Dual Action Orbital Polishing Guide
Our dual action orbital polisher guide will explain how to remove paint imperfections and perfect your vehicle’s paint using a dual action or orbital polisher. You’ll learn how to select pads, polishes, and how to use them with your D.A. polisher.
What is a dual action polisher?
Dual action polishers get their name from the dual motion of the polishing head. A dual action polisher has a central spindle. The backing plate attaches to a second axis, which is eccentric of the center spindle. As the center spindle turns, the eccentric axis is also rotating the pad. This dual motion creates the effect of the pad orbiting around the center spindle. A good metaphor for a dual action polisher is the earth’s orbit. The earth itself spins and it also orbits around the sun. This motion is the reason dual action polishers are also called orbital polishers.
To the right is an illustration of the underside of the Porter Cable 7424XP 6” Variable Speed Polisher. You can see how the opening for the backing plate sits off-center. The counterweight sits opposite the backing plate to balance the weight of the pad and plate to prevent wobbling.
Dual action polishers, like the Porter Cable 7424XP 6” Variable Speed Polisher, produce a jiggling motion because the distance between the center spindle and the eccentric spindle is short. This distance is longer on the FLEX XC3401 VRG Orbital Polisher, so it achieves a truer orbital motion. In both cases, there is virtually no risk of burning the paint because the pad never rests on one spot long enough for heat to build up.
While a dual action polisher will improve the appearance of scratches and remove most swirls, it does not produce enough heat to cut deep into the paint. Deep scratch removal requires a circular polisher.
Dual action polishers will improve the texture and luster of automotive paint with virtually no risk. They are the most user-friendly option for beginners and professionals, and they are excellent for swirl removal, polishing, and waxing.
Note: Scratches that extend below the clear coat should be repaired by a professional. Attempting to remove these deep scratches could result in removing too much clear coat and causing the paint system to fail. If your fingernail catches on a scratch, consult a professional.
The two pad guides below explain Lake Country pads and The Edge 2000 System. The steps described in the Lake Country how-to apply to any pads with hook and loop fasteners. The steps in the Edge guide are applicable to all double-sided pads with a center adapter.