Can You Use a Random Orbital Sander for Car Polishing

Published on: June 15, 2022
Written by Eric Devin / Fact-checked by David Rowan

A portable instrument for polishing and sanding surfaces is an orbital sander. Orbital sanders clean and buffer your automobile by moving in a circular motion in one direction.

An orbital sander is ideal for hobbyists, woodworkers, and car detailers alike. It’s ubiquitous in garages, woodshops, and car body shops, and it can buff and sand a variety of materials, including wood and metal.

can you use a random orbital sander for car polishing

A random orbital sander may be used to polish an automobile. You must, however, verify that the sander has different speed choices and the necessary accessories, such as a selection of polishing pads.

The amount of pressure you apply to the instrument, as well as your skill level and practical expertise, will have an impact on the sander’s performance and the end result.

Let’s take a closer look at how an orbital sander may be used to polish automobiles now that you know about it. I’ll go through how to use random orbitals to polish a car and the difference between a sander and a polisher. I’ll also discuss the best sanders for automobile polishing, as well as the pace at which they should be used to achieve the greatest results.

Can You Use a Random Orbital Sander as a Buffer?

Buffer and polisher are almost interchangeable terms. They are only a few variations on the mechanical application of polish to a surface. The rotation of the pad distinguishes two types of buffers and polishers. Rotary and Orbital are the two types.

Is a Buffer the Same as a Sander, One Would Wonder?

Sandpaper on the end of a sander. Buffer refers to the end of a buffing pad.

Attach the polishing pad to the sander and use the hook-and-loop paper to transform your 5-inch orbital sander into a buffer. You should have no issue buffing or polishing your automobile to a high-gloss finish – without harming it – if you use the fine lambswool pad.

Can I Use a Random Orbital Sander for Sanding My Car?

Can you use random orbital (dual action) sanders on cars? They’re fantastic for woodworking, but can you use them on cars? This is a question that many individuals ask themselves while deciding what sort of power equipment to purchase.

For novices who require a good tool to sand or polish their automobile, an electric orbital sander is a great choice. You only need to plug it in and you’re ready to go. Keep in mind that the vibrations produced by electric sanders might be uncomfortable. Electric orbit sanders may also be rather harsh in terms of the pressure they apply to the surface, so a pneumatic sander may be preferred if you want a smooth finish.

How Do You Polish a Car With Random Orbitals?

Random orbital power tools are perfect for any work and provide variety to your tool collection, whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a professional. However, how can you use them to give your automobile a shiny, smooth finish?

  1. The following are the stages of polishing an automobile with a random orbital sander:
  2. Wash your automobile with a wash mitt, being careful to cover all of the areas. Rinse the automobile thoroughly but don’t dry it.
  3. With compressed air, blow away the dust. To remove any dust from your car’s paint, use compressed air. If you can’t get this, you can accomplish the same thing using a portable vacuum.
  4. Removing paint flaws using sandpaper Work in a circular motion using the orbital sander. To achieve the greatest results, work from the left to the right and from top to bottom.
  5. After you’ve sanded away all the dents, clean up. Clean microfiber cloths or other soft materials can be used to wipe away any leftover dust. Then repeat the process!
  6. Using polishing paste wax, buff the automobile (do not use household products). In tiny circles, rub this into each panel (top, sides, and hood) until they gleam.
  7. If you don’t obtain the results you want, go back to step 2-4 before polishing the automobile.

Tips to Polish Your Car Safely and Properly

Although the methods I’ve mentioned above appear to be simple, getting the hang of using a random orbital sander takes practice.

As a result, here are some pointers to keep in mind for the best results:

  1. Before you polish the whole automobile, do a test area. This allows you to see if the polish you selected will give you the results you want.
  2. Begin by using the gentlest pad, gel, and sander settings possible. If required, increase the speed of the machine or use a more forceful pad and gel.
  3. Please take your time. It’s possible that rushing can cause your automobile to break down. Instead, take your time and make sure you’re getting everything done.
  4. Don’t sand with too much force. To avoid causing damage, keep it light and delicate.
  5. The polish or wax should be applied lightly and evenly. Don’t go overboard with the polishing, since this might cause streaks in your car’s paint.

What Is the Difference Between a Sander and a Polisher?

The spin rate is the key distinction between a sander and a polisher. An orbital polisher has a significantly slower rotation than an orbital sander. This prevents the paint from burning through, especially around the vehicle’s edges.

Polishing may still be done with an orbital sander if the correct accessories are used.

The sander should also have different speed settings so you can better regulate it and avoid visible swirl marks on the paint surface.

What Kind of Sander Is Best for Cars?

For autos, the best sander is a random orbital (or dual action) sander. Standard orbital sanders can leave unattractive swirl marks, while random tool orbital sanders do not. The reason for this is that a dual-action sander has two modes of operation: it travels in a random pattern while also rotating in a circular motion.

In addition, the random orbital sander has a weight function that may be locked or unlocked. It may buff or polish more quickly in locked mode.

This increases performance and the overall appearance of the completed product.

Type of Polishing Pads Should Be Used on a Random Orbital Sander for Car Polishing

It is recommended to use foam polishing pads that are designed for use with a random orbital sander. These pads are usually made from a foam material, such as polyurethane, that is soft enough to not scratch the paint on your car. Additionally, the foam pads are usually less aggressive, so they won’t remove too much paint while polishing.

Why Use a Random Orbital Sander for Car Polishing?

Because random orbital sanders are specifically intended to prevent paint build-up, they’re the finest choice for automobile polishing. This is a must-have feature for anyone who cares about their vehicle’s appearance.

Because it sands and polishes autos in one process, it’s also ideal for eliminating scratches.

This sort of sander also has the advantage of smoothing the surface without leaving obvious scratches. It may be able to remove old waxes in some circumstances.

Wrinkles or side-to-side scratches can be created with a directed dial-type sander. A random orbital sander, on the other hand, precludes this.

Assume that tough dirt on the automobile will not be removed with soap and water. It’s possible that you’ll need to use an abrasive buffing wheel or take your car to a detailer for more extensive service.

The Bottom Line

An orbital sander may be used to polish your automobile. Make sure the sander is a random orbital sander with changeable speed settings. The random orbital sander’s power type is determined by your preferences and the money you have available.

The secret to producing professional-looking, high-quality outcomes is to maintain consistent control over the tool. The amount of time you have, your skill level, and your experience all influence the outcome.

Hopefully, you found this article useful. Thank you for reading, and now go polish that automobile!

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About This Writer

author eric devin

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

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