There’s no beating around the bush, detailing and caring for your car can be an expensive hobby.
After buying a pressure washer, foam cannon, snow foam, and many other products or equipment, you probably don’t have the money to splash out on a Rupes Polisher.
While I do recommend building up your collection as you go along, sometimes you need a short term option that will allow you to get results and learn in the process.
This reason is exactly why I’ve done my research and found the best cheap dual action polishers money can buy. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in the States, UK, or AU, there’s an option for everyone.
Buying A Cheap Polishing Machine
There’s no doubt that when you buy cheap, you often have to buy twice. In this case, it’s something that you should accept, this is simply a stepping stone before buying a good DA polisher.
When buying budget polishers, I’d recommend paying attention to the motor power, the RPM’s it offers and the price tag.
If the polisher comes with pads or any other attachments, it’s a great bonus, but don’t expect them to last long.
Keep in mind that after buying a machine you’ll still need to buy polish and polishing pads. These can cost a fair bit, so budget accordingly.
If you have a slightly higher budget, I suggest checking out the Best Dual Action Polishers for Beginners. The machines suggested in that article are a little more expensive, but are of higher quality, last much longer and will provide a much better experience.
best cheap car polisher (US)
Speed Range: 2000 – 5200 RPM
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The Zota Buffer Polisher is a long throw Dual Action polisher that will help you correct and restore the shine on your car.
For the price, you’re actually getting a great piece of kit that will allow you to experience some features that only the best DA’s may have.
The 850W motor is rare for cheap polishers, however, the 5,200 RPM limit is probably a little lower than it could be. You’ll definitely be able to remove a lot of swirl marks, however, the more stubborn ones may remain.
On top of the powerful motor, the ZOTA buffer offers a 15mm throw. The “bigfoot” throw will allow you to work much faster, in comparison to the 8mm industry norm. In theory, it means you can polish the vehicle in half the time…
While you may not need it in your hands for long, its ergonomic design makes it great for longer polishing sessions. You can use a palm grip around the head, or hold it normally using the side grip and bottom of the polisher.
What really surprised me is the fact that this polisher has so many good features, and also comes with pads. In comparison to the pads that most competitors offer, these look rather good, and may last longer than just the first polish.
I’d definitely recommend the Zota Polisher to anyone that wants to begin polishing on a budget. It’s available in Mexico and The United States, coming with a 24-month warranty, meaning you’re covered until you decide to upgrade.
Best Cheap Dual Action Polisher (UK)
Speed Range: 2500 – 5800 RPM
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The Katsu Tools DA is the best cheap dual action polisher I was able to find in the United Kingdom. The Guild Polisher from Argos comes close and is cheaper, however it only has a 600W motor.
If you’re looking for Power at a fair price then this Katsu DA is a much better choice. It comes with an 850W motor that also has a soft start feature, helping to prevent polish from slinging or loss of control when starting up.
Like most other Dual Action polishers, this one comes with a 6-speed dial that lets you change the speed on the fly to suit your needs.
The lowest speed is 2500 RPM, with the highest being 5800 RPM. I recommend using the lower speeds for applying wax, and the higher speeds for swirl mark removal.
Unlike the Zota Tool, this one comes with the industry-standard 8mm throw. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it offers a nice middle ground between speed and precision, hence why its the industry standard.
While the shape and size of the machine is fairly similar to other models, its not the most comfortable. Youll receive a D shaped handle and a side grip that you can switch between, however, if you were to use a palm grip it would be very uncomfortable.
Another thing that will make your long polishing sessions slightly unpleasant is the noise. The Katsu DA is relatively noisy, and some people even recommend wearing ear defenders for prolonged use.
Unfortunately, this machine doesn’t come with any pads, however, at just over £50, you will have plenty left in the budget to buy a polish and some pads.
Cheapest Dual Action Polisher (AU)
Speed Range: 2000 – 6400 RPM
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Weirdly, for a country that’s heavily focused on car care and maintenance, I found there to be a lack of good dual action polishers available.
I looked at Repco, AutoBarn, and even Automotive Superstore without much luck. Even Amazon was lacking.
That being said, out of the few choices, I was able to find this Zeroomade Polisher. The main downside is that its a US import, meaning it comes with higher shipping costs.
This Zeroomade polisher comes with a 900W motor that powers up straight away. This is something to keep in mind, most people prefer models with a soft start so that they don’t sling product everywhere.
In terms of RPM, this is the fastest polisher on the list. You’ll be able to go all the way up to 6400 RPM helping to remove those ugly swirls, quicker and easier.
The 9mm throw is slightly bigger than normal, however, you probably won’t see any difference, especially as someone that is new to polishing.
As for the design, its similar to any other good DA. You can use the D-Handle, Side Grip, or even a palm grip. Admittedly the bottom of the polisher is lacking any grip features, which is a little disappointing.
The set does come with pads though you should look into getting some higher quality ones as soon as possible. That being said, you are already investing a lot in the machine itself.