A Collection of World Class Car Care Products

Machine Polishers

When you are polishing scratches or swirls out of your paint, it takes a lot of power and repetitive movement to create the abrasion needed to correct them. There are very few humans on the planet that have the power to polish away scratches and swirls by hand. And even those that do, are going to a long while to get it done. Considering the amount of repetitive motion required for it, it is more likely their shoulder or elbows would give in before the scratch does! Thankfully for detailers everywhere, machine polishers are here to supply the power and motion that our bodies just aren't capable of!

Machine polishers are essentially just hand-held tools with the sole purpose of spinning/oscillating extremely quickly even under heavy pressure. The motion that they create move the backing plate and pad in tight circles over the paint surface. This creates the motion that is needed for the abrasive particles in your polish or compound to abrade the entire surface evenly and efficiently. Sometimes these abrasives need more pressure to really be able to abrade like they need to, so machine polishers have enough power to keep the motion going even if you are applying a lot of downward pressure.

Machine polishers are split into two main categories, Dual-action (or orbital) polishers and Rotary (or circular) polishers. The difference between them is the pattern in which they cause the pad to spin.

 

Rotary Polishers

Rotary polishers make the pad spin around the center access point only. Kind of like how the earth spins around its own axis. Since the movement is more simple, rotary polishers can spin at much higher speeds than dual-action polishers and withstand a higher amount of downward pressure. This gives them the edge when it comes to buffing out swirls and scratches. The faster speeds and ability to apply more pressure makes it much easier for the abrasives in your polish or compound to quickly abrade the paint and level the surface.

However, there are downsides all of that power, speed, and pressure. Rotary polishers will definitely leave marring of its own behind that you will have to go over again to correct once the surface is level and scratch-free. Also, rotary polishers create a lot of heat on the paint surface due to the higher amount of friction. Combine this with the additional abrasive power and it is extremely easy to abrade too much and burn through the clear coat and paint! Rotary polishers also tend to be much more difficult to control, so using them properly has a steep learning curve.

 

Dual-action Polishers

Dual action polishers make the pad spin around the center of the pad AND orbit around the center axis of the polisher's head. This is motion is like how the earth spins around its own axis and orbits around the sun at the same time. This allows the pad to cover more area, much more quickly, allowing you to polisher entire panels in nearly half the time it would take with a rotary polisher. This motion also spreads out the heat and abrasion to a wide area, greatly reducing the risk of burning through and leaving marring behind. These factors give dual-action polishers an advantage when it comes to creating a smooth and glossy finish.

The trade off with dual-action polishers is that they are not as capable of correcting severe scratches, swirls, and imperfections. Since the movement is more complex and spread over a wider area, if you apply too much pressure, the pad will stop orbiting and spinning all together (except in the case of gear driven dual-action polishers like the FLEX XC 3401). Also, since the power is spread across a larger area, the abrasive ability at any one point is going to be less than it would be with a rotary polisher. This means that it generally takes dual-action polishers much longer to correct imperfections. The reduced power does, however, make dual-action polishers much more user-friendly and easier to control than their rotary counterparts.

 

When it comes down to it, which type of machine polisher is best for you comes down to your own personal level of skill and what you are trying to accomplish. As a general rule of thumb, rotary polishers are better if you are trying to remove severe imperfections and dual-action polishers are better if you want to provide a smoother and glossier finish. If you do use a rotary polisher to correct imperfections, following it up by polishing with a less abrasive polish and a dual-action polisher is good practice.

Whichever polisher you choose, you should always take the time to practice with the machine polisher and get a feel for its power, balance, strengths, and weaknesses before taking on any serious detailing job using it!

Since no machine polisher, rotary or dual-action, is going to work without the proper backing plate, buffing pads, and polish/compound, make sure to check out our collections of these as well! Or consider looking at our collection of polisher kits that include everything you will need to start practicing with your new machine polisher!

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  • Flex XC3401 Gear-Driven Dual-Action Polisher

    Flex XC3401 Gear-Driven Dual-Action Polisher

    Flex Tools
    $435.99
    The FLEX orbital polisher is the true dual action machine for the perfect finish! The FLEX Orbital Polisher is a dual action polisher on steroids! The FLEX XC3401 VRG buffer effectively removes swirls, scratches, and oxidation that can't be removed...
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    $435.99
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  • RUPES iBrid Nylon Soft Cup Brush

    RUPES iBrid Nylon Soft Cup Brush

    RUPES
    $12.99
    Gently clean even the smallest surfaces! RUPES iBrid Nylon Soft Cup Brush, designed specifically to work with both configurations of the RUPES iBrid Nano Polishers, will gently clean any surface you need it to. The soft bristles are perfect for use on...
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    $12.99
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  • Rupes LHR 75E Mini Random Orbital Polisher

    Rupes LHR 75E Mini Dual-Action Polisher

    RUPES
    $289.00
    An easier way to polish small and intricate body panels The Rupes LHR 75E Mini Random Orbital Polisher is a professional detailer's dream come true. You will finally be able to remove swirls and scratches from small and intricate body panels with speed...
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    $289.00
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  • Rupes LHR 21ES Big Foot Random Orbital Polisher

    Rupes LHR 21ES BigFoot Long Throw Polisher

    RUPES
    $319.00
    Rupes LHR 21ES Big Foot Polisher - Italian-bred random orbital polisher features the largest throw of any polisher available! The Rupes LHR 21ES Big Foot Random Orbital Polisher sets the benchmark to which other random orbital polishers are compared...
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    $319.00
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  • Rupes LHR 15ES Big Foot Random Orbital Polisher

    Rupes LHR 15ES BigFoot Long Throw Polisher

    RUPES
    $299.00
    Rupes LHR 15ES Big Foot Polisher - Italian-bred random orbital polisher features superb engineering for a perfect finish The Rupes LHR 15ES Big Foot Random Orbital Polisher sets the benchmark to which other random orbital polishers are compared. Rupes,...
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    $299.00
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  • RUPES BigFoot iBrid Premium Tool Case

    RUPES BigFoot iBrid Premium Tool Case

    RUPES
    $119.99
    Genuine RUPES replacement piece! The RUPES BigFoot iBrid Premium Tool Case is the exact same bag that comes in the original iBrid kits. With foam packaging perfectly cut out to hold in the many RUPES iBrid Polisher accessories, the RUPES BigFoot iBrid...
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    $119.99
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  • Rupes Bigfoot Nano iBrid Short Neck - POLISHER ONLY

    Rupes Bigfoot Nano iBrid Short Neck - POLISHER ONLY

    RUPES
    $330.00
    Do you already have all of the accessories and just need another iBrid Nano tool? Here you go! This unit is the POLISHER ONLY and includes no extra batteries, chargers, or accessories. Polishes even the smallest areas of your car's paint! Rupes...
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    $330.00
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  • RUPES 34mm (1.25 inch) Sanding Backing Pad

    RUPES 34mm Sanding Backing Pad

    RUPES
    $24.99
    This is a genuine replacement piece for the 34mm (1.25 inch) Sanding Backing Pad found in both configurations of the RUPES BigFoot iBrid Polisher Kits. For use with the RUPES 35mm Adhesive Sanding Discs, also found in both iBrid kits.
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    $24.99
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  • RUPES iBrid Rotary Function Unit

    RUPES iBrid Rotary Function Unit

    RUPES
    $28.99
    Genuine replacement piece from the manufacturer, originally found in both RUPES BigFoot iBrid Short and Long Neck Kits.
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    $28.99
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  • RUPES iBrid AC/DC Power Adapter

    RUPES iBrid AC/DC Power Adapter

    RUPES
    $70.99
    When you'd rather go corded! RUPES iBrid AC/DC Power Adapter allows the user to plug their cordless RUPES iBrid machine in using a 110 volt power cord for a more traditional buffing experience. When working on hard-to-reach panels under the hood or on...
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    $70.99
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  • RUPES BigFoot iBrid Battery Charger

    RUPES BigFoot iBrid Battery Charger

    RUPES
    $69.99
    Charge both of your battery packs at the same time! RUPES BigFoot iBrid Battery Charger, designed the iBrid's unique power pack, is the perfect solution to continuous low batteries. Your iBrid comes with two battery packs, but only 1 charger! The RUPES...
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    $69.99
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  • RUPES 50mm (2 inches) iBrid Backing Plate

    RUPES 50mm iBrid Backing Plate

    RUPES
    $21.99
    Replacement backing plate for the 50mm (2 inch) RUPES iBrid Backing Plate found in both original RUPES iBrid configuration kits. For use with RUPES 70 mm (2.75 Inch) Foam Pads.
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    $21.99
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  • RUPES 34 mm (1.25 inches) iBrid Backing Plate

    RUPES 34mm iBrid Backing Plate

    RUPES
    $16.99
    Replacement backing plate for the 34mm (1.25 inch) RUPES iBrid Backing Plate found in both original RUPES iBrid configuration kits. For use with RUPES 40 mm (1.5 Inch) Foam Pads.
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    $16.99
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  • RUPES 3mm Random Orbital Function Unit

    RUPES 3mm Random Orbital Function Unit

    RUPES
    $49.99
    Genuine manufacturer replacement piece, originally found in both configuration of the RUPES BigFoot iBrid Short and Long Neck kits.
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    $49.99
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  • RUPES 12mm Random Orbital Function Unit

    RUPES 12mm Random Orbital Function Unit

    RUPES
    $49.99
    Genuine manufacturer replacement piece, originally found in both configurations of the RUPES BigFoot iBrid Short and Long Neck kits.
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    $49.99
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  • RUPES iBrid Horsehair Cup Brush

    RUPES iBrid Horsehair Cup Brush

    RUPES
    $12.99
    RUPES iBrid Horsehair Cup Brush is a manufacturer replacement for the horsehair brush originally found in your RUPES iBrid Nano tool. Perfect for interior work on upholstery, headliners, delicate plastic surfaces, leather, vinyl, and virtually any...
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    $12.99
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  • RUPES iBrid Nylon Hard Cup Brush

    RUPES iBrid Nylon Hard Cup Brush

    RUPES
    $12.99
    Genuine replacement Nylon Brush! RUPES iBrid Nylon Hard Cup Brush, used for more aggressive cleaning, is originally found in the RUPES iBrid Nano Kits. The stiff bristles are perfect for cleaning stained exterior trim, hard-to-reach spots on your...
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    $12.99
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