Random Orbital Buffer vs Dual Action Buffer vs Rotary Buffer Comparison

By | August 12, 2021

It can be a challenge to conclude the best machine polisher. We often get somewhat confused between the three different kinds of polishers available. How to decide whether to go for a random orbital buffer, a dual-action buffer, or a rotary buffer?

Well, perhaps our guide, which will give you an overview of all the three kinds of polisher, can be a good starting point.

Dual Action vs. Random Orbital Buffer

You must understand that both the dual action and the random orbital buffers are dual-action motorized buffing equipment that can be used to polish your car.

They are accompanied by a spinning motion of the head that buffers alongside the orbiting motion of the spindle. However, the phenomenon behind their action differs from one another.

Related Reading: Buffer vs Polisher Comparison

Random Orbital Buffer

The speed of the random orbital buffer can be counted in orbits per minute. The high-speed orbital motion will generate the momentum needed for its functioning. The machine, is hence, quite safe to use and recommended for beginners. Why is it called ‘Random’ orbital buffer? Well, the stroke length, the pad grip, and size, as well as the speed are quite random and their combinations can easily change the pattern of movement.

Some of the advantages associated with a random orbital buffer include:

  • Suitable for beginners- can be a good tool to start learning with
  • Ease of use- it is quite straightforward to handle
  • Affordable- you do not have to spend a fortune to get the basic random orbits

Every coin comes with two sides. Hence, as a con, we would say-

  • It is not as strong as a rotary buffer

Dual Action Buffer

It is often known as the Forced Rotation Dual Action Buffer. It mainly combines the rotary with the orbiting motions to come to one action. However, it is different in the sense that the forced rotation helps to drive both the rotating as well as the orbiting motions.

The forced rotation dual action orbital polisher produces a regular pattern. It is pretty simple to use but a little less safe than the random orbit buffer. Why is this? Well, there is the risk of heat building up quite quicker on such polishers.

Some of the advantages associated with a dual-action buffer include:

  • Much stronger than a random orbital buffer
  • Quite safe for beginners

As some disadvantages, we would say-

  • It comes with a fixed backing plater
  • The rotation is quite fixed and so are its polishing abilities

Dual Action vs. Random Orbital Buffer vs. Rotary Buffers

We already saw that dual action polishers can spin in two ways- the head spins in a circular motion on a spindle that spins in wider circles.

This creates a wobbly motion or oscillation, preventing the build-up of too much friction or head. But what does a rotary buffer do and why is it still considered by many?

Rotary Buffers

These kinds of machine polishers are pretty simple in their action- the head of the polisher works by spinning on a single axis in a specified circular motion. This in turn will lead to the building up of heat and friction.

This means, as a user, you can easily correct paints or engage in similar processes. They also help to get rid of marks in paintings that cannot be done by dual-action buffers.

Some of the advantages associated with a rotary buffer include:

  • The machine can ensure top-notch cuts and capabilities
  • It is the strongest kind of polisher when the 3 types of buffers are compared

As some disadvantages, we would say-

  • It might be quite complicated to use and hence, cannot be recommended for beginners
  • It can damage the surface of paints quite easily

Related Reading: Makita 9237CX3 Review

What Do We Choose?

Now that you are aware of the three kinds of buffers, their strengths, and their weaknesses, it is important to ask yourself which one suffices your needs the best. We have some recommendations of course. But before we go there, let’s review a little bit.

Both the dual action and the random orbital buffers come with comparable ease of use, availability, or the way they are engineered. Hence, when you are thinking of picking one of the two you mostly have to consider the factor of safety.

As for the case of a random orbital buffer, the spinning head ceases its function when excess pressure is applied to the surface and hence, excess friction can be prevented. This will benefit beginners and early learners from experiencing heating. Furthermore, you will not have to compromise with the job of polishing.

The dual action polisher can be a little less safe to use as they engage in a more aggressive polishing activity. The spinning head does not stop when it is pressed hard against a surface.

Let us think about the choice between the dual action polisher (including the random orbital buffer) and the rotary polisher.

You can go for the dual action polisher in the following cases:

  • You want to simply remove a few swirls and some ‘not too deep’ scratches from your paintwork
  • You want to maintain the paintwork regularly
  • You need ease of use.
  • You do not want to have additional stress about burning through the paint
  • You can go for the rotary polisher in the following cases:
  • There are quite some deep scratches or faults on your paintwork that you need to remove
  • You are not in a hurry about getting the functioning and working with the machine within your grip
  • You want to use it for professional purposes

Final Words

You are now well aware of the differences between all three kinds of buffers. They all come with some pros and some cons. You should take your moment and think about what you prioritize, how much time you have to put behind getting a grip on the machine, what will you use it for and how do you see yourself engaging with the machine in the future. In all cases, you should not compromise with safety and quality.