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  1. #21
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    Stuart, Florida
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    Re: Does everyone really need a $100+ DA buffer?

    Quote Originally Posted by defstatic View Post

    I am sure this has been asked before and I apologize for it, but I have been watching a lot of videos on detailing and I am wondering if every beginner/home user needs a fancy $100+ DA buffer? Or does it really make the difference?
    Good question, I'll give you my take.

    Key word being,

    Beginner/home user

    If you're just doing this for your own cars and TIME is not an issue, that is you don't care how long it takes you to go from start to finish - then "no" you don't need a $200.00+ polisher. I myself wouldn't buy junk but that's just me.

    I think the best deal for the "average person" is the Porter Cable 7424XP and I share why in this thread that popped up over the weekend.

    Great deal on a Porter Cable. Now what?

    The Porter Cable is a TANK of a tool. You can driver over it with a truck, pick it up and go back to work. It's a short stroke polisher at 8mm orbit stroke length. All you have to do to maximize it's potential is use a 5" backing plate and the right pads. Microfiber pads for heavy cutting and THIN foam pads for anything else.

    Quote Originally Posted by defstatic View Post

    I am looking at just doing some minor paint correction and polishing. Medium size cars.

    I was looking at the Griot's 6" one because I found one half price on eBay but missed out on it. Now I am wondering if just getting a Ryobi 6" cordless orbital would do the job just fine.
    I have not used a Ryobi for some time but here's the deal. In order for YOU to be EFFECTIVE when using ANY brand of free spinning random orbital polisher from the cheapest to the most expensive units on the market you MUST maintain pad rotation.

    IF the pad is not rotating it's also not oscillating at least not oscillating enough to remove paint. Removing swirls and scratches is actually removing and thus LEVELING the paint. No pad rotation means you're simply wasting your time. And this is the major downside of any free spinning random orbital polisher.

    It's too bad Griot's quit making the Griot's Garage 6" Random Orbital Polisher. I never liked the name because the "6" has or had nothing to do with the tool. It came with a 6" backing plate, which was also a mistake in my opinion and experience. It was a copy of the Porter Cable 7424 and thus it is a 8mm short stroke free spinning random orbital polisher with a ton more power than the Porter Cable unit. BUT - they are both great 8mm free spinning random orbital polishers when used with the right backing plates, pads, abrasive technology and of course technique.

    Hope that helps...

    And definitely check out the thread I posted to over the weekend and also check out the LINKS I shared in my replies.

    Great deal on a Porter Cable. Now what?

    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member - Certified Detailer - Skills Validated Detailer - IDA Recognized Trainer
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  2. #22
    Super Member VISITOR's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    Re: Does everyone really need a $100+ DA buffer?

    if you're on a budget and need a polisher to handle multiple tasks.. pick up the Griot's Garage 6" Random Orbital (aka GG6) as already mentioned. you can use different size backing plates and pads to accommodate different panels around the car and it has plenty of torque/power.

    as a matter of right now, Griot's Garage still has it for sale on their website (until they are gone i assume). type in "garage sale" in the search and you'll find it. it's on clearance for $119.99 (free car care organizer bag with purchase too!) and carries the same Lifetime Warranty just like with all their other polishers. another good option would be the G9 (larger panels) and G8 (small/narrow panels) combo..

    keep in mind.. GG has your back and will take care of you
    if there are ever any issues with their products. buy with confidence!

    i would recommend purchasing this GG 3" backing plate (solid build) as it was designed to be used with the GG6 and since the GG6 is discontinued it most likely will be phased out as well. the G8 uses a different 3" backing plate that is thinner and lighter for that particular polisher. also, GG doesn't recommend using any 3-4" backing plate on the G9, only the 6" that comes equipped with it and/or the 5" vented backing plate below...

    Griot's Garage 3 Inch HD Backing Plate

    *note* the older white/black 5" & 6" vented backing plate in the videos above
    have been replaced by the newer red/black.

    add this vented 5" backing plate too...

    Griot's Garage 5 Inch Vented Backing Plate

  3. Likes PaulMys, DUBL0WS6, oneheadlite liked this post
  4. #23
    Super Member
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    Aug 2020
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    Re: Does everyone really need a $100+ DA buffer?

    4 inch pads work great on a PC type machine.

  5. #24
    Newbie Member
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    Aug 2012
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    Re: Does everyone really need a $100+ DA buffer?

    I'm with Mike on this. You can't go wrong with the Porter Cable 7424XP. I bought mine probably 15 years ago an it's still going strong even though its fallen off step ladders countless times and even survived being borrowed by my brother who is one of those guys you NEVER loan tools to. lol.

  6. #25
    Newbie Member
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    Apr 2021
    silver spring md
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    Re: Does everyone really need a $100+ DA buffer?

    The answer is yes If you have been doing it for self car service but for professional vehicle detailing i's highly recommended from my side.

  7. #26
    Super Member lokerola's Avatar
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    May 2011
    Alexandria, VA
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    Re: Does everyone really need a $100+ DA buffer?

    The only polisher I've ever owned is the G6. For a weekend warrior who does this as a hobby it's perfect.
    Our Lady Of Blessed Acceleration - Don't Fail Me Now.

    Alex, from Northern Virginia.

  8. #27
    Super Member Don M's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    NE Ohio
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    Re: Does everyone really need a $100+ DA buffer?

    I've had my Porter Cable 7424 NON XP for almost 20 years. All I've ever had to to to it was replace the power cord about 2 years ago for a cost of $30 (done by a local repair shop). I bought the 5" backing plate several years ago and have been using Meguiar's thin foam pads for years as well.

    I usually only detail my car and a few relatives' cars and for me, I haven't NEEDED any more that that... WANT is another thing...
    Don M
    2013 Camaro LS
    323HP 6-Speed

  9. #28
    Super Member RTexasF's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    North TX
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    Re: Does everyone really need a $100+ DA buffer?

    Does everyone really need a $100+ DA buffer?
    Of course not but it depends on how much pride you have in your ride. If you want serious results then the Griot's G6 or Porter Cable are indispensable. Other than pads & associated products it's a one time expense.

    If you want to continue your 20 year old "do it by hand" regimen then forego the buffer. My vote would go to the Griot's machine if asked. There are a LOT of things I could do 20 years ago that are damn near impossible now. Keep that in mind for yourself. in North Texas

  10. #29
    Junior Member
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    Sep 2016
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    Re: Does everyone really need a $100+ DA buffer?

    A DA buffer is like a TV remote- once you have one, you'll never be without one again.

  11. Likes dwaleke, Texchappy liked this post
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