How to Polish a Car With an Orbital Buffer? [Full Guide] 2022

how to polish a car with a orbital buffer

Your car can get fine scratches on the paint very quickly and damaged when trying to park it in an unfamiliar place. Driving a lot can also cause this problem. 

Car polishing and waxing are effective ways to prevent fine scratches and provide numerous benefits. It doesn’t require too much time and energy when you polish a car with an orbital buffer. 

It’s important to learn how to use an orbital buffer to polish a car. The entire procedure will be explained in this article.

The best car polishers and buffers are innovative automotive cleaning tools ideal for polishing, buffing, and waxing a car quickly. In addition to covering a larger area, they save time, ensure a professional finish, and work in a circular motion. The orbital buffer is less expensive.

If you purchase an automotive buffer for your basement or garage, you can replicate the same clean, polished appearance of skilled car polishers and best buffers.

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How to Polish a Car With an Orbital Buffer – Step by Step Guide for Dummies

Before beginning the polishing process, make sure your materials are ready.

Step 1: Get the Required Tools & materials:

Step 2: Prepare the Surface

Clean the car surface to remove existing dirt with soap and water. Use a clay bar to scrape away embedded dirt.

Keep your vehicle in the shade, workshop, or garage. This will prevent direct sunlight from drying your wax.

Warning: Existing dirt can create scratches.

Step 3: Apply Car Polish

Apply a few drops of car polish to the buffer pad. Do not spread the polish all over the pad. Otherwise, it might get messy. Make sure to apply car polish on the pad perfectly before turning on the machine. 

Step 4: Start Polishing

how to polish a car with a orbital buffer
how to polish a car with an orbital buffer

Place the device properly on the targeted surface. Experts advise buffering about 2.2 ft at a time. So you’ll be able to focus on a clean finish.

Moving it from the left to the right is also necessary. It will cover each section quickly, so you won’t lose much energy with the orbital buffer.

Step 5: Remove Any Excess Polish

Wipe the car surface with a microfiber cloth to remove excess polish. Any other type of cloth may scratch your car.

Step 6: Apply Wax

How to Wax a Car With a Buffer
How to Wax a Car With a Buffer

Apply some wax to the car surface now to ensure a good finishing and polish. Just get a waxed pad, adjust the buffer, and spread the wax. The process will be similar to polishing. 

According to experts, this part is the most important. Your car will stay shiny for longer if you wax it.

Step 7: Final Check

Give it a final check after polishing and waxing. Clean the car’s surface to remove any dirt, debris, or swirls. Repeat the procedure if you find any.

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Hand VS Machine Buffer Polishing?

Machine Polishing 

Water spots, scratches, and swirls are easily removed with rotary, orbital, and dual-action machine polishers. All of them can provide faster, more consistent results than hand polishing. A rotary polisher is used by most auto detailing shops.

Rotating machine polishers can inflict serious damage on the paint of a car if not used properly. For example, if not used at the correct speed, they may cause buffer trails, holograms, and even burn marks through the paint.

Hand Polishing

This process is fairly straightforward and can be accomplished with a simple swipe and application. Furthermore, hand polishing is much safer and reduces the risk of damaging the paint on the car – which happens when machines polish at very high speeds.

Hand polishing is recommended for cars that are not heavily damaged by the sun, snow, and other elements, and it provides the vehicle with a shine, and some protection, as well as improving its appearance and finish.

Learn how to operate a machine before investing in one. We recommend an entry-level dual action polisher once you’re ready to move to a machine. In addition to being easy to use, entry-level machines help beginners prevent excessive pressure from stopping the pads from spinning.

Types of Buffers

There are 2 primary types of buffers and polishers: 

  1. Rotary Buffers
  2. Orbital Buffers

Types of Orbital Buffers

There are three types of orbital buffers, 

  1. Fixed orbital
  2. Dual-action random orbital
  3. Dual-action forced rotation

Each type spins and orbits in a different way. A dual-action random orbital will work best for beginners since it has the lowest risk of damaging the paint.

Car Buffer Key Features

  • Spin Style
  • Power
  • Comfort
  • Weight
  • Warranty

Car Polishing Tips

  • Always start polishing the car from an area that isn’t highlighted. Taking a trunk will allow you to see if any mess is likely to occur. If you find the perfect polish, try other surfaces.
  • When polishing a surface, do not pause. Otherwise, the surface will be scratched.
  • Do not start the buffer before placing it over the car’s surface.
  • When polishing, you should always go slowly.


Why Car Polishing is Important?

Your car paint can be damaged by contact with the rain, snow, and sun. Frequent use can also cause scratches. Also, washing your car to remove dirt, mud, or bird droppings will not protect its paint.

The best way to maintain your car’s paint is to use an orbital buffer. You can remove light scratches from your car by polishing them.

Is Machine Polishing Safe for my Paint?

Yes. However, auto buffers must be handled with utmost care to prevent scratching transparent paint.

How Often Should I Polish My Car?

You should polish your car once a year. If your vehicle is kept outside and you live in a coastal area, you may need to polish it more often. Due to the high salt levels in the sea air, paint oxidizes much faster than in an arid climate.


It takes time and patience to polish a car. Yet an orbital buffer can greatly simplify your life. We have described how to use it here.

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