There is more to boat buffers than polishing your boat. Buffing tool reinforce the safety coating of your boat's hull.
Finding the best boat buffer, however, can be difficult, especially if you don't know much about these helpful tools. What you are looking to do with this tool and the condition of your boat dictate what buffer you should purchase.
The best boat buffer for your boat includes Makita 9237CX3 polisher, Dewalt DWP849 Buffer, and Chemical Guys Complete Detailing Kit. These boat buffers enhance the shine and finish of your boat’s coat to boost its performance. They help you achieve the desired smooth finish more efficiently.
Although the boat buffers listed above are the best, other suitable buffers exist on the market today. With any purchase, whether old or new, there are specific features to consider to choose a good boat buffer. Additionally, repurchasing the same tool due to poor quality is not anything that anyone would write home about.
Detailed product reviews and buying guides should come in handy to help you choose a good boat buffer. With many leading brands in the industry, get one with excellent design features and durable construction.
10 Best Boat Buffers
A reliable boat buffer will allow your boat to enjoy a long and healthy life. Boat buffers are developed explicitly for navigational purposes. Hence they are essential tools. Below are the ten best boat buffers.
1. DEWALT Buffer
Ranking top position among the best boat buffers is the DEWALT DWP849X buffer. This product is often a choice for most boat owners due to its ability to act simultaneously as a polisher and a buffer.
This buffer features a powerful 12-amp motor that produces up to 3,500 RPM on various surfaces. The DWP849X buffer displays its versatility through its ability to polish different surfaces without any problems.
Like most buffers, it also features variable speed settings. These settings further enhance this tool's polishing and buffing capabilities. The additional ball-bearing construction complements the overall durability of the DEWALT buffer.
Other outstanding features of the DEWALT DWP849X buffer are:
- It has both the corded and cordless versions
- Features a controlled finishing system that is beginner-friendly
- Includes two handles that enable a firm grip for easier usage
- It has a durable construction
- Works as both a buffer and a polisher
- It is efficient in eradicating swirls and scratches.
2. Makita 9237CX3 Polisher
The Makita 9237CX3 polisher is the second recommended buffer for boats and yachts all the same. This brand has built a reputation for producing high-quality marine equipment and pricing them reasonably.
This boat buffer is powered by a 10-amp motor that produces up to 3,200 RPM. For most boats, this power is adequate to cover them without any possible issues.
The constant speed control that the Makita polisher produces allows it to maintain speed, especially when under heavy load. This results in increased accuracy, making your work much more manageable.
This tool ranks among the best boat buffers because it has a rubberized gear housing that guarantees comfort. Additionally, it has a cord guard that makes it flexible and durable.
Since this product works well for delicate surfaces, you can rest assured that there will be no incurred damages on your boat while polishing.
Some features that make the Makita 9237CX3 polisher stand out include:
- It has a constant speed controller
- It has a pad alignment
- The unit has a DEWALT’s controlled finishing system
- It features a powerful 10-amp motor.
3. Chemical Guys Complete Detailing Kit
As the name implies, the Chemical Guys Complete Detailing Kit has everything you need for boat buffing. The features:
- Two bottles of the pad conditioner
- Five polishing pads
- A pad cleaner
- Two microfiber towels
- A buffer
- Other tiny accessories.
The PORTER-CABLE 7424XP is the buffer that is present in this kit. This buffer has a 4.5-amp motor with enough power to polish at high speeds.
To clean up glossy surfaces, you will use polishing pads. The pad conditioners will help you fix any scratch marks present on the surface of your boat. The conditioners can also remove swirls and stains.
Although the buffer produces a bit of noise while in use, this kit includes all you need for boat buffing and detailing, it is also ideal for both professionals and beginners. This kit stands out because you do not require to purchase separate accessories.
4. Shurhold Boat Buffer Kit
Many boaters adore the Shurhold 3101 Boat Buffer Kit due to its unique features. This kit provides all the necessities for buffing, saving you from unnecessary spending.
As a buffing kit that is ideal for beginners, the Shurhold 3101 is easy to use and maneuver. It has a powerful motor with a variable speed setting ranging between 2,500 to 6,500 RPM.
Although it does not feature some accessories, this set is like a complete detailing kit. Its unique pattern features foam pads and an absorbent microfiber towel.
This unit does not have any significant issues, yet it is budget-friendly. Other features you may like in this unit are:
- The NMMA recognizes it for its versatility and effectiveness
- The buffer is compact and lightweight
- The kit includes most of the accessories that you need for buffing.
- Efficiency in eradicating swirls and scratches
5. TORQ BUF503X Polisher
The TORQ BUF503X Polisher comes as a complete boat buffing kit. The kit includes four packs of polishes and three polishing pads. The TORQ wrench is convenient because you can easily change plates depending on the job site.
This kit can handle several functions with a buffer that provides 2,800 to 7,800 RPM of power. Apart from erasing swirls and scratches, the TORQ polisher focuses on detailing your boat.
Although this kit is relatively affordable, it is sturdy enough to handle heavy duties. Its ergonomic design makes it ideal for novice users.
One drawback of this unit is accidental touches on the speed knob, but with a few techniques and instructional guides, one should be able to control it.
Below are some pros of the TORQ BUF503X polisher:
- It is a complete buffing set
- One can switch to different plates
- It is ideal for novices
- It does not produce any loud noise or vibration
- You can use it for different purposes.
6. DEWALT Variable Speed Polisher
DEWALT has built a reputation over the years for producing competent power tools. The DEWALT DWP849 Variable Speed Polisher is powerful enough because it features a 12-amp motor.
This unit stands out for its feather-light weight. Although it looks heavy, its light construction can enable you to work without pressure. The controlled finishing system makes it ideal for novice users.
There is not much difference between this unit and the DEWALT buffer mentioned earlier. The only notable difference is that this unit lacks a corded version.
Additional features that make the DEWALT variable speed polisher likable are:
- It can perform heavy tasks
- It is lightweight and suitable for beginners
- The unit has a DEWALT’s controlled finishing system
- It has ergonomic handles.
7. Rupes LHR21ES Big Foot Random Orbital Polisher
The Rupes LHR21ES Big Foot Random Orbital Polisher is among the best boat buffer machines on the market. This brand has been on the market since the 40s and is well known for its good quality.
This unit has a powerful 4.2-amp motor with a speed of 2,500 and 4,700 RPM. Due to its power, this buffer removes scratches of any size and shape.
Some other handy features in this buffer are:
- It features a variable speed setting that ensures the right amount of spin for a perfect job.
- Has an anti-spin function that stops high-speed spinning.
- It has an electronic feedback module that maintains constant spinning.
The Rupes Orbital Polisher is, however, highly-priced. This is because this unit has an extensive orbit profile ideal for tackling large boat hulls.
8. Griot’s Garage 10813LNGCRD Orbital Polisher
The Griot's Garage 10813LNGCRD Orbital Polisher is a novice-friendly device that is quite error-proof. This unit has a dual-action random orbital feature that enhances results.
It’s equipped with a hook and loop backing plate, so this buffer allows easier installation and removal of pads. Another feature is the rubberized grip that magnifies this unit's non-slip feature.
For convenience, the power switch and the speed control button are strategically placed so you can access them using one hand.
The Griot's Garage Polisher is:
- Efficient in eradicating swirls and scratches
- Ideal for beginners
- Super ergonomic in design
- Powerful enough to handle heavy tasks.
9. Porter-Cable Variable Speed Polisher
If you want to perform sanding and polishing tasks efficiently, this is the speed polisher to choose. Porter-Cable Variable Speed Polisher rapidly removes:
- Oxidation stains
- Water spots.
An added advantage is that this marine buffer performs all the above tasks without burning the paint.
This unit features a two-position-sided handle, so you can use whichever hand you prefer while buffing your boat. You are also guaranteed to work without exhaustion since this super-light buffer weighs below six pounds.
Another unique feature in this unit is the pre-installed counterweight which helps one have a balanced unit while working.
The improved switch design of this buffer permits excellent durability. Although this unit performs the task efficiently, you should consider using reliable pads while using it for long hours.
10. Black and Decker Speed Polisher
The Black and Decker Variable Speed Polisher stands out because it can gleam, wax, and sharpen easily and quickly.
The random orbit equipped with this buffer enables its high speed and high-end finishing. Additionally, these unit polishing results are free of stains, burns, and swirls.
If you want to finish your tasks quickly and easily, Black and Decker's ergonomic design permits that. Its two-handle design gives you greater control over it hence the efficiency.
This unit also features a foam applicator bonnet and a wool polishing bonnet, enabling a professional finish. Although the unit lacks a variable speed feature, the motor's speed is locked at 4,400 RPM.
Another nice feature of the Black and Decker Variable Speed Polisher is:
- It has a compact build that saves space
- It is not noisy
- Has a random motion swirl-free characteristic
- It has a 10-feet cord
- The unit has a DEWALT’s controlled finishing system.
Features to Consider When Choosing a Boat Buffer
There are factors that you need to consider when choosing a boat buffer. These factors help you get the most suitable buffer for your boat, depending on your work and the environment.
Below are the factors.
Your needs and handling experience should guide you on which buffer to buy. There are two essential boat buffers; the Rotary buffer and the Orbital buffer.
The rotary buffer is the best option if you are considering speed. These buffers are only recommendable for professional handlers because they may cause damage if not handled properly.
On the contrary, orbital buffers are the best option for novice users. This is because these buffers feature a tiny shaft that does not speed as fast as the rotary one.
The weight of this working tool should be another significant factor to consider. You will require to get a lightweight marine tool so that it does not affect your handling ability.
A heavy buffer will be challenging to work with. Therefore, you will require rest between polishing sessions. You also can not work for long periods while using a heavy buffer.
You should be able to adjust the speed of your buffer depending on the area you are working on. A versatile buffer should offer the option to move slowly or quickly.
Having a boat buffer with an adjustable speed setting is crucial because it gives you versatility while working with it.
You would instead invest in a highly sturdy model than keep repurchasing the same tool due to poor quality.
You can evaluate your buffer's features to determine its quality. A durable buffer comes with a company warranty to ensure its quality.
Since these navigational tools perform arduous tasks, it is only fair to purchase one sturdy enough to be a worthy investment.
The Random Orbit Action
Boat buffers that feature a Random Orbit Action are more efficient in performing their tasks. They are versatile in that you can change the angle of the head to allow a smoother buffing experience.
Buffers equipped with Random Orbit Actions can reach into corners and edges. Therefore, they result in more even surfaces hence more efficient.
Buffers produce immense vibration when used for long periods. You are more likely to experience an uncomfortable grip that will lead to soring of the hands.
While choosing your buffer, always consider picking one with a soft finish to make it easy and comfortable to hold. A well-positioned grip goes hand in hand with comfort.
As mentioned above, buffers are tools that produce a vibration because they are motor-powered. Too much vibration will affect your buffer's stability and make it unstable to use.
Therefore, purchasing a boat buffer that creates less vibration is best for ease of handling.
Pros and Cons of Using Boat Buffers
Like any other tool, boat buffers have their good and dark sides. Although boat buffers are easy to use and perform their task efficiently, they have disadvantages.
- These tools achieve the desired overall results more quickly and efficiently.
- Any time you use a boat buffer, you are guaranteed to acquire a smooth finish.
- Due to their versatility, you do not have to spend much time polishing just one area of your boat.
- You will not require to purchase a boat buffer if you do not use it often.
- These costly tools lead most boaters to carry out manual polishing as the last option.
- Learning how to use a boat buffer takes quite some time.
About THE AUTHOR
I have a deep love of houseboating and the life-changing experiences houseboating has brought into my life. I’ve been going to Lake Powell on our family’s houseboat for over 30 years and have made many great memories, first as a child and now as a parent. My family has a passion for helping others have similar fun, safe experiences on their houseboat.Read More About Brian Samson