If you’re an active motorsport enthusiast, your vehicle is going to be affected by UV rays produced by the sun. Exposure to UV light is inevitably going to dull the finish on your vehicle over time, and there isn’t an easy solution to prevent it. One option is to leave your car in the garage where it is protected from UV rays. The challenge here is that some people don’t have a garage, and some folks who do just don’t find keeping a garage queen to be a particularly rewarding. The other option is to deal with it using products to protect your paint to avoid fade and restore it once it does.
For protecting your paint from the sun, you are going to want to wash your car frequently and apply a UV resistant car wax, but this only works if you are diligent about keeping the car waxed all the time. If your paint has faded and you wish to restore it, the best way to do this is to polish it with a cut compound and reapply protective wax. If you’re a kid of the ‘80’s you surely remember Mr. Miyagi teaching Daniel-san the value of wax on and wax off, which applies to both cut compound and car wax. The strokes of hard work in a circular pattern to shine Mr. Miyagi’s car collection to make everything look new again are the correct methods to both polish and wax a car. But who has that kind of time on their hands in today’s fast-paced society? We don’t, that’s for sure which is why we typically supercharge the process of waxing and buffing by using an orbital buffer. The best orbital buffers allow you to take care of your car’s paint in a fraction of the time that a hand buff does and arguably does a better job (although you still may have to touch up some of the small nooks and crannies by hand with a microfiber cloth).
The Best Orbital Buffer
When it comes to selecting the best orbital buffer, the Porter-Cable 7424XP 6-inch polisher is the best option we have found to bring back the shine to your vehicle and protect its paint from future fade. The random-orbit motion provides a swirl-free polishing action that will cut and buff the worst cloudiness in your finish, then polish the paint to a mirror finish using the same motion assuming you are using the right detailing products. It has an electronic variable-speed dial to control the speed from 2,500 – 6,800 OPM (orbits per minute), which will give you plenty of flexibility in terms of how slowly or quickly you allow the orbital buffer work its magic.
The Porter-Cable also features a proprietary counter balance for use with a 6-inch sanding or polishing pad and will accept 5/16-24 (5/16” diameter with 24 threads per inch) spindle threaded accessories. One of the best features is the flexibility for the position of the stabilization handle. Are you right-handed? Put the handle on the left side of the tool. If you’re left-handed, simply unscrew the handle and move it to the opposite side of the tool. It can thread into either side, and even be taken off if you need to get into tight places like under the door mirrors.
For those that like to spend a long day polishing everything in the garage, the Porter-Cable 7424XP features a 4.5-amp motor for high overload protection and it’s only 5.5 pounds (which reduces the change that you will fatigue your muscles by the end of the day). The polisher measures 11.5 inches long by 10.5 inches wide by 6 inches tall, has 100% ball and roller bearing construction, and is backed by three-year limited warranty covering any defects due to faulty materials or workmanship. It’s also covered by Porter-Cable’s one-year free service contract, where Porter-Cable will maintain the tool and replace worn parts caused by normal use for free, which is seemingly rare from all but the highest end tool companies these days.
The unit is made with a durable plastic casing and will plug into any 120V outlet in your home or garage. The Porter-Cable 7424XP random orbit polisher does come with one polishing pad, the aforementioned side handle, a wrench to tighten the orbiting head, and a set of operating instructions. As far where to buy, Amazon’s attractive price makes it the best value we found. Overall, the Porter Cable 7424XP is a fantastic orbital buffer and after you use it, we are sure your vehicles will look like they just came off the showroom floor again. As such, we give it a very strong recommendation. Happy wrenching!