Long Throw Dual Action Polisher
This is the defect slayer. With a powerful motor and huge 21mm throw, this machine is no joke. Why do I prefer the G21 over the smaller G15? While the G15 might be better in tighter areas, the G21 gets the most work done in the least amount of time. I always have a short throw polisher with a 3″ pad on hand for edging and intricate curves anyways. Why did I choose Griot’s Garage over Rupes? That was easy. I’ve already had good experiences with the company, they have a great reputation for both quality and customer service, and it has a much better warranty.
5″ Long Throw Backing Plate
Griot’s Garage Boss 5″ Backing Plate
I use this on the Boss G21 polisher in order to get the kind of cutting ability only a rotary polisher can beat. The G21 normally comes with a larger 6″ backing plate. Combining the huge 21mm throw with a smaller pad and washer mod is like putting this thing on steroids. I wouldn’t recommend this for novice detailers because at this level, the potential for causing damage intensifies. Griot’s Garage does state that both the G21 and G15 can be used with either 5″ or 6″ backing plates safely.
Short Throw Dual Action Polishers
Griot’s Garage and Porter Cable
This year my 6″ Griot’s Garage Random Orbital polisher is taking on a new role. It’s now set up with a smaller backing plate to be able to run 3″ pads for edging, curves, and tight areas. I’ll still use either this or the Porter Cable 7424XP with a 5″ or 6″ backing plate for finishing down soft paint as well. These short throw machines can be very gentle on paint when you need them to be so it’s certainly worth having one.
This can be a tough purchase to justify because quite frankly, these things ain’t cheap. The thing is, aside from pneumatic polishers, there just isn’t any other alternative to run small pads with a dual action movement. Getting into all the intricate areas of a car or bike to keep the correction tight is one of the things that separates a fantastic paint correction from a mediocre one. Why did I choose the less popular short neck option? To me, pad flatness is very important when polishing. The leverage of the longer neck will multiply any angle you put on the machine so I’d rather keep it short. It also doesn’t hurt that this was the only one in stock at my regular retailer and it sells for a few bucks less.
Paint Depth Gauge
I’m the first to admit that I don’t trust paint depth gauges 100%, no matter how expensive they might be. But it’s always a good idea to know the most about a vehicle’s history before polishing it so I added this one to my arsenal. This Extech unit is inexpensive but it still gets the job done. If I was assured that the $1K+ gauges would never lie or give a false reading, I might be able to justify the cost. That’s just not the case though. Jason Rose mentioned at a recent Rupes training session that the Extech is currently his gauge of choice rather than blowing money on an expensive one. If it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me.
This is probably the most popular vacuum among car detailers. At 5 peak HP, it offers plenty of power in an easy to maneuver package. I’ve been beating on this one for a while now and it shows no signs of giving up. Combined with the VT2570 hose option, this is a hard vacuum to beat for both professional and hobby detailers.
A leaf blower? For detailing? Yes, you read that correctly. I use this Worx leaf blower to dry off vehicles rather than an expensive, dedicated car dryer. Water flies right off any vehicle wearing a wax, sealant or coating with ease. It even has enough power to take a lot of the standing water off of an unprotected car.
If you care about the longevity of your microfiber towel collection, it’s important that you wash them properly. Sure, you can use regular detergent (but never any fabric softener!) but these towels can get pretty expensive. Using a dedicated product like Micro Restore is a great way to ensure that your towels will last as long as possible.