Made from the softest material, buffing pads do their best to pass over a surface, leaving it as polished looking as possible, while minimizing after-clean marks. Best suited for cleaning debris and dirt off surfaces that are usually sensitive, so that anything other than a buff pad would cause damages such as scratches, what defines these great cleaning pads is their ability to blend the need for efficiency with that of caution and care for the surfaces they polish. The best buffing pads are made to minimize how much effort users have to put into polishing.
The Best Buffing Pads for Automotive Detailing in 2020
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1. PORTER-CABLE 18007 Lambs Wool Polishing Pad
This circular pad, measuring 6” in diameter, is made from 100% lamb’s wool. The fine texture is flexible, making it easy to grip, and it is soft on the surfaces it cleans. The effect of using this pad is a clean, polished shine with absolutely no risk of damage, no matter how sensitive the surface. The pliability means that it can reach places more rigid pads would otherwise be unable to. Because of all these features, the Porter-Cable polishing pad is suitable for a wide range of surfaces in which a broad guarantee is given. Once used, the pad can be easily washed, and once it dries, it will look as good as new. As a bonus, the pad also comes with an option to easily and conveniently mount it to circular sanders with accommodation for hook and loop backing pads.
- Soft and gentle wool
- Flexible and light
- Hook and loop backing pads
Unlike most other pads, this is made from the same soft material through and through, which makes it a unique piece fit for a number of tasks other polishing pads simply wouldn’t be able to do. With the guarantee to do the job as well as a buff polishing pad can, there is no doubt this is one of the best pieces available.
2. Yosoo 7Pcs Sponge Buffing Pads
Fit for large polishing jobs, these three-piece buffing pads are complete as stand-alone pieces with a single sponge, so considering a set with 5 sponges can only be a good thing, as will be explained. The first and most relevant of the pieces is the wool surface that works to adequately polish surfaces in a gentle and efficient manner, making it suitable for a number of surfaces. The second piece is the sponge, the bulkiest piece and what gives the overall pad the structure it has, allowing for the 7” diameter the wool piece encases.
All 5 are color-coded so that you can easily swap to the appropriate sponge depending on what is more appropriate for a particular job. The third piece, a backing plate, is the most rigid part of the setup and what makes the piece adaptable for use on pneumatic or electrical polishing machines.
- Great for car detail polishing
- Includes 7 color-coded sponges
- Adaptable backing plate
The kit does not include color-coding guide
Once you know what each piece is for, something that can be difficult at first, having these polishing pads around turns out to be a valuable investment, especially at the great price the entire kit is sold for. There are few kits as complete as this.
3. ZFE 7 Pcs Buffing Pads
For smaller buffing pads, the ZFE’s 7-piece set does the job as well as any other, despite each circle sponge piece measuring 3” in diameter. The five sponges, four of which are orange and one blue, each have the same rigid structure with a wave design at the top and are each appropriate for different jobs, such as polishing and waxing.
A woolen piece covers the surface of the piece, a soft material piece that is able to polish just about any surface in need and one that takes care not to leave any traces behind. The combination of using these two pieces results in just the right balance between the force that needs to be applied, and the care needed to prevent damaging sensitive surfaces. Completing the kit is a drill adapter that connects the two aforementioned pieces with an electric drill.
- Suitable for multiple purposes
- Complete kit
No sponge pad guide
The diameters of these pads are what determines its suitability to individual needs, but where quality, efficiency, and care are concerned, it does as well as you would expect, and then a little more. Sorting out which pad is best for different stages of polishing may require some homework for the untrained eye, but that is nothing to fuss about, especially given how much is gained in the end.
4. Meguiar’s (WRFP7) Rotary Foam Polishing Pad
As a simple cleaning solution, this foam pad acts as a great polishing pad, working to buff surfaces with a measured amount of action. It works best to recover the new look of a surface by restoring its shine from the previous damaged or worn look it may have had. At 7”, the pads are large enough to cover large areas fast, making them ideal for large surfaces that need to be covered quickly. Moreover, the foam pads can be easily attached to backing plates of different sizes so as to enable adaption to electrical drills and the like.
- Good size
- Hook and loop attach the system
For those looking to substitute their polishing pads, the Meguiar’s foam pads prove to be a worthy option that provides a sturdy structure that is fit for jobs that would traditionally require great effort, though this does everything to ensure that not too much pressure needs to be applied.
5. Fontic 11pcs Buffing Sponge Pads Kit
As a set, capable of performing just about any of the finishing touches needed, Fontic’s 11 piece set is as complete as they come. Consisting of 7 sponge pieces, each of them is color-coded so as to facilitate distinguishing which one is best suited for different purposes, including polishing, waxing, sanding, sealing glaze, and for a basic clean job, among other things. These each come in pairs of orange, yellow, and black, each one of these pairs consisting of a piece with a flat top and one with a waffle top.
Fitting all seven of these pieces is a woolen buffer, the one piece that actually comes into contact with the surfaces that need to be polished, this because of its suitably soft texture. It is also made to easily fit within the 3” diameters of each corresponding pad. Another woolen piece included in the set is a polishing pad with the same matching diameters. Completing the set is a 6mm thread drill adapter, including a shank, and an adhesive backer pad with the expected 3” in diameter.
- The complete kit fit for multiple purposes
- Adaptable for electrical drills
- Long-lasting material
No color code guide
There can be really no fault found in this kit, considering just how complete it is, even if it takes some knowing which pad goes where at first. Once users get down to it, they will find that there are few pads that can do the job as well as these, and the effects will be visible on the surface of whatever they have been used.
6. PORTER-CABLE 15006 Lambs Wool Polishing Pad
For those looking for just a single piece of polishing wool, or for those who have a kit and need to replace that particular piece, then the Porter-Cable’s single pad of wool should be just the right choice. Measuring 5” in diameter, the pad is suitable for most random orbit sanders, where it can be put to use on any number of surfaces. With its soft material, it is suitable for polishing and buffing without scratching surfaces or leaving traces of any kind.
The wool pad can easily be washed, and once dried, reusing it will feel as it did the first time, when it was new. This means that the pad is bound to last a while before you need to look for another replacement. At only ½” thick, using the pad without any supporting foam pads allow it to fit into tight spaces and polish with just as much efficiency.
- Soft quality wool
- Reusable quality material
- Hook-and-loop feature
Not ideal for wooden surfaces
As a single, standalone piece, this wool pad is everything anyone could want it to be. Suitable for a number of surfaces, it can perform a number of jobs as well, all with the same soft-touch that it promises just by the looks of it.
7. TCP Global Wool Buffing Pad
Measuring 8”, these buffing pads are made from 100% wool, and just those two numbers should be enough to secure a place for this product on the list of the best available pads. The hook-and-loop feature means that the pad’s dimensions can be easily fit backing plates of up to 7” in diameter. Plastic pad edges line the interior of the pad that separates the wool from the backing plates, and in so doing, prolongs the lifespan of the pad.
Among the many uses the wool itself can be used for, including buffing oxidized paint, deep scratches, and color sanding, the polishing pad is ideal for compound-cutting wooden surfaces in a way few others can compete with. The pad can be easily washed, as is recommended when first bought, an affair that will need to be done a lot given how much the pad will inevitably be exposed to.
- Quality wool for tough jobs
- Reinforced plastic inner lining
- Large size
Hook and loop feature tough and hard to remove once attached
There are fewer pads as thick as this one, making it one of the most capable compound cutting and polishing pads available. Despite one or two flaws, the overall hallmark of this piece is in how tough it is, and for those looking for something that will last as long doing tough jobs, this is the product for them.
8. Anytime Tools Polisher/Buffer Bonnet & Pad
As a replacement kit, fit for a 5/8” 11 TPI spindle, these pads will do a great job of substituting for other worn and torn pads with the promise to do the job just as well, if not better. All three pads included are made with woolen surfaces, fit for polishing and buffing, all of which fit easily onto the backing pad which is also included in the kit. The hook-and-loop features a male type of Velcro.
- 4-piece kit
- Strong disks
For simple replacement pads, fit for a narrow set of jobs that aren’t too taxing, this a great set, especially considering how cheap it is. Its fit is also something rare, making the pads a unique fit that is hard to find, aside from how simple they are to use.
Final Thoughts for Best Buffing Pads
For the finishing touch of a cleaning job, most especially polishing and buffing, no pads are better than the 8 listed above. Ranging from simple woolen pads to entire sets, they can be used for any number of purposes, and on any number of surfaces. All of this requires taking care they do not actually damage such surfaces, as such jobs are usually highly sensitive, and all of the above take this into consideration with the guarantee that no such harm will be done.
Having said all of that, it now comes down to your choice, something that shouldn’t be too hard a task given the brief but all-encompassing overviews are given.
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