Porter Cable Dual Action Polisher Review
Curious as to how much I could improve the paint on my vehicle using an orbital polisher, I decided recently to pick one up and try my hand at it. I had heard many good things about dual action polishers, and the model that was most often recommended to me by friends in the detailing business was the Porter Cable 7424.
Orbital dual action polishers are great for newbies because their rotation is designed to be random. With a random action polisher, there is little chance that heat will build up under your polishing pad and burn into your paint (unlike a regular rotary polisher). In other words, it’s virtually impossible to damage your paint with an orbital polisher.
The Porter Cable I ordered was bundled with a Menzerna polish kit. I chose Menzerna because all of my research on polishes had lead to this well-established German company as one of the best values on the market. While a bit pricier than other polishes, the Menzerna system I used came with two polishes, one labeled Intensive and one labeled Final. Since my paint was quite faded in a few areas, the idea was to use the Intensive polish first and then fine tune it with the Final. The kit also included two different strengths of cutting pads for the polish, as well as a wax applicator.
I washed the car, clayed it, and then taped all of the trim so that it wouldn’t get stained by the polish. In retrospect, I wish I had spent more time on this last step, as the Porter Cable throws polish EVERYWHERE. I also didn’t use enough layers of tape on my door handles, and as such had to clean off baked on polish when all was said and done. The polish was easy to apply, and the Porter Cable was amazing at really working it into the paint well. It’s key to make sure that the polish is completely broken down so that it’s almost invisible on top of the paint before moving on to let it dry. I didn’t know that at first, and a few of the beginning panels I worked on streaked up from the leftover polish during removal.
The Intensive polish did a good job of bringing out the color, but it also left a sort of haze on the paint due to the level of its cutting action. Not to panic though – the Final polish took care of this haze easily and left a sharp, deep finish. The results were truly stunning once I had completed this second step – I was able to eliminate a huge percentage of the scratches my vehicle had accumulated over the past few years, as well as make my paint really look sharp again.
To seal things in, I went with a Klasse polymer wax that I applied and removed by hand. I chose a polymer because I don’t have time to re-wax every 30 to 40 days, which is what carnauba usually requires. Polymers are also easier to work with than carnauba-based waxes, and less expensive. The next time I wax, I am going to use the Porter Cable to apply and remove the product, as I found my hand-application didn’t give me the even shine I wanted and had to be done twice for satisfactory results.
Using an orbital polisher gave me amazing results. There was no comparison between my past attempts at hand polishing versus what the Porter Cable combined with the Menzerna did for my paint. I honestly wish I had bought this polisher years ago and saved myself hours of hand polishing for mediocre results. The best part is that the Porter Cable is affordable – around $140 – and has a great reputation for reliability, meaning I will be able to count on it to keep my ride looking great for many years to come.
Filed Under: Maintenance Tips