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Best Car Buffers

Restore your car’s exterior with a car buffer that removes paint imperfections.
Written and Tested By:
Aidan Pounder
Written and Tested By: Aidan Pounder Writer – Motor1 Review Team

Aidan Pounder is a Motor1 product tester who has written reviews spanning from tonneau covers to rooftop cargo boxes. If he’s not burning through the clutch on his 2003 Ford Focus Zx3, you’ll find him keeping up with the latest happenings in the world of European football.

Last Updated 01/16/2024

Motor1 Reviews Team Take:

  • Our picks for best car buffers of 2024 include the DeWalt DWP849X, Avid Power AEP127, and Milwaukee M18.
  • A good car buffer should cost you around $100, but we feature options ranging from $40 all the way to $250.
  • For beginners, a cheap buffer will cover all the basic functionality you need, but for serious home mechanics, a more expensive option is a necessity.
Best Overall
DEWALT DWP849X Buffer/Polisher

A corded or cordless car buffer that gradually speeds up as needed.

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Best For Beginners
Avid Power AEP127 Polisher

A car buffer that tells you what speed to use for what imperfection.

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Easiest To Use
Milwaukee M18 Random Orbit Sander

A simple, lightweight, and versatile car buffer.

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Best Kit
Chemical Guys 503X TORQX Random Polisher Kit

A car buffer available in three different kit versions.

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Best Budget Buffer
Black & Decker WP900 6-Inch Random Orbit Waxer/Polisher

A high-performance car buffer that is also lightweight.

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If your car’s exterior is starting to show signs of age, it may be time to purchase a car buffer. The best car buffers restore your car’s paint job by smoothing out any surface imperfections and adding a layer of shine without having to strain your elbow working it in by hand.

A car buffer is an essential tool for automotive enthusiasts who want to keep their vehicles in gleaming condition. They can be used with a foam pad to apply polishing compounds, or they can be used for sanding. There are a number of options on the market, and the best car buffer for you depends on your vehicle type, budget, and level of expertise. This guide can get you started in your search for the perfect buffer for your car care toolkit.

Car Buffer Reviews

cropped view of car cleaner polishing headlamp with polish machine

For this review, our team thoroughly tested and evaluated each car buffer based on each item’s buffing speed, handling, and overall versatility. The scores in each category are compiled into a single overall rating that ranges from 1.0 to 5.0 stars.

Each car buffer’s ratings, including their scores in each review category, are highlighted below:

What Is The Best Car Buffer?

We named the DeWalt DWP849X, Avid Power AEP127, Milwaukee M18, Chemical Guys 503X TORQX, and Black & Decker WP900 as the top car buffers on the market in 2024.

Brand/ModelCostOverall RatingAward
DeWalt DWP849X$2505.0Best Overall
Avid Power AEP127$804.7Best For Beginners
Milwaukee M18$1104.5Easiest To Use
Torq 503X TORQX$2004.3Best Kit
Black & Decker WP900$404.0Best Budget Buffer

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

Car Buffer Ratings: Our Testing Process

After looking at factors such as quality, durability, customer ratings, and prices, our product testing team ordered the car buffers that best met these standards. A team member tested each product on a 2003 Ford Focus Zx3, taking note of how well the car buffer could vary its speed, maneuverability, and versatility. Each car buffer was given a rating out of 5.0 stars based on these criteria.

Learn more about how we tested the best car buffers here.

1. DeWalt DWP849X: Best Car Buffer

DeWalt DWP849X Variable-Speed Polisher
  • Cost: $250
  • Amazon review score: 4.8 out of 5.0 (approx. 6,100 reviews)
  • Weight: 6.7 pounds
  • Speed range: 600 – 3,500 revolutions per minute (RPM) 
  • Warranty: Three years

DeWalt DWP849X Review

DeWalt is a trusted manufacturer of high-quality power tools, including the DeWalt DWP849X Buffer/Polisher, a variable-speed polisher. While it costs a couple hundred dollars, it’s built to last with its wool ingestion shield that prevents wool pads from getting stuck in the motor.

You can see how DeWalt DWP849X Buffer/Polisher performed in each of our testing categories below:

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

One notable unique feature of this heavy-duty tool is its soft start. Instead of immediately starting at a wild spin, it gradually works up to speed. Below are the pros and cons of the DeWalt DWP849X:

Pros Soft starting Precise speed control Durable
Cons Heavy

DeWalt DWP849X: Our Experience

The DeWalt DWP849X Buffer/Polisher buffed out scratches on our testing vehicle with ease and we really enjoyed working with it. This orbital polisher was incredibly maneuverable, easy to hold, and didn’t bother our team members when using it for extended periods. 

It offers plenty of power to work with and we especially appreciated the fact that variable speed settings are denoted in RPM rather than arbitrary speed rating numbers. Overall, this was the best car buffer that our team has researched or worked with.

DeWalt DWP849X Variable-Speed Polisher

DeWalt DWP849X: What Customers Are Saying

Customers like the speed control on this buffer. When turned on, it slowly works its way up to the desired speed so that you don’t buff too hard too quickly. Reviewers also like the convenient speed setting dial.

Negative comments refer to defective products. Some customers said that they received buffers that stopped working after a few months. However, this issue should be covered by DeWalt’s three-year warranty.

2. Avid Power AEP127 Polisher: Best Car Buffer For Beginners

Avid Power 6-Inch Dual Action Polisher
  • Cost: $80
  • Amazon review score: 4.5 out of 5.0 (approx. 6,500 reviews)
  • Weight: 6.8 lbs.
  • Speed Range: 1,500 – 6,800 RPM
  • Power source: Corded electric
  • Warranty: Six months

Avid Power AEP127 Polisher Review

The Avid Power car buffer is meant for beginners. It has a rubber body so that it doesn’t slip in your hands, and it comes with detailed instructions to help you determine which of the six speeds to use for the imperfection you’re trying to buff out.

You can see how Avid Power AEP127 Polisher performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Overall Rating4.7

This car buffer also comes with all the tools you need for application, including a foam disc, detachable handle, spanner, hex wrench, and foam pads. Below are the pros and cons of the Avid Power AEP127 Polisher:

Pros Includes many accessories Beginner-friendly Low cost
Cons Low-power motor

Avid Power AEP127 Polisher: Our Experience

The Avid Power AEP127 Polisher ships with many different accessories and buffing pads, making it a great choice for those new to buffing out scratches on their car. Additionally, this car buffer offers a higher speed setting than most of the other buffers in this review.

The results of this buffer on our vehicle were great, and with the variable speeds offered, we found it to be a good choice for newer auto enthusiasts looking to spruce up their car’s exterior.

Man polishing car with a polish machine

Avid Power AEP127 Polisher: What Customers Are Saying

Customers like this buffer’s affordability. They claim it is easy for beginners to use because it includes specific directions that tell you what speed to use for different surface imperfections.

There are some customer complaints that this buffer stops spinning if you put too much pressure on it.

3. Milwaukee M18 Random Orbit Sander: Best Cordless Car Buffer

Milwaukee M18 Random Orbit Sander
  • Cost: $110
  • Amazon review score: 4.7 out of 5.0 (approx. 2,800 reviews)
  • Weight: 2.0 lbs.
  • Speed range: 7,000 – 12,00 oscillations per minute (OPM)
  • Power source: Lithium-ion batteries
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Milwaukee M18 Random Orbit Sander Review

The Milwaukee M18 Random Orbit Sander is an incredibly maneuverable car buffer, as it’s cordless and weighs just 2.0 lbs. Although the Milwaukee M18 is a random orbit sander by name, it’s actually a palm sander, which is a smaller and more lightweight type of sander than a random orbital model.

You can see how the Milwaukee M18 Random Orbit Sander performed in each category below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Overall Rating4.5

While the Milwaukee M18 is small, it is powerful and has a wide range of control settings for its size. The buffer features a variable speed control dial that lets you choose from 6 different speed settings, ranging between 7,000 and 12,000 OPM. Below are the pros and cons of the Milwaukee M18 Random Orbit Sander:

Pros Can be used to polish, wax, and buff Lightweight Relatively quiet Includes lifetime warranty
Cons Heats up quickly Speed adjustment dial is poorly positioned

Milwaukee M18 Random Orbit Sander: Our Experience

The Milwaukee M18 Random Orbit Sander is the only fully cordless car buffer in this review and our team loved how effective it was. The fact that this car buffer is cordless makes life that much easier. There’s no worry about power sources or concerns about getting wrapped up in cabling, just pick this car buffer up and start buffing out scratches.

One downside is that we were disappointed in the speed dial positioning, as it made it awkward for us to switch speeds without turning the buffer off and on.

Man polishing car with a polish machine

Milwaukee M18 Random Orbit Sander: What Customers Are Saying

Customers praise the Milwaukee’s durability, claiming it is among the best car buffers for the price. Many also say it’s straightforward to use and wield. The vast majority of customers claim that they’re happy with their purchase.

4. Chemical Guys BUF503 TORQX Random Polisher Kit: Best Car Buffer Kit

Chemical Guys BUF_503X TORQX Kit
  • Cost: $200
  • Amazon review score: 4.6 out of 5.0 (approx. 9,900 reviews)
  • Weight: 6.5 lbs.
  • Speed range: 2,800 – 7,800 RPM
  • Power source: Corded electric
  • Warranty: One year
  • Kit Options: Car polisher only; with buffing pads and compounds; with buffing pads, compounds, cleaner, and conditioner; and with buffing pads, cleaner, conditioner, and towels

Chemical Guys BUF503 TORQX Random Polisher Kit Review

If your car has many deep scratches, the TORQX Random Polisher may be the best car polisher for you. Available as a standalone buffer or with three kit options, this is a high-speed buffer that offers up to 7,800 RPM, which is enough to buff out any minor imperfections.

You can see how the Chemical Guys BUF503 TORQX Random Polisher Kit performed in each category below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Overall Rating4.3

Because the TORQX Random Polisher is sold through Chemical Guys, the available kit options come with cleaning products from Chemical Guys, one of our absolute favorite cleaning brands. Below are the pros and cons of the Chemical Guys BUF503 TORQX Random Polisher Kit:

Pros High-speed polishing Several different kits available Easy to use
Cons Motor can stick with extensive use

Chemical Guys BUF503 TORQX Random Polisher Kit: Our Experience

Without needing to purchase anything separately, the Chemical Guys BUF503 TORQX Random Polisher Kit provides everything you need to start buffing and polishing your car. While requiring an electrical connection to power on, we found it to be less of a hassle in comparison to other buffers we tested.

With a lightweight and balanced ergonomic design (BED), our team members weren’t getting fatigued using this polisher even after several hours of use. While unable to reach exceptionally high speeds, this car buffer offers more than enough power.

Man polishing car with a polish machine

Chemical Guys BUF503 TORQX Random Polisher Kit: What Customers Are Saying

Customers say this product is user-friendly for drivers of all auto detailing backgrounds, especially if you watch the Chemical Guys’ instructional videos on YouTube.

Some customers say that this buffer works great initially but can suddenly break down. There are a few reports of the device making a popping noise and never working properly again. This appears to happen to few users, but if this occurs within the one-year warranty, you may be able to have your buffer replaced.

5. Black And Decker WP900: Best Budget Car Buffer

Black + Decker 5-Inch Random Orbital Sander
  • Cost: $40
  • Amazon review score: 4.4 out of 5.0 (approx. 10,000 reviews)
  • Weight: 5.3 lbs.
  • Speed range: 4,400 RPM
  • Power source: Corded Electric
  • Warranty: Two years

Black & Decker WP900 6-Inch Random Orbit Waxer/Polisher Review

The Black And Decker WP900 was designed with ergonomics in mind. It’s lightweight, which means you don’t have to worry about holding up a heavy machine. It also has two handles, allowing you to buff from all angles.

You can see how the Black And Decker WP900 6-Inch Random Orbit Waxer/Polisher performed in each category below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Overall Rating4.0

As with other tools on our list, this buffer is backed by a warranty. If it stops working within two years, you can contact the company for a replacement. In addition to the warranty, the Black and Decker buffer comes with a foam applicator and polishing bonnets. Below are the pros and cons of the Black And Decker WP900 6-Inch Random Orbit Waxer/Polisher:

Pros Can polish cars and boats Lightweight Two handles for added stability Inexpensive
Cons Difficult to remove and attach pads

Black And Decker WP900 Random Orbit Waxer/Polisher: Our Experience

Even though the Black and Decker WP900 6-inch Random Orbit Waxer/Polisher isn’t overly expensive, it’s certainly one of the best car buffers on the market. Featuring a lightweight and slim design, this car buffer is highly maneuverable.

Our only real issue with this car buffer is the fact that it features just one singular speed setting. This ultimately means it cannot perform each stage of the buffing process as well as a multi-speed car buffer could.

Man polishing car with a polish machine

Black And Decker WP900: What Customers Are Saying

Customers say this product is lightweight and quiet in comparison to other car buffers. They also like the two-handle design because it allows users to buff from different angles.

Some have complained that the buffer vibrates a lot during use and that it doesn’t perform well if you put product on the polishing pads.

Car Buffer Buying Guide

When buying a car buffer, there are several factors and features that car enthusiasts should consider.

Spin Type

There are two main types of spin on a car buffer: rotary and random orbital/dual-action.

  • Rotary polishers spin clockwise, which means they repeatedly buff the same area. This makes it easy to accidentally buff through the clear coat and paint, which is why this type is best for professional detailers.
  • Random Orbital/Dual-Action are the best type of car buffers for beginners. The pad rotates in a large circle, but it also oscillates in several smaller circles. This prevents you from working on one area for too long. While this type is easier to use than rotary buffers, it offers less power.


The greater the car buffer’s speed, the better it will be at targeting deep scratches. However, too much speed can lead to friction and heat. The happy medium is between 2,000 and 4,000 RPM.


You’ll have to lift up the car buffer in order to use it, which means you’ll want a machine that is lightweight and easy to maneuver.

Hand Control

Related to weight is how you will hold the buffer. The best type of handle is a dual one so you can hold the machine with both hands at once to give you the most control.

Compare Car Buffers

Brand/ModelSpeed RangePower SourceWeight
DeWalt DWP849X600 – 3,500 revolutions per minuteCorded Electric6.7 lbs.
Avid Power AEP1271,500 – 6,800 RPMCorded Electric6.8 lbs.
Milwaukee M187,000 – 12,000 RPMLithium Ion Batteries2.0 lbs.
Torq 503X TORQX2,800 – 7,800 RPMCorded Electric6.5 lbs.
Black & Decker WP9004,400 RPMCorded Electric or ‎Lithium Ion Batteries5.3 lbs.

Do You Need A Car Buffer?

You don’t have to buff your car. Most people don’t. However, if you want to preserve the appearance of your vehicle’s paint for as long as possible, you should clean and wax your car regularly. For auto enthusiasts who take pride in their vehicles, adding a fresh coat of wax can give your car that coveted “wet” look.

Even if you plan to buff your car, you can do this without purchasing a car buffer. Car wax can be applied by hand, but this takes a lot of labor. The time and effort you will save versus hand-buffing makes even a low-cost car buffer a worthwhile investment.

Mike Pennington, a car detailing expert and Director of Global Training, Event Marketing and Consumer Relations at Meguiar’s, recommends a dual-action polisher for those applying their own wax. Some polishers can even be used for minor paint restoration.

“The power of a DA polisher is a necessity for spreading wax – to save you time. If you get in a situation where you need a little restoration, our NT300 Dual-Action polisher is an 8mm stroke and bridges the gap between DIY and Pro. So [I recommend] a DA polisher and of course accessories [the pads that go with it].”

Given that a basic polishing tool can be purchased for under $50, we think that if you plan to wax your entire vehicle – even once – it is worth buying a car buffer.

Best Car Buffers And Polishers: Bottom Line

Our comprehensive review highlights the best car buffers available. The best car buffers restore your car’s paint by smoothing the exterior surface to remove signs of imperfection and aging while leaving behind a layer of shine. Car buffers should be strong and reliable, easy to use, and have good hand control to ensure you’re getting the best results.

Below, are our picks for the best car buffers on the market in 2024:

  1. DeWalt DWP849X Buffer/Polisher: Best Overall
  2. Avid Power AEP127 Polisher: Best for Beginners
  3. Milwaukee M18 Random Orbit Sander: Easiest to Use
  4. Torq 503X TORQX Random Polisher Kit: Best Kit
  5. Black & Decker WP900 6-Inch Random Orbit Waxer/Polisher: Best Budget Buffer

Car Buffers: FAQ

Below are some common frequently asked questions about car buffers:

What type of buffer is best for cars?

A portable, corded power polisher/buffer can be useful for paint correction or preserving a base coat. Most kits come with several attachments like polishing pads, microfiber towels, and other tools that latch onto the backing plate depending on the job.

What is the difference between a buffer and a polisher?

Buffing is a paint correction process that usually utilizes wax to smooth out a desired area of the vehicle. Polishing utilizes abrasive materials to level out flaws in a paint job.

Is buffing good for your car?

Buffing can be used to fix swirl marks in a paint job, reduce built-up oxidation on headlamps, or just restore shine to a car’s clear coat.

How do you use a car buffer?

DIY car buffing is possible and not too difficult for the layperson. You may want to read the instructions specific to the car buffer that you purchase, but the general steps entail:

  • Start by washing and drying your car to remove any debris from the surface that could be buffed into the paint job.
  • Move your car into a spot with direct light so that you can see the imperfections.
  • Apply polish or car wax directly to the pad.
  • Use light to moderate pressure and a wide sweeping motion to work the product into the car.
  • Once you have finished a section of your car, switch the pad out for a clean one and buff away the remaining polish.

Can I polish my car by hand?

Yes. You can polish your car by hand with just the polishing agent. However, your results won’t be as good because you won’t be able to maintain the same speed and pressure or be able to get out the stubborn scratches.

Can you use a buffer on your car’s windows?

Yes. Buffing your car windows will help remove light scratches and water spots. To protect your windows from these imperfections in the future, apply a layer of wax after buffing.

Full Car Buffer Testing Methodology

Below you’ll find our testing process to select the five best car buffers on the market. Speed, maneuverability, and versatility played the biggest role in scoring each car buffer differently.

Speed: We first noted the speed range of each car buffer, with those with larger speed ranges scoring the highest. We then went through the process of buffing out our test vehicle, seeing how well the various speed settings matched the buffing process.

Maneuverability: Somewhat related to whether each car buffer was corded or cordless, we judged how easy it was to maneuver around our test vehicle. Cordless car buffers that were lightweight and easy to carry scored best in this testing criterion.

Versatility: With each car buffer, we judged each stage of the buffing process noting how effective it was in each stage. Buffers that were not only a good value but also left great results and included the essentials to buff and shine our vehicle scored highest in this category.

How We Score Products

Among all the car buffers in this review, we calculated an average of 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. Based on this, and by looking at our scoring criteria below, all car buffers in this review scored above average when considering speed, maneuverability, and versatility.

  • 5.0 Stars: A 5.0-star rating means a car buffer is among the best in a category. If a car buffer exceeds our expectations in all aspects of our testing criteria, we give the car buffer the highest score in this review, putting it in our top position.
  • 4.0 Stars: A 4.0-star rating means a car buffer performs better than average in a category. If the buffer’s rotation speed is higher than others, while being easy to maneuver, you can expect to see an above-average score.
  • 3.0 Stars: A 3.0-star rating indicates what is average or typical for a car buffer, based on our testing experience. An average score means that speed, maneuvering, and versatility all met our expectations and the car buffer worked as we predicted.
  • 2.0 Stars: A 2.0-star rating indicates the car buffer performs adequately in a category, but is poorer than the average car buffer. For example, if the car buffer doesn’t leave good results on our testing car’s exterior, making it less effective, you’ll see a below-average score.
  • 1.0 Star: A 1.0-star rating indicates that the car buffer performs well below expectations in a category. An example of a below-average rating would be if we experienced a car buffer’s rotation speed working inconsistently or not working at all throughout our testing process.

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.