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The Best Boat Buffers of 2023

Fact checked by William Hart

One of the main reasons that boats don’t last is because owners keep them stored in the sun and won’t even bother cleaning it. Needless to say, a dull boat is a major turn off and will be devalued when sold. If you love your investment, then you surely don’t want this to happen.

As such, you want to make use of the best boat buffer. In case you’re wondering, it’s a device which is used to remove any blemishes on a boat. With buffers for boats, you can quickly and easily restore the beauty and elegance of your boat.

best boat buffer

To help you choose, I have reviewed some of the best products on the product. I also included a few buying tips you want to consider.

Top 3 Products

Best Overall

Meguiar’s G3500


Most Budget-Friendly

Black & Decker Polisher


Most Feature Rich

Dewalt DWP849X


Table of Contents

Best Boat Buffer Reviews

1. Meguiar’s G3500 Dual Action Power Boat Buffer

The Meguiar’s G3500 Dual Action Power System Tool is a multipurpose tool that delivers a glossy finish which is free of oxidation, stains, and swirls.

This tool can be attached to most standard household drills. I find it amazing that you can even use it with a cordless drill, but attaching it to an electric cord drill is more preferred by many. The electric drill usually delivers better output because it has more rpm power.

Aside from that, it has a state-of-the-art compact design. I like that its side handle is easy to use. You do not need to be a pro at handling this to make sure that you are doing the task the right way. With this equipment, you will reap superb results, regardless of your skill level.

You can also easily and quickly remove the pads. If you are on a tight budget, they can even be washed for reuse.

One thing I did not find amusing with the Meguiar’s G3500 Dual Action Power System Tool is that it gets too bulky once a drill is attached to it.
  • Best for wax application or doing light polishing
  • Attaches to most standard drills
  • Affordable
  • Too bulky when you have to put a drill on it
Despite this, the Meguiar’s G3500 Dual Action Power System Tool is a low-cost investment but one that will surely bring you outstanding output.

2. Black & Decker Variable Speed Polisher

If you’re still undecided which marine buffer polisher to use, then you might want to check out the Black & Decker Variable Speed Polisher, 6-Inch (WP900). What makes this stand out from the rest is that it makes sharpening, gleaming, and waxing very quick and easy.

I love that it has a six-inch random orbit. This gives your boat a high speed and quality finishing. It can also guarantee a swirl-free, stain-free and burn-free polishing result. Indeed, it offers outstanding performance at a relatively affordable cost.

The boat polisher buffer has a ten-foot cord. I like that I can just place the cord over my shoulder and it stays out of my way. However, please be careful in doing so. I just do this because I find it convenient.

I fancy the ergonomics of this product as it allows you to easily and quickly finish your tasks. Its two-handle design allows a firm press with two hands and much greater control over it. Lastly, it comes with a foam applicator bonnet and a wool polishing bonnet for a professional finish.

Unfortunately, it does not have a variable speed feature. The motor speed is locked in at 4,400 orbits per minute.
  • Ten-foot cord
  • Random motion creates a swirl-free appearance
  • Compact design that saves space
  • Can be used at home and on your car
  • Not very loud or noisy
  • Good ergonomic design
  • May take a beating but still keeps on going
  • Its center of gravity is not at the center of the body, thus it is prone to tipping over when not in use
  • Doesn’t have a variable speed feature
  • The wool shield is not present
In spite of its downsides, I can say that the Black & Decker Variable Speed Polisher, 6-Inch (WP900) does a great job and brings excellent results at an affordable investment. It is worth trying!

3. Dewalt DWP849X Variable Speed Polisher

Speed polishing is in its finest with the Dewalt DWP849X 7-Inch/9-Inch Variable Speed Polisher. It is a powerful boat polisher buffer that comes with a 12.0 ampere-capacity. This all ball-bearing tool is highly recommended for the most demanding applications that you might encounter while cleaning.

It can not only perform wonders in your boat, but it can also be used on metals and other various surfaces. What an economical gain on our part!

I like the fact that its speed dial is conveniently located near the handle. This makes changing the control speed much easier. Thus, it makes your work lighter and faster. This product also includes one bale and one straight side handle. Indeed, its improved gripping surface enables lesser stress on the hands and forearm.

However, what I did not like about it is that it might burn the paint if you don’t know how to properly use the tool. It is also a little bigger and heavier.
  • Increased waxing and polishing power
  • Good ergonomic design
  • Eliminates possible wool ingestion which can increase its life
  • Little bigger and heavier compared to others
  • Not knowing how to correctly use the tool might cause damage to your boat
  • Prone to overheating
Though you need technical knowledge to operate this tool to avoid unwanted destruction, I still think the Dewalt DWP849X 7-Inch/9-Inch Variable Speed Polisher is an effective buffer for boats. If you need to do a rigorous waxing and polishing, you should seriously consider using this. Its ergonomic features are truly helpful and practical.

4. Avid Power Polisher Random Orbital Buffer

Have you already picked your own best buffer for boat detailing? If you haven’t yet, then you might want to consider this one.

The Avid Power Polisher, 6” Random Orbital Waxer/Buffer Kit with Dual-Action, MEP127 is an excellent choice if you are considering a high-performance and easy-to-use polishing machine. It can give you the assurance that it is durable because it is frequently used by professional detailers.

I like the fact that it’s built with a six-speed control dial which enables you to adjust the speed of the polisher if you want to use it for various applications. I can attest that this is perfect for polishing and removing swirls and defects. It can even be used on metal and sand wood.

Additionally, it has an ergonomic design and its body is rubberized. Its adjustable handle is manufactured to bring you that non-slip comfortable grip feeling.

The product comes with three foam pads, one foam disc, one spanner, one hex wrench, and two carbon brushes. The compound foam pad and polishing foam pad is perfect for eradicating scratches and swirls oxidation. Meanwhile, the finishing foam pad is best for the final finish step in detailing.

One thing that I dislike with this item is that if you are to utilize it on a regular basis and on multiple railed vehicles, you would need to buy additional polishing heads to prevent mixing the colors. The paint color immerses deeply into the head of the machine.
  • Easy on/off switch and soft start
  • Variable speed control
  • Superb ergonomic design
  • Your boat’s paint may penetrate into the head of the machine
Nevertheless, the Avid Power Polisher, 6” Random Orbital Waxer/Buffer Kit with Dual-Action, MEP127 is one of the best boat polishers on the market.

5. Porter-Cable Variable Speed Polisher

If you are looking for a tool to help you in polishing and sanding automotive as well as marine projects, then this might be the best boat polisher for you!

Most boat buffer polisher reviews claim that it is the most sought-after dual action polisher on the market. It is one of the most low-priced options out there; however, it can certainly hold its own when it comes to performance. Its online popularity and few negative feedback prove that it is effective and has excellent quality.

I like the fact that it can rapidly remove oxidation, swirls, water spots, and scratches with ease. Also, the fact that this marine buffer polisher will not burn the paint is a good addition. Its random orbital motion paved the way for this advancement.

I love that it has a two-position side handle so you can use whichever hand you like. If you don’t want to use the handle, it is also removable. This super lightweight polisher is below six pounds, thus you can work longer with lesser exhaustion.

It also has a unique feature called pre-installed counterweight which helps you have a balanced tool while working. Its improved switch design also allows for greater durability.

The only thing I did not like upon using the Porter-Cable Variable Speed Polisher, 6-Inch (7424XP) is that the polishing pads that come with it are not durable. It would easily rip off after a few hours of use. I recommend that if you are planning to work longer hours with this product, then buying a more reliable pad is a must for you.
  • Designed for beginners
  • Very affordable
  • Comes with a thick long cable
  • Durable construction
  • Does not have the “hook and loop” feature as well as a backing plate
The Porter-Cable Variable Speed Polisher, 6-Inch (7424XP) may be a bit outdated in comparison with the other polishers. However, it has all the basic features that you need. It can even be used on anything else that needs polishing. It is also safe and easy to operate.

6. Makita 9237CX3 Makita 7″ Polisher

This boat polishing machine has a rubberized gear housing and a loop handle that gives added comfort. I love the fact that it is safe to use on delicate work surfaces.

It comes with a wire mesh intake that prevents wool fibers or other debris from entering the motor of the machine. Another amazing feature of this tool is that it has its own cord guard to ensure that flexibility is increased for a longer cord life.

What I like is that it is a perfect combination of consistent power and control for high-quality polishing. Its three-prong plug prevents static electricity to accumulate. This protective feature is absolutely a major turn on.

The only downside about this tool is that its motor has a tendency to suddenly turn off In the middle of a job. This can really be frustrating.
  • Features a soft start for smooth start-ups
  • Its speed dial and trigger can match the speed to the length of the application
  • Comes with a rubberized tool rest to assist in upside-down placement if using the side handle
  • Lock-on button for uninterrupted use
  • Some stores will add accessories or modify the package to adjust the price
The Makita 9237CX3 Makita 7″ Polisher 10 AMP, 600-3,000 RPM is a must-try polisher! It may even become your best buffer for boat detailing.

7. WEN 10PMC 10-Inch Waxer

This polisher from WEN is an inexpensive but high-performance device that was carefully manufactured to provide a perfect shine on a wide array of surfaces.

It includes two polishing bonnets, two applicator bonnets, two wool blending bonnets, and a washing mitt. If you are on a tight budget, then this might be the best for you. Aside from being affordable, it also comes with additional paraphernalia for you to utilize.

I like the fact that the unit has a high-impact housing which is likewise insulated. Its magnet motor delivers an excellent output that is powerful enough for all types of blemishes. You can also use this in your house namely on banisters, bathrooms, and countertops. I also love its dual-handle grips because it intensifies your accuracy and control.

Sadly, it only has a one-speed setting. You can’t adjust its speed and match it to your own preference.
  • Comes with dual-handle grips for ease of control and improved accuracy
  • Good for blemishes or stains for various surfaces
  • Economical and includes multiple bonnets
  • Not long-lasting if used regularly
  • Not that helpful when working with curves or small areas and deep scratches
  • Only has a one-speed setting
Despite this, the WEN 10PMC 10-Inch Waxer/Polisher is an efficient tool that you must consider having as a part of your collection. It provides a good surface finish and is not that pricey.

8. Shurhold 3101 Dual Action Polisher Starter Kit

This product’s reputation is exceptionally outstanding. It is admired by boaters as it gives protection from the salt water and sun. In fact, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) acknowledged its effectiveness and awarded it at the 2009 Marine Aftermarket Accessories Trade Show (MAATS) under the category: boat care, coatings, chemicals, and maintenance tools.

I love this kit because it will save you money. It contains almost all the accessories you need. It has a unique dimpled pattern on its foam pads. Also, it can hols extra wax and allows the pad to cool down. The microfiber towel is also admirable for its self-absorbent properties.

This boat polisher buffer is made for dummies. It is very easy to use, small, lightweight, and easy to maneuver. Apart from that, its ergonomic design is one of a kind. Its random orbital action is breathtaking, and you can surely appreciate the hook and loop backing which allows you to change a pad to the polisher with ease. It also has a six-variable speed setting to choose from.

The only drawback of this item is that the power switch is too easy to switch off. You would not want this to happen when you are already down to the nitty-gritty of your task.
  • Comes with a very long power cord
  • Features protective components against sun and saltwater
  • Variable speed setting
  • Lightweight and easy to hold
  • The power switch is too easy to switch off
Despite this minor issue, this tool has several special features that you would seldom see on other polishers. The Shurhold 3101 Dual Action Polisher Starter Kit is ideal for beginners and professionals. It’s not just complete but is also high-quality and inexpensive.

9. WEN 948 10 Amp Variable Speed Buffer

The WEN 948 10 Amp Variable Speed Polisher is an all-in-one machine for your deoxidizing, waxing, compounding, polishing, buffing, heavy correction work, and finishing needs. Its 10-amp motor paves the way for the reliability and power needed by professionals.

The tool comes with an adjustable speed which is from 1,500 to 3,500 rotations per minute (rpm) which can increase by 500 rpm. I love that the manufacturer even included an excellent feature in the form of an onboard screen in the machine. It keeps you informed of the exact RPM you are in. This allows you to increase the accuracy and precision of your work.

I am glad that they included a high-quality woolen fleece polishing bonnet. They even incorporated a D-handle in its design to cater both right and left-handed operators. If you ever need a sander, you can just quickly and easily swap the bonnet for a 7-inch circular sandpaper. However, you would need to purchase the sandpaper as it is not included in the package.

The sole feature of the WEN 948 10 Amp Variable Speed Polisher that I dislike is its loud noise. This can really be irritating in the long run.
  • Variable speed
  • Ideal for deoxidizing, waxing, compounding, polishing, buffing, heavy correction work, and finishing
  • Features which an onboard digital readout which can show you the current RPM
  • Produces a loud grinding sound when above 1,000 rpm
Despite this, the WEN 948 10 Amp Variable Speed Polisher is an efficient tool that meets the pampering and beautification needs of your boats.

10. Goplus 7 Inch Electric Car Polisher

One of the most sought-after qualities you want to look for in a boat buffer is its stability and durability. That is basically what the Goplus 7 Inch Electric Car Polisher 6 Variable Speed Buffer Waxer Sander Detail Boat is about. It has heat-treated precision cut gears, high anti-impact housing with die-cast aluminum head, and a high-quality fine copper motor. These make it perfect for heavy-duty and long-term use.

I am amazed at its easy-carrying tool kit which also comprises of several accessories to help you with your other needs.

It can be used for multi-site applications and is a multi-functioning machine. It is recommended for compounding, grinding, buffing, finishing, waxing, and polishing. I like that it has an adjustable speed dial control system which is user-friendly and convenient. You can set it from 1,000 rpm to 3,000 rpm.

I love that it is even certified to provide a strong power at a lower electricity consumption. It weighs about six pounds which is much lighter compared to other dual action orbital buffers.

It also has an easy control D-type handle which guarantees a firm hold. Lastly, its sweat-proof and anti-skid material are very practical.

Its only shortcoming is that you have to wait for a while until the unit completely stops.
  • Strong power but with lower electricity consumption
  • Convenient speed dial
  • Multi-function
  • Safety switch
  • D-Type handle
  • Portable storage case
  • Might take a while to stop the machine
The Goplus 7 Inch Electric Car Polisher 6 Variable Speed Buffer Waxer Sander Detail Boat is a multi-functioning machine that you would not want to miss. It comes with a complete package that is perfect for compounding, grinding, buffing, finishing, waxing, and polishing.

11. TORQ TORQX Random Orbital Polisher Kit

The TORQ TORQX Random Orbital Polisher Kit includes everything you could ever need. It comes with the all-inclusive V Line series of polishes and compounds. It has a good reputation in eliminating deep blemishes like scratches and swirl marks.

I love that it comes with the Hex-Logic Quantum pads which are designed for full polishing detail tasks. The pads included in the TORQ TORQX Random Orbital Polisher Kit are available in different sizes: 3, 5, and 6 inches. Each pad is specifically used for cutting, polishing, and finishing.

This tool comes with simplified controls which are designed for optimum comfort while in use. Also, its 2,800–7,800 rpm power band is ideal for heavy constructions. Its awesome 8mm dual action orbital throw and compact design provide powerful results with minimal exhaustion on the part of the user.

I think highly of this dual action polisher due to its easy-to-use features and lightweight build which makes it perfect for both beginners and experts.

However, the only thing that I disliked about TORQ TORQX Random Orbital Polisher Kit is that it is not that long-lasting compared to others.
  • Lightweight construction
  • Effectively removes deep stains
  • Great for beginners
  • Adjustable speed
  • Not that long-lasting
The TORQ TORQX Random Orbital Polisher Kit is a powerful cleaning machine that you definitely must try. It is effective in deeply removing stains. This is not just a blessing to beginners but to professionals as well.

12. Griot’s Garage 10813LNGCRD 6″ Orbital Polisher

I am quite fascinated that this is a highly user-friendly and almost error-proof tool which can be a big help to beginners.

Moreover, thanks to its third generation dual-action random orbital feature, it can provide the same power as the previous ones but in a more enhanced way to deliver a new level of comfort and ease of use.

It also takes pride in its 6-inch hook and loop backing plate which permits an easier mounting and removal of pads. I really like its improved adjustable loop handle. It now has an additional rubberized grip, magnifying its non-slip feature. I like that the power switch and speed control dial are placed in convenient positions. The power switch can even be accessed using one hand.

This tool is ideal and practical for polishing or waxing at any speed. I am amazed that this product allows you to get the perfect paint and achieve flawless results without the hard work.

If there was one thing I did not like about the Griot’s Garage 10813LNGCRD 6″ Dual Action Random Orbital Polisher, it’s that its pads usually have to be purchased separately and can be hard to find.
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Powerful enough for experts
  • Safely eradicates scratches, swirl marks, oxidation, etc.
  • Rapidly spreads wax and sealant
  • Superb ergonomic design
  • Can be so loud and irritating, hence you may need to buy extra paraphernalia to protect your ears
  • Replacement materials, specifically the pads, can be expensive and challenging to find
Despite this, I believe that the Griot’s Garage 10813LNGCRD 6″ Dual Action Random Orbital Polisher is very reliable and effective. It is powerful for a professional and also safe for a first time user.

What to Look for When Buying a Boat Buffer


Buying the wrong boat buffer can damage or ruin the appearance of your boat. Thus, it will be devalued whenever you would want to sell it.

Therefore, you have to make sure you invest only in a high-quality buffer. You can achieve that by considering the following factors:

  • Random orbit action

In a buffer, the angle of rotation of the head would depend on the nature of the surface. With the help of the random orbit action feature, the polishing can be smoothly done even if the surface is not very uniform or flat. This is a big help when buffing corners, tight spaces and edges.

  • Durability

You must ensure that your machine is sturdy and durable. This will allow you to use your buffer for a longer period of time.

Checking the warranty of the item is also a must. A longer warranty period means that the tool has an excellent quality because the manufacturer is confident enough that it will last for a long time.

  • Speed Settings

When buffing or polishing a boat, there are instances when you would want to switch the speeds. There will be times you would prefer the buffer to move super slowly, and there are cases you want it to move fast to quickly finish your task. Your speed preference usually depends on the nature of the surface you are polishing.

Bear in mind that not all the times the surface that you will be working with is uniform or flat. For example, when you are working with the boat’s body, you can just move rapidly because the surface has no creases. However, when dealing with edges, you would prefer working at a slower speed to avoid damaging the boat.

Therefore, I recommend that you go for a boat buffer with an adjustable speed setting.

  • Comfort

You need to take into utmost consideration the size, weight, and handles of your boat buffer. A lightweight machine will give you optimal comfort as it would save you from the extreme exhaustion when using it in the long run.

I also encourage you to find equipment with two handles. Make sure they are non-slip or sweat-free. Find one that is rubberized so that you will not get bruises when holding it for a long time.

The position of the speed dials is also one thing to bear in mind in choosing a boat buffer. It is ideal to have the controls placed where you can easily reach them. This will allow you to quickly make the necessary speed adjustments according to your preference.

  • Price

The amount you are eager to spend determines the kind of boat buffer you will have. I suggest that you make the most out of your money. It is advisable to select high-quality merchandise that is within your budget. Expensive models may fail to justify their high prices, whereas the cheaper ones can compromise the quality of your output.

  • Vibration

When in use, a boat buffer’s motor tends to cause the entire tool to vibrate. The more vibrations, the more uncomfortable it may be for you to do your work. This might lead to inaccurate results.

You might want to consider investing in a machine with minimal vibrations, especially if you are working on a detailing task.

  • Accessories

There are other tools and products that you will need aside from the boat buffer itself. One is a cutting compound that can easily cut through the oxidization or other blemishes of your boat. This will help in revealing its shiny gel coat.

A compounding pad and a polishing pad would also come in handy. The compounding pad is a firmer pad that makes it easier to cut into the gel coat. The softer polishing pad is used in the finer stages of waxing or polishing.

Top-quality microfiber towels will be very useful as well. These towels will help in wiping any residue without damaging the surface of your boat.

Other Important Factors to Consider


Nowadays, the market offers you a wide array of boat buffer machine options to choose from. This can be confusing and overwhelming. Therefore, picking the best materials might be a challenge to you, particularly if you do not know what would perfectly fit the needs of your boat.

I made this additional section to help you thoroughly examine the things you need to know before buying your own boat buffer. Choose wisely!

What is a boat buffer/polisher?

It is your personal machine assistant for your boat’s waxing and polishing necessities. It enhances the painting or coating and smoothens your boat’s surface.

How does it work?

Instead of cleaning and maintaining the entire vessel with your bare hands, a boat buffer is here to help you reduce the amount of effort you will pour into the task. It permits you to buffer your boat conveniently. It is built to mimic your hand’s motion and guarantees an excellent finish.

What are the different types of boat buffers?

I included here the two common types of boat buffers namely:

  • Orbital buffer – this machine comes with a head that spins on a central spindle. It is made with a free-floating spindle. The polishing pad will stop spinning and will only continue to vibrate if great pressure is applied during polishing.

It is important to note that deep scratches will not be eradicated by this tool. It is only used for mild damages. This buffer is able to eliminate swirls and improve the appearance of scratches. However, it does not produce enough heat which makes it unable to deeply cut the paint coat.

  • Rotary buffer – if you need to achieve a lot of results in a short amount of time with an uneven surface, then this buffer will work for you! This one comes with higher cutting speed and power albeit being more expensive. You want to take extra caution in handling this equipment because the pad spins at higher speeds. If it stays in one spot even for a second longer, it may possibly burn through the paint.

Why do you need a boat buffer machine?

A woman would usually have pampering sessions in order to feel good about herself. She would make an effort to remain beautiful and presentable. Well, the same can be said to maintaining a boat. It must undergo buffing and polishing to preserve its beauty and elegance.

The most crucial element for buffing and polishing is the use of boat buffers with an appropriate cutting compound.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What are the most trusted boat buffer brands?

A: Some of the most trusted boat buffer brands have been mentioned in the product review section of this article. You can choose from Shurhold, Dewalt, Hi-Spec, Black and Decker, Meguiar’s, WEN, Porter-Cable, Goplus by Superbuy, etc.

Q: Can I use boat buffers on cars?

A: Yes, boat buffers can also be used on cars. However, always make sure you know the needs of your car so that you will also get an idea of what boat buffer would best suit its needs.

Q: Do I clean/wash the boat before polishing?

A: Absolutely yes! You need to wash the boat first before polishing. This is to remove any dirt that might get trapped in the buffer and the fiberglass. It will lessen any damage which can be caused by scratching.

Q: What boat buffer accessories do I need?

A: You can check the accessories that would come handy with your buffer in the “What to Look for When Buying a Boat Buffer” section of this article which is located above.

Q: How do we polish a boat?

A: I will give you a summary of how to get the work done:

  1. First, you need to wash off the dirt.
  2. Get rid of the boat’s old wax by gently wiping the surface with rags that are soaked in a dewaxing solvent such as toluene. Let it dry.
  3. Next, give the boat another wash and buff it with a buffing compound.
  4. Lastly, apply wax using the buffer machine and let it dry.

Also, use these boat polishes to finish it easier.

Q: What is the warranty?

A: The boat buffer’s warranty would depend on the manufacturer or company that sells it. I highly recommend that you check their websites or ask their sales representatives regarding this matter.

Q: Where to buy?

A: You can easily purchase boat buffers and other accessories through Amazon. It would be best if you check the company’s website first to check because sometimes they would offer you discounts.

Q: When should I buff my boat?

A: If the surface already shows any discoloration or if the gel coat suffered a lot of wear and tear, then buffering must be done.


Bring back your boat’s glory and beauty by using the best boat buffer on the market to match its needs. If used correctly with top-quality products, it is a worthwhile investment that will add value to your boat.

Know the condition of your property. Choose products wisely and never compromise. After all, your boat is like a woman who must be treated like a queen!

Hopefully, this guide can help you choose the right buffer for your needs. Do you know of any quality buffers on the market which we haven’t mentioned? Kindly leave a comment below. Thanks!

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