Motor1 Reviews Team Take:

  • The best buffing pads on the 2024 market include the Chemical Guys Everything Kit, Chemical Guys Sampler Kit, Autolock 6” Buffing Pads, IPELY Wool Polishing Pad, and TCP Global 8” Wool Buffing Pad.
  • On average, a set of buffing pads will cost about $30 with some costing only $15 while others can be upwards of $65 depending on how complete of a kit you want.
  • Before buying buffing pads, it’s a good idea to see if you want any cleaning solution or different types of buffing and polishing pads included in your purchase.
Best Buffing Pads
Chemical Guys Everything Kit

A comprehensive kit with everything you need.

Runner-Up
Chemical Guys Sampler Kit

A high-quality kit for beginners and enthusiasts.

Most Versatile
Autolock 6” Buffing Pads

A full buffing pad kit with a wide range of applicator pads.

Best
Polishing Kit
IPELY Wool Polishing Pad

An incredibly soft and high-quality set of polishing pads.

Also Consider
TCP Global 8” Wool Buffing Pad

A thick woolen polishing pad with covered edges.

Buffing pads are a necessary tool if you’re looking to buff, cut, polish, or correct the paint on your car. The best buffing pads are not only high-quality but also versatile and durable. Even if you have the best buffing compound in the world, a low-quality buffing pad will make your application process painful and incomplete.

Our review team spent countless hours researching and testing the best buffing pads on the market in tandem with the best buffing compounds to help those looking to get their own DIY buffing process started.

 


 

Buffing Pad Reviews

When looking for the best buffing pads we could buy, we wanted to consider quality, versatility, and durability throughout our testing process to provide you with our top picks. Each buffing pad is scored on a scale of 1.0 to 5.0 stars.

What Are The Best Buffing Pads?

We named the Chemical Guys Everything Kit, Chemical Guys Sampler Kit, Autolock 6” Buffing Pads, IPELY Wool Polishing Pad, and TCP Global 8” Wool Buffing Pad as the best-rated buffing pads on the market in 2024.

One of our auto product testers using a polisher with a buffing pad on the exterior of a car.

Brand/ModelCostOverall RatingAward
Chemical Guys Everything Kit$705.0Best Buffing Pads
Chemical Guys Sampler Kit$284.8Runner-Up
Autolock 6” Buffing Pads$254.7Most Versatile
IPELY Wool Polishing Pad$144.3Best Polishing Kit
TCP Global 8” Wool Buffing Pad$374.0Also Consider

*Because cost data fluctuates, the prices in the table above are approximate values that our team regularly updates.

Buffing Pads Ratings: Our Testing Process

After looking at factors such as included items, sizes, customer ratings, and prices, our product testing team ordered the buffing pads that best met these standards. A team member tested each product on a car, taking note of how well the buffing pad cleaned the affected area, how thorough the cleaning process was with the included items, and how durable the buffing pads were. Each buffing pad was given a rating out of 5.0 stars based on these criteria.

Learn more about how we tested buffing pads here.

1. Chemical Guys Everything Kit: Best Buffing Pads

The Chemical Guys BUF_HEX_Kits_8P.

  • Cost: $70
  • Amazon review score: 4.8 out of 5.0 based on around 2,500 ratings
  • What’s in the box: Seven different buffing pads and one 16.0-ounce bottle of polishing pad cleaner
  • Material(s): Sponge
  • Eight-item buffing kit

Chemical Guys Everything Kit Review

The Chemical Guys Everything Kit is an eight-item buffing kit that will fully prepare you to buff and polish your car. This kit consists of seven different types of buffing pads, including a heavy cutting pad (yellow), a medium-heavy cutting pad (orange), a heavy polishing pad (green), a light-medium polishing pad (white), a light polishing/finishing pad (blue), a finishing pad (black), and an ultra-light finishing pad (red).

You can see how the Chemical Guys Everything Kit performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Quality5.0
Versatility5.0
Durability5.0
Overall Rating5.0

All of the buffing, cutting, and polishing pads listed above feature Chemical Guys’ Hex-Logic engineering, which means the pads are designed to maximize surface contact area. Additionally, all of the pads included in this kit are compatible with any 5.0-inch dual-action rotaries or large-throw orbital machine backing plates. Besides the seven different types of pads, this kit also includes Chemical Guys’ Polishing Pad Cleaner to keep your pads in tip-top condition. Below are the pros and cons of the Chemical Guys Everything Kit:

Pros Seven different buffing pads Includes everything for the buffing process Buffing pad cleaner included
Cons Expensive

Chemical Guys Everything Kit: Our Experience

In our experience, the Chemical Guys Everything Kit is the best kit on the market for automotive buffing and clear coat paint correction.

Quality: All of the pads included in this kit were extremely high-quality. Even after we finished buffing and polishing our testing vehicle, these pads seemed to be in superior condition to any other that we used.

Versatility: This buffing pad kit was one of the most versatile that we researched or tested. With seven different pads to choose from, our review team was able to do everything professional detailers would be able to do – from removing severe scratches and oxidation to spreading glazes and sealant across a sensitive paint finish.

Durability: Even after we had fully buffed out our testing vehicle’s bonnet and utilized the kit’s foam polishing pads, all of the pads in the kit seemed to be in surprisingly good condition. Furthermore, the inclusion of pad cleaner ensures you can continue your car care longer than if you didn’t have pad cleaner.

A car getting polished using the Chemical Guys BUF_HEX_Kits_8P.

Chemical Guys Everything Kit: What Customers Are Saying

Many reviewers speak about how easy this kit is to use due to the color coordination of pads to do different stages in the buffing process. Several customers even claim that this is the best buffing pad kit they’ve ever used.

2. Chemical Guys Sampler Kit: Runner-Up

The Chemical Guys HEX_3Kit_5.

  • Cost: $28
  • Amazon review score: 4.7 out of 5.0 based on over 7,000 ratings
  • What’s in the box: Three sponge buffing pads and one 16.0-oz. bottle of polishing pad cleaner
  • Material(s): Sponge
  • Medium-heavy, light-medium, and finishing buffing pads

Chemical Guys Sampler Kit Review

Engineered and developed for detailing professionals, the Chemical Guys Sampler Kit further backs the idea that Chemical Guys offers some of the best car detailing products on the market. Similar to the other Chemical Guys buffing pad kit featured in this article, this kit features Chemical Guys’ Hex-Logic engineering, which allows the pads to apply buffing compound evenly to different surfaces.

You can see how the Chemical Guys Sampler Kit performed in each of our testing categories below: 

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Quality5.0
Versatility4.5
Durability5.0
Overall Rating4.8

All three pads – the medium-heavy cutting pad (orange), the light-medium polishing pad (white), and the finishing pad (black) – are compatible with large-throw orbital machine backing plates and any dual-action rotaries. A hook-and-loop interface makes pad installation a breeze, while Chemical Guys’ Polishing Pad Cleaner allows you to clean and maintain your foam pads. Below are the pros and cons of the Chemical Guys Sampler Kit:

Pros Three different buffing pads Hook and loop attachment Compatible with large-throw backing plates
Cons Less complete buffing kit

Chemical Guys Sampler Kit: Our Experience

The Chemical Guys Sampler Kit is perfect for those who don’t want a full buffing kit, but rather a small kit that will accomplish the task at hand without requiring an exorbitant number of bits and bobs.

Quality: This kit is of the same quality as the other Chemical Guys buffing kit included in this article, but simply isn’t as comprehensive. Our review team wants to make it clear that customers won’t receive a dip in quality for choosing this smaller buffing kit compared to the full Chemical Guys buffing kit.

Versatility: This buffing kit is certainly versatile, and the pads included will undoubtedly allow you to fully and effectively complete the buffing process. The only reason this kit doesn’t have a perfect score for this testing category is because there are a few more comprehensive options available.

Durability: Similarly to the eight-pack kit from Chemical Guys, we experienced no issues with durability during our testing process. Although this is a slightly smaller kit from Chemical Guys – seven pads versus three – both kits include pad cleaner to allow you to reuse your compounding pads.

A car being polished using Chemical Guys HEX_3Kit_5.

Chemical Guys Sampler Kit: What Customers Are Saying

Customers rave over the quality of the pads. A huge number of reviewers mention the effectiveness of the pad cleaner and how much longer their buffing pads last because of it. One reviewer notes that he successfully did paint correction for the first time on his truck using this kit.

3. Autolock 6” Buffing Pads: Most Versatile

The Autolock 6” Buffing Pads.

  • Cost: $25
  • Amazon review score: 4.6 out of 5.0 based on over 1,500 ratings
  • What’s in the box: Five sponge buffing pads and one wool buffing pad
  • Material(s): Sponge and wool
  • Includes buffing pads for the entire buffing process

Autolock 6” Buffing Pads Review

The Autolock 6” Buffing Pads are a set of six high-quality buffing pads, five of which are made from foam and one of which is made from wool. The five foam pads are lightweight and made of durable open-cell foam, which improves airflow and brings out the highest level of shine. Included pads in this kit are the heavy-cut pad (orange), two medium-cut pads (yellow and blue), a fine-cut pad (white), a finishing pad (black), and a woolen polishing pad.

You can see how the Autolock 6” Buffing Pads performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Quality4.5
Versatility5.0
Durability4.5
Overall Rating4.7

The pads included in this buffing kit feature a special design where the front and back of the pad are two different sizes, specifically a 6.5-in. diameter on the front and a 6.0-in. diameter on the back. This design reduces the abrasion of the pad, backing plate, and paint surface. All of the pads in this kit are compatible with any car polishers and machine polishing devices, like a dual-action polisher or a rotary polisher for example. Below are the pros and cons of the Autolock 6” Buffing Pads:

Pros Compatible with all polishing devices Includes all essential buffing pads
Cons Buffing pads need to be air-dried

Autolock 6” Buffing Pads: Our Experience

Our review team found the Autolock 6” Buffing Pads to be the Most Versatile buffing pads kit on the market for its inclusion of every type of buffing pad you’ll need to buff your car out like a pro.

Quality: This buffing pad kit has some of the highest quality pads that we tested, second only to Chemical Guys buffing pads. We don’t think you’ll have any complaints about the quality and effectiveness of these buffing pads.

Versatility: Versatility is what ultimately sets this buffing pad kit apart from its competitors. From heavy-cut to fine-cut pads, this kit includes everything you could possibly need for buffing and polishing a car. The kit even includes a finishing pad and a woolen polishing pad.

Durability: While we had little to no concerns about durability during and after the testing process, these pads were just shy of obtaining a perfect score for this testing category. The inclusion of buffing pad-specific cleaner is the only reason why these buffing pads don’t have a 5-star durability score. These pads are machine washable but should be air-dried.

A car being polished using Autolock 6” Buffing Pads.

Autolock 6” Buffing Pads: What Customers Are Saying

Many note that this kit is equally effective for both polishing and buffing, due to the wide variety of pads included in the kit. One reviewer states he successfully compounded the roof of his 2007 Toyota FJ with this kit. Negative reviews state that there’s no difference in grit between pads, although we didn’t find this to be true during our testing process.

4. IPELY Wool Polishing Pad: Best Polishing Kit

The IPELY Wool Polishing Pad.

  • Cost: $14
  • Amazon review score: 4.4 out of 5.0 based on over 4,200 ratings
  • What’s in the box: Four wool buffing pads, M14 drill adapter, and one adhesive backing pad.
  • Material(s): Wool
  • Washable and reusable

IPELY Wool Polishing Pad Review

Not solely purposed for automotive use and car detailing, the IPELY Wool Polishing Pad is great for buffing shower glass and granite countertops amongst other surfaces in your home. This polishing pad kit includes four wool pads, an adhesive backer plate, and an M14 drill adapter. The M14 drill adapter allows you to attach IPELY’s polishing pads to a cordless drill, angle grinder, power buffer, and polisher.

You can see how the IPELY Wool Polishing Pad performed in each of our testing categories below: 

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Quality5.0
Versatility3.5
Durability4.5
Overall Rating4.3

The pads themselves are woolen sponge pads, which makes them incredibly soft so you don’t need to worry about scratching your car’s paint. A hook and loop backing design makes mounting and removing the polishing pads a breeze, while the pad itself can be washed and reused after polishing. It should be noted that the maximum revolutions per minute this buffing pad can withstand is 8,500 RPM. Below are the pros and cons of the IPELY Wool Polishing Pad:

Pros M14 drill adapter Adhesive plate included Hook and loop backing design
Cons Only applicable for polishing

IPELY Wool Polishing Pad: Our Experience

The IPELY Wool Polishing Pad is the Best Polishing Kit on the market for its inclusion of multiple polishing pads and the material makeup of the pads themselves.

Quality: The quality of the polishing pads included in this kit were unmatched. Comparable to the other polishing pad kit in this review, this kit is lightyears ahead of the competition. Other polishing pads leave residue or bits of fiber behind, whereas these polishing pads didn’t leave behind a trace.

Versatility: As this is a polishing pad-specific kit, it won’t be very versatile. Polishing takes place at the very end of the buffing process, meaning these pads are only useful for a small portion of said process.

Durability: By design, polishing pads will be less durable than buffing pads. Buffing pads are meant to be rough and abrasive, to an extent, while polishing pads are all about softness and light touches. We experienced some loss of wool fibers throughout our testing process.

A car being polished using IPELY Wool Polishing Pad.

IPELY Wool Polishing Pad: What Customers Are Saying

Many reviewers speak to the quality of the pads and their thickness. Several customers note that machine washing the pads was more beneficial than hand washing them. Reviewers with negative feedback commented that they expected the pads to be thicker than they were.

5. TCP Global 8” Wool Buffing Pad: Also Consider

The TCP Global 8” Wool Buffing Pad.

  • Cost: $37
  • Amazon review score: 4.5 out of 5.0 based on around 2,000 ratings
  • What’s in the box: Three wool buffing pads
  • Material(s): Wool
  • Reinforced plastic backing

TCP Global 8” Wool Buffing Pad Review

The TCP Global 8” Wool Buffing Pad is a pad designed for cutting, buffing, and polishing with compounds, glazes, and polishes. The pad wraps around the edges of the backing plate to provide the largest possible contact area and to reduce the likelihood of cutting or scratching your car’s paint in concave areas. It should be noted that the pad contains a grip attachment for hook and loop backing plates, but the backing plate itself is sold separately.

You can see how the TCP Global 8” Wool Buffing Pad performed in each of our testing categories below: 

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Quality4.5
Versatility3.5
Durability4.0
Overall Rating4.0

The inside edges of this buffing pad feature curved and reinforced plastic backing for smoother polishing and an extended pad life. Even if one of your polishing pads is coming to the end of its life, this kit consists of three pads so you’ll have two more to use as spares. Additionally, this buffing pad comes with an M14 drill adapter to allow you to attach the pad to a cordless drill, angle grinder, power buffer, or polisher. Below are the pros and cons of the TCP Global 8” Wool Buffing Pad:

Pros Reinforced edges Grip attachment Drill adapter
Cons Only applicable for polishing Less durability

TCP Global 8” Wool Buffing Pad: Our Experience

In our experience, the TCP Global 8” Wool Buffing Pad is absolutely worth considering if you need a new buffing or polishing kit.

Quality: All of the pads included in this kit were quite high-quality. The reinforced edges and the fact that the edges of the pad are covered means that this kit is already a step above the competition.

Versatility: All of the pads included in this kit are woolen polishing pads, meaning you can only effectively accomplish the polishing part of the buffing process. While this pad is great for polishing, it’s not the best for cutting or buffing.

Durability: During our testing process, these pads left bits of fiber and remnants of the pad all over the exterior of our testing vehicle. This drew concerns from our review team about potential issues with durability.

A car being polished using TCP Global 8” Wool Buffing Pad.

TCP Global 8” Wool Buffing Pad Reviews: What Customers Are Saying

A huge number of reviewers speak to how much they appreciate the edges of the pad being covered, as it prevented them from scratching their car’s paint. Negative reviews state that the pad sheds material while you use it.

 


 

Buffing Pads Buying Guide

If you’ve purchased one of the best buffing pads on the market, then the only way you won’t see the results you want is from improper use of equipment. Below, our review team delves into pad speed, one of the largest determining factors for how well a buffing process will go. We also cover buffing pad care and how to get the most mileage out of your pads.

Buffing Pad Speed

With a list of buffing pads with varying compatibility on different machines or devices, it can be difficult to know how quickly your buffing pad should be spinning while in use. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect lower RPMs to mean less friction, which ultimately means less heat build-up.

Our review team found that the optimal RPM range for compounding is between 1750 to 2500 RPM. However, the optimal RPM range for finishing is between 1200 to 1750 RPM. We recommend making sure you use a drill, polisher, power buffer, or angle grinder that can support the following speed ranges for the most effective buffing job.

Buffing Pad Care

Buffing pads aren’t designed to be used once and then thrown away. Even if they were, it would be relatively expensive to do so. If your buffing pad comes with a dedicated pad cleaner, as Chemical Guys’ buffing pads do, then you simply need to follow the company’s instructions. If not, you may need to machine or hand wash your buffing pads.

If sticking your buffing pads in the washing machine doesn’t do the trick and hand washing leaves you with clumps of buffing compound, we recommend investing in Griot’s Garage Pad Conditioning Brush to work any leftover compound out of your buffing pads.

Compare Buffer Pads

Brand/ModelNumber of ItemsDiameter Size(s)Material
Chemical Guys Everything KitEight5.5 inchesSponge
Chemical Guys Sampler KitFour6.5 or 5.5 in.Sponge
Autolock 6” Buffing PadsSix6.0 in.Sponge and wool
IPELY Wool Polishing PadSix6.0 in.Wool
TCP Global 8” Wool Buffing PadThree8.0 in.Wool

 


 

Best Buffing Pads: Bottom Line

Buffing pads are an essential part of any auto detailer’s arsenal. For applying waxes, clear coats, buffing compounds, and more, the right buffing pad can make a huge difference. After testing the top options on the market, we found the top buffing pads in 2024 to be:

  1. Best Buffing Pads: Chemical Guys Everything Kit  
  2. Runner-Up: Chemical Guys Sampler Kit
  3. Most Versatile: Autolock 6” Buffing Pads
  4. Best Polishing Kit: IPELY Wool Polishing Pad
  5. Also Consider: TCP Global 8” Wool Buffing Pad

 


 

Buffing Pads: FAQ

Below are some common frequently asked questions about buffing pads: 

 


 

Full Buffing Pads Testing Methodology

A team member used each buffing pad with a cordless drill and an orbital polisher, specifically the TORQX Random Orbital Polisher. During the testing process, our review team took note of each buffing pad’s performance against the following criteria:

Quality

Arguably the most important characteristic of a buffing pad is its quality. The material makeup of the pad, whether the pad left scratches, and the effectiveness of the pad during the buffing process were all taken into consideration.

Versatility

One of the most important characteristics of a buffing pad is how much of the buffing process it can effectively work for. Kits with numerous different applicator pads for buffing, cutting, and polishing scored highest in this category.

Durability

Buffing pads are designed to be used more than once, but this isn’t always the case. Buffing pads that came with pad cleaner, are machine washable, or at the very least are reusable scored best in this testing category.

How We Score Products

Star ratings help us differentiate between the best products in all of our reviews. For the buffing pads in this article, we wanted to consider quality, versatility, and durability. To do so, we gave each buffing pad a numerical star rating based on our testing experience. The buffing pads in this review scored an average of 4.6 out of 5.0 stars.

  • 5.0 Stars: A 5.0-star rating is a high score for any product in our reviews. If the buffing pads in this article exceed our expectations when considering each testing criterion, you’ll see a 5.0-star score.
  • 4.0 Stars: A 4.0-star rating is an above-average rating. If the buffing pads we tested are still considered to be a great option but could have included more options to complete the buffing process, we’d give the product 4.0 stars for versatility.
  • 3.0 Stars: A 3.0-star rating is an average score. If we notice that there is a slight lack in durability, such as wool fibers coming off the buffing pads during the cleaning process, we would give an average rating of 3.0 stars.
  • 2.0 Stars: A 2.0-star rating is a below-average rating. If the buffing pads left streaking or excessive fibers on our vehicle after the buffing process was completed, we would likely give the buffing pads a 2.0-star rating.
  • 1.0 Star: A 1.0-star rating is a well below-average score. If the buffing pad is defective in some way and doesn’t stay on our car buffing machine during the testing process, you’ll see a 1.0-star rating.

Why Trust Motor1.com

Each year, we test over 350 auto products on vehicles and in our testing lab. Our team of product testers thoroughly researches top products, unboxes and puts our hands on each component, and tests the items on real vehicles before making recommendations to readers.

We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.

*Data accurate at time of publication. Products subject to availability.