Detailers in the Buff! – A quick guide to why a “buffer” isn’t just a buffer
So it’s time to get that “cut and polish” you’ve been thinking about, over the last few years your car’s paint is starting look a bit dull, swirl marks are making it look bad in the sun and maybe the dog’s jumped up on the door one too many times. Great, time to get it “buffed.

You’ll (hopefully) be starting to wonder why there are “detailers” offering a cut and polish for $150 and some offering it for $800, we’re going to briefly touch on one element of that today – buffers.

Those of you who have used us to perform a cut and polish (or paint correction as we refer to it) will probably know this as we like to try to educate as much as possible. (Very) Long story short, there are two main types of machines we use to correct damaged paintwork;

1) Rotary Buffer  – (We like the Makita 9227CB)

  • The old school style. The Rotary buffer rotates in one direction, it also has a forced rotation, this means that no matter how much pressure you put on the paint, it will continue spinning.
  • So what does this mean? This means it will “cut” very quickly – removing defects well. However – it also has the ability to burn the paint and leave holograms (PRO-TIP : You won’t see holograms in the shade, always check your car in the sun or bright lights before leaving, not sure what they look like click here) or even burn through the clear coat completely (resulting in an expensive respray).
  • Rotary buffers are still very important, especially working on hard or severely neglected paintwork. Used by TRAINED PROFESSIONALS, the results are amazing. However, in the hands of a back yard cowboy, they can cause a lot of damage, very quickly.

Diagram explaining the differences in the rotation – Picture courtesy of

cut and polish

2)      Dual-Action (DA) Polisher – We like the DAS-6 Pro (or the Rupes Bigfoot if you have the $$$!)

  • The younger, gentler member of the family. With modern day paint jobs the need for a rotary buffer has diminished, although it still has it’s placed.
  • Contrary to the Rotary, the DA rotates in 2 directions, in circles and also the pad moves up and down vertically, resulting in an oscillating pattern in various orbits.
  • This results in much lower chances of holograms and other paint damage being caused. It also doesn’t have a forced rotation, meaning that when there is too much pressure on

the machine it will actually stop rotating, this pretty much eliminates the chance of burning through the paint.

One of the big issues here in Australia is that the high street automotive stores all sell rotary buffers, this means any average Joe can pick up a “buffer” and some compounds and then proceeds to call themselves a “detailer” and operates without training and often without insurance. We spend  A LOT of our time fixing these guys work (so maybe we should be more thankful for them!) but this means customers are spending twice when they needn’t be.

So two things to take out of this;

  • Research on how to use it or I HIGHLY RECOMMEND buying a DA from a specialty store or online.

Contact us now!

Timeless Car Cleaning has been servicing all of Brisbane since 2012. We offer car detailing, paint protection, and rustproofing and have been awarded as the Top Brand of the Word of Mouth every year!

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Brisbane, Australia

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