From our experience and plenty of research, we concluded that the best car polishing machine is the Meguiar’s MT320 DA. It’s a dual-action polisher that’s suitable for beginner or professional use and is also packed with intuitive features such as digital torque management and billet counterweights. However, if you are a detailing enthusiast or a professional willing to spend extra, the Rupes LHR15 Bigfoot is the ultimate car polishing machine.
If you are looking at purchasing your first polishing machine or upgrading, there are plenty to choose from. To rate the recommendations in this article, we rated the polishers based on our experience and multiple factors. The factors considered included their type, weight, motor, buffing pads provided, adjustments, warranty and value for money.
Best Car Polisher Overview
- Best Overall: Meguiar’s MT320
- Best Rotary: DEWALT DWP849X
- Best Professional: Rupes LHR15 Bigfoot
- Best For Beginners: VonHaus Kit
- Best All-Rounder: Dodo Juice Buff Daddy
- Best Budget DA: Autobrite Direct DA-21
- Best Budget Rotary: Silverline 264569
Car polishers are available in a variety of different types with dual-action and rotary machines being the most popular. Dual-action machines use an oscillating motion and generate less heat, which makes them much safer to use. Whereas rotary polishers spin on a single axis and provide faster results due to the additional heat and friction.
Below is a list of the best car polishers that cover all the different types and are suitable for all experience levels.
The Best Car Polishing Machine
1. Best Overall: Meguiar's MT320 DA Polisher
Meguiar’s is a brand that needs no introduction because they are well-known for their premium detailing products. The MT320 model they have to offer is the “go-to” dual-action car polishing machine for many people and it’s a highly-rated polisher that’s suitable for both beginner and professional use.
A standout feature of this car polisher is the advanced digital torque management system which can electronically adjust the torque to maintain the speed whilst polishing for increased control.
Although expensive, the Meguiar’s MT320 is the best dual-action polisher that’s perfect for beginner or professional use. It’s packed full of advanced technology that allows anyone to achieve safe and professional results with ease.
2. Best Rotary: DEWALT DWP849X
The DEWALT DWP849X is a highly-rated rotary polisher that uses a powerful 1,250W electric motor. It’s best suited for enthusiasts or professionals that require additional power and control for extensive detailing tasks.
Unlike many of the alternatives that only use a dial for adjusting the speed, this polisher also has a variable speed trigger. This allows you to control the speed by adjusting the force applied to the trigger switch, which many people prefer.
Although it’s slightly heavier than many of the alternatives, it’s built to a much higher standard. It also has many intuitive features such as the variable speed trigger and large spindle lock for quick accessory changes. The DEWALT DWP849X is a great polishing machine that’s versatile, powerful and packed full of features.
3. Best Professional: Rupes LHR15 Bigfoot Random Orbital
For any professionals or detailing enthusiasts, the Rupes LHR15 (also known as Bigfoot) is an excellent option. It’s one of the most expensive car polishers on the market but it’s designed to be the best and handle any detailing situation.
According to the brand, the LHR15 has the most efficient motor within its class and can deliver a speed that ranges between 3,000 to 4,500 for the 21 mm throw.
As this is the third generation, it has been further improved with feedback from professional users. Small tweaks to the design such as the electronic speed control and progressive trigger are just some of the many improvements.
Overall, the Rupes LHR15 Bigfoot is the best car polishing machine for professionals or enthusiasts that want the ultimate polisher and are willing to pay for it.
4. Best For Beginners: VonHaus Dual Action Polisher
The VonHaus Dual Action Polisher Kit is designed for those that want the best bang for their buck. It comes as a complete kit, which includes the polisher, D-handle, three pads, tools, microfibre cloth, wash mitt and even a carry bag.
Although it’s one of the cheapest car polishers on the market, the brand provides an impressive two-year warranty for complete peace of mind.
Overall, if you are just getting started and don’t want to pay the premium price of the alternatives, this dual-action polisher is perfect. It ticks all the boxes and offers outstanding value for the money.
5. Best All-Rounder: Dodo Juice Buff Daddy DA Polisher
Another affordable DA polisher is by the Dodo Juice brand, who are well-known among detailing enthusiasts. It comes as a complete kit, which includes the polisher, carry bag, choice of D-handles and a ventilated backing plate.
As it’s the brand’s affordable polisher, it only has a 500-watt motor but this is more than ideal for car polishing. There is also a choice of 6-speed settings via the speed dial, which is conveniently located at the end of the polisher.
Overall, the Dodo Juice Buff Daddy is an excellent all-round car polishing machine that’s backed by a reputable brand. If you would prefer additional power for heavy-duty or professional use, the brand also offers a Buff Daddy Pro version, which uses an 880W electric motor.
6. Best Budget DA: Autobrite Direct DA-21 Car Machine Polisher
The Autobrite DA-21 is a premium dual-action car polishing machine that’s often found in complete detailing kits. It provides a correctional throw of 21 mm (hence the model name) and is designed to provide precise, safe and effective correction or finishing to the paintwork of your car.
Included with the complete kit are uniquely ventilated 5 and 6-inch backing plates, which are designed to reduce heat through the vented holes whilst polishing.
The new and improved Autobrite DA-21 is a high-quality car polisher that’s ideal for enthusiasts or professionals. It’s an easy to use machine that’s capable of removing heavy swirls and defects with ease.
7. Best Budget Rotary: Silverline 264569 Car Polishing Machine
The Silverline 264569 is a budget car polishing machine and a great starter option for beginners. It’s a rotary polisher that’s designed to polish/buff all types of surfaces such as the car’s bodywork, tiles and much more.
In terms of its usability, the polisher has variable speed control and offers a no-load speed from 800 to 3,500 RPM.
Whether you intend to use it once a year or simply want to try out a polisher, the Silverline 264569 is an excellent budget car polishing machine. Compared to similar priced alternatives, it’s built to a far higher standard and it also offers great value for the money.
How We Rated
As we are detailing enthusiasts, we’ve tried and tested a wide range of car polishing machines over the years. We initially started with a budget/beginner machine (like most people would do) but as we began to become more confident with using a machine, we worked our way up to the more premium examples that are available in the UK.
Below are two of our machine polishers (Dewalt DWP849X and Meguiar’s MT320) that we tested and rated in this article.
Therefore, along with our own experience of using a range of machine polishers, we also based our recommendations within this article upon a number of factors. The factors that we considered included their type (dual action, rotary or random orbital), weight, motor, buffing pads provided, adjustments, additional features, warranty and value for money.
For tackling swirl marks, light scratches and other defects in the paint, a car polishing machine is essential. They are available in a range of different types with dual action being the most popular choice for beginner or professional use.
We strongly advise that you stay clear of the budget options that are offered by unknown brands. In the wrong hands, these car polishers can cause markings on the paint and it’s for this reason why you should invest wisely.
If you require further information with regards to any of the car polishing machines listed in our roundup, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.
Car Polisher FAQ's
If you are new to the world of car polishing machines, you may be wondering what’s the difference between the various types. The two main types are rotary and dual action polishers (also referred to as a DA polisher). A rotary polisher is the easiest to explain because the head spins on a single axis in a regular circular motion. A DA polisher works slightly differently because the head spins in two circular motions (a concentric circular action) upon a spindle. This makes it the safer option to use because it creates less friction on the paintwork.
The polish you wish to use with your car polishing machine is completely up to you. For example, if you are performing paint correction upon neglected paintwork, you’ll want to use an abrasive cutting compound. However, if you are only “cleaning” the paintwork, you may wish to use a finishing compound instead. There is a wide variety of polishes you can use but you’ll want to use a formula that’s designed to be used with a machine polisher.
To use a machine polisher for cars, you’ll want to prepare your car beforehand. This means that it should be thoroughly cleaned and dried before you start to polish it. Once prepared, you can use a polish of your choice to apply to the car. To begin using a machine polisher, you’ll want to add a few drops of polish onto the pad and also spray it with a lubricant. You can then spread it onto the area to be polished and begin polishing the area whilst working in small sections. For more information, you can read our guide on how to polish a car.
When it comes to choosing the polishing pads for your machine polisher, there are three types to choose from. These three types include a foam, microfibre and wool pad but the foam type is the most common and they are available in many different forms to tackle specific forms of polishing. Microfibre and wool pads are mostly used for heavy cutting or spot defect removal where the foam alternative may not be aggressive enough. As well as the materials, there is also a range of sizes you can choose from but most come as a 5, 3 or 1 inch pad to best suit your requirements.