Best Polishing Machine in Comparison.
Polishing Machine Reviews & Buyer Guide.
Polishing by hand – for example, to care for your car – is arduous and time-consuming. Polishing machines make this work much easier for you. As with many items from the hardware store, interpreting the data sheet requires expertise and experience. We offer you orientation!
For example, your polishing machine should be capable of at least 3,000 rotations per minute to take on even the most stubborn scratches. Devices with so-called soft start do not start directly at the highest power level, but increase their power step by step. This enables particularly controlled polishing. Find the polishing machine with which you can bring your surfaces to a high gloss in our product table.
Polishing Machine Buying Guide:
How to choose the right product from the above polishing machine test or comparison.
- Polishing by hand is very tiring. For this reason, there are polishing machines. These are tools that are used for smoothing surfaces, for example, car paints. They are usually used after a surface has been sanded with a sanding machine.
- Polishing machines can work in two ways: With a rotary motion or an eccentric motion. In rotary motion, the polishing pad rotates in one position. With the eccentric machine, the platen does not rotate in one position, but additionally elliptically like a pendulum.
- For high-gloss polishes and sensitive surfaces, low speeds are usually helpful. For deeper scratches, correspondingly higher revolutions are needed. But also the polishing types (rotation & eccentric) influence quality as well as speed of polishing.
Regular car washes and extensive polishing are the order of the day for enthusiasts. And if there is ever a scratch in the paintwork, the world briefly comes to an end for most people.
Polishing machines help to get rid of stubborn scratches. With these tools, you can literally give old, rusty sheet metal surfaces a new shine. But car polishing is not the only application for polishing equipment. In our 2021 polishing machine comparison, we reveal how you can use them to beautify wood and metal surfaces. We also explain when you need which speed and what the differences are between rotary and eccentric polishing machines.
What types of polishing machines are there?
Rotary polishers are more for experienced professionals
Before we get into the buying guide, let’s make a basic distinction between the eccentric and rotary modes: rotary machines rotate in one position, creating extremely high temperatures. This makes it possible to quickly polish away deep scratches, but it also carries the risk of unintentionally removing too much paint just as quickly. Clearly: a tool for professionals.
The turntable of eccentric machines does not rotate in one position, but swings out to all sides like a pendulum (elliptical motion). This means that temperatures are not as high and you do not run the risk of ruining the surface to be polished.
Eccentric polishing machine
- easy to use: optimal for beginners
- gentle polishing
- very low risk of new damage to the paint
- there are also models with (forced) rotation
- fast polishing is not possible
- deep scratches disappear only slowly or not at all
Rotary polishing machine
- enables particularly fast polishing
- deep scratches disappear quickly
- difficult to operate: rather optimal for professionals
- heats the paint extremely fast
- Risk of new damage is high
Speeds: adjustable and cover a wide range
To achieve a good polishing result, you need different temperatures. These cannot be set directly, but can only be influenced indirectly via the speed and position of the turntable:
fast & punctual rotary movements = high temperatures
slow & eccentric rotary movements = low temperatures
Therefore, the speeds should be adjustable even on inexpensive polishing machines. The larger the speed range that can be adjusted, the more control you have over the polishing result.
A potential polisher favorite must be able to handle revolutions at least in the range between 600 to 3,500 rpm.
Wattage consumption: 800 W is quite enough
A high wattage draw is usually an indication of a powerful machine, so the best polishers should draw at least 800 watts. Particularly powerful polishers draw more than 1,200 watts.
A powerful motor will keep the rotational speed constant when you’re removing stubborn scratches. That’s because during intensive polishing, you’ll need to press the tool a little harder on the surface to remove more of the uneven paint.
A weak motor would stop every time too much pressure is applied. With such a weak motor, you would not be able to remove scratches and could only do finishing polishes.
For high gloss: the more even a surface is, the more it will shine. When polishing, the machine smooths out minimal imperfections by abrading the paint or metal on a nanometer scale. In this sense, polishing is grinding at the molecular level.
Smooth start-up and handles for perfect handling
Soft start for consistent results – Soft start and two handles give you the best control over the machine.
A soft start is very important for polishing, as you often turn off the machine to reapply polish and then continue polishing. If the polisher immediately starts spinning at high speed, the polish will splash to all sides and the platter may pull you across the surface rather than giving you control. The result is dents, new scratches, or uneven polishing (holograms).
More control with more handles
Multiple handles are essential so you don’t just hold the polisher by the housing. Two handles give you better control over the movements of the tool. If the handles also have a so-called soft grip, you can grip even tighter because the handles are padded.
Small weight for big polishes
If you polish longer than 30 min, you notice every gram of the device.
Do not underestimate the weight of a polisher, because polishing is a long process. Only professionals polish a complete car under an hour.
A device that weighs heavier than 4 kg will not win a polisher test. However, if the weight is less than 3 kg, even inexperienced polishers will last a long time.
Quieter than 85 dB is tolerable
Since some polishing projects can take several minutes, quiet machines are more pleasant in the long run. In addition, there will be less annoyance with the neighbors.
Polishing machines, like grinders, are noisy power tools, but they should not be louder than 90 dB. Better are 80 to 85 dB, which corresponds to a loud conversation. Top models are even quieter than 80 dB.
Polishing pads should be replaceable
If the polishing pad is exchangeable, you remain flexible for different polishing tasks.
The larger the polishing pad, the more suitable it is for large surfaces, but the worse it is for getting into narrow angles. Most polishing machines come with a 180 mm diameter plate. This is already in the upper range and optimal for wide engine hoods.
Small polishing plates have a diameter of about 120 mm and correspond to the size of a CD. As long as the plate is interchangeable, the size supplied should not stop you when buying a polishing machine.
Other accessories are secondary
Don’t be blinded by an oversupply of accessories: Polishing hoods and machine are usually cheap goods.
Accessories for challenging polishing projects can get pricey, so included polishing hoods and polishing supplies are rarely of high quality. Be skeptical when online stores offer polishing machines with a lot of accessories at a low price. This usually hides an inferior product.
However, if you only polish occasionally or just want to try it out, you can definitely take advantage of these offers. Cheap polishing machines and accessories are sufficient for infrequent use.
How to polish the car properly?
Other types of polishing machines
There are also compressed air polishing machines, which are particularly suitable for hard-to-reach places. Polishing machines with rechargeable batteries get into every corner without cables or hoses. However, due to their rechargeable batteries, they are rarely as powerful as models with compressed air or power cable.
To make sure your car doesn’t have any dents or unsightly hologram patterns afterwards, we’ve put together the most important basics for polishing your car with a polishing machine:
Be sure to tape off pure plastic parts before polishing. If you have to polish painted plastic parts, do so only with a low pressure.
Take breaks to allow the paintwork to cool down and, if necessary, use lubricant spray to additionally cool the paintwork in these areas.
Use polishing pads with different degrees of hardness when polishing. These should not be too hard, as this can have a damaging effect on the paintwork. Soft pads are much gentler on the material.
Large pads for more protection: The diameter of the polishing pad should always be slightly larger than the diameter of the polishing plate. Otherwise, the polishing pad may damage the paintwork.
Move the polisher evenly and continuously.
Sanding pastes are ideal for touching up irregularities as polishes. High-gloss polishes are ideal for removing scratches on the car and are gentler on the paint.
Apply the polish to the polishing pad. Caution: do not apply to the paint.
4-6 pea-sized dabs are suitable for approximately 40 x 40 cm of paint surface.
When polishing, never stay too long on one spot, ideally work according to a cross-walk pattern (move the machine in even movements in a checkerboard pattern with gyrating movements over the paint).
Gently polish curves: Apply minimal pressure to corners, edges and curves and glide lightly over these zones. This helps to avoid dents, as experience has shown that the polishing sponge does not lie fully on these areas.
Beginners work with the lowest possible pressure and a gentle pad at the start.
If you cannot determine a polishing result in this way, increase the pressure, the speed or the hardness of the pad.
After polishing, use special sealants with protective substances and waxes.
Finally, go over any unevenness again by hand with a polishing cloth.
Polishing wood, metal, stone and plastic properly
Different materials usually just need different polishes.
Although the most common use for polishing machines is in the automotive sector, it is possible to polish much more than cars: for example, wood or stone shells can be polished to a shine. But you can also get plastic and metal surfaces mirror-bright with a polisher.
After the wood has been sanded with the finest sandpaper, you can start polishing: Use especially fine, waterproof sandpaper (400 grit), a primer or linen oil (cold-pressed) and pumice powder. First, spread the oil and flour evenly on the wood, then polish with the paper until the desired gloss effect is achieved.
You can use the polisher here, but by hand polishing wood also works. There should be at least one or two weeks between polishing, as the oil needs to be absorbed.
Highest speeds are usually required for bare metal.
Suitable polishing hoods for polishing metal are included with almost every machine: fur, felt, textile or foam. Greases and oils serve as polishing agents. Polishing is as simple as can be: apply the polishing agent and polish at maximum speed. For old cutlery, we recommend a mixture of butter, vinegar and salt as a polishing agent.
Similar to metal polishing, here you also polish, except that quartz sand is used as the polishing agent. For small stones, you usually do not use a hand tool, but a stationary grinding wheel.
Here it is essential to remove any dust in advance, otherwise it will act like sandpaper. Common plastic polishing pastes and waxes are suitable as polishing agents. But be careful: If the plastic is painted on the surface, the paint layer will be removed during polishing (e.g. paints). For small areas, hand force and a cloth are sufficient; for larger areas, the polishing machine is worthwhile again.
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