VW Vortex - Volkswagen Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
You talking rotary or dual-action?

I have a Griots Garage 6" DA. I bought it last spring for around $115. Works awesome.
I think it has been replaced by the G9, which is around $160.
These come with a lifetime warranty.

The less expensive option is the Porter Cable 7424XP. That is around $120 on Amazon.
People say this is a very good entry DA. Not quite as good as the GG line, but good for the casual detailer from what I've read.
 
  • Like
Reactions: WhiteShadow89

·
Registered
2021 Jetta SEL
Joined
·
103 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,987 Posts
I use the one from Harbor Freight

I've done a number of cars & motorcycles with it, with great results.

I mostly use Meguiars Ultimate Compound.
This is what I use. I replaced the backing plate to use different pads. Works fine and does the level of correction I need. In the time I have used it, I think it is really more about the pads and product than the machine. My assumption is from the 50 bucks after coupon I paid, it going to be pretty close to units running up to the 120 dollar mark. After that price point, I know the machines get better but not worth the outlay of cash for my needs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
If you have little to no experience buffing the porter cable 7424xp is tough to beat. It is a very forgiving buffer to use for first timers and has respectable correcting power. The OP has probably bought by now, but the information below will be great for those who read in the future. Three things that have not been mentioned so far are: 1. Cable length 2. Pads and 3. Prep.
1. Cable length: Many buffers come with cables that are too short and most people grab a spare extension cord collecting dust in the garage. If your gauge and ampere rating aren't right for the desired length than you can cause damage to your buffer.
2. Pads: How many you need depends on how big your vehicle is, its conditions, how much work you plan to do in a day as well as the type of work (heavy correcting, light correcting, finishing). Ideally you would want 6 compounding pads (deeper scratches, deeper swirl marks), 4 polishing pads (light swirl and maring) and 2 finishing pads (gloss and protect) per vehicle a day. Understand that wherever you are buying less is where you will be handicapped in how far you can go in a day.
3. Prep: Not doing a decontamination wash ( normal car cleaning, but adding in a fall out/Iron Spray and claying) is just not smart. This removes contaminants from your body work so you don't introduce heavy marring to your paint.

What you need:
-Porter Cable 7424XP
-Lake Country 6 in backing plate.
-Lake Country CCS pads 6.5in: CCS pads do a good job with heat and that is important with buffing. Ideally you would want 6 compounding (any combination of yellow and orange, 4 polishing (white), 2 finishing pads (black). You can get by with this if you want to save a little and expand later: 4-5 compound pads (3 yellow 2 orange) 3 polishing (white pads) and 1 finishing (black pads).
-Snappy cleaner packets: Stupid cheap and make cleaning pads a lot easier
-M105 compound M205 finishing polish.
-Snag some microfiber buffing towels if you don't have some already
-Automotive tape
-Fall out/Iron spray
-Clay: Nanoskin fine grade mitts save a boat-load of time by hand.

The above setup will treat you very well for years to come, create fantastic results and you will build confidence very quickly in your abilities. Not only this, but should you decide to upgrade to something more robust in the future this setup can be interchangeable with the Flex 3401 VRG in the sense of same pads, polishes and similar technique.

Other things to consider that you may want to invest in:
-Lake Country 3 in backing plate: You can change the backing plate to a variety of sizes to make working in tight areas easier and more effective than just 6.5 in pads.
-Lake Country CCS pads 3.5in: 3 correcting (1 yellow 2 orange) 2 polishing (2 white) 1 finishing (1 black).
-Sun light buffing: Buffing in the sun can be done, but it isn't ideal to say the least. Heat and paint correcting usually is a bad idea for a variety of reasons. If you lack a home garage to do the work in then moving to a shaded area or more ideally a cheap pop-up canopy is wise.
-Lighting- Working in a home garage, it can be pretty common to lack the lighting needed. Lighting is important in saving you time as well as making paint correcting easier. Scangrip tends to offer top quality lighting options, but they are expensive. For those on a budget consider getting a bright LED fixture that screws into a light bulb socket in your garage from overhead, a bright head lamp or something like a porter cable LED light that you can stand up behind you while you work are all sub $50 options.
-Wheel cart: Not a need, but really nice when you are buffing for hours. Saves your knees and back a lot, it also provides a useful place to put your buffer when not buffing, product, spare pads and even your buffing towels while you work.

Sorry for the length, but buying a buffer is initially expensive to a certain degree with many variables to consider.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,963 Posts
I recognize that I'm resurrecting an old thread here, but wondering if any of the contributors would update their advice at all.

I've been looking at the Chemical Guys buffer and pads. Any thoughts or experience -- good or bad?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
I recognize that I'm resurrecting an old thread here, but wondering if any of the contributors would update their advice at all.

I've been looking at the Chemical Guys buffer and pads. Any thoughts or experience -- good or bad?
Honestly, just follow what WhiteShadow89 wrote. Good stuff in that post.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MBrown

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,963 Posts
Is a paint thickness gauge needed for optimizing pad choices or do the recommendations above pretty much apply to any/every car?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
Is a paint thickness gauge needed for optimizing pad choices or do the recommendations above pretty much apply to any/every car?
I'd say no, with a but, if your paint is thin, you might not want to go gangbusters trying to get some of the deeper scratches.

You pick your pads/products based on how much correction you want/need.

Unless you know the paint (soft/hard/medium), it's always recommended to do test spots to find out what works and start with the least agressive.

On my R, I started with a Lake Country white pad and Meguiars Ultimate Polish. That combo didn't touch the scratches/swirls. I ended with a microfiber pad and Ultimate Compound, and I would have been better off with an even more agressive combo to get faster correction (but i didnt want to order more products). My polish step was Lake Country orange pad and Ultimate polish. The orange pad was a little better at removing the haze (vs white pad) and finished very glossy.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MBrown
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top