A car buffer, or auto buffer, is a buffer that is used in the car detailing process. They are often used at car detail businesses but can also be purchased for use by private car owners as well. Most buffers are orbital and turn at a high rate of speed so that the wax is applied to the car in a polished fashion. While hand waxing can accomplish the same objective, a car buffer can do it in a fraction of the time.
There are a number of things to keep in mind when using a car buffer. While the car detail shop may make it look relatively easy, auto buffers can substantially damage the car. This is why it is important, whenever automobile buffers are in use, to make sure the car has been cleaned, dried and is free from all debris. With the car buffer turning at a high rate of speed, any debris on the car can quickly scratch the surface. This even includes sand and dirt granules, which is why some recommend only using a buffer on a day with little or no wind.
There are two main types of buffers, the pneumatic and the electrical models. A pneumatic car buffer uses air as its primary power source. An electric automobile buffer simply plugs into a standard electrical outlet. Each has its own advantages and perhaps some disadvantages as well.
Pneumatic car buffers are relatively light, meaning they are generally easier to handle than electrical buffers. However, for those who do not have a portable compressed air supply, the ability to transport the buffer over great distances is diminished. It may be a good choice for those who are not planning to use the buffer much other than in a certain shop or garage.
The electrical car buffer is a good choice for those who want to be able to take it different places without the burden of also carrying compressed air supplies. Also, they are generally quieter than the compressed air models. Furthermore, electrical auto buffers are generally less expensive than their pneumatic counterparts, at least when comparing similar models.
Most car buffers come with a number of different options, including the size. Smaller ones used for general waxing purposes are approximately 7 inches (17 cm). Larger ones run 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm). The larger ones make it a quicker job, but also make it harder to reach tight locations, so a smaller one or hand waxing may be needed for many of those areas.