Can I Use Angle Grinder To Buff Car? | Things You Should To Know
Ann Hutchinson is the heart of the team, senior editor and our Head of Product Reviews which means she sets the testing parameters of each group review ensuring that tests resemble everyday use.
If you don’t own a dedicated buffing and polishing tool, a variable-speed angle grinder is ideal for the job. However, beginners must practice caution while using high-speed power tools on delicate surfaces like the exteriors of a vehicle.
Unlike professionals who own stacks of buffing and polishing tools, most DIYers rely on a good quality angle grinder to buff their car.
After all, no matter how careful you are, car paint is bound to wear out due to various external factors. Consequently, one needs a versatile tool like an angle grinder for all sorts of car restoration projects.
So, if you’re wondering if an angle grinder can double up as a car polisher, keep reading!
How Does An Angle Grinder Work?
- Shaft Size
- Wheel Guard
- 1. Spindle Thread
- 2. Power
- 3. RPM
- 1. A Dedicated Buffing And Polishing Tool
- 2. Cordless Drill
- Work Gently
- Mind The Weight
- Take Breaks
- Steps To Polish Metal With An Angle Grinder
An angle grinder features a rotating disc (or any other attachment) that moves in a single direction at variable speed. According to the action required, like buffing, cutting, grinding, etc., you can choose the appropriate option from the variable speed settings. However, not all angle grinders offer this setting.
Uses Of Angle Grinders
A high-quality angle grinder works well in multiple scenarios. For instance, fast-spinning angle grinders are ideal for cutting tiles as they create clean and crisp edges. Similarly, you can use them for cutting stones, too, though smaller-sized units will be better for more precise cuts.
The carving discs on angle grinders also make them suitable for carving and planning wood. So, if you’ve been planning to make simple furniture, look no further! However, keep in mind that due to the size and speed range of an angle grinder, it is not recommended for intricate woodwork.
Lastly, with enough practice, you can even use an angle grinder for sharpening tools. As such, it works as an excellent alternative to a bench grinder, provided you know how to angle and control the device.
Buffer Vs Angle Grinder
The shaft size of the two tools is essentially what makes them different from one another. So, if you’re wondering, “ what size angle grinder do I need? ” let us tell you that most angle grinders boast a 5/8-inch diameter spindle and 11 threads per inch.
As such, when using it for buffing and polishing tools and vehicles, we suggest attaching a spindle extender. Doing so will add about 2 inches to the device, making it easier to work with.
The wheel guard is another useful component of your regular angle grinder. It is added for safety reasons, and hence, it is best to steer clear of angle grinders without a wheel guard. However, you may need to remove it while buffing and polishing to enjoy extra clearance.
Can You Use Angle Grinders To Buff And Polish Your Car?
The answer to this query depends on three factors, as listed below…
The angle grinder should have suitable spindle thread dimensions so that you can connect various polishing attachments and use them as and when required.
The angle grinder must offer a power range similar to that of a polisher. However, the amount of power required may vary between 600W-1000W or even go beyond that.
Car polishing and buffing demand delicacy, so having a variable-speed angle grinder is essential. Ensure that the device can operate at 3000-3500 RPM for the best results.
Overall, keep in mind that regular polishers are not as powerful as angle grinders. So, using fast-spinning grinders is completely out of the question. In fact, you should remain careful while using any type of rotary tools, not just angle grinders, for buffing and polishing.
over, we recommend using a dual-action polisher since they are easy to use and dissipate heat, making them ideal for beginners.
What Other Tools Can You Use For Buffing And Polishing?
Typically, an angle grinder operates at a fixed speed of 8000 RPM or more. This speed is obviously not suitable for it to be used as a buffing and polishing machine. So, if you don’t own a variable speed angle grinder, here are some alternatives you can consider…
A Dedicated Buffing And Polishing Tool
Such tools are specifically designed to get rid of defects, scratches, and more from painted vehicles.
But despite being a very useful tool, its use case is limited. Yet, if you’re someone who doesn’t mind going the extra mile to keep your car in top condition, buying a polishing tool can be a valuable investment.
A cordless drill with buffing and polishing attachments can also make a cost-effective option if you don’t own a variable-speed angle grinder. The device features variable speed settings, ranging between 500-2000 RPM. Not to forget, it is fairly easy to use – all you have to do is turn it on and adjust the speed with a flick of a button!
However, you may struggle with the orientation and the inertial forces of a cordless drill. As such, controlling the pad for a consistent finish may be difficult.
Things To Remember Before Using An Angle Grinder To Buff Your Car
Most angle grinders are used for heavier work like cutting metal, removing mortar, sharpening tools, etc., and offer more torque than polishers. So, we recommend working gently while the pad is moving. Concentrating on one part for too long may burn the car’s paintwork, and that’s the last thing you’d want!
Mind The Weight
Ensure the angle grinder is compact enough to be held at awkward positions. Usually, heavy-duty grinders weigh a lot, so be careful before working with one.
Working at high speed will obviously ruin the car paint. Similarly, working continuously at low speed can make the motor heat up due to reduced cooling/airflow. So, to avoid any mishaps, it’s best to take breaks whenever you notice the angle grinder getting too hot.
How To Polish Metal With An Angle Grinder?
Before getting started, check if you own the following items…
- Felt polishing and buffing flap disc
- Premium-grade abrasive flap disc
- Scotch Brite or Easy Strip disc
- Basic polishing compound kit
Steps To Polish Metal With An Angle Grinder
If your car displays minor rust stains, signs of oxidation, scaling, or chipped paint, just attach a Scotch Brite or Easy Strip disc to the angle grinder and get started.
Follow it up with an abrasive flap disc to even out rough edges. These flap discs are usually made of zirconia abrasive ribbon, which is an effective and affordable component for metalworkers.
Next, apply a generous layer of polishing compound on the affected area and use a felt polishing disc to clear out any leftover obscurities. Although doing these steps is enough for a neat look, you can repeat the process to remove stubborn saw marks.
Safety Precautions To Take While Working With Angle Grinders
Make sure you keep all other tools and toolboxes away while using an angle grinder to avoid any damage. Do keep tools that you may require in easy-to-reach areas.
Similarly, organize the power cables and place them behind you or away from the work area to avoid tripping.
When in use, angle grinders produce sparks that may ignite flammable substances like oil, diesel, gasoline, paper, etc. So, remove anything that can easily catch fire to avoid accidents.
Earphones, jewelry, or any other intricate pieces that can get stuck in an angle grinder should also be removed.
It’s better to be safe than sorry, so we always recommend keeping a fire extinguisher handy while working with angle grinders.
Never use electrical appliances in wet and damp areas. If it is raining, it is best to wait till it stops before you start working.
Lastly, protect your eyes, ears, lungs, and hands by wearing appropriate clothing and accessories. We recommend wearing safety goggles, earplugs, thick gloves, and full-length work pants.
Angle Grinder To Buff Car Final Words
That said, we hope this guide on using an angle grinder to buff and polish cars helped you learn a thing or two about this versatile device. Unlike rotary polishing machines, a standard angle grinder will cost you a lot less and work just as efficiently, if not more.
However, we must add that you will need practice and patience to work with power tools like angle grinders. But that’s just a small price to pay for a smooth and shiny car!
Before signing off, we recommend checking out our article on CR123A batteries for a better understanding of how they work in angle grinders. Consequently, you’ll be able to use these batteries to make your device work smoothly.
Wheel, ideal for use with all abrasive belts. Tool includes 15350 Contact Arm for 1″ wide x 18″ long abrasive belts. Tool grinding head pivots 360 degrees. Soft grip handle assembly allows operator to apply additional.
handheld grinder polisher 15006
Rotational speed: 25,000 rpmPower: 0.4 ch
offset. Multi-position grinding head pivots 360 Degree. Belt guard easily detaches for quick abrasive change; simple belt tracking adjustment knob. Kit includes 01644 Threaded Collet Insert to easily convert tool to 1/4″.
handheld polishing grinder SRH 8-10
Rotational speed: 0 rpm. 10,000 rpmPower: 280 W
With the reduced speed of 10.000 rpm and the double bearing sets, this machine is perfectly suited to demanding polishing and grinding work. The low weight and noise also make the user‘s experience more pleasant. Technical.
belt grinder polisher 77930
Rotational speed: 1,500 rpm. 3,000 rpm
Belt grinding and polishing machine. Versatile belt sanding machine with 3 roller system. For belts up to 100 mm x 3,500/4,000 mm. Optional heights for sitting or standing operation.
belt polishing grinder 72711
Rotational speed: 0 rpm. 1,500 rpmPower: 3 kW. 7.5 kW
Belt grinding and polishing machine. The 72711 belt grinding and polishing machine offers all the benefits of the Series 72780 for the same continuous heavy duty applications but in a single-ended version
belt grinder polisher QGRIND 100
Power: 0.8 kW
The Qgrind 100 is a stable wet double-belt grinder for deburring and pre-grinding of samples or other materials. It is possible to use belts with 2 different grain sizes simultaneously. Waste material generated is drained-off.
stationary grinder polisher QPOL 200 M
Rotational speed: 20 rpm. 600 rpm
Polish Steel Fast!. Metal Working Tools You Need!
remains constant throughout the entire grinding and polishing process. At the end of the preparation procedure, the boost function may be activated to discharge any liquid left on the grinding and polishing.
stationary grinder polisher QPOL GO
Power: 60 W
preparation steps. The grinding/polishing pressure (single pressure) and the preparation time can be continuously adjusted using the corresponding rotary control directly on the grinding and polishing.
metalographic laboratory polishing grinder FORCIPOL 102
Rotational speed: 50 rpm. 600 rpmPower: 1 chDiameter: 200, 250, 300 mm
Metallographic Grinding and Polishing Machine The FORCIPOL Series grinding and polishing machines offer practical and economical solutions to your metallographic sample preparation needs. FORCIPOL instruments.
bench-top polishing grinder C-200T
Rotational speed: 2,800 rpmPower: 750 W
“SPECIAL LINE” COMBINED GRINDERS POLISHERS IN ALUMINUM Nebes has come up with an answer to client request for a combined grinder (completely Made In Italy) that offers maximum performance at a minimum.
stationary polishing grinder BG-75
Power: 3 kW
N.W/G.W: 125/140kg Belt Size: 200075mm Belt Speed: 30m/S Contact Wheel: 20075mm Working Height: 600-1200mm Face Grinding Surface: 59075mm
How to make POLISHER MACHINE from ELECTRIC DRILL and old ANGLE GRINDER
handheld polishing grinder MINI MONTOR mobile 1 P
Rotational speed: 30,000 rpm
The mobile system for grinding, milling and polishing. Maximum mobility in processing large workpieces, for this compact system can now be taken with you almost anywhere. The Ni-Mh storage battery is not only environment.
handheld polishing grinder 9032P-1
Rotational speed: 22,000 rpmPower: 700 W
Application: Grinding, polishing, burnishing and deburring Extremely powerful device (700 watts) Straight design High ease of use Ergonomic design Air connection inlet: Inside thread 12.91 mm (1/4″).
mobile polishing grinder GPTM600
Power: 4 kW
1800 degree transform; Foldable handle is convenient to move, the body designed can be seperated, transportation convenient; Adjustable pressure System, to meet the different needs of construction; Integrated central.
stationary polishing grinder BULUPOL-4
Rotational speed: 100 rpm. 500 rpmPower: 0.6 kWDiameter: 200 mm
400 grit):10 pcs Self adhesive emery paper (600 grit):10 pcs Self adhesive emery paper (800 grit):10 pcs Self adhesive polishing cloth:10 pcs Diamond paste (3-6 microns):1 Alumina suspension (500 gr):1
handheld polishing grinder PIPE MAX HT
Rotational speed: 1,000 rpm. 3,800 rpmPower: 1,750, 1,600 W
ensures long service life Homogeneous, uniform grinding and polishing results for all pipe diameters, large and small Patented gas pressure damping allows the grinding and polishing belts to fit.
bench-top polishing grinder 23-197
Rotational speed: 2,000 rpm. 3,400 rpmDiameter: 8 in
a thing of the past with this Delta 8″ bench grinder in your workshop. Featuring a 5-amp induction motor that delivers variable speeds from 2,000 to 3,400-RPM, you can switch between sharpening and polishing.
handheld polishing grinder 1161 series
Rotational speed: 25,000 rpmDiameter: 6 mm
The RUKO pneumatic grinder has a rubberised, non-slip handle, which absorbs vibration and protects the user from slipping off whilst working. The speed can be adjusted by a governor on top of the handle. It has a tool.
stationary polishing grinder SAB/cnc
Diameter: 30 cm. 75 cm
CNC grinding machine with 4 axis, suitable to grind the surface of the gas cylinders ogives. The machine is equipped with 1 abrasive belt and 4 slides, each commanded by a brushless motor that allow to follow the profile of the ogive.
pipe polishing grinder LPC 500 TE
Power: 2.2 kW
engineered with a modified baseframe, more powerful motors and narrow belts that better can fit the task of satin finishing and polishing tubes and profiles with complex shapes and narrow bending radius. Baseframe.
bench-top grinder polisher MoPao 1000B
Rotational speed: 5 rpm. 100 rpmPower: 700 WDiameter: 250 mm
automatic grinding/polishing machine adopt international advanced manufacturing technology in accordance with international standards. This series adopts the advanced microprocessor control system, which makes grinding.
bench-top polishing grinder GP-1A/GP-2A
Rotational speed: 100 rpm. 1,000 rpmPower: 550 WDiameter: 203, 254 mm
2A are semi-automatic grinder and polisher for metallographic specimen preparation. The strong and variable speed drive allows application for all working steps. Product Feature Simple operation for grinding and.
pipe polishing grinder TBS 760 A
Rotational speed: 1,400, 1,700, 2,100 rpm
versatile, handy model for various grinding, polishing and satin finishing works. This model is mainly used in metal and railing work as well as locksmiths. Properties Ideal for grinding and polishing.
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Best Wet Polisher / Grinder for Ceramics and Sculpture
There are a variety of wet polishers/grinders on the market, but models from Flex, Makita, and Metabo are clear market leaders. These are long-lasting, professional-grade tools that will hold up under heavy use for all your grinding and polishing needs. There are other options, but the top three picks are clearly superior to various generics and off-brand models. These tools are mostly designed for polishing and routing marble and stone, but they work great with ceramic, glaze, concrete and other materials.
A complete review and guide to wet polishers is below, but first:
TOP PICK: Flex LE 12-3 100 Variable Speed Wet Polisher / Grinder
The top pick (and the model I use in the studio) is the Flex LE 12-3 100 Variable Speed Wet Polisher / Grinder.
The Flex polisher has a 9.3 amp motor with speeds ranging from 1200 to 3700 RPM, can accommodate up to 5 inch pads, weighs 5.5 lbs (2.4kg), and it is made with high-quality rubber hoses and cords that stand the test of time. One distributor reports that of all the wet grinder models, this gets returned the least, speaking to its quality. The Flex Variable Speed Wet Polisher typically retails for around 320-340.
Like most power tools, you do have to pay for quality with wet polishers. The top three models from Flex, Makita and Metabo are among the most expensive models, generally costing between 300 and 350 plus extra for a pad and grinding discs. But for an electric tool used in such close proximity to water, you definitely want a tool that you can trust.
Is this a necessary tool for everyone? Most likely not. A wet polisher/grinder is a specialized piece of equipment. But once you have one, you’ll find lots of uses ranging from clean up and polishing, to opening up new decorative possibilities with ceramic glazes. And it’s always great to have a water-based sanding operation to keep dust down in your studio.
Wet polishers / grinders have electrical motors and a water feed. Use proper safety equipment including eye protection, rubber gloves, and possibly a rubber apron. These machines will cast water in many directions, so create a protected area and endeavor to keep water away from the motor and electrical cords. If you feel a “tingle” of electricity, cease use and assess what is causing the problem. All of these tools come with a built-in Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) and if possible, you should plug them into an outlet that also has a GFCI. If the on-unit GFCI is not working, do not use the tool.
Top Pick: Flex LE 12-3 100 Variable Speed Wet Polisher and Grinder
The Flex LE 12-3 100 is the top pick because of its many high-quality features including variable speed, ability to accommodate up to 5” pads, quality of construction including a rubber hose that won’t get kinks, and durability. It’s a close race with the Makita and Metabo models, but this German-made machine stands out for it’s overall quality and ease of use. I’m happy to report that this is the machine I have been using in my studio and it has held up under 6 years of frequent use. If I was shopping today, I would look most closely at this model and the Metabo.
The Flex comes with a 1 year warranty, and has a 9.3 amp motor with speeds ranging from 1200 to 3700 RPM. It does not come with an adapter for the quick-release hose, so you will have to find something that works for your studio. I use a simple garden hose to quick-release connector and I’ve also found attachments to get the hose connector fitted on a faucet.
Flex also makes a single speed model that costs about 20 less, but I think a variable speed wet polisher is the way to go. I typically use speeds ranging from 2 to 4 on this, or 1700 to 2400 RPMs. The speed adjuster is a dial on the back of the tool (see pictures below).
If you read online reviews, the only drawbacks that users report is difficulty finding the right hose connector (I found it easy to find however) and some report GFCI issues. I am very careful when using a wet polisher, and can say I’ve never felt one tingle or shock from this machine.
What is a Grinder Polisher 3 Key Features to Consider when Buying
So you’re in the market for a new Grinder Polisher. New machines are being released at such an alarming rate that you don’t know where to begin when considering one. What’s really important? What could you live without? Where do you get the most for your money?
Whether this is your first grinder polisher or you own a fleet of them, let’s take a look at exactly what a grinder polisher does, and 3 of the most important things that guide you when determining which is the best one for you.
Chances are you know what a grinder polisher is, but to review, despite the many different sizes and variations, the primary purpose of a grinder polisher is to do exactly that: grind your concrete floors, and then polishing your way back up. Additionally, these machines can be used for removal of adhesives, mortar, coatings/membranes, and so on. For the sake of our series, we’ll primarily be focusing on how these machines grind and polish. For as many different methods of doing this, there are as many different machines to help you get there.
What remains the same between all of these machines is the plate(s) on the bottom of the machine rotate to grind and polish. Diamond tooling is attached to these plates and will be changed out during different steps of the process (similar to sanding a piece of furniture, you start with a coarse grit and work your way to a finer grit). Grinder Polishers are primarily produced in single head models up to six head models, with the most common being 3- to 4-headed machines. Which model you choose depends on a number of key features.
Number of Rotating Heads / Planetary vs. Non-Planetary
Depending on whether you primarily prepare the floor, polish it, or both, you’ll need a certain machine that can handle what you throw at it.
- Single Headed – Primarily great for small grinding jobs, hard to reach places, against walls, not often suited for polishing
- Double Headed – Grinding in cramped environments, slightly more coverage than a single head, often not ideal for polishing
- 3-Headed (Planetary) – Primarily a grinder but can also polish, great for full-time surface prep contractor
- 4-Headed (Planetary) – Best of both worlds solution for grinding and polishing, great for large and diverse jobs
Planetary grinder polishers have an advantage over rotary grinders in the way they cover a larger surface area more evenly. Planetary grinders tend to be better balanced than their rotary counterparts, and the more heads on a planetary grinder, the more evenly distributed weight, thus less operator fatigue. 4-Headed grinder polishers seem to hit the sweet-spot between balance and production rates for most contractors.
Primarily Grinding, Polishing, or Removal
In simple terms, less heads on the ground means more downward pressure per plate, and thus more energy directed into grinding down your floor. 3-headed planetary grinders are great for the contractor who primarily grinds as the weight of the machine is more concentrated, thus helping you get the most out of your grinding experience.
On the other hand, a 4-headed planetary grinder is especially good at polishing. A more even distribution of the machine’s weight allows the heads to spin faster, thus really allowing your polishing to be effective. The larger surface area also helps production rates as it takes less time to cover a warehouse than with a smaller machine.
That being said, both 3-headed and 4-headed planetary machines can be used for grinding and polishing. Add-ons like swing weights can make a 4-headed grinder polisher that much heavier, thus reinstating the loss of downward pressure that a 3-headed machine can more easily get. A 3-headed machine can also polish quite effectively; it just may require a little more time because of the more concentrated surface area.
As it pertains to floor removal, the principles of what makes a great floor grinder are shared. Less heads on the ground mean a more aggressive removal. Planetary floor grinders give the contractor more options when it comes to removal tooling. In most circumstances, heavy machines are needed for general and serious removal.
3. Work Conditions
Pertaining to our first key feature, whether grinding and polishing is your full-time job will be a major factor in picking a machine. For the contractor who only occasionally does one or the other, you might be better suited to a smaller machine that can be transported easier but still get the job done in small environments. 3-headed and 4-headed machines tend to be bigger, requiring more effort to transport and store than their smaller counterparts. That being said, the production rates savings and more even scratch patterns might make it worth the extra effort.
If grinding and polishing is your bread and butter, and the jobs you get demand you to be quick and cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time, that bigger machine with more features is the way to go. In a similar vein, the typical time frames of jobs you take on will dictate the size of machine you need. If you get jobs that have bigger timelines to complete them, taking your time with a smaller machine might be a more appealing option. Inversely, if time is a major factor and quicker is better, you might want a bigger machine to hammer out the job that much quicker.
Of course, there are tons of other factors to consider when buying a grinder polisher, but these are three of the big ones that tend to make the biggest difference. Every contractor is different and every job he takes has different demands and expectations. The only way to learn is to get your hands dirty and give it a grind (and polish).