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Nothing’s quite as sweet as “hand-polished” look on your car , but when it comes to uber-shine, pros reach for a power polisher.  Together with a quality polishing pad, the combination can make for a show stopper — and we’ve seen more than one Porter Cable 7428 in show car toolboxes. 

The 7428 always seems to be the polisher you see in pad manufacturers’ advertising, too. It’s no wonder; it has a 1000 to 3000 rpm pad speed adjustment and a powerful 10 amp motor with a variable speed trigger.

The 7″ disc mounts to the unit via spindle lock, but the pad secures with a hook and loop system making for easy change-outs if you’re applying a multi-stage system. 

Caution: You should know is that a polisher is different than a grinder.  A grinder operates at a much higher rate of speed.  We can’t stress that enough.  If you try to use a grinder with a polish pad you might wind up taking your paint off instead of applying that high gloss shine you were looking for. We can’t stress this enough, seriously.

Another note: Why not pick yourself up a cheap-ass Harbor Freight polisher to use with your knot-cup brush for knocking off welding slag and rust?  There’s no reason to spin a brush at 10k RPM — 3k’ll clean that rust off just fine.

Street pricing starts at $225.

7″ 7428 Polisher [Porter Cable]
Street Pricing [Froogle]


4 Responses to Finds: Porter Cable 7″ Polisher

  1. Rick says:

    I purchased one of these about a year ago, with every intention of using it come springtime on my wife’s newish Trailblazer, and my newly acquired 1990 BMW. Both were in need of some serious paint TLC.

    I wish I could give a more complete review, because as I mentioned above… I had “every intention” of using it for that. But spring came and my daughter came, and then spring went, and my daughter stuck around, and then summer came and went and fall, and winter.. Well.. Here we are.. the infant child is still here, as is the paint oxidation on the BMW and the swirlmarks on the Trailblazer. 😀

    My birthday present to my daughter come this April will be to offer her two sweet rides to cruise around town in. (No, I’m not buying new cars.. I’m going to put this PC polisher to work!)

  2. Fletcher says:

    These are also useful for sanding. I recently bought one almost exactly like this for sanding down automotive paint. The factors I was concerned about were low, variable speed (1000 RPM is the ideal speed–or so I’ve read. Much faster and you risk burning the paint, and overheating/warping your sheetmetal), consistant power under load and ‘soft start.’

  3. l_bilyk says:

    I bought one of these today!!1 *happy dance*

  4. I’ve been using one of these exact polishers for four years plus and out of three that I bought, one still works. This isn’t to say that they die easy. I use one about every day of the year in all kinds of heat, humidity, rain and even freezing conditions.
    I wax and polish boats and yachts in Seattle. I sometimes use a hook and loop system and sometimes I use a two-sided pad. I’m hard on these things. I sometimes have to almost sit on them with a compounding solution to bring back the glaze of a boat’s finish and sometimes I tilt them so the spinning wheel bends almost 90 degrees against the surface.
    I’ve used other buffers and I like the PC the best.
    I’d kill however for one made from carbon fiber and titanium so my wrists don’t ache after a long week of buffing.
    By the way, for use on a car’s paint, the normal pads and wheels are fine for grinding out oxidation and swirl marks but when you’re ready to get to the pretty-ing up of it all, use a foam pad with a smooth surface, a great wax polish and patience. Go slow to work the material in and then slightly faster to polish things up.

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