Last updated: August 19, 2021

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Don't you just love to have the floor of your house as shiny as the one in the shopping malls? You can achieve this with a machine called a polishing machine which, depending on its type, can also polish other materials such as car paint and even nails.

A polishing machine is an electrical device used to polish or correct surfaces of different materials. It does this by means of an integrated pad, which moves in circles through a rotating system.

If you are thinking of buying a polisher for your home, business or any other project that involves this device, we have gathered the necessary information that will help you choose between the many presentations and brands that exist. We hope you find it useful.




Summary

  • A polishing machine is an electrical appliance used to polish different surfaces such as wood, metal, concrete and even marble, as well as to give them a shine and remove residues. They achieve this through sequenced rotary movements that vary in speed.
  • The car polisher is the best known because it is well known that with them you can achieve the shade of the original paint colour, however, there are also others with different purposes such as polishing floors or polishing toenails and fingernails.
  • Before you decide to buy a polisher, you need to consider certain important factors such as the mechanism they use to work, whether they are ergonomic or not, or the type of pads they need; you could save yourself a lot of time and money.

The Best Polisher: Our Picks

Buying guide

Unless you are in the polisher business, it is unlikely that you know all the features that a polisher should have. That's why below we explain what a polisher is, the advantages you can get from using one, as well as the different ones you can find.

A polishing machine has the function of removing imperfections from a surface, giving it a shine (Photo: zhudifeng / 123rf.com)

What is a polishing machine and what are its advantages?

A polishing machine is an electrical device used to polish the material of surfaces of different materials, giving them a shine at the same time. It is used to polish metal, concrete, ceramics, stone or wood, and achieves its purpose through rotary movements.

In the case of wood, a polishing machine can help to remove any surplus or splinters that may remain after cutting. When working with metal, the polisher can make the surface smoother or condition specific parts if an assembly is involved.

Advantages
  • Corrects surface imperfections
  • Shines any material
  • Has different sizes
  • Works with various materials
  • Generates a protective layer on the surface
Disadvantages
  • Requires experience to use
  • Some models are very heavy
  • Not a sharpening tool
  • Somewhat expensive

Floor, nail or car polisher - what should you pay attention to?

As we mentioned at the beginning of this section, a polisher has the function of polishing different surfaces, however, there are types that were designed to work with particular materials. Here we tell you about the ones we found and explain their characteristics.

Floor polisher. It can be said that it is a multifunctional equipment because it can remove paint, glue, chewing gum or any other element stuck on the floor. They usually work on concrete, but with the right accessories they can polish marble or granite floors.

Nail polisher. This tool allows you to sand, polish and design both fingernails and toenails. It also helps to gently clean hard skin, calluses that appear on the feet, as well as the glue that remains when putting on false nails.

Car polisher. The main function of this polisher is to remove scratches or damage to the paintwork to restore the original colour shade. After some time, swirls appear on the vehicle due to excess moisture, so a polisher prevents them from becoming noticeable.

For floors For nails For cars
Power 300 to 800 W 110 W 600 to 1200 W
Mechanism Orbital Rotary Orbital or rotary
Extra function Vacuuming residues Smoothing the skin Polishing the paintwork

A polisher can help you get the scratches out of your car that would be so expensive if you took it to a garage (Photo: algre / 123rf.com)

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate polisher models

If you have never been in contact with a polisher before but have found yourself in the need to buy one, it is important that you are aware of certain criteria that will allow you to compare and rate each model that might be of interest to you. To help you, we have compiled the following list of relevant points, which we will explain below.

  • Mechanism
  • Speed
  • Pad type
  • Ergonomics

Mechanism

There are several types of mechanism through which polishers work: the rotary or circular, the orbital or double action and the roto-orbital. Their characteristics are similar, however, these small differences make the purchase decision more thoughtful.

Rotary or circular. During this mechanism, the movement of the disc on which the pad is placed is single rotating. That is, it rotates on the same side as the hands of the watch, generating friction. If not used properly, it can cause damage to the material being polished.

Orbital or double action. In this mechanism, the disc rotates clockwise but the shaft on which it is placed also rotates, so it can be said to have two movements at the same time.

This type of polisher is easier to use because the double movement makes it easier to correct some damages on the car paint or on the floor where it is placed, so it is recommended for those who are beginners.

Rotary orbital. This type of mechanism combines the rotary with the orbital, adding a slight cut in the material being worked on. These are high quality professional machines, so it is important to learn how to use them.

Speed

Although the word "speed" is sometimes taken as a synonym for "quality" or "efficiency", for the specific case of a polishing machine, it is important to make sure that the speed of the machine is variable and starts as smoothly as possible.

This is because high speeds are very good for polishing rough surfaces, but low speeds are good for achieving a refined and perfect finish. Therefore, it is recommended that a polisher has intervals between 1100 and 2000 revolutions per minute.

Pad type

The type of pad to choose will depend entirely on the material to be polished and fortunately, the choice is wide. However, we recommend that when buying a polisher for the first time, you get at least one cutting pad, two polishing pads and one finishing pad, so that you have a complete set.

Foam pads. These can have various grades of foam to make it rougher or harder to achieve different finishes when polishing. Cutting pads are light, moderate or coarse foams, and polishing or finishing pads are finer textured.

Wool pads. They are durable, washable and reusable. They are very good for polishing wood or glass furniture, car paint, stainless steel, precision instruments, crockery and even marble.

Ergonomics

The ergonomics of a polisher refers to how easy it is to move and use to achieve the desired finish. Especially because floor polishers are usually larger in diameter than some car paint polishers, and not to be compared to nail polishers.

Despite the above, we recommend that you check whether the polisher you buy can be used with two hands, whether it has an interchangeable handle that adapts to both left-handed and right-handed people, or how many kilos it weighs in case you want to move it.

Other details to consider could be whether the polisher is electric or has a battery included. If the cable to connect it is longer to cover more space or if its size is compact enough to store it at home.

(Featured image photo: Detmold / Pixabay)

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