How to use a buffer?


Got FB banned again for saying nards
Founding Member
Nov 29, 1999
Alright I have had several cheep k-mart buffers but now I am ordering a Porter Cable 7424 and want to make sure I use it right. If I am starting with a clean and freshly clayed surface whats the best way to make it shine like new? What pad to apply the wax, which to remove? What pad for polishing or buffing, whats the difference? Thanks guys and I know this sounds dumb to some of you, I just want to be safe and not burn dads paint or mine :nice:
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Do NOT go over 3000 rpm (you'll burn the paint). I recommend the Makita buffer. It can go slower than any other buffer out there-last time I checked. Depending on what grit you finish with (I'm going to assume finer than 1500 grit), I would use a half and half pad (half wool/half synthetic). You can also use wool (although wool tends to leave larger scratches that you need to remove with the sponge pad) . It basically comes down to preferance. Keep the pad as flat as possible. Use light pressure. Make sure you buff with the rotation OFF of egdes on the car. Compounds also are a matter of preferance. I like 3M fast cut (for a commonly found one). Once you go over it with the half and half, go over it with a sponge pad again with the fast cut to shine it up. You can usually ask a local auto body paint supply store as to which pad to use and in what order if you are unsure. Once you have gone over it with the sponge pad and fast cut, then go over it with swirl remover and a very soft sponge pad (usually black). In some instances you can go straight to sponge pads to shine up the car (depending on grit) and eliminate a step, but it usually takes longer to get a shine so I just use half and half. I don't know how fresh the paint is on your car so my suggestion would be to use a synthetic or carnuba wax afterward. If the paint is too fresh and you use the wrong wax you can really screw it up (paint continues to cure after it's dry). If you wax it, wax it by hand going across in a straight line (this helps prevent swirls). Do the same to remove the wax with a microfiber towel that you rotate to clean frequently. Good luck!
I got the Porter Cable 7424 for Christmas. I haven’t used it yet but everyone says its one of the best ones out. I'm kind of scared to use it. I have always cleaned polished and waxed the paint by hand. I’m going to try it next month.
I almost got the Makita but I dont think its orbital? I just got the Porter with a bag and a wool bonnet, big foam applicator and a black finnishing pad. So I have a wax I really like and just got some more (Meguires NXG). So let me make sure I got it right. I use a wool/synthetic bonnet with fast cut like 3M and apply it. Do I use the same one to remove it? Then I go back with the sponge applicator with my wax to wax and get rid of swirl marks? What do I use to remove the wax? Then do I go with the black pad to buff it out?
And I will be doing mine (11 yr old paint) and the Termi that has the nose redone about 8 months ago. And thanks again, I have never used something of this level and I want to do it right as I love both these cars :nice:
The porter cable "buffer" you are getting is not a true buffer. It is simply a detailing machine to remove swirls. It will not remove deeper scratches (I don't know how deep yours will be, but some clay bar can dull the paint and need to be buffed). Were you using a true buffer before? The PC oscillates like a DA (random orbital sander). If you want to take out scratches you need to use a real buffer. If you just want to polish the car (not remove scratches just shine it up) then it would be fine and you pretty much can't burn the paint. You can still use compound with it and a sponge pad (it comes with one I believe) and then go over it with a wax (I still prefer hand application). I didn't realize what you were getting-sorry for the confusion.
Basically I wanted to remove the swirl marks and get it as shiney as possiable. Neither car has scratches that I cant remove by hand and the swirl marks are not deep, just deeper than a Wal-Mart $16 can handle :shrug:
So is the order and the pads I selected right? Do I still use the 3m cut?
If you just want to remove the swirl marks and shine up the car, I would use the foam applicator pad it came with and use compound (3M fast cut). This will shine up the car. Then apply your wax with the finishing pad. Remove the wax by hand (do not rub in circles-this will create swirls) with a microfiber cloth. That should remove your swirls. You are polishing the car not buffing it.
Thanks guys, it should show up tuesday so I cant wait. Ill do my car first so if I mess up it will be on the car getting repainted this year :shrug:
you can't go wrong with the PC and you can't burn up the paint. Trust me, I basically tried on my gf's honda because it was so scratched up. Iwas running full steam with a medium cut 3M product and no paint damage. I suggest you go to autotopia and look around. They have how-to's with pics and a forum that helps too. That's where i get all my pads and products for the PC. They have package deals with step by step products and such. I found it very useful. Now the neighbor think I'm crazy because I'm detailing cars all the tyme out of my driveway. Good times.
I would take a look at the meguiars forum.......

Check the "detailing 101" section, they are very helpful.
I've been researching a lot the past few months and the meguiars site is the best.

Basically what you need is:
Meguiars #83 (Remove deep scratches)
Meguiars #80 (Remove Lighter scratches - needs to be applied if M83 was applied)

get it here

2 types of foam pads.

2 W8006 Small 6.5" for the polishers
1 W9006 Small 6.5" for the wax's%20Foam%20Pad%20Specials.htm

Again............. Read the forums
You can get out some pretty deep scratches with the PC, don't be fooled.

Get some good swirl removers, I mean GOOD ie Menzerna, Poorboys, or Pinnacle. I use the Pin and Menz personally.

Start with the lightest cut pad and the lightest cut swirl remover, and work on that. If it doesn't remove the swirls, try a more rough cut pad. If that still doesn't work, get a more abrasive polish and start again with the pad with least cut, and again work up.

If you have basic holograms and swirls, you can probably get away with Menz PO106FF. If not, you have to go to a stronger polish like SIP (but I doubt it unless you car is in really bad shape).

Get some good buffing pads, don't use the ones that come with the PC. or sell good lake county ones. There's also some videos on autogeek showing the technique used with PC's.

Good luck.
Yeah I got the weight balencer thing. I have a microfiber bonnet and a wool one and several terry cloth ones. I have 3M fast cut and Meguires professional yellow something :scratch: and Meguiers NXG wax that I really like. I know this all isnt the best but it will do, anything else I need besides the stuff I ordered?
Here is where I got it from and what I ordered:
Black pad
6" Foam pad PORT54745
And the buffer
Im getting wheels this year, Saleen replicas in hypercoated with rivits around the inner lip for 450 shipped. 18x10.5s in the rear :nice:

d98gt how do I polish unpolished aluminized tips :shrug: