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Best Car Wax Buffers and Polishers for 2020

Want to polish or buff your car, but not sure what tool to use? Learn about six great car polish buffers, and what makes each one a standout.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

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PolisherNatthapong Kromkrathog / EyeEm/Getty Images

What to Know About Car Polish Buffers

Car polishers, also called car buffers, are handheld orbital power tools designed to apply and buff car wax and polish.

Car polish is a mildly abrasive liquid designed to improve the smoothness and shine of vehicle paint. Car wax is applied after polish, adding a layer of protection and further enhancing the paint’s sheen. The same tool, a polisher/buffer, is used for both jobs. Here are six of the best DIY polish buffers you can buy.

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Orbital buffervia

Best Overall: TORQ BUF_503X Kit

Rugged tool design, exceptional power and a wide range of polishes and pads are what makes this kit from TORQ ($160) stand out. Not only does the tool have a speed range of 2,800 to a remarkably high 7,800 RPM, it also comes with four polishes and four polishing pads of different firmness levels. And if that doesn’t convince you that this is a top choice, this kit earns 4.6 stars out of five on Amazon, with more than 1,400 reviews!

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Best Multi-Use: Porter-Cable Random Orbit Sander

Many people shy away from buying single-use tools, considering some to be merely gadgets. There no chance of that with this Porter-Cable six-inch random orbit sander that is sold with a sanding base pad for wood and a foam vehicle polishing pad. It’s fast and easy to switch between wood and auto work without digging another tool out of your collection. This random orbit sander is what I use for all my vehicle polishing and buffing, and it’s never let me down.

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Orbital buffervia

Best Lightweight: Black & Decker WP900

If you find your arms tiring after a couple of hours waxing your car with a regular-sized polisher, you really need to try this compact unit from Black & Decker ($34). At a little more than five pounds — half the size of most polish buffers  — it’s great for tackling lengthy jobs without wearing you down. One Amazon reviewer says, “It is light, whisper quiet and you can easily use it one-handed. I have detailed three cars with it and every one comes out fantastic.”

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Best Cordless: DeWalt 20V MAX XR Cordless Polisher

Let’s face it: No plug-in polisher is as convenient as a good cordless one, and that’s why this 20-volt DeWalt unit really shines ($279). Surprisingly light, easy to hold and powerful enough to rival many corded units, Amazon reviewers love this tool’s design and battery performance.

“It is built like a tank and it is definitely worth investing in this cordless version,” wrote one reviewer. “With a 5AH battery, I was able to polish my truck while another 5AH was charging (didn’t use a fast charger) and I never had to wait to swap them out.”

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Drill attachmentvia

Best Space Saver: Poliwell Six-Inch Car Polishing and Buffing Kit

If you lack the space or budget for a full-sized polish buffer but already own a drill, this $20 kit from Poliwell is just what you need. Designed to mount into the shank of your drill, this kit includes two six-inch base pads, five polishing pads and a buffing pad. You won’t get as much rotational power from a drill as you will from a dedicated polish buffer, but it will still be much faster than polishing or buffing by hand.

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Best Complete Kit: SPTA 12V Cordless Car Polisher Tool Set

If you want the full collection of polishing and buffing gear all at once, look no further than this 35-piece kit from SPT ($76). It includes a battery-powered polish buffer and a wide range of backing, polishing and buffing pads, along with a spare battery, charger and removable side handle. You can detail your car like never before with this kit.

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All prices and links were current as of publication.