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Polisher / Buffer Recommendations

msanford

New Member
I'm looking to put a good polisher / buffer into my arsenal of tools and get regular on my hull care? I was thinking of going all out for top of the line DeWalt, but then read the DeWalt are not great for beginners. That makes me think twice and I definitely don't want to do any damage. What are others using? Thanks.
 

ProATC

Active Member
I use a cheap electric (corded) buffer, but use good quality compounds (3M) and buffer pads. For rough cuts up to 400 grit, I wet sand by hand instead of working out!:cool: I always apply the compounds by hand and use the buffer for polishing (removing the compound). You definitely want a variable speed type, I don't think the brand matters personally. Not sure why a DeWalt would not be good for beginners, it's not that technical of a machine to use. Cordless would be nice, but I would assume you would have to change batteries at some point or have a big battery to last longer than 15 minutes.
 

msanford

New Member
Not sure why a DeWalt would not be good for beginners, it's not that technical of a machine to use.
I think it might have speeds too aggressive and a newbie could get carried away would my guess, not sure? But thanks for your answer, I will probably pick up something pretty soon
 

Breeze Bender

Breeze Bender
I think it might have speeds too aggressive and a newbie could get carried away would my guess, not sure? But thanks for your answer, I will probably pick up something pretty soon
You’re right, get a variable speed and start at lower speed, don’t be too aggressive or you may have swirl marks left behind. No, it’s not difficult to operate, but you can do damage with a polisher! That said, DeWalt and Milwaukee are my go-to brand names for the few power tools I own.
 

VinceH

Member
Mark- I've seen your boat at MCSC and I recall that it's in good shape.
I suggest that you not take any kind of machine to it. This is a good and recent article by a knowledgeable guy about bottom finishes that's worth reading: A smooth bottom is a fast bottom .

That said, I recently used a Harbor Freight $99 dual-action polisher to do the topsides of my J/24. It was nice and worked well. With 43 years of oxidation, I had to sand with 220, 400, 600, 1000, and 2000 before polishing. Not as bad as it sounds, it took about a day for one side.

I wouldn't work on the bottom with any power machine though. That was painted with epoxy paint, then a wet-sanding party with 5 people the next day.
IMG_20210404_155523.jpgIMG_20210405_164832.jpg
 

msanford

New Member
Mark- I've seen your boat at MCSC and I recall that it's in good shape.
I suggest that you not take any kind of machine to it. This is a good and recent article by a knowledgeable guy about bottom finishes that's worth reading: A smooth bottom is a fast bottom .

That said, I recently used a Harbor Freight $99 dual-action polisher to do the topsides of my J/24. It was nice and worked well. With 43 years of oxidation, I had to sand with 220, 400, 600, 1000, and 2000 before polishing. Not as bad as it sounds, it took about a day for one side.

I wouldn't work on the bottom with any power machine though. That was painted with epoxy paint, then a wet-sanding party with 5 people the next day.
Thanks!
 
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