Best Overall
DEWALT DWP849X Buffer/Polisher

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

Check Price
Best For Beginners
Avid Power AEP127 Polisher

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

Check Price
Easiest To Use
Milwaukee M18 Random Orbit Sander

A simple, lightweight, and versatile car buffer.

Check Price
Best Kit
Torq 503X TORQX Random Polisher Kit

A car buffer that can be purchased by itself or in three kit versions.

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

A high-performance car buffer that is also lightweight.

Check Price

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 help restore your car’s paint job by smoothing out any surface imperfections and adding a layer of shine.

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 depends on how you plan to use it. This guide can get you started in your search for the perfect buffer for your car care toolkit.

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 a low-cost car buffer a worthwhile investment, even if you only plan to wax your car once.

#1 Best Overall: DeWalt DWP849X Buffer/Polisher

Pros Soft starting Precise speed control Durable
Cons Heavy

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 was built to last with its wool ingestion shield that prevents wool pads from getting stuck in the motor.

Another 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. This helps to better control the buffer while in use.

Key Features

  • Cost: Around $250
  • Weight: 6.7 pounds
  • Speed range: 600 – 3,500 revolutions per minute (RPM)
  • Corded or cordless options
  • 12.0-amp motor
  • 120.0 volts
  • Speed dial
  • Wool ingestion shield
  • Rubber handle for improved grip
  • Three-year warranty

Our Experience

The DeWalt DWP849X Buffer/Polisher buffed out scratches on our testing vehicle with ease.

Overall Rating5 out of 5

We really enjoyed working with the DeWalt car buffer. This orbital polisher was incredibly maneuverable, easy to hold, and didn’t bother our review team members when using it for extended periods of time. 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.

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.8 out of 5 based on over 5,300 ratings

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 Best For Beginners: Avid Power AEP127 Polisher

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

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.

This car buffer also comes with all of the tools you need for application, including a foam disc, detachable handle, spanner, hex wrench, and foam pads.

Key Features

  • Cost: $80
  • Weight: 6.8 pounds
  • Speed Range: 1,500 – 6,800 RPM
  • Dual-action
  • 5.0-amp motor
  • 120.0 volts
  • Six-speed control dial
  • Rubberized body for no-slip control
  • Six-month warranty

Our Experience

The Avid Power AEP127 Polisher ships with a number of different accessories and buffing pads, making it a great choice for those new to buffing out scratches on their car.

Overall Rating4.7 out of 5

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.5 out of 5 based on over 6,300 ratings

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 Easiest To Use: 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

The Milwaukee M18 Random Orbit Sander is an incredibly maneuverable car buffer, as it’s cordless and weighs just 2.0 lbs. This buffer features a variable speed control dial that lets you choose from six different speed settings, ranging between 7,000 and 12,000 OPM. This ultimately means users are in more control over orbit speed and can more accurately match speed to their application.

Although the Milwaukee M18 is considered a random orbit sander by name, it’s actually a palm sander. This is due to the fact that by definition, a palm sander is smaller and more lightweight than a random orbital sander – which tend to be much larger tools. This battery-powered portable power sander may be small, but it’s surprisingly powerful and effective.

Key Features

  • Cost: Around $90
  • Weight: 2.0 pounds
  • Speed range: 7,000 – 12,00 RPM
  • Lifetime warranty

Our Experience

This car buffer is the only fully cordless car buffer in this review and our team loved how effective it was.

Overall Rating4.5 out of 5

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.

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.7 out of 5 based on over 2,300 ratings

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 Best Kit: Torq 503X TORQX Random Polisher Kit

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

This car buffer is manufactured by Torq but sold through Chemical Guys. You can purchase the buffer by itself or in three kits that all have different car detailing products from the Chemical Guys company. Kit options include:

  • Car polisher only
  • Polisher with buffing pads and compounds
  • Polisher with buffing pads, compounds, cleaner, and conditioner
  • Polisher with buffing pads, cleaner, conditioner, and towels

If your car has many deep scratches, this may be the best car polisher for you. This is a high-speed buffer that offers an RPM speed of up to 7,800, which is enough to buff out any imperfections capable of buffing.

Key Features

  • Cost: Around $180
  • Weight: 6.5 pounds
  • Speed range: 2,800 – 7,800 RPM
  • Several kit options
  • Random orbital polisher
  • 120.0 volts
  • One-year warranty

Our Experience

Without needing to purchase anything separately, the Torq 503X TORQX Random Polisher Kit provides everything you need to start buffing and polishing your car.

Overall Rating4.3 out of 5

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

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.7 out of 5 based on over 8,200 ratings

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 a very small number of users, but if this occurs within the one-year warranty, you may be able to have your buffer replaced.

#5 Best Budget Buffer: Black & 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

This car buffer 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.

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 & Decker buffer comes with a foam applicator and polishing bonnets.

Key Features

  • Cost: Around $42
  • Weight: 5.3 pounds
  • Speed range: 4,400 RPM
  • Random orbital buffer
  • 120.0 volts
  • Two-handle design
  • Two-year warranty

Our Experience

Even though the Black & Decker WP900 6-Inch Random Orbit Waxer/Polisher isn’t overly expensive, it’s certainly one of the best car buffers on the market.

Overall Rating4 out of 5

Featuring a lightweight and slim design, this car buffer is highly maneuverable. However, with only a single speed setting we weren’t able to effectively complete each stage of the buffing process.

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon Review Score: 4.4 out of 5 based on over 9,400 ratings

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.

Buyers Guide: Best Car Buffer

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 in a clockwise direction, 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 that you can hold the machine with both hands at once to give you the most control.

Our Review Standards

The car buffers in this article went through two rounds of reviews. We started by searching retailers like Amazon, RealTruck, and Advance Auto Parts for top products, looking at factors such as quality, durability, customer ratings, and prices.

Our product testing team then 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, its maneuverability, and its versatility. Each car buffer was given a rating out of 5 stars based on these criteria.

Why You Can Trust Us

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.

Car Buffer: FAQ

*Data accurate at time of publication.