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Welcome to our Dual Action Orbital Polishing Guide. Learn how to remove swirls and scratches, polish away oxidation, and apply wax using your Porter Cable 7424XP. These guides explain proper techniques and suggest what swirl removers, polishes, waxes, and sealants will give you the very best results. The techniques described on these pages will get you started on your way to smooth, shiny paint, regardless of the age of your vehicle.
Examples of a dual action polisher include the Porter Cable 7424XP 6” Variable Speed Polisher , the Meguiar's G110 Dual Action Polisher, the Griot's Garage 6 Inch Random Orbital Polisher and the Flex XC 3401 VRG Orbital Polisher.
is a dual action polisher? |
Dual Action polishers are
characterized by the motion of the head. It spins on a
central spindle, and this spindle rotates around an
eccentric offset. A good metaphor for a dual action
polisher is the earth’s orbit. The earth itself spins
and it also orbits around the sun. Dual action
polishers are also called orbital polishers for this
To the right is a simplified
illustration of the underside of a dual action polisher,
like the Porter Cable 7424XP or the Meguiars G110
Polishers. You can see how the opening for the backing
plate sits off-center. The counterweight sits opposite
the backing plate to balance the weight of the pad and
plate to prevent wobbling.
The rotating and
orbiting of the pad produces what many refer to as a
"jiggling" motion. This irregular motion prevents
the polisher from burning the paint, which refers to
removal of paint below the clear coat surface. Dual
action polishers are very USER FRIENDLY because
they produce very little heat compared to a rotary
The same safety feature which reduces
the possibility of damage from a dual action polisher
also prevents it from removing very deep scratches.
While a dual action polisher will improve the appearance
of scratches and remove most swirls, it does not produce
enough heat to cut deep into the paint.
If you need deeper
scratch removal, this will require a rotary or circular
polisher. Keep in mind, rotary polishers in
inexperienced hands can quickly burn the paint. The pad
spins at high speeds and it's up to the operator to keep
the polisher moving at all times. If the polisher
lingers for a second too long on one spot, it can burn
through the paint. See our Circular Polishing Guide for
Dual action polishers will
improve the texture and luster of automotive paint with
virtually no risk. They are the most
user-friendly option for beginners and professionals,
and they consistently produce beautiful
Scratches that extend below the clear coat
should be repaired by a professional. Attempting to
remove these deep scratches could result in removing too
much clear coat and causing the paint system to fail. If
your fingernail catches on a scratch, consult a
We carry premium foam pads by
Lake Country, Meguiars, Cobra, and The Edge 2000.
With the exception of The Edge 2000, all the pads listed work with a hook and loop backing plate. The directions in the CCS Smart Pads Guide apply to all types of hook and loop pads, but check with the specific brands' pad decriptions for detailed information on the types of foam available. The
guides below will outline the pads and how to use them
to remove swirls, polish, and apply wax.