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Best Car Polish and Wax Buffers for 2022

Waxing a car is often seen as a slow, arduous process, but it doesn't have to be. These six great car buffers and polishers can speed up the process.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

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Buffing a carnaruecha jenthaisong/Getty Images

What to Know About Car Wax Buffers/Polishers

Car polishing, waxing and buffing are all steps of the auto detailing process, steps traditionally done by hand. Although some purists still prefer elbow grease, it’s hard to deny that power buffers (also called polishers) make things much easier while achieving great results. Although car polish and wax are different substances, the same machine, known as a random orbit buffer or orbital polisher, is useful for both applications.

Car polish is a mildly abrasive liquid applied before wax to enhance the paint’s smoothness and sheen. Car wax is a water-resistant substance, natural or synthetic, applied to the body of a vehicle to form a protective coating on top of the paint and clear coat. After wax is applied, the excess needs to be buffed off. That’s where car wax buffers come in. Here are six of the best buffers/polishers around.

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Avid Power Dual-Action Polisher

This dual-action random orbit buffer and polisher ($70) is one of the most rugged, solidly built tools of its kind available. Heavy-duty construction and lots of power set it apart from other models, and that’s what reviewers like this one on Amazon confirm: “Great polisher for the price. Solidly built and lots of power.” The three foam pads that come with it work best for polishing, so if buffing wax is your goal, use some proper wax buffing pads.

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Black & Decker Waxer/Polisher

The trouble with many buffers/polishers is their weight, which can cause serious fatigue and soreness in the hand and arm after a long buffing session. That’s why this unit from Black & Decker ($34) is on this list. Its light weight (a little over five pounds) and dual handles make it easier, more comfortable and more maneuverable than many others. Get a set of foam and wool pads to tackle polish and wax buffing jobs.

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Meguiar’s Dual-Action Power System Tool

If you’re tired of buffing your car by hand but hesitate spending the money on a dedicated buffer/polisher, this kit from Meguiar’s ($54) may be just right for you.

Designed for use in your cordless drill, the buffing attachment is only $55, making it one of the most economical ways to mechanize your auto buffing process. The foam pad that comes with this attachment works best for applying wax or polish, but not for buffing. When it’s time to buff the dried excess wax from your car, make a quick, economical conversion by wrapping a microfiber cloth around a fresh foam applicator, secure it tightly with a rubber band and buff away.

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Torq Random Orbital Polisher

If you want a buffer and polisher with serious power, you’d be hard-pressed to do better than the Torq orbital polisher ($160). It comes with a variety of buffing and polishing pads and compounds. This polisher has a massive speed range of 2,800 to 7,800 RPM, drastically reducing the time of any buffing or polishing job.

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Makita Seven-Inch Polisher

Ease of transport, precise speed controls and an extra-large seven-inch orbiting pad make this Makita tool ($216) stand out. It comes with a large, heavy-duty canvas bag for tool storage and transport, so it’s easy and convenient to bring your full buffing and polishing kit wherever you need it. Reviewers are particularly impressed by the speed controls: “With [this] Makita you will find that the speed control is precise, regardless of pressure applied (these machines have a TON of torque).”

The two fuzzy pads that come with the unit are perfect for buffing. But if you want to apply car wax or polish with this tool, you’ll need to buy a foam pad attachment.

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PoliWell Six-Inch Buffer/Polisher Kit

If you do a lot of auto detailing and are tired of buying pad attachments, cloths and sponges separately, this kit from PoliWell ($100) is one of the most complete collections around. It includes a dual-action polisher, a side handle attachment, D-handle attachment, a spanner, hex wrench, two carbon brushes, five polishing pads, one sanding pad, two bonnet pads, one wash mitt, one microfiber cloth, one wash sponge, a pair of work gloves, ear plugs and a tool bag — whew!

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All prices and links were current at publication.