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Old     (bmr82)      Join Date: Jul 2008       04-20-2009, 12:40 PM Reply   
I am going to be polishing/buffing the boat soon. Is one buffer better than the other, say like the random orbiting or the ones that look more like an angle grinder?
Old     (unclesam)      Join Date: Nov 2005       04-20-2009, 1:05 PM Reply   
I have a porter cable random orbital and it does a good job. I have never used a rotary though.
Old     (trentj6930)      Join Date: Oct 2007       04-20-2009, 1:12 PM Reply   
I have a Simoniz orbital polisher and it sucks! I am in the same predicament as you Bret, looking for a good quality polisher.
Old     (razzman)      Join Date: Dec 2006       04-20-2009, 2:14 PM Reply   
Porter cable is the only way to go, recognized as the #1 polisher/buffer out there for the non-professional. For quicky spot buffs i use a 6" Palm Orbital from Harbor Freight @ $14.99 and it does a nice job for those last minute touchups.
Old     (mhayes)      Join Date: Jul 2004       04-20-2009, 2:35 PM Reply   
Porter Cable 7424
Old     (yubasanger)      Join Date: Jul 2007       04-20-2009, 2:35 PM Reply   
Random orbit (a.k.a. DA) is for applying and removing wax also works to remove minor swirl marks. For cutting/buffing you need a rotary if you plan on using it allot get a good one Dewalt or Makita just remember that there is a difference between a 7" grinder and a 7" polisher. Grinder is single speed. For occasional use Harbor Freight sells a polisher that works well. For small jobs can use a 5" mounted in a VS drill.
Old     (kko13)      Join Date: Jul 2006       04-20-2009, 3:06 PM Reply   
I have been looking for one as well and from what i have seen read and heard the porter cable is nice but the flex XC3401 is the one you want.Granted it cost more but you get what you pay for when it comes to tools IMPO.
Old     (jmanolinsky)      Join Date: Dec 2005       04-20-2009, 3:14 PM Reply   
If you have serious oxidation, you really need a buffer. Most of the random orbitals that I have seen are more of a polisher/waxer. A real buffer does look like an angle grinder, Bret. I have a commercial grade buffer that cost a little over $200 about 10 years ago. You can find them cheaper, but as was said previously, you get what you pay for. Search for the thread posted by "G" where he buffed his red boat. There is a lot of good info in that thread. I'll bet he didn't use a random orbital.

Hope this helps,

Old     (mb651b)      Join Date: Mar 2009       04-20-2009, 3:26 PM Reply   
I have a heavy duty Milwaukee that will cut through anything. I would personally get an actual buffer it makes life so much easier. You can really put a load on it with a giant buffing pad and cut time nearly in half. This thing will rip your arms off before it bogs down, no joke
Old     (kko13)      Join Date: Jul 2006       04-20-2009, 3:33 PM Reply   
I do agree the the straight buffer will work better on the real bad areas but there is a chance to do damage with it.I have seen this first hand and it aint pretty.Thats why DIY guys like the other types mentioned in this thread because their much safer you know "idiot proof" pretty much impossible to damage to your boat or car but will provide a nice polish.
Old     (bmr82)      Join Date: Jul 2008       04-20-2009, 5:20 PM Reply   
It's not bad. Just faded and would like to remove some dock rash as well. I think the orbital will work for what I need.
Old     (jmanolinsky)      Join Date: Dec 2005       04-20-2009, 6:01 PM Reply   
If your boat is faded and has dock rash, I would recommend a real buffer. I have used my buffer on my cars and my boats. If you are not watching what you are doing, sure, you can burn the paint on a car. If you do, just wet sand and then buff it out. Gel coat on the other hand is much tougher. The random orbitals that I have used can easily be stopped by applying pressure. The pressure is what removes the haze and rash that you are trying to get rid of. The whole idea is to let the tool do the work. You can vary the rpm
for the task at hand.

Hope this helps,

Old     (bmr82)      Join Date: Jul 2008       04-20-2009, 7:49 PM Reply   
Thanks, for all the input, I will try and find the rotary buffer then.
Old     (salty87)      Join Date: Jul 2002       04-20-2009, 8:20 PM Reply   
harbor freight unless you're going into business detailing. it won't last forever but you can easily get a few years out of it.
Old     (soundbox)      Join Date: Oct 2007       04-20-2009, 9:17 PM Reply   
I use the Dewalt.

For some great inforomation and quality products check out
Old     (alindquist)      Join Date: Mar 2004       04-21-2009, 5:11 AM Reply   
I have the Dewalt, I use it all the time, it works great... I also have a cheap random orbit that I never use.
Old     (ironj32)      Join Date: Jan 2007       04-21-2009, 5:41 AM Reply   
I just picked up the Dewalt 849 variable speed buffer/polisher about 2 months ago. one of the best investmests i've made.
Old     (airborne)      Join Date: Apr 2009       04-22-2009, 5:00 AM Reply   
Yes, the dewalt is great and use the good wool pads that you can buy at NAPA and other places. I've had mine for 4 years and it is awesome. use a product called cut and paste to buff and then a good polish after it and it will look new. Gel coat is very hard to burn, unlike paint, so don't be shy with it.
Old     (882001)      Join Date: Nov 2003       04-22-2009, 5:12 AM Reply   
I have a craftsman it works fine. Price was fair.


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