; low decible design make less noise
  • ▲ VARIABLE SPEED & LED DISPLAY - the variable 6 speeds allows you to choosing the most fitting sanding speed for your work; onboard digital screen and LED indication show the current RPM for accuracy; Separate acceleration and deceleration soft start buttons achieve a more direct control
  • ▲ D-HANDLE & SIDE HANDLE - the handles make it convenient for you to work in various work environment; reducing fatigue, improving operatig portability and stability
  • ▲ WIDE APPLICATION - together with the wool disc and 120 grit sanding disc, the sanding machin can be used on car, boat, home appliance, furniture, adding brightness of glass, applying glazes, sealants and wax
  • ▲WAHT YOU GET - 1 x Tacklife PPGJ01A Polisher, 10 x p120 Grit Sanding Disc(180mm), 2 x disc (180mm and 150mm), Pair Carbon Brushes, Side Handle, D-handle, Wool Disc, 3 x polisher Pad (150mm)------orange sponge used for medium-fine grinding and removing scratches, fine particles,green sponge used for fine polishing and waxing to remove small scratches and spirals, black sponge used for fine mirror polishing.Hex Key, User Manual, Warranty Card, 24 Months Warranty, Email: [email protected]
Bestseller No. 2
TACKLIFE Polisher and Sander,6 Variable Speeds Polishing Machine with 180MM Polishing Pad Detachable,D-Handle,Wool disc,Orbital Sander with 2 Carbon Brush for Buffing Car,Wood,Metal,Plastic,Tiles
124 Reviews
TACKLIFE Polisher and Sander,6 Variable Speeds Polishing Machine with 180MM Polishing Pad Detachable,D-Handle,Wool disc,Orbital Sander with 2 Carbon Brush for Buffing Car,Wood,Metal,Plastic,Tiles
  • ▲【Strong Power】- Car Polisher PPGJ05A equiped with 1200W Motor,offers strong power,long life,which can stable speed and low noise,Random orbit, swirl-free polishing /sanding action to minimize heat and friction to provide surface protection.
  • ▲【6 Variable Speed】 - Adjustable speed from 1500-3500 Rpm for different materials and applications,Suitable for car sanding, polishing, waxing, marble, wood, wall and motorcycle polishing, rust removal and other cleaning applications.
  • ▲【Detachable D-Handle and Polishing Pad 】 -Polishing Machine With a side handle and a D-shaped handle,you can choose the way to make yourself comfortable,reducing fatigue safe and convenient operation.You can change different polishing pads according to your own needs, which is very easy to buy in the market.
  • ▲【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.
  • ▲【Package Contents】- 1 * 1200W Polisher,1 * 180MM Polishing Disc,1* Side handle, 1* Wool polishing disc,1* D-handle,1* User manual,1*3 Meter Cord,2 years warranty Card.
Bestseller No. 3
Allright Polishing Machine Rotary Polisher Auto Detailing Superpolish 1200W Variable Speed Suitable For 7 Inch 180mm Polishing Pad
52 Reviews
Allright Polishing Machine Rotary Polisher Auto Detailing Superpolish 1200W Variable Speed Suitable For 7 Inch 180mm Polishing Pad
  • ✈HIGH POWER.The car polisher operates at six different speed settings,rated frequency: 50-60Hz.
  • ✈ERGONOMIC ADJUSTABLE HANDLE.Features adjustable handle for added control,you won't feel tired even use it for a long time.
  • ✈POWERFUL OPERATION.The impressive 1200W motor provides all the power you need to tackle tough DIY tasks.
  • ✈Dual-Action Motion.Allows you to remove defects and apply polishes and waxes without harming your paint. Provide better pad contact with the surface and reducing the polishes sling.
  • ✈WIDE APPLICATIONS: 3-in-1 polishing, buffing and sanding machine; polish and buff your cars, furniture, boats, and other objects.
SaleBestseller No. 4
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
260 Reviews
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
SaleBestseller No. 5
Dual Action Polisher Kit, Meterk Random Orbit Car Polisher and Buffers 1200W Car Polishing Machines 6 Variable Speeds Orbital Sander Machine Soft Start 150MM Base Detachable U-Handle
183 Reviews
Dual Action Polisher Kit, Meterk Random Orbit Car Polisher and Buffers 1200W Car Polishing Machines 6 Variable Speeds Orbital Sander Machine Soft Start 150MM Base Detachable U-Handle
  • ▲POWERFUL DUAL-ACTION POLISHER: 1200W powerful motor provides stable speed and low noise. Random orbit, swirl-free polishing /sanding action to minimize heat and friction to provide surface protection.
  • ▲VARIABLE SPEED: Adjustable speed of 600-4000RPM perfectly adapts to different environments and materials.Suitable for car sanding, polishing, waxing, marble, wood, wall and motorcycle polishing, rust removal and other cleaning applications.
  • ▲DETACHABLE HANDLE: With a side handle and a U-shaped handle, you can choose the way to make yourself comfortable, safe and convenient operation.
  • ▲HUMANIZED DESIGN: Switch lock design, the speed can be maintained by pressing the button, thereby reducing fatigue. The machine's head and body handle are designed with soft rubber non-slip to ensure a firmer and more comfortable grip.
  • ▲PACKAGE INCLUDES: 1 * 1200W Polisher, 1 * 150MM Polishing Disc, 5* Sandpapers, 3 * Sponge wheel for waxing, 1* Wool polishing disc, 1* Towel cover, 1* Side handle, 1* U-handle, 1* Pair carbon brushes, 1 * Wrench, 1* Chuck key, 1* User manual

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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