Thursday, October 1, 2015

Harbor Freight 7" Variable Speed Polisher Sander Buffer 60626 Review

My wife's car had some scratches in the paint, so I bought Harbor Freight's 7-inch polisher, sander, buffer advertises a variable speed from 200 to 3350 rpm. Unfortunately, the first one out of the box ran only at high speed. The speed selector knob had no effect. Fortunately, Harbor Freight was excellent in allowing me to do a no-questioins-asked swap for another of the same item (60626 is the item number). The second one works very well, with a large speed range (which could be the advertised 200-3350).

Do note the fine print on the box: "Polishing bonnet sold separately." So, in addition to the buffer itself, I got a 5-pack of fleece polishing bonnets and a bottle of the needed polish. Costs: Buffer, $30 (with super coupon); bonnets, $16; and polish ("fine cut cleaner") $15. Thus, an investment of $61 for the entire system.

The modestly helpful manual recommended using about two tablespoons of polish and starting the polisher flat on the surface at low speed. I followed these instructions and was amazed to see the scratches on the door and on the trunk lid disappear in just seconds. A little wipe up of the surrounding area and the job was done. The buffer did throw tiny droplets of polishing compound all over the car, so I had a bit of wiping up to do.

Included in the box are

  • a backing pad (that the bonnet stretches over), 
  • tools (a backing pad wrench and an Allen wrench to install the optional (but you really need it) D-handle, 
  • the D-handle itself, 
  • and an extra set of motor brushes.

The polisher will accept  a common extension handle in lieu of the D-handle.

For the first, light use, this polisher and associated items worked actually better than I expected. It certainly was faster, and I didn't leave swirl marks or do any damage to the paint. The key is to be gentle and not put very much pressure on the polisher.

Except for the need to make another trip to Harbor Freight to exchange the defective one, the experience was very good and I would recommend this solution to others.

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