Want to Pursue Professional Automotive Detailing? 3 Tips for Using a Dual Action Polisher

How do you think professional auto detailers manage to get a vehicle looking so shiny and new? It all comes down to the use of a dual action polisher. A dual action polisher, also called an orbital polisher, is a hand-held power tool used for both waxing and polishing automotive paint. In a dual action polisher, the head spins from a central spindle, which in turn rotates around an eccentric offset. This produces a vibrating or “jiggling” movement, which keeps the polisher from removing or burning the paint. 

While dual action polishers are relatively easy to use as they don’t produce a high amount of heat in comparison to tools like rotary polishers, there are a few important things to note about these devices before you begin using them. Below, discover three helpful tips for operating a dual action polisher. 

1. Fit the Polisher with the Right Equipment Throughout Your Professional Automotive Detailing Career

Before you begin any polishing or waxing job, you’ll want to make sure that your dual action polisher is fitted with the correct equipment. First, check that you have the appropriate polish and wax for the vehicle in question. Different types of automotive paint may require different types of wax or polish, so it’s important to verify that you won’t be doing more damage with the substance you choose to use. 

Next, you’ll want to be prepared with a set of clean pads. Throughout the waxing or polishing process, pads will need to be swapped for cleanliness in order to achieve an even appearance throughout the surface. You’ll also want to consider having a variety of pads in stock. Light cutting foam pads are considered the best for applying polishes, while a finishing foam pad can be used to apply waxes. With these tools, you’ll be prepared for any dual action polishing job throughout your professional automotive detailing career.

Have the right equipment on hand before using a dual action polisher

2. Engage in Some Planning Before Use

One of the biggest mistakes that professionals in auto detailing careers can make when using a dual action polisher is to skip the planning stage before launching into a project. First, you’ll want to prepare the surface of a vehicle by washing and drying it thoroughly. Once the paint is clean, you can move on to inspecting the surface of the paint. Is it relatively smooth, or rough to the touch? Are there visible scratches and swirl marks? Your assessment of the paint will help you to determine which polishing pad to use. Next, start dividing up the vehicle’s different panels to figure out the order in which you will polish. Start by polishing a small “test section” of the vehicle to make sure you have the right speed and polish, and make adjustments accordingly. When you start to polish, you can work in the tighter sections first, and then move on to the larger areas. This system will help you to avoid redoing any sections unnecessarily.

Map out the sections of a vehicle before beginning to polish

3. Keep Close to Your Polisher as You Work

Now you’re ready to begin polishing! Apply the correct polish or wax to the pad, and working section by section, start going over the surface of the vehicle with the dual action polisher. When polishing, you’ll want to stay as close as possible to the polishing tool, as this will enable you to closely see the surface that you’re working with and ensure that you are targeting the right areas. Additionally, keep in mind that once a pad has been dirtied, it can be exchanged for a fresh one. During a typical polishing job, the pad should be exchanged about five or six times. Otherwise, the pad may be wiped down using a dry towel, and more polish can be applied to the pad.

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Categories: ATC News, Montreal
Tags: auto detailing careers, auto detailing training, professional automotive detailing

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