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We all love having new things. When it comes to automobiles, we generally love them most when they are new and shiny. And to keep your car, truck, or boat looking like new, you’ll need to make sure you give it a good buffing every now and then, for that polished shine.
But How Do You Choose The Best Buffing Pads For The Job?
Lucky for you, we have done the research, and have reviewed the best buffing pads currently on the market. So, let’s go through them and find the perfect buffing pad for you…
- Top 10 Best Buffing Pads To Buy In 2021 Reviews
- 1 Viking 862401 Microfiber 5Inch Applicator Pads (Pack Of 6)
- 2 TCP Global Ultimate 8Inch Buffing And Polishing Kit (Set Of 6 + 1 Threaded Grip)
- 3 Chemical Guys Hex Logic 5inch Medium-Heavy Cutting Pad
- 4 Car Foam Drill Polishing Pad Kit (Set Of 22)
- 5 Chemical Guys Hex Logic 5Inch Buffing Pad Kit (Set Of 7 + Cleaning Spray)
- 6 Soft Wool 7Inch Polisher/Buffer With Pad (Set Of 3 + Threaded Pad)
- 7 Porter-Cable 18007 Lambs Wool 6inch Polishing Pad
- 8 Griot’s Garage 10527 5.5Inch Red Foam Wax Pads (Set Of 3)
- 9 Meguiar’s G3508 DA Power Pads 4Inch Polishing Pads (Set Of 2)
- 10 Griot’s Garage 10426 6.5inch Micro Fiber Fast Finishing Pad
- Best Buffing Pad Buying Guide
- So, What Are The Best Buffing Pads?
Top 10 Best Buffing Pads To Buy In 2021 Reviews
1 Viking 862401 Microfiber 5Inch Applicator Pads (Pack Of 6)
The first entry on our list is made by Viking. Their microfiber applicator pads are perfect for use on anything from the family car to your racing boat. Because everything can look like new with the proper care.
Made from super-soft microfiber for a smooth finish…
These pads are perfect for interior and exterior buffing. They can evenly distribute a wide range of waxes, polish, protectants, and dressings. Not only that, but you can then toss them in the washing machine and reuse them.
Feel like Mr. Miyagi waxing by hand…
Unlike some other products listed further down this list, these buffing pads are for hand use. You won’t attach them to a machine, but rather use some elbow strength to buff out the shine.
- Made from microfiber.
- Diameter of 5 inches.
- Built for interior or exterior use.
- Machine washable and reusable.
- Not usable with buffing machines.
2 TCP Global Ultimate 8Inch Buffing And Polishing Kit (Set Of 6 + 1 Threaded Grip)
The next entry on our list of the best buffing pads is made by TCP Global. This is a complete set of everything that you’ll need to get the best shine possible. It might cost a bit more than some of the other entries on our list, but with so much included, we think it’s definitely worth it.
A pad for everything…
This kit includes pads to cut and buff anything as tough as oxidized automotive coatings, the hardest clear coats, or cold sanding scratches. There’s another to polish the finish for a new car shine.
Everyone loves waffles…
The pads are made of a durable open cell foam for better airflow between the pad and the surface. To reduce the amount of polished that is thrown from the pad, these are designed with a waffle form. It will better hold the polish.
The waffle foam also provides better contact with the surface while reducing heat build-up. This set includes five 8Inch cool running foam polishing pads and one 8Inch wool buffing pad. All pads attach via hook and loop to the ⅝Inch threaded grip backplate.
Color coded pads for easy identification…
Included are extra fine, fine, medium, coarse, and extra coarse waffle foam pads. The wool compounding pad is also coarse with a heavy cut. In fact, we can’t think of anything missing from the set, which makes it an excellent all in one solution.
- Includes six buffing pads.
- Diameter of 8 inches.
- Includes ⅝Inch threaded polisher back plate.
- There are better quality wool pads out there.
3 Chemical Guys Hex Logic 5inch Medium-Heavy Cutting Pad
The next entry on our list is perhaps the best all around pad for light to moderate imperfections. Made by Chemical Guys, the BUFX_1-2_HEX5 is a 5-inch medium-heavy cutting pad utilizing Hex-Logic.
What is Hex-Logic?
Using lasers, the surface of the pad is cut in a hexagon pattern. This firm, high-density foam pad, is excellent at removing scratches and other small defects. The pad is perfectly centered, flexible, and easy to wash and reuse.
Is it durable?
The pad is composed of Poly-Urethane-Reactive Bonding, known as PUR+, which is more durable but still gentle to paint. They will stand up to hundreds of washes and provides a superior finish. The hex pattern also does better at holding the polishing product within the hex-groves. This allows for a more even distribution of the product for a better finish.
- High-density 5-inch pad.
- Laser cut Hex-Logic surface.
- PUR+ durability and flexibility.
- Good for the price, but there are better quality options out there.
4 Car Foam Drill Polishing Pad Kit (Set Of 22)
Another kit on our list of the best buffing pads that seems to have it all is from Petutu. This set comes with a full set of 22 different pieces for a 3-inch buffing pad.
Sometimes smaller is better…
It is certainly a smaller diameter than those reviewed above at only three inches. This makes it a better option for those looking to take their time and pay extra attention to smaller details. The adhesive backing offers a quick change to get the work done in a timely manner.
What all is included in the kit?
Inside are 16 sponge polishing pads, two woolen buffer pads, two drill adapters, and two suction cups. The sponge polishing pads come in a range of grits with both a wave and a flat surface. You can choose exactly what you need at each step and be confident you’ll have another for the next.
We will note that these aren’t the most durable option on the market. You’ll need to take care, but if you do, you should be good to go.
- Small diameter is good for tight spaces.
- Highly versatile with so many pads.
- The hook and loop backing used is not the strongest.
5 Chemical Guys Hex Logic 5Inch Buffing Pad Kit (Set Of 7 + Cleaning Spray)
If you liked the idea of the Hex Logic buffing pad that we reviewed a couple of entries above, but want a larger kit, then look no further. Chemical Guys also makes their 5-inch Hex Logic buffing pad kit. Why just have the medium-heavy pad when you could have a complete set?
The same hexagon pattern with more grits to choose from…
Using the same laser cut surface, this set of pads will help you complete the hob from start to finish. Included are seven pads and one 16 ounce bottle of cleaner for your buffing pads. If you have a big job that needs a bit of everything, this kit has you covered.
What pads are included in the kit?
The pads are color coded so you can easily identify the included grits: Heavy Cutting Pad (yellow), Swirl and Scratch Remover Pad (orange), Heavy Polishing Pad (green), Perfect Surface Polishing Pad (white), Glaze and Light Cleaner Foam Pad (blue), Finishing Foam Pad (black), and Ultra-Fine Finishing Pad (red).
We really like the fact that these buffing pads work with all buffers and polishers, including well-known brands like Makita, DeWalt, Hitachi, etc. Though we should note that some users have had issues with the hook and loop backing not holding at higher RPMs.
- Seven high-density 5-inch pads.
- Laser cut Hex-Logic surface.
- PUR+ durability and flexibility.
- For some, it will be worth spending more on a similar, higher quality item.
6 Soft Wool 7Inch Polisher/Buffer With Pad (Set Of 3 + Threaded Pad)
This next entry on our list of the best buffing pads for cars or boats is a simple set of three wool covers. These fit perfectly on the included pad, for those that need to replace their broken or worn-out wool buffing pad.
Some of the cheapest wool buffing pads…
The polishing bonnets are made of synthetic wool and come with a female Velcro attachment. The 7-inch hook and loop buffing pad then fits a standard ⅝Inch 11 TPI thread. We like how universal this is, and that it will work with most sanders/buffers.
Cost effective, but are they worth it?
We think three wool covers, and a pad at this price point is one heck of a deal. But you do get what you pay for. We didn’t experience any issues but have heard from a number of users that the stitching isn’t the strongest. We would suggest only using these on surfaces without an edge that could snag.
- Includes three wool bonnets and one pad.
- Diameter of 7 inches.
- Makes a good replacement/backup kit.
- Stitching has been known to fail.
7 Porter-Cable 18007 Lambs Wool 6inch Polishing Pad
Porter-Cable is a well-known brand in the US that makes a wide range of power tools, and all fittings for them. This next entry is their 6-inch polishing pad. We’d note that compared to the item we’ve just reviewed, there is a big difference in a couple of factors with this buffing pad.
The quality is good, but is it worth it?
This buffing pad is constructed from actual lambswool. No synthetics, just the real deal. The pad will fit a variety of standard random orbit sanders, and you simply need to ensure you have a hook and loop pad to attach this to.
We think this wool polishing pad is miles better than the item above, but then it is also considerably more expensive. Especially when you notice that you only get a single pad rather than three.
Give your vehicle a professional shine…
Despite the higher price, we would highly recommend this pad. In fact, this likely is the best wool buffing pad we reviewed. You’ll have the best looking car in town, or boat in the marina once you give it some love with the soft lambswool.
- Made from real lambswool.
- Diameter of 7 inches.
- Hook and loop backing fits most random orbit sanders.
- Professional quality requires a higher price.
8 Griot’s Garage 10527 5.5Inch Red Foam Wax Pads (Set Of 3)
Our next entry keeps the quality high but cuts the price, comparatively, with our last review. The three 5.5 inch pads from Griot’s Garage make a great addition to your random orbital sander. They can also be used by hand for those sweet spots that need some personal attention.
Built to last…
Constructed using an open-cell foam for increased durability, these pads are less likely to tear during use. They are so tough, in fact, due to the thermoset bonding, that you can toss them in the washing machine. We really like that you can reuse them time and time again.
What sets them apart from competitors?
The design employs a reticulated foam interface. This cuts on heat buildup and allows for safer use. The chamfered edge allows for greater surface contact, helping you to get the job done quicker. Plus, the micro hook and loop system hold the pad in place more securely than on cheaper options.
We really like the precision that these pads offer. They offer an even application of waxes and sealants for a uniform color. We actually think these might be the best foam buffing pads that work on a wide range of power tools.
- Great surface contact.
- Diameter of 5.5 inches.
- Micro hook and loop backing.
- More expensive than some options out there.
9 Meguiar’s G3508 DA Power Pads 4Inch Polishing Pads (Set Of 2)
The penultimate item on our list of the best buffing pads for boats and cars is made by Meguiar’s. These 4-inch polishing pads are purpose-built for Meguiar’s DA Power System Tool G3500. So, if you’re running something else, ensure you have the correct connection.
If you need a less aggressive pad, take a closer look…
These pads are designed to remove fine swirls that often come out during the final finish. The smooth foam technology allows for a slick, and even application of your finishing product. This will give you a deep gloss, dark colors, and a big smile when you’re done.
What’s the advantage of a smaller diameter?
The 4-inch pad will mean that it will take longer to finish a big job. However, the smaller diameter also makes it easier to get those hard to reach spots. Similarly, it allows you to take greater care to small areas that need more attention.
- Includes two pads.
- Diameter of 4 inches.
- Designed to remove light swirls.
- Doesn’t work with many other brands of power tools.
10 Griot’s Garage 10426 6.5inch Micro Fiber Fast Finishing Pad
Wrapping up our list of the best buffing pads for automobiles is a second entry form Griot’s Garage. This 6.5Inch pad is similar to the red buffing pads reviewed above. However, this pad is both larger by an inch and has a slightly different end-use.
The last finishing layer should be applied with care…
It would be terrible to spend lots of time buffing out your sports car only to walk away before giving it that final touch. Luckily, this item is designed to ensure that you end with the best finish possible. The reticulated foam interface is similar to that of the last item from this manufacturer and helps the pad conform to body contours.
Durable and soft…
These pads use the same thermoset bonding, as mentioned above, which helps with durability. The surface is composed of heavy-grade nap microfiber. This amplifies the effectiveness of waxes, sealants, and polishes.
We think you’ll fall in love with your car, truck, boat, etc. just like you did when it was first brought it home. So, keep your things shining with this best microfiber buffing pad.
- Great surface contact.
- Diameter of 6.5 inches.
- Plush microfiber for the best finish.
- Not everyone prefers micro fiber buffing pads.
Best Buffing Pad Buying Guide
That completes our reviews of the best buffing pads, and you should have a clear understanding of various options available on the market. So, the only thing left to do is pick the one with the features that will best fit your application.
However, before you do that, this buying guide will detail some primary features to consider before making a purchase. But, before that, we need to address one final point…
Why Do You Need A Buffing Pad?
Buffing pads are excellent for removing minor imperfections in your vehicle’s paintwork. They save time, effort, and polish as they are purposefully designed for the purchase. So, it’s definitely worth upgrading from that spare towel you were maybe planning on using.
In addition to using less polish, wax, or sealant, buffing pads also provide a more even application. This can save a great deal of time, especially when using a machine to do most of the work for you.
What Are The Most Important Features Of Buffing Pads?
The first thing to consider is the type of paint your buffing out. We would recommend checking the manufacturer’s suggestions prior to purchase. The next thing you want to consider is the cut of the pad.
More Abrasive Pads Will Remove Deeper Scratches…
The aggressiveness or abrasive rating of a pad is also known as the cut. The softer cuts will take longer to remove deeper imperfections or scratches. But, softer cuts will also provide a smoother finish in the end. This is why many of the buffing kits reviewed above have an assortment of cuts to choose from.
The Material Of A Buffing Pad Can Tell You A Great Deal About Its’ Intended Purpose…
The primary materials for buffing pads are foam, wool, and microfiber. Within these, there will be various abrasion levels available for even more specialized jobs. In general, foam pads, like the hex cut options reviewed, provide a more even distribution of the wax, polish, or sealant.
A foam pad with minimal abrasion will be perfect for finishing. Similarly, microfiber makes a great pad for finishing. A stronger abrasion level or a wool pad will be better suited to compounding.
The Diameter Of The Buff Pad Can Affect The Outcome Of Your Finish.
Larger diameter buffing pads will get the whole job finished much more quickly. This may also help ensure you don’t get fed up and stop paying as much attention towards the end.
However, smaller pads may require more time, but they also have a couple of strengths. They also allow you to access tight spaces and curved areas more easily. They make the job take a little longer, but they generally provide a better finished product.
Are You Buffing By Hand Or Using A Machine?
Some of the above are the best hand use buffing pads. These will take a bit of elbow grease, but they offer the most gentle option for your paintwork. Other buffing pads can be attached to a standard random orbital sander. This will help you to get the job done much more quickly.
Other Useful Items
If you’re spending some time getting your car or boat looking like new again, then you may also be interested in our reviews of the Best Car Buffers Polishers, the Best Car Wash Mitts, the Best Aluminum Polish, the Best Chrome Polish, and the Best Metal Polishes currently available.