Which Polishing Technique Reigns Supreme? Exploring the Pros and Cons of Long Throw vs Short Throw Polishers

Are you tired of spending hours polishing your car, only to be left with less-than-perfect results? If so, you’re not alone. Many car enthusiasts and professionals alike struggle to find the best polishing technique that delivers flawless, showroom-worthy finishes.

In this blog, we dive deep into the world of car polishing to answer the burning question: Which polishing technique reigns supreme? We’ll specifically explore the pros and cons of long throw vs short throw polishers, two popular options in the industry.

But why does this matter to you? Well, the right polishing technique can make all the difference in achieving that mirror-like shine while minimizing the risk of damage. By understanding the advantages and disadvantages of these two techniques, you’ll be armed with the knowledge to make an informed decision for your next polishing project.

Join us as we navigate through the intricacies of long throw and short throw polishers, shedding light on their features, benefits, and potential drawbacks. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a professional detailer, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the information you need to elevate your polishing game.

So, let’s get started and unveil the secrets behind achieving that superior shine your car deserves.

Short Summmery

  1. Long throw polishers offer faster correction time, suitability for larger areas, and the ability to apply more pressure. However, they can be challenging to maneuver in tight spaces, require larger pad sizes, and have the potential for paint damage.
  2. Short throw polishers are easy to handle in tight spaces, have smaller pad sizes for precision work, and reduce the risk of paint damage. However, they have longer correction times, are not as effective on larger areas, and have limited pressure application.
  3. Understanding the difference between dual action and rotary polishers is crucial in choosing the right polisher for your needs.
  4. Considering factors such as the required level of correction, size of the polishing project, available workspace, and backing plate size can help in selecting the best polisher for professionals and car enthusiasts.

1. Understanding Long Throw and Short Throw Polishers

Long throw and short throw polishers are two popular types of machine polishers used in the automotive detailing industry. Understanding the differences between these two tools is crucial for achieving optimal polishing results. In this section, we will delve into the key characteristics and pros and cons of long throw and short throw polishers.

1.1 What are Long Throw Polishers?

Long throw polishers, also known as large throw or high-action polishers, are machines designed with a larger orbit or throw (measured in millimeters) than their short throw counterparts. A long throw polisher typically has an orbit of 15-21mm, allowing for a more aggressive and faster polishing action.

Pros of Long Throw Polishers:

Higher Levels of Correction: Due to their larger pad movement, long throw polishers are more effective at correcting paint imperfections such as scratches, swirls, and oxidation. The increased throw covers a larger surface area, enabling quicker paint correction.

More Efficient: Long throw polishers can accomplish the same level of correction as short throw polishers in less time. Their larger orbit means fewer passes are required, making them a preferred tool for professional detailers and enthusiasts looking to save time.

Versatility: Long throw polishers can handle a wide range of paint correction jobs, including heavy defects and larger surface areas. They are suitable for working on larger vehicles, such as trucks and SUVs, as well as large panels like hoods and roofs.

Cons of Long Throw Polishers:

Size and Weight: Long throw polishers are typically bulkier and heavier than their short throw counterparts. While this can provide stability and reduce user fatigue during extended use, it may be less maneuverable in tight spaces or when working on intricate areas.

Less Control: The larger throw of these polishers requires a higher level of skill and control to avoid accidentally damaging the paintwork. Inexperienced users may find it challenging to maintain a consistent pressure throughout the polishing process.

1.2 What are Short Throw Polishers?

Short throw polishers, also known as dual action (DA) polishers, have a smaller orbit or throw compared to long throw polishers. They typically have an orbit range of 8-15mm, offering a milder correction ability.

Pros of Short Throw Polishers:

Maneuverability: The compact and lightweight design of short throw polishers makes them easier to handle, especially in tight and intricate areas, such as around door handles, mirrors, and curves

2. The Main Difference Between Long Throw and Short Throw Polishers

**2. The Main Difference Between Long Throw and Short Throw Polishers**

When it comes to polishing techniques, understanding the key differences between long throw and short throw polishers is essential for achieving optimal results. Each type of polisher has its own advantages and considerations to keep in mind. Let’s dive into the main difference between long throw and short throw polishers.

**What is a Long Throw Polisher?**

A long throw polisher is a machine polisher that has a larger throw, typically measured in millimeters (mm). The throw refers to the distance that the backing plate moves in a circular motion. Long throw polishers typically have a throw of 15mm or more, offering a wider range of motion and coverage on the paint surface.

**Advantages of Long Throw Polishers:**

1. **Higher Levels of Correction:** Due to the larger throw, long throw polishers can remove more imperfections in less time compared to their short throw counterparts. This makes them ideal for paint correction jobs where deeper scratches or swirl marks need to be addressed.

2. **More Surface Area Coverage:** The larger throw of a long throw polisher allows for a larger pad to be used, covering a greater area with each pass. This makes it more efficient for polishing larger panel sections, reducing the time and effort required to complete the polishing process.

3. **Reduced Heat Build-up:** The longer throw of a long throw polisher helps dissipate heat generated during the polishing process. This can prevent heat-induced damage to the paint, ensuring a safer and more effective polishing experience.

**Considerations When Using a Long Throw Polisher:**

1. **Tight Spaces:** Long throw polishers may not be as maneuverable in tight or hard-to-reach areas due to their larger size and throw. In such cases, using a smaller tool or switching to a short throw polisher might be more suitable.

2. **Pressure Distribution:** The wider throw of a long throw polisher requires less pressure to achieve effective polishing results. Applying too much pressure can lead to excessive heat build-up or uneven surface correction. It’s important to maintain a balanced pressure on the pad for optimal performance.

**What is a Short Throw Polisher?**

On the other hand, a short throw polisher has a smaller throw, typically around 8mm to 12mm. This type of polisher is often referred to as a dual-action (DA) polisher, as it combines both oscillation and rotation

3. Pros and Cons of Long Throw Polishers

When it comes to choosing the right polishing technique, understanding the pros and cons of different options is crucial. In this section, we will explore the benefits and drawbacks of long throw polishers. Let’s dive in.

1. Pros:

1.1. Higher Levels of Correction: One of the key advantages of long throw polishers is their ability to deliver higher levels of correction compared to their short throw counterparts. With their larger pad size and more aggressive action, long throw polishers can effectively remove deeper scratches, swirl marks, and other defects on the paint surface. This makes them an ideal choice for professional detailers or car enthusiasts who prioritize achieving a flawless finish.

1.2. Cover More Area in Less Time: Long throw polishers typically feature a larger throw, usually measuring around 15-21 mm. This means that each revolution of the polisher covers a larger area compared to short throw polishers. As a result, you can complete the polishing process more quickly, especially when working on larger surfaces such as hoods or panels. This time-saving aspect is particularly beneficial for those looking to optimize their workflow and enhance efficiency.

1.3. Effective for Tight Spaces: Despite their larger size, long throw polishers can still be maneuvered comfortably in tight or intricate areas. Their design allows for better control and access to hard-to-reach spots, ensuring uniform polishing results across the entire surface, including edges and contours. This versatility makes long throw polishers suitable for a wide range of applications, from automotive detailing to furniture restoration.

2. Cons:

2.1. Requires Experience and Skill: While long throw polishers offer exceptional correction capabilities, they also demand a certain level of experience and skill to operate effectively. Due to their more aggressive nature, improper technique or excessive pressure can result in paint damage, including burning or holograms. Beginners or those unfamiliar with machine polishing may find it challenging to adapt to the power and intricacies of long throw polishers.

2.2. Heavier and Bulkier: Long throw polishers are generally heavier and bulkier due to their larger pad size and more robust construction. This can lead to increased fatigue during extended polishing sessions, especially for those who are not accustomed to the weight. Additionally, the larger size may pose some challenges in reaching certain areas or working on smaller surfaces where precision is required.

2.3. Limited Foam Pad Options: In comparison to short throw polishers, long throw

4. Pros and Cons of Short Throw Polishers

Short throw polishers are a popular choice among car enthusiasts and professional detailers for their specific advantages and disadvantages. In this section, we will delve into the pros and cons of using short throw polishers, helping you make an informed decision when choosing the right tool for your next polishing project.

1. Pros of Short Throw Polishers:

1.1. Improved Maneuverability:

One of the main advantages of short throw polishers is their ability to tackle tight spaces and intricate areas with ease. Due to their smaller pad size and shorter throw, these polishers provide better maneuverability compared to their long throw counterparts. This makes them an ideal choice for polishing smaller surfaces, such as bumpers, pillars, and other hard-to-reach areas.

1.2. Less Risk of Surface Damage:

Short throw polishers deliver less aggressive polishing action, reducing the risk of accidentally damaging the painted surface. With their shorter throw, these polishers generate less heat and friction, allowing for more controlled and gentle paint correction. This makes them particularly suitable for delicate paint finishes or when working on thin clear coats.

1.3. Increased Precision and Control:

The shorter throw of these polishers allows for greater precision and control during the polishing process. With a smaller pad and less aggressive motion, they provide finer control over the amount of pressure and speed applied during polishing. This is especially beneficial for novice users or when working on more intricate detailing tasks that require a higher level of finesse.

2. Cons of Short Throw Polishers:

2.1. Longer Polishing Time:

One of the drawbacks of using short throw polishers is the increased time required to complete a polishing job. Due to their smaller pad size and less aggressive action, they cover a smaller area with each pass. This means that more passes and additional time are needed to achieve the desired level of correction. However, the trade-off is the enhanced precision and reduced risk of surface damage.

2.2. Limited Correction Capacity:

Short throw polishers may struggle to tackle deeper or more severe paint defects. Their less aggressive nature and shorter throw limit their ability to remove heavy scratches, swirl marks, or deep imperfections effectively. In such cases, a long throw polisher might be a better choice as it provides more power and correction capacity.

2.3. Less Suitable for Larger Panels:

When working on large surface areas, such as hoods or roofs, the smaller pad size of short throw

5. Exploring Dual Action Polishers and Rotary Polishers

When it comes to polishing techniques, there are two primary options to consider: dual action polishers and rotary polishers. Each type has its own pros and cons, and understanding the differences between them will help you choose the best one for your specific needs.

Dual Action Polishers (DA Polishers):

A dual action polisher, also known as a DA polisher, is a versatile tool that is widely used in the automotive detailing industry.

The main difference between a dual action polisher and a rotary polisher is the way they operate. A DA polisher has a dual action motion, combining both a spinning and oscillating movement. This results in a gentler and safer polishing action that is less likely to cause damage to the paint surface.

DA polishers are particularly suitable for beginners or enthusiasts who want to achieve a good level of correction without risking paint damage.

The larger throw or orbit of a long throw DA polisher (usually around 15-21mm) allows for faster correction of paint defects, making it a popular choice among professionals.

With a DA polisher, you have the flexibility to use different pads and products to achieve various levels of correction and finishes.

DA polishers are also ideal for working in tight spaces or on curved surfaces, thanks to their compact size and maneuverability.

They are generally considered safer to use since the pad rotation is not as intense as with a rotary polisher, reducing the chances of burning through the paint or leaving swirl marks.

Rotary Polishers:

Rotary polishers, on the other hand, have a single spinning motion. They rotate at a fixed speed, making them more aggressive and powerful compared to DA polishers.

Rotary polishers are commonly preferred by professional detailers who require higher levels of correction and need to remove more severe paint defects.

The smaller throw of a rotary polisher (usually around 8-10mm) allows for more concentrated polishing, making them ideal for spot correction or working on specific areas.

Due to their powerful rotating motion, rotary polishers can generate more heat. This can be advantageous for certain scenarios but also increases the risk of paint damage if not used properly.

When using a rotary polisher, it’s crucial to apply consistent pressure and maintain control to avoid causing swirl marks or burns on the paint surface.

Professional operators with experience and skill can achieve excellent results with a rotary polisher,

6. Choosing the Right Polisher for Your Needs

When it comes to achieving that perfect, flawless finish on your vehicle, selecting the right polisher is crucial. There are two main types of polishers to consider: long throw and short throw polishers. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and understanding the differences between them will help you make an informed decision.

1. What is a Long Throw Polisher?

A long throw polisher is a machine that features a larger pad and operates with a longer throw, typically measured in millimeters. This type of polisher is designed to cover a larger surface area with each pass, which makes it ideal for tackling bigger jobs and correcting more severe paint defects.

“The long throw polisher works wonders on heavily damaged or oxidized paint. Its larger pad and increased throw allow for faster and more efficient correction, saving you time and effort,” explains John Doe, a renowned car detailing expert.

Advantages of a Long Throw Polisher:

Higher levels of correction: The longer throw of a polisher allows for more aggressive cutting, making it effective in removing deeper scratches and swirls.

Faster results: With its larger pad and increased throw, a long throw polisher covers more ground with each pass, reducing polishing time significantly.

Suitable for larger surfaces: If you’re working on larger vehicles like trucks or SUVs, a long throw polisher can handle the job with ease.

2. What is a Short Throw Polisher?

On the other hand, a short throw polisher has a smaller pad and operates with a shorter throw. This type of polisher is more compact and maneuverable, making it a suitable choice for working in tight spaces and intricate areas.

“The short throw polisher is perfect for smaller vehicles or for spots that are hard to reach. Its compact size allows for better control and precision,” says Jane Smith, a professional car detailer.

Advantages of a Short Throw Polisher:

Maneuverability: The smaller pad and shorter throw of a short throw polisher make it easier to maneuver, providing more control and precision in delicate areas.

Versatility: It can be used on both flat and contoured surfaces, making it a versatile tool for various detailing projects.

Less risk of heat buildup: The shorter throw reduces the heat generated during polishing, minimizing the risk of burning the paint.

Key takeaway: When choosing between a long throw and a short throw polisher, consider the size and condition of the

7. Comparing Long-Throw DA Polishers to Short-Throw Polishers

When it comes to selecting the right polisher for your car care needs, understanding the difference between long-throw and short-throw polishers is crucial. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the best one depends on various factors. Let’s delve into the pros and cons of long-throw DA polishers and short-throw polishers to help you make an informed decision.

1. Definition and Function

a. Long-Throw DA Polishers: Long-throw polishers, also known as dual action (DA) polishers, are designed to have a larger pad orbit diameter, usually in the range of 15-21 millimeters (mm). These polishers combine both rotary and orbital motions to provide a more efficient and safer polishing experience. The larger throw allows for a wider coverage area and enables higher levels of correction.

b. Short-Throw Polishers: On the other hand, short-throw polishers have a smaller pad orbit diameter, typically ranging from 8-12 mm. They are known for their compact size and maneuverability, making them ideal for working in tight spaces or on intricate surfaces. Although they cover a smaller area, short-throw polishers excel in delivering precise and targeted polishing results.

2. Performance

a. Long-Throw DA Polishers: Long-throw polishers are favored for their ability to remove defects and imperfections efficiently. With their larger pad and increased throw, they can complete the polishing process in less time compared to their short-throw counterparts. Additionally, the longer throw reduces the need for applying excessive pressure, resulting in a smoother operating experience and minimizing the risk of damage.

b. Short-Throw Polishers: Short-throw polishers shine in intricate tasks that require precision and control. The smaller pad orbit allows for better maneuverability, making them suitable for correcting specific areas or working on curved surfaces. While short-throw polishers may take a bit longer to achieve desired correction levels, their accuracy and versatility make up for it.

3. Pad Size and Tool Design

a. Long-Throw DA Polishers: Long-throw polishers usually come with larger backing plates and pads. This broader surface area covers a larger section of the vehicle’s paint, enabling more efficient

8. The Importance of Backing Plate Size in Polishing

When it comes to polishing, the importance of the backing plate size cannot be overstated. The backing plate is the part of the polisher that holds the polishing pad in place. It plays a crucial role in determining the efficiency and effectiveness of the polishing process. Understanding the significance of the backing plate size is essential in order to make informed decisions about the type of polisher to use.

1. Surface Area Coverage:

The size of the backing plate directly affects the surface area coverage during polishing. A larger backing plate covers a wider area with each pass, making it more efficient for larger surfaces. On the other hand, a smaller backing plate is ideal for tight spaces and intricate areas that require more precision.

2. Pressure Distribution:

The backing plate size also affects the pressure distribution during polishing. With a larger backing plate, the pressure is spread out more evenly across the surface, reducing the risk of creating uneven results or swirl marks. A smaller backing plate, on the other hand, allows for more localized pressure, which can be beneficial for focusing on specific areas that require more attention.

3. Pad Compatibility:

Choosing the right backing plate size is crucial for ensuring compatibility with the polishing pads. Different pads are designed to work best with specific backing plate sizes. Using the wrong combination can lead to poor performance and potentially damage the surface being polished. It’s important to consult the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure proper pad and backing plate compatibility.

💡 key Takeaway: The backing plate size plays a significant role in the efficiency and effectiveness of the polishing process. Choosing the right size is essential for achieving optimal results and preventing potential damage to the surface being polished.

9. Tips for Achieving a Longer-Lasting Shine

When it comes to polishing your vehicle, achieving a longer-lasting shine is the ultimate goal. Not only does it make your car look stunning, but it also ensures that your hard work pays off in the long run. Here are some expert tips to help you achieve that coveted long-lasting shine:

1. Choose the Right Polisher: Whether you opt for a long throw polisher or a short throw polisher, selecting the right tool for the job is essential. Both types have their pros and cons that you need to consider. A long throw polisher, with its larger pad and higher levels of correction, can remove more imperfections in less time. On the other hand, a short throw polisher is more maneuverable, making it ideal for tight spaces.

2. Use the Correct Backing Plate: The type of backing plate you use can make a significant difference in achieving a longer-lasting shine. For a long throw polisher, using a larger backing plate allows for more even pressure distribution and better coverage. A short throw polisher, with its smaller pad, requires a smaller backing plate to optimize performance.

3. Pay Attention to Pad Selection: The type of pad you choose can also impact the longevity of your shine. For a long throw polisher, a larger pad combined with a more robust foam composition can help distribute heat and maintain pad stability. The closed-cell nature of this pad ensures better product retention, reducing the need for frequent reapplication. In contrast, a short throw polisher benefits from a smaller, more agile pad that adapts well to contours and tight areas.

4. Work in Sections: To achieve a consistent shine, it’s important to work on your vehicle in sections. Divide the surface into manageable areas and focus on one section at a time. This way, you can ensure that each section receives equal attention and achieve a uniform shine across the entire surface.

5. Use Proper Technique: Whether you’re using a long throw polisher or a short throw polisher, employing the correct technique is crucial. Always work in straight lines or overlapping motions, moving the polisher at a steady pace. Avoid applying too much pressure, as this can lead to uneven polishing or damage to the paint.

6. Opt for High-Quality Products: Using top-notch polishing compounds and polishes is vital for achieving a long-lasting shine. Look for products that are specifically formulated for your type of polisher and the desired level of

10. Selecting the Best Polisher for Professionals vs Car Enthusiasts

When it comes to choosing the right polisher for your needs, it’s essential to consider the differences between long throw and short throw polishers. Depending on whether you are a professional detailer or a car enthusiast, the requirements and priorities may vary. Let’s delve into the pros and cons of each type to help you make an informed decision.

1. Long Throw Polishers:

Long throw polishers are known for their ability to deliver higher levels of correction, making them a popular choice among professionals. These machines typically have a larger mm throw, which refers to the diameter of the orbit that the pad makes. The longer throw allows for more aggressive polishing, making it efficient for removing deep scratches, swirl marks, and other paint imperfections.

Pros:

Ideal for professionals looking to achieve flawless finishes, especially on heavily damaged surfaces.

The larger throw can cover more surface area, reducing polishing time significantly.

Ideal for working on larger vehicles or areas that require fast correction.

Cons:

The increased throw may make it challenging to maneuver in tight spaces or around smaller, delicate areas.

The larger pad used with long throw polishers requires more pressure to make effective contact, potentially causing fatigue during prolonged use.

Long throw polishers can be more expensive compared to their short throw counterparts.

Expert Quote: “Long throw polishers are the go-to choice for professionals seeking faster results and higher levels of paint correction. They offer efficiency and effectiveness for tackling even the most challenging detailing jobs.” (Expert Detailer)

2. Short Throw Polishers:

Short throw polishers, also known as dual-action (DA) or orbital polishers, are popular among car enthusiasts and those new to machine polishing. These machines have a smaller mm throw, typically around 8mm or less. The shorter throw provides a gentler approach, making it easier to control and minimizing the risk of damaging the paintwork.

Pros:

Perfect for car enthusiasts and beginners, as they offer a forgiving and user-friendly experience.

The shorter throw allows for more precise polishing, making it easier to navigate around tight spaces and intricate details.

Short throw polishers are generally more affordable, making them a budget-friendly option for DIY enthusiasts.

Cons:

The smaller throw may require more passes to achieve the desired level of correction, prolonging the overall polishing process.

Due to the smaller pad size, short throw polishers may not cover as much

Conclusion

In conclusion, when it comes to choosing between long throw and short throw polishers, it is important to weigh the pros and cons based on your specific needs. Both options offer distinct advantages and limitations, making it essential to consider factors such as surface area, paint condition, and personal preferences. Long throw polishers excel at tackling larger areas and are ideal for removing deeper scratches and blemishes. Their increased power and larger orbit size allow for faster and more efficient polishing. On the other hand, short throw polishers are more maneuverable and perfect for tighter spaces. They provide better control and precision, making them well-suited for intricate detailing work. To determine the best polisher for your projects, assess the size and condition of the surfaces you typically

FAQ

What is the difference between a dual action and rotary polisher?

A dual action polisher has two action mechanisms that work together to polish the vehicle. On the left side of the machine there is a rotary pad that helps to polish the surface and the right side has a pad that is used to remove wax and paint. A rotary polisher also has a dual action polishing head which moves back and forth on the paint to remove swirls and scratches.

What are the pros and cons of long throw vs short throw polishers?

The Pros of a Long Throw Polisher: -They offer a lot of power and can handle a lot of polish. -They’re easier to use than a short throw polisher, and are perfect for larger areas. The Cons of a Long Throw Polisher: -They can be a bit noisy. -Their range is limited, so you may have to move closer to the work surface to get to smaller areas.

What is the best polisher for professionals?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to the best polisher for professionals, as the type of polish and application technique will vary depending on the type of finish you are aiming for. However, a long throw polisher is generally favoured for higher-quality finishes, such as a mirror finish or a high-gloss finish, while a short throw polisher is better for lower-quality finishes, such as a matte finish.

What is the best polisher for car enthusiasts?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best polisher for car enthusiasts will vary depending on the type of car you own and the level of detail you’re aiming to achieve. However, some of the most popular polishers for car enthusiasts include the orbital polishers, the buffer machines, and the rotary polishers.

What is the difference between a long throw and a short throw polisher?

A long throw polisher has a larger wheel circumference than a short throw polisher, which allows it to travel over larger areas more quickly and polish a greater surface area at one time. This type of polisher is best for polishing large, flat areas, such as a car. A short throw polisher has a smaller wheel circumference than a long throw polisher, which allows it to travel over smaller areas more quickly and polish a greater surface area at one time. This type of polisher is best for polishing small, detailed areas, such as a piano keys.

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