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Old 12-31-2012, 08:44 PM   #1
pilfflip
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Default Polisher speeds

I did some searching and reading and couldn't really find much information that helps.

I'm close to pulling the trigger on a polisher purchase but my last concern is RPM speeds. If I get a fixed speed what should I be looking for that isn't overly aggressive but enough to get some basic waxing and polishing work done.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:42 PM   #2
Kean
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If you're talking about a DA/orbital polisher, than the speeds are typically rated in OPMs (orbits per minute) rather than RPMs like with a rotary. For example, setting 6 on a PC7424 is supposed to be roughly 6,000 OPM (which can vary with load, etc.).

Frankly, which speed you choose can vary depending on a number of factors including the product used, pads (size, type, etc.), pressure being applied, technique, what you are trying to accomplish, personal preference, the machine you're using, etc. Personally, when polishing I don't usually use lower speeds unless I'm initially spreading the product. ....or in the rare case I use one of my DA's to apply a wax/sealant.

Here are just a couple of threads I found on the subject on one of the detailing forums I frequent that you might find helpful:

http://www.autopia.org/forum/machine...ce-needed.html

http://www.autopia.org/forum/machine...polishing.html

https://www.autopia.org/forum/machin...ou-polish.html

....and here's a video from Mike Phillips of Autogeek regarding how he uses a PC7424XP (a popular DA) which might give you a good baseline:

http://www.palmbeachmotoring.net/asc...r-2-20-10.html

The answer isn't always cut and dry in this respect. Sometimes it takes a little experimenting of your own to find what works best in your scenario.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:55 PM   #3
Brian722
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On Dewalt I use

1400 cutting
1000-1200 polishing
Wax by hand
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:25 AM   #4
pilfflip
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I was under the impression that higher speeds could cause damage to the clear coat-swirls and/or burn. Under the hood I'm solid, making it look pretty? Not so much, my car has some age anyway but that doesn't mean I want to butcher what little color's left on the car by choosing an over powered polisher and wasting money and time.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilfflip View Post
I was under the impression that higher speeds could cause damage to the clear coat-swirls and/or burn. Under the hood I'm solid, making it look pretty? Not so much, my car has some age anyway but that doesn't mean I want to butcher what little color's left on the car by choosing an over powered polisher and wasting money and time.
Let me start by asking what polisher(s) exactly you are almost ready to pull the trigger on? I also seem to have glazed over your remark about "fixed" speed.

All of the more popular DA's like the Porter Cable 7424XP, Griot's 6", Meguiars G110, Flex 3401, etc. are variable speed. The cheaper, less powerful ones you might find at you local auto part store (which may be one speed only) are typically not much good for anything more than applying waxes IMO (if even that).

DA's do not typically carry the same risks as a rotary polisher. Burning and strike-through with a DA are almost a non-issue. .....so are holograms/buffer trails. This is why DA's are more ideally suited and attractive to the average consumer. Rotaries have a much steeper learning curve IMO/IME and are better left for professionals who find the need for this sort of tool in their job (where volume, time, etc. are bigger considerations).

Even with one of the more powerful DA's on the market (the Flex 3401VRG which I own), you would still be hard pressed to burn the paint as you could so easily with a rotary.
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Old 01-01-2013, 02:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kean View Post

Let me start by asking what polisher(s) exactly you are almost ready to pull the trigger on? I also seem to have glazed over your remark about "fixed" speed.

All of the more popular DA's like the Porter Cable 7424XP, Griot's 6", Meguiars G110, Flex 3401, etc. are variable speed. The cheaper, less powerful ones you might find at you local auto part store (which may be one speed only) are typically not much good for anything more than applying waxes IMO (if even that).

DA's do not typically carry the same risks as a rotary polisher. Burning and strike-through with a DA are almost a non-issue. .....so are holograms/buffer trails. This is why DA's are more ideally suited and attractive to the average consumer. Rotaries have a much steeper learning curve IMO/IME and are better left for professionals who find the need for this sort of tool in their job (where volume, time, etc. are bigger considerations).

Even with one of the more powerful DA's on the market (the Flex 3401VRG which I own), you would still be hard pressed to burn the paint as you could so easily with a rotary.
"Rotary" is the term I should be using; there's a rotary polisher at a nearby tool store that is fixed at 3500rpm but that seems a bit too powerful. I've also looked at a Dewalt adjustable that I like. The models escape me but both are spoken of highly by the tool store owner (whom I trust). I think I've made a decision though-the adjustable is going to be a smarter decision for me. I'm not a professional and I don't need anything more than hobby quality looking for reliable results.
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilfflip View Post

"Rotary" is the term I should be using; there's a rotary polisher at a nearby tool store that is fixed at 3500rpm but that seems a bit too powerful. I've also looked at a Dewalt adjustable that I like. The models escape me but both are spoken of highly by the tool store owner (whom I trust). I think I've made a decision though-the adjustable is going to be a smarter decision for me. I'm not a professional and I don't need anything more than hobby quality looking for reliable results.
Then I would seriously consider a DA vs. a rotary in that case. With all of your concerns and current needs, its the obvious choice IMO/IME.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:27 PM   #8
LuigiTheDog
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DA is the way to go. I use a 7424XP Porter Cable that gives great results.

I have also used the Meguier's DA as well, another good DA
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:07 PM   #9
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You don't want a rotary. You'll do more damage then you'll ever correct. Start with a good DA like the Porter and Meguier's recommended above. After you get good with the DA, if you find you need a rotary, then by all means go and invest in one. When you're ready, I'd highly recommend a variable.

BTW, with the new DAs, pads and polishes out there, you shouldn't really need anything beyond the DA. I can do corrections today with a DA, Uno and a wool pad that would have required a rotary and heavy cutting compound 10 years ago.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertrinaustin View Post
BTW, with the new DAs, pads and polishes out there, you shouldn't really need anything beyond the DA. I can do corrections today with a DA, Uno and a wool pad that would have required a rotary and heavy cutting compound 10 years ago.
....very true. A lot has changed since the time I bought my early version of the PC 7424 (mine was actually a 7336 which was essentially the same). In the last few years there has been an explosion of new products/improvements available to the average consumer especially in relation to DAs. ....and like you said, there are pads and products now that make them even more effective than before (not just the fact the the machines have improved). Pricing has also dropped making these solutions more affordable for the DIY'er.

That's not to say rotaries don't have a place in some folks arsenals, but for the average guy/gal, I would say a DA is better suited. I still own my 7336 but also a Flex 3401VRG that essentially took its place some time back.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertrinaustin View Post
BTW, with the new DAs, pads and polishes out there, you shouldn't really need anything beyond the DA. I can do corrections today with a DA, Uno and a wool pad that would have required a rotary and heavy cutting compound 10 years ago.
I'm getting that from a lot of my research. It's rather overwhelming.

Thanks for the help, fellas.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:58 PM   #12
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I'll give you the advise I wish someone had given me when I was getting started.

1. Focus on easy to use. When you are getting started, ease of use will most greatly impact your results whether it's a polisher or a polish. Once you've got plenty of experience, feel free to branch out and try a rotary or Klasse SG, but start with the easy to use stuff.
2. Have realistic expectations. All the threads showing 90%+ corrections with a simple list of products and tools make it seem much much easier than it actually is. Focus on making your car look better and not on achieving perfection.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:22 PM   #13
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From a Noobie detailing hobbyist, you want a DA. As mentioned check out autotopia or autogeek ... Same company. Mike Phillips has lots of videos. Watch every single one. I purchase from autogeek and they are awesome. I purchased the Meguiars DA microfiber kit 5 inch pads and used on my 2005 WRX that I have neglected. I knew it wouldn't be perfect but the OBP really shines! Oh and I found a 7336 from the neighborhood garage sale that I used. LOL. this spring I hope to get the Griots or Flex 3401.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:12 AM   #14
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I'm going to pick up a PC7424 shortly and start game planning my spring fling on both my wife's Silver Legacy and my incredibly aged WRX.
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:29 PM   #15
Brian722
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I use a dewalt 849x... But like some have mentioned you should prob stay away from this type of buffer if your just a beginner cause you will cause damage if not used properly
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