Rupes 5” Polisher
The Ferrari of orbital polishers and a Ferrari price tag along with it. Now, with that comparison you may figure it is too fancy for what you want to accomplish which is fine. However, I will say this: I have had mine for over 4 years and not ONCE has it given me any issues. I am very, very happy with it. It may have the Italian engineering like a Ferrari, but it is as reliable as Honda Civic.
Rupes 3” Polisher
Adding to that, this tool will allow you to get onto edges and corners that the 5” has trouble addressing. I use this one more when I am polishing a car compared to the 5”. I have also had mine for over 4 years, never had an issue.
Now, this one I have only listed here for that individual that wants to be very, very thorough.
This is a 1 - 2” polisher for very tight areas and stubborn scratches. Most people would not even know where you used this as they look at your polished vehicle, but for those that do this tool will set you apart. I invested in it for my business as I strive to provide the absolute best to my clients, regardless of whether or not they notice the finer details.
Entry Level Polisher
This is the Godfather of orbital polishers in my book: The Porter Cable.
Will it get the job done? Yes. Will it take longer using this compared to a Rupes? Yes. Can you get the same results? Generally, yes.
So why pay more for the Rupes? For me, it comes down to comfort and longevity. This little guy will vibrate your hands into submission, and they aren’t always the most reliable. That being said, if you are not planning on polishing all the cars on your block and just want something to address your personal vehicles, this is the guy for you.
5” Cutting Pad
These are the go-to for cutting through swirls and scratches on most paints. These are also the most aggressive. They have a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, it makes your cutting stage much more efficient and effective.
User discretion is advised. To learn more about these, YouTube “AMMO NYC paint correction Meguiar’s”
5” Polishing Pads
These you would use after cutting the paint to remove the haze that your compounding has left behind. These are very versatile, and every paint is different, so this is a good trait to have.
Again, if you would like to learn more, I highly suggest looking up AMMO NYC on YouTube and watching his paint correction videos to get the principles you need to get started.
A compound is designed to be used with a cutting pad in order to level the swirls and scratches you see in your paints surface. Once you get into polishing you will realize just how many different polishing liquids there are out there, and more are released each and every year.
For me, I like to follow the “Jack of all trades, master of none” mentality. What do I mean? Pick ONE compound and learn how to use it well. Really well. This will help you dial in a process that you can always come back to if a paint is reacting differently than you are used to. Want to learn more? You guessed it, AMMO NYC on YouTube.
A polish is designed to be used with a polishing pad in order to “jewel” and remove the “haze that you have created from using a cutting pad and compound.
Same principles apply here as were mentioned in the compound description. Pick ONE polish and get to know it in and out. Once you have accomplished this with both products, you can venture out and try new things. Larry at AMMO NYC on YouTube can tell you more.
This is a great paint cleaner to remove any and all residue allowing you to see the true condition of the paint.
Use this before you polish and after, especially if you plan on applying any kind of protection to the surfaces you just polished. Smells great and doubles as an excellent glass cleaner too.
Empty Polish Bottles
The bottles that the paint correcting liquids come in are designed to go on a shelf, not really the best for you to be using during a job. I use these to make it a bit easier to handle and ergonomic.
Label, label, label. You will notice that most liquids are the same color, so make sure you know which is which or else you may end up chasing your tail trying to polish the paint with a compound. (Don’t ask how I know).
If you are going to try to polish your car, even more important than the polish, the machine, the pad, the topper, etc. is the light you will use to be able to see what you are doing.
Scangrip is the well-known in the detailing community for good reason: their lights work. The different color temperatures their lights offer also allow you to adjust the lighting to the color of paint you are polishing. For example, the kind of light you need in order to see swirls in black paint is not the same as the kind you’d need to see swirls in white/gray paint.
These are expensive, but in addition to having a Bluetooth control feature, they are rechargeable and you’ll more than likely never have to buy another set.
Scangrip Wheel Stand
This is used when you are paint correcting a car and want the light from different angles and heights as you make your way around the vehicle.
This stand is well built and has multiple height options that will give you the diversity you need to see the defects you need to remove and get around the car with it safely and easily.