View Full Version : Random orbital polishing


01-12-2011, 08:40 AM
I have seen little tidbits of info on some guys that think a random orbital polisher is the way to go. Anyone have an oppinion on this...a or even better... facts on the matter?

01-12-2011, 11:46 AM
It depends on the type of orbital machine you use. If it's a machine that is truly "random" like a random orbital sander it would probably take a year to polish a car but if it's GEARED and not free spinning then it works pretty good for swirl removal after the initial polishing. However for buffing you want a ROTARY ACTION because it's the best way to remove sanding scratches and surface imperfections in a timely manor. Orbitals are normally used AFTER buffing with a rotary machine.

Polishing Tools Link (http://autobodystore.net/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=T2)

01-12-2011, 12:49 PM
Yeah i got one of those Mikita's form you like 7 years ago and it works great!!

01-13-2011, 07:41 AM
Machine Polishers

There are two basic categories of machine polisher; orbital and circular. Orbital (elliptical orbit) machines are preferred by the majority of enthusiasts for maintaining their vehicle's finish. Circular (constant circular orbit) polishers are designed to abrade the surface completely eliminating swirls, scratches and paint defects. Unfortunately, in inexperienced hands, circular polishers can burn through the paint, but with sufficient practice you can become proficient with a circular polisher.

Orbital Buffer or Rotary Polisher

There is a place for both a random orbital buffer and a high speed polisher in a detailer’s toolkit, once you are proficient with an orbital all that is required to ‘step-up' to the polisher is practice, practice and then more practice, which should be done on a scrap vehicle panel as opposed to your own or someone else’s vehicle
Sometimes a dual-action polisher just isn’t enough for really tough scratches and swirls. You need the cutting power of a rotary polisher to penetrate the clear coat and smooth over rough edges to restore your paint to its original flawless finish.

Note: If you have extensive experience with a random orbital machine the learning curve will be greatly reduced

01-13-2011, 10:45 AM
If you look at the amount of travel between the pad and the paint, even at the highest speeds and longest throws, it's not very much. Further, because the pad tends to run back and forth, the abrasives move around on the pad instead of cutting consistently which, if you clean the surface after using a random orbital you'll see expressed as a haze.

Manufacturers who make products to work with random orbitals usually enhance their products with fillers or components that act like fillers. If a product is hard to get out of the cracks and crevices the residue is being held together and stabilized by something, I'm guessing that's the filler.

Dual action machines, those that have forced rotation with an orbit, like the Makita BO6040 in the "turbo mode" put much more movement between the pad and paint and get a lot more work done in any given time. You can test this yourself by seeing how much heat your random orbital creates on a given surface and a set time then run the dual action the same way. The difference isn't subtle.

Anyone, manufactures reps are especially welcome, who would like to compare machines and techniques with me is welcome. Send me an IM. I'm in Orange County, CA and I go to SEMA every year. We can work something out.