orbital buffer...?

Discussion in 'Mustang Sound & Shine All' started by smit0282, Aug 19, 2004.

  1. anyone use an orbital car buffer to wax your stang? i'm thinking of getting one instead of paying $100 to get the car detailed. my stang is black so it shows everything. any suggestions on what buffer to get or how easy they are to use :shrug: . thanks.
  2. I would avoid the cheap random orbital buffers, especially for a black car. You are far better off doing it by hand. A far better machine is the Porter Cable dual action polisher. It is not a buffer so it is perfectly safe for your paint but, it is way more effective than an orbital or what you can do by hand.

    You can find more information on them at


    If you have any questions on it just let me know.
  3. thanks rjstaaf :nice: ......have you used the dual action polisher? i'm assuming you have.
  4. Yup, I use one on my own car. Don't know what I would do without it. It makes things sooo much easier.
  5. last question....would you recommend it for someone with no experience? will it damage the paint at all if i use it incorrectly? Thanks again for your help. :)
  6. It is not like a rotary buffer that professionals use, it cannot build up enough heat to burn your paint. It might ruin the paint if you take it by the chord and swing it around and hit your car with it :D
  7. :rlaugh: :lol:

    thanks again for the advice. i hope to get one this weekend, and test it out. :nice:
  8. I use a orbital buffer that has a 3200rpm speed which I bought from Sears. It was on clearance sale and its by Simonize. I use a foam bonnet with it and I like it. BTW, my car is black as well.
  9. I second the Porter Cable...very nice! Makes polishing/waxing a lot easier
  10. Be VERY careful if you go with one of the higher end units. I have seen VERY inteligent people ruin their cars with those.

    If you are just wanting to make the job of applying easier then I would STRONGLY suggest one of the cheapies. A 10" random orbital is all you need.

    On the other hand if your car is REALLY bad with swirl marks and fine scratches and you need to "BUFF" out the swirls, the other gentleman is correct - you need something with more "Umf". The 3200-3600 units won't do it nearly as well. However - they won't burn your paint through either!

    Keep in mind that on my 96, when I got the car it was in REAL bad shape (dealer demo) - a random orbital and Zaino fixed it up just fine.

    As far as instructions on how to apply ...... I have a tech article on my site that is VERY lengthy - it describes exactly how to use it with Zaino, but of course you can use what ever you want. I have recently applied Klasse with my orbital (for kicks and giggles) and it went on perfect.

    Here is the article - long, but detailed.
  11. Just a quick note on swirls, there are many good products out there to remove swirls. However, most people try a product and get frustrated with the results and say "It's not removing the swirls." That could be because your putting swirls in your paint when using the product and when buffing it from your paint surface. Terry cloth towels are without a doubt one of the worst types of bonnets and towels to use when applying and removing anything from a paint surface as they have a cleaning/cutting action that will only put more swirls in the paint. I know, I learned this the hard way. Wool bonnets are much the same way, they have a cleaning/cutting action so you want to avoid applying products to your paint with them(especially aggresive cleaner prodcuts). Foam bonnets and application pads are probably the best you can use. I use them and like them. As for what type of cloths to buff your surface with, Microfiber and diaper cloths tend to be the best I have seen and used. I like Microfiber better though :D.

    As for what products to use, I've used about every kind of paint product you can think of. IMHO, Mothers products tend to do a dazzling job on a black paint finish. I don't know about Zaino or Zymol as those are two I havent used but I've heard good things about them as well.
  12. The "higher end" units you are talking about are probably rotary buffers. It is NOT possible to mess up your paint with the Porter Cable dual action polisher. It uses the same random orbit action a cheap orbital does but, it runs at much higher speeds and is adjustable which makes it MUCH more effective. Because of the random orbit action it is not possible to build up enough heat to burn paint even at its top speed. As I said before the only way you can damage you paint with it is to swing it around by the chord and hit the car with it :D

    The article would be much more useful to a lot of people if you would get rid of all that Zaino rhetoric about carnauba in front of it. It is full of half truths and exaggerations to put it mildly. I use Zaino and like it but, all the bashing of Carnauba to promote Zaino just makes Sal look like he has to resort to snake oil salesman tactics to sell his product. I would much rather he and others cut that crap out and just promote the product on its merits. I also use carnauba and a large number of Zaino users do as well. Topping Zaino with a carnauba is very common these days.

  13. Ah ... regarding the PC - you can take the paint right down to the base coat with one .... would you like me to demonstate on your car???

    Nothing wrong with what I said about the Carnuba - yes it makes a great topper - for one day for a show - but then you have to go home and wash it off. Most people aren't willing to do this.

    Regarding the salesman remark - I have never sold a bottle of Zaino in my life. The article was written to give PROPS to Zaino and that's why it promotes it so much - not to give ONLY tips on orbitaling.

    The Carnuba remarks are quotes from Sal ..... so go and tell HIM your feelings - my article was mainly on the application itself.

    I replied for the simple reason that if the person is looking for an "Applicator", a $40 unit is all he needs - the article is to back up the statement with proof, not to promote Zaino - that's all.
  14. Not possible if you use the machine properly. To be more specific you would have to be trying really hard to do damage with one. If you are gonna misuse the machine than I could counter with you can also do plenty of damage with an orbital or even by hand. Would you like me to demonstate that I can easily strip your clear by hand? Just for giggles explain to me how you think you can take paint down to the base coat with the PC.

    There are more people doing it than you seem to think.

    If you look at Sal's current site you will see that even he has backed off all that carnauba bashing bs. I mention it because you are just furthering all the myths and misinformation to people who don't know any better.

    You are assuming he is asking about an applicator. He as a lot of people new to detailing think the cheap orbital is going to remove swirls and scratches.
  15. Well, I really don't want to get into this any more Bob .... it will just lead to flaming and I don't like when things get that way. I hate arguing on line because what is typed and what is meant often gets misinterpreted.

    The info from Sal I don't believe was ever actually posted on his site - just general info he had on file.

    You are prolly correct in that people apply and strip Carnuba after shows. But there are millions of people out there that do NOT do this because they pick up a product in a store and apply it because it is made by a billion dollar company. Meanwhile the properties of Carnuba don't allow for long term use. Synthetics on the other hand DO. And yes, polish without abraisives won't remove swirls but they will fill them in.

    Perhaps a change to the carnuba notes should be .... "Only use if you remove after a day".

    The PC (again depending on #) is powerfull enough to melt the clear - that's what it does in essense. Take this too far (As you said, someone not knowing what you are doing), and a lot of damage can be done. Unfortunately there are a lot of people out there where a PC unit in their hands will indeed do damage. The "light" brands won't do this.

    So let me agree with you on some things.

    A PC in the "Right" hands is fine .....

    Carnuba is a great top product - just remove after.

    Be careful because the CORD on either unit can scratch your car! ;)

  16. I certainly don't want to seem argumentative either but, I do have a problem with what you are saying. You are perpetuating the stuff about carnauba that just isn't true and does a real disservice to newbies who don't know any better.

    The PC CANNOT melt paint. It uses the same exact random orbit action that the cheap orbitals you are mentioning so the pad is NEVER in the same place long enough to generate any heat even at top speed. Fact is if you run it at full speed and bear down with any pressure the PC will actually become LESS effective as the motor will bog down. The fact that you mention melting paint to me indicates that you are confusing the PC with a rotary buffer. The PC is NOT a rotary. The pad on a rotary spins on a fixed shaft like a drill and if you hold the machine on the same spot will spin in the same place causing heat. The pad on a PC does not spin on a fixed shaft, it wobbles like an orbital so the pad not only spins but, wobbles back and forth. As I said earlier, the pad is never in the same place long enough to generate any heat, even if you run it at full speed and hold it on the same spot.

    As to carnauba even with complete neglect I have yet to have a carnauba not last longer than 4 weeks. I typically see at least 2 months minimum out of the carnaubas I use. I do not dispute that synthetics will last longer but, for me 2 months is a month more than I usually wait to wax even when I am using a synthetic. When was the last time you actually tried a carnauba?

    As to topping, google is your friend. Try a couple of searches using the terms "topping zaino" or "top zaino carnauba". You will get many many hits. These aren't people topping and then removing the carnauba. They actually prefer the look of carnauba to Zaino and only remove the carnauba to apply more Zaino at which time the carnauba goes back on. If you spend any time at places like Autopia, Detailcity or other detailing forums you will see people topping Zaino and other synthetics for that matter with carnauba.
  17. alright guys, now i'm confused :shrug:
    so let me just ask a few questions to clarify things:

    1. as i said my car is black, it has some swirl marks in the paint, overall its in pretty good shape. so will the cheaper random orbital buffers get out minor swirls? this isn't a show car per say, but i do want it to look as good as possible. IMO nothing looks better than a black car that has been detailed.

    2. so being new to detailing, is there any chance at all that i could damage the paint with the PC? or is that really difficult to do? i would guess that as long as you didn't let it sit in one spot too long everything should be ok?

    thanks again guys, i appreciate all the responses. :hail2:
  18. As I said above, Mothers makes a claybar and 3 step system that will make the paint on a black car dazzle. The more you apply steps 1 and 2, the more it will do for the scratches and swirls. This stuff works very well.

    NOTE: Step 1 is a pre-cleaner and step 2 is a polish so if you do multiple coats of each, be sure to do them in their order and don't use the number 1 after applying number 2.

    As for the PC or Orbital buffer, I've never used a PC but I have used an orbital buffer with some pretty strong abrasives and rubbing compounds on my car and it didn't cause any damage at all to my clearcoat. Just be sure to use a foam bonnet and avoid terry cloth and wool bonnets and you should be fine. Be sure to also use only products that are labeled clear coat safe.

  19. The cheap orbital buffer is not going to remove your swirls. Take a look at the link I posted, there is lots of information there. Here are a few more links on how to use the PC. It really is foolproof.

    The link I previously posted, there are lots of tips at the bottom of the page.

    Better Car Care article on using the PC, written by David Bynon who owns and operates Autopia.org

    Go to the power polishing video at the following link

    You can find the PC for as little as $109 at Lowes but, that does not cover all the accessories that you will need like the different pads.

    Here is an article from Coastaltool.com that explains the different part numbers you will see for the PC.

    Hopefully this straightens it out for you.

    There are also a lot of good articles on Better Car Care about the different products out there. If you don't find what you are looking for there go on over to www.autopia.org. Hopefully you will keep an open mind and not get sucked into any particular product by all the hype that is out there.
  20. I wholeheartedly agree with Bob regarding the Porter Cable unit. I have the random orbital model and it blows away the 10" I had. Not only did it do much better at removing the acid rain etching, it's much easier to work around tight areas of the body. Between that, Meguiar's, and my pad set I've been really pleased with the new car shine on my '99..