The Best Boat Buffers of 2021

Nicholas Swartz
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Many people consider waxing their boat, but traditionally it’s a painstaking job that can take long, hard hours. It’s a messy process that requires a lot of elbow grease and protection equipment.

Boat buffer systems have really come a long way over the years. A boat buffer is a great way to keep your boat protected and its hull shiny. It’s far less work than traditional waxing, and much faster.

We tested the best boat buffers on the market to find how they all hold up on our boat.

If you’re tired of hand waxing, give our guide a look. We’ll walk you through the features you should look for when selecting a boat buffer system. It’s a smart investment anyway.

NameCategoryProduct
Makita 9237CX3 Makita 7" PolisherBest OverallMakita 9237CX3 Makita 7" Polisher
WEN 10PMC 10-Inch Waxer/PolisherBudget PickWEN 10PMC 10-Inch Waxer/Polisher
DEWALT Buffer/PolisherUpgrade PickDEWALT Buffer/Polisher

1. Makita 9237CX3 Makita 7" Polisher

Our rating: 9 / 10

Makita 9237CX3 Makita 7" Polisher

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Pros:

  • Standard screw attachment allows it to be used with various backing plates
  • Durable and resistant
  • Comfortable grip

Cons:

  • Might be a bit heavy for some users

The Makita 9237CX3 is a solid polisher for many cars and boat owners, and certainly doesn’t disappoint. Makita is a well-known company for high-quality products and customers testify that this polisher meets that high standard.

2. Avid Power Polisher

Our rating: 8 / 10

Avid Power Polisher

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Pros:

  • Dense foam pad
  • Soft-touch ergonomic handles
  • Variable speed control
  • Excellent in removing swirls and scratches and other paint imperfections
  • Compatible with any 6-inch backing plate

Cons:

  • The first time users may find the machine difficult to use

Looking for an affordable electric car polisher that comes with an extensive speed range and the ability to handle paint imperfections? Then, the Avid Power Polisher may be the one for you.

It comes with a 6-inch reinforced foam pad and variable speed settings from 1500 to 6800 RPM, allowing you to adapt it to match your polishing needs.

3. Chemical Guys TORQX Random Polisher Kit

Our rating: 8 / 10

Chemical Guys TORQX Random Polisher Kit

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Pros:

  • Great for beginners
  • 3 premium polishing pads
  • Lightweight and comfortable to use

Cons:

  • Too much vibration at lower speeds

The Chemical Guys TORQX Random Polisher Kit is suitable for both enthusiast and professional users. The product has an ergonomical design and it's lightweight, making it comfortable to use for extended periods. The price might be a bit higher than some other similar products, but the quality is worth it.

4. Meguiar's G3500 Dual Action Power System Tool

Our rating: 8 / 10

Meguiar's G3500 Dual Action Power System Tool

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Pros:

  • Grippy handle for easier use
  • Completely portable
  • Great for restoring old paint
  • Perfect for home users

Cons:

  • Requires the use of a drill

The Meguiar's G3500 Dual Action Power System is a machine that gives your boat an excellent, more refined finish than sandpaper. It's the one tool you need for waxing, polishing, and compounding any vehicle you own and does an impressive job on boats. We could say that it's the tool any home user should own.

5. Goplus 7 Inch Variable Speed Buffer

Our rating: 8 / 10

Goplus 7 Inch Variable Speed Buffer

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Pros:

  • Good speed
  • Brush stand for compact storage
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Easy to operate
  • Comes in a ready-to-use complete set

Cons:

  • Not very powerful
  • The plastic casing wiggles a bit

The Goplus it’s lightweight and compact, meaning that it should be fairly easy to transport without adding a lot of extra weight. It’s designed to be easy-grip so that you can twist the wheel forward and back without getting tired or hurting your hands. If you need to wax and polish, this buffer works well. The Goplus has adjustable speed settings from 1000 – 3000 and makes no noise when it’s running. It comes with a small case to store your Goplus safely when it’s not in use.

6. BLACK+DECKER 6-inch Random Orbit Waxer/Polisher

Our rating: 8 / 10

BLACK+DECKER 6-inch Random Orbit Waxer/Polisher

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Pros:

  • Comes with two polishing bonnets
  • Ideal for removing blemishes in automotive and marine applications
  • Provides a deep, streak-free shine
  • 2 handle grip designed for easy use

Cons:

  • Speed is not adjustable
  • Difficult to use in awkward areas

When it comes to detailing boat hulls, you need a strong, yet thorough polishing machine to effectively buff out paint imperfections without causing new ones. The six-inch orbital waxer and polisher from Black+Decker fits the bill, as it can cover large surfaces in no time. Along with boat hulls, it can be used on automotive and marine applications to remove marks and paint imperfections.

7. Shurhold 3101 Dual Action Random Orbital Kit

Our rating: 8 / 10

Shurhold 3101 Dual Action Random Orbital Kit

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Pros:

  • Made from heavy-duty materials
  • Easy to use
  • Can remove paint defects and oxidation
  • It can help with large projects
  • It can restore the surface of your car or boat
  • A complete kit for your boat maintenance
  • There are different pads for different jobs

Cons:

  • It involves a learning curve
  • On the expensive side

If you’re looking to give your boat or car a facelift, then you’re in the right place. The Shurhold 3101 Dual Action Random Orbital Car Boat Kit is what you need to get the job done. It has everything you need in one kit. It has everything you need to remove oxidation and paint imperfection, as well as the necessary tools to wax and polish your boat and car.

8. Griot's Garage Dual Action Random Orbital Polisher

Our rating: 7 / 10

Griot's Garage Dual Action Random Orbital Polisher

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Pros:

  • Extremely easy to handle
  • Features a rubberized handle
  • Very affordable
  • Adjustable speed

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with a carrying case
  • A little bit loud

If you’ve been looking for a top-of-the-line buffer, then you’re lucky, because the Griot’s Garage Dual Action Random Orbital Polisher could be the one for you. The Griot’s Garage is powerful enough to be used for polishing, which makes it a fantastic choice for severe paint imperfections and extreme oxidation.

9. PORTER-CABLE Variable Speed Polisher

Our rating: 7 / 10

PORTER-CABLE Variable Speed Polisher

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Pros:

  • Removable side handle makes it comfortable to use
  • Lightweight (less than 6 pounds)
  • 3-year warranty

Cons:

  • It doesn't come with a backing plate

This Polisher might seem small for some users, but that's actually one of its advantages. You can easily reach difficult areas and is very comfortable to use, unlike other heavier options. It's a durable and reliable machine, produced by a well-established company that has long proved the quality of their dedicated products. Even more, it fits in an affordable price range.

10. DEWALT Buffer/Polisher

Our rating: 7 / 10

DEWALT Buffer/Polisher

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Pros:

  • Extra power
  • High durability
  • Ergonomic design for ease of use
  • Lightweight construction
  • No vibration
  • Nicely priced

Cons:

  • Nothing. It's great

If you’re looking for a good buffer, the DEWALT DW849X is a perfect choice. It can be used on boats to remove dirt and grime, and to restore the paint layers. It also works great on RV and automotive exteriors. It’s a good buffer to use for furniture and cabinet restoration. So, no matter how you look at it or what job you need to get that, this buffer might be a fit.

11. WEN 10PMC 10-Inch Waxer/Polisher

Our rating: 6 / 10

WEN 10PMC 10-Inch Waxer/Polisher

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Pros:

  • Perfect for boats, RVs, and vehicles
  • Durable even when used on projects with large surfaces
  • You get plenty of extra bonnets in the package as well as a storage case
  • The bonnets are versatile (also suitable for bathrooms, countertops & banisters)

Cons:

  • It might be slightly too large for small hands
  • The bonnets' quality can be a hit or miss
  • Handle may not be the best shape for everyone

This tool can be your professional and personal detailing tool when it comes to waxing and polishing jobs. The unit has two handles that make it comfortable to use. It can be used on a wide range of jobs, unlike many buffers. You get the product in a carrying case with plenty of bonnets. That means you will have everything you need to get started as soon as it arrives, and will be prepared for any detailing job that you want to do that day.

12. WEN 948 10 Amp Variable Speed Polisher

Our rating: 5 / 10

WEN 948 10 Amp Variable Speed Polisher

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Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Controllable speeds
  • Great for buffing and polishing

Cons:

  • For first-time users it might feel hard to control

Whether you need to use a rotary polisher on a boat or a car, the WEN variable speed polisher can handle it with ease. It uses a 10-amp motor to power through pretty much any finish. The variable speed is great for all the auto paint jobs and buffing boats. It has a nice rubber grip, and it’s fairly easy to use.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best boat polish?

Boat polish is frequently used over hulls and decks to polish and protect from water friction, dirt, and environmental damage. I would recommend any polish made by the Chemical Guys or Meguiar, as they have high-quality products that you should use for your boat.

Are orbital buffers good?

I use an orbital buffer for the majority of my polishing needs. They are convenient, don’t consume a lot of material as rotary buffers do, and do a really good job. Overall yes, they are worth the investment.

How do you get the shine back on a fiberglass boat?

Most fiberglass boats start as glossy as new cars. But sitting in the sun does a number on the shine eventually.

There are a few ways to buff fiberglass, and most are simple. Buffing materials are easy to find, and you can use products you already have in your home. Along with using a buffing material, you can use a buffer if you have one handy. This is the fastest way to achieve a glossy finish for sure.

Conclusion

The number one thing that most boat owners miss out on is boat protection. And because they don’t have anything to protect their boat with, they end up with a very expensive but poor looking boat”. And that’s not how you want to treat your boat, is it? Of course not, and you have options. You can either get a boat cover or a boat buffer. And if we have to choose between the two, then we’d go with the latter.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Makita 9237CX3 Makita 7" PolisherBest OverallMakita 9237CX3 Makita 7" Polisher
WEN 10PMC 10-Inch Waxer/PolisherBudget PickWEN 10PMC 10-Inch Waxer/Polisher
DEWALT Buffer/PolisherUpgrade PickDEWALT Buffer/Polisher