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Best Car Buffer for 2022

We took a look at popular dual-action and orbital polishers to find the best car buffer for anyone.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
6 min read
$195 at Amazon
Meguiar's MT300 Dual-Action Polisher
Best car buffer
$139 at Amazon
Porter Cable 7424XP Variable Speed Polisher
Best budget car buffer
$106 at Amazon
SPTA Dual Action Random Orbital Polisher
SPTA Dual-Action Orbital Polisher
Best budget car buffer runner-up
$180 at Amazon
Chemical Guys TorqX
Chemical Guys TorqX
Best car buffer for beginners
$230 at Amazon
Milwaukee M12 Variable Speed Polisher Kit
Best car buffer for small spaces
$79 at Amazon
Zota polisher
Zota 3-inch Orbital Polisher
Best car buffer for small spaces

If you want to show your vehicle a little extra TLC, treat your ride to the best car buffer pampering you can. And investing in a good polisher or buffer is the right way to get started. Of course, nobody wants to take unnecessary risks in caring for your car. With that in mind, you probably want to grab a buffer that's easy for a beginner to use. That's why we put together this list of some of the best dual-action machine polishers out there. These buffing tools are mostly used for light scratches, swirl removal and overall paint luster. Car buffers are great for the general day-to-day care of your automobile, but they don't replace a rotary buffer or polisher, which is what a professional detailer uses.

With that said, read on to see our top picks for the best car buffers and car polishers. You may be surprised you don't need to break the bank to pick up car detailing as a hobby and keep your car's paint gleaming. 


Talk about bang for your buck. The SPTA dual-action random orbital polisher is a super highly rated unit and comes with a ton of kit for just $80. No, it doesn't have the reputation like Porter Cable, but for those on a budget, the SPTA unit isn't a bad clear coat buffing and polishing choice at all. 

Meguiar's MT300 dual-action polisher
Enlarge Image
Meguiar's MT300 dual-action polisher

Can you guess what kind of car I worked on with these tools?

Sean Szymkowski/Roadshow

Comparison of the best car buffer for 2022

Best car buffer polisher overall Meguiar'sMT300$208
Best budget car buffer polisher Porter Cable7424XP$139
Best budget car buffer polisher runner-up SPTABuffer Polisher$106
Best car buffer polisher for beginners Chemical GuysTorqX$180
Best car buffer polisher for small spaces MilwaukeeM12$223
Best car buffer polisher for small spaces runner-up ZotaOrbital Polisher$75

Car polishing tips: How to buff like a pro

  • Take your time: This is the biggest tip we can provide. Polishing takes a lot of time and patience. Don't expect to knock your car out and be done in 30 minutes. Work in small sections of paint, ensuring each area gets all the time it needs to shine like it should.
  • A little goes a long way: You don't need to load up a polishing pad with gobs of product. Whether its wax, buffing compound or polish, three or four dots of product is often more than enough.
  • Pick the right polishing pad: There are so many different types of polishing pads on the market. Each of them serves a different purpose. You may want something to finish a car's paint job off, or something that cuts more for a proper paint correction. Use the right pad with your tool for the job.
  • Wear gloves: While some of our picks transferred more vibrations than others, they all vibrate to a degree. That can be bothersome for your hands, so wear gloves while working with a polisher to minimize the feeling.
  • Understand the limits: Dual-action and random orbit polishers aren't going to repair your car's paint after someone keyed it. These tools are best used for swirls, light scratches and paint that's lost its luster.

Achieve incredible results with these tools

No matter which random orbital polisher unit you choose, they have a CNET Cars approval. With our tips, know you'll be able to wax and polish your car and return amazing results on your beloved car. Happy buffing!

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