Expertpickhub Tools Polishers Best Dual Action Car Polisher

Do you need to remove swirls and scratches on your car, wax it, or polish away the oxidation? You should look for the best dual action polisher to cope with all these tasks. This tool is also known as a DA polisher. It’s a must in the toolkit of any car owner. Being an active (and not always careful) driver, I often face the necessity to get scratches out of car paint.

To apply the most effective tool, I’ve tested some of the most promising products presented on the market. I’ve paid attention to their prime technical characteristics and the ease of use and the quality of work.

Dual action car polisher comparison table

Name Type Speed Backing plate size Weight Review
Makita XOP02Tbest cordless cordless 0 opm – 6800 opm 5 inch 7.9 lbs / 3.6 kg Review
Meguiar’s MT300best corded corded 3000 opm – 7500 opm 5 inch 5.4 lbs / 2.4 kg Review
SPTAfor beginner corded 1800 opm – 4800 opm 5 inch 5.6 lbs / 2.5 kg Review
Avid Power AEP127budget corded 1500 opm – 6800 opm 6 inch 6.8 lbs / 3 kg Review

What to look for when choosing a dual action polisher?

When searching for a polisher, the first aspect you should consider is its tech features. They are speed settings, the ergonomics of the design, vibration, corded or cordless options, and a storage bag. I’ve dived into details and done a closer examination of the significant traits of the dual action car polishers.

Corded or cordless

I’ve tested both corded and cordless models of a DA polisher. That’s more or less a question of what you are used to. Cordless models are a winning solution for out of garage usage. If you require mobility, it’s better to purchase cordless polishers. Such tools often come with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. The battery capacity may vary from 1.5 Ah to 4 Ah. It may take a couple of hours to recharge the battery. If you prefer corded variants, it’s better to pick up samples with a minimum cord length of 30 feet.

Speed range control

The greater number of polishers allows you to vary the speed from 600 to 3500 RPM. RPM stands for revolutions per minute. The models with smaller indicators are less powerful. They are suitable only for finishing work. I recommend using models with speeds between 1200-1800 RPM. You should never exceed 1800 RPM to prevent the paint from burning. A DA polisher should possess manual speed settings. They are numbered from 1 to 6 and indicate the number of orbits per minute or OPM for short. The number one stands for 1800 OPM while the number 6 is 6800 OPM.

dual action car polisher machine

Safety features

Although the use of dual action car polishers is one of the safest ways to clean your car, you should still follow safety recommendations. It’s better to pick up the automatic shutdown and speed locks models. These options allow you to keep the speed of the tool under control. It’s essential to avoid overheating and damaging the car. You should also consider the level of vibration. The models with lower levels are safer and more convenient.

Vibration level and comfort

The level of vibration affects the capability of the polisher to get rid of smaller scratches. When the vibration level is high, it becomes challenging to polish minor defects on the car’s exterior. Moreover, high vibration creates additional discomfort for the user.

When searching for the best DA polisher for you, it’s also necessary to consider how large and ergonomic it is. The greater part of modern polishers is designed to fit the human hand. Therefore, a non-slip surface for control is a must for operators. It’s also better to select models with a rear handle integrated with a rubberized surface for an improved feel.

Price of dual action car polishers

More expensive models of the DA polisher are the safer option for beginners while less heat and friction build-up, so the paint cuts slower. However, as a rule, a cheap dual action polisher like NEIKO 10671A features a high level of vibration, noise, and poor performance. In addition, it’s pretty difficult to adjust the speed setting.

Cheap models can cope only with the polishing and remove small scratches. Although such polishers are powerful enough for a decent correction level, you may experience overheating and paint burning.

More expensive models are safer and more convenient. In addition, they feature a low level of vibration and a longer lifespan. Moreover, they can cope with significant swirls or scratches.

Best dual action polishers reviews

Best cordless DA polishers

Makita XOP02T – best cordless

Makita XOP02T

Let’s start the DA polishers review with Makita XOP02T. It features top-quality polishing options. You can hardly find a more reliable solution for your car if mobility is of prime importance.

The standard set comes with 18V LXT batteries, a battery charger, 5″ and 6″ hook-and-loop backing plate, a hex wrench, and a tool bag. The weight of the tool is 7.9 lbs. I didn’t experience discomfort or unease while using Makita XOP02T polisher for extended periods. It’s light enough, and the level of vibration is minimal.

Long-lasting batteries are an excellent point of pride for the Makita brand. Although Sealey CP18VOP runs on the 18V 4Ah Lithium-ion battery, it takes longer to recharge.

The soft-start makes the use of this professional DA polisher simpler. You do not need to be afraid that you damage the surface of your car. It’s easy to adjust the needed speed of rotation with the help of the panel on the tool. And thanks to the anti-restart option, you should not be afraid of the accidental launching of the tool.

photo of the Makita XOP02T

The tool works at five versatile speed settings – from 1,600 to 6,800 OPM. In addition, it’s possible to experience a dual power mode. The high-power option is an ideal solution for soft correction works. But it’s better to turn on low power mode if you require extended run-time for polishing applications. To switch between the modes is easy.

Makita XOP02T model is the best cordless dual action polisher for auto detailing. It is suitable for both amateur and professional usage. Ergonomic design and long-lasting engine make the tool the number one in the to-purchase list of any car owner.

Key specs
  • Type: cordless
  • Speed, opm: 0 – 6800
  • Backing plate size, inch: 5
  • Weight, lbs/kg: 7.9 / 3.6
Pros
  • The car owner is free to choose between random orbit with forced rotation or free spin rotation
  • The rubberized tool body creates all the conditions for safe and comfortable work
  • Makita built a brushless motor that erases carbon brushes. It runs contact-free so that the motor has a longer lifespan.
Cons
  • The battery fuel gauge is штvisible when installed in the tool

Adam’s Swirl Killer

Adam’s Swirl Killer

Adam’s Swirl Killer is a rather good dual action polisher if you search for affordable but functional gear. You get a polisher with a powerful brushless motor, a couple of 21V, 4.0Ah batteries, a battery charger, and a 5″ backing plate. The long-throw orbit of the gear is compatible with any standard pads. Yet, the win-win choices are 5.5″ and 6.5″ pads by Adam’s.

The weight of the tool is one of its significant peculiarities. It’s only 5.65 lbs. The tool has an ergonomic design. Yet, it’s not very convenient to use a speed trigger. It’s not big enough, and it may be a challenge to press the button.

Moreover, you should keep in mind that it starts at the highest speed when you start the polisher for the first time. The speed range is from 0 to 6000 OPM, so you may damage the surface if you are not ready for the instant start. To set up the desired speed, you must press the button and release it quickly.

photo of the Adam’s Swirl Killer

I appreciate the fact that the model comes with rather powerful batteries. However, while using one of them, the second one will be recharged. It took me about 45 minutes until the first battery was dead.

Adam’s Swirl Killer is good enough to finish down a surface without great effort. You should include it in your arsenal of equipment if you prefer polishing the car independently.

Key specs
  • Type: cordless
  • Speed, opm: 2000-4500
  • Backing plate size, inch: 5
  • Weight, lbs/kg: 5.8 / 2.6
Pros
  • Lightweight.
  • The standard set includes 2 batteries.
  • It’s compatible with a wide range of pads.
Cons
  • Only 3 available speeds.
  • It’s impossible to change the speed setting until you start working.
  • An awkward position of the speed trigger.

Best corded DA polishers

Meguiar’s MT300 – top corded

Meguiar's MT300

Coded polishers are a classic, whereas Meguiar’s MT300 is a role model.

The utilization of digital torque management (or DTM for short) allows keeping the pad rotation under load. In addition, thanks to the backing plate rotation indicators, it’s possible to keep watch on the rotation speed. The machine is compatible with both foam and microfibre 5″ pads. The extension cord length varies from 25 to 100 ft.

The item weight is 5.4 pounds. The gear has a 3000 -7500 OPM speed range. The comparison of the dual action polisher shows that Meguiar’s MT300 has the most comprehensive speed range among its major competitors, such as Maxshine M15 Pro Series II or even the cordless Makita XOP02T. For the compound regime, it’s better to use a speed up to 5800 OPM, polish option – up to 4800 OPM, and waxing – up to 3800 OPM. This is an excellent dual action variable speed polisher that allows switching between the speeds with no effort and difficulties.

photo of the Meguiar's MT300

I can notice the convenience of the multi-position D-handle of the gear. Unlike the PC and G110v2 models that feature the barrel grip design, Meguiar’s MT300 possesses an excellent trigger-and-lock arrangement to control the power of the gear.

Meguiar’s MT300 is the best corded professional DA polisher for fast and highly-effective polishing, compounding, or waxing. Yes, this tool can cope with all these tasks flawlessly!

Key specs
  • Type: corded
  • Speed, opm: 3000-7500
  • Backing plate size, inch: 5
  • Weight, lbs/kg: 5.4 / 2.4
Pros
  • Easy to set motor speeds for various buffer pads.
  • A soft start.
  • Effective digital torque management.
Cons
  • Relatively short orbit throw- only 5/16″.

Maxshine M15 Pro Series II

Maxshine M15 Pro Series II

The principal peculiarity of this cheap dual action polisher is its heavy-duty 1000W motor. In addition, Maxshine M15 Pro Series II comes with a white 5-inch backing plate. It allows using a wide range of polishing pads.

This model is much quieter than the previous 900 watts Maxshine sample. The gear possesses an excellent internal balance of all the elements. The weight of the tool is 7.63 pounds. It’s easy and comfortable to use this polisher. Thanks to the non-slip soft rubber-coated grip, you hold the machine firmly without effort.

The gear has a 6-speed dial. It functions within a 2,200 to 5,000 OPM span. It’s quite easy to switch between the regimes. But there is almost no difference between speed 5 and speed 6 regimes. The machine functions smoothly at any speed. Moreover, it has an anti-tip brace. It allows you to keep a good balance when the gear is on the ground.

photo of the Maxshine M15 Pro Series II

What I like the most about this machine is the reinforced cable. The cord is always on the move when you use the polisher. If the cord is made of poor-quality materials, it will be ripped quickly. With Maxshine M15 Pro Series II, you are unlikely to face such a problem. By the way, the length of the cable is 13 ft.

Maxshine M15 Pro Series II is a powerful and well-balanced DA polisher that is good for professional detailers and DIYers. Of course, you should not expect wonders from the machine, but it performs rather well.

Key specs
  • Type: corded
  • Speed, opm: 2200-5000
  • Backing plate size, inch: 5
  • Weight, lbs/kg: 5 / 2.3
Pros
  • Extra durable power cord.
  • The variable speed trigger is pretty smooth.
Cons
  • The option of free-spinning is absent.

SPTA – best for beginner

SPTA

I know exactly how terrifying it might be to polish or compound your car for the first time. SPTA dual action polisher is a fantastic way out for you.

Although compared with Maxshine M15 Pro Series II, it is not so powerful (the motor capacity is only 750W), it still performs well. The speed range is between 2,000-5,200 RPM. Soft start and low level of vibration allow you to savor the usage of the machine. It comes with a random orbit and a replaceable backing plate size of 5 inches. The cord is long enough to handle the machine without difficulties.

If you need to buff out small scratches to rejuvenate your paint if it’s dull or oxidized. The minimal set of options and extra features make this gear an excellent choice for laymen.

photo of the SPTA

One of the most significant drawbacks of the model is a rather large weight. It may become a challenge to hold 11.82 pounds of gear for several hours despite a pretty ergonomic design and two handles – the side and the D-shaped ones.

SPTA is the best dual action polisher for beginner users. It is a perfect tool to start your detailing experiments. Affordable prices, the set of the most essential options, and high productivity are precisely what you need to master your polishing skills.

Key specs
  • Type: corded
  • Speed, opm: 1800-4800
  • Backing plate size, inch: 5
  • Weight, lbs/kg: 5.6 / 2.5
Pros
  • It comes with an excellent waxing polishing pad set.
  • Significant indicators on the exterior.
Cons
  • Large weight.

Avid Power AEP127 – best budget

Avid Power AEP127

If the financial issue is of prime importance, you have to consider purchasing this model. The gear possesses all the features any DA random orbital polisher does. The speed range encompasses stages from 1,500 to 6,800 RPM. You are to choose one of 6 available regimes. The 6-inch plate is suitable for any type of detailing work. The weight of the gear is 6.89 pounds.

I can’t but mention the outstanding exterior of the polisher. It possesses compact dimensions and rubberized handles. Yet, this is not what you notice in the first place. The use of red and black colors in the design makes this machine stand out among its competitors. Moreover, with its adjustable handle, the use of the machine is relatively comfortable.

photo of the Avid Power AEP127

Although Avid Power AEP127 possesses the option of soft start and the mechanism of speed restriction (if the gear doesn’t touch the auto, the speed won’t increase above 1500), the machine is to heat up after extended usage.

It is the best budget DA polisher on the market. It’s an easy-to-use and ergonomic tool for everyone. If you aim to purchase the best dual action polisher under $100, Avid Power AEP127 is precisely what you need.

Key specs
  • Type: corded
  • Speed, opm: 1500-6800
  • Backing plate size, inch: 6
  • Weight, lbs/kg: 6.8 / 3
Pros
  • You can also apply the gear when sanding wood or metal elements.
  • Very attractive black and red design.
  • It has an adjustable handle.
Cons
  • The motor power is only 600W.
  • The polisher heats up if it’s used for an extended period.

FAQ

What’s the difference between a polisher and a buffer?

Both polisher and buffer are used to eliminate the imperfections on the exterior. The difference is in the type of the used abrasives. A polisher requires high-cut compounds to restore the paint and brings out the luster, while a dual action car buffer requires the use of a waxing compound to smooth the target area.

What is a DA polisher?

One of the most significant peculiarities of any DA polishing machine is that it rotates in two circular directions. Car owners apply this tool to remove a layer of clear coat. This tool is also a good helper for you if you desire to apply a protection layer in the home. It is a handheld machine that allows making the processes of polishing, buffing and sanding faster and much easier.

Professional DA polishers are suitable for regular usage. They allow you to keep your car’s paint in order without great effort. There are both corded and cordless models. They vary in size, features, and prices.

Dual Action VS Random Orbital Polisher

If you are searching for the DA polisher for the first time, you may be confused with terms. Most often, the notions of DA and random orbital polishers are interchanged. Yet, they are two different tools. The random orbital polisher is a gear that only drives orbit while dual action models produce rotating and orbiting movements.

What are the benefits of dual action polisher?

When using DA polishers, you are to grab several perks. They are:

  • Safety – you do not worry that you damage your car’s paintwork when using the polisher. The risks of burning the paint are minimal. Moreover, it’s you who control the pressure you apply when working.
  • Ease of use – you should gain no additional skills or knowledge to start using a DA polisher. It’s enough to get acquainted with the instructions carefully.
  • Productivity – the majority of polishers have an ergonomic design. It’s easy to work with the tools. It may take up to several hours to polish your car (in general, 2-3 for pros, and up to 10 – for newbies).
  • High-quality results – polishers reach every single detail of the surface.
  • Moreover, the dual action polisher comparison has shown that it’s possible to pick up the model that meets the needs and expectations of both newbies and professionals.

How to use a dual action polisher?

There are several rules you should follow to make the appliance of the DA polisher as effective and safer as possible. Before you start working, it’s necessary to get acquainted with instructions. They may be different for different models. Yet, there are some common recommendations.

Preparations

Whether you like it or not but polishing, compounding, or waxing procedures should start with washing. I prefer to wash a car with clean water and special auto shampoo. Then, it’s necessary to dry the vehicle. The next step is the paint inspection. Your goal is to reveal all the defects.

Operating Instructions

I must highlight that if you are an amateur, it’s better to test a polisher on some panels or other surfaces before dealing with a car. If you use the device for the first time, the first step you should take is to build the gear. After you get a ready tool, it’s time to get rid of scratches.

You have to apply the cleaning means on the pads. The cleaner should cover the whole pad. Then, you can finally move to the action. Then, you are to place the polisher on the surface. If the option soft-start doesn’t work correctly, you should distance the surface and a polisher. The standard speed for this stage is 5-6. You are to handle one area of the surface at one time. Do not hurry!

The next step is to polish the paint. The algorithm is almost the same. You should change the pad and set up the needed speed regime – 3-5. Then you are to repeat the steps for waxing. The speed should be from 2 to 4.

You should do it out of direct sunlight, no matter which type of work you do.

Safety tips

Although good dual action polishers are trouble-free and possess a convenient and safe design, you should still follow recommendations to avoid possible injuries. You have to wear eye and hearing protection, gloves, and respiratory protection.

Can you burn paint with a dual action polisher

Can you believe that it is possible to burn paint with a dual action polisher? Believe it or not, this is a real thing, and it is something that you need to be aware of if you are going to be using one of these machines. In this post, we are going to take a look at what can happen if you are not careful when using a dual action polisher, and we will also provide some tips on how to avoid this from happening.

Can I use a random orbital sander as a polisher

A random orbital sander is an excellent choice for removing paint, but it will not give you the results you are looking for when trying to polish your car. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the differences between sanders and polishers, and we’ll give you some tips on how to use a random orbital sander as a polisher if you decide to try this tool with a next project.