10 Best Polishing Pads of 2021

Jerry Wilson
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Whether you own a motorcycle, a car, or a bike, cleaning and polishing is a major part of maintaining your vehicle, at least for motorcycling enthusiasts.

For professionals, a well polished bike or car can make the difference between a customer picking you over another guy or gal. However, it can be pretty tricky polishing curves and edges with a normal rag or towel. That’s when a specialized polishing pad can do the job.

Especially if you’re using chemical-laden polish, it’s imperative that you use a high-quality soft polishing pad.

NameCategoryProduct
Chemical Guys BUFX_104_HEX5 Hex-Logic Light-Medium Polishing PadBest OverallChemical Guys BUFX_104_HEX5 Hex-Logic Light-Medium Polishing Pad
PORTER-CABLE Polishing PadBudget PickPORTER-CABLE Polishing Pad
TCP Global Ultimate 6 Pad Buffing and Polishing KitUpgrade PickTCP Global Ultimate 6 Pad Buffing and Polishing Kit

1. Chemical Guys BUFX_104_HEX5 Hex-Logic Light-Medium Polishing Pad

Our rating: 9 / 10

Chemical Guys BUFX_104_HEX5 Hex-Logic Light-Medium Polishing Pad

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Pros:

  • Very easy to use
  • Easy to store
  • Extremely affordable
  • Polishing would be smoother with some elbow grease
  • Very durable

Cons:

  • Can become quite abrasive after extended use
  • Won’t work with 6 inch backing plates
  • Quite thin

For my top pick, I went with the Hex-Logic pads. I always try to equip my pad collection to the best-value for money. I do this by taking all of the most important factors into consideration, and then narrowing down my search.

The Hex-Logic series is a family of pads that I’ve been using myself for the last couple of years and have been very impressed with the quality and feel of them. Now, you might be asking yourself, what makes these pads so special? Well, it’s because they are made out of the Hex-Logic material.

It’s a material that looks and feels like it’s made out of foam, but it’s actually a velvety, micro-fiber material. The fibers are much smaller in diameter than a foam pad, resulting in the fabric being a lot thinner.

2. VIKING 862401 Microfiber Applicator and Cleaning Pads

Our rating: 9 / 10

VIKING 862401 Microfiber Applicator and Cleaning Pads

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Pros:

  • A cheaper alternative to microfiber towels
  • Reusable
  • Can be washed in the machine
  • Leak proof

VIKING 862401 Microfiber Applicator and Cleaning Pads are larger than microfiber towels, and are more advanced. They don’t dry out like paper towels, and instead are composed of super absorbent microfiber that cleans windows, mirrors, and more.

They’re able to absorb almost 7 times more liquid than other fabrics, and work especially well on cleaning glass and mirrors.

Due to the large size, they’re perfect for large surfaces, but can be used for smaller surfaces as well.

3. TCP Global Ultimate 6 Pad Buffing and Polishing Kit

Our rating: 9 / 10

TCP Global Ultimate 6 Pad Buffing and Polishing Kit

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Pros:

  • Durable and Sturdy
  • Affordable
  • Extra Foam Pads, An Extra Clear View Carry Case, Extra Grip Covers, and an additional threaded backing plate make this kit completely versatile
  • The wool grip pad is fantastic at polishing and buffing
  • The 24 Sanding Sheets are wonderful

The TCP Global Ultimate 6 Pad Buffing and Polishing Kit makes our list as it has a plethora of inserts to meet your every need. It sports an abrasive, wool, and polishing insert. The foam waffle pad is ideal for heavy-duty polishing and gives your car the extra shine it’s been missing.

The wool pad has a greater density than normal, allowing for an incredible shine and finish. It also has a raised design that works to help contain wax during waxing. It''s a great choice.

4. DEWALT Wool Buffing Pad and Backing Pad Kit

Our rating: 9 / 10

DEWALT Wool Buffing Pad and Backing Pad Kit

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Pros:

  • Long-lasting design
  • High quality
  • Perfect for heavy-duty jobs
  • Durable wool pad
  • Sturdy backing pad

The DEWALT Wool Buffing and Backing Pad Kit is a fantastic choice for those of you who have been asking yourselves “what's the best polishing pad for my buffing?”

This two-piece set is affordable, and the wool buffing pads are a breeze to use. The polishing pads fit onto the backing pad effortlessly. And there’s a distinctive pattern on the polishing pad’s bottom to help you better see the direction of your first pass. The backing pad allows for the polishing pad to effortlessly glide along the surface of your car or truck without leaving any scratches. One really awesome thing is the silicone rubber of the backing pad which minimizes vibrations and prevents slipping while the machine is in use.

The manufacturers of this system really seem to have thought of everything. For example, the backing pad is extra wide to accommodate large buffing pads. And the polishing pad is made to curve inwards to prevent overspray.

5. PORTER-CABLE Polishing Pad

Our rating: 9 / 10

PORTER-CABLE Polishing Pad

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Pros:

  • Quality lambswool pads
  • Multi-purpose
  • Extra layer of foam
  • Affordable

This Lambswool pad with an attached hook and loop backing pad is a useful addition to any detailers' collection. If you do your own car care, a lambswool pad with soft wool is ideal for any type of polish or sealant.

High-quality, 100% high-density, fine grade lambswool.

6. Meguiar’s 7" Rotary Foam Polishing Pad

Our rating: 9 / 10

Meguiar’s 7" Rotary Foam Polishing Pad

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Pros:

  • High-quality foam
  • Firmness and density give it long-lasting use
  • Tightly packed for excellent polishing action without shifting
  • Three different grits to choose from
  • Hook and loop backing that’s reusable
  • Warranty from manufacturer

If you are looking for a DA polisher and pad combo and don’t want to break the bank, then the Meguiar’s 7 –inch foam polishing pad is the way to go. This pad comes with a soft foam to gently polish and remove swirls, while giving a high-gloss finish. The foam also features hook and loop backing so you can attach various backing plates to it. Three different versions of this product are available – Green, Black, and Red.

7. Griot's Garage 10426 6.5" Micro Fiber FAST Finishing Pad

Our rating: 9 / 10

Griot's Garage 10426 6.5" Micro Fiber FAST Finishing Pad

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Pros:

  • Durable construction
  • Very absorbent
  • Great value

Our favorite finishing pads come from Griot’s garage. Griot’s effort to develop the perfect foam finishing pads is evident. Made from high-quality polyester, the Griot’s Finishing Pad is exceptionally absorbent, which makes it a great choice for almost any application.

The Griot’s pad is also machine washable and has virtually no smell right out of the box. This makes it a great choice for long-term use, when cleaning is a hassle.

This pads are especially great for applying wax. Attach this finishing pad to your random orbital polisher, and you’ll enjoy safe, swirl-free results.

8. 3M 05703 Superbuff Buffing Pad

Our rating: 8 / 10

3M 05703 Superbuff Buffing Pad

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Pros:

  • Good overall tool for an affordable price
  • Polishes faster than any other brand
  • Flexible backing makes it easy to handle
  • Works great with compound and finish

Cons:

  • Can cause a burning smell in some cases
  • Doesn’t fit on certain buffing machines

If you’re inexperienced with auto detailing, you might find 3M Superbuff Buffing Pad easier to use than the more complicated wool pad. This is also a great pad to use if you’re working on smaller areas and detail finishes.

The best thing about this pad is that it has an incredible shaft design that is flexible, unlike any other buffing pads on the market today so it’s easy to handle and work with. This amazing pad also features heavy duty Velcro backing that allows for easy attachment to any buffing machine.

This remarkable 3M pad has a clear crack and scratch formulation that delivers professional grade results right in your own home. It’s built with unique polymeric material that polishes fast with small cuts and provides super high gloss. It also gives your vehicle with a 3-dimensional shine.

9. Meguiar’s DA Polishing Power Pads

Our rating: 8 / 10

Meguiar’s DA Polishing Power Pads

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Pros:

  • Gives even application
  • No swirls
  • Can be used for a variety of surfaces
  • 4.2-5 star reviewers
  • Great for beginners and professionals
  • Comes in a pack of 3; 1 for each stage of polish
  • Non-abrasive
  • Gives a deep gloss
  • Easy to clean
  • Not very expensive

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • Not good for long-haired dogs

If you want your car to look polished and new, you need to get the equipment for it. The DA Polishing Power Pads is the product that I have been using almost every single day for over one year. I was impressed with the results as it made my car look like it had just been washed. If you have a job and not enough time to wash your car or you want to do it yourself, this is the product that you need to buy!

It’s really that easy. Just use your DA Polishing Power Pads and get that sparkling car you have always wanted. If you want to enhance the color or bring back the shine, then you might want to use the high-quality gel coat with your DA Polishing Power Pads.

10. Lake Country

Our rating: 8 / 10

Lake Country

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Pros:

  • Good quality for the price
  • Features 3 different strengths of foam, from light cutting to heavy finishing
  • Can be used with liquid polish to speed up the polishing process
  • Can be used with your favorite polish brand
  • Withstands heavy-duty use

Cons:

  • Can be a bit abrasive on the paint
  • The nubs fall off after multiple uses

Lake Country’s 3 pack of Foam Pads are 6 inch x 6 inch in size, and are an upgrade of the standard 3 inch pads. They are made in Michigan USA. They are great for using with your own polishing agents (polishes, paint cleaners, etching fluid, swirl remover, machine glaze, cerium oxide, wax, sealants) as they won’t dispense a large amount of polish to the pad due to the closed cell sponge material they are made of.

This abrasive sponge has been created to be used wet or dry, for deep scratches or light ones. They are appropriate for any kind of paint, a feat that many brands of pads can’t accomplish. They also resist marring and improper use.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the best polishing pads?

As long as you use the right pad for the job, it doesn’t matter what manufacturer you choose. However, we can probably assume you’re interested in learning about what type of pads are best for your specific purpose. If that’s the case, then you’re in luck because we’re about to tell you exactly what makes Dremel brushes so great for polishing.

We'll start with the most obvious reason: the back of the Dremel bristle pad is rubberized. This means that it stays in place on your Dremel while you polish. This is great because it means you will be working with a more stable tool.

What are the different color buffing pads for?

Should I use the same color for every project?

It’s important to know that buffing pads are not one-size-fits-all. Different colors have different purposes, and there are several types of pads on the market. Make sure you’re familiar with the different colors and what they’re used for before attempting a buffing project.

What are the best diamond polishing pads?

Whether you're working on a large area or are doing a small polishing job, knowing what to look for in a pad is important, so here are a few things you need to know.

How many polishing pads do I need?

A single polishing pad should be enough in most cases. The only instances where you might need more than one would be for extended polishing periods exceeding an hour, polishing very large areas, or if you have difficult-to-tackle spots like around the car’s door handles.

Conclusion

In our list, we tested a total of 20 polishing pads. In the end, five stood out and made it to our list of the 10 best polishing pads. They were manufactured by companies like Master, Makita, Kinga, Meguiars, and Dewalt. In our tests, we looked at their reliability and effectiveness that can give you the top-notch results that you desire. We used each polishing pad for at least 10 days in our testing process but we did not waste any time to think about their safety and effects on the environment. We also included a buyer’s guide, as it will help you pick out the right polishing pad.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Chemical Guys BUFX_104_HEX5 Hex-Logic Light-Medium Polishing PadBest OverallChemical Guys BUFX_104_HEX5 Hex-Logic Light-Medium Polishing Pad
PORTER-CABLE Polishing PadBudget PickPORTER-CABLE Polishing Pad
TCP Global Ultimate 6 Pad Buffing and Polishing KitUpgrade PickTCP Global Ultimate 6 Pad Buffing and Polishing Kit