Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Floor polishing machines make every surface shine. Polishing also means 'to make shiny' and, according to the Duden dictionary, comes from (Middle) High German. A clean and shiny entrance area makes a welcoming impression on every visitor. With our large floor polisher test 2021 we want to help you find the best floor polisher for you. We have compared floor polishers, electric mops and polishing machines and listed the respective advantages and disadvantages. This should make your purchase decision as easy as possible.




The most important facts

  • Floor polishers are suitable for all hard floors. It is only important that you use the right polishing or cleaning agent for parquet, PVC, cork or natural stone. You can also seal or oil your floors with a floor polisher.
  • Polishing machines are primarily suitable for car polishing. There are polishing machines that are more suitable for beginners or for experienced users. Weight and speed are important factors for a car polish you can mirror yourself in.
  • Electric mops are available both corded and cordless. These types of floor polishers clean and polish a wide variety of floors. The focus here is on damp cleaning. A polish is also possible with a suitable agent.

The Best Floor Polisher: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a floor polisher

How does a floor polisher work?

In principle, every floor polisher or polishing machine works in the same way. The surface is polished by a rotating plate that is covered with a material (a so-called pad). The plate rotates at over a thousand revolutions per minute.

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To polish and wax your car so that the raindrops roll off, you need a good polishing machine.
(Image source: pixabay.com / Neri Vill)

In order to achieve a radiant polish, a constant contact pressure is important in addition to the number of revolutions per minute. Whether this is generated by hand, as in the case of a polishing machine for car paint, or by the weight of the device itself, is irrelevant.

A floor polisher can do more than just polish. With the right attachments, you can also clean or seal your floor covering.

Polishing means sanding, but it only removes a very thin layer of paint. It doesn't matter whether it's car paint or flooring. It is therefore important that the surface is thoroughly cleaned before the actual polishing, so that no small stone or large grain of dust leaves a scratch that can no longer be removed. After cleaning, the appropriate polishing agent is applied, either by hand or with a polishing machine. This can be a suitable car wax for car care. For floor coverings, you must make sure that you have chosen the right agent for your floor. Parquet, laminate, linoleum, cork and natural stone require different agents that are precisely matched to the needs of the material. The floor should also be suitable for polishing with a floor polisher. Parquet, for example, must be sealed with a varnish. Ask the manufacturer about this. Then you can start polishing.

For whom is a floor polisher suitable?

It doesn't matter if you are a beginner or an experienced 'polisher'. What is important is the area of application.

  • Hard floors indoors: An electric mop for hard floors such as parquet, laminate or PVC makes your weekly or, if necessary, daily housework easier. No more cleaning on your knees or with a mop and bucket. Simply polish and mop your floors while standing, which is easy on your back.
  • Natural stone floors outdoors: Slate, marble or granite floors can also be cleaned with a floor polisher. The stone floor of your terrace is exposed to the weather every day. Sun, rain and snow cause the natural stone floor to become dirty. To prevent the dirt from settling, we recommend regular cleaning. With the help of a floor polisher, the natural colour of the material comes into its own.

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You can make natural stone floors shine with a suitable floor polisher. The great authentic colour of the material also comes into its own better:
(Image source: pixabay.com / loveombra)
  • Car paint: With a car polish, your car is protected all around. In winter, the car paint is more resistant to the aggressive road salt. In summer, the polish protects your car from the sun and UV rays. A polished paintwork is also more resistant to other environmental influences, e.g. bird droppings. A paint polish enhances your car - visually and financially.

What are the alternatives to a floor polisher?

The cheapest alternative is, of course, to polish your floors or car by hand. However, the work involved should not be underestimated. You need a lot of strength and time to achieve a perfect polish, i.e. without streaks and clouds. If you are not used to these circular arm movements, your hands and arms will tire very quickly and the work will no longer be fun.

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It is easier to clean and polish the floor with an electric mop than by hand. This saves work and time.
(Image source: pixabay.com / Myriam Zilles)

For damp mopping the floor, you can use a spray mop. This has a refillable tank and with a lever on the handle, you can trigger the spray. You can mop your floors and remove stains with the microfibre cleaning pad. However, you will not get a nice shine and the floor will not be polished, only mopped.

There is no real alternative for a proper polishing of surfaces. The radiant shine can only be achieved with a machine.

Decision: What types of floor polishing machines are there and which is the right one for you?

What distinguishes a floor polisher and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Waxing means waxing or polishing. So a floor polisher polishes your floors and makes them shine. Since this process has to be repeated often due to wear and tear of the floor, a long life of the floor polisher is important. Manufacturer's warranty and quality of workmanship can be important indicators. Your home will certainly not only have parquet floors, but also PVC, laminate, cork or natural stone. Your floor polisher should be able to handle all these floor coverings. This means that by using different pads, the cleaning and polishing is adapted to the corresponding material. In addition to the right pad, you also need the right cleaning agent.

Advantages
  • Little effort for shiny floors
  • Saves time compared to manual care
  • Brings out the colours of the floor better
Disadvantages
  • More expensive than a mop
  • Not suitable for carpets

By regularly maintaining your floor with a floor polisher, the floor will become less dirty, more resistant to moisture and more resistant to further wear and tear.

What distinguishes a polishing machine for paintwork and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Polishing the car paint is very fast with a polishing machine - compared to polishing by hand. Due to the high rotation of the polishing discs, friction is generated and thus the polishing performance is very high. The polishing machine makes the car shine more beautifully because the paint is applied more evenly. Polishing machines are light and compact, so they fit in any garage or basement. If you want to polish smaller parts such as exterior mirrors or bumpers at short notice, the preparation effort is not very high. Clean the part to be polished, apply polish and switch on the polisher.

Advantages
  • Polishing is very quick
  • also suitable for beginners
  • scratches are quickly removed
Disadvantages
  • Noise level is very unpleasant

What distinguishes a rotary polishing machine and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

There are basically two types. Since they produce different results, we will take a closer look at the two variants here.

With the rotary polishing machine, the polishing pad rotates in one direction only. Due to the additional high speed, a lot of friction is generated and thus the paint layer is removed very quickly in a wafer-thin layer. Larger areas can be polished in a very short time. Deeper scratches can be easily removed with the rotary polisher. However, you need experience with this polishing machine, as the high speed of the polishing plate can generate high temperatures. You can also polish the paint down to the primer or even the sheet metal very quickly. With dark paint colours, there is a high risk of clouds or holograms appearing in the paint due to improper operation. You can prevent this by guiding and moving the polisher correctly. Guide the rotary polisher evenly over the surface, do not polish in one place for a long time and cross the paths.

Rotary polishers are primarily suitable for experienced users because of the high revolutions.

Advantages
  • Fast on large surfaces
  • Removes deep scratches
Disadvantages
  • Clouds and holograms
  • Polishing down to the primer or sheet metal
  • Burning of the paint due to too high temperatures

What are the characteristics of an eccentric polishing machine and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Eccentric polishing machines (eccentrics for short) are particularly suitable for inexperienced users. With eccentrics, the polishing pad turns more slowly and also moves in different directions. This is called the stroke. The stroke, i.e. the elliptical movements, makes it less likely that you will leave clouds or holograms in the paint. Eccentric polishers are slightly lighter and more compact than rotary polishers. Therefore, they fit better in the hand and are also suitable for women. Because of the centre-bound oscillation, you can easily guide the machine over the paint. No counter control is necessary. Due to the lower speed, you only remove small amounts of paint and therefore the temperature is lower. If you accidentally work a little longer on one spot, this does not immediately have negative consequences for the paint, such as burns or increased paint removal up to the primer.

Advantages
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Polishes gently
  • Compact and lightweight units
Disadvantages
  • Polishing takes a little longer
  • Deep scratches difficult to polish out

There are also machines that can be switched from eccentric movement to rotary operation, thus combining the advantages of both types.

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate floor polishers

In the following, we will show you which criteria you can use to decide between the many possible floor polishers. The aspects you can use to compare the floor polishers are:

Weight

  • Heavy: Professional floor polishers are quite heavy because of the way they are made. Around 40 kg is not uncommon. Such a floor polisher is only recommended for commercial use. Semi-professional floor polishers, which are perfectly adequate for private use, weigh up to 17kg. Thanks to a special bearing, however, you hardly feel the weight when using the machine. The machine is easy to guide and glides over the floor.
  • Medium: Polishing machines weigh around 2.5 to 3.5 kg. Since you have to hold the polishing machines for car paint for a long time, you should keep the weight as low as possible. Even a few extra 100g can feel like several kilograms in half an hour.
  • Light: An electric mop is the featherweight among floor polishers. With a water tank, the weight is about 3kg. Without the water tank, the weight drops to as little as 1.5kg, but it can only be used for dry cleaning. It may even be that the lack of weight results in a loss of guidance and you need more contact pressure to be able to manoeuvre the floor polisher well and in a controlled manner.

Revolutions

In principle, the more revolutions, the more abrasion and higher temperatures.

To use a floor polisher on hard floors, you need machines with a lower speed, i.e. with fewer revolutions. If you buy a floor polisher for hard floors, it is already optimally equipped for the intended work. If you buy a floor polisher for floor care, we recommend that you consider beforehand exactly what you need the machine for. Only for polishing or also for applying wax or oil to the solid wood parquet. According to the tasks, you choose the floor polisher and the revolutions are then predefined and suitable for this activity. This is different for car polishing. Here you should pay attention to the revolutions. The rotary polisher has high revolutions and is therefore suitable for fast polishing for large surfaces. The eccentric polisher has fewer revolutions and offers gentle care. To get the best possible result, we recommend a polishing machine for car care with an infinitely variable speed. A soft start is also a great advantage.

Type of power supply

There are corded and cordless floor polishers. Especially floor polishers with a high output are usually corded. Corded operation is advantageous if you have many floors that you want to maintain in one day. You can start at any time and don't have to check whether the battery is charged. However, due to the length of the cable, you are limited in your radius of action and the cable will often be in your way. It also creates a tripping hazard for other housemates who are also in the room. Of course, there are also cordless electric mops. Since the power here is not as high as with floor polishers, you can usually only clean and polish the floor with cordless electric mops. The battery life varies between 25 and 50 minutes, depending on the mop. After that, you need to recharge the battery. The charging process takes up to 4 hours, which is very long. If you want to polish several rooms, this is a problem. There is no electric mop with a replaceable battery (yet). With polishing machines for car care, a battery-powered device makes a lot of sense. This way, the cable cannot get in the way of your work area, such as the bonnet. Your working radius is also larger and you do not need a socket in the direct vicinity of your car. When buying a battery polisher, we recommend that you make sure that the device achieves up to 2000 revolutions per minute and that it has a long-lasting battery.

Power supply Advantages Disadvantages
Corded Unlimited working time, No need to recharge, Ready to use at any time Cord gets in the way, Trip hazard, Limited working space
Cordless No cord in working area, Limited battery life Regular charging, Possibly long charging time, Dead weight higher due to battery

Ease of use

If you are not the only one cleaning the floors in your household, we recommend that you make sure that the length of the pole can be adjusted to your height or that of your partner. This can be done with a telescopic pole or you can lower the pole to a comfortable working height. This way you can polish your floors comfortably, without back pain and in an upright position. An ergonomically shaped, non-slip and comfortable handle makes it easier to guide the polisher. Especially for car polishing, such a handle is very important. Otherwise there is a risk that you will no longer have the machine under control, that it will slip away and that you will damage the car's paintwork. An electric mop should be very flexible and moveable. If the joint between the rod and the rotating plate can be moved in different directions, you can reach even the most awkward places. This makes polishing under the cupboard or sofa and in the areas between the furniture very easy.

Facts worth knowing about floor polishers

What accessories are available for floor polishers?

The right polishing agent is important to achieve a shiny result. There is a wide choice and you should make sure that the cleaning agent is suitable for your floors. An unsealed natural stone floor needs to be treated with different products than a varnished and sealed parquet floor. In addition to the right cleaning agent, the polishing pad is of great importance. There are cleaning pads that are ideally reusable and therefore washable. You simply pull them over the plate. You can order appropriate cleaning or polishing pads for different floor coverings and jobs. They are made of sheep's wool, felt or microfibre. In addition to the pads, there are also various brush attachments for floor polishers that make it easier for you to clean, scrub and scour the floor beforehand. However, the harder the bristles, the more likely the floor polisher will bounce.

What features should a polishing machine for a yacht have?

Polishing machines used for polishing boats do not need any special features. If you want to polish the exterior of your boat, choosing the right polish is crucial. A yacht is made of moulded parts that are made of fibre-reinforced plastics. The hard coating that is supposed to protect the components against moisture, UV radiation and pressure damage is called gelcoat. Over time, the gelcoat becomes duller due to UV radiation and the paint layer can weather. To restore the boat to its former shine, you need special polishing agents that do not attack or destroy the gelcoat.

Photo source: Bondariev/ 123rf.com

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