Best Buffing Pads

John Kopischke
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Buffing pads are prized by detailers for their versatility and good at doing many tasks. Buffing pads come in a variety of shapes and sizes, though there are two general categories: wool and foam. Foam pads and wool pads are made of different materials, with wool ones having a “denser pile” so to speak.

Now on to the two categories.

This is more or less based on whether or not the pad is made of foam, but foam pads are generally used for cutting and correcting, while wool for polishing and removing swirls.

Here I’m going to draw a distinction between an “all around” and a “finishing” pad. An all-around pad can be used for removing product residue and for light correction. A finishing pad (such as the Wolfgang Finshing Pad) are great for putting on the final polish and removing (and/or diminishing) the swirls that come almost as standard with a cutting polisher.

The pad is designed in a unique twist shape with foam ribs that work by helping to push the polish across the paint, so that you can work faster than with the more common flat foam pads. The ribbed structure of the pad means that there is more contact area with the paint, for a more uniform finish.

NameCategoryProduct
Car Foam Drill Polishing Pad Kit 22 PCSBest OverallCar Foam Drill Polishing Pad Kit 22 PCS
Meguiar’s W0004 Supreme Shine 4" Foam Applicator PadsBudget PickMeguiar’s W0004 Supreme Shine 4" Foam Applicator Pads
Gritguard Universal Pad WasherUpgrade PickGritguard Universal Pad Washer

1. Car Foam Drill Polishing Pad Kit 22 PCS

Our rating: 9 / 10

Car Foam Drill Polishing Pad Kit 22 PCS

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For Car Waxing, Car Scratch Removing, Polishing Waxing Kit.

This foam pad kit from Car is great value for money. With this kit, you get 22 pieces of 3”pcs of buffing pads. The pads are made of high-density polyurethane foam, which not only is of great durability, but also is able to withstand high amounts of heat.

With this kit, you can keep your car looking brand new easily. The pads can be used for polishing, gentle cleaning, light cutting and removing of wax and scratch removal. You can use it with any type of tool that accepts the pad.

2. Chemical Guys HEX_3KIT_6 6.5" Buffing Pad Kit

Our rating: 9 / 10

Chemical Guys HEX_3KIT_6 6.5" Buffing Pad Kit

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Pros:

  • Composite wool construction
  • Firm and dense foam
  • Easily washable
  • Dense foam material works great with polishes
  • Works above and beyond its price

3. VIKING 862401 Microfiber Applicator and Cleaning Pads

Our rating: 9 / 10

VIKING 862401 Microfiber Applicator and Cleaning Pads

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Pros:

  • Our Pick for the Best Buffing Pads and Applicator Pads – VIKING 862401 Microfiber Applicator and Cleaning Pads.

The VIKING 862401 Microfiber Applicator and Cleaning Pads are a heavy duty cleaning tool that can withstand a ton of abuse. The VIKING applicator pads attach and detach easily to a standard size handle. The pads themselves are made of super soft microfiber material that helps make cleaning simple.

They work great as a polishing pad, but can also be used for applying waxs, dressings, buffing & polishing products, perfumes, soaps, auto care products, cutting compounds, polishing compounds and more.

The VIKING 862401 Microfiber Applicator and Cleaning Pads come in a 6 pack and each slightly larger than 5 inches in diameter. They make fantastic replacement pads for medium duty orbital buffers and polishers.

4. TCP Global Brand Polishing and Buffing Pad Cleaning Spur Tool

Our rating: 9 / 10

TCP Global Brand Polishing and Buffing Pad Cleaning Spur Tool

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Pros:

  • Comes with a 5-year limited warranty
  • Tacky non-slip bottom
  • Get the deepest clean possible

The TCP Global Brand Polishing and Buffing Pad Cleaning Spur Tool is the perfect tool for revitalizing polisher pads and bonnets. This versatile all-in-one device can sweep off compound stuck to the machine bed, scrub away dried polish, and revitalize worn out polisher pads. Since TCP Global Brand designed this spur tool with both durability and comfort in mind, you can rest assured that it’ll last the long run.

It also has a special non-slip bottom. As we know, polishers can be pretty slippery.

The TCP Global Brand Polishing and Buffing Pad Cleaning Spur Tool has a long wooden handle that allows you to easily get into the deep corners of your polisher.

5. Fontic 11pcs 3"/80mm Compound Drill Buffing Sponge Pads Kit

Our rating: 8 / 10

Fontic 11pcs 3"/80mm Compound Drill Buffing Sponge Pads Kit

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Pros:

  • Ideal size for buffing
  • Long-lasting
  • 3mm thick, a good option for polishing and waxing
  • Anti-slip on the bottom
  • Includes 1 woolen buffer

Cons:

  • Needs frequent replacement
  • Not compatible with all drills

The Fontic 11pcs 3"/80mm Compound Drill Buffing Sponge Pads Kit for Car Sanding, Polishing, Waxing, Sealing Glaze (9 Polishing Pads+1 Woolen Buffer+1 Thread Drill Adapter with Shank) comes with 9 buffing pads for waxing, polishing, and sealing, and 1 woolen buffer pad for buffing.

The pads are backed by a 51-day money-back and replacement guarantee, and they feature a 3mm thick foam 6" pad for buffing, a sturdy color-coordinated plastic rim, and a hole designed to fit any screwdriver or drill bit.

Cleaning the buffing pads is easy. You can just wash them in water or toss them into the machine for a wash.

6. Griot's Garage 15548 Pad Conditioning Brush

Our rating: 8 / 10

Griot's Garage 15548 Pad Conditioning Brush

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Pros:

  • Great for black cars
  • Good for removing scratches
  • Solid build quality

If you’re looking for a great tool for black cars, Griot’s Garage offers some excellent options. Griot’s Garage is a company that dedicates itself to detailing and offers a full line of products.

The first step in detailing a car is often buffing. Griot’s Garage 15548 pad conditioning brush is an interesting tool which can be used to rejuvenate soft paint areas, clean away wax residue, and remove fine scratches.

This brush effectively removes microscratch marks, swirl marks, and it also works to improve the appearance of faded paint. One thing to keep in mind is that it is not a substitute for actual polishing.

7. Meguiar’s W0004 Supreme Shine 4" Foam Applicator Pads

Our rating: 8 / 10

Meguiar’s W0004 Supreme Shine 4" Foam Applicator Pads

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Pros:

  • Soft foam with an absorbent top layer
  • Great at reducing swirls
  • Safe on all kinds of paint
  • Price is great
  • Many compared it to a microfiber towel
  • Get extra-absorbent power out of it by spraying it with degreaser or a detail spray
  • Washable, lint-free, and durable
  • Absorbs surfaces contaminants
  • Provides the perfect amount of lubrication
  • Non-abrasive texture

8. SPTA 5Pcs 6inch

Our rating: 8 / 10

SPTA 5Pcs 6inch

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Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • The quality is good
  • Can be reused
  • Can even be used as a sanding pad
  • The price is good
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Takes a long time to ship
  • Very hard to find in stores

9. TCP Global 8" Green Fine Foam Buffing Grip Pad Final Cut Polish Finishing

Our rating: 8 / 10

TCP Global 8" Green Fine Foam Buffing Grip Pad Final Cut Polish Finishing

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Pros:

  • Perfect for applying waxes and polishing compounds
  • Green velvet pad – safe for soft coats
  • Contains 6 pieces
  • Contains an anti-slip grip
  • Specially designed for buffing and polishing
  • Each pad measures 8 x 8 inches
  • Colors vary
  • Construction: cotton velour / Polyester flocking

Cons:

  • Not good at removing scratches
  • Not suitable for remote parts of the vehicle

A good buffer pad should last a very long time. This offering from TCP Global features a non-scratch, split-weave velour with a special flocked rubber backing that prevents scratching. The soft green top face releases gentle swirls without leaving a touch of mark.

It’s a great choice for removing wax as well. The fine foam is great for removing waxes, polishes, and swirls from surfaces. This pad is also great for removing wax. As the soft top face is intended for waxing and polishing, it’s best for touch-up work.

Overall, if you’re in the market for a great all-around buffer pad, this is your best pick.

10. Chemical Guys

Our rating: 8 / 10

Chemical Guys

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Pros:

  • Best buffing pad for paint correction
  • Very intensive foam
  • Durable, long lasting foam
  • Can be used with a drill for polishing
  • Scratch-free, deep polishing possible
  • Gives a mirror-like shine

11. Mothers 05140 PowerBall Metal Polishing Tool

Our rating: 8 / 10

Mothers 05140 PowerBall Metal Polishing Tool

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Pros:

  • Variety of uses
  • Perfect for cleaning and polishing

The Mothers 05140 PowerBall is an excellent tool to have if you’re the type to take good care of your car. This pad is very easy to attach and remove; it’s a great tool for polishing metal, fiberglass, and even glass.

The 5140 PowerBall don’t require any kind of lubrication to work on your car’s finish. It’ll attach to your drill with ease and remove scratches and oxidation.

The PowerBall is also suitable for buffing anything from stainless steel, brass, plastics, and polished wood to a fine, high-gloss finish. They’re perfect for polishing door handles, chrome bumpers, rims, and even the hood and trunk and it’s very easy to clean.

12. SPTA 5 Inch & 6 Inch Car Polisher Bonnet

Our rating: 7 / 10

SPTA 5 Inch & 6 Inch Car Polisher Bonnet

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Pros:

  • Works well with a variety of compounds
  • Waxer bonnet option for polishing

If you already have a buffer, these bonnets are a great accessory to have. The 5-inch pads are suitable for removing defects from the paint. Buff from a distance of 1-inch away.

Meanwhile, the 6-inch pads are suited for polishing the paint. Buff from a distance of 2-inches away.

The waxer bonnet option is excellent for working on a car with a fresh coat of wax.

13. McKee's 37 MK37-730 Polishing Pad Rejuvenator

Our rating: 7 / 10

McKee's 37 MK37-730 Polishing Pad Rejuvenator

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Pros:

  • Works great with McKee's 37 products
  • Creates a mirror finish to any surface
  • Makes a great gift

Cons:

  • Might be overkill for a beginner
  • Can be a bit too abrasive

If you're looking for a great gift you can give to any beginner who either buys their own materials or owns their own buffer/polisher, the McKee's 37 MK37-730 Polishing Pad Rejuvenator is the perfect choice to give. If you can't afford it, or don't feel that your friend would appreciate it, you could always go for a gift card to a car wash, and maybe some detailing products. It's a great gift to polish someone's gift, and it can really make any gift you give to them even more special.

Some gifts can't be bought. With this gift, you can give something that's valuable, and will never lose its value. What's more is that you can't emulate the gift of polishing. If your friend knows how to polish, you'll be able to see the difference in the quality of the gift he or she made. Giving your friend this gift gives them the opportunity to really stand out.

14. Gritguard Universal Pad Washer

Our rating: 6 / 10

Gritguard Universal Pad Washer

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Pros:

  • Great for cleaning pads quickly and easily
  • Clean up project from stains or finishes
  • Easy to load

The Grit Guard was invented by a detailing pro who was tired of his buffing pads getting dirty fast. He wanted to find a way to clean them without getting his hands (or clothing) dirty. The Grit Guard is a great solution to this problem.

Simply throw your dirty pads into the Grit Guard and put a couple inches of automotive soap in the top. Run water through and watch as the dirty solution drains out the bottom and your clean pads are ready to use. This will save you a ton of time over washing them by hand!

When it comes to finding the best orbital polisher pads, I recommend using the Topp Cloth Buffing pads. You can use them to spread sealants, waxes or glazes. They’re also great for applying polishing products.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who makes the best buffing pads?

Each of them have pros and cons. Many people choose Lake Country CCS pads, but there are a number of other excellent options. Generally, you’ll want to pick the one that has a dense foam and a firm backing pad that will keep the pad from crumpling and coming off of the machine.

What pads to use for buffing?

For most buffing¬ applications you’ll use a wool pad; however, for polishing you’ll be using carnauba wax.

It’s important to keep the pad clean so you can do the best buffing possible. Make sure you wash your pads using a soap with no ammonia or fragrance. Use gentle detergents like Woolite to maintain your pad.

What is the difference between buffing and polishing pads?

There are three types of buffing pads, each with their pros and cons. Buffing pads can be made from different materials and are sized differently.

Soft-segment or foam pads are excellent for applying waxes, but are generally too soft to remove oxidation alone and are best used to apply a pre-wax cleaner and give a deep, clean wax finish.

Prefinished, or wool, pads are generally made from cashmere and are suited for most polishing tasks. They have a limited lifespan as they wear down quickly if used to apply cleaner waxes or if too much pressure is applied. This is also the least expensive type.

What are the different color buffing pads for?

You may have some buffing pads that are white, black and grey, and these are typically the most common you will find in stores. The white buffing pad is used as the base, and the other colors are used to add to the strength of that buff. Black is then followed by grey. This allows you to gradually add layers to the same spot until you are happy with the result. This allows you to achieve a bloom on the paint that is somewhat unattainable by hand.

Conclusion

Buying the right buffing pad is not something you should do without some research. It’s a fact that no two pads are alike. So read about them and see what the pros and cons are of each product listed here. We hope that after reviewing this guide, you are able to choose a buffing pad to help you get the perfect finish on a range of different paint jobs.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Car Foam Drill Polishing Pad Kit 22 PCSBest OverallCar Foam Drill Polishing Pad Kit 22 PCS
Meguiar’s W0004 Supreme Shine 4" Foam Applicator PadsBudget PickMeguiar’s W0004 Supreme Shine 4" Foam Applicator Pads
Gritguard Universal Pad WasherUpgrade PickGritguard Universal Pad Washer