How to Polish a Car with an Orbital Buffer? – Step by Step

Do you think polishing a car takes up a lot of time and energy? Well, then, it might hold a chance that you’re not familiar with an orbital buffer. Do you know how to polish a car with an orbital buffer? No worries, this article will explain the entire procedure.

Orbital buffers are the game-changing tool for quickly polishing, buffing, or waxing a car. They work in a circular motion, cover a larger area, save your time, and give professional finishing. Orbital buffers are cheaper. So, affording this won’t be any hassle for most. But for the best outcome, you need to do the entire polishing step perfectly.

Can I polish a car with an orbital buffer?

Yes, you can polish your cars with an orbital buffer. Even the expert suggests an orbital buffer makes polishing much more accessible than other tools.

An orbital buffer lets you do three things with this one machine. You can polish, wax or buff your car surface with different pads adjusted with the tool. Moreover, the machine works in a two-way pattern. So, you can expect much quicker and expanded coverage on every surface. So, you can save both your time and energy with an orbital buffer.

Even in many ways, orbital buffers are better than polishers. Moreover, buffers are comparatively cheaper. With different kinds of pads, you can take this for multipurpose use.

Also, orbital buffers offer maximum safety with every use. So, you can expect swirl-free, burn-free, and scratch-free finishing on every surface.

How to polish a car with an orbital buffer – Step By Step

Polishing with an orbital buffer is super easy. First of all, you would need to collect some basic materials Here Let’s gives a check on them:

Tools & materials:

  • Orbital Buffer
  • Polishing pads
  • Waxing pads
  • Liquid Wax
  • Soap
  • Water
  • wax
  • Towel/ microfiber cloth

STEP 1: Clean the car surface:

First of all, you need to prepare the car’s surface. Take your favorite car soap, sponge, and water.

Mix the soap and water and spread it on the car’s surface. Take the sponge and wipe out all the existing specks of dirt here. This step is a car cleaning surface. Here you’ll take all the existing dirt out for swirl-free polishing.

Once you clean the car, don’t forget to let it dry before going for further steps. For a quick-rising process, you can take a cotton towel and clean the water. Let the car be in shadow for a few minutes. This will make the car entirely clean and ready for polishing.

STEP 2: Set the machine:

You’ll make the buffer ready for action in this step. You must set the power properly before going on any surface polishing.

If you’re not a professional, an orbital buffer will be your savior here. This buffer works in two-way rotation mode. So, you can get a scratch-free proper shinier surface. Also, with this tool, you don’t need to waste any time. Just set the power control before you place the tool on the car. Make sure you should be gentle here. Try to start from lower power to avoid any risks.

STEP 3: Adjust the polishing pads:

Now, you need to take the polishing pad and adjust it correctly with the buffer. Make sure you’ve selected the proper type of pad for reliable finishing. Once you’ve changed the pad, could you give it a quick check?

STEP 4: Apply car polish:

Here, you need to take several amounts of car polish on the adjusted pad. Try to take your favorite car polish over the middle of the pad. Avoid spreading the polish all over the pad. Else it might get messy while operating this. You should not turn the machine on before applying the car polish properly.

STEP 5: Start polishing your car:

Now, this is the time to turn your machine on. But make sure you first place the device properly on the targeted surface. Experts nuggets to take about 2.2 ft section each time of buffering. In this way, you’ll be more focused on turn mess-free finishing. Don’t rush here.

Once you place the tool properly, make sure you are keeping it moving all the time. Also, you should move it from the left to the right direction. You can slightly overlap the tool for consistent finishing. Always use the circular motion for consistent polishing. With the orbital buffer, you won’t lose much energy as it will cover each section quickly.

If your orbital buffer quality is average, you might need to give a second coat all over the car surface. In that case, add some extra coating for perfect polishing on your car.

STEP 6: Wipe out the excess polish:

Once you’re done with polishing, move with the wiping process. Take a microfiber cloth and wipe out excess polish from the car surface. Using any other type of cloth holds the possibility of getting scratches over your car.

STEP 7: Apply some wax: 

Now, you can apply some wax to get a proper finishing and reliable polish on the car surface. All you should do is, get a waxing pad, adjust it with the buffer, and spread the wax. This will be pretty much like polishing. The only difference would be the waxing pad and polish here.

But experts suggest this part to be the most important one. With waxing, you can lock the polish on your car for a longer time. Here, you’ll get more reliable finishing with every drive.

STEP 8: Give it a final check: 

Once you’re done with polishing and waxing, give it a last check by yourself. Make sure there are no existing specks of dirt/ debris/ swirls over the car surface. If you found any, just do the coating again as the mentioned procedure.

Orbital Buffer Appearance, Features & Functions

People often get confused with the orbital buffer function and appearances. Give a check here to understand clearly about orbital polisher:


Orbital buffers are similar to dual-action polishers in many ways. Both tools look the same, and both hold different types of design/ handle/ buttons. You can pick one according to your comfort level.

Most of the orbital polisher holds a 5/16″ diameter along with 24 threads and blacking plate screws. The dimension and weight will vary depending on the designs and brands. You can choose one in your budget.

Features & Functions:

Orbital buffers use various types of pads for every kind of work. Most of the orbital buffers offer pads included in their package. But you can also purchase the pads separately according to your need. But make sure you’re using high-quality pads as these will serve your expected result.

The pads are mostly made with 100% microfiber and foam. The vibratory motion of the tool will generate heat between the backing plate and pads for making it work on the targeted power level.

The backing plate of the orbital buffer spins at a different axis. However, you can control the pad and backing plate rotation too. So, there will not be any risk of swirl/ scratches on your car’s surface. The tool offers various power levels for multiple surfaces too.


  • While polishing the car, you should always start from the areas that are not highlighted. You can take a trunk for your first shot, and In this way, you’ll know if any mess is going to happen or not. If you find the perfect polishing there, go for other surfaces.
  • You should not take any pause while polishing any surface. This will create scratches over the car.
  • Please don’t start the buffer before placing it over the car surface.
  • Once you turn on the machine, give it a few seconds to set on the surface.
  • You should always be slow with polishing. No matter how high quality your tool is, any rush can create damage over your car’s surface.


Car polishing is a task of time and patience. But a good quality orbital buffer can make things much easier for you. This article has mentioned how to use an orbital buffer properly. If you’re a beginner and haven’t tried any polisher before, try to go step-wise.

Read here about Best Deep Scratch Remover for Cars

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