An electric shoe buffer effortlessly buffs away scuffs and renews the polish on shoes to keep them looking sharp. It comes with a small but powerful, fully encased electronic motor. Driving rods at either end are fitted with replaceable conical buffers made of lamb's wool or synthetic material. Once the motor is engaged, the buffers spin to quickly and expertly shine shoes or boots. While standing in front of the buffer, simply bring the top of the shoe against the underside of the spinning device. Angling the foot allows you to polish the sides and heel.
A shoe buffer commonly has a red buffer and a black buffer. The red buffer is normally used with lighter colored shoes, and the black buffer with darker shoes. This prevents residual black polish on the buffer from transferring to a lighter shoe. The actual the color of the buffer itself is purely aesthetic. In most cases, it will come with two sets of buffers.
Buffers can be washed and dried for repeated use. When buffers begin to mat, it's time to buy a new set. Lamb's wool will resist matting, while synthetic materials are more prone to wear.
Though there are many manufacturers, models and a wide range of quality, most electric shoe buffers can be divided into two types: They can either have a handle extension topped with a power button, or a toe switch. Of the type using a handle extension, some models require that the button remain depressed to keep the buffers spinning.
The motor of a shoe buffer is arguably the most important feature. Weak motors will bog down when pressure is placed against the buffers. The quality of the motor will dictate price to a large extent, which can range from US$49 to $150 or more. A high quality buffer will also come with 100% lambs wool buffers, instead of synthetic buffers.
A shoe buffer is small enough to take on business trips, and it may be convenient to keep one at the office and one at home. For extra shine, apply a small amount of polish to the shoe before buffing.