5 Best Rotary Polisher Reviews

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Table of Contents Why use a Rotary Polisher?Faster ResultsRotary Buffer Friction AdvantageA Word Of Warning!TOP Rotary Polisher TIPDEWALT Buffer/Polisher Variable SpeedTOP Rotary Polisher TIPSPTA Mini Rotary PolisherShurhold 3400 Professional Grade Rotary PolisherTOP Detailing TIPRupes Big Foot Rotary PolisherBlack And Decker 6 inch Random Orbital Rotary PolisherConclusion

Why use a Rotary Polisher?

Many people think polishing and waxing your car with a Rotary Polisher is to speed the process up, but there are some other significant advantages of using these superb machines. Read on to find out.

Faster Results

Rotary polishers have often been reffered to as “High Speed” polishers over the years as many of those early machines ran at 3000 rpm or above.

However, these days many of the latest machines now run at a significantly lower rpm with speeds in the 600-1000 prm range often producing the best results.

But what ever speed they run at time and energy is saved ample portions compared to using a wax applicator pad or microfiber cloth and your elbow grease!

Professional detailers are also able to make much better use of their time when using a Rotary Polisher and it can often mean finishing another car in day compared to hand application.

Rotary Buffer Friction Advantage

A hidden benefit of the Rotary Polisher is the production of friction created by the rotation of the disc contacting the car bodywork. Even at lower speeds this can be significant enough to generate heat, which if applied to the same spot for a longer duration can cause damage to the paintwork.

But there is an advantage of this heat production. Its termed as “Burnishing” and can lead to a higher gloss finish than can be achieved through hand applications. This a major advantage of Rotary Polishers that many detailers are unaware of.

Burnishing means the paint softens slightly due to the frictional heat. This softening can help iron out any surface imperfections such as finline scratches and slight swirls, which would take a few applications to eliminate by hand.

A Word Of Warning!

A word of warning though, do not leave the rotary polisher on the same point for too long as this will change “Burnishing” to “Burning” which can cause irrepairable damage to the paint coat due to over application of heat!

NB. The most likely time that “Burning” will take place is when the Rotary Polisher remains for a longer time on edges and peaks of panels. Therefore particular attention must be observed when polishing these areas.

TOP Rotary Polisher TIP

It can be useful to take a trip to the breakers yard to obtain a few old car panels to practice “Burnishing” before you actually get onto your own vehicle, This will reduce the risk of making a mistake on your own car.

Rotary Polisher in action on blue car hood

So now you know the advantages of the Rotary Polisher lets take a look at our first machine.

DEWALT Buffer/Polisher Variable Speed

Rotary Polisher by De Walt

Overall first impression

This is solid strong machine that certainly can deliver performance and durability to any busy car detailer.

Comfortable to control with ample power  on tap if needed  for the touhger jobs, giving this rotary polisher the edge over many in the market.

From the very reputable DeWalt company you get a feeling of strength and quality as soon as you pick it up. A solid start.

Rotary Polisher Features

The featured model is a 20 volt Corded rotary polisher but there is a cordless version available if that is you preference? Links to both are featured below, the cordless coming with a nice array of attachments and a storage bag.

The handle is interchangeable  with a top grip handle being supplied as you can see in the picture below. We really like this feature as a change of grip can seriously reduce fatigue.

Once switched on the slow start speed gives super control right from the start, enabling even the beginner to have complete confidence in its use.

Rotary Polisher showing a different handle

Model Spec

Size   4.45 x 8.98 x 21.73 inches

Weight  6.6 pounds

Voltage 120 volts

What we do like

The benefits of the 600 rpm slow start and the differing handles and grip positions are features we really like, along with the quality construction and 3 year warranty.

The full power of the machine to the full 3500 rpm max means it is able to handle any type of polishing or buffing task you may ask of it. It does the lot!

There are “Wool Ingestion” shields fitted to the machine. This shows that they have had problems with wool flying off the disk and affecting the motor. It is good to see them taking measures to prevent this re-occuring.

Picture showing differing handle positions for the rotary polisher

The key feaures of the slow start and the differing handles and grip positions are features we really like.

What we dont like

The only main drawback with this model in the size and weight. Size means it is more suited to polishing larger panels/vehicles. It would not be idea if your vehicle is smaller and has intricate areas to access. 

The weight can also be a factor with the model tipping the scales at 6.6 pounds it is advisable to find something of similar weight and hold it for 5-10 minutes. This will give you some idea of the weight and your suitability to hold it for a length of time.

TOP Rotary Polisher TIP

Ensure your pad is centrally located on the disc. If the pad is just slightly off centre then you could experience a alot of vibration and wobble. This will lead to uneven polishing, your arms tiring through the discomfort and a sub standard result.

To ensure central location is achieved place a microfiber cloth on the hood of the car. Place your pad on the cloth and precisely place the backing plate in the centre of the pad. Next test it off the car bodywork to ensure it spins central and there is no wobble or misalignment

SPTA Mini Rotary Polisher

Rotary Ploisher SPTA mini model and all the rest of the kit

Overall First Impression

If the bulky proportions of our earlier featured model are a problem then you surely wont be experiencing that here!

This light weight, super easy to use rotary polisher complete with a kit of easy changeable back plates and polishing discs represents great value to any detailer.

Adaptability is a key feature of this product. With three easily interchangeable extension shafts in varying lengths and eight different polishing pads there are not many areas that cannot be easily accessed with this versatile rotary polisher.

We think this is ideally suited to vehicles with small, intricate panels with contours and could be ideal for motorcyles.

Also it is a great companion for a larger rotary ploisher and can be used for the smaller areas such as door pillars and tricky edges.

Rotary Polisher Features

This featured model is the SPTA mini polisher that has six speeds that are easily controlled with the control dial. A special heat dissapater that significantly reduces heat build up.

Three changable back plates of 1-3 inch diameter are included. These enable pad sizes to be easily changed to suit the working area.

Tipping the scales a just four pound this versatile machine can eaily be operated single handed for hours at a time.

Rotary Polisher SPTS showing the different back plate sizes

Model Spec

Package dimensions:   11.41 inches

Weight:    2kg weight

Grip:   Ergonomic design

What we do like

This machine offers much more variations than most all the others we checked out. Six easily changed variable speeds, three shaft lenghts and eight pad selections puts it miles in front of many rotary polishers in terms of value.

Lighweight but powerful this pocket rocket of a rotary polisher deserves a place in any detailers kit.

Showing how adaptable the polisher is in getting into tight spaces

What we don’t like

The on off switch is definitely of a lower quality than the rest of the machine. It is also not in the easiest position to operate, which is a shame as the overall feel is good but this lets it down a notch in our estimation.

Finally, the pads that are supplied are not the best you can get. Therefore, do not expect them to last as long as other superior pads.

TOP Rotary Polisher TIP

At all times during the operation of a rotary polisher you should aim to keep the machine exactly level to the suface. Any variation to the extent that the edge of the pad or worse still the back plate happens to contact the bodywork could be very costly!

If the panel you are polishing is level then the polisher should be level. However, once you get to the point where the panel changes angle the you need to adjust the angle of the polisher to remain flat to the surface. 

Shurhold 3400 Professional Grade Rotary Polisher

Picture of Shurhold Rotary Polisher

Overall First Impression

Lest get one thing right from the start, this is a Professional tool. It is designed for power and speed. If you are looking for your first rotary polisher then we would advise that you should do the following.

Take our advice given earlier in this post and go to the breakers yard to obtain some old car panels to practice on. This tool is super powerful and will give a great finish but you must be used to the poser before you attempt any work on your own vehicle. 

The strength and power of this beast are the first striking features. But take a look at the three different grips, this is not seen with many polishers.

We have the D handle as shown above, the side handle shown in the attachments below. And finally the interesting “finger grooves in the head” of the machine to allow a hand held position without handles.

We consider this a real advantage over many other rotary polishers as this allows the operator a real feel doe the polishing action and a greater level of control to keep the pad flat to the panel.

Shurold Rotary Polisher showing all features and attachments

Model Spec

Weight         6.6 pounds

Dimensions   6.25 x 17 x 7.5 inches

What We Do Like

The sheer power and polishing capabilities are great features we admire with this machine,.

The three holding options are another feature worth noting as they offer more options to enable this big powerful machine to perform to its best.

The  Polisher is supplied in a smart, versatile work bag that also includes a new set of brushes for the electric motor. These are easily changed when needed and are a nice additional feature that we have seen with other similar products.

What We Dont Like

There are some reports of machines being supplied faulty, inparticualr with the gear box. But we have not heard of any recently, so hopefully the quality control has now solved this problem.

The only other bone of contention is the noise, as we have stated earlier this is a powerful machine and most powerful things are loud! This is no exception, we advice use of ear defenders if being used for a sustained length of time.

TOP Detailing TIP

Using the correct speed for the task you are carrying out is critical for great results when you are using a polisher. Here are ouor suggestions for speeds for car detailing tasks.

Low Speed for Waxing (400-1000 rpm)

Medium Speed for Polishing and Cleaning (1000- 2000 rpm)

High Speed for Paint Correction and Defects (2000-3500 rpm)

Rupes Big Foot Rotary Polisher

Overall First Impression

A seriously good rotary polisher with a serious price tag. But as the saying goes you get what you pay for!

This machine combines power with size to make it one of the best rotary polishers in its class. The “high torque” motor provides a superb level performance throughout the rev range, from 450 rpm to 1700 rpm there can been seen little change in results. Making this one of the most versatile machines on the market.

Rotary Polisher Features

The machine surface incorporates many ergonomic principles amking it simply a joy to hold. This feature is a major benefit of reducing fatigue. Therefore enabling better results over much longer periods of use

Electronic speed adustment allows for easy speed adjustment even when in use.

The 29.5 feet power cord allows for greater flexibility, enabling most all vehicles to be completes without having to unplug and move to another power source.

29.5 feet power cord of the rupes rotary polisher

Model Spec

Weight        8.58 pounds

Dimensions     21.5 x 7.5 x 6 inches

What we do like

The build quality is great and the poser is ample. Combine this with the freedom of the 29.5 foot power lead and you ca effortlessly polish a whole car to a high standard without and interuption.

A soft to the touch shock absorbing hand grip stops any vibration and adds to the ability to use this machine over extended periods.

Thres stage soft start ensures easy initial control and reduces risk of damage occuring in the start up phase.

What we Dont Like

This is totally personal but I dislike the colour scheme. When buying a high end item I do appreciate the higher build quality but do like a more appeasing colour design.

This weighs in at 8.58 pounds which is considerably more than some of the other rotary polishers we have featured here. However, many of the reviews comment on how light it feels to used!

This could be down to the super designed casing making it feel lighter, or is i the boring colour scheme? This could be the reason they have chosen those colours.

Black And Decker 6 inch Random Orbital Rotary Polisher

Overall First Impression

We wanted to give a good view of each segement of the Rotary Polisher market from the high performance pro range to the weekend/occasional detailer. 

Therefore, we have included this Black and Decker Orbital Polisher to ensure we give an option to the more amateur side of the market.

This well established brand has a superb reputation for quality power tools which shines through in this compact polisher.

It is light, quiet and a joy to hold and work with. Strong construction by an established power tool brand makes this a superb value tool for any car detailers kit.

Rotary Polisher Features

Small compact tool which takes up very little room.

Two handle grip ensures optimum control and stability

Lightweight and many people use this product as a massage machine for their tired legs muscles! So surprisingly you get two uses from it!

Model Spec

Weight    2.05 Pounds

Dimensions     13.75 x 6.25 x 8.63 inches

What We Do Like

We love the style of this models casing and feel as if it the optimal shape for a beginner to control the polisher.

The feather weight means it is effortless to use for long periods and easliy positioned to suit differing car panel contours.

Superb dual purpose in that it can double up as a muscle massage tool!!

What We Dont Like

No speed adjustment. This machine opperates at a constant 4,400 orbits per minute.


We jope you have enjoyed our revieews of what we judge to be the best Rotary Polishers on the market for car detailing.

From our research we to inform you of the whole range of polishers available from the professional to the DIY.

Investing in one of these will certainly make polishing and waxing your car more of a pleasure than a chore. You will save time and energy as we know from experience the task can start well but we often tire towards the end due to the physical strains of detailing by hand.

Using a polisher will cut your time in half at least. Therefore, ensuring you stay fresh and enthusiastic right through to the end. This will result in a more complete finish and you looking forward to the next time.